We provide a wide range of sporting activities and opportunities for all pupils.
We offer a full programme of competitive fixtures against other schools, with dates detailed in the termly calendar sent to all parents and via the school website.
We enjoy the benefits of a heated indoor swimming pool and AstroTurf pitch on the school site and have extensive use of our Senior School’s 25-acre sports pitches, a short journey from the Prep School.
At our Prep School we concur with educational theorists who emphasise the importance of the creative mind and ‘emotional intelligence’ and ‘wellbeing’ – the need to develop the whole personality and our pupil’s imaginations especially. Drama has the power to liberate the mind.
Drama has been used over the course of history from the time of Aristotle, who believed that theatre provided people a way to release emotions, right to the beginning of the progressive movement in education, where emphasis was placed upon ‘doing’ rather than memorising. Integrating drama helps children in various ways.
At KS1, Drama is an ideal subject for young children to experience. It is invaluable as a means for developing communication skills, encouraging positive social interaction, increasing physical control and teaching pupils how to listen and respond appropriately. It is essential, for example, that pupils at this stage of their development learn to listen and respond to instructions and many drama games contain this element as an implicit part of the activities.
At KS2, Drama can help pupils to be more confident and assertive when faced with situations which cause them distress, through peer pressure and social inclusion issues.
Further development of language and communication skills are also an essential element of drama work, as are encouraging independent work, positive group interaction, negotiation skills, maintaining appropriate responses, further developing speaking and listening skills and facilitating creative expression.
We encourage our pupils to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society.
We place great importance on ensuring pupils develop an understanding of not only themselves and their relationships with others, but the wider world around them.
PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education) is taught through discreet and cross-curricular lessons. It promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepares them for all opportunities, responsibilities and experiences in life. Our aim is to develop pupils’ self-esteem as well as their appreciation of the views, opinions and cultures of others.
In Key Stage 2 pupils will learn about themselves in more depth as they become more mature and self-confident. As they begin to develop into young adults, they will receive full support and encouragement to face the changes of puberty and transfer to secondary school. They learn how to make more informed choices about their own health and environment; to take more responsibility, individually and as a part of a group.
At our Prep School, Computing covers the use of electronic technology in all its forms, including computers and other communication devices.
From the earliest classes, pupils have computers in their classrooms, allowing staff to integrate computing practice within any lesson they choose. In addition, all pupils from the Reception class upwards have a Computing lesson in their weekly timetable.
Our Computing suite contains Windows based PCs for each member of the class (enabling individual work to be undertaken most of the time). These are networked, and appropriate internet filtering is in place, along with an acceptable use policy which is agreed by staff, parents and pupils. From Year 3, each pupil has their own password-controlled file space on the server, where their work-in-progress is stored.
Computing skills (word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases etc.) are all covered through the children’s Computing lessons, along with a continuous strand of computing topics – introducing the basics of sequencing (simple programming) from an early age. As the pupils progress, they are introduced to several programming languages, and start to use simple programmable devices (such as the BBC micro:bit) as an introduction to the IOT (internet of things).
Opportunities for appropriate cross-curricular interaction are actively sought through all years. Computing has obvious links with Maths and Science, but can be used in support of any other written subject. Projects can be supported well, both with research and presentation. In particular, Geography projects required by pupils for future examinations are fully integrated into teaching where needed.
• What is religion?
• How did the universe begin?
• Why do people suffer?
• Why do Christians celebrate Easter?
• How does religion affect society?
• What do Jews believe about life after death?
• Are there different ways of seeing the truth?
The main aim of Religious Studies is to promote the spiritual, moral, social, cultural and intellectual development of pupils by encouraging them to explore those aspects of human experience which raise fundamental questions about beliefs and values. Our pupils are encouraged to develop positive attitudes towards followers of other faiths and to understand that people express beliefs and ideas in a variety of ways.
