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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 201


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

Please find the link to the OFSTED Report for Sydenham School following our recent inspection in March of this year.

Click here

We are very pleased to be able to confirm that the school has been judged to be continuing to offer a ‘good’ standard of education and that safeguarding is considered to be ‘effective’. Both of these judgements match the self- evaluation undertaken by the school during this year. You may remember that the school commissioned an Independent Safeguarding Review in September 2016 which concluded that safeguarding in the school was ‘outstanding’. This was confirmed by a subsequent Review of Safeguarding in the Spring term, which was carried out by the Local Authority.

Sydenham School was last inspected in 2013 and since then OFSTED have rightly ‘raised the bar’ in relation to awarding a judgement of ‘outstanding’. In a sense, the old ‘outstanding’ is the new ‘good’ and the school has made progress over recent years. Our ambition is to become a ‘world class school’ and to be judged to be outstanding by OFSTED in the future. We are looking forward to working together to move the school onto the next stage.

Of course, there is no room for complacency in any regard and we are aware that there remain aspects of school provision that need to be better addressed and strengthened.

However, there are hugely solid foundations upon which to build and these include a skilled and dedicated staff team; wonderful and  engaged pupils, a committed and effective Governing Body as well as you - our supportive and involved families.

The 2 Inspectors who spent the day with us were complimentary about the quality of teaching, leadership and pupil behaviour. They acknowledged the excellent GCSE and A Level results as well as vocational outcomes from the summer of 2016.

There are recommendations for future action. These are:

1.       Ensuring that every pupil comes to school every day and that we focus in particular on those pupils who are ‘persistently absent’ ie at school for less than 90% of the time that they should be. If this rate of poor absence continues during the first 5 years of secondary school it could amount to a massive loss of half a year in total for those pupils. This has been a long standing issue in the school which we are tackling head on.

2.       The consistency of the quality of learning and teaching to ensure that all lessons are outstanding and meet the needs of all pupils. Again, the school has been focusing on this core activity as an area of development and high importance.

There will be a meeting of the ‘Parents’ Forum’ on Wednesday 7th June 2017 from 7.00pm-8.00pm in the Main School Hall when members of the Leadership Team and Governors  will speak about the OFSTED Report in more detail, as well as discuss the actions taken as a result of the Inspection. There will be an opportunity for you to ask any questions that you may have.  I do hope that you will be able to join us for that event. As ever, the hope is that you have an enjoyable and restful weekend.

Best wishes

Charlotte Jones, Chair of Governors


Gloria Lowe, Headteacher


Debate Mate Competition


On Thursday 30th March our debate team went to Goldsmith’s University for an entire day to compete in  the regional round of the Debate Mate Cup. There were high caliber of debates throughout and ended in many wins and high-scoring matches for Sydenham. The first motion we debated was a pre prepared topic, the second and third were completely secret, with only fifteen minutes to prepare before standing up and delivering our speeches. We entered three teams.

Sydenham 1 team (Amelie, Amelia, Ruth, Maya, Alice and Abby) won two debates. 
Sydenham 2 team (Melissa, Nayah, Nancy, Chantel and Eleanor) won all three!
Sydenham team 3 (Aminata, Zara, Ava, Jasmine, Rokaya, Lola) also did extremely well for their first Debate Mate Cup competition winning 2 matches. 

Sydenham 2 team after three rounds of competition had amassed the highest scores in the competition and automatically booked their place in the final to debate in front of all the attending schools. They met Alec Reed Academy in the final. They argued passionately against the motion giving strong rebuttals that enable them to clinch the regional title. Our Debate Mate club also had further success as we received the price for ‘best attendance’ with an average of 32 girls attending the club each week. Overall, it was a great day for the school and we have now got medals and a trophy to show for it! 

It has been a long hard road but our debate mate teams have accomplished great success and now it's time to celebrate achievement and further opportunities for greater success at the national finals (UDL and Debate Mate) in May and June. 
Sydenham School is so proud of the countless hours of preparation that the students have put into working collaboratively and aiming high. These students have put themselves forward for the challenge and have demonstrated that they have enough fuel to light the fire, passion, determination and spirit. 

You worked so hard and you did it!!! Congratulations to all of you on your accomplishment and the school looks forward to your future success. 

Maya Purday    
Debate Mate President

School Fund  

A big thank you to all families that have already donated to the school fund.  If you have not already contributed, please do consider doing so as the fund supports us in providing a wide range of educational and enrichment activities that are enormously beneficial to our students.  Contributions can be made by ParentPay, cash or cheques which can be placed in an envelope and handed into the school reception. 


PE Fund Raising

We have been continuing with our fundraising events in PE to buy team kits for the Netball, Football and Basketball teams. The students have all done their mile run in their PE lessons and many students have given in sponsorship money. The Performing Arts Ambassadors and many other willing students have now done 2 car washes; in which they are receiving £5 a car.

They have cleaned a total of 10 cars over the past two Thursdays. From the sponsorship money, PTA money and money collected from the staff car wash, we have now raised over £800. There are only two Thursdays left in which the students will be able to clean cars. Team photos will be available for pupils to see in the Physical Education notice boards from Monday. As mentioned previously pupils will be able to put their order in from next week.


Year 10 Employability Day - Thursday 11 May
Please see the letter sent to all Year 10 parents in March.

We are all looking forwards to Employability Day this coming Thursday 11 May.  ER Events have booked 30 employers to conduct an individual interview with each Year 10 pupil.  We have a whole day of careers related activities for the girls to do in their tutor groups.  Please do speak to your daughter about how she can best present herself at her interview and do look at the website links in the Employability Letter so that she can feel well prepared and confident on the day. Remember she should wear business clothes or smart school uniform on the day.

Lewisham Work Experience Team Employer Database for Year 10 Work Experience pupils

Every Year 10 pupil has a letter to log on to the Lewisham database of employers.   ALL pupils, regardless of whether they have found their own placements, MUST log on to the system by Sunday 7 May and choose up to seven employers.  Please make sure your daughter does this before Sunday.  Paul Goddard, from Lewisham Work Experience Team, has spoken to the girls about the urgency of choosing employers from the database.



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