Category: General

Budding journalist, Zahra participates in ‘Language of Life’ Christmas Lecture at Royal Institution

At the end of last term, Year 10 student, Zahra D’Souza attended the Christmas Lecture at the Royal Institution. This was a great experience and she was able to witness a ‘behind the scenes’ production of part of the show as well as watch the filming and  discuss the actual science behind it with Professor Slawomir and Dr Zoulias from the University of Reading. Zahra has since written an article about her visit for the Young Reporter’s Scheme, which has been tweeted by the Brain Embodiment Lab at the University of Reading and by Professor Slawomir and colleagues . In communications to her, Professor Slawomir congratulated Zahra for a well-written and informative article. You can read the article by clicking this link:

Sydenham High students come together to raise awareness of homelessness at Christmas in support of Crisis

The end of term Christmas celebrations were kicked off with the annual Crisis at Christmas review, organised by the year 12 Sixth Form students. Aiming to raise awareness of homelessness at Christmas, and in support of the charity drive for donations, students from years 7-13 were all encouraged to bring in donations that were then kindly collected and taken to a local collection point. And what a generous bunch of students we have at Sydenham High! Donations varied from non-perishable foods items, toiletries, arts and crafts material and clothing; all items that were much needed by the charity and those facing homelessness over the Christmas period.

The year 12 organising committee worked tirelessly to organise a wonderful event, holding auditions and regular rehearsals to ensure that all the acts were ready to go. Some fabulous Christmas candy decorations gave a festive feel to the Longton Hall and ensured the scene was set for a great morning of entertainment. And to bring a celebrity feel to the event, Miranda Hart very kindly filmed a support message for the students, congratulating them on their hard work.

“Hello to you, Sydenham High School. I’m just wishing you a very very merry Christmas and good luck for all you are doing to raise money for Crisis. You’re amazing! Have such fun!” – Miranda Hart

The event showcased some wonderful talents from singing, dancing and even political satire! Our performers excelled themselves, and a special mention must go to Mr Guest and Mr Batty for their wonderful parody of ‘Man’s Not Hot’.

Welcome back to our Alumnae of 2017

It was lovely to welcome back our year 13 leavers from 2017 for our first Alumnae lunch. Once the formal presentation of their A Level certificates by Mrs Woodcock was completed, it was wonderful to chat to the students and their parents and find out about their exciting news since leaving Sydenham High.


Those who are at university have been having a fantastic time settling in to their new courses and making new friends. I was also fabulous to hear that the Sydenham friendships remain strong as Rachel and Evie who are both studying at the university of Edinburgh are taking dance classes together.


For those who are currently taking gap years it was great to hear about the varied things that everyone has been doing. From working at Peter Jones and a local prep school, to taking storyboarding courses and teaching swimming, the students have been working hard and gaining new skills in preparation for taking up their places at university in September.


We wish them all the best for the future.

Showstoppers delight in GDST Bake Off final at Sydenham High

Talented bakers from eight GDST schools and two local secondary schools delivered showstoppers to rival those seen on the Great British Bake Off in the final of the first GDST London Bake Off, hosted by Sydenham High School.

The ten contestants were from: Bromley High, Croydon High, Kingsdale Foundation School, Notting Hill & Ealing High, Streatham & Clapham High, Sydenham School and Sydenham High, with ages ranging from 12 to 17.

Chief judges Mrs Katharine Woodcock, Sydenham High’s Headmistress, and Ms Farah Hamid, founder and owner of Kitchen Skills, London’s newest cookery school, were amazed and delighted by the young baker’s efforts.

The showstoppers featured everything from a ski lift to a science clamp stand, as well as more regular themes such as Christmas reindeer and summery ice cream cones

Sydenham High rowers pull together for tumour survivor’s fundraising Atlantic record bid

Sydenham High School’s rowers are pulling together for a very special charity world record attempt by rower and Cushing’s disease survivor Kiko Matthews. Kiko is raising money for the new critical care unit at King’s College Hospital by attempting to become the fastest female to cross the Atlantic solo and unsupported. The team from Sydenham High is hoping to raise £1,000 for her cause by aiming to row a total of 3,000 miles in training – the actual distance Kiko will be rowing in January (minus the Atlantic’s 40ft waves!)

Since her 2009 diagnosis of a rare and life-threatening disease, Kiko’s life has been saved not once but twice by the doctors and nurses of King’s. To thank the hospital, and challenge herself, Kiko decided to use her love of rowing to raise money for the new unit, which will help save many more lives in the future.

