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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 141
we have listened to what parents have said about what they want from the newsletter and made some changes….


Message from the Head

Every week I walk around the school and pop into lessons to see what is going on in the school and to touch base with staff and students. This week I have seen some really lovely lessons in all subjects; the photos capture a Year 7 Maths class hard at work and a Year 8 PE class in the beautiful new Sports Hall. I think the photos show the hard work and the positivity that goes on in classes. Well; done to students and staff.

Unbelievably we have come to the end of our eight week half term, the term I call Autumn 1. Where have the weeks gone? It has been a really positive start to the academic year, the work ethic and behaviour of students has been excellent and staff have also been working very hard and I think that we are all ready for a week’s break. There are a lot of works going on over the half term break by Costain as we move ever nearer to the completion of our new buildings.

On that note, I would like to wish all parents, staff and students a safe and happy October half term and look forward to seeing everyone back on Monday 2nd November at the normal time.

With kind regards
Ruth Holden


English Department News



Poetopoeia - Young Writer's Competition

Additional winners from last week are Jasmine Bourane & Sienna Victorin

In addition to last week's Young Writer's Poetry Competition Winners, I am delighted to include the names of other students who have been chosen for publication.

Please see attached document.

Year 11 - Speech Slam Winners

During assembly on Friday 16 October Year 11s put forward the best speaker from each of their forms. They could speak on any topic for one minute. There were some fantastic and engaging speeches. However, Ismat's observations on school dinners won over everyone.  

Congratulations to the winners

1st - Ismat Alhassan (11Y) - School dinners
2nd - Chloe Freestone (11E) - 5p carrier bags
3rd - Saabira Abdulkaadir Omar (11H) - inspirational message


BBC Young Musician of the Year Piano Recital, hosted by Clifford Chance Law Firm

Some students learning piano at Sydenham (including myself) went on a trip to see a performance by pianist Martin James Bartlett, winner of the BBC Young Musician award. We went to the Clifford Chance music club to see him play four different pieces. He played 'Beethoven's Sonata in E flat', Gershwin 'I Got Rhythm and The Man I Love' along with 'Fascinating Rhythm ' and finally Prokofiev 'Sonata No.3'. It was an extremely enjoyable concert which gave me motivation to achieve more in terms of my piano playing (as he only started playing piano aged 7, which is late for some).

Overall it was a great experience!

Iris Holmes, 10M"


SIMS & Gold Standard


SIMS Learning Gateway (SLG)

Over the summer we made the switch from ePortal to SIMS as our school Management Information System, and you have been patiently waiting to login to the new site to check how your daughter is doing at school, in terms of attendance, punctuality, achievement points (merits/ demerits) and progress. But now the wait is over…

We have been launching this in assemblies with all students this week, and they can now logon to the site with their usual usernames and passwords (the one they use to logon to the school computers). We have also posted a letter home to parents which contains your password for the site, and instructions on how to get started. For data protection reasons, we have issued letters containing parent usernames via students– please do ask them for it in case they have left it at the bottom of their bags.

The URL for the new site is

We will also be running a number of parent workshops on how to use the SLG during the upcoming Year 9 Parents Evening (and during all Parents Evenings this year), as well as a number of other events, which we will announce in due course.

If you have not received your login details by Friday 6th November,  then please contact the school by email on

Gold Standard update

In July 2015, a group of 84 students from the school went to Disneyland Paris as a reward for achieving the Gold Standard last academic year. This year, we will be running a similar rewards trip, which will happen between  13th and 15th July (exact timings and destination to be confirmed), and we would like even more students to join us. Please make a note of these dates in your diary to ensure your daughter will be able to attend as a result of their hard work to achieve the Gold Standard this year.

Parents should note that we have made some significant changes to the way the Progress Standard is calculated this year, in line with national changes, and have increased the level of challenge for students to achieve Yellow and Blue. Note therefore that this will mean that some students will have dropped a colour grading in the Gold Standard since last year, e.g. from Yellow to Blue. This should not be taken to mean that your daughter is making less progress this year than they were last, but that the standard has been raised and that there is room for further improvement.

You can find out more about the Gold Standard and these changes on the assessment section of our website –

Track 1 Reports

Students in Years 8 to 11 will be receiving their first, rather colourful, Gold Standard report of the year just after half term. The format of this report is quite different from previous reports, and parents will be receiving a letter explaining the changes along with the reports, and guidance on how to interpret it with further information also available on the website.

Many of the changes reflect the changes in education nationally, which it is important you are aware of. For instance, you may already know that the government is removing letter-style grades (A*-G) at GCSE, and replacing these with a new number scale (9-1), which will affect students in Years 7 to 10, and a focus on Progress rather than on the raw attainment grades students achieve.

We will be running a number of events shortly to enable you to find out more about the national changes, and ask any questions you may have.

You can also use the SIMS Learning Gateway (SLG) to keep track of how your daughter is working towards the Gold Standard during the year, and to view electronic copies of these reports once published.


Quiz night 11th November 2015

Tickets on sale after half term, Tickets via reception

Cash bar


Dancing singing and beat the teachers

Lost property

Lost property is kept in the First Aid / Attendance Office on the first floor of the STEM Building (P103) and is disposed of half-termly. Parents are encouraged to put their daughter’s name on all their uniform and belongings so that it can be returned to them should they misplace it.

All lost property collected since September that has not been claimed by Friday 23 October, will be disposed of over the half term holiday.

Students should come and claim their belongings before or after school, during break or lunch time. 

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