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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 172
we have listened to what parents have said about what they want from the newsletter and made some changes….


Message from the Head

Dear Parents,

Firstly and before I forget, well done to Miss Douglas-Knight and 8H for doing an amazing job of raising £178.32 for Cancer Research in the Year 7 Edwardian courtyard last week. They held summer fun activities for the year 7 students consisting of; a chocolate tombola, jumble sale, ice lollies sale, cake sale and a learn to dance corner.

This is the final entry from me in the weekly Newsletter, as I move back to just being Headteacher at Bonus Pastor Catholic College next year, having been at Sydenham School as well for this academic year.

And what a year it has been! I have seen some of the most wonderful lessons, performances, showcases, competitions and a passion for learning and success from the girls. I particularly enjoyed the Open mornings for Prospective parents,  The Summer showcase, The Battle of the Bands, assemblies each term with each year group, the Year 11 Maths residential that I attended and moving into the newly refurbished beautiful buildings.

I will be very sad to leave Sydenham; I have learned a lot, and I hope have given a lot back to the school in my role this year. Sydenham is a great school with so much talent and even further potential for every student and members of staff.

I would like to thank our Chair of Governors Charlotte Jones for being very supportive and lovely to me, and to Maggie Hammond the Head of the PTA for being a great support to me and to the school during the year and for raising at least £800 for the school this year, and to Mrs Christine Lovelace my PA for supporting me with organizing things at the school. Thank you also to you the parents for your support throughout the year, and to my Deputy Headteachers and Senior team for working so hard and for being a team, but also to all of the staff good luck and to all of the students, I wish you the very best of luck in everything you do and I will enjoy watching Sydenham from afar become outstanding in every way under the new outstanding Headteacher Gloria Lowe.

Thank you and goodbye.

Ruth Holden


Send My Friend To school


Year 8 have spent the few weeks during Tutor time  finding out about a campaign called Send My Friend To school.

'Worldwide the numbers of people affected by emergencies is at an all time high, displacing more children than ever before from their homes and schools. World leaders have made a new commitment to deliver quality education for every child up until the age of 15, but less than 2% of aid in emergencies goes to education.
Half of all Syrian children are missing out on school and, every year, natural disasters affect 175 million children and disrupt schooling for many. In Sierra Leone nearly 2 million children were forced to abandon school because of Ebola. Violence in Nigeria has also displaced 1.4 million children and destroyed 900 schools.
This summer term thousands of pupils in the UK will be creating powerful messages in the form of colourful paper school bags to deliver to their MPs, symbolising the journeys undertaken by children fleeing conflict or disaster. ' OXFAM

On Thursday 14 July Jim Dowd, MP for Lewisham West and Penge , kindly agreed to make time in his busy schedule to visit our Year 8 assembly. He congratulated our students on their involvement in this campaign and explained why he thinks education is so important.  He  collected over 200 school bags made out of colourful card with the Year 8 students' personal messages to deliver to the politicians involved in overseas aid. 

The assembly was planned and performed by Abiola Morris Walker , Ayni Mohamed, Kendra Higginson  Luiziana Isufi , Nataliyah Nelson Gordan and Tashauna Barnett. (From 8E). The girls worked well together and gave a professional performance. 

The photograph below shows our students holding up their paper school bags. These were collected and given to Jim Dowd to deliver to the Government's Overseas Aid department.

Feminism Deep Learning Day  

On Tuesday 12th July Sydenham School celebrated its second Feminism Deep Learning Day. The first took place in July 2014, and generated a wave of enthusiasm amongst students to repeat the experience this year.

Throughout the school year, students from Years 7,8,9 and 10 have been working hard and pushing themselves out of their comfort zone by doing what teachers have to do every day: plan lessons! The twist, however, has been to plan engaging and fun lessons, related to each subject area, which will allow students to develop their understanding of gender equality, sexuality and women's rights, and women's liberation.

