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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 191


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the staff involved in the ‘Battle of the Bands’ on Thursday evening. It was a fantastic event which was thoroughly enjoyed by an appreciative audience. The students had worked very hard on their compositions, many of which were original and arranged especially for this now legendary Battle. The strength of the Performing Arts across the school was in evidence for all to see. We are fully aware as a school of how important it is to give our students the opportunity to perform and to have their emerging voices heard . Many of the artists were transformed during the evening into mini rock stars! The Drama Studio looked great and was turned into a very professional space. The ‘back of house’ support was impressive and this included lighting, sound, artistic direction and the refreshments which were all home-made and provided by the school’s Eco Society. As if all of this wasn’t enough, there was a ‘smoke’ machine which added to the excellent atmosphere. The compering by Mr Pickford and Mr Edwards was perfectly pitched too. It was a real team effort, a whole school event and a stellar example of what makes Sydenham School such a special place to be.

You will also see from the Newsletter that there has  been a successful visit to Berlin, more sporting competitions, as well as preparations for Safer Internet Day  next week. Thank you to staff and our student Internet Ambassadors for leading on this. The next Parents’ Forum is on March 7th and the theme is how to support your children in ensuring that they have good mental health. We look forward to seeing you there.

As ever, I hope that you have an enjoyable and restful weekend.

Kind regards



Battle of the Bands 7

It is the Seventh year of our annual 'Battle of the Bands' event. Lucky number 7! It was held in the Drama Studio on Wednesday 1st of February from 7pm to 9:30pm, to a capacity audience totalling 160.
Approximately 80 students from Years 7 to 12 have been learning songs to hopefully be entered into the event. Only 12 bands got through to perform on the night from an initial number of about 20. Each band had to have three songs ready to perform.  
The competition is made up of two halves; during the first half , all 12 bands play one song each. In the second half only 3 bands get through when they play two songs each. The judges are given the following criteria to make their final decisions on: Collaboration & performance, Technical ability, Image (style) of the band and Interpretation of song.

This year has been applauded as the most successful yet. The professionalism, talent and creativity of all of the Bands involved in the event was without question. We would also like to thank the the student production team, stage management and the artist liaisons. Well done to all of the Bands that performed as of course in many respects all of them were winners. Well done.

The final 3 bands were;

Cypher (yr9), Oriana 9D (Vocals and Bass), Katherine 9Y (Drums), Ella 9Y (Guitar) and Rosie 9D (keyboard).

Salt (yr10), Betty 10D (Vocals & Bass) and Freya 10D (Drums)

Limbs (yr10) Lily 10H (Vocals & Guitar), Georgia 10H (Guitar), Chloe 10A (Bass) and Isabel 10A (drums)

We also saw the first draw in the events history. Salt and Limbs came joint first place and received £120 prize money in the form of Rough Trade gift cards.

Additional awards were given to; Best Vocalist- Iris 10D, Best Guitarist- Lucy 8S, Best Bassist-Ellen 10D, Best Drummer- Isabel 10H and Best Keyboardist-Florrie 8N.

I would like to say a big thank you to all of the staff and students for their help in running the event and making it such a success.
Mr N Thomas




Sixty students from Years 9 and 10 visited Berlin between 22nd and 25th January. Whilst in Berlin, the students went to the Reichstag, Sachsenhausen- a concentration camp on the outskirts of Berlin- the Jewish Holocaust Memorial, the Stasi Museum,had a guided tour of the Berlin Wall and saw a number of artefacts in the Allied Museum.

The trip was very successful in helping the students to expand their knowledge of Weimar and Nazi Germany and prepare them for their next area of study which is all about the Cold War. Boo in 9M, particularly “enjoyed the Stasi museum because it was interactive and the Berlin Wall because it was interesting to learn about people’s lives”. Honor "enjoyed visiting the Berlin Wall memorial as we learnt about lots of people's stories who died attempting to cross the wall".

Gala "liked going to the Reichstag because we got to go up to the top and saw all of Berlin at night."

Round 2 of the London Youth Games U16 Basketball  

On Tuesday 31st January, our U16 basketball team played the second round of the London Youth Games Basketball Tournament against Eltham Hill. It was Lewisham against Greenwich with whichever team winning progressing to the regionals round.

The game was played in 4 quarters of 10 minutes. Sydenham started well in the first quarter with 3 baskets equalling 6 points- 4 points from Gabby and 2 from Yasmine. Eltham Hill gained 4 points. We showed good zonal defence and had possession of the ball for most of the first quarter.
In the second quarter we increased the score to 12-6 with Iris scoring 2 points and Yasmine scoring another 4 points. The team had found their rhythm, were communicating well and rebounding every shot.

In the third quarter we could see fitness levels starting to lessen and there was more fouls and travelling occurring. This gave the other team 2 free shots. The score ended 14 all.
In the final quarter we seemed to lose a bit of focus, weren’t making all of the rebounds and started to make some unenforced errors. Unfortunately, we lost 16-19. Nevertheless, the team played well and were gracious in their loss but we now know we need to improve on our fitness, focus and accuracy of shot. Well done to Eltham Hill who will progress into the next round.


Careers Information

If your daughter is interested in a career in the National Health Service please encourage her to have a look at

This is a career website designed for 14 to 19 year olds to use to access information about working in health and medicine.

If your child is interested in a career in construction please encourage them to look at

There is a quiz about what profession in construction your child may want to pursue.

Open Days and Evenings at London South East Colleges (incorporating Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich Community Colleges):
February and March 2017


Starting TOMORROW - Saturday 4 February with an Open Day at Bromley College, 10.00  until 13.00


Safer Internet Day, Tuesday 7th February 2017  

Sydenham School is a supporter of Safer Internet Day (SID) and we will be having assemblies and activities in lessons to raise students' awareness about using the Internet safely and wisely. Our Childnet Digital Leaders have completed their training and they will be facilitating all SID activities. For further information, please visit:


Parent Forum - Mental Health

The next Parent Forum, will be on March 7th between 7-8pm. The topic will be 'How we support student mental health and well-being at Sydenham'.
If there are any particular issues you would like to be covered in the presentation or discussion, please do not hesitate to contact Ms Podmore, Deputy Headteacher,  before 20 February 2017.The email address is

Keeping students safe after school and on their journey home

You may have heard on the news about some concerning incidents where young women have been sexually assaulted on buses in the South London area. The Police have now caught the man they believe was responsible but please be aware that we have given the following advice to students in Assemblies and in Tutor time

·         When you leave school in the evening please make sure that you travel in pairs or small groups where possible and make sure you travel directly home rather than hang around at bus stops
·         If you have any worries while you are outside the school waiting for a bus you should come back into the school Reception and tell an adult
·         If you are able to, try to sit downstairs near to the bus driver
·         If you feel uncomfortable sitting or standing next to someone then move away from them
·         If you have any concerns while you are on a bus you should report it to the bus driver, alert other passengers or in an emergency dial 999
·         If you are concerned about travelling home please go and speak to your tutor, Year Learning Co-ordinator or a member of staff in Step by Step.

If your daughter experiences anything that she is concerned about or is approached by anyone outside school or on the way home, please do ensure you inform us and the Police if necessary. These sorts of incidents are rare but if we are all vigilant and share information we can better protect everyone in our community.

Ms Podmore
Deputy Headteacher



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