On Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 May we held our Open Studios, showcasing the incredible talent of our artists and Design and Technology students from Junior School right through to A Level. Sydenham High has always buzzed with creativity and talent and this event is a perfect example of all the hard work and dedication of students as well as staff.
Having changed the format of the exhibition slightly, to allow greater light and space, we had three fantastic exhibition spaces where we showcased the outstanding work of our students across the ages, and particularly impressive was the high standard and aspirational work of our examination groups. We look forward to seeing what next year has to offer!
“Every visitor I spoke to praised the high quality of the work they saw. I am very proud of what our students have achieved” Mrs Woodcock
A carnival spirit bubbled throughout Junior School today as pupils – and staff – from across the school celebrated tomorrow’s Royal Wedding with a day of hat wearing. The range of creative and innovative hats was incredibly impressive. Mrs Mac and Ms Boyd had a great time judging the submissions and were delighted to award house points to the girls featured below for their recycled and home-made head gear! Today’s celebration comes after some more serious consideration of what lies ahead for Meghan Markle after she walks down the aisle tomorrow. In assembly in Monday we debated whether marrying a prince was a blessing or a curse.
To celebrate World Book Day 2018, we invited local spoken word company Well Versed Ink to deliver poetry workshops to our girls. ‘Inspirational Women’ was our theme and it was a true delight to see the girls both writing and performing poems about women who inspire them. In light of the collaborative and creative endeavour at Junior School this term, staff experienced a taster of what the girls participated in by coming together for a session themselves!
As the staff feel it is important to encourage our girls to take risks, go outside their comfort zone what better way to demonstrate that by writing and performing poetry themselves! Staff gathered in the outdoor classroom and had a fantastic experience. They commented on how they gained a new perspective on poetry, with a chance to introduce new ideas into the classroom. It was also a poignant and emotional experience as many of them drew upon personal experiences of inspirational women i.e. grandmothers, daughters and partners. This was also heightened by the warmth of the facilitator and the sunshine!
There was also an opportunity for staff to reflect on their own successes as teachers and the impact they have on the lives of the girls that they teach.
Thank you to Miss Spence for organising and to Darren from Well Versed Ink for running the session.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.