Category: Junior

The Elements Exhibition is a hit with pupils and parents!

Junior School were pleased to present ‘The Elements’’ Exhibition of art, music and dance to Reception and Key Stage 1 parents.

The four elements of fire, earth, air and water were incorporated into each subject area.

Art workshops focused on ‘earth’. Reception found a large ‘hole’ in the Art studio, and holes eaten from pieces of paper. Girls discussed how the hole might have got there and what would happen if we went into the hole. Where could it take us? Who made it? The girls created chalk drawings to illustrate their ideas.

Reception, year 1 and year 2 were introduced to work by Andy Goldsworthy, a sculptor who uses natural materials in his work. His most famous pieces involve circular, ‘hole’ or ‘eye’ shaped patterns. Reception created art installations in water using coloured paper leaves and let them freeze overnight. They also used the snow and sticks to make Goldsworthy inspired circular ice sculptures.

Year 1 produced animal collages using natural materials and focused on the idea of camouflage within the natural environment. The girls painted patterns found on animals onto branches.

A colourful Goldsworthy ‘eye’ sculpture was created by year 1 and 2, using branches and coloured wool  to make the bleak winter environment come alive!

Year 2 made leaf impressions into clay to make sculptural pebbles. They carefully painted them in shades of grey and placed them in concentric circles to produce a striking sculpture.

In Music, girls learnt a song about the four elements which incorporated makaton sign language. This was performed on the day around the campfire. In class pupils also made a water xylophone- working out how to add a different amount of water to each bottle to make a different pitch. In P.E girls were encouraged to perform ribbon dances inspired by the different elements and to perform simple dances to Mozart’s Flute Concerto to express their feelings through different actions.

During the experience, a fire was lit and hot chocolate served with spicy ginger biscuits to create the feeling of ‘fire’ and ‘earth’ for the pupils and parents who came to visit.


Christmas celebrations begin with musical magic

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas at Sydenham High, with seasonal music and annual community events leading the festive feel.

Members of School Council and the Flourish & Fundraise Charity committee were honoured to represent the Junior School at a special Christingle service hosted by The Children’s Society at Westminster Abbey on Friday 1 December. Accompanied by the Head of Junior School Ms Boyd and Headmistress Mrs Woodcock, the girls enjoyed taking a good look around the Abbey and learning about the symbolism of the Christingle at Christmas time. The service was very rousing and the girls sang the Christmas carols with enthusiasm and gusto.

A few days later, the Senior School Chamber Choir performed the Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten in the historic and beautiful surroundings of St James Church Garlickhythe to a spell bound audience.  Sitting just a few hundred yards from St Paul’s Cathedral, St James Garlickhythe is another of Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpieces of architectural and acoustic design.

Marvelling at the fine melodies sung by the choir and an inventive accompaniment by harpist Isobel Frayling-Corkon, the audience were treated to exceptional concert performance. Sydenham High’s Choral Director Caroline Lenton-Ward conducted the Chamber Choir as they moved from the warm welcome of Wolcum Yole to the frosty tones of In freezing Winter Night.  Beautiful solos were sung by Jessica Whight, Maddy Telford, Flora Lippa, Tyla-Rae Fatinyobo, Antonia De Avellar Forth and Kara Hardie.

One parent declared afterwards: “They truly all sang this superb music so incredibly beautifully, and indeed brought a tear to the eye.”

The term will be rounded off next week with the Junior School nativity play, carol services at St Stephen’s Church, South Dulwich, and the annual Crisis Review, organised by the Sixth Form.


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 hosts Lewisham junior hockey competition

Sydenham High played host to Lewisham’s 2017 Quick Sticks junior hockey competition before half term and provided its sports scholars as enthusiastic games makers for the tournament.

On two consecutive Thursdays the school’s all weather Astroturf pitches and other facilities were handed over to Lewisham School Games Organisers for the London Youth Games tournament for aspiring young hockey players from primary schools across the borough.

The first event was for years 3 and 4 players and the second for years 5 and 6.. Twelve school teams took part in the knock-out competitions, including Sydenham High Junior School.

The standard of play was exceptionally high from all teams, with a great sporting atmosphere and wonderful comradery throughout.  The winning team in both categories was Brindishe Green School, demonstrating great skill and team play.

