05 April 2019

Welcoming guests and inspiring young minds

John Lyon Head, Miss Katherine Haynes, reflects on the numerous guests who come to School to inspire pupils, every week of every term

One of John Lyon’s greatest strengths, I believe, is that everyone is made to feel welcome.

Whether you are a pupil or parent, a prospective John Lyon family attending an open day, visiting us from another school for a day of learning, or here for a meeting about best practice in learning and teaching, we are delighted to have you here with us at our North West London school.

The guest sign-in book in reception is filled quickly and replaced regularly. This sense of activity and motion – new knowledge and ideas coming through our doors – is hugely encouraging for a School that is constantly seeking to better itself and the opportunities it creates for its pupils.

You’ll see in the opening pages of the Spring Term 2019 edition of The Standard, that in the 12 weeks of Spring Term we have welcomed an Olympic Champion, a leading ecomomic journalist, a renowned mathematician, a space expert and even tapped into the knowledge of our neighbours here on the Hill.

The Standard - Spring 2019
The Spring Term 2019 edition of The Standard, the John Lyon School magazine
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And these are just the headline events – the Blue Book diary which is issued to all boys and their parents, and the website calendar will give you the full picture: Friday Union speakers, guest authors and a regular stream of noted Old Lyonians.

In the case of our Musician of the Year judge, as well as insightful feedback on our boys’ performances, we were even treated to an impromptu performance (see the picture at the top of this page).

We also hoped to have been able to boast the visit of a leading name in UK politics within these pages, but, alas, parliament’s recent busy schedule has seen that put on hold…for now.

Guest speakers add so much for our boys. An instantly recognisable face, a high-profile success, or academic renown can command the attention of Year 7 and Upper Sixth boys alike and leave a real impression on young minds.

As a mathematician myself, I was particularly excited to welcome Dr Simon Singh to lecture on the concept of proof. From Euler’s conjecture to Fermat’s Last Theorem, and the secrets of mathematics hidden in The Simpsons, I was suitably reminded of my own experience as a teacher taking students to hear inspirational speakers. To see Simon Singh here at John Lyon promoting the value of mathematics through a compelling Union lecture, was as satisfying for me as it was hugely interesting for our boys.

We have more guests lined-up and we hope many of you will come to hear them speak. Of course, if you happen to know a leading sports star, top politician, award-winning actor or Nobel Prize winner who may wish to speak to our boys, do let us know!

They, like you, are always welcome.