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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 204


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

The Newsletter this week is full of lots of activities and experiences that we hope your children continue to appreciate and continue to enjoy. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the school community for working so hard to make the school experience a positive and successful one for our students. Today we said a formal goodbye to Year 11 at the end of their Key Stage 4 studies. The assembly was a fitting tribute to all of their achievements throughout the 5 years that they have been here so far.

We are delighted that a record number of students are choosing to return to SFH6 after their exams and the summer break. We  believe that is a reflection of the high quality relationships and good teaching that the students have experienced so far. Please do contact the school at any point, if there are any aspects of school life that you wish to discuss further. I hope that you have a restful and enjoyable half term together and we look forward to welcoming students back to school on Monday 5th June at normal school time.

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe


Footbridge Meeting


On the 10th March, Amelia in Year 10 and Chantelle in Year 9 attended a meeting along with Lewisham Citizens at the Civic Suite with the Mayor of Lewisham, Steve Bullock and Councillor Chris Best.  One of the main issues raised at the meeting was the poor lighting of the footbridge which connects Sydenham and Forest Hill.

Both students spoke powerfully  about the lack of safety and negative experiences of Sydenham students, staff , as well as members of the public when using the footbridge and presented a petition made up of student and staff signatures. We hope that as a result of bringing our concerns to the Council in this way that we will gain a commitment for adequate lighting to be installed as soon as possible making the use of the footbridge safer for everyone.

Both the Mayor and Councillor Best responded encouragingly and reiterated the challenges that the Council faces in trying to resolve this matter. These include the fact that Network Rail is ultimately responsible for the footbridge and not the Council. We are pleased to report however that there remains a long-term commitment to build a brand new bridge in the future. The plans for the new bridge which have been several years in the making have been difficult to progress, in part because of Network Rail’s reluctance to stop trains coming through and using the track at all times!

In spite of these problems we were adamant that something needed to change and were able to secure the following commitments:

  • Councillor Chris Best will look into creative ways of solving the lighting problem. This will include talking to the Highways Department about the possible lighting options and cutting back the trees to make it less dark.
  • The Mayor and Councillor Best agreed to involve Sydenham School and Lewisham Citizens in any future plans for the bridge crossing.
  • Councillor Best will arrange a meeting with us and the various people involved in ensuring that change happens including Network Rail.
  • Lewisham Citizens agreed to speak with the Bonhoeffer Church which is sited at the foot of the Forest Hill side of the bridge, about the possibility of getting lighting put on their church to illuminate the bridge.

We are one step nearer to making the footbridge a safer place for all.  Watch this space!

Janet Emmanuel


Parent Forum

Reminder:  Parent Forum 

There will be a meeting on Wednesday June 7th between 7.00pm - 8.00pm in the Main School Hall.

The topic is: OFSTED Feedback from the recent Inspection of the school which took place in March 2017.

This will be an opportunity for you to hear from the Senior Leaders of the school and for you to ask any questions about the outcome of the Inspection.


Uniform Update  


New Uniform Update - for September 2017 Year 7 intake only

We are very pleased  that our school supplier, Wearabouts, have confirmed that the new blazers, skirts and KS3 plain jumpers will be in stock in June. Information packs complete with a full uniform list, will be with new families very soon.
A working party is being formed to continue the design process for the new logo/website.  This will consist of students, staff , Governors and parents.

Watch Out For Our Languages Leaders! They are great!  

We have many 'great expectations'  as we will be planning activities with our “Newly Qualified Language Leaders” for next year. We are also are very pleased to announce that we will be teaching more students at another primary school and it will include Spanish language teaching too.  

I asked some of the girls’ opinions about their experiences and here is what they told us:

“The  Language Leader Primary School experiences at Elliot Bank have been absolutely mesmerising and fun. We have jumped into teacher’s shoes and managed to teach lessons to  primary aged pupils in French. This language leader programme enables us to co-operate with others, speak more confidently and in addition to learn more vocabulary in French. It is definitely an experience that we as 'Language Leaders' will never forget”.

“From my experience as a  Language Leader I have learnt how to prepare a lesson with a specific age group to teach. I enjoyed this because it made me have to think carefully about what would motivate younger learners and keep them focused. My favourite part of teaching the pupils was at the end because they looked really happy and as if they had learnt some important and new skills.”

“I have really enjoyed participating in the Language Leader award this year. It has been really exciting planning all the lessons and then being able to teach them and to see the children that we are working with enjoying them. This experience has helped me become more appreciative of my teachers and all the work they do to plan our lessons”.


Year 7 Rounders vs Sydenham High School

On Tuesday 23rd May, the Year 7 Rounders team had their first friendly rounders match against Sydenham High School. They played two rounds of 8 minutes’ innings. Our team decided to field first.

It was a bit of a shaky start which included letting in quite a few balls roll past our fielders! We were also a little unsure of which base to throw the ball to but after a little 'talk' there was much improvement. The first round ended with Sydenham High School winning 8 rounders to 5 rounders although we did get 6 of their players out to our 3.

