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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 176
we have listened to what families have said about what they want from the newsletter and made some changes….


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families
We have been very fortunate this week to be able to work alongside several of our feeder primary schools. On Tuesday, we hosted the first ‘Good to Great’ meeting which involved teachers from Sydenham School and from 3 local primary schools: St Bartholomew’s, Kilmorie and Stillness. The ‘Good to Great’ series of meetings over the course of the academic year will enable the teachers to discuss and develop their teaching skills through this collaborative forum. The first session included some joint thinking about Carol Dweck’s theory of ‘Growth Mindset’. Dweck essentially believes that you can achieve anything if you have the right attitude, practice enough and work very hard. A good message for us all I think.

On Wednesday nine primary schools participated in a sports event that was led in part by our Sports Leaders who have undergone training to carry out coaching roles at events like these. They are great role models for the younger students and a good time was had by all.  Finally, today I visited Goodrich Primary School along with Mrs Emanuel, Head of Key Stage 3 and 2 delightful Year 7 students, Lulu and Daisy who are ex students of Goodrich School. Both the girls were very excited to be going back to their old schools in order to share with the Year 6 students and families all of the great things that they had experienced in their new secondary school.

During assemblies this week the Student Leadership Team introduced themselves to each of the year groups. The team is led by Nada who is our Head Girl this year. The Team meets every Monday in the Boardroom and I am looking forward to working with them in order to improve the school further still. Again these older students are excellent role models for the younger ones.

As ever, I wish you a restful weekend.

Kind regards
Mrs Lowe


Big Draw Event


The Visual Arts Faculty is delighted to invite you to participate in a Big Draw event at Sydenham School on Saturday 8th October 2016 between 10-12pm.
The Big Draw Festival is for anyone who loves to draw, as well as those who think they can't! It is an opportunity to join a global community in celebration of the universal language of drawing. From 1-31 October, every year, thousands of enjoyable, and mainly free, drawing activities connect people of all ages with schools, galleries, museums, libraries, heritage sites, village halls, outdoor spaces - all sorts of places - artists, designers, illustrators, and each other. The Big Draw aims to get everyone drawing. When we draw, we take an opportunity to slow down, and to appreciate how the visual world works. By developing this skill we gain a deeper understanding of our surroundings and learn a truly universal language. A drawing can communicate an idea more effectively than words.

This Year at Sydenham we are inviting Year 7, Year 8 and Year 6 students to get involved. There will be practical workshops for students to creatively experiment with drawing materials of all shapes sizes and to find new ways to explore the world.
The format of the day is free flowing workshops between 10 – 12pm, where students can try out what takes their interest. Stay as long as you want. Watch, participate, enjoy, be inspired and take home something you have made.
The theme this year is STEAM – Science, Technology, Art, Engineering and Maths. Our focus will be ‘Space’ and workshops include 3D drawing, drawing with light, printmaking, collage and other drawing materials too.

It would be helpful for us to have an indication of numbers, so please return your reply slip to your Art teacher by 30th September if you think you want to come along and have fun.   

Caia Henderson,                                                                                                               
Visual Arts Team

Concert with The Singing Children of Africa  

Friday 30th September

Concert with The Singing Children of Africa
Sydenham students are taking part in a concert in the Main School Hall involving Kelvin Grove Primary School and a choir from Kenya called the Singing Children of Africa.  This concert is a fundraising event to raise money for this choir who were started in 2006 as ambassadors for their school in Kenya.


Year 9 Netball

Our year 9 netball team played in this year’s first Lewisham Secondary Schools Association Tournament. They played a round robin format of five,12 minute games. The other schools that took part were Conisbourgh College, Haberdashers Aske's Knights Academy, Sydenham High, Prendergast and Bonus Pastor Scools.

We started our first round playing Sydenham High Schools A team who were playing a very good game. Our team’s defence was good but unfortunately we made a few too many errors and lost that game 7 -1. Our second round was against Bonus Pastor. It was a toughly fought match with neither side wanting to make a mistake. We drew 1-1. In our last 3 games we found our rhythm and team work and managed to win all three – 4-1, 10-0 and 5-0 (Prendergast, Conisbourgh, Haberdashers Aske's Knights Academy).

It was a warm day playing the games back to back and the girls did fantastically well. Unfortunately, we lost out on second place due to a goal difference between us and Bonus Pastor. Well done to Lauryn, Esme, Chantelle, Florence,Gaia , Boo, Alice, Queenie and Keziah.


Joint staff training with local primary schools


This week saw the launch of an exciting new staff training programme in collaboration with local primary schools. Teachers of Sydenham joined those from Kilmorie, Adamsrill and St Bartholomews for the first session on Growth Mindsets.

Leading the programme was Kate Slipper, Lead Practitioner, who introduced the pioneering research of psychologist, Carol Dweck. Other speakers included maths teacher, Seliat Agboola, who discussed her own action research on the consequences a fixed mindset can have on a student’s learning.

Ms Agboola shared strategies with the group that help challenge this way of thinking. Participants will now join together on their own enquiries exploring ways in which student’s mindsets can be developed.


Black History Month

Black History Month runs throughout October. The History Department will be running a series of events throughout the month with a different focus each week. During w/c 3rd October, tutor groups will be competing against each other with some quizzes. There are prizes for the winning tutor groups.


Time to Change and Young Minds offer support for parents if you are worried about  your child and their mental health.
·   YoungMinds Parents Helpline - their award-winning parent helpline (0808 802 5544) gives free, confidential online and telephone support
·     Parent Survival Guide - read tips on what you can do and how you can look after yourself
·     A-Z of Mental Health - find out about symptoms and different mental health conditions
The Time to Change website has lots of information and advice, including videos. The video link below is for one of their videos which may support adults in opening up a conversation on mental health

Conversations around mental health: Be ready to talk with ...
Depression, stress or perhaps something else, mental health comes in many forms - so can the conversations around it. Be ready to talk with your family. For more information ...

There is also some advice and signposting to other agencies on the Sydenham School website; to view this, go to the 'Parents and Visitors' section and under the 'Curriculum' tab, 'Inclusion Plus' has some documents and links.

 Sid Robinson - CL Inclusion Plus & Deputy Designated Lead for Safeguarding




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