Latest Letters Home I Sydenham Website I SIMS I My Maths I Sam Learning
Follow us on: Twitter
Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 222


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families,

Thank you for working with the school in terms of the snow last week and the poor weather conditions. There was one early closure, one late start and one ‘snow day’ that took place last Friday. The decision to close was not taken lightly but due to a number of  health and safety issues as well as the on-going challenging walking conditions underfoot, we had no choice but to close. I would also like to apologise for the fact that on one day this week, students did not have access to a hot meal at lunchtime. Whilst we did provide sandwiches this was clearly not the full offer that students get every day. This was because the extremely cold weather had damaged part of the gas safety ventilation system leaving the kitchen without gas.

Thankfully , we are now back to our usual service at lunchtimes. Despite the weather there were nevertheless many visits and activities that took place and extended the thinking and horizons of our students. There are fantastic pictures of these below including some stunning shots of the A Level Field visit to the Dorset coast. We are very grateful to staff who go that ‘extra mile’ to make sure that these events happen frequently and safely. I know that students are appreciative too.

I do hope, as ever, that you have an enjoyable and restful weekend with your family and friends.

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe


Dare to be Challenged High Performance Learning (HPL) Project


On Thursday 22nd February, all of Year 7 took part in an extended school day as part of the Dare to be Challenged HPL project.

The students had a choice of one of 15 different enrichment sessions that included Sign Language, First Aid and Mandarin.  The students were all incredibly positive about their experiences and spoke very eloquently about the 'deliberate practice' they have been engaged in at home over the last term and a half.

Eve in 7S did Tap Dancing.  She said, “This project has taught me something entirely new that I am improving  all the time.  It has shown me that I can do anything as long as I practice and put my mind to it.  This extended day session has helped remind me of all the correct movements so that I can get even better through practice.

Olivia in 7D doing First Aid said, “I like the practical aspects of performing CPR and putting others in the recovery position as the physical practice helps me to remember better  I have been practicing at home and when I am older, I want to be a Doctor, so this is useful for me.

Juweria in 7H took part in a bread-baking workshop and said, “I had been practicing at home and so far I have made 2 loaves of bread and it was really fun.  This after school session has taught me a new recipe that I can now try out and reminded me of tips I can use to make my bread even more delicious.

Well done to all the students for having such a positive approach to learning.  It was fantastic to hear how many students were using the language of HPL and reflecting on their learning process.  The next extended year seven day is Tuesday 24th April between 3.20 - 4.30pm. We would also like to thank all of the adults in the school who have given up their own time to support students in developing these lifelong practical skills but also a number of so called 'softer skills' such as team work and being empathetic. Thank you too as families for continuing to support and encourage your children to 'aim high'.

Kate Slipper
Lead Practitioner of Learning and Teaching


Year 9 Media Workshop: Designing an App for Adidas  

The winners of the task with Hannah and John

On Tuesday 23rd January, our Year 9 Media class had a phenomenal opportunity to work with the international digital marketing company Dentsu Aegis who specialise in designing brands and campaigns for a range of institutions. They informed us about the exciting world of work that surrounds Media Studies.

Hannah and John, the representatives from the company, delivered a workshop and prepared a variety of challenges for us. Our main challenge was to design and advertise a new app for Adidas to inspire young women and encourage them to get more involved in sports. In groups, we had to present our app and ideas in front of Hannah, John and the rest of our class. This task enabled us to showcase our knowledge of media language and campaigns, whilst developing team work skills and helping us to become more comfortable presenting our ideas to small audiences. It was a really inspiring day.

Madeline (9M) and Leila (9E)


Debate Mate UDL competition

Sydenham School after the first round of the UDL is ranked 13th in London and 16th nationally. On Monday 26th February, We proudly hosted the UDL Round 2 in which over 60 students participated. Local schools in the South East competed to win points in order to finish in the top 16 to qualify for the finals.

We debated on a variety of topics and had 15 minutes preparation time. We were very satisfied with our performance! In the first round, three of our teams won and they were Sydenham A, B & C. Likewise in the second round, we had three victories, with Sydenham A, B & F teams winning their individual rounds.

Although some of the team members were nervous to start with, that did not stop them all from confidently demonstrating their talent and enthusiasm, whilst debating topical issues.

