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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 212


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

As ever, this edition of SYD offers an insight into some of the many activities and events that have taken place at Sydenham School during the last two weeks. I hope that the last couple of weeks have been good ones for you and your children too. Our last Open Session for prospective Year 7 families takes place next week on Thursday 5th October. The first 3 have been extremely well attended and our student ambassadors have been keen to show our visitors around and to explain why they are so passionate about their school. This included the Open Session that took place on Saturday 23rd September and had as many student volunteers as all of the others!

You will see from an item later on in SYD that there will be a Statutory Inspection for Children with Special Needs and Disabilities taking place in the borough of Lewisham between the 2nd and 6th October. Whilst it will not affect Sydenham School directly, the Inspectors are keen for all families to be aware and to participate. Please see the details below.

I would like to recommend a good read to you. You will now be aware that we are continuing to develop our learning and teaching though the framework of ‘High Performance Learning’ (HPL). World renowned Professor Deborah Eyre who developed the ideas in this framework and who is working with the school has written a second book (as a co-author) called ‘Great Minds and How to Grow Them’. It is a thinking piece for parents on how to best support their children in their ‘learning journey’. In the preface, the authors state that ‘…we have written this book so that more children can make the most of themselves because their parents understand the irreplaceable role they have to play in their children’s educational success, regardless of how well-or not- they did in the education system, regardless of whether they have lots of money-or very little….’. It is a useful read and one I recommend to you wholeheartedly.

Please can I remind you of the mobile phone rule. Phones should be turned off when students get to the school gate and should be placed in the bottom of bags. They should not be turned on again until students have got beyond the school gates (at whatever time their ‘school day’ finishes). Several phones have gone off this term during the school day. It is an inconvenience to you to have to make the time to come in and meet with me in order to have the phone returned. This could take days or more according to my Diary. Please can you speak about this school rule with your child. The ‘no mobile phone’ in school rule has led to a settled, calm and purposeful learning environment. Students and staff appreciate the culture shift that has occurred across the school.

Finally, whilst the vast majority of students arrive to school in good time i.e. between 8 and 8 40 am, there is still a very small number of students who do not. Arriving to school late has a negative impact on learning and progress. Please ensure that your daughter/son have good habits which will support them in being successful in school.

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

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe


I would like to inform you that Lewisham will be subject to a Statutory Inspection of Services for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.  The inspection will take place from the 2nd to the 6th of October 2017.

Click the link for more information:


A-Level Product Design Trip:  An Interview with Jay Osgerby


SFH6 A-Level Product Designers were invited to a special interview with Jay Osgerby, part-founder of Barber & Osgerby.  Their designs include the London 2012 Olympic torch, large-scale moving sculptures at the Victoria and Albert Museum and collaborations with giants like the Science Museum, Google, BMW and Honda. The opportunity to have a Q&A with a world-class designer is a rare opportunity!

The best part of the morning was how very relaxed and down to earth Jay was, whilst showing slides of the most remarkable design and manufacture in which he and his partner have been involved.  Not only did Jay take students through the design processes of project like Barber & Osgerby’s winning bid to design the London 2012 torch, Jay also spoke candidly about his love for his job and the career choices he made which got him there.

The whole session was inspirational and really interesting . We would like to thank SFH6 the Head of the D and T Department at Prendergast School, Ms Russel De Boer,for extending the invitation to attend this event.

Students really enjoyed the morning and got a lot out of it. Some of the feedback we received included:

‘It made me think about the future and what kind of courses to do; it also made me think of work experience in this kind of area.’

‘Jay has  motivated me to develop my skills and take a new approach to designing.’

‘The presentation helped give me insight into the design industry. It also helped inspire me and gave me motivation to pursue Product Design at University.’

Mr Bima
Subject Leader for Product Design


News From The Library


We have had an exceptionally busy few weeks in the Library, welcoming all of our Year 7 students. Year 7 have been making good use of our opening hours of 8:00am to 5:00pm, to come and read and do their homework and are clearly embracing the school's ethos of ensuring that everyone brings a book with them to read. In the past few weeks, we have issued over 1500 books!

The Year 7 students have also been having weekly lessons in the Library where they are learning how to get the best from our resources and in addition, have each been given a welcome gift of the book AniMalcom by the author and comedian David Baddiel. 

This week we are introducing the students to our online ‘Reading Cloud’ where they can access the entire Library catalogue from home. Please look out for a letter  that will be brought home with all the necessary information on how you can help your child to get the best from Reading Cloud, as well as track their reading history.

