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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 216


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

This edition of SYD has details of some of the festive activities that will be taking place towards the end of this Autumn term. They include our annual Winter Music Concert which is a fantastic opportunity to hear wonderful music played by the students who have worked hard to improve their practice over the course of this term. There are also details of our Christmas Carol Concert which takes place at St Bartholomew’s Church on Westwood Hill, Sydenham. The church is a beautiful listed building dating from 1827. I do hope that you will be able to join us for these events.

We were informed this week that Sydenham School was mentioned in the House of Commons during Prime Minister Question Time by Ellie Reeves, MP for Lewisham West and Penge, who visited the school during last academic year. Ellie spoke of our ‘Send Your Sister to School’ campaign and was keen to know from Theresa May how the Government planned to respond to initiatives like this, which are aimed to help children in countries where education is not as free and readily available as it is here.

I am also pleased to let you know that 2 of our students in Year 8, Matilda Walker Evans and Isabella Lloyd, were awarded a Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Award earlier this week. The award was handed out by the Mayor of Greenwich and local MP Vicky Foxcroft at the Albany Theatre in Deptford in front of a packed audience. Both girls had achieved great work in their division and were commended for being helpful, enthusiastic and kind. They were presented with a lovely gold medal in a box and had their pictures taken. Well done Matilda and Isabella. We are always delighted and of course like you, very proud, when our students are recognised for their endeavour, participation and many commendable attributes.

Finally, please can you make sure that you have noted that all students in Years 7-13 return to school on Tuesday 2nd January 2018 at the normal school time. I hope that you have a peaceful and restful weekend when you get there.

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe


Fridah Kahlo Photoshoot


During this term, we have been learning about the life of  Frida Kahlo and how she became an artist. After a life changing accident at the age of 22, Frida became inspired by her pain to create paintings. This painting below is just one of the many that she produced, which were all mostly of herself. Our task was to produce a free hand drawing of Frida. The aim of this was to practice drawing facial features to the correct proportion. One of Frida’s most standout features, her monobrow, was surprisingly difficult but I kept on trying until I got it.

In our next lesson, we all dressed up as Frida and took black and white photographs of ourselves. Over the top of these photographs we added the famous Frida monobrow and red lips! This was a great way to get into character and understand Frida’s work in more depth.  

By Maya 7E

Year 10 Geography Visit to the London Docklands  

Four GCSE Geography classes visited the London Docklands on Thursday 9th November to collect primary data for their fieldwork investigation. In small groups, they undertook methods such as land-use mapping, service tallys, questionnaires and environmental quality surveys. The students behaved impeccably and were a credit to the school. The data will now be used to write up the human fieldwork investigation.


Subject Leader Geography


Visit to the Guardian Newspaper

I thoroughly enjoyed my A level Media Studies visit to the Guardian Newspaper earlier this term. I felt I gained valuable skills, which I can definitely use in the future. Here’s what happened.

We were told at the start of our visit that our task was to edit and develop a short film based around climate change and the effects it is having on the world we live in today. Swiftly after being put into pairs, we were told to begin. Each pair was assigned many short clips, which we had to cut, edit and eventually use to create our own short films. This was a completely new process for us though and it was definitely something we thought seemed challenging at the start. Despite this however, we were talked through it step by step, which I found very helpful, ultimately leading to me and my the person I was working with creating a  film we were both very proud of. Furthermore, seeing as we had never used iMovie before, this visit allowed us to practice and play around with this application so that we can be ready to edit and create films not only in our Media Studies class but for other media-related jobs I may think of applying for in the future. As well as this, the experience developed our skills of working alongside a partner to carry out a specific task and develop a final outcome, which we were all very satisfied to have achieved.

To be honest, I thought the visit to the Guardian Newspaper was one that would be fairly dull, but it was the complete opposite. It was practical, hands on and non-stop, working towards a final product which we can look back on with affection. I would highly recommend this visit to future Media Studies students who may want to learn or develop their film-making and journalistic skills.

