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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 117
we have listened to what parents have said about what they want from the newsletter and made some changes….


INSET training days

This is a reminder that the school will be closed to students on Thursday 22nd January and Friday 23rd January 2015 for staff training.

These are important INSET days focussing on ICT development and training. Staff will be developing themselves in how to utilise technology to maximise learning in the classroom, in order to take full advantage of the fantastic new facilities we are investing in for the new building.

As part of these days, all teaching staff are attending the world-renowned British Educational Training and Technology (or BETT) Show, as we prepare to move forward in an all embracing digital world

There will be no students at school on the above dates.

Yours sincerely
Carolyn Unsted

New choir

A new choir has started that is open to all in years 9, 10 and 11. The choir is rehearses Monday from 3.30pm-4.15pm in room 123 and will aim to perform popular songs in the style of ‘Pitch Perfect’ / ‘Glee’.
If your daughter is interested in singing, please encourage her to join this choir - all are welcome!
Carla Glass
Music Teacher


Lewisham Book Award


Twelve students from Years 7 and 8 have a great opportunity to meet an author and impress him/her with their knowledge of the chosen books. Students will be asked to read five books, to vote on their favourite book and to make a presentation as part of a team from different schools. The students  won’t know until the day of the award which book they will present, which is why they have to read all five books.
Students will be awarded certificates, medals and prizes for their efforts. The inaugural meeting for signing up will be on Wednesday 14th January at 1pm in the library. We look forward to seeing the students there.  




Integrated STEM curriculum at Sydenham School: Showcase Evening : Abiola Morris-Walker carried off the accolade for the most technically advanced food technology project for her strawberry rolls.  “I did some research at home and thought it would be fun to give the roll a sun shape.  It was difficult shaping the dough when it was sticky and I found I just had to adapt the shape as I went along.”  Her mother Yana Morris commented: “Abiola has made a terrible mistake demonstrating how good she can be – I am thinking of letting her take over cooking at home.”

Integrated STEM curriculum at Sydenham School: Showcase Evening :  Maria José (11) from East Dulwich with her 3D model of a house with moat in ‘Happy Town’.  “I did this by myself and some of the inspiration came from things I have seen when travelling such as the Eiffel Tower and Dutch windmills.  The big challenge was using the craft knife successfully – keeping to the line and not cutting oneself.”  The project also included a programming element with computer coding bringing the designs to life with lights and moving parts.

Integrated STEM curriculum at Sydenham School: Winter Term Showcase Evening :  Alice Wilkinson (12) from Brockley shows off her ‘home-made eggy-bread with raspberry jam’.  “The tricky thing is ensuring that you soak the bread for long enough, but not too much in case it goes soggy and collapses,” said Alice.  “I enjoy cooking and this term we have tackled everything from flap-jacks to bread.” 

Tag rugby Xmas climbing party


We had a great time.  Almost all of the girls got to the top - for many of them the first time they had succeeded in climbing so high.  They were very pleased with themselves, especially as many of them expect to climb again on school residential trips next term - they can't wait to show off!

We all brought food to share, one person even bringing a popcorn machine. The first food to be eaten was the fresh fruit and sandwiches, which was provided by Southwark Tigers RFC

The girls behaved really well and encouraged each other to improve and keep going.  A great team building exercise.  They all said they wanted to do it again

The instructors were very pleased with us and wanted to encourage the girls to come to the girls only session on Tuesdays.

We had a brief chat over Christmas chocolate at the end about why we were climbing and how it might apply to rugby.  The girls said they were both about trying, keeping going and teamwork.  Perfect answers - it worked

We start playing other teams next term and planning our Youth Games campaign - can't wait.



Sydenham STEM series lecturer awarded MBE

Claire Gott who presented a fantastic STEM series lecture last month here at Sydenham school has been awarded an MBE for services to civil engineering and charitable work in Cameroon in the Queens’ new year honours list. Please keep an eye open for future lectures as we have been able to get some truly outstanding speakers in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

STEM Student Parent challenge Monday 26th Jan 6pm-7pm
The next student parent challenge is very much a hands on activity. You will have the opportunity to design and make a bird box/bat box in our workshops. All materials will be provided and your handy work can be taken home. More details to follow next week but numbers are limited and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Watch this space.


Students Stage Fashion Show  - Looking Back and Looking Forward
Ending Term Fashionably at Sydenham School
Annual Fashion Showcase for GCSE and BTEC textiles students  

The eighth annual fashion show at Sydenham School - dance, music, and fashion fusion.

The last day of the winter term at Sydenham School traditionally features an event that is a blaze of colour and energy and excitement; a tribute to students’ creativity and discipline.  This year the annual Fashion Show, largely organised by sixth-form students, was heavily informed by the imminent move into the new school building – centrepiece of the £23 million redevelopment underway at the Dartmouth Road school.

“This is the last time we will be staging the joint dance and fashion show in our old hall,” commented textiles subject leader Karen Martin.  “And because of this we decided to make a portion of it quite nostalgic.  We have retained an archive of clothing, so we dedicated one sequence to showcasing students’ achievements over the last eight years we have been mounting these events.”

Ms Martin was keen to point out that this year the focus was not all retrospective: “In keeping with previous shows, it provided a window for the whole school community onto our most recent GCSE and BTEC textile students’ work – including costumes inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and some beautiful hand-painted designs.  It is wonderful when our young designers get a chance to see their clothes being modelled and celebrated. It gives them something very significant to discuss in their coursework and UCAS forms.”

Benefiting even more from the opportunity are those sixth-formers who take it upon themselves to help organise the show.  “We have been heavily involved since September,” said Tende Tabeni (18) from Forest Hill.  “It began with lots of auditions and once we had our cast, the real work began on sorting out the music and the dance routines.”  Her co-organiser Sarah Facey (18) from Catford was enthusiastic about the demands taking on such a project has placed on her: “I like being in charge and it is great to be a part of the process that culminates in the final show.  It is really challenging getting the fashion, the dance routines and the music to harmonize.” 

In addition, the event also features the energy and precision of Sydenham’s dance company, whose routines have to be woven into the fashion walk-way sequences.  “This is a fun and light-hearted outing for the group,” said dance subject leader Polly Barker.  “It is a good opportunity for dance students to perform in a commercial dance style which differs to their exam and class work.”

Sydenham School head teacher Carolyn Unsted said: “The winter term is very long and so it is wonderful to end it with flair and excitement.  The fashion show is now a key part of the pre-Christmas assemblies.  It is always a high-octane event that the girls adore and  it wouldn’t happen but for a huge input from staff and students throughout the term.  And as well as all the fun, the lessons those involved learn about fashion – one of the UK’s most important industries – and the soft-skills they develop putting on the show, are profound.  Well done to all those involved.” 



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