I'm delighted to say that, after many after school sessions of hard work and the support of numerous staff members, the students rose to this challenge admirably, and the day was a great success. Science students learned about the biological differences between men and women, Art students learned about radical feminist artists, and PE students took self defence classes in a response to the prevalence of violence against women and girls in today's society, and DT students designed toys aimed at getting girls more interested in stereotypically 'male' professions like Civil Engineering.

The girls who planned the lessons also delivered Feminism assemblies and worked on a Student Report project throughout the day itself: here's a couple of reports of the day written by the girls involved!

Mr Frost 


This concludes our summary of Feminism Day 2016. Many thanks to all participating students and teachers for giving up their time for interviews and conversations.
Hello Sydenham. Today we have been gathering feedback on the lessons planned by the feminism team.

This team includes many representatives throughout the school, from years 7 to 10. They observed classes in various subjects, and interviewed students and teachers about the quality of the assignments. Don’t forget, all the resources were produced by Sydenham students from Years 7-10, working all through the academic year!
We covered the KS3 Performing Arts area and received positive feedback.
For instance, physical education teacher, Miss Molligoda, was extremely enthusiastic about the concept of feminism day and influencing the pupils to be engaged with feministic ideas, within sport. Also, students Asna and Mariama from year 7, expressed their views on feminism: “By learning martial arts in PE, it stresses the idea of women protecting themselves in a dangerous situation.”

Not only can feminism be portrayed in PE, it can also link to Art. We visited a year 7 class to hear their opinion on the feminism lesson, planned by the team. They found the assignments interesting and now have a clear understanding of the definition of feminism. Pupils Florrie and Lily, explained what they were currently studying. Their comment illustrated that they understood the topic very well, “We looked at feministic paintings by Frida Kahlo, which were immensely intriguing.” 

By Eleanor Smith & Queenie Miller

Hello Sydenham! Tuesday 12th July, as you would (hopefully) know by now, was Feminism Day in our school. All lessons, which were produced by our own students across Years 7-10, were themed around the ideas of feminism in our society. Here’s some things that the students thought about feminism –
“Women should have equal rights and opportunities as men, but with that comes equal consequences.”
 “Men think women can’t do certain things”
“You don’t have to be feminine to be feminist”
“Boys watch YouTubers playing sexist video games and they get this idea… that boys should treat women badly”
“There should be equality between women and men in working together, despite religion, sexuality, etc.”

We interviewed 20 students and 4 teachers about their views on feminism and what made a feminist. Their answers showed that Sydenham students believe that their lives, as females in society, are impacted positively by feminism. In our opinion, feminism is a very important thing, especially in an all-girls school because it shows students that they shouldn’t feel limited by their gender – if anything, being a woman in 2016 is a positive attribute. However, we believe that every Sydenham student should be aware of why feminism isn’t “outdated” and why it is still entirely necessary if we as a society wish to evolve.
One student, after being asked if she considered herself a feminist, responded by saying that she didn’t believe herself to be one because she had never been discriminated against for being female, which is something we believe should be addressed when discussing the topic. Feminism isn’t just for those who are being discriminated against due to their gender, it is about standing in solidarity with those who are.

The last question we asked was “What does a feminist look like?” The entirety of those interviewed replied that there is no single appearance of a feminist. “A feminist can look like you or me. There’s no particular look.” Every student knew this, despite the common stereotype portrayed by the media. Through the internet, you see many “feminists” wanting to dominate men, however this completely goes against the traditional feminist ideals. Over the years there have been many interpretations on how women “should” present themselves, which continues to occur in today’s society, however all students thought that women shouldn’t feel pressured to conform to these limiting stereotypes.

By Isobel Costello, Eliza Wentworth, Sasha Doughty and Lucy Kirby (Yr9)


The Brilliant Club

We are really proud of how hard our all of our girls have worked during The Brilliant Club Scholars Programme this academic year.

