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Welcome to the Sydenham School e-newsletter: Edition 254


Message from the Headteacher

Dear Families

I hope that you are managing to successfully adjust to the winter weather that has definitely arrived over the last couple of weeks! You will see below some glorious pictures of the recent visit to Venice by a group of students and staff which was a great success. Venice, of course, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Thank goodness we visited when we did, as sadly, Venice has been flooded over the last week and conditions there have been very challenging for the local residents.

Some of our students are coming to school without warm outer clothing despite the plummeting temperature here. Please can you ensure that your child at least has a coat so that they can keep warm in this inclement weather. Also, if they choose to bring a scarf to school, please can you ensure that the scarf is either black or navy blue.

The Year 11 Mock exams are midway through now. The students are working hard and taking this opportunity to consolidate their learning very seriously. We are aware that exams can be stressful and have been mindful of this in terms of actively supporting our students to find positive coping strategies. One of these is careful preparation for the exams and effective ‘retrieval practice’. We would like to thank you for your continuing support of your children in relation to their academic progress. Please do familiarise yourself with the strategies that the school is actively teaching your child so that they can be effective learners.

Finally, thank you to all of those families who attended our Sixth Form Open Evening event on Thursday 14th November. It was a great success and there were many families from Sydenham, Forest Hill and many other schools within and beyond the borough. There was standing room only at the 6.30pm talk. I would like to thank all of the staff involved in organising the event and engaging with families throughout the evening. SFH6 is a vibrant and successful Sixth Form provision and we look forward to welcoming back our current Year 11 students in September 2020.

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

Kind regards

Mrs Lowe





Visual Arts Venice Visit

Sydenham School Visual Arts faculty took some students to Venice, to be immersed in the world of contemporary art. The biennale exhibitions left us all amazed and fascinated. 

Walking through the beautiful city, along the historic canals was like travelling through time and back to the Renaissance, an era of impressive artistic progress. We visited the Galleria dell’Academia and saw impressive works of art, in part, brought about by the introduction of oil paint.

Students were awed by the golden mosaics of St Marks Basilica, inspired by their visit to the studio of artist Roberto La Tassa , challenged in their sketching of street views and satisfied by the local flavours of creamy gelato! A wonderful trip was had by all. 
Many thanks to Ms Henderson, Ms Bailey, Ms McArdle and Mr Thomas who supported the trip with care and enthusiasm. 

And well done to all the students who worked so hard.

Thank you again for supporting your child to come on our trip to Venice.
It really was remarkable and exceeded my expectations.

Please see the photographs above, and feel free to send me any good ones you have.
Do encourage all students to finish and hand in their sketch books to me.

Kind regards,

Caia Henderson
Curriculum Leader of Visual Arts


News from the PTA

Can it really be nearly Christmas?! Time to start planning at least – and to buy your Christmas tree from Sydenham School.

Bag yourself a gorgeous Super Grade or Premium Grade Nordman Fir at a great price (you can even get it delivered!), while helping to raise funds for the school – it’s a snow brainer!

The Christmas trees come from a local supplier and have been raising funds for many years at another local school with fantastic feedback.

Please click on the link below to find out more and make your order:

Then pop over to ParentPay to pay for your tree:

Don’t miss this fir-ntastic offer – yule be kicking yourself if you do!


Trees will be available to pick up or be delivered the morning of Sunday 1 December.


Did you know you can raise money for the school whenever you go online shopping – at no extra cost to you?

Just go to and join as a supporter. Look for Sydenham School PTA or click on this link:

easyfundraising is a great website where you can help us raise money simply by doing your everyday online shopping with over 4,000 big-name retailers such as Amazon, New Look, Argos, John Lewis, Top Shop, ASOS, eBay and M&S.

Every time you shop, we receive a small donation to say, “Thank you” and it’s completely free! Lots of local schools use easyfundraising in this way. This handy little video explains how it works:

Over £27million has already been raised for good causes in the UK by easyfundraising shoppers, so please help us to get our share by signing up!

We’ve registered with easyfundraising and we need your help!

We want to raise as much money as possible so please sign up and help Sydenham School at


Costume and Theatre Careers Talk - Tuesday 19th November 2019 from 15.30 - 16.30 - Sixth Form Common Room

We are delighted to invite all students to a careers seminar with the Assistant Costume Supervisor of The National Theatre. Sarah Holmes will be speaking about careers in costume and in the theatre.  Do encourage your child to put the date into their Planner and to come along to hear more about these creative and STEM careers.

