Latest Letters Home I Sydenham Website I SIMS I My Maths I Sam Learning
Follow us on: Twitter
Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 197


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

At the Spring Concert last night, we were treated yet again, to a wonderful musical extravaganza. The atrocities in central London on Wednesday were both shocking and sobering. The Concert was the perfect antidote to what happened in Westminster. The students played and sang with grace and demonstrated their many talents. We were delighted to welcome Stillness Junior School who participated in the Concert too. I would like to thank Mr Dottridge and Ms Glass for their tremendous commitment in organising the Concert and in leading the evening so expertly. Concerts like these warm the heart and lift our spirits. I do hope that you were able to join us last night and that you enjoyed the Concert as much as well.

The Newsletter this week is testimony once again to all of the 'extra-curricular' activities that are open to students to 'soak up' week in and week out. The Science Week activities last week deserve a special mention and you will see from the images below that the students were thoroughly engaged in all of the activities that staff worked hard to put on.

The BBC School news Report is an annual opportunity for our budding reporters to develop their interviewing techniques as well as learn how to use recording material in order to put together 'the news'. I personally enjoyed being interviewed by Rosata and other students and I was asked some searching questions!

Our participation in Earth Hour was a symbolic but important gesture to our belief that small acts matter and that if we all do the right thing all of the time, then we can make a big difference.

I hope that as ever, you have a lovely and restful weekend ahead.

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe




We celebrated STEM week at Sydenham School from 13th-17th March, to coincide with British Science Week. Throughout the week, pupils enjoyed a range of trips, workshops and extra activities.

Trip to TfL Inspire Engineering at London Transport Museum Acton Depot
A group of 60 Year 8 students travelled to Acton in west London to take part in Inspire Engineering. This was an exciting event in which students learned about the importance of engineering through a variety of practical problems, interviewing real-life engineers about their work and careers and viewing the exhibits at the museum. “It was a very good experience. I liked the experiments that helped us learn about engineering.” Brehanna, Year 8 “I learned what an engineer does. The best part of the day was the Eggsperiment.” Shellyann, Year 8 “I learned to persevere and solve problems” Maya, Year 8.

Spectroscopy workshop for Year 12 Chemistry
Members of the outreach team from the University of Greenwich visited on Tuesday to deliver the Royal Society of Chemistry “Spectroscopy in a Suitcase” workshop to Year 12 Chemistry students. Students were able to prepare their own infrared spectra using the mobile spectrometer, and went on to identify the unknown substances they had analysed using skills they have learned in their AS chemistry course. “It was useful to see the whole process from start to finish and to experience the techniques first hand.” Sabrina, Year 12

Radiography workshops
Ambassadors from St George’s University visited lessons to give students an insight into studying Biomedical Science and Medicine at University and to demonstrate some of the imaging techniques used in medicine. This was a valuable opportunity for students to speak directly to undergraduates and learn more about University life, as well as getting a chance to try interpreting real medical images. “It was interesting finding out how many different things you can discover from X-rays, ultrasound and PET scans.” Kirabo, Year 9.

Faraday Challenge
Sydenham School hosted a Faraday Challenge heat on Friday 17th March. Delivered by the Institute of Engineering and Technology; this national competition is designed to test the problem solving skills, teamwork and creativity of young people. We invited teams from Bonus Pastor Catholic College and Habadashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College to compete against our two teams. Both Sydenham teams worked brilliantly, designing and building their own products, including coding a Microbit. Their presentations at the end of the day were delivered with confidence and eloquence and we are delighted that the two Sydenham teams came first and second in the competition! The winning team (Michelle, Similola, Sola, Anabelle, Grace and Keziah) have been invited to attend a Jack Petchey Challenge afternoon in July. the students representing Sydenham were presented on the day with a trophy and Amazon vouchers. “It was really fun and we learned a lot of new things.” Simi, Year 8.

STEM Week Chicks
Once again, we had our own hatching STEM week chicks, provided by Living Eggs. Year 7 classes enjoyed learning about the chicks, including handling them and how to care for them. Students from all year groups visited in their droves at lunch times and after school for a chance to cuddle the fluffy chicks. We had seven chicks in total and they have now moved to their new home in the family of one of our Year 9 students. We look forward to receiving updates on how they are doing!

Demonstrations, Masterclasses and Other Events
Throughout the week, there were a number of other activities, including a chemistry spectacular with Ms Purton and Mr Hiscocks, an exciting Solar System multimedia walk- through with Mr Ronson and a Baked Alaska workshop with Ms Williams, ably assisted by Ms Vickers. On a lighter note, we ran a competition to 'Guess the Teacher' from their baby photographs. The winner with 6/9 correct was Mia from 8Y. How our teachers have changed!

BBC School Report  

On Thursday 16th March, a group of Year 9 students participated in the annual BBC School Report News Day. The students took to the challenging task well and managed to produce a short news bulletin in the course of a day. They concentrated on the issues of school funding, possible changes to immigration law and the impact this will have on our school community.

The students had a real eye for detail and collaborated well together. They handled the subjects sensitively and with real professionalism, interviewing a range of people and even ringing Government departments for their comment. At a time when everyone is talking about ‘Fake News’, it is reassuring to see some good, honest journalists at work! Our thanks go to Mr Kerr for organising and leading this day with the students.


Young Librarian

A year ago, Sydenham School Library was very proud to announce that Year 11 student, Dielleza Brava, won the national award for Pupil Library Assistant of the Year. Dielleza was chosen for her years of dedication to being a trusted, reliable and enthusiastic Library volunteer. Although Dielleza has now moved onto college to study Childcare, she can still regularly be seen helping in the Library in her spare time, reinforcing her place as a positive role model for all of our Library users. We are very grateful to Dielleza for the generosity with which she gives up so much of her own spare time.

