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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 195


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

I hope that your week has gone well. As promised in SYD last week, please find below a link to the many pictures that were taken on World Book Day. We have announced the winning entries to the students and will be rewarding those students with books of their choice. Well done to every one again and I hope that you too enjoy looking at the wonderful pictures of the day as much as we have.

It was very encouraging to meet with so many of you and your daughters this week at the Year 11 Parents' Evening. We are aware of how intense this period just before the summer exams is and hope that your daughter is managing to navigate her way through it successfully. We are beginning some 'Mindfulness' classes at school and hope that these will support students in alleviating any stress. Mrs Podmore and Mrs Robinson led a very helpful Parents' Forum this week with a focus on 'Adolescent Mental Health and Well Being'. Good mental health is important for all of us and thankfully it has become a national issue which is being focussed. Like all schools however, we are having to manage our financial resources in such a way that we are also able to meet any presenting need.

As ever, I hope that you have a relaxing weekend with your family.

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe


Debate Mate Competition


On Monday 27th, we hosted the second round of the Urban Debate League here at Sydenham School where a group of other schools from the area came for over two hours of fiercely competitive debating.

Every match was a nerve- wracking but exciting experience and I was pleased that our preparation and training kept all of us calm. The opposing teams said afterwards that we were formidable! My team, Sydenham A, went up against Harris Girls' East Dulwich for the Overseas Aid debate. We debated with Harris Beckenham for the second round, winning both debates with great points. Sydenham B also did incredibly well, scoring highly and losing only one match by one point.

I'm very proud of our C and D teams who have started debating just this year.

We are all beyond thankful to Mrs Virgo-Furrs who keeps us motivated for every competition. The next steps for us now are to wait and see if we rank high enough to go to the regional finals and continuing to work hard to get even stronger.

Best wishes and good luck everyone!   
Maya Purday    
Debate Mate President

World Book Day 2017  

Last week the Library had a very busy week in celebration of World Book Day.
Quiz heats were held for Y7 & Y8 students and the results were so close that we had to do a second round! The winning team from each year group will now go on to participate in the Lewisham Book Quiz at Prendergast Vale School on the afternoon of March 24th, competing with other students from across the borough.

Tuesday saw a great turnout for the ‘Book Swap’ and a total of 297 books changed hands with most of the girls going home with new titles for their book shelves.
As you are aware, highlight of the week however came on Thursday when the students and teachers treated us to an amazing array of costumes. Once again, the judging proved very difficult as there were so many deserving entrants who showed their flair for creativity and design in assembling their chosen character.

The KS3 individual winner was Vivienne in 7S who dressed up as a zombie from the book ‘Jack & Jill Went Up To Kill’. Vivienne showed great skill in creating her gory makeup.

The KS3 group winners  were Annika 7A, Grace 7A, Sarah 7A, Iris 7A, Imogen 7M, Ki’Marley 7A, Latifa 7E, Jonessa 7A & Ikram in 7A who dressed up as characters from the book ‘Alice in Wonderland.’

The KS4  individual winner was Greta in 9M who dressed up as a very amusing interpretation of Violet Beauregarde from the book ‘Charlie & The Chocolate Factory’.

The KS4 group winners were Maja 11S, Nada 11Y, Megan 11A, Jess 11Y & Ruby 11Y who dressed as characters from DC Comics ‘Suicide Squad.’

Choosing a winning Faculty again proved very difficult but this year Humanities have taken the prize for their portrayal of the characters from ‘The Great Gatsby’. They presented themselves in the Library at 8.30am as if they were actually attending one of Gatsby’s famous parties, non- alcoholic drink glasses in hand!

A special mention goes to the following students who made the decision for first place even harder.
Florrie Fisher 8N  - Mad Hatter
Efa Parry 7N –Skellig
Amelia O’Shea 7N - Miss Peregrine
Ruby Buckley 8E – Emma from Miss Peregrine’s House for Peculiar Children
Leah Lokoschus-Hesley 8H & Lucy Gowen 8S – Mad Hatter & Alice In Wonderland
Eleanor, Lola, Alice & Zara 8A – Pretty Little Liars
Teagan McEvoy-Cooper 7H, Ella Wilson 7D, Sophie Ridgewell 7D, Sofia Alarcon-White 7M – Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them.

Click here to view the full gallery on our website



On Friday the 3rd March, the Year 7 Netball team and Year 8 Netball team played a friendly match against Bonus Pastor her at Sydenham School. Both teams played really hard throughout the match.

The Year 7 team played well in the first quarter and the defence was strong. No goals were scored. After a team 'chat', Bonus Pastor ended up scoring two goals in the second quarter, making the score 2:0. Going into the 3rd quarter ,Sydenham had a few chances to score as they got the ball down the court very quickly with some accurate and powerful passes.

However, Bonus Pastor's defence was really good and they intercepted the ball on many occasions. One more goal was scored by Bonus Pastor, making the score 3:0. We know that we need to work on passing the ball in training and get ready for Kent netball in a couple of weeks time.

Well done girls!
Lilly, Emmanuella, Charlotte, Ellie, Imogen, Tallulah, Vivienne, Lia

The Year 8 Netball team also played against Bonus Pastor on Friday. There was alot of attacking play and more goals were scored. The first quarter was very entertaining as 4 goals were scored from both teams. Clearly accurate passing and communication was working well! The defence was very strong going into the second quarter as both teams didn’t manage to score any goals. After half time Bonus Pastor managed to score one goal, putting them in a lead 5:4. The girls were getting tired by this point. The last quarter was all to play for. However, Bonus Pastor steamed ahead and managed to win in the end by 9:6. Well done to everyone.

