2016: The School’s 140th Anniversary

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As I am sure many of you already know, 2016 marks the 140th anniversary of our School.  John Lyon was a successful farmer and landowner, he obtained a charter from Queen Elizabeth I to found ‘the Free Grammar School of John Lyon’ to educate thirty local boys. The income from John Lyon’s farms funded this new school.

The School was officially opened in its new, and at that time, only building on 29th June 1876. The 'Old Building' still stands today, albeit in a different guise as the Thomas Blackwell Centre, the newly refurbished home of the Sixth Form.

I am very glad that we start this year of celebration and commemoration with the opening of our all-weather pitch at our 25-acre sports facility at Sudbury Fields. It is fitting that we should start such an important year with a pitch that enables the introduction of a new sport; Hockey, at the School. This theme of new beginnings and new skills is carried on in the excellent work our music, drama and art departments do. The plan for the year ahead is outlined below. I hope to welcome you and your families to these events and that your sons will enjoy the celebrations as the year progresses, every pupil has a place in John Lyons' history.


Monday 23rd May- Celebration of Sport Day

Year 7 and 8 boys were joined by budding sportsmen from local Schools for a fun day of competitive hockey, football, cricket and tennis. We were delighted to have secured former Field Hockey Olympians Dirkie Chamberlain and Suzanna Townsend to run Hockey workshops. The All Weather Pitch was officially opened by Angus Fraser, England selector, managing director of Cricket for the MCC and holder of 46 caps for England.

Click here to view more images from the Celebration of Sport Day Gallery.



The week commencing Monday 27th June is ‘1876 Week’


The birthday of the founding of the School fell within this week.  On Wednesday 29th June the school community ate like 1876 students, courtesy of huge asado outdoor cooking grills mounted in the Lyon Playground. The boys were happily resilient in the face of poor weather that prevented the planned outdoor dining.

This celebration week saw students bake delicious goodies and wore their loudest shirts in aid of the Primary Shakespeare Company, a charity supported by John Lyon's Charity. The organisation works with children in primary schools to raise attainment and achievement by engaging with Shakespeare.


Thursday 30th June, from 6.30pm – A Birthday Celebration in the Mall Gallery

The Drama, Art and History departments have joined forces to create an evening of creativity and fun. Our drama and art Scholars will create murals based on art from 1876, drama students will recreate scenes from those paintings. Drama students from Year 7 will deliver a potted history of the School in the style of Horrid Histories and we will be taken on a tour of the architecture of the School over time. The evening will be a large scale collaboration involving lots of effort and hard work from pupils across the School.


Saturday 2nd July- Association Day Cricket and Family Fun Day


Many of you are I am sure familiar with Association Cricket Day, a firm favourite in the Sporting calendar. This year the day included a tennis tournament for OLs, parents and boys. Afternoon tea was served in the pavilion with Wimbledon shown on the big screen. In the evening a BBQ followed the award presentations. The family day featured bouncy castles, face painting and lots of outdoor games for the children.


Thursday 7th July- Head Boy’s Golf Challenge, 12.45-6.30pm


The Head Boy, Rhys Noye-Allen invited parents, OLs and boys to play a competition at Harrow School Golf Course followed by drinks and prizes at the Lyonian Clubhouse.

It  was an evening of friendly competition at the members' club that has unique access to Harrow School's beautiful nine-hole course, which possesses stunning views of the Capital at its high point.  


Autumn Term

Year 7 boys will be invited to plant trees on the School site that will grow and strengthen during their time at School, a fitting reminder of the journey that each boy embraces during his time here.

During the autumn term we will collate a series of mementoes of the School to be placed in a time capsule and buried on the School site as well as holding Values Day where we will all gather together to celebrate and explore our values and founder.

Katherine Haynes, Head.