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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 199


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

I hope that your Easter break was both enjoyable and restful. We are very pleased to be back at school, settling into learning and enjoying the sun during social times when it appears! The pupils have returned in good spirits and with a positive attitude to learn.

The assemblies this week have been about the 'opening up' of the site behind the STEM building where the old Basil Spence building had been. Our external spaces are exceptional and the pupils will benefit from many more grassed areas, raised flower beds, a Science Pond and hard play areas. The 500 seater amphitheatre will provide excellent seating for the pupils during break and lunchtime as well as being able to be used for formal performances at other times.

Further to the OFSTED inspection of the school last term, I have been in contact with OFSTED this week to clarify exactly when the official letter outlining the findings will be published. I was reassured that the letter will be out soon and of course as soon as it is published, I will share it with you.

This is an important term for our older students taking public exams. Year 11 and our Sixth Formers are working hard to ensure that their outcomes are as good as they can be. We wish them all the very best at this important time. I know that you will continue to support your children throughout the next few weeks to make sure that this is indeed the case.

As ever, I hope that you have a lovely weekend.

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe


Author Event – Christian O’Connell


Before the Easter holidays, several Year 7 students were given the opportunity to meet Christian O’Connell, a presenter at Britain’s biggest commercial breakfast show on Absolute Radio. Christian has just released his first book, Radio Boy,  and the event was held at Forest Hill School where Christian talked about his fascinating journey of being a radio presenter and now a famous author.

The book is no doubt a humorous version of his personal obsession as a young boy! Christian communicated very well what perseverance in life could lead to and that the fact that we have the power to make anything possible.

Christian is also a stand-up comic and was able to share highlights of his career with great humour. One interesting fact was that he is the only other person, besides Luke Skywalker, to lightsaber fight Darth Vader!

Original Darth Vader (Dave Prowse) has a Lightsaber Fight ...
Absolute Radio's daring Jedi Knight (and Breakfast Show presenter) Christian O'Connell takes on the original Darth Vader (David Prowse) in a Star Wars lights...

All of the pupils came away with a personally signed copy of Radio Boy. well done everyone.


Lewisham Book Quiz

On Friday 24th March, we took two teams from Year 7 & 8 to compete in the Lewisham Book Quiz, which was held at Prendergast Vale School. Eighteen teams from nine schools across the borough vied with each other for the coveted silver trophy.

Our teams were so keen to do well that some were giving themselves a 'headstart' by having ‘brain food’ for breakfast: this included spinach smoothies! Their dedication paid off and the Year 8 team achieved 2nd place, just behind the deserving winners from Forest Hill School. All of our pupils had an enjoyable time and the runners up came away with medals and books of their choice. Well done everyone!

Mrs. Joseph

Swing Band Perform at 'Lewisham Live'.  

On Monday 27th, the Swing Band performed at Goldsmith's Hall as part of the 'Lewisham Live'  Festival. The first half of the concert consisted of a Lewisham brass band, a marching drum ensemble, a (very large) primary school orchestra, a school orchestra and a piece written and performed by primary school pupils from Beecroft Garden School. This piece was the result of a song writing project the pupils had taken part in with Sydenham School's Music department. The song had some very catchy lyrics including -  "Chicken chicken finger lickin', I just wanna eat my chicken"!

The second half opened dramatically as Sydenham Swing Band took the lead. We played two pieces, 'Sway' and 'Gimme Some Lovin'', both of which went very well. The audience and the performers enjoyed the concert immensely. The second half also included Dalmain School's guitar ensemble, a primary school brass band, and ended on a high note. Lewisham's senior concert band played two pieces, and then ended with"Can't stop the feeling." The audience and, evidently, all the performers, had a wonderful time, entertained by an impressive array of talented musicians.  

Boo Godfery, 9M.


Year 10 Employability Day - Thursday 11 May

Please see the letter sent to all Year 10 parents in March.

Ellie Brignell, from ER Events, will be coming to speak to the Year 10 assembly on Wednesday 26 April about Employability Day.  This is a really exciting day when each pupil has a one to one interview with an employer.  Please do speak with your daughter about how she can best present herself in her interview.  Also please do look at the website links in the Employability Letter so that your daughter can feel well prepared and confident on the day.

Sydenham School new Careers web page
Please see the updated Careers page on the school website for a range of helpful resources:

National Theatre (NT) Work Experience – Year 10 - March 2017


Ellen writes – “ I really enjoyed the placement because we experienced all the different aspects of how to run a theatre – not just the acting and putting on a show.  We met different members of the Commercial Operations Team, these are the staff who the public meet when they visit the NT – such as the catering assistants, tour guides and ushers.  The week was also really enjoyable because we commuted to London together and built closer friendships in the Sydenham group.  We also made friends with other Year 10 pupils from other local schools. I would highly recommend the experience to anyone who gets the chance to get involved in work experience of this sort at the NT. It was incredible”.


Parent Forum - Change of Date

OFSTED Feedback

As you are aware , Sydenham School was inspected by OFSTED on the 14th March. We are still awaiting the publication of the official letter as explained above. The Parent Forum scheduled for Tuesday 25th April will therefore no longer take place.  We will confirm with you the date of the next Parent Forum meeting , when there will be an opportunity for you to hear from the school and ask any questions about the outcome of the Inspection. Many thanks.


Sydenham PTA - Summer Term Drinks Evening at the Honor Oak Pub - Friday 28 April 2017 - 7.00pm onwards

Dear Parents,

To celebrate the start of the Summer Term, Sydenham PTA would like to invite you to meet at the Honor Oak Pub in Forest Hill on Friday 28th April from 7.00pm onwards.

Everyone is most welcome so please come along and meet other parents.  We look forward to seeing lots of you there.

Best wishes for a happy term,

Lois and JJ
Joint Chairpersons of Sydenham PTA


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