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Welcome to the Sydenham School e-newsletter: Edition 242


Message from the Headteacher

Sakina Sheikh Councillor, Gloria Lowe Headteacher, Helen Hayes MP

Dear Families

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD) which is an annual event. The first IWD was in 1911 and reached about 1 million people. This is in contrast to the millions of people who take part in what has now become a global event that both celebrates women and girls-their social, economic and political achievements- as well as helps us to focus on the inequalities that exist across the world based on gender. In some countries women are not allowed to divorce their husbands; women are denied the right to travel and women are victims of violence due to unequal legal rights.

There is a significant gender pay gap here and across the world. Figures released this week show that it is 17.9% in the UK. Women also earn less in female dominated professions such as teaching and social work where the gap is even bigger because many women in these professions work part time and are in lower paid roles than the men in those organisations.

Sarah McConnell & Pamela Sinnott, PTA

We know as well that women are denied access to education in some parts of the world.  Thankfully, that is not the case here and at Sydenham School last night we celebrated the diversity, strength, courage and beauty of women with an International Women’s Day evening. The evening was hosted by Helen Hayes, who is the MP for  Dulwich and West Norwood.  We are very grateful to Helen for giving up her time in what we know is a particularly busy diary. There were 14 women speaking for 5 minutes or so each about themselves and their work. Our speakers were not necessarily connected to the school but some were parents, sisters, aunts and grandmothers of students who do attend Sydenham School. They too gave up their time selflessly and willingly to be there last night.

Please find a link to our list of speakers here:

It was a truly inspirational  evening and the packed audience lapped up everything that they heard. There were many students in the audience and the evening ended with all of the young people being asked to stand up to be applauded by the assembled crowd, as the next generation of leaders, change makers and great citizens.

We would like to thank the PTA for organising and leading this event. The PTA is going from strength to strength and a particular thank you must go to Pamela Sinott and Sarah McConnell. In addition, we would like to thank Maya Haiman-Eilon, Pippa Moss and the sponsor of the event Marienne Pachonick Architects.

As ever, I hope that you have a lovely and restful weekend with your family and friends.

Mrs Lowe




The first thing to say about MOMO is that it is a hoax. There is no evidence to say that any of the claims flying around in the media last week are true. 

My own nine year old son came home worried by stories he had heard about scary creatures that hacked phones and computers and would come to get him. Clearly fantasy, but to his young mind, frightening enough. 

As you can read in this BBC article the whole thing is an Urban Legend that has got out of hand.

If your daughter is worried about Momo, do listen and reassure her that, as far this is concerned, there is nothing to worry about. 

When it comes to Online Safety in general, the best thing to do is keep the dialogue open with your children. Keep talking and listening to them about their online lives, take an interest in what they are doing.  Encourage your child to talk to you about how they use the internet and show you what they do. Discuss with them the kinds of things they might come across and how they would deal with them. A good time to talk is when they get a new device or mention a new website.

More guidance can be found here:

Anne Frank Exhibition  

17 Year 9 students have been trained by the Anne Frank Trust to take younger students around the exhibition of Anne's life, which is currently installed in the Library. They have developed their public speaking skills and confidence as a result and are proving brilliant ambassadors for the anti-prejudice message the exhibition promotes. Feedback from students and teachers has been overwhelmingly positive; we look forward to every Year 7 and 8 student taking part in the exhibition over the next week.


How to Revise

Most students take 10 or more GCSEs covering over 200 topics amounting to many hours of revision. For those taking exams in June, this means starting to revise now.
In most circumstances it is not about how many hours you spend reading your notes. If you spend two hours learning a difficult topic, once you’ve understood it, put it aside. To commit it to your long-term memory, review the key points regularly over the coming weeks e.g:

  1. Understand the topic (as many hours as it takes)
  2. Review the topic (on a different day for an hour)
  3. Review again (on another day for 30 minutes)
  4. Do short refreshers until you have committed the topic to memory (15 minutes).

An excellent video to understand how to revise is:

Live Dance! Lewisham  

On Wednesday 6th March, the A Level Dance group performed their Performance Quartet ‘Paint It Black’ as part of the borough wide event ‘Live Dance!’ Lewisham held at The Broadway Theatre, Catford.  Sydenham dancers have participated in this event for the past 18 years. This year provided the students with a performance opportunity in preparation for their forthcoming practical exam. 

The students performed to a very high standard: “it was the best we have ever done it” quoted one of the students.  The students’ performance  was enthusiastically received by the audience and we were praised from the Trinity Laban organisers of the showcase, who are keen to work more closely with Sydenham dancers in future projects.  Well done to our fabulous dancers!


Informal Concert

Well done to everyone who performed in the Informal Concert held in the Music Department on Thursday 14th February. Students from Year 7-13 performed solo pieces they have been working on in their instrumental lessons during lunch time in front of their peers. It was a fantastic event led by Mr Collis, one of our piano teachers.


LSSSA Year 9 and 10 Netball

On Wednesday 13th February we hosted the final LSSSA Netball tournament at St Dunstan’s College. We had two year groups running concurrently. Both our teams played really well and gave it their all.The Year 9s had 3 games to play and the Year 10s had 5 games to play. The Year 9 team won two games and drew one game so the winning team had to come from the goal difference. Sydenham School scored 9 goals in total and Sydenham High School scored 13.
The whole event ran really smoothly and all the schools had a fantastic time. Below are the results:

Year 9


Sydenham High School


Sydenham School




Prendergast Vale


Year 10


Sydenham High


St Dunstan


Sydenham School


Conisborough College








LSSSA KS3 Cross Country

On Thursday 14th February the second cross country tournament took place at Bonus Pastor School for KS3. We took 8 students from Year 7 and 8. They were all very excited but also a little nervous. The course was quite muddy but it was a beautiful sunny afternoon and everyone had to run 2 kilometers as quickly as they could.
The Year 7 race was first. The competitors ran fantastically well, keeping pace and never giving up. Beatrice in 7D came first from the Sydenham team finishing in 10 minutes 20 seconds. We are awaiting the results from the organisers to see where we have come overall.

The Year 8s had a slow start on the first lap but soon picked up the pace and Izzi paced herself fantastically leading the way and finishing first out of 7 schools with a time of 9 minutes 34 seconds.Charlotte came in second with 10 minutes 23 seconds. The whole team did well and we await the results to see if they have made it through to the next round.

Well done to Indigo, Beatrice, Niamh, Alex, May, Ellie, Sugnesh and Megan from Year 7 and to Charlotte, Rosa, Callie, Zita, Monika, Marnie, Izzi and Faith in Year 8.


GCSE Food Exams

Here are some pictures of the sumptuous food cooked in the Year 11 GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition final practical examination. The students did themselves, their teachers and their families proud.

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.



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