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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 183




Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

Another week has gone by and as always, I am pleased to be able to say that the students are continuing to work very well. Our recent punctuality drive is having a marked impact and we are delighted to see that the numbers of students arriving to school late has fallen dramatically during the last 2 weeks. We are confident that this trend will continue.

The school benefitted from a routine Local Authority safeguarding audit this week. Once again, I am delighted to report that Sydenham School has been judged to be a school with excellent practice in many key areas. It is of course very important that our students are kept safe at all times and that they are happy to be at school. You will see an outline of the Visits Programme so far this term and for the remainder of the academic year. These include a number of opportunities for children to travel abroad. We hope that as many students as possible can benefit from these experiences. Please do speak with your child’s Year Learning Co-ordinator should you wish to discuss any of the Visits further. Finally, there have been a number of charitable events such as cake sales and collecting items for children in need that the students have been taking part in. These small acts of kindness and goodwill are wonderful examples of the generosity that is a feature of the Sydenham School community.

As ever, I wish you a restful and enjoyable weekend.

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe


Dance Visit – “The Creation”


On Thursday 10th November, a group of Year 9, 10,11,12 and 13 students went on a dance visit to Sadler’s Wells to watch Rambert Dance Company perform Joseph Haydn’s “The Creation”. Drawing on Genesis and Paradise Lost, the show is one of the greatest classical pieces of its kind. The songs are sung in English by soloists Sarah Tynan (soprano), James Gilchrist (tenor) and Neal Davies (bass) as well as BBC Singers and the Rambert Orchestra conducted by Rambert’s Music Director Paul Hoskins. With the choreography from Mark Baldwin, Rambert also incorporates dance and art by the renowned artist Pablo Bronstein.

A-Level student Georgina Wright enthused “The choice of music helped portray the storyline well. The duets captivated me as the dancers expressed their raw emotions.”

In addition to this, Ms Hemstead stated “It was great to have live musicians on stage, singing and performing. I also thought the tones of the costumes melted into the set and lighting effectively which created the church atmosphere that contributed to the context of the Creation. It was a wonderful experience to witness the emerging talent of Rambert’s youth company performing this piece.”

Oxbridge Booster Session  

Four of our Year 13 students are taking on the ultimate challenge this term by applying for University places at the UK’s – and arguably, the world’s – top higher education institutions: Oxford and Cambridge (known together as ‘Oxbridge’). The students are Andi Marsh (applying for Classics at Oxford), Madeleine Lusczak (English Literature & Spanish at Oxford), Lauren Cordeiro (English Literature at Cambridge) and Adam Powell-Davies (Japanese at Oxford). They have already sent their UCAS applications, samples of their written work and completed an entrance test. All of the students are now waiting to find out if they will be invited to interview next month.

To help them prepare for the possibility of an Oxbridge interview, the students received a visit last week from Chris Tryhorn, a freelance journalist and researcher, formerly the Media Business correspondent for The Guardian newspaper. Chris himself studied Classics at University College, Oxford and spent much of his time there preparing for his journalism career by working as the editor of the Oxford University newspaper, The Cherwell. Chris kindly took time out from his schedule to lead a discussion and mentoring session about Oxford, giving the students an informal mock interview, tips on how to prepare and what the interviewers may be looking for. Chris also offered some of his perspectives on what life is like for an Oxbridge student.

The students, who gave a very strong account of themselves as being amongst SFH6’s most high-achieving learners, greatly enjoyed the session and feel more confident and positive about the prospect of their Oxbridge interviews as a result. Andi Marsh said, ‘I was quite nervous before, but he was really nice, put us at our ease and gave us some really helpful advice’. Let’s wish all the Oxbridge candidates good luck as they wait to hear if their application for an interview has been successful!

By Mr Frost



On Tuesday, the Year 7 indoor athletics team took part in their second and final round of the competition. This involved 4 field events (standing board jump, vertical jump, speed bounce and shot put) and 5 track events (2 laps, 4 laps, 6 laps, 8 lap paarlauf and relay). There were 6  teams competing including us; Prendergast Vale, Prendergast Ladywell, Haberdashers Asks Hatcham, Haberdashers Asks Knights and Addey and Stanhope.

Our team showed a real improvement from the first competition. Those running 4, 6 and 8 laps paced themselves better and all finished with a better time. The changeover in the relay was really smooth and all the students showed an improved technique in their field events. We are not sure where we came yet. Hopefully we will get the results next week. Whatever the outcome , it was a really useful experience for the girls to have had.

Well done to (right to left): Maie, Mikah, Alina, Farrah, Melissa and Amelie.


Friendly Basketball Match against Bromley Hays

Tuesday 22nd November the year 10 Basketball team and year 7 Basketball team played a friendly match against Bromley Hays. The year 10’s worked hard to improve on the skills they have been practising on in training, and this match gave them a chance to show new skills. The year 10 team have had more time to practise together and therefore they know each other’s strengths and areas for improvement. They know what they need to work on in training to get an even better result at the next match. Well done girls.

