Our ethos and aims

Pupils develop high levels of self-confidence and the inner strength needed to succeed, as a result of an understanding not to fear failure

— ISI, 2020



Sydenham High School is part of the Girls’ Day School Trust, the leading group of independent girls’ schools in the UK. Providing a first-class education for girls was the aim of our founders in 1887 and though the outlook and opportunities for girls may have changed, our educational goals remain the same.

Our school motto, Nyle ye Drede, (‘Fear nothing’), lies at the heart of all we do. A Sydenham High education is centred upon the pupil, where academic excellence and pastoral excellence go hand in hand. We want our pupils to have a ‘can do’ approach and inner strength so that they are enabled to thrive, succeed and be happy.

We are a school which is small enough to ensure that every pupil is visible so that their education is both aspirational and personalised. We want to empower our pupils to face potential challenges with confidence. We want them to be resilient in all that they do so that in an ever-changing world they are able to respond positively to the increasing demands placed on them, both at school and in their future lives.




We want to inspire our pupils to:

  • Achieve individual excellence; to be inspired and to inspire
  • Be ambitious and outstrip expectations
  • Embrace opportunities
  • Be bold, fearless and resilient
  • Have independence of mind and the courage to take risks
  • Have a strong moral compass and be accepting and respectful of themselves and others


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