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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 238


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

We have nearly arrived at the end of a full and productive winter term. Our last day of school is Friday 21st December. Please see the information in the Newsletter for the precise finishing times on the 21st. On Monday the 7th of January, the school is closed to students because it is a staff training (CPD) day. All students return to school on Tuesday 8th January 2019 at the usual starting time of 8.40am.

I would like to wish everyone a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas Break as well as to thank the staff and students for all of their hard work during the course of this term. We look forward to welcoming the school community back in the New Year and to all of the good things that we hope 2019 will bring.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe



Crisis at Christmas


I wanted to collect donations for the local Food Bank as a school because Sydenham is a school that is rooted in its local community and I believe that Christmas is such an important time to think about people who may be struggling to get by, especially as we approach the coldest months of the year. The student response was overwhelming! We are so grateful for all the donations and so was Lewisham Food Bank. There was so much hard work and care that went into this and it definitely paid off. Well done Sydenham!

Abby Reyes Head Girl


On Friday 16 November, the Music Faculty and Sydenham Parent Teacher Association hosted an exciting evening of musical talent at SydFest 2018. We had some great bands from Sydenham School, including this year's Battle of the Bands winners Cypher, Forest Hill School, Prendergast, the BRIT School and St Dunstan's College who all competed to win the first-ever SydFest title. The Main School Hall was converted into a live music venue for the evening, complete with smoke machines and professional sound and lights. The event was judged by Donna Matthews, lead guitarist of Britpop band Elastica, Sandra Podmore, president of Spoon Records, Dan O’Callaghan, independent musician and Béa Mayéras, independent musician. It was afantastic event and one which we hope will be the first of many.

Full gallery:

The bands who played were Sydenham - Cypher, Vessels and Blossom Toads
Prendergast School - The Sighthounds
St Dunstan’s College - Attiks
Forest Hill School/The BRIT School - The Fractured
with The Fractured being declared the winners of this first SydFest.
We also had great raffle prizes from a number of local businesses as well as families and friends of Sydenham. The bar was a roaring success and contributed to the funds raised. Overall, the event raised a fantastic £1005 to be shared equally between the Music Department and Sydenham School PTA.


Winter Concert

Wednesday evening on the 12th December saw our annual Winter Concert. It was a wonderful event and we would like to extend a huge well done to all of the students who were involved. Thank you to everyone who came and supported the performers and enjoyed the delicious refreshments from the PTA, Ms Colgan and the students who made 120 mince. We are now looking forward to our Spring Concert in 2019.We hope that as many families will join us then too in order to hear more excellent musical performances.

Full gallery:

Peartree Care Home Visit  

Sydenham students entertained residents and staff at the Peartree Care Centre on Sydenham Road.  A range of Christmas carols and songs were performed and we look forward to returning again next year. The residents really appreciated the visit and we were very pleased to be able to speak with them and to bring some early Christmas cheer.


Body Worlds

On the 13th of December all of the PE GCSE Year 9, 10 and 11 students went to the famous Body Worlds Exhibition in Piccadilly Circus.
The exhibition is a collection of people that have donated their body to science after they have passed away. The bodies are preserved through a process called plastination where the fat and water in the body are removed and then injected with plastic.

The results are remarkable  with clear anatomical specimens that can be looked at in detail.
Some of the our favourite specimens included:
The different stages of the embryo in the womb
Osteoarthritis of the knee
The lungs of a smoker in relation to those of  a non-smoker as well as the other effects of smoking on the body including the skin and a cross section of a healthy torso in relation to an overweight torso.
Well done to all the students who went to the exhibition, gained a lot from it and who behaved impeccably as well.


ATLAS Cloud 9 Event

On Tuesday 4th December, nine Year 11 students went to Forest Hill School for the ATLAS Cloud 9 Event. This is an event that helped us to explore the difference between a Grade 5-7 and a Grade 9 answer. We looked at how to successfully approach the unseen poetry section on the GCSE Literature Paper 2. It was a really helpful session and we also had the opportunity to work with students from eight other Lewisham schools.

To begin with everyone discussed themes connected to the GCSE texts and plays they had studied, such as: love, the supernatural, ambition, social responsibility and philanthropy. Secondly, we read and annotated a poem called 'Blue Rose,' written by the Head of English at Forest Hill School. We then learned about various theories such as those put forward by Karl Jung and feminist writers. We discussed how these different ideas could be applied to the poem.

