Excellence Programme

John Lyon’s Excellence Programme provides an opportunity for all pupils, no matter their academic ability or age, to maximise their potential to learn and to discover their passion.

The Excellence Programme’s activities vary every term. It works with all the academic departments to help deliver in-house and external competitions, lectures from leading academics and a variety of external speakers, workshops and discussion groups.

The Programme also oversees the School’s student-led Academic Society lectures, and JLx, a programme of 15-minute lunchtime lectures delivered by teachers on subjects beyond the curriculum.

Excellence Programme pupils have exclusive use of the 1876 Reading Room, a quiet space dedicated to independent thinking and research.

Academic Scholars are expected to attend most of the events organised by the Excellence Programme.

Pupils can be nominated to the Excellence Programme by any teacher. They can also put themselves forward to participate. Any pupil wanting further information about the Excellence Programme should contact [email protected]

Recent Excellence Programmes


Recent External Speakers

Since the launch of the Excellence Programme by Lord Winston in 2017, many guest speakers have visited us in North West London to deliver lectures to pupils and their parents. Recent speakers include BBC journalist Mishal Husain, and scientist, clinician and author Professor Hugh Montgomery.


The Excellence Programme has also launched Talks-on-the-Hill, an annual lecture series which brings together pupils, teachers, subject experts and Harrow residents to deliver short lectures on a given subject.

1876 Reading Room

Located in the Red House, the 1876 Reading Room was opened in 2017 by Lord Winston. It has been designed for exclusive use of boys on the Excellence Programme for reading and further study. Here they can access a variety of books, publications and research for furthering their knowledge in a peaceful space.