These students have been taking part in University style tutorials led by PhD researchers and completed mini dissertations after their independent research.

Graduation: Our year 9 and 10 girls graduated on Saturday 21st May at the University of Sussex. Our year 9s explored effective treatment for traumatic brain injury and our year 10s explored Erich Maria Remarque’s strategy in All Quiet on the Western Front. Special Mention goes to those 9 students who achieved a 1st Class in their final assignments.  

Pathology Trip

On Monday our year 9 students went to the UCL Pathology Museum. They had the opportunity to interact with historic pathology specimens which brought to life their study of traumatic brain injury.

The Scholar Publication

Congratulations to Menna Hyde, 7S who had her assignment published in The Brilliant Club’s termly youth academic journal, The Scholar. The journal editors described her assignment “Ebola: The next global pandemic- Why is Ebola so dangerous?” as a ‘really impressive discussion in a difficult field’. This is a great achievement as her assignment was selected from many excellent entries.

Well done to all the girls taking part in The Brilliant Club Programme this year, we look forward to seeing similar successes next year.

Seliat Agboola
More Able Students Leader

Maths Challenge Trip to the British Museum


One word for Monday 27th June - INCREDIBLE! The usual relief of getting home was a disappointment.

A few weeks ago, classes 7x1 and 7y1 went on a trip to the British Museum to take part in a maths challenge. I was one of those lucky children.
While waiting in Ms Smith’s classroom, we got into groups of five and received maps of the route we were taking to the museum. We took a total of three trains to arrive at our destination. After spending HOURS searching for it, we saw the massive building, and heaved a sigh of relief!

We walked inside and were amazed by the transparent patterned celling.  Again, we got a little lost trying to find the locker room (which was the security guard’s fault), then located it on a map. We collected our materials and started the first challenge, which was to find the Ming banknote. It took us a while to trek through the many rooms, but we eventually found it. The question stated that we had to estimate how many £5 notes would fit into it. We guessed about seven.

Then it was time to eat! We sat in our groups and talked about the next challenges, which included inventing our own way of measuring a totem pole, drawing shapes and counting in foreign numbers. As soon as our lunches were eaten everyone couldn’t wait to get back to their questions.
The maths challenge was a little tricky because we were moving around a lot and going into different rooms trying to find the facts the paper had described. Along the way we were appreciating the sculptures and paintings. Our favourite room had a Greek building in it that was filled with musty light, making it feel really cool.

Afterwards, we all took a trip to the museum shop. There was a lot of choice, but in the end I decided on some Indian bangles and a soapstone zebra.
Then we were off! After collecting our belongings, we began our long journey home. From Goodge Street to Waterloo, from Waterloo to Canada Water, and from Canada Water to Forest Hill. And we were nearly home! 

After navigating below geometric glass ceilings, and through long rooms full of dead mummified bodies, nothing could live up to it. We had been pilots on our very own adventuring aeroplanes. It had been a tiring and exhausting day, but it was well worth it. Seeing all the artefacts and solving all the problems was so fun.
I could do it all again!

Compiled and edited by Chloe Harwood 7M and Lily Cureton 7H on behalf of the rest of our class_________________________________________________________________________________


On September 17th 2016, Take Flight Academy of Performing Arts launch their exciting Saturday School, in the professional dance and drama studios, here at Sydenham School. 

Their unique programme, taught by West End professionals, includes technical classes in choral singing, drama, jazz and ballet conditioning. Students work towards termly Musical Theatre performances and an annual 'Showcase', performed in a professional theatre. Termly West End masterclasses, private singing lessons and professional filming are also included at no additional cost. 

To book your daughter in for the FREE launch taster session on Sat 17 September, please visit or call 07736 469320 or 07736 469321


Lost property

All lost property not claimed by Friday 15 July, will be disposed of (with the exception of spectacles). Lost property is kept in the First Aid / Attendance Office on the first floor of the STEM Building (P103).



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