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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 177
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

Last week, I wrote in anticipation of the ‘Singing Children of Africa’ fundraising concert, held at Sydenham school in conjunction with Kelvin Grove primary school. Well, what an evening it was! The title of the tour was ‘Ice Smile’ because although the choir sang beautifully and danced wonderfully, their outward smiles hid a darker truth of poverty and adversity back home in Kenya. Nevertheless, what struck me about the children was their great hope for a better future and their humility. All 3 schools did separate sets, including the Sydenham Jazz Band, and the concert was rounded off by a superb grand finale with all of the children performing on the stage! It was truly a great night and one in which  local and international communities were able to come together and build bridges. We are indebted to Maureen McIntyre and Derek Hunter who work tirelessly for the charity, ‘Educate the Kids’ as volunteers and who organised the event. We plan to develop further links with the ‘Singing Children’ and many of our students spoke about how touched they were to have met these talented young people from Africa. I would like to thank Mr Dottridge and Ms Glass for all of their hard work in making the concert happen.

Thursday saw the final ‘Open Session’ for this academic year. The school community welcomed a record number of visitors who came to look around. Daisy, Nada and Sabrina spoke to the assembled gathering in the Main School Hall towards the end of the morning. They all represented the school very well as had Mel, Holly and Monique during previous Open Sessions. I would like to thank Ms Emanuel for organising the Open Sessions this half term and for ensuring that the school has been able to showcase what it does so well day in and day out. We also had 2 other successful Parents’ events this week- a Year 11 ‘Parent Information’ evening and a ‘Settling In’ evening for our new Year 7 students and their families. I know that both sets of families were very appreciative of the opportunity to come into school, to hear more about how and what their daughters are learning, as well as to speak with staff about progress. Again, I would like to thank Ms White and Ms Smart respectively for leading on these events so well.

On Thursday 20th October between 7 and 8pm, there will be a Parents’ Forum meeting. I do hope that you will be able to join me and other members of the school leadership team at this event. It is an open forum for families to come along to, and I look forward very much to meeting you then.

Finally, we will be letting you know details of how to put yourself  forward for election as a Parent Governor. If you are interested in potentially taking up one of these opportunities, then please do look at the website for further information. It is an important role which gives parents a voice on the Governing Body and which will enable you to be part of shaping the strategic direction of the school. Our ambition is to become a world class school. Please do think seriously about joining us on this exciting journey in the role of Parent Governor.

As ever, I wish you a restful weekend

Kind regards
Mrs Lowe


English Club


Prefects Jess and Cadhla are independently running an English club for year 7s. The aims are to improve debating skills, produce creative writing and foster a love of English.

The clubs runs each Thursday in G118.

The Singing Children of Africa  

Friday 30th September saw Sydenham girls performing with a choir from Kenya and students from Kelvin Grove Primary School in our Main School Hall.  This event was a fundraising concert for 'The Singing Children of Africa' as part of their UK "Smile" tour.  Our Year 7&8 choir and Jazz Band performed, as well as two soloists from Year 11 - Alice and Nell.
The event was very well attended and had the Mayor of Lewisham and Jim Dowd, local MP, in the audience.

Sydenham raised nearly £400 for this event which will be used to further the work of 'The Singing Children of Africa' in developing opportunities for young people in Kenya.


American Dance Theatre

AAADT is a part of the A2 students’ Set Area of Study so this outing provided them with the opportunity to experience the lively and emotional atmosphere created by the choreography and Company first hand. It also allowed the students to become more familiar with their stylistic features to enhance their answers in the written papers.

Georgina, an A2 student, says “It was exciting to be able to watch it live after only seeing it through a screen. It was really nice to watch and “Revelations” was very moving”.
On Tuesday 13th September 2016, accompanied by Ms Hemstead, a group of BTEC and A-level dance students attended Sadler’s Wells to watch the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (AAADT) perform. Celebrating almost 60 years of artistry, Ailey’s trademark technical brilliance and passionate energy brought the audience to their feet. 

The programme consisted of 4 of the company’s signature works. The first dance was Aszure Barton’s “Lift” which celebrates and challenges the dancers with its complex rhythmical patterns and impulsive structure. Driven by the dancers passion, skill and collective power, the work was created over a development process involving the whole company. Following this was “Awakening” by Artistic Director and choreographer Robert Battle set to a symphonic score by frequent collaborator John Mackey.

After this was Alvin Ailey’s signature solo 'Cry' which was a dance dedicated to all African American women. However, it was originally choreographed as a birthday present for his mother and a dance for his muse, Judith Jamison. Finally, the evening concluded with Ailey’s legendary “Revelations” – the most seen modern dance work in the world which is adored by generations of fans.

Theoretical physicist and published author Professor Carlo Rovelli coming to Sydenham School


Sydenham School entered a national competition to have the theoretical physicist Professor Carlo Rovelli come to the school and deliver a one off lesson to the AS Level Physics and Triple GCSE students. Professor Rovelli will be arriving on Monday 10th October and the opportunity will allow students to engage in some of the most remarkable aspects of theoretical physics that they have yet been introduced to.


Year 7 Netball Match vs Sydenham High

On Thursday 6th October our year 7’s had their first netball fixture against Sydenham High. They were very excited and looking forward to the game. We took 2 teams and they played 2 games each. This was a game that both schools use to coach the students through the rules of the game.
Both teams made leaps of improvement from their first quarter to their last quarter. They started using each other’s names, running into space, defending well and generally working better as a team. The A team lost their first game 6-0 and won their second game 3-2 and the B team lost their first game 6-0 and second 17-0.

Well done to Luca 7Y, Elodie 7H, Lily 7E, Imogen 7E, Charclotte 7A, Heidi 7H, Emmanuella 7Y, Briana 7S, Charlotte 7A, Freya 7Y, Zoe 7S, Matilda 7A, Ellie 7Y, Mya 7H, Ella 7M and Scarlett 7H


Year 7 Indoor Athletics Tournament 

On Wednesday the 5th October the year 7 Athletics team had their first Indoor athletics tournament at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College. The girls were really excited to compete and there were a total of 5 schools in the competition. All the girls did really well and they all competed in a range of events from running 2,4,6, 8 laps and the relay race. They also took part in the standing board jump, the speed bounce, shot putt, and Sargent Jump. Our students did particularly well in the fielding events. They still have a chance to improve their performance for the 2nd round of indoor athletics in November.

Well done girls. From left to right Orla 7H, Florence 7Y, Amelie7S, Farah 7N, Florence 7S, Zoe 7S Maddie 7N



You are all most warmly invited to the first of this year’s meetings of the PTA on Friday 14 October from 7.00pm

We will meet at The Honor Oak Pub -
If you would like to propose any agenda items – please send them through to me.
Do come along to meet Lois Robinson and JJ Jenneson – our new Chair people – who are sharing the job.

I hope to see you there.

Best wishes,

Fiona Taylor
Sydenham PTA New Members Secretary


Library times

The library will be closing at the earlier time of 3.50pm on Thursdays and Fridays for the foreseeable future with the intention to resume a full service.


Please find attached a copy of the image for this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show. This free annual event attracts thousands of people into the City each year, all revelling in the excitement, splendour and history that this special event evokes. It’s a great day out for the whole family.



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