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New Year 7s swap the classroom for the high seas with Royal Navy visit

The secrets of surviving in a Royal Navy life raft and principles of engineering tall towers have provided a real challenge for John Lyon’s Year 7s.

A little bit of life on the high seas came to Harrow on Thursday 27th September as three Royal Navy sailors visited John Lyon to inspire boys with stories of life in the armed forces, and to help make their logical minds ship shape with some hands-on tasks.

As well as constructing tall free-standing towers from a range of differently shaped and sized pieces (a valuable skill in case a bridge has been destroyed and needs to be rebuilt), John Lyon’s newest recruits were also taught the Royal Navy’s secrets of abandoning a ship for a life raft – something that requires a lot of training.

Both tasks were designed to help increase creative and logical skills that are key elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM), which is a strong academic focus at John Lyon.

Following the day, which was led by the Royal Navy’s Specialist Engagement Team Eastern England, Year 7 Kiran Patel said: “Firstly we had a talk which gave us an insight into the life and jobs of Royal Navy workers. I got very intrigued by how it’s possible to join with an apprenticeship or from university and how the Navy has changed their lives.

“Later we had activities – building towers using the pieces provided and learning about the procedure of an abandoning a ship. I had an opportunity to wear a protective orange suit like they would do and got to go into their safety capsules which can hold up to 20 people. I found this experience amazing.”


John Lyon is an independent school, a member of HMCISC and is reviewed in the Good Schools Guide.

Pupils typically join John Lyon in Years 7, 9 and 12, largely from a North West London catchment area including Harrow, Wembley, Stanmore, Pinner, Watford, Rickmansworth, Northwood, Ruislip, Hillingdon, Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Southall, Ealing, Acton, Edgware, Brent Cross, Finchley, Barnet, Camden, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, as well as other parts of Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

See forthcoming open events, concerts and exhibitions on our What’s On page.