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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 136
we have listened to what parents have said about what they want from the newsletter and made some changes….


National Finals Artemis Urban Debate League -

WE WON!!!!

The Sydenham Debate Mate team as adds to their repertoire of success, the Artemis Urban Debate National league Cup, the final was held at the House of Lords. Team members were Abigail Huruy 9D, Amy Gibbs 10N, Phoebe Butler 9E, Zohra Iqbal 10M and Molly Bremner 9M)
On Monday, 22 June 2015, 16 teams from across the country made the journey to central London to compete in the finals of the Urban Debate League (UDL). These top 16 teams had competed in two prior rounds and had emerged with the highest cumulative scores out of the over 100 schools competing in the league.
The finals of the UDL took place in three locations across the city: Shearman & Sterling, Nomura, and finally, the House of Lords. At Shearman & Sterling and Nomura students debated challenging motions on banning private schools, celebrity role models, and the ethics of placing images of poverty on luxury goods.
In round one and two we play again Isleworth and Syon School and Haberdasher Ask Hatcham (New Cross) respectively. Sydenham School team achieved the highest points in the rounds and therefore secured a place in the semi-finals. In the semi- final we played Charter School, who in our two previous meetings had beaten us, but we successfully turn the tables and won this vital match.
Following the semi-finals, we journeyed to the House of Lords to face off with Robert Clack High School in an exciting Grand Final on the motion ‘This house would prioritise economic growth over social justice’ at the House of Lords. The debate was chaired by Lord Speaker Baroness D’Souza. When the debate was over and the results were announced, we were delighted and rather surprised to find that we had won. We all spoke with passion and eloquence. We have truly lived up to our school motto’ Aim High, Achieve Higher’. Our school is now buzzing with our new status as the number 1 debating team in the country.
What is next?
On Tuesday 30 June, we will be hopeful that we will be able to add to our success the Duetsche Bank Debate Mate Cup, in which we will face schools from across the nation, including cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol.
We have been attending Debate Mate on Tuesdays, some of us over a three year period, although we have a large number of students who have just joined and are finding it very exciting. We feel that debating provides students with a newfound confidence in speaking in public and developing complex arguments. We are hopeful that we will continue our successful journey and bring more glory to Sydenham School. Thanks to all those who have supported us on our journey, our mentors, Sydenham staff, parents, friends and our Debate Mate teacher Mrs Virgo-Furrs.

‘The young ladies were a credit to Sydenham School, they even met on weekends to plan their strategies and I am really proud of their achievement’ Mrs Virgo-Furrs Lead teacher Debate Mate.


Engineering day


On Monday 22nd June, 28 Year 8 pupils attended an Inspire Engineering day at London Transport Museum's Acton Depot.  Pupils got the chance to interview engineers from Siemens and Transport for London as well as viewing the Museum's extensive collection of buses, trams and trains and associated memorabilia.  The girls also took part in a variety of engineering challenges including building a motor-driven de-icing scrubber and the high spot of the day: the "eggsperiment" in which groups had to build a track to transport an egg from start to stop at a designated spot using only gravity.

Year 11 Prom  

The Year 11 Prom took place on Friday 19th June at the Selhurst Park Conference and Banqueting Suite. A good time was had by all as the Staff Band and DJ entertained the crowd with everything from pop ballads to Afro beats! A big thank you goes out from Miss Garrick and the Year 11 team to all staff who helped out and attended.


Young Writers

'Young Writers' invited schools across the UK to enter the 'Grim Tales' competition to encourage students to engage in creative writing. Inspired by the Brothers Grim, Grim Tales challenged students aged 11-19 to write their own mini saga using no more than 100 words.
An outstanding 93 year 7 Sydenham students have been selected to have their stories published by 'Young Writers'. A copy of their stories will be found in Grim Tales which is scheduled to be published on August 31.
Copies of the book will be sent to the British Library and further libraries across the UK! Well done to all the Y7 published writers!

Swing Band  

Parents meeting for the Swing Band Tour to Belgium: Monday 29th June, 6pm, Main School Hall.


Exam results

The exam results days will take place on Thursday 13th August for A-levels and Thursday 20th August for GCSEs. A-level results will be available from the sixth form common room, and GCSE results will be available from the school hall.

BTEC and other vocational qualification certificates can also be collected on these days. The remaining certificates will be available to collect from November onward.

If you are unable to collect results on the day, or have other questions, please contact Mr Lake, the exams officer, on 020 8699 6731 x533 or, or in the data office in room 230, Basil Spence building. 


Year 9-11 Latin Trip to the Roman Baths

Last Thursday a group of 45 Latin students boarded a train to Bath to visit the ancient site of Aquae Sulis! It was a fantastic day, with beautiful weather and students gained a real insight into the importance of the Romans Baths and their place in Roman Britain. They attended a workshop on the artefacts and learnt about the hygiene rituals of the Romans. They examined strigils, hair pins and ancient perfume bottles. They also had the opportunity of meeting some members of the Roman Baths who were wandering around in full togas!

Andalucia Trip

Y9 Spanish Trip to the South of Spain
The Trip and Challenge

Our Y9 Spanish trip this year was to Andalusía, from 8th to 12th June. It was a wonderful, intensive week in which the students had not only the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Spanish language and culture, but also to visit unique and lovely places, that will be with us forever in our memories:

The cities of Sevilla, Malaga, Ronda, Mijas, and Granada and the marvelous world heritage of LA ALHAMBRA, a fortress complex and sultan’s royal palace built in the 9th and 11th centuries by the mediaeval Arabs in Spain. While we walked through its spectacular rooms and corridors decorated with beautiful Islamic motives (a place that easily evokes the past of the One Thousand and One Nights), our guide took us in a very complete journey through its historical aspects, including the famous “tales of the Alhambra” by Washington Irving. In Ronda we went to a bullfighting ring (as this is one of the most known Spanish traditions) and in Mijas we visited a craft Spanish market. Another unforgettable experience was the visit to the Nerja Caves, fantastic caverns with stalagmites and stalactites, and mineral formations that create other-worldly impressions of phantom visitants.

Without a doubt our students absolutely enjoyed this trip and the immersion in the Spanish culture that challenged them to fully use their communication skills: from the lessons at the “Colegio Las Maravillas” which supported them in their speaking endeavors, to the interaction with locals in all places and different ways, and even to singing, music and dance, as they had also the opportunity to learn Flamenco, a traditional Spanish dance; unforgettable lessons that we utterly enjoyed.

Above all, the most important aspect of this trip was the exemplary behavior and comradeship of all the students. Big congratulations to the group as they left an excellent representation and a very good name for Sydenham School abroad.  Now with all these lovely memories and new knowledge the students are competing for the best Spanish diary, best scrap book, and best photograph. We will later pass on the winners to the newsletter.




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