21 May 2021

Rich history celebrated as new future awaits on John Lyon’s 145th anniversary

The long and rich history of John Lyon has been celebrated as the School kicked-off a sixth-month celebration for John Lyon’s 145th anniversary.

A day of special activities took place on Friday 14th May — 14/5 — to mark the special occasion, which not only looked back at the many past achievements of the School, but also to an exciting future which has recently seen the school move from and all boys’ senior school to a coeducational all-through school.

To launch the anniversary, which will be celebrated across Summer Term and Autumn Term until the end of 2021, the whole School came together to mark this significant milestone, starting with a celebratory School lunch before an afternoon of activities designed to look back at our rich heritage and forward to an exciting future.

Bunting in the dining room on John Lyon's 145th anniversary

No birthday would be complete without a cake

In Music, pupils began creating a new pop song using the primary chords (1, 4 and 5) and a new orchestral arrangement will be made for the School Song to mark the occasion. The Pride of Lyon’s Chamber Choir also took time from their rehearsal to sing happy birthday for John Lyon’s 145th anniversary.


In Sport, pupils took part in sports and games not known to them, but which have a long history, including Four Square.

Pupils playing Four Square on John Lyon's 145th anniversary

Four Square proved a popular game for pupils and staff

In Art, all pupils designed celebratory House logos, some of which will be printed onto tote bags and then sold to raise funds for charity. There will also be further charitable events throughout the anniversary period to help raise even greater funds for the School’s chosen charities, including this year’s main charity, the Young Harrow Foundation.

Designing a House logo on John Lyon's 145th anniversary

Each School House has been tasked with designing a special anniversary logo

The School’s green credentials were on display as the Sustainability Society worked on a small plot of land behind the Music Department, including harvesting a bumper crop of rhubarb, which was later cooked for School lunch.

Harvesting rhubarb on John Lyon's 145th anniversary

Rhubarb was harvested and used in School lunches

To celebrate our heritage, pupils investigated some of the School’s extensive archives, with the aim to produce a detailed new historical timeline of the School, to be shown on our website.

On the playing fields at Sudbury, Year 7 pupils looked specifically at the history of the John Lyon CCF, taking pare in an array of fun CCF challenges.

CCF activities on John Lyon's 145th anniversary

Year 7s took part in CCF activities at Sudbury

A brand new logo will appear around the School for the rest of 2021, which features not just the image of John Lyon, but also of his wife, Joan, who was instrumental in the creation of the first school here on the Hill almost 450 years ago.

John Lyon's 145th anniversary

The special anniversary logo will be used for the rest of 2021

This picture of John and Joan features on a set of sustainably-made pin badges and key rings produced right here using the laser cutter in our new STEAM Makerspace and given to every pupil and member of staff.

An anniversary keyring for John Lyon's 145th anniversary

Every pupil and member of staff received a special pin badge and keyring


Also of note is the change of typeface in the wording on the logo. This special new ‘Lyon’ font is based on hand-drawn lettering first used on The Lyonian magazine more than 100 years ago.

The anniversary celebrations come at a time of exciting change for John Lyon — as we welcome girls to the School for the first time and fully come together with Quainton Hall to become an all-through School from Nursery to Sixth Form.

Events across the next six months will focus on both our past and our future and will provide a fantastic focal point for the exciting changes that are taking place. To give a flavour, the celebratory programme will include lunching a new Festival of Cricket, pupils working with a professional artist and Old Lyonian to create a permanent large Art installation, a variety of collaborative projects with Harrow School and the Harrow International Schools and a return of the hugely successful TEDxJohnLyonSchool event on the theme of ‘Regeneration’.

Our celebrations will culminate with a whole School Photograph, jointly with Quainton Hall.