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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 217


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

This will be the last SYD newsletter of 2017! You will see from the article and pictures below that we had our annual Winter Music Concert earlier on this week. The Concert, as ever, was a wonderful, uplifting and heart-warming event. The students showed themselves to be talented, hard working and relentlessly kind towards each other. Your turnout as families was really impressive and all the guests were impressed with what they saw and heard. I would like to say thank you very much to all of the staff who made this event happen so successfully- both ‘front of house’ and ‘behind the scenes’. The Main School Hall looked magical and the school community showed, once again, that there really is no better prelude to the festive season than the Winter Concert at Sydenham School!

As we near saying ‘goodbye’ to this calendar year, we also will be saying ‘goodbye’ to several valued colleagues. Mrs Crump, Deputy Headteacher, will be leaving at the end of the Autumn term. We would like to thank Mrs Crump for all of her work in relation to raising standards in a number of key areas and we wish her all the very best for the future. We will also be saying farewell to Mrs Dyer and Mrs Dovey, 2 long standing Teaching Assistants who have amassed 24 years of service each. We would like to thank them both too for their 48 years at Sydenham School. These are long years of service and we  wish you each a happy and fulfilled retirement.

Our school festive Christmas lunch will take place on Thursday 14th December at the normal school lunch time. We hope that as many students will choose to eat Christmas dinner and we look forward to welcoming them to what will be a very festive Main School Hall.

A final reminder to everyone that school ends at 1pm on Friday 15th December for students. All students return at the normal school time on Tuesday 2nd January. We look forward to welcoming them all back at that time and would like to wish you and your families a lovely Christmas and peaceful New Year.

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe


Winter Concert

Sydenham School enjoyed its annual Winter Concert on Wednesday 6th December. Well done to all of the performers, technical team and the hosts. It was a huge success and everyone performed brilliantly which reflects the commitment and hardwork from the school community- well done!

Congratulations to Amelia 11H and Eliza 11S who were awarded the Mayflower cup for their outstanding commitment to music.


Additional and Informal Concerts

Mrs Wildey and Mr Collis led two informal concerts in the Music department on 7th December. This was an opportunity for students to perform solo pieces that they have worked on in their lessons in front of an audience. Well done to all of the students involved for taking this opportunity to perform! You clearly enjoyed yourselves and have grown in confidence.


GDST Bake-Off 2017


Loulou (8M) made it to the finals of the GDST London Bake Off. She showed great resilience in amidst strong competition from competitors who were much older. Whilst Loulou was not placed in the top three, she gained some really valuable culinary experience and made some new friends. Sydenham School would like to say a huge congratulations to Loulou and to thank her family for their tremendous support. 


Year 9 and 10 LSSSA Netball Tournament


On Tuesday 5th December, the Year 9 and 10 Netball teams played in the LSSSA tournament. There were 12 teams in total and two pools which meant that every team played 5 games. In Sydenham’s pool, we had to play against Bonus Pastor A team, Trinity School, Prendergast Lady well, Sydenham High School's B team and St Dunstan School's A team. We were nervous on the way to the tournament and had a team talk in the minibus. Tactics were discussed as well as what we were going to do during the game. As the competition went on we became more and more confident. In the end we won 3 games and drew 2 games- a result we were happy with. Overall, Sydenham School came 2nd in their pool. Well done everyone, you played very well.



On Friday 17th of November the Year 10 A team played a match against Sydenham High School. We played 4 quarters of 7 minutes which were energetic and frustrating but enjoyable. It was our first game since July, so we were a little bit rusty. Despite this the final scoreline was 21-1 to Sydenham School. We were thrilled with this result and will do our very best to build on it.

The first quarter was our most successful as we scored 8 goals. In the second quarter however, we only scored 2 goals. Sydenham High School definitely had more possession in that phase of the game. In the 3rd quarter we scored 5 goals and Sydenham High School scored 2 making the score 15-1. The final quarter ended 21-1. 

Well done to all players. What a great first game of the season. 

