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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 218


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

I do hope that the Christmas break was restful and that you enjoyed some quality time with your children, other family members and friends. Happy New Year too and we are looking forward to this year being one in which we continue to work together in partnership in order to make the educational experience of all of our students the very best that it can be.

The SYD newsletter today is a mixture of ‘old’ and ‘new’ news. The theme of the Headteacher assemblies this week has very much been about building excellent habits year in and year out.

I would like to let you know of some changes to the Senior Leadership Team, which have taken effect from the start of this new term. We have been joined by Ms Ann Colgan as Deputy Headteacher. Ms Colgan brings with her a wealth of experience and has worked in several schools in the past as a successful senior leader. We are lucky to have secured Ms Colgan to work with us at Sydenham School. I am also pleased to let you know that Ms Gill Pooley, who has been working at Sydenham School for the last 25 years and recently across Sydenham and Forest Hill Schools as our ‘Sixth Form Deputy Headteacher ’, will be based on the Sydenham School site from now on in a full time capacity. Ms Pooley will continue to make a significant impact on standards and outcomes in SFH6 but will now also lead on some key whole school priorities here at School. Mr Guest, Deputy Headteacher, left at the end of the Christmas term and we wish him every success in the next stage of his career. Finally, Ms Emmanuel and Ms White, both long-standing members of the Sydenham staff team have been appointed to the roles of Assistant Headteachers. We congratulate them on this achievement.

Thank you for ensuring that the start to the new term and indeed 2018 has been a positive one in ensuring that the students have come back to school in a positive frame of mind and ready to make the most of all that Sydenham School has to offer.

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

Kind regards

Ms Lowe


9E Charity Event, December 2017


At Sydenham School we believe in being selfless by giving help to charity whether that is by doing a bake sale or raising money in other ways.

As a tutor group, 9E brought in food to light up other people’s Christmas as not everyone has the privilege of buying a Christmas dinner or lots of nice gifts. We gathered food in tins and packets and gave it to our local Food Bank to make Christmas better for more families.

Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about feeling good for doing it and making a difference in someone’s life. We can all do that and every act of kindness, however small, makes the world a better place.
By Savanna 9E

Peartree Care Centre  

Singers from Years 9-13 entertained residents and staff at the Peartree Care Centre in Sydenham on Thursday 14th December.  The performance featured a number of Christmas songs and carols. The elderly residents clearly enjoyed themselves as we did. It was a lovely way to begin the festive season.


Year 11 Mock Exams

The Year 11 Mock Exams will be starting on the 8th January. To support the students through their exams, we will be providing breakfast for any Year 11 student who chooses to take up this offer, on the mornings when there are whole cohort exams.

The dates for these are:
Monday 8th January
Wednesday 10th January
Monday 15th January
Tuesday 16th January

Breakfast will begin at 8:15 and will take place in the Main School Hall. Staff will also be present to support with any last minute nerves, questions and exam tips.

If you have any questions about the exams, please do contact me , Ms White, Assistant Headteacher, on

Click the link for the exam timetable:


Abby Reyes in Parliament!

On Tuesday 12 December Abby attended a meeting in Parliament, accompanied by her mother,  based on the launch of a new report on sexism in schools issued by the National Education Union and UK Feminista.

The report sets out how prevalent sexual harassment, sexist language and stereotypes are in many educational institutions and calls for action to change this.
When the chair (broadcaster Samira Ahmed) invited questions/comments from the floor, Abby was the first with her hand up and the first to be called. Abby stood up in front of a packed committee room full of parliamentarians and other interest groups and confidently spoke about derogatory sexist language on social media and the knock-on effects it has on girls. Abby's mother notes that Abby was the only teenager present and that the organisers stated that they wished that they had found a way to invite more!

The fact that Abby was able to speak so clearly and confidently - and with such conviction that her voice- has made everyone feel proud, including Abby's mother. Sydenham School has given Abby and of course many other students, many opportunities to 'find a voice'. We are very grateful in this instance for the excellent debating training from Mrs Virgo-Furrs and the Debate Mate programme. In the words of Abby's mother: “I  thank you very much indeed for all the ways you have helped and encouraged her - debating has literally set Abby on a life-path and who knows where it will take her. I am obviously a super-proud parent - but I wanted Sydenham to have the opportunity to be proud too.”
Attached above is a picture of Abby with the MP Jess Phillips - a great role model of Abby's. Abby was able to speak with Jess after the event and pick up a few more tips about debating. Abby's day was well and truly made!

Work Experience July 2018 – Year 10 and Year 12  

All our Year 10 students will be going out on two weeks of work experience from 02 to 13 July 2018.  Own Find Forms need to be handed in by 15 March. If a student cannot find their own placement, the school will work with them to secure a suitable opportunity.
All our Year 12 students will be on one week of work experience from 16 to 20 July 2018.  Own Find Forms need to be handed in by 22 March to Fiona Taylor.

If you are in contact with employers who would be willing to offer out students work experience please email me.

Fiona Taylor, Careers and Enterprise Coordinator,  or 020 8699 6731  x442

Work Experience in a Law Company

PRIME is an alliance of 89 law firms across the UK, committed to improving access to the legal profession through work experience.
They offer 742 students work experience each year.  Please look at their website and apply for work experience with these prestigious law firms.
(Within 6 miles of Sydenham School there are 35 companies willing to offer work experience).  Do let me know if you are successful.


Widening Participation in London University

London University runs excellent  free seminars and summer schools for students.  Please take the time to do an internet search for Widening Participation in London University to see what is available. Imperial College runs some exciting summer schools and applications open on 15 January 2018.  See


Year 7 Indoor Athletics Competition

On Tuesday 12th December, the Year 7 Athletics team had their second Indoor Athletics competition. The team has been training and working on improving their performance since the last time they competed. The  team worked hard together in all of the events which included (Indoor Shot putt, Vertical jump, Standing long jump, Speed bounce, 2 laps, 4 laps, 6 laps, 8 laps and 4x1 relay. There were some strong performances and a definite sense of progress from the first time they competed. The relay changeover was much smoother and the team were more prepared technically and mentally. There were some really good outcomes in the Vertical jump, Speed bounce and Shot putt. We are waiting on the results on the competition but where ever we are placed we are proud of our attitude, passion and team work.

Well done everyone!



On the 14th of December 2017 Year 7 played a Netball match against Holy Trinity. The score was 12:0 to Sydenham School. A great result !. Sydenham School also won the LSSSA Netball tournament which qualifies us for the next round to represent Lewisham at the Youth Games.

The game on the 14th December was a practice match in preparation for this. We have been working on shooting, intercepting and building up our stamina in our training sessions. In our training sessions we have also been improving our fitness by using something called 'the pyramid' where you run the of the court 2 times then 4 times, then 6 and then you work backwards back towards 2 back down going to 4 times and 2 times, as we get stronger we add 2 more times I.e. up to 8 . The Youth Games are coming up very fast and we want to do our best.

Holy Trinity were very skilled  at intercepting and at defending the ball. It was good to play such a competitive team and we are looking forward to our next meeting with Holy Trinity School.

Reshana Rajendran

Training Kitchen Visit

On the 12th December 2017 students were given the opportunity to go to the Lewisham Training Kitchen.  On our arrival we had the opportunity to meet and talk with a nutritionist. We were then taken to a professional kitchen where we were given a quick demonstration of how to make a healthy lunch.  Soon after, we gathered our ingredients and the equipment we needed and prepared our dishes. First we made potato wedges and then spicy chicken.  We cooked all of  this and happily enjoyed eating our lovely meal. This was a really good visit and we do hope that we are given another opportunity to attend.




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