Maritu, Marry, Peace, Ashanti, Marvellous, Khamin, Zaniab Rhiana, Jill, Maryam, Christel, Temi, Fiona, Iris

The year 7 team have not played a basketball match before and so the girls were nervous to play. However, this match has helped the pupils understand how it all works. It has given them the opportunity to work together as they have not played as a team before. The year 7 team also know what they do well as a team and what they need to work on to improve for the next match. Well done girls.
Isobel, Elodie, Baiba, Rania, Libby, Kirsty, Cavell, Nicole

Crisis for Christmas Winter Sleep Out

On the 9th of December, Year 9 will be holding a Crisis for Christmas winter sleep out at St Bartholomew's Church Hall Sydenham. Crisis is a charity for the homeless and the sleep out is designed to help the students empathise with those people that sleep rough on the streets throughout the year. All participants of the sleep out are requested to bring a small monetary donation and an essential item from the list below. If any staff can assist with essential items also can you please bring them to the PE department by the 9th of December: Tins of food, granola bars, dried fruits, razors, shaving foam, tampons, sanitary towels, sturdy plastic bags, tea bags, warm coats, tooth brushes, tooth paste, mouthwash, soap/shower gel, shampoo, socks, hats, gloves, gift cards for fast food restaurants, hand sanitizer and small first Aid kits would all be much appreciated.


Year 8 Information Evening

There will be a Year 8 Information Evening for parents on Tuesday 29th November 2016 between 6-7pm. Parents will be given inforamtion about the GCSE Options process as well as information about the new 'assessment without levels' grading system. The meeting will be held in the Main School Hall. We look forward to seeing as many Yer 8 parents there as possible.

Mrs S Reid
Year 8 Learning Coordinator


Our Visits Programme for 2016-17

At Sydenham School, we offer a multitude of visits that enable your daughter to experience the world beyond the bricks and mortar of our school buildings, and we will shortly be publishing a full overview of all the visits that are running during the course of this year. This will include details of our extensive range of residential visits, which for this year include:

  • Juniper Hall residential for AS Biology students – October 2016
  • Margaret MacMillan Centre residential for Year 7 students – October/ November 2016
  • Berlin Trip residential for Year 10 History students – January 2017
  • Flatford Mill Field Study Centre residential for A-Level Geographers – February 2017
  • Climbing residential for selected Year 10/11 GCSE PE students – March 2017
  • Naples rediential for Year 8/ 9 Latin students – March 2017
  • Rhineland residential for Year 7 German students – May 2017
  • Duke of Edinburgh Bronze expedition weekends for selected Y9/10 students – May/June 2017
  • Duke of Edinburgh Silver expedition weekends for selected Y12 students – June 2017
  • Andalucia residential for Year 9 Spanish students – June 2017
  • Opal Coast residential for Year 9 French students – July 2017
  • Battlefields residential for Year 8 History students – July 2017
  • Paris Dance and Music Tour for selected Musicians – July 2016
  • CERN/ Geneva residential for AS Physics students – July 2017
  • Rockley Adventure Watersports residential in France– all year groups – July 2017
  • Work Experience in Spain residential for A-Level Spanish students – July/August 2017

It will also include details of other experiences on offer, including visits to the Natural History Museum, Cambridge University, London Transport Museum, Science Museum, the British Museum and many more.

As a Microsoft Showcase School, we are also exploring the potential of using Skype In The Classroom, to go on Virtual Field Visits and to host guest speakers. We have been participating in the annual Skype-a-thon during the week beginning 21st November, where, for instance, Year 9 Computer Science students will be virtually travelling to the United States to hear from self-proclaimed “Computer Science edutainer” and Microsoft Expert Educator, Brian Dalton. Our students will also be playing Mystery Skype with schools around the world.


Help the Christmas Forest in Dulwich plant their 200,000th tree out in the African drylands this Christmas

Our school Christmas tree has been provided by The Christmas Forest, who are opening their shop in Dulwich on November 24th. They will be selling a fabulous selection of sustainably grown, freshly cut Christmas trees that have all been handpicked for their quality. There will be five different varieties and a large range of sizes all displayed in a forest-like setting. Holly, wreaths, mistletoe and treats for the children too. For every tree sold, The Christmas Forest donate to plant a tree in the African drylands through Tree Aid. ( 176,839 trees have been planted to date, changing lives for thousands of some of the poorest families in the world. This year they are aiming to reach their goal of planting 200,000 new trees. Come and wander through and pick your perfect Christmas tree and enjoy an extra festive glow knowing your tree means something more, not just Christmas. Prices start at £18. Parking and delivery are also available. Alternatively, you can buy your tree online and have it delivered to your door from 01865 427 067. The charity is open between 8am- 10pm Monday to Sunday until December 24th.




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