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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 194


Message From The Headteacher

Dear Families

I hope that this last week has gone well. We have had a wonderful end to the week with our celebration of World Book Day. Students and staff alike were encouraged to come to school dressed as a character from a book.The response was fantastic. It was an absolute pleasure to see the school community flooding onto the site in the early morning sun dressed variously as Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter, Harry Potter or Pippi Long Stocking! The attention to detail was impressive. Whole departments in school dressed up as a theme. For example all of the teachers in the Human Sciences Department came dressed as characters from 'The Great Gatsby' book. The Science Department came dressed in T Shirts from the 'Mr Men' series of books by Roger Hargreaves.

The characters were well chosen and suited each teacher, including Ms Vickers who was 'Little Miss Sunshine'! Groups of students also dressed as themed characters including a group of friends dressed in outfits linked to the 'Grease' film.The careful preparation that was evident throughout demanded imagination, creativity and collaboration. I hope that you enjoy some of the initial pictures below which capture well the community spirit that was palpable throughout the day. Whilst there will be some official 'winners'who will be announced in next week's edition I hope that you will want to join me in congratulating everyone anyway who took part in the day. Of course we also hope that engaging with literature in this way will deepen the love of reading that many of our students have already.

I would like to thank Ms Joseph, our Librarian, for organising and leading the World Book Day event, as well as Ms Marshall and Ms Brava for ably assisting her. And of course thank you to Mr Kelly, our Resources and Communications Manager, for all of the pictures.

And finally, a big thank you to you as parents and carers, whom I know supported the students in making and transporting the costumes to school- some of which involved very large and spectacular wings!

Recently, the school issued incorrect information in the Track 2 reports that were sent out. Although this was rectified, I would like to apologise for this misinformation which should not have been given out to families.Track 3 data will be sent out early in May.I hope that all of those families who attended the Year 8 Preferences Evening on Wednesday found this very helpful. The changes made by the Government to the assessment system were carefully explained. At Sydenham School we are determined to continue to offer a 'broad and balanced' curriculum and to offer your daughters excellent support in making these all important choices.

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

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe


Driving Your Daughter To School


If you drop your daughter off by car , please remember that it isn’t safe for your daughter or the other students arriving at school for you to either stop in front of the school, which blocks the view of drivers and forces them to overtake, or to pull into the school gateway, which means you are crossing the pavement where students are walking and reversing back onto a main road.

There are several side roads either side of the school which do offer a quiet, safe place to drop your daughter. Please can you arrange with your daughter to use these.

Thank you for your assistance in keeping our students safe.

Making The Journey To School Safer

TFL and Lewisham Council are working together to make Dartmouth Road a safer place for pedestrians. The pavements will be widened all the way from Forest Hill to Cheseman Street and traffic-calming measures will be put in place to slow the traffic down. The Council is providing a temporary crossing. Staff are on hand to ensure our students have a safe crossing place whilst the works are going on.

Once the works are finished the route to and from school will be a much safer and more pleasant one.

Lewisham Training Kitchen  

On the 21st and 23rd of February, the Health and Well Being Club students were lucky enough to make a visit to the Lewisham Training Kitchen.
We were taught by a qualified chef and nutritionist about the importance of healthy eating and having a balanced diet to ensure we have all the right nutrients so that our body can function at its best. As it turns out, orange coloured vegetables contain vitamin A and do really help with your vision.

So there is truth in the old saying about eating carrots to help you see in the dark ! Many children in developing countries that don’t receive adequate amounts of vitamin A can suffer with night blindness. This is just one of the interesting facts we learnt about food on our visit.
The most fun and exciting part of the day was obviously when we started cooking. We made a delicious baked coconut chicken dish with sweet potato wedges and healthy coleslaw.

We discovered that using herbs, removing skin from the chicken and replacing unhealthy alternatives like mayonnaise with natural yoghurt can make a huge difference to the quality of our food and can drastically cut back on the amount of fat, sugar and salt in our diets. We hope to get another opportunity to visit the kitchen in the summer term.

Thank you very much to Ms Cantrill, Mr Freaks and Ms Parry for organising the event and accompanying the groups.


'Book Week' Treat For The Students of Adamsrill Primary School

I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Diana in 7E, Saranija in 8M, Tihana in 9M, Joelle in 9H, Karthiga in 10M, Nesrine in 10E and Noemi in 10E for engaging, challenging and definitely entertaining the Year 3 and 4 students at Adamsrill Primary School on Monday 27th February.We paid them a visit to celebrate Book Week by telling stories from some of the countries that our students come from.