We achieve our aims through the use of:
• a wide range of up-to-date, attractive textbooks for all classes
• DVDs and online resources
• interactive whiteboards in every classroom
• an extensive range of high quality artefacts
• photo packs
• drama, art and music
• visiting speakers and visits to places of worship
The syllabus for pupils covers a range of different topics, including:
• Christmas journeys
• Muslim beliefs and practices
• Faith and the arts
• Religions in our neighbourhood
• Worship and community
Learning reflects the fact that the religious traditions of the United Kingdom are, in the main, Christian while taking into account other principal religions that are represented. Pupils study a full issues-based course requiring the ability to read and interpret religious texts and understand religion in its contemporary setting. It also provides the opportunity for all pupils, of any religious persuasion or none, to discuss and express their thoughts and opinions – and to demonstrate their attainment, irrespective of their gender or ethnic or social background.
At our Prep School, we place great emphasis on music-making and our ensembles and choirs provide a wide variety of musical experiences. In fact, we strive to be one of the top Prep/Primary schools nationally for Music, and indeed our Chamber Choir has twice got through in recent years to the Final of the National Choral Competition (2022 and 2023 – thereby being ranked in the top 14 Under 11 choirs in the UK).
Music is a means of expression and a way to develop fine motor skills and better coordination. It will give your son or daughter a deeper appreciation of the arts, a positive outlook on life, and it teaches them the importance of dedication, focus and practice. Many studies show that the abstract reasoning skills needed in Science and Mathematics are enhanced with students involved in musical activity.
Learning an instrument will give your child a sense of self-confidence that they will carry with them through life, but most importantly, they will have fun whilst participating!
We can offer tuition for the following instruments:
Lessons of 30 minutes’ duration are given weekly on a cycle of 30 throughout the academic year, charged at 10 lessons per term. Occasionally, it may not be possible to fit in the full allocation of lessons in each individual term but the full 30 will be given during the course of the academic year or an appropriate refund given.
Each pupil will be expected to have their own practice book which also forms a way to communicate with parents. Daily practice is to be encouraged at home. For pupils in the Pre-Prep, lessons of 20 minutes may also be an option.
At the start of each term you will receive an invoice direct from the visiting music tutor; which is payable before the lessons commence.
Practical and Theory Examinations
Our teachers offer to prepare and enter pupils for Grades 1/Initial through to Grade 8. The exam boards are: The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and Rockschool (RSL).
Aural and Theory of Music
Teachers cover aural tests in instrumental lessons. An after-school club held for theory of music is available, currently on Fridays between 4.00 and 4.50pm in the Halliday Hall led by our Director of Music, Mr Jones, and supported by Mr Haswell, Head of Music (Prep).
The School has a small selection of instruments, which it rents to parents at a cost of £40 per term. In some cases it will be beneficial for parents to make their own hire/purchase arrangements prior to their child’s first lesson.
Need Instrument Advice?
If your child would like to play an instrument but is just not sure which one, Mr Haswell is typically available on a Monday and Tuesday during morning break to discuss options direct with your child.
Discontinuation of Lessons
If at any point you wish tuition to cease, parents must give written notice of discontinuation to the Director of Music and to the instrumental teacher no later than the Half Term break for lessons to cease at the end of a term. Lessons can only be discontinued at the end of any given term and without due notice parents are liable for the fees for the forthcoming term.
Whether a pupil learns an instrument at John Lyon or outside school, we encourage all to join at least one of our numerous ensembles and choirs. Our current list of Music activities is below.
There are frequent opportunities to perform throughout the year. The Music Department has a busy annual calendar including:
Art is an integral part of our Prep School’s curriculum, providing our pupils with a unique means of expressing their ideas by allowing them to explore new thoughts and give life to their creative minds.
Our pupils are taught techniques to develop skills, sketch and paint based on observation, understand and appreciate art, learn about world-renowned artists and develop independent artwork. This is planned and covered as part of a core curriculum across the early, primary and middle years.
