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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 202


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

This week has been as busy as ever, not least because we had a visit from the inspiring and wonderful Rachel Yankey OBE as well as the fact that we are approaching the public GCSE and A Level exams. These begin in full next week. I know that this can be a very stressful time for your child and for you of course too. Please continue to support just as you have done throughout the many years at school.

It is best to try to find as many opportunities to 'check in' with your child and have a conversation about how they are feeling, how things are going and what you can do, if anything, to support further. There needs to be lots of confidence boosting and encouraging comments as there is no doubt that the next few weeks will demand their ability to manage competing priorities. You just need to be there for them !

We wish all of our pupils the very best and hope that they can demonstrate their excellence in the Exam Hall. Please do contact Ms Bailey or Ms White if there is anything that you think the school can do to support further. We have included details about the forthcoming exams below in the Newsletter which we hope will help.

Please reassure your child that there is still everything to play for and that there is still the time to make a difference to those exam results. They need to be doing the right amount of revision, take up any intervention classes that the school is offering and make sure that they have a real determination to succeed. All of us here at Sydenham School would like to wish everyone every success in their exams.

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe


Sydenham School Host the FA Women’s Cup!


On Tuesday of this week, we were delighted to host former England international footballer and 11-time FA Women’s Cup Winner, Rachel Yankey OBE.

Ahead of the SSE Women’s FA Cup final on Saturday, Rachel, who was once the most capped English footballer ever, posed alongside the coveted trophy and talked with pupils and staff about her life and career.

Rachel spoke about the highs and lows of her illustrious career, including: winning the FA Cup with Arsenal (aged just 16); losing the FA Cup to Arsenal (when she was playing for Fulham); being named in the Great Britain squad for the 2012 Olympic Games; being left out of the England squad for the 2009 European Championships, but winning her place back for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup; and breaking Peter Shilton’s record number of England caps in 2013. Rachel also discussed her current role coaching young children as part of CBeebies popular show, Footy Pups.

Pupils from the Year 7,8 and 9 football teams got the chance to meet Rachel and pose with the trophy, with many also getting the opportunity to ask Rachel questions and get her autograph.

The Women’s FA Cup final between Birmingham City Ladies and Manchester City Women takes place on Saturday 13th May at Wembley, and will be televised on BBC2 from 5:15pm.

The match is free for children to watch live so please do go along if you can. It is best to check the internet for details of adult prices.


The Library is running a Readathon Sponsored Read and we would like your daughter to join in.

Readathon is the UK’s national sponsored reading event for schools and encourages children to read for pleasure. Readathons also aim to motivate reluctant readers to give reading a chance and for keen readers to read more widely.

Sydenham School will be running a Readathon from 15th May – 16th June and we would like you to support the pupils by sponsoring them as generously as you can. The money raised helps the charity Readathon to give brand new books and arrange storyteller visits to children’s hospitals across the UK. For more information, check out

Please encourage your daughter to pick up a Readathon Sponsorship Card in the Library and help them to find as many sponsors as possible among family and friends.

Thank you for your support – and happy reading!


GCSE Geography River Investigation

Data was collected on channel width and depth, velocity, gradient, sediment size and shape. In Lullingstone Country Park  there was a stray duckling that was befriended by the group. We hope that the duckling was reunited with its family in the end! The investigation will be written up and pupils will present, analyse and evaluate their data in lessons. The pupils were very well behaved, focused and got alot out of the visit. Well done to all.
Mr S.Glendinning

Year 8 LSSSA Rounders Tournament  

On Wednesday 10th May the Year 8 rounders team played their LSSSA Tournament which was hosted by Sydenham High School. The tournament was split into two pools. The team showed a great deal of improvement from their practice match the night before but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to place them in the top 3 this time.

The first match we played was against Prendergast School and although we lost 5 rounders to 6 ½ , 6 of their players were out in comparison to our 5. The team made a few simple errors like running out of the front of the box which makes them automatically out and miss-fielding a few throws which lead to our defeat. However these 'errors' are part of learning, making progress and are easily rectified.

The second match was against Prendergast Vale School and we won that by 4 rounders to 3, with 6 of their players out to our 2. The pupils stepped up their game, the bowling was on point giving away no ½ rounders and there were some accurate fielding skills on display.

Unfortunately, because we had each won a game in our pool it then went on rounders scored and we had the least amount so finished the tournament placed below teams that had amassed a higher number of rounders overall.

Front Row (L to R): Keisha, Hope, Mabel and Queenie.
Back Row (L to R): Eva, Ellie, Laila, Keziah, Abi and Annabelle.


