The John Lyon School
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

Primary & Secondary
Post 16
3 - 18
Other independent school

How Does The School Perform?

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5+ GCSEs grade 9-4 (standard pass or above) including English and maths

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Top Grades Compared With Other Schools

59% Independent Average The John Lyon School UNLOCK GCSE
43% Independent Average The John Lyon School UNLOCK A level

Top grades at GCSE (7-9) and top grades at A level (A*/A)

School Results Over Time

2019 2022 2023 2020 Covid-19 2021 Covid-19 UNLOCK

% of pupils who achieved 3 A levels at AAB or higher
Middle Road
020 8515 9400

School Description

The School is open to boys residing within reasonable travelling distance. There are places each September for boys who will be over 11 and under 12 on their entry into the school. An entrance examination is set in January. In addition, places are available each September for boys to enter the third form. They must be over 13 and under 14. An entrance examination takes place in January.

The John Lyon School Parent Reviews

Average Parent Rating



"> To sum it up in one word: disappointing. My son has recently left John Lyon but he did not enjoy his years at the school. Bullying was a problem with the boys in our experience. Teacher morale was generally poor and the good teachers tended to leave after a couple of years. The school hierarchy have a much higher opinion of the school than the exam results warrant, and I think the school has been relying on its past reputation for too long. John Lyon used to be a very good school, but it needs a major overhaul to get back to where it used to be.
“An amazing school”

"> This school is simply wonderful, the care they have shown for my son and the opportunities they have provided him have been second to none. They provide a strong academic curriculum with many highlights to motivate the boys. The arts are celebrated and their hidden curriculum with sports, music, drama, and clubs has been breath taking. I wanted my son to be challenged but also to be able to express himself in his passions for music and sport. John Lyon has been with us every step of the way In supporting my son. The facilities are excellent and it is a happy and stimulating environment for learners. I am a state school teacher, and I have borrowed ideas and continue to from this school to share with my own students. Thank you to the headteacher and all the staff for their effort and support
“A hidden gem”

"> Excellent care for my son and he is pushed hard to exceed our goals for him. Our son has been at John Lyon since joining from a local prep at age 13. We were initially impressed by the close personal input that all staff have with the children, my son was interviewed by the Head and settled in no time thanks to the Induction Programme. There aren't many schools where everyone knows your son's name and you are invited to the Head's house for dinner! We have been particularly impressed with the Science facilities and teaching, and my son has gone from a 'C' student to an A/B so we now fully understand what 'value-added' means whereas before joining the school it was a phrase we heard a lot from his prep head without any deep understanding. Perceptions of the school are definitely changing: the school hasn't been known for its outstanding success with Oxbridge entrants (which everyone seems so hung up with!) but first choice entries to good universities, lots of them Russell Group, get better every year. Just compare the staff list with any of the local private secondaries and the number of Oxbridge teachers they have brought in recently shows quite clearly where they are heading and we are glad that our son is going along for the ride.
“Truly outstanding”

"> My son attended The Russell School, a state primary in Chorleywood, and entered The John Lyon School in 2011 (aged 11). Other schools we considered included Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, Chesham Grammar, Watford Grammar School for Boys, St. Clement Danes School (18th best state school in country on some measures), Merchant Taylors School, Berkhamstead School and Aldenham School. He failed the 11+ exam by the narrowest of margins (despite passing fairly comfortably on a mock exam under genuine exam conditions) and failed one of the three entrance papers at Merchant Taylors (expressive language and breadth of vocabulary a weakness at aged 11). St Clement Danes School (an excellent state school where most of his peer group transferred to) and Aldenham were real options (i.e. we were offered places). I ruled out Berkhamstead School because I wasn’t impressed when given a tour by the Head. Despite being a borderline entry at aged 11, my son was offered a place following an interview with the Head (Katherine Haynes) Accepting that offer was the best decision I ever made. 90% of the teaching of the school has been excellent. I don’t mark something as “excellent” lightly! The pastoral care of the school has been outstanding. At the beginning of Year 9 my son had “a wobble” about a change of classmates but the school handled it superbly by explaining (with ur consent) a medical condition my son has to the other boys. In Year 10 he spent some considerable time in the Royal Brompton Hospital’s Paediatric Heart & Lung Ward and again the school handled it superbly. Sporting opportunities are great and there is a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Though my son doesn’t do music or drama, I’ve attended several of the schools productions and they are amazing! My son achieved 5 A* and 6 As at GCSE and A* AA at A-Level (plus an A in his Extended Project Qualification). He will read Economics at the University of Warwick. The "added value" at the school is astonishing and the teachers are supportive of every pupil. More importantly, he has ENJOYED a happy and stable environment at the school for the past seven years. After GCSE's my son had the opportunity to switch to Dr Challoner's Sixth form (which we seriously considered and met their senior management team). We are pleased that he continued at The John Lyon School. If there is a better school, I have yet to see it. Now allow me to be less diplomatic - if your son puts in the work (not excessive (my son still played sport our of school, watched football etc etc)), this son WILL deliver. If your son does not apply himself, no school can deliver. My son has also developed into a polite young man - humble and no sense of entitlement. Is this son right if your son is in the highest cohort aged 11 (which my son wasn't). In my opinion, Undoubtedly "yes!" The school would deliver Oxbridge plus all the extra-curricular activities crucial for a rounded education.
“Excellent staff in small school”

"> My son spent 7 years here and left with great results and went on to a very good university. There are some excellent teachers and good facilities but there is always room for improvement. He was disappointed in the rather cramped Sixth Form and there needs to be more interaction with girls' schools to improve social interaction. Best to visit with your son and see if a small but caring school is for him. Generally we were happy with it.
“Not good at all.”

"> My son goes to The John Lyon School and I am writing from first hand experience. The school, in my opinion, lacks collective quality and success. There are many individual successes here but as a cohort, they do not do well. This is the main problem. The school have seen a decline in results from past years and this just portrays the air of mediocrity that encompasses this school. One parent put it to me, it is a 'glamorised state school' and it really is. If you are considering sending your child here, I would advise to keep looking around. There are much better schools out there. Especially if you are considering the sixth form, which is below par compared to other schools.
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News, Photos and Open Days from The John Lyon School

Last update: 04 October 2022

The best way to get a feel for The John Lyon School is to come for a visit where you can look around the facilities and meet the staff and students. The open day includes an address by the Head and the Head Boy together with a tour of the school led by current pupils. In addition to departmental exhibitions there will be opportunities to talk to members of the teaching staff and pupils. We welcome students for Year 7, 10 and Sixth form entry to our open day.

No appointment is necessary but we strongly advise you to arrive in good time because the sessions start promptly at the times advertised and each tour quickly reaches capacity. No tour of the School is complete without a visit to our outstanding 25 acre Sports facility at Sudbury, 5 minutes’ drive away in a School minibus, departing at 11.15.

The Saturday morning Open Day starts at 10am ends at 1pm

The Head will speak in the Boyd Campbell Hall twice. Capacity in the Hall is finite so we recommend prompt arrival. A bell will ring signaling the start of the talk and your guide will escort you to the hall and re-start your tour after the talk.

If the weather is fair there will be parking on site, off West Street, HA1 3HB. Please follow signs on the day.

The John Lyon School Catchment Area Map

This school is independently managed and its admission criteria may be selective. There is no set catchment area as pupils are admitted from a wide variety of postcodes and, in the case of boarding schools, from outside the UK. Contact the school directly or visit their website for more information on Admissions Policy and Procedures.