Louie – A level Media Studies student

Emilia Wickstead’s Visit  

I have recently been fortunate enough to meet top designer Emilia Wickstead. During her visit she spoke to us about the variety of experiences she has encountered in the fashion industry and the journey of how she got to where she is today. Furthermore Emilia shared an insight into her early life. With her mother (who was also a fashion designer), Emilia moved to Milan, a country particularly famous for fashion, where her passion for the industry continued to grow.

It was impressive to hear about all the fantastic things Emilia was able to accomplish such as getting in to Central Saint Martin University and how she managed to start her own business from scratch when she was only 23 when Emilia would make small collections of clothes and held shows for family and friends. I was inspired by how Emilia did it all herself with nothing but ambition and hard work. Emilia gave us some tips on ways in which we could develop our career goals as fashion designers.

Firstly, she suggested to get internships in our chosen career path to be able to get  hands on experience of the job. Also I learnt that it is in believing in her goal and constantly persisting which allowed her to get to where she is today. This leads me to another tip she gave us to which is ‘fake it till you make’ it which helped her become more confident. Lastly a key message that came across was to never give up; when trying to get her work recognised she had to persistently call different places even after being rejected multiple times, nevertheless she continued. Emilia Wickstead’s visit was truly inspirational to me.

by Melissa


Duke of Edinburgh Award

On Monday night we celebrated the incredible achievement and hard work of almost sixty Year 10 and 11 students who have recently completed their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award.  Throughout the evening we heard from all the students about their highlights, the challenges they faced and what they learnt about themselves through completing the D of E programme.  The students were then awarded with a certificate and badge; a small recognition of what they have accomplished.  Below is a poem that one student wrote whilst on expedition about her experience.

Determination, A Word So Strong
by Aaliya

Determination, a word so strong 
A feeling of power for a journey so long 
Engaging with nature, the birds and the bees
Though scared of spiders, it shan't bother me

Alone in the wilderness, no being in sight
Stranded, deserted, emotions of fright 
Hauling luggage, twice our weight 
Climbing fences, stuck between a gate

Relaxation and conversation 
Some down time, mood elevation 
Almost home, destination ahead
The anticipation of reaching our beds

Completion, pride, joy and celebration 
Another journey completed, feelings conceited 
Now it's the end, I shall end it here
Always believe, don't give into fear.


Careers News

National Careers Service Helpline - 0800 100 900

Please do encourage your daughter/son to access the National Careers Service Helpline to talk over their plans for the future and to ask for careers related information.
The National Careers Service operates a telephone advice service for all young people aged 13+.
Call 0800 100 900 to speak to a National Careers Service Advisor (8am to 10pm, 7 days a week).
Calls are free from landlines and most mobile numbers.

This is an excellent service for all our students to use.  They can talk over GCSE and A Level choices. 
Parents can also use this service so do make use of this free national helpline.

Imperial College, London University – free Summer Schools – applications open in January 2018

Imperial College offers free summer schools for pupils in Years 9 to 12.  These are very popular so do look at these soon – applications open in January 2018.

Careers in Construction – Go Construct website

The Go Construct website has lots of useful information for anyone considering a career in construction.  Use the Careers Explorer to see what role in the construction industry would suit you.


LSSA Basketball

On the 27th November the under 16’s Basketball team played in the LSSA tournament at the Thunderdome SE16.

The team spirit was electric and all the players showed grit and determination throughout their matches. Marvellous  was the highest point scorer for our team during the tournament and was an absolute whirlwind on the court. Well done to everyone for their participation. We finished second in the competition unfortunately just missing out on the London youth team selection. A special mention to Florence who received the LSSA Passion award and Mikah for the LSSA Team work award. A fantastic effort and  great to experience such a supportive atmosphere on the night.

A big thank you to our coach and referee Raymond. Basketball training is on every Tuesday after school in the Sports Hall and every Saturday with an external coach at the Thunderdome from 10:00am – 11:30am for £3.00.



Basketball Inspiration Programme

On the 21st of November our Year 9 GCSE class had another visit from Michelle Moore from the Basketball Inspiration programme.

The Basketball inspiration programme (BIP) is a Sport for Social Change programme using Basketball to inspire and motivate girls to increase their levels of physical activity, enhance well-being and to challenge gender stereotypes.

