In the midst of building improvement works, and with the sun finally shining, our year 13 cohort returned to school today to celebrate their long awaited A Level results. They need not have worried as their hard work paid off and this year was a record breaker, with a quarter of the cohort receiving A* grades, and 91% A* to B grades! Bucking the national trend of a dip in the top grades to its lowest for ten years, our year 13 achieved 55% A* or A grades, compared with 25.5% nationally.
There are so many lovely stories from today but here are a few:
Molly and Emily achieved all A* grades and are setting off to read Sociology and Chemistry at York respectively.
Martha achieved 3 A* and an A and is heading off to Linguistics with Chinese at Lancaster.
Annabelle achieved 2 A* and 1 A grades and is starting an apprenticeship degree at Ernst & Young.
Khadijah is weighing up her university offers to study mechanical engineering so that she can continue her riding training following her victory at the Magnolia Cup two weeks ago.
Majura is using her A* and 2 A grades for Product Design Engineering at Loughborough.
Laura heads off to study Medicine at Southampton.
Phoebe is going to read Philosophy & Politics at Sheffield.
It was smiles all round as the students and their parents discussed the next steps of this wonderful cohort. Not only have they achieved amazing results but they have given so much to the Sydenham High community.
We also had some very happy teachers – especially those in the Chemistry, Geography, Government and Politics, Italian and Philosophy departments as their students achieved all A* or A grades.
It is always a pleasure to celebrate with our students at this time of year. These record breaking results are testament to their hard work, and that of their teachers, as well as the support of their families. This year group gave so much to our school community: they are socially conscious, quirky and kind as well as determined and talented. We look forward to seeing them spread the Sydenham spirit as they move onto their next stage of life and will enjoy welcoming them back in the winter term to hear all about their adventures.
Monday saw the Prep School celebrating all the successes of its pupils and say goodbye not only to year 6 as they move up to Senior School but also to the wonderful Ms Boyd as she leaves to become Head of the Junior School at Wimbledon High GDST. We are so sad to see her go but know that she will retain her giraffe girl spirit – as will our outgoing year 6 on their next adventure. We were also treated to more from author and lecturer Christopher Lloyd, What on Earth books, who followed on from his work as part of our Senior School’s Socrates Programme by giving the key note speech. He reminded us all of the importance of developing a lifelong love of learning and to remain curious, questioning the world around us. Wise words that we wholeheartedly endorse from Prep through to Senior and Sixth – and into adulthood!
The following day we welcomed Senior pupils and Sixth Formers – plus many members of our supportive parent body to reflect on the past year and congratulate our pupils on all that they have achieved. We were delighted that London Fire Brigade Commissioner, Dany Cotton, was able to take time out to join us as our special guest. She gave an empowering speech about her journey to becoming the first female Commissioner and some of the positive changes she has been able to initiate in post, such as the use of firefighter instead of fireman, as well as encouraging our pupils to go out there and be whom or whatever they want to be, grabbing every opportunity. There is no room for gender stereotypes and we firmly advocate risk taking in our pupils and going beyond comfort zones – everything is a learning opportunity, whether it goes well or not! We believe in you all so go for it!
On Wednesday 3 July the Senior School took to the sports ground for the annual sports day festivities. There was the usual buzz of excitement from the house tents as everyone prepared for their events and wondered who would be victorious this year. It was well supported by parents and there were some fantastic records broken including:
George Budden breaking year 9 javelin record by a metre
Samiyah Harris breaking the triple jump record by 24cm
Lily Russell breaking the shot putt by 55cm – a record that has stood since 2008
Aliyah Paydar breaking the 100m record and the high jump at a height of 1.41m which had stood since 2008
Issy Rayment and Bea Budden also broke records for the 1500m and hurdles respectively
All in all it was a fun filled day with a fun run and tug of war as well as the annual staff versus sixth form relay race, which was an electric affair as alumna Isabella Hilditch, who is currently at Princeton and runs for England, joined one of the staff teams and blew away the competition! Stanley was awarded the cheerleading trophy and Morgan Lee took home the special Victrix Lidorum prize for not only participating in events but also helping to coordinate the complex scoring spreadsheet of house points.
Gurney were the overall winners but the camaraderie and Sydenham spirit was evident throughout all events, with staff and pupils cheering each other on the whole day.
Recently we visited the campsite, Ferny Crofts, where we tried many different and enjoyable activities, over the three days of our presence. We did everything from Raft Building to Crate Stacking; experiencing many new activities that perhaps some of us haven’t experienced before. Though all the activities were fun and diverse in their own ways, I, on behalf of many, believe that ever since the trip, I’ve gained confidence when doing activities, like mega climb or crate stacking; therefore, pushing myself to strive even more in order to achieve other significant things within the future. Some people argued that the trip was too short! The trip helped people bond with each other via activities like team building, which was also very beneficial. Overall, Ferny Crofts was a great experience and I enjoyed it very much; I would love to go again.
– Adia Beraki, year 8
Some of the key things we have learned are:
Making new friends
After asking the class of what they thought of the trip, this was the main conclusion:
It was really fun and encouraged people to face their fears and work together. The facilities were good and the tents were small but fun.
– Trixie Sambidge, year 8
From my perspective, the trip was really enjoyable, seeing the girls pushing themselves, trying new things, working together was very fulfilling. We all had a lot of fun and pupils have been asking if we can do it again next year! I would not have been able to do it without the outstanding team of teachers I had: Ms Graham, Ms Finlay, Ms Hunt, Mr Whitley, Ms Hawley, Mrs Symons and Ms Longley.
Year 6 enjoyed a wonderful 5 days in France this week. Alongside the chance to soak up the beautiful sunny weather, the girls spent time visiting the war graves at the Somme, learning more about the experience of soldiers caught up in the Great War and paying their respects to the fallen. They also got up to some activities that got pulses racing: high wiring, climbing and rafting, which all pushed their fearless Giraffe Girl spirit to the limits! Other activities during the week included a mayonnaise making workshop, visit to a bakery, chocolate factory and market where they were able to put their French into action.