Friendly Against Sydenham High School

On the 9th of May our Year 8 Rounder’s team walked up to our neighbouring school Sydenham High to compete in a friendly match.

The game itself was essentially a training run for the LSSA rounder’s tournament. We learnt quite a bit about our strengths and areas for development within the game, realising there was something of a pattern to  Sydenham’s High School's batting strategy. We tried our best to exploit where out fielders were and stop them from getting any further rounders’, Matilda made a great catch on the 15th good ball and all of the girls worked really well as a team.

Unfortunately, we lost out to Sydenham High School in the end but the learning experience was invaluable and put us in good stead for the official tournament the following day.


Safeguarding Notice for Parents

As we know there are some challenges for young people today. There have been a number of concerning stories in the media recently about self-harm and suicide. We know that for you as families. it can be a hard task to keep up with how to keep your children safe online.

Young people may well have watched a film on Netflix  - 'Thirteen Reasons Why', concerning a secondary aged pupil engaged in an act of self harm. The film has become controversial because of its explicit portrayal of the character's death. In the UK there are strict guidelines about suicide in drama, but Netflix operates outside those rules. There are other 'crazes' that some young people may be attracted to and these are also potentially equally concerning.

It is wise to regularly talk to your daughter or son about what they are doing online. We should celebrate the exciting things that the internet offers, but provide sensible advice as adults, caution and support if we become aware that our children are taking risks and report anything if concerned (please see CEOP or Safer Internet guidance on this).

The risks will always be there, but learning about risk and learning how to manage and mitigate risk is key to supporting our children in understanding what good mental health is. We have to help young people with these issues as well as raise concerns where a child is at risk, or may be potentially at risk, of harm and abuse.

The most important message to young people about keeping safe online is:

  • Follow the age restrictions e.g. Facebook is currently 13 years old
  • Have the passwords to all of the accounts that your child creates
  • Inform your child that you will monitor their accounts sporadically for their own safety and for your peace of mind
  • Put privacy settings on
  • Advise your child not to post content that could harm themselves or other people.
  • Inform your child that anything that they post or send digitally will become permanent and could be presented by recipients as evidence of ‘malicious communication’
  • Advise your child not to participate in anonymous 'chat'
  • Advise your child to block, delete and report users or posts that worry them
  • Ensure unpleasant or inappropriate communications are saved or screen- shot, and discussed with you, and if necessary brought to the attention of school or police.

We also recommend that you:

  • Regulate the amount of time that your child spends texting/speaking on the phone
  • Observe your child's moods in connection with access to any devices
  • Have regular conversations with your child about her friendships online and offline.

Here are some useful resources:
Think U Know - How to...guides
NSPCC / Net Aware - Your guide to the social media & networks your kids use
Vodafone - 'Digital Parenting' magazine
ChildNet - ‘Family Agreement’ on use of the internet
saferinternet – raising awareness of the latest trends in children’s internet use
Young Minds, Childline, Harmless,, etc
Sydenham School website - Support and advice on the under ‘parents and visitors’.

'Live My Digital', is a video series and downloadable online safety factsheets to help parents help their children to stay safe online - The series consists of six short films for parents and six matching films for children to empower families to use social media safely and responsibly, covering:

  • Cyberbullying
  • The digital footprint
  • Identity and self-esteem
  • Relationships and grooming
  • Security and privacy
  • Sexting

Year 11 GCSEs

As you all aware, the GCSE exams are beginning in earnest and pupils are gradually coming to the end of their time as Year 11 students.

As we move towards half term, pupils will have sat several exams and therefore will no longer have lessons in certain subjects. As a result, we will be putting in place an alternative timetable from 5th June onwards which will take into account the exams that have been completed and any upcoming exams.

Faculties will be running specific timetabled sessions for the remaining exams that are compulsory for the pupils who take that subject. We will also be running revision breakfasts in the mornings from 8am until 8:40am for certain subjects which again will provide pupils with subject specialist support.

A  copy of the collapsed timetable will be placed on the School Website and pupils will be given a fully copy of this on Monday 15th May. Please do take note of when the sessions are. Your support in ensuring that your daughter is punctual to all relevant sessions and to every exam is much appreciated.

For the duration of all revision sessions and exams, pupils will be expected to wear their full and correct school uniform. Please do support us in ensuring that your daughter is reminded of this and follows this expectation.

If you do have any further queries about the arrangement for Year 11s, please do contact me on 0208 699 6731 ext 436 or at And the very best of luck to all of our pupils in taking their exams.



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