We end the year with an annual inter-house Art competition; a festive event that showcases the talent and learning of the pupils across all years.
The early years are introduced to the basic concepts of drawing and colouring. They learn to recognise the primary and secondary colours of the colour wheel while being encouraged to draw independently. Theme-based crafts are part of the curriculum.
Each term, pupils are introduced to the elements of art and explore their application. Learning about art timelines, art movements and artists are part of the curriculum. From designing book covers to posters, lots of team work, exploring the techniques of world renowned artists, lessons are busy and full of creative fun and learning.
After School activities
The after School Art Clubs are among the most popular choices of the pupils. Here they combine various techniques and add an element of fun to them. They work towards an exhibition at the end of their six-week term, which boosts their creativity and encourages them to go further.
History is taught throughout the School and pupils are encouraged to find out about events and peoples.
Little Lyons and Pre-Prep
The youngest children cover historical stories and information through ‘topics’, such as ‘London’.
In Prep years we cover different eras from history, such as the Romans, the Tudors, Medieval times and World War II.
Pupils write, make posters and models, and enjoy role play. There are regular visits to galleries and museums in central London, St Albans and Oxford. Our oldest pupils have had great success with history for senior school entrance examinations and as part of the humanities papers favoured by some senior schools.
Older pupils are given the chance to enter the prestigious Townsend-Warner history award – a prize that is over 100-years-old and that has previously been attempted by famous names such as Winston Churchill and George Orwell. Our pupils have regularly featured in the top 50 prize winners and a few years ago a pupil won the first prize, coming ahead of pupils from some of the leading preparatory schools in the country.
Planet Earth is our only home. It is an mind-blowing, diverse and constantly changing place of awesome beauty and power.
In studying geography, pupils investigate the links between people and their environment on both local and international scales. The subject encompasses the natural processes that shape the planet, the cultural diversity of its inhabitants, and issues that our environments face.
As geographers at our Prep School, we are passionate about discovering how our world works and what impact humans are having on its fragile existence.
Teachers in the department are committed to cultivating the knowledge and understanding of the pupils and also developing the thinking skills which are so vital in the study of Geography. In doing this, we are able to explore values and issues, and to challenge stereotypes, whilst still encouraging the pupils to think for themselves.
French is the language of our nearest neighbours, probably the easiest foreign language for English speakers to learn and, after English, one of the most widely-learned languages worldwide.
We believe in giving pupils a solid grounding in French as well as in teaching them lots about the joy of travelling in France, experiencing French culture and about the huge number of other countries which are part of the French-speaking world.
Little Lyons and Pre-Prep
In the early stages the emphasis is on enjoyment and communication, with lots of the learning being done through songs and mime.
As the pupils progress into Prep, the focus begins to include the acquisition of a wide vocabulary. Pupils practise role plays and short drama sketches in make-believe cafés and shops. It is hoped that they will be able to make use of this if they go to France on holiday.
They then begin to learn verbs and study French grammar in detail – whilst continuing the fun and communication. Older pupils have opportunities to study French poems and songs and even to watch a French TV series.
We follow the Expo course (books 1, 2 and 3) which contains a wealth of lively reading and listening texts as well as clear grammar explanations. This is supplemented with lots of the department’s self-made resources – along with specialist websites and traditional grammar books.
The core of every science lesson at our Prep School is about developing every pupil’s curiosity in the world around them.
They are encouraged to think creatively, observe phenomena, ask questions and to develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills. This means they can make progress and become independent learners.
In Pre-Prep, the Science curriculum is based on the National Curriculum. It is broad, well balanced and allows pupils to experience and observe phenomena. Pupils are also encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice through their first hand practical experiences, relevant real life examples and current affairs.
In the Prep years, Common Entrance specifications are covered and our pupils achieve impressive results.
