Parent workshops: strengthening school-parent dialogue

You may have been as heartened as we were to see the recent media coverage and comment on the success of girl’s schools over their co-ed counterparts. Studies have once again revealed what we already know and believe to be true; girls reach their academic potential most fully in single-sex schools. Girls who attend single-sex schools can be more confident in themselves and can escape gender stereotyping.

At Sydenham High School we place considerable stock by our commitment to putting girls first. This core value informs and determines all aspects of school life, as well as providing the foundation for our Flourish and Fly student development programme:

  • We are committed to improving attainment and encouraging growth mindsets
  • We are determined to support our staff in honing and developing their classroom practice
  • We continually explore ways to increase and improve the diverse learning experiences and opportunities made available to girls across the school

Open, positive parent relationships characterise our school community and we are always looking for ways to develop and strengthen the dialogue between home and school. This term has seen us launch a programme of Parent Workshops which have been designed to support effective parenting and showcase the different areas we are working on to drive school improvement in the Junior School.

Education in England has gone through seismic change over the last two years with the launch of the new National Curriculum, the disbandment of National Curriculum Levels and a complete overhaul of the GCSE and A Level examination systems.  As such, we are keen to share with you the ways in which we are responding to these changes in order to provide as rich and positive an experience as possible and ensure each girl is well-equipped to reach their potential.

Since January we have hosted a parent seminar from child development expert Emma Gleadhill on how to stay in touch with your daughter as she passes through adolescence, as well as an e-Safety Forum on how to support your daughter to stay safe online and maintain an appropriate online profile. These topical areas have stimulated interesting discussions and provided food for thought for the both the school and parents.

In the first of two Literacy-focused Parent Workshops this term (9 February), we shared our new approach to spelling. In order to embed a firm understanding of spelling rules and patterns we are following Read Write Inc, a systematic daily spelling programme. The workshop provided an excellent opportunity to share the pedagogy behind the approach as well as model effective ways emergent spelling can be encouraged.

During the course of our remaining Parents Workshops this academic year, we hope to shine a spotlight for you on the areas we are developing and provide helpful strategies you can deploy at home to support us in delivering a joined-up experience for your daughter:

Reading WorkshopTuesday 1 March 20161800-1900
Maths Calculation WorkshopTuesday 10 May 20161800-1900
Assessment Without Levels WorkshopTuesday 7 June 20161800-1900


We look forward to seeing many parents at these events.

Ms Claire Boyd, Head of Junior School

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