Last Friday, it was time to announce the winner for 2017 and Dielleza was invited to speak at the award, held at the prestigious Portcullis House in Westminster, where she told members of CILIP, School Library Association, publishers and an impressive 20 well-known authors about her experiences of the past year. She made an impassioned speech on the importance of all schools having a library and said not only was she able to immerse herself in her love of books, but by also being given a position of responsibility, she was helped to bring out a new found confidence which she knows will see her through her years ahead. We thank Dielleza for her continued dedication to our Sydenham School Library.

Highlights from The Student View


Year 10 Student View journalists have now had their work published! Visit to read their articles. Keep an eye on the site as students are working hard to write more articles which will be added over the next few weeks.


Year 9 Netball Match

On Monday the 20th of March our Year 9 Netball team played Bonus Pastor on the MUGA. It was a close game with Sydenham having the most possession of the ball throughout the game. After the 40th minute on the final whistle Sydenham managed victory with a score of 7 to 6. A big thank you goes to Hatice in Year 11 for honing in her officiating skills and refereeing the match. Well done to all of the girls that played. The improvement in their game play in this past year has gone from strength to strength. A great effort!

Year 7 A & B Netball Team vs Sydenham High School

On Monday the 20th March the Year 7 netball team played a friendly netball match against Sydenham High School. The A team played Sydenham High’s A team and our B team played their B team. Each team played half a game e.g. during one quarter the A team played and then during the next quarter the B team played. Both teams played 10 minute quarters.

By the end of the first quarter Sydenham A team was leading with a score of 2:1. The B team's first quarter was very close with a score of 1:1. Going into the 3rd quarter it was the A team’s time to shine. The ball was being passed down the court with great accuracy, the girls were driving onto the ball and getting into space, making it easy for the shooters to get into a good position to shoot. The A team managed to score a further 4 goals! The final score for the A team’s match was 6:4 to Sydenham. Well done girls you played very well. The  B team focused more in the last quarter and after watching the A teams play, they started to pass more accurately. This was a very close game. The final score for the B team was a draw -2:2. Well done girls!

A team: Charlotte C, Lily, Elodie, Vivienne, Imogen, Emmanuella, Lia, Tallulah, Jaida
B team: Libby, Charlotte L, Zoe, Freya, Ella, Ellie, Brianna, Lauren


Sky Sports Mentor Visit

On Friday 17th March Darius Knight came back to our school for the second Sky Sports Mentor Visit. This time he worked with 19 students in Year 9 and 10 who are working towards their Sports Leaders Award.
During the morning session they found out about Darius’s career and what he had to do to get to where he was. The participating students also completed a fitness session similar to the one Darius uses when he is competing. In the afternoon students worked on designing a session themselves that they lead and then got feedback from each other and Darius. This was very useful as they will have to design a session that they will lead with some primary school students to complete their course.


Sixth Form Student Ambassadors: Teaching the Headteachers

(Rashann, Jennifer, Dionne , Olga, Orla, Isobel, Ciara and Lydia)

After the session, Kate Bond wrote to thank our fabulous students and said ‘It was a brilliant session…A number of Headteachers spoke to me at the end of the morning and were full of praise for the students – they told me they were taking away some ideas about what they could do to further improve Student Voice and Student Leadership in their own schools.’
Kate was particularly impressed with how calmly all the students handled the session and commented that they were ‘professional, focussed, engaging and confident’. 
The session was an excellent example of how resourceful and confident our 6th Form students have become and how well they can work together to research, plan and organise such an event. We are very proud of them indeed!

Careers in Writing – next Wednesday - 29 March - 16.00 till 17.00 in the Library

Come and meet four remarkable writers and hear their stories about working in the literary world.
Catherine Sampson started out as a BBC  journalist, and was then posted to China for The Times. After leaving Beijing, and freelancing for other publications, she started to write novels. She has written four crime novels published by Macmillan and two YA crime novels, published by Simon & Schuster. She’s working on a political thriller now, and teaching creative writing workshops in schools.
Radhika Holmstrom used to run the press office for charities, till she decided to stop telling journalists the story and start writing it herself. She now writes mainly about health and mental health, and for all kinds of publications – from women’s magazines to very technical publications aimed at specialist nurses. She has two daughters at Sydenham, and mainly enjoys her job very much.
Jo Clegg was a producer in radio and TV comedy. For the last ten years she's been an animation scriptwriter for shows on Nick Jr, Disney and CBeebies including multiple episodes of the 2016 BAFTA nominated pre-school show Go Jetters and the BAFTA winning Hey Duggee. 
Rosie Murray-West is a freelance journalist, specialising in articles on consumer money, travel and family issues. She spent 14 years on the Daily Telegraph where she covered everything from the London bombings to the banking crisis in 2007 and 2008.   She writes regularly for the Telegraph, Mail on Sunday and other newspapers and magazines, and still can't quite believe she gets paid for putting words on a page.
Please encourage your daughter to come – no need to reserve a place.  Any queries contact, Fiona Taylor, Careers and Enterprise Coordinator,


Earth Hour

Sydenham staff and students showed their support for the environment by turning off all non-essential lights at 10am today for an hour. Sydenham School Eco Society are helping to remind everyone in school about the importance of our planet. The Earth movement began in Australia in 2007 and last year millions of people across 178 countries joined in. By saving energy, even for just an hour, we can have an impact on the future of the planet and its resources.


Please reply directly to this email if you would like to unsubscribe to our school newsletters.