Mrs Joseph
Library Officer


Fast Five Netball Tournament at the O2 Arena

On Saturday 23rd September Ms Griffiths and Ms Downey took some of the students to watch a Fast Five netball tournament at the 02 Arena. This tournament was different to a netball tournament because there are only 5 players on court (no wing positions) and teams can score extra points from shooting and scoring from different areas. The closest to the post is worth 1 point, just before the shooting circle is worth 3 points and outside the shooting circle is worth 5 points. There is also a power play button that the coaches can press which means that if their team scores a point within the 2 minute power play time, then their score is doubled. This puts the shooters under pressure to score and the defending team will then need to step up their defensive skills. During power play the highest points that could be scored is 10 points from shooting outside the shooting circle.

The atmosphere was great and the students enjoyed watching professional netball players such as Kadeene Corbin, Helen Howsbee and Rachel Dun (who also plays Netball for England) .Some of our students even got their picture taken with the Goal Shooter and Goal Defence on the WASPS team.

Year 8 Netball vs Sydenham High School

A Team Match

On Monday 25th September Sydenham’s Year 8 netball team played a friendly netball match against Sydenham High School. This was a tense match as there has always been local rivalry between these two teams. In the first quarter, Sydenham School got two early goals but Sydenham High School very quickly equalised. We knew we had to step up our game and by the end of the second quarter we were leading 6-3. This was a good lead for our team but we still had half the match to go. In the third quarter Sydenham High School got close to our lead. However, we opened the gap with another goal to make the score 7-5. But in the fourth quarter, our team let their guard down and allowed Sydenham High School to equalise, causing the final score to be a draw i.e 7-7. This was not a complete loss for our team as compared to this time last year we lost to Sydenham High School. This shows that we have defiantly improved our game and will continue to get better. We are looking forward to the rematch game later on in the year.


Match Report By Imogen 8E
Well done to the A team players - Izzy 7D, Lia 8A, Holly 8S, Imogen 8E, Lily 8E, Vivienne 8S, Jaida 8E

B Team Match

In the first quarter, we were not very used to the opposing players and their speed, agility and technique. This lead to Sydenham High School scoring 2 goals in the first quarter. Luckily we were not too upset by it. We swapped positions and in the second quarter we adapted better to the game play. However, Sydenham High School still managed to get another 2 goals in. This brought the score to 4-0 by the end of the first half. Sydenham High School had a good lead on us! We decided to swap the positions for the next quarter (mainly our shooters). Our PE teacher/coach Ms Downey  was our good luck charm, as she changed the positions of the players and this definitely helped us going into the 3rd quarter. We wanted at least one goal in before the end of the game. Everyone was better suited to their positions and everyone on the team moved much better. As a result we were getting possession of the ball a lot more. Then all of a sudden we got 1 goal after the other bringing the score to 4-4 by the end of the third quarter. The last quarter was all to play for, everyone worked very hard and the pressure was on. We scored, then Sydenham High School scored, then we scored again. The final score at the end of the match was 7-5 to us.

Well done to the B team players – Ellie 8Y, Freya 8Y, Charlotte 8S, Mikah 8S, Brianna 8S, Emmanuella 8Y, Lauren 8E, Tallulah 8A,

Well done to all the Year 8 A and B teams. It was a fantastic first match of the season.


Year 7 Netball

Year 7 played the first Netball fixture of the the school year- in fact this was their first ever fixture here at Sydenham School. The girls were really excited and wanted to get going. We played Sydenham High School on home territory. Both teams played extremely well and did not give up. The team spirit was excellent, with lots of encouragement, positive talking and helpful feedback.
Results: Sydenham School A  2      Sydenham High School  A  23
               Sydenham School B  0     Sydenham High School  B 2

Well done everyone. We are looking forward to the next match.


High Performance Learning (HPL) Dare to be Challenged Project  

As we move into our second year of our High Performance Learning at Sydenham School, we have been delighted to see the launch of our exciting Year 7 ‘Dare to be Challenged’ Project. 

The aims of this project are:

  • To teach students about the values of taking on challenges and overcoming failure
  • To give students new learning opportunities in areas they have not tried before
  • To engage and include families in their daughters’ learning journey
  • To build an understanding of HPL and enrich the main curriculum
  • To promote independence and an ethos that learning does not stop when you leave the classroom.

Our new Year 7 students have already impressed us with their commitment to this project and have engaged in a variety of summer practise projects  taking on a new skill of their choosing.  These have included learning how to cook ,learning Vietnamese and learning how to be a songwriter.   Students have been engaging in Meta thinking (learning about how they learn) through their tutor programme, finding out how to adjust their learning approach as well as how to build growth Mindsets.  Our first ‘Dare to be Challenged’ drop down day will put these findings to the test on Thursday 19th October 2017.

On this day, all year 7 students will be 'off timetable' from 8.50am – 3.20pm taking part in a new challenge of their choosing; including learning sign language, First Aid, Irish Dancing and Mandarin to name just a few. It will then be down to the students to practise and develop this skill across the year. 

