Latest Letters Home I Sydenham Website I SIMS I My Maths I Sam Learning
Follow us on: Twitter
Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 152
we have listened to what parents have said about what they want from the newsletter and made some changes….


Message from the Head

Dear Parent

Things are going really well at Sydenham School as we move through the cold weather and rainy season, but also very quickly; only 10 days until February half term!

I would like to thank those parents who came to the School / Parent Forum last Tuesday which was led by Mrs Emmanuel. She said it was a very positive meeting with a very interesting theme.

Also well done to the girls who were in our Urban Debate teams and whom competed on Monday evening of this week at Bonus Pastor School against 5 other teams. They represented themselves and their school capably and may well go thought to the next round.

Have a good weekend and kind regards

Ruth Holden


A new approach to e-safety for Sydenham School as we join nationwide peer education programme


Pupils from Sydenham are set to become Childnet Digital Leaders after joining an innovative new internet safety programme from UK charity, Childnet International. The pupils all from year 8 are: Irene Dam, Shea Finkelstein, Katie Huyuh, Florence Odelanu, Shana Oti-Awere, Maria Pachon, Lara Podmore, Grace Quashie, Thagshiga Ragunathan, and Oriana Robos-Murray.

Launched in September 2015, the Childnet Digital Leaders Programme aims to empower young people to champion digital citizenship and digital creativity within their schools and to educate their peers, parents and teachers about staying safe online.

By signing up to the programme Sydenham School will join an exciting online community, where they will access training and support from Childnet's expert team, record achievements, and collaborate and share inspiration with schools across the UK. Supported by Facebook and the European Union, the programme will also give our young people opportunities to engage with leading technology companies and have a say in creating a better internet for the future.

We are starting a half-termly young carers group  

The students can find out more by coming to breakfast club in the dining hall, or to B139 on any break or lunch-time.

The first YC group will be on Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at lunch-time in B135, we hope to see as many YCs as possible.
We can offer the young carers support or concessions with their work, signpost them to other agencies and ensure that they have someone to talk to if they need.

The YC group will enable the young carers to have some fun and a chat with other students in similar situations to themselves.


RE- Welcoming Strangers

The year 7s have recently done a unit on Welcoming Strangers in RE, during which they were learning about how religious communities are encouraged to respond to refugees. As part of this unit, they created artworks representing the journey of a refugee. Three which showed particular effort are Ava, Maya and Lucy in 7S – well done girls! They write about their artworks here:

Maya – My RE artwork is a 3D sculpture showing the stages of a refugee’s journey from a warzone to safety. On the top it has words about how a refugee would feel, like ‘uncertain’, ‘cold’, ‘angry’, but also ‘hope’ showing there could be hope even if they are alone.

Ava – My RE homework represents the journey of a girl from Syria to Greece. The idea behind it is ‘Lost and Found’. The objects in the box are intended to be the possessions she has lost on her journey. There is also a letter inside that explains about her situation and her journey.

Lucy – My RE art is about how refugees travel to find a new home. The figure in the boat symbolises the hope and rescue that the people in the water will get. There are two verses from religious texts – the Bible and the Qur’an – on the sails, which encourage religious believers to welcome strangers.

Year 10 trip to Oxford University


On Thursday 14th  January 20 Year 10 students travelled to Jesus College Oxford for a taster day.  With an early start at Forest Hill station the group travelled by coach and arrived at Jesus College at 10.30am where we were met by Dr Beth Mortimer, Career and Access Development Fellow and zoological researcher.

The myth-busting Q&A with current Oxford students studying a variety of subjects gave the Sydenham students a real insight into what life at Oxford might be like and the girls impressed the undergraduates with their mature and thoughtful questions.

A tour of the college with two more current students revealed the huge variety of extra-curricular activities on offer as well as much needed chill out space for students. After being treated to lunch in the college's historical dining hall we experienced what studying at Oxford might be like with two mini-lectures. 

We explored the poetry of Keats with Junior Research Fellow Dr Dennis Duncan and were wowed by Dr Mortimer's own research into the amazing properties of spider webs.  All in all it was an inspirational day and the whole group were brilliant ambassadors for Sydenham: curious, enthusiastic and impeccably behaved. Well done Year 10!


Debate Mate competition

Last Tuesday afternoon, over 25 girls from Sydenham School were involved in the UDL Debate Mate round 1 competition which took place at Bonus Pastor College. Local schools in the borough competed to win points in order to be selected for the next round of the UDL competition.


Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 were ready to debate on any topic given, having only been given 15 minutes to prepare on a topic, the girls preformed fantastic. In the first round three of our teams won Sydenham A, B & C and in the second round two teams were successful Sydenham A and C.  

SydenhamA- Abbie-Ann Belshan 7N, Eleanor Mildenhall 8A, Abiola Morris Walker 8E, Alice Wilkinson 8A and Ameila Enstone 9S  Sydenham B - Kadiece Williams 10S, Naomi-Angeline Bellos  10D, Shakeelah Nayiga 10Y and Abisha Mensah 10D Sydenham C -Tasha Mhakayakora 10A, Destiny Kalisha 10D, Hatice Yesibulut 10D and  Wuraola Agoro 10E

 Although some of the girls were nervous as it was their first competition ever, that did not stop Sydenham School from showcasing their talent and enthusiasm in debating topical issues. The girls shone through, in particular Sydenham A, which had only Year 7, 8 and 9 students and they won both their matches. Some of the top debaters were not with us as they were on a trip to Berlin and others sat out the first round to allow the newcomers to get some experience.

A very proud moment for all the Humanities teachers that attended and more importantly the students who participated. A big thank you to all the girls who attended, being a spectator, I could see the incredible effort and passion they put into their speeches and the consistent rebuttal and professionalism demonstrated throughout the competition. Please wish and encourage our girls all the best for their future debates.  Go Sydenham School!

Best wishes and good luck ladies! 
Ms Hannan and Mrs Virgo-Furrs.



Please reply directly to this email if you would like to unsubscribe to our school newsletters.