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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 207


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

Today is Sports Day and we are keeping our fingers crossed that the weather will hold and that we will not be soaked as a result of the intermittent showers that are forecast for parts of the south east! Students have practised hard and staff have worked tirelessly to make Sports Day happen.  I would like to thank them all. We are looking forward to sharing the pictures and results of the day with you in the SYD Newsletter next week. You will see from SYD this week that the school has achieved exceptional success in the Tag Rugby tournament. This is a relatively new sport for us and our success is testimony to the great team work of the girls, their talent, as well as the excellent coaching of Maggie Hammond, who is also a parent of the school. Well done everyone!

We were delighted to invite Doctor Carolin Crawford into school this week for a whole day of lectures to different groups of students. Dr Crawford inspired the students and reminded us that we are a tiny planet in a giant cosmos. Giving us all the opportunity to pause and reflect on our place in the universe was both thought provoking and humbling. The Arts also feature in this edition. Well done to our two Sixth Formers who are exhibiting their work at the Royal Academy A Level Exhibition. Their selection to participate and recognition is well deserved and we look forward to seeing their work displayed in such a prestigious and beautiful gallery.

The students, and staff, seem to have managed the heatwave well. Please do keep on ensuring that your children come to school with all of the things needed to protect themselves from the sun and any summer allergies.

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

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe


Visit from Dr. Carolin Crawford - The Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge


Dr Carolin Crawford, from the Institute of Astronomy, came into school on Tuesday 20th June to talk to our students about black holes, exoplanets, cosmology and exploring the solar system.  She spoke after school about careers in science. Dr Crawford's enthusiasm for physics and space was infectious and the photographs that she showed of our solar system were beautiful.  The wide range of scientific careers as well as the opportunities to work all over the world (and in Space!) captured imaginations and the young minds that were privileged to hear Dr Crawford speak. 

Fiona Taylor, Careers and Enterprise Coordinator.

Royal Academy Success for SFH6 Art History A Level Students  

Holly Chacksfield, Napoleon Series

Two SFH6 students, Holly Chacksfield and Rory O’Neill have been selected to exhibit in the Royal Academy A Level Summer Exhibition 2017.

The prestigious exhibition is open to all A Level Art students across the country. 2,400 students applied with only 49 selected. With great pride, we can announce that two of those students attend our school.

Holly’s project involved staged photographs as herself dressed as Napoleon in unusual contexts. Holly was exploring themes as broad as patriarchal power and the Vietnam War.

Rory made a film about the artist Alberto Giacometti influenced by the plays of Samuel Beckett.

The success of the students is partly due to the rigorous challenges posed by the A Level Art History course. Students are required to research art history themes in depth and then use this knowledge and understanding to create both artworks and academic essays.

Turner Prize winner, Wolfgang Tillmans was one of the judges. He said: “It is easy to dismiss 16-18 year-olds as not knowing what they are thinking and feeling. But the privilege of being on the jury this year allowed me to witness the clarity of thought, vision, and intuition that a young mind has.”

Mr Edwards

Rory O’Neill, Giacometti’s Rock


Year 7 Showcase

Thank you to all the families who attended a successful Year 7 Curriculum Showcase evening. We were delighted to be able to welcome so many families and would like to thank you for coming in to see the excellent work that your daughters have produced over the year.We hope that the evening was particularly informative and that you were given the chance to experience what Year 7 have achieved at the end of their first year. The aim of the evening was to provide an insight into what Year 7 have been learning, as well as how they have been learning.

Thank you also to all the staff and students who turned out in support of our school and the event. Your energy and commitment were truly appreciated.

Lastly, a huge thank you to those families who took the time to give written feedback on the event. Your comments and opinions are always valued. We are open to exploring new and exciting ways which will engage families further in the education of their children.  We would like to give other families the opportunity to feedback.  Please follow the link below to complete a very short survey  on the event.

Aldrica  Smart
Year 7 Learning Coordinator


Year 9 Peer Mentors

Congratulations to the Year 9 Peer Mentors who were awarded in Assembly this week for their excellent contribution to pastoral support at Sydenham School. All have volunteered their time for a whole school term to support and encourage Year 7 students, with aspects of school life. Well done for being positive role models and a source of friendship and positivity for others in our school community.

Cashless Catering  

It has been a long wait but we know that students and parents are pleased we are about to launch our cashless catering service. On Tuesday we enrolled the whole school onto the cashless catering system and the students were very excited to either record a partial thumb print or to receive a pin code. The system will be in operation from Monday, 26th June, so please ensure that if your daughter has a paid meal that you have paid their lunch money into their lunch account. This can be done via ParentPay or by using the bar code we have sent you, at a PayPoint in a local shop. From Monday the Dining Hall will not be able to accept cash at the tills.

If you have any questions please have a look at our Cashless Catering' frequently asked questions' page on the website, at this link -

If you have any difficulty with any part of the system please feel welcome to contact Paulette Wilks-Hamid regarding the cashless catering system or Sarah Anatole regarding ParentPay, both in the main office.

Thank you,

Joanne Smith
Director of Resources


LSSSA Tag Rugby Festival

On Wednesday 14th June Year 7s and 8s were invited to play in a rugby festival. We won all of our matches and so therefore the tournament. We won 6-0, 7-0 and 5-1. The team consisted of myself, Charlotte, Shenae, Juliet and Tiverhe. Congratulations to everyone who played.
Written by Angahard – 7N

Sydenham School hosted the 2nd Girls Tag Rugby Festival at Bonus Pastor Playing Fields. It was a gloriously sunny day and all the teams were in great spirits. The teams played 10 minute matches. It was clear from the start that our team were the most prepared and skilled at different passes and using effective defending and attacking formations. A thank you must go to Maggie Hammond for coaching the team all year. Also to Ronnie in Year 10 for helping with the coaching and refereeing.

Results are as follows:


Year 7 Speech Competition

Year 7 students put on a fantastic Speech Slam during their assembly on Monday. Representatives from each form spoke articulately, sensitively and with passion on a variety of topics including feminism, anxiety and terrorism. The winner was the eloquent Imogen from 7E. She delivered a powerful speech discussing the uneven representation of women in sport and the discrepancies in pay between male and female athletes. The judges praised her excellent projection and use of intonation to convey feeling into her delivery. The speech had a clear structure and purpose throughout and a powerful conclusion. Well done Imogen!

All of the participants made their form groups proud and should be congratulated for their effort, courage and professionalism. Well done Year 7!

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

Last weekend, Year 12 students embarked on the first of their two expeditions as part of their Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. 

It was a testing weekend and the students had to carry all their food, tents, cooking equipment and clothes to last them 3 days and 2 nights. The expedition took place along with the hilly terrain of the South Downs and the very hot weather proved a struggle at times. However, the students persevered and all managed to pass the practice expedition. 

The assessed expedition is in two weeks' time in the New Forest. Good luck everyone and let's hope for cooler weather!


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