Our parents and guardians are key to supporting this learning and we would like to invite you all to a really important evening event on the same day where you will learn everything you need to know to help them practice this specific skill. We will provide top tips, demonstrations, practical sessions and handouts as well as an insight into how you can use HPL at home to support your daughter’s learning journey.

The ‘Dare to be Challenged’ evening event starts at 5.00pm until 6.30pm. We would like every year 7 student to attend along with one adult, as we know this will be an essential component of your daughter’s success here at Sydenham School.

Following this event there will be a Parent Forum for all families with children in all yaers. This will be a Parent Forum that focuses solely on High Performance Learning . This is an optional event from 6.30pm – 7.30pm and will  focus on how to use HPL to support learning at home. The ideas that will be shared in this session will be relevant for all students in the school and therefore relevant for all families.

As well as attending this event, families can help by:

* Learning alongside your child. Take on the challenge together!
* Helping to build Growth Mindsets.  Sometimes when things get tough it is important to have someone there to say; “you cannot do it YET!”.  
* Reminding your child of the importance of regular practice and helping them to structure their time properly; writing a homework timetable so they are putting regular time aside to work on their challenge, each week, rather than just trying to do it at the end.
* Giving ideas and being excited about learning. If you are interested and excited, your child will see it as important and want to do well.

Keep an eye out for a letter over the next couple of weeks that will tell you about what students need to bring and wear on the ‘Dare to be Challenged’ drop down day. There will also be further details about the evening events.

We look forward to seeing you at these events and discovering how our school community takes on this new and exciting challenge. 

Kate Slipper
Lead Practitioner of Learning and Teaching



Parent Forum on Thursday 19th October

5:00 to 6:30 – Year 7 families only “Meet Key Staff Evening” and Dare To Be Challenged Parent Launch
This event is for Year 7 parents/carers only to come and meet with key staff at the school, including the Head of Key Stage, Mrs Emmanuel, Mr Ronson, the Year Learning Co-Ordinator and Form Tutors. Parents/carers will also have the opportunity to learn about the' Dare To Be Challenged'  Project and begin to learn the skill their child has been focusing on during the 'Dare To Be Challenged' Drop-Down Day.

6:30 to 7:30 – Parent Forum - Open to parents of all year groups
This event is the termly Parent Forum that is open to parents of students in all year groups, and we hope that Year 7 parents will remain with us for this part of the evening too. The meeting will be led by Ms Morrison, Associate assistant Headteacher ,who will be discussing 21st Century High Performance Learning. We will also be undertaking a variety of activities with parents on how they can build High Performance Learning skills at home.

Queen Mary, University of London, Summer School, August 2017

Maja and Angela, who are currently in Year 12 and Year 11, attended the Queen Mary, Physics and Astronomy Summer School, in August 2017.  This is a free week of workshops and practical experiments.  They wanted to let other pupils know how much fun they had.
Angela: I found out about this university through the website.  This is where I applied for the Summer School and was accepted.
Maja: I discovered the opportunity while searching for physics and astronomy courses online – it was one of the first results.  I feel there are many opportunities like this but not enough people know where to start looking.
Maja and Angela: We were divided into four groups, all led by university graduates of relevant subjects.  Angela and I were in the group dedicated to studying Newton’s Rings – a phenomena that occurs due to light interference.  For a week, we had fun doing physics and meeting like-minded people in a lab setting, as well as exploring university life.
Angela:  I really enjoyed meeting new people, with similar interests to me, and working on our research task together.  I also like the control we had over how we managed our time to meet the deadline – which is when we presented our work.
Maja: We were given full control over the experiment and had the opportunity to approach the problems we faced in a mature manner.  I particularly enjoyed this, as it helped me develop my skills as an independent scientist.
Angela and Maja: We would recommend KS4 students to look for opportunities in their preferred subject area, as not only are Summer Schools enjoyable; they help to develop skills that cannot always be practised in a classroom.  It also looks fantastic on your CV.

The Queen Mary Summer School was free for Maja and Angela to attend.

See more free events – an Engineering Spring School and a Pathways to Law programme for year 12 students:

Type Widening Participation in London University into your search engine – for more exciting opportunities to explore higher education from Year 7 upwards.


Women in Technology Discovery Event

Learn about the creative, inspiring and well-paid jobs in technology.  Meet real technology employers.  Get inspired by successful women working in the technology sector.  Student tickets are sold out, but we have checked, and you can request a parent ticket and take a couple of children with you. This is an excellent free event.


Key Stage 4: timetable of support

Click the link to view


Music Notice

Mr Emery, our guitar teacher is on paternity leave for two weeks and therefore guitar lessons will not take place on Thursday 28th September or Thursday 5th October. Students should check the music notice board for further details over the next two weeks. We send our congratulations and best wishes to Mr Emery and his family.


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