Sydenham High’s sports scholars, plus a number of Senior School PE students, proved excellent hosts and ambassadors for the school, well deserving the round of applause they received from their young guests and their teachers.


Oxford mathematical challenges for year 6

Following a now established tradition for the Autumn Term, representatives from year 6 at Junior School attended the third GDST Junior Schools’ Maths conference in the Andrew Wiles’ Building Mathematical Institute at Oxford University.

The day was a memorable experience for the young mathematicians who were not only excited by being at Oxford University but were thrilled at immersing themselves in a full day of mathematical thought, collaborative work and fun problem solving activities. They also heard inspiring talks on the history of coding and how codes help banks to maintain tight security standards.

Part of the day was focussed on activities that required the girls to work with their peers from other GDST schools, solving a variety of coding problems. They also took part in a tour of the Institute and learned how the environment and the interior design help the mathematicians to work in focused and harmonious manner.

The highlight of the day was the inter-schools quiz, where the girls’ competitive nature  and their love of maths truly came to life. The questions were challenging but that didn’t stop them from having a go and doing their very best. They certainly did the school proud.

Spirit of the Community photography competition launched for years 5 and 6

Sydenham High School has issued a challenge to local junior photographers to capture  the true spirit of their local community in a new competition.  Pupils from years 5 and 6 in local primary and independent prep schools, including those at Sydenham High Junior School, are being invited to take part in the month-long competition.


Good sports on the pitch and in the pool!

Sydenham High’s Senior and Junior sports teams have had a busy week – on the netball court, on the hockey pitch, and in the pool.

First off, the U15 netball team had a fantastic day at Nottingham High School playing in the latest GDST rally. Twenty-four schools were represented and the standard was exceptionally high. Each of the eight players made a huge contribution to the team and should be proud of their achievements. The teams didn’t get off to the best start, losing their first game.  However, the players quickly recognised where they needed to improve and went on to beat both Northampton High and Oxford High in the next two games so that by lunchtime the team tally was six wins out of eight, putting Sydenham High at the top of the leader board. The last three games brought tough opposition and a couple of errors against Newcastle High cost the team that game. In the final play-off the team faced Nottingham High and were unlucky to lose in a well-balanced match.

The players showed high levels of versatility throughout the tournament, performing well in two or more positions. Issy, Olivia and Greta were consistent in their goal scoring and team captain, Ella, played outstanding netball, communicating with all players, offering constructive advice, directing play, and dominating her end of the court.  Mrs Calvert commented: “She was an excellent role model, particularly to the Junior squad when they came out to spectate. Centre court players Sophie, Charlotte and Margaux really worked on set plays for centre passes as well as denying space and pressuring the opposition.”

Meanwhile the Junior swimmers thoroughly enjoyed their gala at the same rally. Eighteen schools competed with over 200 swimmers and the level of swimming was exceptionally high. The girls swam really well over both 25m and 50m and showed excellent speed and stamina, the team finishing14th overall. Congratulations to all swimmers who were further inspired after their endeavours in the pool by meeting GB Paralympic gold medalist Ellie Robinson who is a current pupil at Northampton High.  Hopefully this will also help them prepare to take part in the JAGS Biathlon competition next week.

Sticking with swimming, Senior School swimmers have seen success at a JAGS gala with Olivia and Lottie (year 7) both winning their races against local rivals JAGS and Alleyn’s. They also had success at St Dunstan’s gala with the squad beating both JAGS and the hosts. The A and B team came second overall.

Lambeth County Show success for Junior School cacti enthusiast

Congratulations are in order for year 6 pupil Charlotte who dazzled the judges at the Lambeth County Show ‘Flower Zone’ competition this summer.

Entering ten categories in all, Charlotte cleaned up with not just one first prize rosette but wins in every category with her impressive collection of cacti and succulents.

Talking to Headmistress, Mrs KC Woodcock, Charlotte explained that she particularly “liked the Garden News category because [she] had an idea to use three terracotta pots in a design on the theme of garden restoration”.

Mrs Woodcock was so impressed with Charlotte’s collection that she has commissioned a Junior School ‘Cacti Corner’.

We look forward to seeing a ‘spike’ in cacti conservation very soon!

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