Pupils enjoy taking part in our scientific debates: Topics include Should animal testing be banned? and What are the arguments for and against renewable or non-renewable energy?. These debates allow pupils to gain more in depth knowledge of such topics, and they can question the ethical issues related to science.
Exciting practical experiments are carefully designed and incorporated into lessons to enhance pupils’ understanding of scientific concepts. Pupils are regularly assessed throughout every academic year to ensure they are all making progress and reaching their potential.
Science is taught by the Head of Science, who is a subject specialist, in a fully equipped laboratory. Pupils study all three disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics as part of the science curriculum.
Pupils have numerous opportunities to explore science outside the classroom through events and workshops such as Animal Roadshows, National Science Quiz Competitions, attending the Salters’ Institute Festival of Chemistry event at UK’s leading universities such as UCL or Imperial.
Mathematics is a key subject for children of all ages at our Prep School.
From an early age, pupils:
All pupils have access to the MyMaths and BOFA websites and we encourage the use of these at home and in school.
A regular lunchtime Maths clinic runs every Thursday and Friday. Pupils can receive one to one or small group assistance with any issue they have been encountering.
From Reception through to Prep 3, our pupils are taught Mathematics by their form teachers. At the end of Year 3, pupils are arranged into ability groups and taught by specialist Mathematics teachers. These groups follow the same syllabus, working at a pace which suits each pupil’s needs. The groups are flexible and our pupils are constantly re-assessed. This information is shared with both the pupil and the parents.
English is taught using lively and creative methods through a variety of texts and resources incorporating ICT from Pre-Prep onwards.
Progress is carefully monitored and pupils are supported so they achieve their potential.
The library is stocked with fiction and non-fiction books. Visits by speakers and authors take place regularly. Pupils take part in national competitions, ‘More Able Writers’ Workshops’ and trips to the theatre.
Our primary aim is to develop confidence and achievement in the skills of:
This enables our pupils to leave us with an enthusiasm for English as they enter their secondary school education.
All pupils and staff are invited to enter the annual House Photography Competition, with works being featured in an online gallery.
You can submit anything you wish; the brief is open! However, this work must be your own.
Please submit your photograph (a maximum of 3 entries per pupil) to a folder named ‘Students entries’ within the ‘Photography Competition 2020’ folder. To access this folder, go to the P: Drive, then scroll down to ‘Photography Competition 2020’ (P:\Photography Competition 2020).
Please ensure that you save your entry file in the following way: your Name, Year Group and the House that you have been assigned to i.e. JohnSmithYear7HouseMoore.
All years and staff.
1st prize winner – £50 cash and 15 house points
2nd prize winner – £30 cash and 10 house points
3rd prize winner – £15 cash and 5 house points
Deadline for entry:
12.00pm, Friday 13th November
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.
We are looking for designs which incorporate a pupil’s favourite aspect of Mathematics. The numbers 1 -12 could be created by using sums or equations, or with mathematical symbols. The entries with be judged by the Head of Mathematics. Best entries will have appealing design and excellent mathematical creativity.
Entries to be submitted on A4 paper. Entries to be submitted to any Maths teacher. They can either be printed or emailed digitally. Hand drawn or digitally created is fine.
All Year 7 and Year 8 pupils
The winning entry will be made into real working clocks, that will hang in all of the maths classrooms.
Deadline for entry:
Monday 2nd November
Dr Martijn van der Spoel, director of Glia Learning, is an Educational Psychologist. Yearly he teaches more than 10,000 students of various levels, as well as parents and teachers. He is passionate about the psychology of studying – explaining not only the ‘how’ but also the ‘why’ of successful learning.
Tuesday 1st December
Years 7-9 session – ‘Care to Lead’
When we look at the way our brains function is it very clear that you are for yourself ‘Teacher no. 1’. The manner in which you ‘lead’ your brain is clearly linked to your ability to study well. The students will leave this session with a clear understanding how they can make a constructive and significant difference to their learning by using tried and tested study techniques.
