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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 214


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

I hope that you were able to join us this week for our fantastic whole school production and that you enjoyed it as much as we did! I would like to say a big thank you and well done to all of the students and staff involved in this event. Both the ‘Living Museum’ and ‘The Time Lady’ were thoroughly enjoyed by all of the families who came to see them. The turnout was excellent and you spoke with pride about your children. In both productions a large number of students took up a variety of roles both on the stage or as one of the many hands working back stage on the set, music, publicity, lights, costumes etc. Older students took responsibility for significant areas and guided the younger students in developing their craft. As ever, it was a delight to experience all of this and the participation of a wide section of the school community was clearly in evidence.

It was also a real pleasure to be able to celebrate one hundred years of world history and one hundred years of our history as a school. Clearly much has changed in that time and yet much has stayed the same. The rights of women have improved, thankfully, during the last century. However, the world remains an unequal place and the need for true equality remains. Historical figures such as Claudia Jones, Virginia Wolfe and Eleanor Marx reminded us, in role, of the power of the individual to make a difference despite the gender discrimination that they faced.

The performers paid tribute to the importance of their education as young women in the 21st century; an educational experience that celebrates diversity, inclusivity, tolerance and equality. It was quite clear that the students have a huge pride in their school community too.

The production was a fantastic collaborative effort and staff and students worked together to create an atmospheric performance space that transported the audience mentally into a different reality. Whole school performances give students the opportunity to find a voice and to express themselves through movement, music or a technical expertise. They help build our school community and reinforce our shared values. Long may they last!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff for all of the time that they selflessly gave to the students in devising, writing, auditioning, practising and delivering this event. We plan for there to be a lasting physical legacy, including framed biographies of the leading women who came to life in the ‘Living Museum’ and through our archives a permanent display of the excellent historic pictures that we have of the school throughout the ages. I would also like to thank the PTA for providing delicious refreshments on the 2 nights. Finally, a reminder that we are selling our classic (and fast disappearing) centenary badges for £2. These will be on sale again at the Winter Concert.

As ever, I hope that you have a lovely and restful weekend when you get there.

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe


Year 10 - Work Experience Launch

Tuesday 7th November 2017 - 5.30 to 6.30pm - Main School Hall
Year 10 Work Experience Summer 2018 – Monday 2nd to Friday 13th July 2018.
All Year 10 students and their parents are invited to the Work Experience Launch meeting on Tuesday 7th November to find out more about this exciting event in the school calendar.
For details, please see the letter that was emailed to all Year 10 parents on 14 September 2017 notifying them of this important meeting

The Year 10 Work Experience Own Find Form to give to employers is also on the school website:

Fiona Taylor, Careers and Enterprise Coordinator


Acosta Danza at Sadler’s Wells


On Wednesday 27th of September, we had the opportunity to watch Acosta Danza at Sadler’s Wells. It was performed by Carlos Acosta and his company and it was incredible to watch. Although Carlos Acosta retired last year, he made a special appearance to perform at Sadlers Wells and we were incredibly lucky to be able to watch it. In one dance, the stage was completely black and they danced with torches to create atmosphere. My favourite dance was a classical ballet piece where the women danced en pointe; it was very beautiful to watch. Overall, I found the whole evening inspirational and we were very lucky that the Dance department had access to these tickets.
Martha  9E.

Language Week  

“We love languages at Sydenham”!

It never fails to surprise us how our students enrich our school and local community and our lives. Our student ‘Language  Leaders’ in conjunction with our EAL students have worked hard, every lunch-time since the first day of term, to create, the most wonderful celebration that lasted for a full week.  The last week of September was declared “Language Week”. Two videos, tutor time activities, assemblies, a competition and languages lessons at Eliot Banks Primary School, created a fine environment in which we celebrated the 69 different languages we speak at our school!  Among  the most widespread are:  French, Yoruba, Spanish, Arabic, Tamil, Portuguese, Albanian, Somalian, Italian, Twi, Turkish, Polish and Ghanaian. It was wonderful to see students going out of their assemblies uplifted, proud of their school and recognising the fantastic multicultural character of our community.   At Eliot Bank school, the younger students were taught Romanian, Arabic, Spanish and Punjabi by Sydenham students. They enjoyed the teaching and felt honoured to be taught by the older girls. Well done everyone!

Nerissa mesmerising Eliot bank students with Arabic!