Shortly afterwards, the students were separated into groups with students from schools across Lewisham. All groups studied the same poems and had to apply different literary theories that they learnt during the session in order to write model paragraphs.  There was a mini competition between all 9 groups, with the most effective pieces of analysis receiving a prize.

To conclude, the event was very useful and helped all the students to understand how to write at length using more developed language and so improve their marks in the Unseen Poetry section on their Literature Paper 2 exam. All of the students worked hard and were excellent ambassadors for their respective schools.

By Grace,11A


Swan Lake

On the 6th December, Dance and Music students in Years 9- 13 went to see Matthew Bourne’s production of Swan Lake. It was truly incredible with a live orchestra and talented dancers from the company. Throughout the production the use of lighting and the set were truly magical, bringing new life to the original production. The most interesting element of the play was the subversion of gender roles, with the majority of the dancers being male, most notably the swans. Even though it was a late night, it was a great opportunity to see a modern and professional performance.

Amelia and Matdawna 12S

U15 LSSSA Tag Rugby Tournament

We entered a Year 9 team into the U15 LSSSA Tag Rugby Tournament hosted by St Dunstan's School on Thursday 13th December. Only 3 schools entered (Trinity School  being the third). We played a round robin of two halves of 7 minutes. The first game was against St Dunstan's and the players had to adapt quickly to some new rules being introduced. These rules were similar to Rugby League. The Sydenham players showed some great passing and support and won the game 6-2. In the second game against Trinity the players had got used to the changes and were on top form. Shenae scored a fantastic try off a switch and Veronica showed some great weaving to get through 4 defenders to score a try. Everyone  played impressively and showed great teamwork.

Well done to Agharad (Captain), Veronica, Shenae, Faith, Charlotte. C, Charlotte. N, Mia and Imogen. We are very proud of you all.


Year 7 Netball

On Monday 10th December, our A and B Year 7 Netball teams played at home against Sydenham High School. The B team showed lots of improvement from their first match against Sydenham High School a few weeks ago. Their communication and team work was much better but unfortunately they lost the match 6-1. The A team were leading the first match 2-0 in the first half but lost a bit of focus and ended up drawing 4-4. We know where we need to develop our game and will work hard to ensure that we continue to do so.


Trinity Laban Visit

I really enjoyed our trip to Trinity Laban and I am really looking forward to starting the Re:Locate programme there. It was really interesting having the opportunity to look around Laban and find suitable places for our groups to perform on the day of the event. When we arrived at Laban, we met our “instructors” and they explained to us some more about the project. We were then taken on a tour around the building and we were given some historical facts about the building and the various projects that have taken place there. At first the thought of performing and taking part in this programme made me nervous, but this visit has certainly made me feel much more confident. Overall, I am really excited to start!


Year 11 Parents' Evening Letter:


This is an exciting opportunity for you to get involved in a Work Experience programme with a difference. You will have the chance to hear from professionals who will share their expertise and experiences working in the creative industries during an interactive two-day workshop on Monday, 15 – Tuesday, 16 April 2019 in London.

The two-day workshop will cover areas such as theatre, design, music, creative agency, photography and many more aspects of theatre life, to give you a wide overview of opportunities available within the creative industries. There will be helpful tips on how to get started and some practical insight into selected lines of work.

All 16 to 18 year olds interested should apply by Friday 11 January 2019.

For application details please see:

Young people around the country are spending Saturday mornings at their local university, colleges or museums discovering subjects they love. Saturday Clubs are open to 13–16 year olds and are free to attend. Joining the National Saturday Club is a chance to meet exceptional people, learn new skills and find out more about further education and rewarding careers.

Generation Tech – JP Morgan Chase – Saturday 15 December 2019

Congratulations to our Sixth Form Team who won the Beats Wireless Headphones last Saturday in the JP Morgan annual event – Generation Tech.  All Year 10, 11 and 12 students should look out for this event next year – as the event is excellent and the prizes are exceptional. 

Fiona Taylor, Careers and Enterprise Coordinator


Year 7 English

Year 7 students have had an exciting half term in English examining a variety of different Shakespeare plays, including: Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice and As You Like It. The focus of this unit has been Speaking and Listening, with students working towards a final performance of their chosen piece in front of the rest of their class.

The year 7 teachers have been really impressed with the quality and standard of these performances, and students have demonstrated that a lot of hard work, resilience and deliberate practice has gone into rehearsals. Well done Year 7! 



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