Well done girls!
Queenie, Shellyanne, Keziah, Tiverhe, Matilda, Rebecca, Annabelle, Hadil,

U13 Kent Netball Tournament

There were 29 schools in the competition and we played against Bromley High School, Colfe’s School, Dartford Grammar School for Girls, Highworth Grammar School for Girls and King’s School Rochester. The team that went on to win the whole tournament was Highworth Grammer School for Girls.
On Wednesday 1st March we took our year 8 Netball team to Rainham School for Girls for the 3rd of our 4 Kent Netball tournaments this year. We were in the lilac pool which meant we played 5 other schools for 10 minute games.
Unfortunately, the team did not win any of their matches but they played with determination and grit and did not give up. They improved their knowledge of the game and the new netball rules as the matches went on. Queenie and Matilda did a great job of keeping the games flowing,interchanging as the centre, and Annabelle did a great job defending making sure not to cause any  obstruction.

Back Row (L to R): Tiverhe, Kendi, Queenie, Filmarta, Anabelle and Maya
Front Row (L to R): Matilda, Miah, Keziah and Shellyann  

Tag Rugby Match vs Bonus Pastor  

On 28th February Sydenham Tag Rugby group played a friendly match against Bonus Pastor. This was our first Tag Rugby Match and so the students were a little nervous. The game started off well as Sydenham had a great defence technique and stopped Bonus Pastor many times. Sydenham managed to score 2 tries and were really excellent at looking for spaces to run into. However, Bonus Pastor managed to get past the defence and score a try. Sydenham did not expect this and therefore made sure they worked hard to ensure another try was not scored.

We were determined to win and upped our defence. We started intimidating the opposition by putting pressure on their attacking players waiting for them to make a mistake and drop the ball so they could pick it up quickly and run past to score a try.  Near the end of the match the umpire swapped a Sydenham player with a Bonus Pastor player in the hope of teaching both teams more about defence and to help them teams tighten their defensive line. During this time, each team managed to score a try. The final score was 4-2 to Sydenham Girls.

Match Report written By Ronnie Reed

Well done girls!
Samira, Angharred, Faith, Lucy, Shenae,


Poverty is Sexist Campaign: The Student View Journalists Visit Westminster

On Wednesday 1st March Year 10 students Lulya Mengestab, Matdawna Jnphillip, Megan Moody and Christel Joseph attended a networking event with MPs and activists at Westminster. The event was organised by the advocacy and campaigning group ONE to raise awareness for their campaign 'Poverty is Sexist', which promotes girls’ education around the world.

The students heard speeches from MPs and activists and networked with ambassadors for ONE as well as questioned MPs about their commitment to girls’ education globally. It was an inspiring event and the students came away fired up with ideas for stories for our next journalism session. You can join the campaign at



Our 2017 chicks have begun to hatch! Year 7 classes will be working with them next week as part of our STEM week celebrations. Other events include a visit to Inspire Engineering at London Transport Museum, the IET Faraday Challenge, radiography workshops and various experiments and activities run by staff in science and DT.



1.       Work Experience Placements – Year 10 (26 June to 07 July) and Year 12 (10 to 14 July)
Dear parents,  the Year 10s and Year 12s are doing really well at finding work experience placements for themselves.  Congratulations to those of you who have already found a placement.  Please hand you completed Own Find Forms into me asap – Room S.2.016.
We are finding it very challenging to find “creative and design” placements.  If you work in this field, or have a friend or relative, working in the creative and design world – please do ask them if they could help.  Many thanks, Fiona Taylor, Careers and Enterprise Coordinator   Tel. 020 8699 6731 x 442

2.       RIBA Easter Workshops for Young People
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) are running some holiday workshops for children and young people over the Easter holiday.
One day courses are from £25 upwards. 


Attendance and Punctuality

Well done to those large numbers of students who continue to have perfect or near perfect records of attendance. We are delighted that so many parents understand how important it is that students attend school every day and support their children by ensuring they are here learning.
Our target for whole school attendance is 98% but if we are to achieve this we need to ensure all students come to school unless they are too ill to get up or have been told not to come to school by a doctor. If attendance for any student drops below 95% this is a cause for serious concern and those who fall below 90% are considered to be Persistent Absentees. Senior leaders are monitoring attendance very carefully and are meeting with parents where there are concerns, as we know that days missed from school cause gaps in knowledge and in the long term a significant drop in attainment.

If your child does miss a day of school due to illness, please do ensure that she/he sees the teachers of lessons missed so that it is possible to catch up with the work covered.
I would also like to remind you that general health check-ups should be arranged after school and in the holidays. If your child has a Hospital and Orthodontic appointment during the day, then cards or letters should be shown at the attendance office and she/he should come in for as much of the time before or after the appointment as is possible.
We ask parents and guardians to please refrain from organising holidays in term time, these will not be authorised and will have a negative impact on your child’s attendance record.
To reinforce the importance of regular attendance you may be interested to see the results of research done over the last few years on the correlation between attendance and GCSE success. As you can see from the graph below the better your child attends the better their outcomes will be!

We are pleased to say that Punctuality, at 99% across the school, is now near to our target of 100%. The late detentions introduced in November 2016 have had a positive impact in improving punctuality and will continue. We are aware that there are often traffic problems in South London and would suggest that students aim to arrive at school by 8.15 in the morning, then even if they do get caught in excessive traffic they are likely to still be on time. Again we thank you for your support in ensuring students get to tutor time on time and start the day in the most positive way.


Parking and Dropping Off

Dear Parent/Carers
It has been drawn to our attention that a number of parents or carers have been parking on the private land of Forest Hill Court and collecting their children from school.
If this message refers to you, please can you think carefully about where and how you park to ensure that you are respectful of our neighbours.
Thank you in anticipation of your help in parking responsibly and respecting our neighbours’ access to their properties.



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