In the second innings our girls really picked up the pace. There was a fantastic interaction between the backstop (Kitty), the bowler (Imogen) and 2nd base (Elodie). Between them they managed to stop a number of rounders being scored and get quite a few players out. Our deep fielders improved their skill using the long barrier effectively and throwing the ball to the correct base. Also well done to Charlotte for catching two lovely high balls and getting the other players out!
It was encouraging to see the improvement throughout the innings and we are sure that we will be able to put all of this experience and learning to good use in the LSSSA Year Rounders that are taking place a few weeks after half term.

Well done to (back row L to R): Tallulah, Arabella, Charlotte, Lia, Imogen and Jaida
(front row L to R): Eldoie, Scarlett and Kitty

Year 8 Rounder's Match vs Hatcham  

On the 23rd of May our Year 8 Rounders team played a friendly Rounders match against Hatcham school.
It was great to see the progress that the Sydenham Team had made in just 2 weeks and that there had been alot of  learning from the previous game against Sydenham High School.
Our fielders worked really well together especially our  back stop and second base. There were also some great hits to the outfield which ensured we were victorious on the day. Sydenham school won 15 1/2 rounders' to 3 1/2. Well done everyone. It was excellent team work!

Well done to the following girls:
Queenie, Annabelle, Hope, Keziah, Keisha, Leila, Eva, Ellie, Matilda.
A fantastic effort girls, Well done!


Year 9 Athletics

On Monday 22nd May, some of the Year 9 Athletics team went to Sydenham High School sports ground for a friendly Athletics Tournament against Sydenham High School. This event gave our athletes the chance to try different field and track events and practice and develop their technique. They  took part in Shot Put, Discuss, Javelin, Long Jump, 800m, 200m, 100m and 4X100m Relay events. our competitors learnt how to measure in the throwing events and were able to get some independent feedback. Everyone was very supportive of each other during their events and all girls did well.

Florence – 1st in Shot Put and Discus
Brianna - 3rd in Long Jump and 2nd in 200m
Tia – 1st in 100m and 2nd in Long Jump
Shannon, Valenteen, Brianna and Tia – 1st in 4x100m Relay

Well done to all the girls that took part.
Florence, Tamsin, Brianna, Valentine, Tia, Shannon



The Sydenham School MOS TestFest will take place between 10AM and 2PM on Wednesday 31st May 2017 in Rm SL003. Places are limited, and students are urged to sign up to attend on the day by completing this form.

Each test takes around 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete.

To help you get prepared, you can use the following:
1)     Sign in to using your school email address and password. Then use the Redeem Enrollment Code option to sign up to the following courses:
·        Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 - 7DWY9F5BL69YM8
·        Microsoft Word 2016 - 4259T36J6UDCU9
·        Microsoft Excel 2016 - VY8NBMR65CVE8U

2)     Download the practice test software from and once installed sign up for a GMetrix account. Then use the following access code to get to the practice tests: 01938-SYD-66128.

Note the practice tests contains help prompts which obviously won’t appear in the real tests, so you do need to be well-prepared!
3)     Ensure you have downloaded the Office 2016 applications for free by signing in with your school email address and password at

This will be the first of many opportunities to undertake the MOS tests at Sydenham School, so students who don’t feel quite ready to have a go this half term, can still get started and join us for other TestFests next academic year.


Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Practice Expedition

On Saturday and Sunday last weekend 60 entrepid students from Years 9 and 10 made their way to Dorking to put the skills they have learnt in the last few weeks  on their Duke of Edingburgh course to the test.

Everyone was in groups of 6 and had planned their routes, planned and brought their food for the weekend and had all the equipment to camp out and cook for themselves overnight.

It was a steep learning curve for most groups, mainly with their map reading skills (some teams walked a lot further than planned!) and how physically and mentally demanding the journey would be. I think students underestimated how much slower they would be with their 65 litre rucksacks!

But nevertheless, they completed the practice expedition and through trial and error now have much better camp craft, team work and most importantly map reading skills.

Well done to all the students involved. Myself and Ms Bown were very impressed with the perseverance, resilience and team work that was shown by all for the duration of the weekend.

Their assessed expedition is in 3 weeks time, leaving plenty of time for their bruised shoulders and hips, aching muscles and blistered feet to recover.


Primary Concert - Songfest

On Wednesday the 24th May Sydenham School hosted Songfest, a concert with Sydenham pupils and those from two feeder Primary Schools - Adamsrill & Childeric.

This Concert was a wonderful evening of singing and featured the Sydenham Year 7 & 8 and Chamber Choirs as well as solo performances from Lily, Shante & Eliza.


GCSE Art Exhibition

Last Friday, Governors, families, staff, students and other guests celebrated the fantastic achievements of our Year 11 GCSE Art students who staged a wonderful exhibition of work in the School Library. Over a hundred pieces of works of art were on show -  from impressive clay pots, expressive self portraits and striking responses to society, politics and history; all heralding  the creativity of our students. Our fantastic Art teachers are very proud of the students and would like to congratulate and thank them all for the hard work and commitment given throughout the GCSE course.

One parent commented, "The artwork was stunning.  The ambiance of the event was lovely with music and refreshments.  A truly stunning event that I am sure the artists all felt very proud to be part of".

The exhibition has also been open for students to visit throughout this week, delighting and inspiring our younger students.

Ms Henderson would also like to say "Thank you to all our guests, staff and students for their continued support and commitment to Visual Arts and the vital role that art plays in developing the  expressive responses of students to the changing world around them."


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