The winners of ‘name the country’ in the Flag competition were Y7, Y8 and Y10 students: Dulcie, Oriana, Honor, Gala, Frances-Marie and Veronica congratulations! Felicitations to the first group of Language Leaders who were awarded the ‘Language Leader Award’ our Headteacher Mrs Lowe in Year 9 were Lara, Lalitha, Michelle, Jasmine, Chloe, Leah, Nancy, Rokaya, Hadil and Melissa in Year 11. Due to their excellent efforts and contributions, our new Language Ambassadors are Hadil, Chloe, Rokaya, Michel and Melissa whom we thank for their excellent  work that made our ‘Language Week’ so successful. Special thanks go to Mahely for producing the videos.

Melissa  teaching the primary class Spanish!

G. Ossa (Subject Leader - Spanish)


Visit to Oxford

On Wednesday during half term, myself and a group of 8 other SFH6 students visited Queen’s College at Oxford University and a further 8 students visited Gonville and Caius at Cambridge. These were the first visits as part of the Lewisham Oxbridge Group Programme. The visit to Oxford was especially for students interested in the Arts and Humanities whilst the visit to Cambridge was designed for thoseof us  interested in studying STEM subjects.

At the Oxford visit we began with a short talk from our Lewisham representative about the differences between studying at Oxford or Cambridge compared to at other universities. We then split into two groups, one for those interested in History, Geography or other Social Sciences and one for those interested in English, Modern Languages or Linguistics. The former were given a lecture about the History of Britain and Europe whilst the latter, which I was a part of, attended a tutorial with a professor specialising in medieval literature, where we solved riddles in old English and talked about how books used to be made with animal skin and eaten by maggots!

Overall, it was a  fun and interesting visit that helped us get a clearer picture about what and where we would like to study, whether our end goal is to study at Oxbridge or not.
Joseph Year 12


International Day of the Girl event

On Wednesday before half term, a group of Year 10 students ventured to the London Eye for the International Day of the Girl event. We took part in 'speed mentoring', where we had the opportunity to talk one-to-one to motivational professionals from computer science entrepreneurs, to sole traders in the world of media.We then went into the Royal Festival Hall and heard speeches from young women who were changing the status quo through campaigns and entrepreneurship. We also participated in confidence-building activities and finished the day with a party put on by all-female DJs.

This day definitely helped us to understand how many opportunities there are and how women can participate in them. We look forward to sharing more about the day in a Year 10 assembly. We were welcomed by so many successful females and in the end the answer to 'Who runs the world?' as sung by Beyoncé was clear - GIRLS!

Naya - Year 10

PE Updates  


Tag Rugby

On the 10th of October we played Sydenham High School  away at Sydenham High.  We drew 9 all. All of our team were Year 7 and 8 and the Sydenham High School team were mainly in years 9 and 10. We defended really well and reacted in a very sporting way to some physical contact.  Everyone played commendably. We took 10 team members, along with Ronnie Reed from Year 11 who is one of our adopted prefects. Our team behaved beautifully.  I was very proud.
Stay tuned for the Tag Rugby Christmas party!
Written by: Maggie Hammond (Tag Rugby Coach)


On the 17th of October Coach Raymond held a quick Basketball quiz with regards to the rules and court markings of the game. Well done Florence and Marie-Danielle for scoring the highest in their quiz and winning the prizes.

The LSSA basketball tournament will be coming up on the 28th of November. Coach Raymond will be looking for the best players in the weeks ahead to represent the school at this competitive event.



On the 16th of OctoberTrinity School visited us for two year 8 netball fixtures. there was an A and a B game. With a strange hazy sepia looking sky we had to turn our floodlights on for the first time ever in October! This didn’t put our team off though. We won both games convincingly; 11 v 2 and 5 v 4.

B team vs Trinity Match report By Emmanuella George Year 8:
Trinity had the first centre pass, it was tight. We thought we were going to score but instead we missed and Sydenham’s defence passed it to the Trinity attack and they scored. This continued back and forth with many close moments until half time when the score was Trinity 2 Sydenham 6.

After the break Sydenham came back even stronger and did not let any goals in. Instead they went on the attack and scored another 5! The final score was Trinity 2 and Sydenham 11.
Well done Sydenham!

Sydenham in the Voice


Sydenham PTA

We would like to invite you to the next PTA meeting.  It is to be held on Friday 17th November from 7.30pm at the Honor Oak Pub, St German's Rd, SE23.  It's a great chance to meet other parents, discuss how we can support the school and have a good evening out.  Everyone is welcome.


Lewisham Safer Transport

The Lewisham Safer Transport team has asked us to share the two attached documents.  The Lewisham Safer Transport team work closely with TFL to help reduce anti social behaviour on the buses and they are trying to make parents aware of the scheme.  You can follow them on Twitter @LewishamMPS


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