We are very proud of all the students who participated. A huge thank you to all the students who attended or assisted on the day.  Please wish and encourage all of our students the best for their future debates.  We are hopeful that these results will help us to make it to the play off as one of the 16 best teams in the country.   We could not have done it without the support of the Debate Mate teachers- Ms McKoy and Miss Nkrumah.
Best wishes and good luck everyone!                 

Mrs Virgo-Furrs. (Lead Teacher)

Library News  

World Book Day Events
Despite the snow, several of our events managed to go ahead. Book quiz heats were well attended, with strong competition making the results very close. The two winning teams from Year 7 & Year 8 will now go on to participate in the Lewisham Book Award on March 23rd at Addey & Stanhope School.

The ‘Book Swap’ was a great success again this year with over 300 books exchanged by students of all year groups. There was a queue to get into the Library, which Ms Lowe likened to a Harrods Sale! IT WAS A WONDERFUL SIGHT.
Look out for the next SYD Newsletter where we will have pictures of the postponed Dress Up Day and Ms. Malin’s 'Craft Extravaganza'.

BCiS Competition
We are delighted to say that one of our Year 7 students and Book Clubber, Fienna has won a competition hosted by Book Clubs in Schools and in celebration of World Book Day. Students nationally who participate with BCiS were asked to support the #ShareAStory theme where they spoke about their favourite book along with their reasons why. Well done to all of the other Book Clubbers who participated: all will be given a book and Fienna will also be receiving a Waterstone's voucher. 

Happy Reading!
The Library Team


The FA People's Cup Football Tournament

On Sunday 25th February, the U14 and U16 team travelled to Croydon to play in the FA People's Cup tournament, which is a tournament played across the whole country. All of the players were excited to compete and they were all in the same kit which was supplied to us by our football coach. Their parents came to the event which was a fantastic opportunity for them to see their daughters involved in such as big tournament.

The team played against 2 other teams for a chance to go through to the next round. The U14 team got through to the second round and they played with the U16. Unfortunately, the U16 team didn’t get through to the next round. However, they all had a fantastic day and really enjoyed playing at the Croydon Power League site.


Year 13 Geography Residential Visit

The Year 13 A-level Geography class spent four days in Swanage, Dorset collecting primary data for their independent investigation. It was a chilly few days and very testing conditions for coast fieldwork. Perseverance and resilience were key ! The Jurassic coastline is a World Heritage Site and we were blessed with some stunning views of Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.

‘We went to Swanage beach to collect data. It was very, very cold. Somehow, with grit and determination, we collected data about beach profiles, wind speed, longshore drift, waves and sediment. Afterwards, we had to return to the accommodation to revive our numb fingers and toes before exploring the town and buying supplies for dinner. Olga Year 13

‘We walked down to the beach at Durdle Door. We recorded data for our beach profiles and walked onto Lulworth Cove where we looked in a museum about the Jurassic coastline and saw some fossils. We then had ice cream and went fossil hunting. We were really pleased to be able to collect this essential data for our coursework.’ Lydia Year 13

We took a short drive to Knoll Beach, Studland Bay to collect data on sand dune succession. Stepping off the mini bus we could feel the harshness of the wind blasting in our faces. We collected our data in good time and planned to go to Old Harry’s Rocks, but we had to cut our day short due to the incoming snow shower and icy winds. So instead, we began our long journey home in hope to avoid some of the snow brought in by the so called 'beast from the east.’ Isabelle Year 13


Career News

Transport for London Apprenticeships – Closing Date 18th March

TfL are offering 180 apprenticeships this year across 25 different vocational areas. Applications for our apprenticeship schemes are closing on 18th March 2018

For details see:

The Ambassador’s Party Last Tuesday Afternoon – 06 March 2018

No Ferrero Rocher chocolates were given out – but lots of useful tips and information was imparted to twenty six of our students who came to hear Tanya Collingridge and Wai Kuen Wan speak.  Tanya has worked all over the world for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  Wai, one of our alumni, has been based in London for all of her 11 years with the Foreign Office.  Students really enjoyed hearing about their careers and about the Internship and Apprenticeship schemes that the FCO run. 

Everyone is welcome to come to the Hairdressing and Personal Trainer Careers Talk – after school on Tuesday 20 March.  Daniel Galvin Hairdressers and college representatives will be visiting the school.