More than 25 rowers, including captain of boats Phoebe and year 12 rowing scholar Darcy, have been taking to the school’s ergo machines, to add to their river training, to clock up the necessary miles and reach their sponsorship target.

Kiko herself joined them on the river for a training session and was paired with year 11 rower Elena.  Afterwards Kiko announced on Twitter: “Having a year 11 girl in charge and showing me the ropes was awesome. Totally loved my afternoon.”

The Sydenham High team was inspired to support Kiko after she was the guest speaker at senior school prize giving in July.  They are one of one hundred female supporters and groups being recruited by Kiko through her 100TogetHER fundraising campaign.

Young photographers in the frame for Spirit of the Community challenge

Two young photographers have shared the top prize in Sydenham High School’s first community photographic competition.

The winning photos of local life were taken by Isabella Dutton from Sydenham High Junior School and Evie Sloan from Oakfield Preparatory School.  Their shots were judged to be the best entries to capture the spirit of their local community, by Sydenham High’s Headmistress Katharine Woodcock and professional photographer John Russell.

Young photographers from schools around Sydenham have been snapping away to enter Sydenham High’s Spirit of the Community photography competition which has been running for the last month with students from years 5 and 6. The standard of photos received was very high.  All images were judged anonymously and six finalists images were chosen with two winners and two runners-up ultimately selected.

Isabella (11) took her winning photo of a man on a bench watching a football match in her local park. “Every Sunday there are children playing in football matches and locals often stop and watch. They can use the local park benches to sit down and many have plaques in memory of loved ones. I think the photo reflects my local community spirit.”

Judge John Russell said of Isabella’s photo:  “I like the way the photographer is observing the scene and recording it, unknown to those captured. A lovely documentary-style composition that draws in the eye. A well balanced, interesting image that commands a second look. We could be sitting on that bench and we know that feeling of sitting in the park on a sunny day. The football game and the person sitting on the bench coexist in their individual communities but both are brought together in this moment.”

The winning photo from Evie (10) is a contrastingly bustling street life scene in Herne Hill. She said: “Herne Hill is lively, fun-filled community with a weekly market, packed with scintillating stalls and scrumptious smells.”

Judge John Russell commented: “I like the street photography style of this image. A well-executed photo that shows a busy market, nicely framed and captured. A well-balanced image that has the quality of a painting about it.”

There were prizes for two runners-up: Elana Aristidou (10), also from Oakfield Preparatory School, and Liberty Bowden (10) from Sydenham High Junior School. Their images – of participants in a charity walk to raise money for King’s College Hospital and the People’s Piano at Herne Hill station – also caught the eye of the judges.

Commendations also went to the other two finalists – Olivia Hennings (10) and Audrey Kim (10), both from Sydenham High Junior School.

Sydenham High students shine at Beckenham Festival 2017

Senior School and Junior School pupils reaped the rewards of their hard work in their LAMDA classes on Saturday 18 November, when they performed at the annual Beckenham Festival of Speech and Drama in the Westwood Theatre.

Highly experienced adjudicator and LAMDA examiner Marcia Carr was delighted to award 1st place and two Gold Medals to year 7 students Lyla Waller and Ava Wood for their entertaining portrayal of the Ugly Sisters in ‘The Glass Slipper’.

Year 7 pupils took part for the first time and each received marks well into the 80’s. Presenting their work with conviction and focus, the girls all received certificates. Lucy Johnson gave a powerful performance of the Wicked Queen, delighting the audience.

Carys Hibberd (year 10) faced her stage fright head on, gaining high praise from the adjudicator, along with 1st place, a Gold Medal and a trophy for her performance as Katerina from ‘The Storm’ by Alexander Ostrovsky.

Madeleine Gowers (year 12) impressed with a scene from ‘The Lower Depths’ by Maxim Gorky, gaining the Gold Medal and 1st place for Senior Acting.

Exploring languages and cultures in MFL Society

Sydenham High Sixth Form students are currently presenting a series of lectures for the Senior School’s Modern Foreign Languages Society.

‘TWI: a Ghanaian language’ was the focus of this week’s lecture. Maya Rose in year 13 shared her cultural background with the audience, eloquently explaining the origins of the Twi language, as well as some of the Ghanaian traditions.

Get in touch

Contact us