Fiona Taylor, Careers and Enterprise Coordinator


Debate Mate

On Tuesday 5th November 2019,16 students from Sydenham School attended the Debate Mate 2019 launch event at the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster. The students watched a remarkable 'show' debate from a former Manchester United player, a trainee lawyer and students from other schools in London. The motion was ‘This house would punish parents for the crimes of their children’, with the team arguing against the motion stealing the victory. 

The students had the opportunity to learn the key skills and components of what makes a good debate as many of them are new to the Debating Club.

Debating Club 2019-20 will be starting from Tuesday 12th November between 3.30-4.30pm in G126 and every Tuesday thereafter. All students are welcome.

We hope that Sydenham School can continue to excel at debating and we look forward to nurturing another cohort of fine, young debaters.

Well done to all of the students who attended this event and represented Sydenham School in the best form.
Ms Nkrumah

Activism Society  

The Activism Society is a club focusing on political issues that helps young people to develop as active students in society. The society is hosting their first whole school event. This is a Film Club event, celebrating Black History and diversity on Tuesday 26th November in the Drama Studio from 3.30pm- 5.30pm. 

Tickets are £2 for entrance or £4 for a meal deal (entrance, popcorn and a drink). The tickets can be purchased from Ms Nkrumah or members of the Activism Society from now until the day of the filming.

There is also a competition that students can enter. Students are being asked to design something inspired by the theme of 'Culture and Diversity'. Entries should be submitted to Ms Nkrumah with the name of the student, tutor group and what category the student is entering (Drama, Music/Dance, Art or  Literature). There is a 50 pence entry fee to take part in the competition.

Prizes will be awarded for individual categories and for overall winners. All proceeds will be going towards the Year 11 Prom and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. As always, the Activism Society are always welcoming of new members from all year groups and we meet after school every other Thursday in G.G.036.

We look forward to seeing you,
Activism Society.


News From The Library

Last week 16 students from Years 7 & 8 had the pleasure of attending a private screening at the East Dulwich Picturehouse of 'The Boy Who Would be King'.
This was a modern take on the myth of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table as a young boy finds the sword Excalibur and must gather his friends to fight against the rising of an 'evil force'. The film explores topics including History and English Literature in addition to highlighting themes surrounding friendships, anti-bullying and mythology.
This event was part of the Into Film Festival and the students who took part had a wonderful time. It felt quite special to watch the film is such a lovely cinema.


Bookbuzz is a reading programme from BookTrust that aims to help schools inspire a love of reading. At the beginning of the school year, all Year 7 students had the opportunity to choose a book from a list of 17 titles, to take home and keep. There was lots of excitement recently when their books arrived. Don’t forget to ask your child what book they chose!

Happy reading!

Mrs Joseph
Library Officer

Sydenham School Letters

Sydenham School letters are now being sent via email on a more regular basis. If you have not provided the school with an email address for at least one of your child's home contacts you may find that you are receiving important information later than those families who have provided an email address.
If you have an email address that you have not shared with us, please do so by sending an email to as soon as you are able. Please provide the full name of the student and the contact parent/carer. 

Please note that this message is also relevant to our Year 11 students who are sitting their GCSEs this school year. We do not want anyone to miss important information.


Sydenham ICT

Eleven things you should know about loot boxes (virtual items users can purchase in games with real money):


Year 10 Careers Talk

Year 10 Careers Talk - Careers in the Arts and Music Industry: Michele Stodart from the Magic Numbers and Rachel D’Cruze the Director of Sydenham Arts

Our Year 10 students had an assembly on November 12th led by Rachel D’Cruze, the Director of Sydenham Arts. Rachel spoke to the year group about her career in the BBC, running a touring theatre company and now running an arts organisation.  

This was followed by a special talk and performance for over 100 students by Michele Stodart. Michele is a member of the double platinum and award winning band the Magic Numbers and a solo artist. She described her journey to success and the importance of having self-belief to keep you going through the ups and downs of building a career.

At the end of assembly, Michele and Rachel took questions from students on a wide range of topics including how to find work experience in the arts, managing stage fright and how to cope if you think people do not like your work. It was an excellent insight into both the practicalities of finding your dream job in the arts as well as the importance of learning how to manage your emotions in your career.



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