During their session the students watched the short film that they featured in and were involved in a fantastic basketball training session. Everyone had a great time and  worked really hard, many of them complaining about their sore gluteal muscles from all the squats the next day!
Michelle Moore commented that the players were great and really enjoyed themselves. It was good to see them watch themselves in the film.

For more information on the BIP and to watch the film visit:



Winners are grinners!

On Friday 17th of November we had a much anticipated Year 10 friendly Netball match against our Sydenham High School. We played well and won both our A and B team games.

A team (Dark blue) : 21 – 1 and B team (Light Blue): 4 – 2

Well done to all the players. The improvement that we have seen over the last year in their playing ability has been huge. You also did Sydenham School proud through showing your great team spirit and impeccable behaviour both on and off the court.


Friendly Netball Match vs Bonus Pastor School

On Friday 24th November, the Year 8 and Year 10 netball teams played a friendly match against Bonus Pastor School.

The Year 8 game started off well and by the end of the first quarter, Sydenham School had scored 3 goals. This helped our confidence as we were ready to score more in the 2nd quarter. We scored another 3 goals in this quarter making the score 6-2 to Sydenham School by half time. However, Bonus Pastor changed positions and they come back fighting. By the end of the 3rd quarter the gap had closed and the score was 6-5 to Sydenham School and our opponents were only one goal behind. There was all to play for in the last quarter. Bonus scored it was 6-6 with 5 minutes left of the game. The heat was on and the ball was going back and forth, both teams having a few attempts at scoring but nothing was going in. Suddenly we managed to get the ball up the court very quickly and to our goal shooter. She scored, making the final score 7-6 to Sydenham. It was a very close game. Well done to all the players for an exhilarating and nail biting match.

Match report by Vivienne Year 8

The Year 10 game also started off well although it was a tough game as the passing of both teams was messy with too many players trying to go for the ball. Sydenham School played really well and we were scoring lots of goals each quarter. We had to face a few contact problems in the game but we just got on with it and tried our best. We worked as a team and made sure we were motivated to win. We were able to learn from  mistakes we had previously made in the first quarter and in previous games. Overall it was a strong performance and we proved that with the result as we won 17-6. We will face Bonus Pastor again in the LSSSA tournament next week. Well done to all the players and good luck for your next event.

Match report by Chantelle Year 10


KS4 LSSSA Cross Country

On Thursday 23rd November several students from Sydenham School took part in the KS4 LSSSA cross country race at Bonus Pastor playing fields. It was a windy day, but all students were excited to take part in this event. They were nervous but all completed the race.

They ran a distance of 2.5km which some runners found tough. However, it was a brilliant race and a wonderful experience to be part of. Everyone managed to complete the races in a good time. The Year 9 students cheered on the Year 10 when they were racing and the Year 10 students cheered on the Year 9s when they were running. Overall the Year 9s came 8th, 9th, 10, 11th and 16th out of 22 girls in total. The Year 10s came 4th, 5th, 8th and 9th out of 15 girls in total.

Well done to everyone who took part.


London Bake-Off

Ellen (10M) and Lolou (8M) will be representing Sydenham School in  'The GDST London Bake-Off.' This competition is designed to showcase the baking talents of the students in London schools and academies from Years 6-13. 

Ellen and Lolou while they were working through the semi-final stage in school.

Exam certificates from summer 2017 and earlier are available to collect from the School Reception between 9am and 5pm weekdays


Our school Christmas trees have been provided by The Christmas Forest, who is opening their pop-up shop in Dulwich on November 22nd. They will be selling a fabulous selection of sustainably grown, freshly cut Christmas trees all handpicked for their quality. There will be different varieties and a huge range of sizes all displayed in a forest-like setting. Holly, wreaths, mistletoe and treats for the children too. For every tree sold, they donate to plant a tree in the African drylands through Tree Aid. 205,206 trees have been planted to date, changing lives for thousands of some of the poorest families in the world. Come and wander through and pick your perfect Christmas tree and enjoy an extra festive glow knowing your trees mean something more, not just Christmas. Parking and delivery available. 0203 953 8794 Open 8am- 10pm Monday to Sunday until December 24th. 


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