17 August 2023

John Lyon pupils show academic prowess, achieving incredible results despite huge decline in national picture

Lyonians will once again be making their way around the country to the UK’s top universities after they picked up their superb A-Level results. It is encouraging to learn that whilst the national picture has seen a large decline in the proportion of higher grades awarded, John Lyon is celebrating its strongest externally marked results in five years. Whilst the School is rightly known for its all-round holistic education and range of unrivalled opportunities beyond the classroom, this set of results demonstrates its academic prowess. John Lyon firmly believes that academic excellence and pursuits beyond the classroom go hand-in-hand. This is what makes John Lyon Northwest London’s leading co-ed independent school. The School celebrates achievements outside of lessons – the results prove that busy students are successful students.

Pupils will be studying sought after courses, such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, engineering, architecture, law and politics, as well as niche options such as computer gameplay design and production, fine art, and film and television. They will be heading to the likes of Cambridge, Bristol, Edinburgh, Imperial, London School of Economics, Queen Mary and King’s College London to name but a few.

Josh Holloway achieved straight A* A* A* A* and an additional A* in the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification). With his highly impressive five A*s, Josh will study engineering at the prestigious University of Cambridge. Josh, a sixth form academic scholar, embedded himself in all areas of school life, including in his role as sustainability prefect, on the tennis court and as a talented musician.

Josh said: “I am extremely pleased with my straight A*s and am delighted to be heading to Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge. I want to thank all my teachers for everything they have done for me. The support from them as well as my family has been immense.”


Varun Valentine scored straight A* A* A* with an additional A* in EPQ. With his four A*s, Varun will be heading into central London to study medicine at Imperial College London. At School, he is a member of the Head Boy Team as communication monitor. As part of this role, he has worked with the School’s marketing and communications department to produce the sixth form newsletter, a largely student-run publication. Varun is an sixth form academic scholar and music scholar, and has performed on the Boyd Campbell Hall stage on a number of occasions as both a musician and in debating. He also created and ran the junior biomedical society.

Varun said: “I am speechless – it’s been a rollercoaster and I have been blessed with a amazing family, friends and teachers. The School has been extremely supportive and I am really excited for the future. The best part is that John Lyon School has helped me fulfil my dream of becoming a doctor!”

Andrew MacKenzie was awarded A* A* A and will study computer gameplay design and production at Staffordshire University. Andrew is a sixth form academic scholar and has spent a lot of his time at School supporting the fantastic AV department, covering high-profile events and recording and streaming concerts, plays, assemblies and guest visitor talks for John Lyon School’s official YouTube channel.

Andrew said: “I feel great, and I am so happy with my results. It’s very pleasing to see that the hard work has paid off. I would like to thank my teachers for their efforts and their support. I wouldn’t have done it without them.”

Azmat Khokhar received A* A A and will be studying medicine at Queen Mary University of London.

Azmat said: “I am extremely happy with the results I have achieved! I thank my family, teachers and friends for supporting me on this journey. I am excited for what the future holds and I thank my school for allowing me to obtain my first step in becoming a doctor.”

Sahit Sahni received A* A A A and an additional A* in EPQ. He will studying electrical and electronic engineering at the University of Manchester. Sahit recently joined John Lyon at 16+ in the Lower Sixth (Year 12) as an academic scholar and became an Excellence Monitor as part of the Head Boy Team. He also kept busy running the School’s Academic Society.

Sahit said: “I am extremely thrilled with my results! It’s been a really enjoyable couple of years in the sixth form and I am very thankful to my family and teachers for all of their encouragement. If you are considering joining John Lyon at 16+ for sixth form studies, I would certainly recommend it. The School has enabled me to achieve these terrific results.”

Rafi Smith received A* A A and will be going on to study politics and international studies at the University of Warwick, a top-10 UK institution. Rafi is a drama scholar and, it will therefore come as no surprise, a strong actor and performer. He is part of the Head Boy Team as events monitor and is involved with charitable initiatives. He is also a keen footballer and represented the School team.

Rafi said: “I am absolutely elated! The last few days leading up to today have been stressful but when I finally opened the envelope, standing together with my mum and dad, all the pressure was alleviated. I am so grateful to everyone who has helped me during my time at John Lyon!”


Lucas Saliba was awarded A* A* A and will go on to study philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. Lucas is a sixth form academic scholar, senior prefect, house captain and in the senior debating team. He is also a thespian and was involved with the School’s charity programme.

Lucas said: “I am relieved after seeing my results. Keeping busy at school with a number of activities does help us perform better academically. I think it’s one of the reasons I did as well as I have. I want to thank my teachers, family and friends. I am extremely delighted!”


Rishi Patel received straight A A A with an additional A in the EPQ and will read industrial economics at the University of Nottingham. As an event prefect, Rishi has been involved in a number of charity initiatives at the School.

Rishi said: “I am overjoyed with my results and am very proud of myself for achieving them. A huge thanks must go to my teachers for helping me.”

Anish Ardhanariswara achieved A* A A with an additional A in the EPQ and will head across the capital to study dentistry at King’s College London. As well as being a sixth form academic prefect and science prefect, Anish is an all-round sportsperson and represented the School in first XI hockey fixtures.

Anish said: “I am so relieved, having opened the envelope and seen my results. I worked consistently hard and am thankful to my teachers and my family for their tremendous support. The teachers helped me so much with interview prep and I would not be where I am now without them.”



Bursary support

The benefit and value of John Lyon’s bursary schemes can be seen in the grades of the students who have been supported financially through their time at the school.

This year, around 15% of the cohort has received some bursarial support from the  John Lyon’s Foundation (John Lyon School and John Lyon’s Charity); their results included 7 A*s, 8 As and 8 Bs. These outstanding results would not be possible without the funding from the Foundation, of which the School is a key constituent.

The School remains committed to widening access for local families, enabling the children of those who could not otherwise afford the fees to benefit from a leading all-round independent school education. This corresponds to the original intention of John Lyon, who, when he founded Harrow School in 1572, stated that he wished to provide an education for children in the parish. Each year, the school makes available a small number of means-tested bursaries to pupils who demonstrate potential.


From the Head

Miss Katherine Haynes, Head, said: “We are extremely delighted for our Upper Sixth on their excellent A-Level results – these have been some of the best on record. Our students have been ambitious and have been rightly rewarded for their hard work and effort. They have excelled not only in their studies, but also across the board: on the sports field, on the drama stage, in the art studio, in music performances and in the many rewarding charity and community partnerships and events at John Lyon and as part of John Lyon’s Foundation and alongside the Harrow Family of Schools situated around the world.

I would like to extend my thanks to our fantastic staff for their continued dedicated, expert and passionate teaching and guidance for every student, and to our encouraging parents and guardians who have played a large part supporting their children through these crucial years.

Students have evidently taken advantage of the many opportunities here at John Lyon and I am immensely proud, in my last year as Head of this wonderful school after 14 thoroughly enjoyable and memorable years, to be leaving on such a high and celebratory note. Well done to all!”