On Wednesday 4 July, the Senior School gathered with friends, families and staff to celebrate the achievements of our pupils this year. There were some amazing music, dance and drama performances and every year group was represented in the prizes across subjects and disciplines. The afternoon was a wonderful showcase of all the talent and dedication at Sydenham High School and we were delighted to have GB Gold medallist and conservationist, Crista Cullen MBE, with us as our key note speaker.
She spoke about her journey to her career in hockey and her life in Africa, as well as her passion for conservation through her charitable foundation Tofauti. She told us about the setbacks she had along the way to achieving her gold medal and how important it is to have a positive attitude in life:
If you have a good attitude, you can be taught. Whether that is in the classroom or on a sports field, it’s no different. If you feel that you want to excel at something it’s up to you to seek that guidance. You have two choices: you can either sit in a corner and think your dream is over or you can take the bull by the horns and ask what do I need to practice.
– Crista Cullen MBE
After the ceremony we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon tea in the sunshine, where Crista was kind enough to allow people to hold her gold medal! We very much hope to see our girls bringing back their own medals in the future.
Year 10 poets channelled their muses in a workshop led by Isabel White and Sydenham Arts today as an end of term treat. The workshop required our young writers to consider the term ‘hero’. They then began to reflect on the word’s different meanings in their own creative work. Some students celebrated superhuman strength in their writing; others considered the quietly heroic deeds of the everyday; some (tongue-in-cheek) even paid homage to the well-loved chocolate brand! A fun time was had by all and have a strong set of entries for this year’s Sydenham Arts Poetry Competition, which we are proud to have won last year.
It gave the Junior School great pleasure to welcome Cheryl Giovannoni, Chief Executive of the Girls’ day School Trust, to Prize Giving on Tuesday afternoon in the Senior School Sports Hall. Cheryl inspired a packed hall with her passion for the GDST family and why belonging to the community is so special for pupils, parents and staff. Reading from her favourite Dr Seuss book, she reminded us all that we can achieve whatever we want when we set our minds to it.
Ms Boyd outlined the success of this year’s Collaborative Endeavour project at Junior School and Mrs Woodcock praised all pupils for their hard working attitude and kindness as well as passing on messages of good luck to our year 6 leavers.
Music and drama performances punctuated the ceremony and included a solo by musician of the year, Josie Sambidge (year 5) and monologue excerpts from the year 6 production Suffragette: The Fight by Nyama Swaray and Marnie Ugo Evans. At the end of the afternoon, the sports hall roof was raised with a rousing rendition of ELO’s Mr Blue Sky.
Congratulations to all our giraffe girls on a brilliant year and and big well done goes out to all our Prize Winners.
We are delighted that year 7 Olivia won a silver medal on the 12/13 age on 3m springboard at the National Age Group Diving Championships and another silver on 12/13yr synchro. She also came 4th on the 12/13 platform, and 17th on 12/13 1m springboard.She has done incredibly well having only dived for a short period of time, and being one of the youngest in her group. Well done Olivia!
On the afternoon of Thursday 28 June, Mireille Fauchon, lecturer from the Royal College of Art, visited the Art department to run a workshop for art students in year 10 and year 12, introducing them to the methods of teaching used in an art school environment.
The workshop was based around the theme of Migration, and students had to work intuitively and independently in areas including collage, moving image, performance and 3D making. The focus of the afternoon was on risk taking and creating responsive ideas, rather than refined outcomes – a whole new way of working for SydArtists! Both year groups rose to the challenge, and showed how SydArtists really do ‘fear nothing’!
Well done to the participants for their energy and enthusiasm, and thank you to Mireille for planning and delivering such an inspiring workshop.
We were delighted to announce Grey House as winners of our 2018 Sports Day on Friday 22 June. We were incredibly lucky to enjoy a bright, sunny day at the Sports Ground. Our athletics carousel, long distance and sprint runs involved pupils from across the Junior School. Fantastic team spirit was on show all day. We were joined by lots of parents, grandparents and siblings who all offered lots of support. More photos and results will follow in next week’s bulletin. A big thank you goes out to the PSA volunteers for running a very popular Pimm’s tent!
On the afternoon of Wednesday 20 June, pupils in Grand Designs Club from year 3 and year 5 spent the afternoon as guests of Crest Nicholson at their residential building project on Sydenham Hill. During the visit the girls gained an insight into the design and construction processes that go into building new homes for families in London. During meetings with the development designers, architects and engineers the girls saw the initial site drawings, architectural models and tools used to bring the buildings to life. It was an inspiring visit and the girls will have the chance to apply what they have learned when the Grand Designs Club meet again next week with Mrs Mac.
The end of this week has been busy for our intrepid year 10s who have been discovering what it is like to be a sixthformer at Sydenham High.
Yesterday they had the chance to immerse themselves in the various activities that we offer as part of our Stretch enrichment programme, with activities such as rock climbing, photography, rowing, musical theatre, first aid and cookery. They also learnt networking and communication skills as part of a taster of our Professional Skills Programme (PSP).
Today the year group travelled to Oxford to visit the university and find out more about higher education options. In the morning they were treated to a fantastic session by Moj from Push Talks who gave valuable advice about future planning for Higher Education and beyond. He spoke about making the right choices for you as an individual and taking every opportunity that comes along.
Your skills aren’t just what you’ve learnt academically, skills are also who you are as a person and how you communicate this
– Moj, Push Talks
Having spent the morning at the prestigious Oxford Union, they were then able to visit Brasenose College and see what life is like for university students. Preparing for life beyond Sydenham High is an integral part of education here and the aforementioned are just some of the ways in which we ensure our students are future proofed.
I really enjoyed the trip to Oxford. It wasn’t at all as I expected – it was so interesting!
The tour of the college was great! It was really good getting to speak to university students about how they made their decisions.