The players are : Chantelle Tabeni, Esme Adams, Gaia Sbadella, Florence Odulanu, Tiverhe, Izzi Phillips (yr 7) and Alia Semple


Malcolm Sweeting Visit

Malcolm Sweeting, Senior Partner from Clifford Chance Law Firm, took time out of his busy schedule to talk to our business and mathematics students on Wednesday 29th November.  Clifford Chance LLP is a multinational law firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom, and a member of the "Magic Circle" of leading British law firms. It is one of the ten largest law firms in the world measured both by both number of lawyers and revenue.

Mr Sweeting told us about his personal journey into law which helped us to see that we are all capable of great things no matter what our starting points might be. He ended his very interesting and inspiring speech reminding us all of the importance of hard work, as well as creativity, the ability to collaborate and to present our ideas to an audience.

Students were described by their teachers as 'buzzing' after the event.  They were keen to discuss the issues raised and wanting to take up some of the opportunities for further engagement with Clifford Chance through their 'aspirational days' mentioned by Mr Sweeting in his talk.  The students had a lively debate about the ‘fourth technological revolution’ and the impact that Artificial Intelligence would have on their career choices. Mr Sweeting spoke of his enjoyment of his work and was keen to stress the importance of having an enjoyable career.  I believe the speech and advice Malcolm Sweeting gave will have a lasting impact on our students and will play a significant part in their futures. 

Malcolm Sweeting’s talk was organised by Speakers for Schools, a charity that focuses on bringing high profile people from all industries into schools to motivate and inspire young people.  We look forward to continuing our relationship with Speakers for Schools as well following up the work experience opportunities with Clifford Chance and other organisations within Canary Wharf.

Teach First Event  

Big Class Challenge

On Tuesday 14th November, the school was lucky enough to host three professionals at the top of their professions to teach lessons to our students as part of Teach First's 'Big Class Challenge' initiative.  The day started with AJ Odudu teaching our Year 10 GCSE Drama class.  Beginning her career as a reporter, AJ Odudu now presents 'Trending Live' on 4Music.  She also has her own website.  The lesson began with AJ telling the students about her professional journey.  They then had the opportunity to try out presenting techniques, using a script from her show.  Both the students and AJ Odudu thoroughly enjoyed the lesson and it was clear to see that AJ was very impressed with the confidence and performance ability of our students.

The next lesson was with Year 11 textiles who were lucky enough to have a lesson from Emilia Wickstead.  British-based and New Zealand born, Emilia spent her formative years in Milan and gained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fashion Design and Marketing at Central Saint Martin's London with Honours in 2007.  After graduating, Emilia worked at fashion houses Giorgio Armani, Proenza Schouler, Narciso Rodriguez and Vogue in New York and Milan before returning to London to establish her own label in 2008 by opening her first store in Belgravia. 

We ended the day with a visit to a combined Year 11 and Year 12 Science class.  This lesson was taught by Laura Shrieves fan engineer from Thales.  Again, the students were treated to a really inspiring lesson where they were able to explore engineering in an engaging way.
We are so grateful to all these women for giving up their time to speak to our students and hope that we will be able to take up their offers of work experience in the near future.


Careers in Medicine

Fifty students came to the careers talk last week in which Dr Marylyn Emedo and Ruth Darbyshire-Snell told us all about being a Doctor and a Midwife in the NHS.  We heard about the 6 “C’s” of working for the Health Service – care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.  One in forty of the UK workforce is employed by the NHS, so this is a career path that is open to a wide range of students.

Careers in Teaching
This is an excellent website to use for anyone considering a career in the teaching profession:

Work Experience July 2018
We are looking for quality work experience employer placements for 550 of our students (Year 10 and Year 12) in July 2018.  If you, or your employer, could offer our students a one or two week placement, please contact Fiona Taylor, Careers and Enterprise Coordinator –  Many thanks.


Student Catering Survey

Chartwells, our Catering Provider are conducting their annual student catering survey through 'survey monkey'.  This is vital information for them to not only report back to us on levels of customer satisfaction but also for them to understand student trends and likes/dislikes.
Could I ask you to please share the link with your child so that they can complete the survey.  The survey will remain open until end of this term. We are hoping for as many responses as possible and all responses will be anonymous.

Many thanks in advance for your support with this.


Winter Exam Timetable

The Winter exam timetable is now on the website and available to view by clicking here:


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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