Excellence Programme

John Lyon 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, 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.

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 or to find out about joining the Excellence Committee, which helps organise events should contact excellence@johnlyon.org

Excellence Programme Competitions and Events

Autumn Term 2020

JLx Lunchtime Lectures

JLx is a series of 15-minute highly informative sessions each run by a different department, which aim to share with pupils some exciting aspects of their disciplines.


Monologue Writing Challenge

Pupils are challenged to write an original monologue with a view to it being performed on stage. The monologue can be about anything at all and can be presented in any style or form.

Deadline: Friday 16th October

Design a Maths Department Clock Competition

Pupils in Year 7 and Year 8 are challenged to design a mathematics themed clock, that can be made into a real working clock to be put in all the maths classrooms.

Deadline: Monday 2nd November

House Art Competition

This year our House Art Competition is based on a work of Art which reflects “Memories of Recent Times”

Deadline: Tuesday 3rd November

House Photography Competition

All pupils and staff are invited to enter the annual House Photography Competition, with works being featured in an online gallery.

Deadline: Friday 13th November

Creative Writing Workshop: Jon Robinson

Author Jon Robinson inspires John Lyon's budding young writers

Tuesday 17th November

Guest Speaker — Dr Martijn van der Spoel

Educational psychologist Dr Martijn vander Spoel spends a day at John Lyon speaking to every year group

Tuesday 1st December

Flash Fiction Competition

Pupils should write a short story or description with a central character, who has a demanding and traumatic job.

Deadline: Thursday 10th December

Excellence Programme Guest 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 Emily Maitlis, and four-time Olympic champion Sir Matthew Pinsent.


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.

Excellence Programme Newsletters

Spring Term 2020 Autumn Term 2019 Summer Term 2019 Spring Term 2019 Autumn Term 2018 Summer Term 2018 Spring Term 2018