Years 10-11 Session – ‘Activate your memory’
This session is particularly looking at how you can get the best out of your memory as you prepare for your GCSE exams. Please bring a pen and paper because this is a session were the emphasis lays on active learning. The students will leave this session with very clear strategies to prepare themselves well for their upcoming exams.
Sixth Form Session – ‘Pace your independent study’
Many psychological studies in schools, universities and the workplace show that using your time wisely is a key ingredient for achievement. This session will ask the question how this can be done best and examines the motivation to keep it going. The students will leave this session with a greater awareness of their individual responsibility and how they can drive this process through easy to implement strategies for change.
Jon Robinson will be speaking to boys in Y7-U6 in separate talks about his journey to becoming a published author.
Tuesday 17th November
Jon will refer to his own writing as a child which hopefully will help inspire budding young writers. An introduction to the concept of a novel and the themes in his novel including the psychology of imprisonment, labelling, peer pressure, brainwashing and memory will also be discussed.
Zoe Griffiths from ThinkMaths talks to Year 7 and 8 pupils about Mathematical Magic
Thursday 8th October, 11.15am
After completing a degree in Mathematics, Zoe trained as a secondary Maths teacher with the University of Oxford. It was in these initial experiences of teaching that she first developed her love for maths communication. After teaching for four years Zoe took up a position at the Royal Institution and then began her work with ThinkMaths in April 2017.
Zoe’s work in maths communication has seen her give talks and deliver workshops for students, families and teachers: in schools both in the UK and internationally, in the Royal Institution world-famous lecture theatre, at science festivals and teacher conferences. Zoe’s favourite number is i and she has been known to bake mathematical cakes.
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.
Locations of talks will be confirmed in advance of the talks and will take place to allow all year groups to attend while maintaining their year group bubble.
Pupils should write a short story or description with a central character, who has a demanding and traumatic job. Ideas in War Photographer by Carol Ann Duffy can be used for inspiration.
Flash Fiction submissions should be no longer than 200 words.
Masterclass on writing Flash Fiction led by Mrs Trafford, for all those interested in entering the competition on Tuesday 10th November at 4.00pm via MS Teams.
For further information email [email protected]
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.
The monologue must be written in the first person, be typed onto one side of A4 with a maximum font size of 12. In addition, students may also record themselves performing their monologue or submit a voice recording in the style of a podcast. The recording must be between two and four minutes. n.b. The recording does not have to be the same student who wrote the monologue, it can be anyone they choose, although they may of course choose to perform it themselves.
Prizes will be awarded based on creativity, characterisation and content
One prize for each of the following categories: Year 7 – Year 9; Year 10 and Year 11; Sixth Form
Submissions need to be sent electronically to Mr Felgate at [email protected]
Rudolf Balloon Race
This year’s winter challenge is to design a balloon that will travel as far and as fast as possible along a string. A bonus will be given for making the balloon festive looking.
Design a balloon which is as aerodynamic as possible. and can be released to travel along a string
Think about making the balloon as aerodynamic as possible by adding items on it such as wings. Make sure the balloon can be unsealed easily, ready for the race
You need to build three models of your balloon, so that we can make sure the race results are reliable
Racing: The race will take place in the Boyd Campbell Hall, and we will time how long it takes the balloon to travel across the Hall, and what the maximum distance it can travel. Further details of the race will be emailed nearer the time, to make sure we comply to updated Covid regulations.
Deadline for submissions – Monday 7th December.
This year our House Art Competition is based on a work of Art which reflects “Memories of Recent Times”
Need to be visual — Drawing, Painting, Print or Photography.
Consider issues which are personal, local or global.
Need to be linked to the theme and your interpretations of it. Please submit a high-resolution photograph of your entry to the Art Department by the deadline.
Deadline for submissions – Tuesday 3rd November
For further information please visit the Art Department