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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 229


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

I hope that the last two weeks have been positive for you and your children. As we near the end of the academic year, we will continue to focus on high quality teaching and ensuring that the students are engaged and purposeful in their learning. I hope that you have made plans for the summer that involve some rest and relaxation. Six weeks is a long time and there are always opportunities for your children to continue to learn in ‘informal’ ways. Please encourage them to read as widely as possible and please do talk with them about what they have understood as well as enjoyed about their reading.

This week we welcomed 240 Year 6 students to the school for their ‘Induction day’. These were children who have been offered a place to join the School as our new Year 7  in September. It was a very successful day with activities that helped the Year 6 children get used to the buildings as well as gain an insight in what learning will be like here at Sydenham School.

On the evening of ‘Induction Day’, we invited our new Year 7 families in to school in order to meet key staff as well as to hear about what their children will be learning whilst at school. We are looking forward to welcoming our new students in September and we are confident that they will do well during  their 7 years at Sydenham School.

Finally, we were also very pleased this week to warmly welcome the newly appointed Chief Executive of Lewisham, Ian Thomas, to see our school community. Mr Thomas  was very impressed with what he saw and met a range of students and staff. We are very grateful to Mr Thomas for making the time to visit and look forward to working in partnership with him in the future. We wish Mr Thomas every success in his new role.

There will be an end of term letter that you should expect to receive towards the end of the week beginning 15th July.  As ever, I hope that you have a lovely and restful weekend with your family.

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe



SFH6 Alumni Mentoring Oxbridge Applicants

This week we were pleased to welcome back two former SFH6 students who have just completed their first year at Oxford. Madeline (Brasenose College, University of Oxford, reading English Language + Literature ) and Adam ( Pembroke College, University of Oxford,  reading Japanese), kindly volunteered to share their experiences with our current Year 12 students who are planning to apply to Oxbridge next year.

Madeline and Adam talked about teaching and learning at Oxford and answered student questions about the application process and preparing for selective tests and interviews. They also discussed their interview experience in detail and have offered to mentor students over the next few months.
SFH6 Alumni Andi (Balliol College, University of Oxford, reading Classics) and Zoe (University of Edinburgh, reading Veterinary Medicine) are also currently mentoring some of our Year 12 students.


Sports Day 2018


This year’s sports day was another successful one. The students really pushed themselves to do well both personally and for their tutor group with a record number of students entering and finishing the 1500m. There were so many runners that we had to split the race into 2 rounds!

Records were broken (see below) and even a few tears were shed when Eliena kept going to complete the 800 metres. Her tutor group all joined her on the track to push her to the end of the race with finished with a fantastic sprint finish. It really drove home what Sports Day is all about i.e team work, determination and enjoyment.

Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions - Bronze and Silver  

Over the past month we have had almost 90 students completing their Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.

The Year 9 and Year 10 students completing their Bronze award headed out to the Surrey Hills for their practice expedition and Ashdown Forest for their assessed expedition, each lasting 2 days and 1 night.

The groups walked along pre-planned routes carrying everything they needed for the weekend, including a tent to sleep in, a trangia to cook on and all their food and clothes. During the expeditions they put their map reading and navigational skills into practice, sometimes getting lost, but then getting themselves back on track and all ending up at the campsite in good time where they pitched their tents and cooked dinner.  The students then had a bit of time to relax before heading to bed.

On the first expedition, a number of students were a little surprised that they were expected to get up at 6am but most managed it.  On the second expedition it was the teachers who had the shock when they woke up at 6am to see a queue of students ready to leave. Knowing they had to clean the toilet block if they were the last group to get ready definitely had an effect! The second day was a bit more of a challenge but they all did exceptionally well and we are pleased to report that all  of the students who took part passed. Very well done everyone.

The Silver and practice expeditions took place in the South Downs and the New Forest respectively.  Progressing to Silver means an extra day and night on both expeditions and an extra hour of walking per day. Not only this, but the terrain or the navigation needs to be a bit more demanding too!

The practice expedition in the South Downs definitely brought with it a more challenging terrain with the participants starting their first day walking over Seven Sisters (seven large hills) followed by more hills over the next two days.  Although the terrain was tough at times, the students enjoyed the beautiful views. The campfire and marshmallows in the evenings made it all worthwhile. The New Forest brought with it the chance for participants to learn how to walk on a bearing  -Maths is used in real life! This resulted in them walking through a few bogs and encountering some wild ponies but it added to the experience and everyone was able to laugh about it afterwards!  The groups again did exceptionally well, especially considering the heat last weekend and we are again delighted to report that they all passed.

The participants now need to complete their Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections to gain their award and we look forward to celebrating their achievements at a presentation evening in November.


News From The Library

Author Event – SF Said
This week, 31 students who participated in the Book Club in Schools reading group, met SF Said, award-winning author of Varjak Paw. The event was held at Forest Hill Boys School and the girls listened to SF talk about his career as an author. The students who bought a copy of his book were able to have it personally dedicated by him.

Author Event – Perdita & Honor Cargill
We had a second author event this week for all Year 8 students in our Main School Hall.
Perdita and Honor Cargill are a mother and daughter writing duo. Perdita is a former barrister and her 20 year old daughter, Honor, is currently studying at Oxford University. Honor herself has dipped her toe into the world of acting and gave the attentive students some unforgettable experiences to draw on for this brilliantly funny and insightful series. The students listened to an entertaining  account of what it is like to write as a mother and daughter and the importance of having self-belief and a sense of humour at all times!  Students had the opportunity to have copies of their book personally dedicated to them by the author. Find out more about the mother and daughter pair here.

Summer Reading
All of our students are able to borrow books to read over the holidays so we hope you will encourage your daughter to call in to the Library before the holidays to select her summer reading.

Read For Good – Sponsored Read
Our sponsored read has ended and we are delighted with the amount of money our students have raised so far. It would be helpful if you could remind your daughter to bring any unpaid money to the Library as soon as possible. Keep any eye out for our next Newsletter, which will let you know how much we have raised for this very worthwhile cause.

Happy reading.

The Library Team

Sydenham School Beauty Bank  

Throughout the summer term, Sydenham School have been running the Beauty Bank Project, which involved raising awareness about hygiene poverty in the UK and collecting donations from staff and students. It was a fantastic success and we received a large and varied amount of products. We would like to say a big thank you to the parents and students who brought in sanitary products, make up, toothpaste, gift sets and more! It has been inspiring to see what we have achieved and we have been impressed by the generosity and care of the Sydenham School community.

Year 10


Sydenham School PTA

As the end of the school year is approaching fast we thought it would be nice to get together for a drink.

Date: - Thursday 12th July 2018
Time: - 7.30 onwards
Place:- The Bricklayers Arms - the pub opposite the school. This is an adult only event.

It would be really great to see everyone there.


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