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 next week by Thursday 15 March.
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.

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

Institute of Making – Slime Making Open Day, University College London – Saturday 24 March, 1.00 to 5.00pm

A wonderful day to step into the Institute of Making at University College and make as much SLIME as you like.
It's free, open to all, no bookings, just drop in from 1pm. Gates close at 5pm

Date: Saturday 24th March                          Time: 1-5pm
Location: Institute of Making, Malet Place, UCL, London, WC1E 7JE


Year 9 and 10 Visit to ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ at Shakespeare’s Globe

On Tuesday 6th March 30 Year 9 and 10 students wrapped up warmly and set off to visit Shakespeare’s Globe on a visit organised by the English Faculty. We saw a production of Much Ado About Nothing as part of the Playing Shakespeare series sponsored by Deutsche Bank which stages productions of Shakespeare at the Globe that are completely free to state schools. It was a fast-paced comic performance which used music and dance to great effect while staying true to Shakespeare’s language and themes. The students agreed that seeing a Shakespeare play at the Globe really brought it alive and it was a magical experience for all of us.


Year 11 Visit to Poetry Live

On Friday 23rd February 50 Y11 students attended the Poetry Live conference at the Dominion Theatre in central London. This was a whole day dedicated to improving students’ understanding of the poems they will write about in their GCSE English Literature exam.  The day was a mixture of informative sessions from the Chief Examiner and powerful poetry readings from a range of poets including Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke,  Imtiaz Dharker, John Agard, Simon Armitage and Owen Sheers reading aloud from their work and answering questions from students. We were lucky enough to hear the poets explaining the poems in their own words as well as hearing directly from the examiner about how to succeed in the unseen poetry section of the exam.  The highlight of the day came right at the end when Simon Armitage gave an impassioned and stirring reading of his poem ‘Come All Ye Faithful’ which sent us out into the afternoon feeling ready to take on the world.


Expedition to the Exhibition!

On the 22nd February 2018, Year 12 Sydenham art class visited the Tate Modern to present individual research about selected artwork, conducted prior to the visit, in order to deepen our knowledge of Art History, and how it links to our practical work in class.

Research included background information and biographical documentation, as well as techniques used and interpretations made of the work. The wide variety of pieces chosen gave us a stimulating insight into the range of art styles through the ages. This included paintings, photography, film, installations etc. all of which made reference to the different stylised techniques that we had looked at in class: cubism, surrealism, impressionism, expressionism and many more.

The visit provided an opportunity for students to engage with and learn from each other, as well as develop a greater understanding of our chosen A level. Josie said: “The experience was both challenging and rewarding (despite the nerves). I felt like I shared and learnt a lot.” Overall, the visit was judged as a great success, leaving the teachers filled with pride. Ms Henderson said: “All students stepped up to the mark and we were all very impressed.”
By Shula and Josie

Parental Contributions to the School Fund

Thank you to all those families who have made a donation to the School Fund. Over 260 families have made a donation of £30 over this academic year and it is this financial support which enables us to continue to pay for the extras in school, for sports coaches and specialist teachers, for the school mini bus and to support educational visits as well as to continue to subsidise music in school.

Our focus over the next term is our athletics programme, culminating in the school Sports Day. We would like to once again hire Crystal Palace Athletics track to hold the event and to continue using it for PE during the summer term. Our athletics programme is a valuable sporting experience for many of our students who may not enjoy team sports as well as for the students who enjoy all sports.

Thank you for your continued support.

Ms Smith
Director of Resources


Parking in Forest Hill Court & Suncroft Place

A number of parents are parking in Forest Hill Court, adjacent to the school, and Suncroft Place, opposite the school, while waiting for students at the end of the day. Please be aware that Forest Hill Court is Private Property and Suncroft Place is a Private Road.

There are clear signs that prohibit parking or waiting in those areas. Residents have made a number of complaints about parent’s cars blocking access so please ensure that you do not park or wait in either place. If you are waiting to collect your child at the end of the day we would suggest parking in one of the nearby roads where parking restrictions do not apply.


Year 10 Parents’ Evening (Wednesday 28th March) - Appointment Booking System will open on Wednesday 14th March at 7pm to set your appointments with teachers.



Please reply directly to this email if you would like to unsubscribe to our school newsletters.