The Year 4s were totally engrossed in all the stories which were read in Italian, French, Spanish, Romanian, Tamil and Arabic! The Year 3s and 4s asked our students lots of questions about the stories, their countries and traditions. They wanted to learn some new words from the books too! It was a really lovely afternoon and, once again, our students shone with confidence and charisma. We all walked back with big smiles on our faces!

Author Talk by Derek Landy,

From The Skulduggery Pleasant Series


This week saw another event held at Forest Hill School, this time to meet Derek Landy, author of the internationally bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series. Five students from Years 7 and 9 who were identified as avid fans of the author, were excited to meet him in person and listen to the author talk about his career as a writer. During his recital, Derek was asked the question of how he chose names for the characters. He shared that one of the ideas came from hearing interesting or unusual names.  When having her book signed, one of our students, Kirabo, was delighted when Derek asked her if he could use her name in a future book! Kirabo was rightly delighted.

The girls really enjoyed meeting Derek and hearing of his journey and came away so enthused that some have said they will be rereading the series again.


Empowerment Day with Year 8 - Visit From The Movement Factory

On Tuesday 28th February, three Year 8 classes were lucky to be able to work with the ‘The Movement Factory’. The Movement Factory are a company that empower young girls by developing a positive sense of self and confidence through dancing.The girls learnt about hip hop music as well as dance moves from old school, mid school and new school genres of music.

The Movement Factory created 'Project Eve' and have now relaunched it across 6 boroughs. The Eve Project is an all-female hip hop dance programme for 14-19 year olds endeavouring to use dance as a tool to take control of all aspects of their life. Sydenham School were lucky enough to be involved in this excellent programme this week.

There will be follow up weekly sessions which will be running on a Friday after school in the Activity Studio which will lead to a final performance at either Pineapple Dance Studios or the South Bank Centre. The dancers from The Movement Factory commented on how well behaved and enthusiastic our students were. Well done everyone and we are looking forward to our next visit from the Factory.


Sydenham School vs Hatcham - Basketball Match

The Year 10 basketball match was very close. It was tense from the start with the score ranging between Hatcham then Sydenham then Hatcham then Sydenham. By the end of the first quarter Sydenham girls were in the lead with 8 points to 6. There was all to play for in the last quarter. However, Hatcham come back stronger and and started to score point after point. However, Sydenham staged a comeback. Alas however, it was not enough of a rally to win and the final score was 12 to Sydenham and 15 to Hatcham -it was a very close match and both teams deserve to be congratulated.

The basketball club now have a new coach. We are delighted to welcome  Stephanie Duru to work with us and Stephanie now has a good idea of what the girls can do well and what they need to work on to improve and to develop their skills. Hopefully this will show in an improved performance in the next match.

Free Technical Theatre Training (13-17yrs) – Lewisham Youth Theatre - Catford

What is this project?

  • Technical Theatre Training - Bronze Arts Award will introduce you to stage management, sets, lighting, sound, props and costumes for the theatre. You will have an opportunity to meet professional theatre technicians, and work on a full production.

Who can take part?

  • Young people aged 13-17 years (school years 8-13) who live or attend a school/college in the borough of Lewisham and do not attend any out of school drama activities.

How can you take part?

  • Monday evenings, 4.30-6.30pm, April to July.
  • Two Saturdays – A Backstage Tour at a working theatre & meeting professional theatre technicians.
  • You will be part of the technical crew week supporting rehearsals and shows during the summer holidays 24th - 29th July.

The sessions are held in the rehearsal room at:

  • The Broadway Theatre in Catford.

There will be a taster session on Monday 24th April 4.30-6.30pm. - Parents are invited to attend an information meeting at 6.15pm. This will cover detailed information about the project and the level of commitment required to gain the Arts Award.

Want to take part?
To book a place on the taster session & register your interest by Friday 24th March, email VICTORIA at

Include details of your:

  • full name
  • telephone number
  • school /college attended
  • Re: Technical - Arts Award.


SIMS Access

We are aware of a compatibility issue when using the latest version of Google Chrome to access SIMS Learning Gateway. We would like to apologise for this and we currently recommend using Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge to resolve this. Please do contact Mr Guest, Deputy Headteacher at school, if you have any further queries.


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