Category: Senior

Sydenham PE goes from strength to strength

PE fixtures happen every week inside and outside of school for Sydenham High pupils. The @SydSports twitter feed gives broader coverage of everything that the girls get up to but we have had a few highlights recently that we wanted to share:


Ellie Osmond year 10 competed at Kent Schools Athletics last weekend in the 1500m steeplechase (not a sport that we participate in at London Schools competitiongs! ) She got a qualifying time and PB of 5.23, taking third place overall in the U17 category and first out of those competing from London school. She has consequently been selected to compete at English Schools on 14 July. This is an outstanding achievement. She is one of the younger competitors in the age category and therefore has another season in this group.


Millie McLeod and her Southwark team competed at the London Youth Games last Sunday. They won through to the finals in July (first time they’ve managed that!) A fantastic accomplishment.


Last Saturday seven students went to Battersea Park for the London School Athletics. Noteable results include Morgan finishing in 2nd place in Hammer and Grace finishing 2nd in 80m hurdles.

We are still awaiting the final results from the GDST competition on Monday.


On Saturday 9 June three of our year 7 pupils went to Kent netball trials: Harmoney Newell, Kayla Victor and Sienna Cornes.  The competition was fierce as nearly 200 girls battled to get through to the final trial.  Thanks to the hard work and determination of these three girls, all three made the cut.  We are immensely proud of them and wish them luck on Saturday 23 June!

Charlotte Nevrkla-Wood, Lilly Russell and Georgina Budden took part in the U15 Kent netball trials.  This was a very hotly contested age group and for our pupils worked very hard but did not make it through this time.


We are delighted that Isabella Hildritch has bee ranked number 1 in the UK for 100m hurdles in the U20 category. She has also received a place on the Track & Field roster at Princeton University – hug congratulations are in order!

Don’t forget sports day on Monday July 2nd at our wonderful field on Worsley bridge road, BR3 1RL, from 8.30am until 3.45pm.  Please bring sunshine with you, but not too much!


Watch this space for more news about sports at Sydenham High and beyond…


Sydenham High showcases creative talent

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

Year 7 fencer does Sydenham High proud

On Sunday 6 May, our year 7 fencer, Lyla, finished 32nd at the British Youth Championships. The competition was held at the English Institute for Sport and she was competing against many top fencers. Her aim was to finish in the top half, which she achieved. We are very proud of what she achieved to get this far and how well she did to perform at such a high level. Lyla had some tough fights, which were very close, and in the end she went out in the Direct Elimination, 10-8,  to the person who finished 10th.

We look forward to seeing what the next tournament has in store. Well done Lyla!

Author Lisa Williamson inspires creativity

Best-selling YA author Lisa Williamson gave an engaging lunchtime presentation to a group of sixth formers today talking about her life as an actor and author, and about her inspirations for writing her two books published to date The Art of Being Normal and All About Mia.

Lisa then spent the afternoon with year 10 students who also enjoyed her presentation before participating in a character writing workshop focussed on the importance of the background of a character to really make the character and their story come alive. First students spent some time imagining their character then, using prompts, completed a mind map of a range of details about their character, before writing a couple of paragraphs about a moment in that character’s life. Students produced some fantastic work full of sensory detail.

GDST Science Conference inspires young scientists

We were delighted to send a delegation of year 5 pupils to the very first GDST Junior Science Conference yesterday. Held at the Royal Institution in Green Park, the event was attended by each of the twenty five GDST schools and was designed to inspire, challenge and promote scientists of the future. During the course of the day, the girls had the opportunity to listen to lectures in the very same lecture as Micheal Faraday used to present his new discoveries and from where the Christmas Lectures are broadcast! They also attended seminars and workshops all about the DNA, chromosomes and genes, as well as taking the opportunity to try a little bit of lab work for themselves. It was a wonderful event which made us all feel very proud to be part of the GDST family.

If you are interested in visiting the Royal Institution, you may be keen to know about the exciting range of Summer School sessions they offer for children aged 7 or older:


Talk from alumna pilot leaves girls flying high

On Friday 20 April year 10-13 pupils were invited to hear from alumna, Olivia van Lieshout (nee Hudson), about her career as a pilot and the female pilot initiative operated by easyJet to increase their intake of female cadet pilots to 20% by 2020.

She began by showing an aerial video of all the flights in one average July day across Europe (that is 998 million miles flown!) and then talked the audience through the pathway from school to a pilot with 4 stripes. She clarified that you don’t need 20:20 vision nor an engineering background – simply 5 GCSEs and 2 A Levels before the indepth training – and then a test in the simulator every six months! We learnt about easyJet pilots’ favourite plane: the carrot and how an average day pans out as Captain of an airbus A320.

She walked us through the pre-flight checks including weather, equipment checks and the decision on how much fuel is required as well as the setting up of the flight deck and walk-around of the plane – including the importance of every latch and small dent as they can affect the drag of the aircraft, and how the number – and breakdown – of passengers affects the speed of the take-off and the necessary length of the runway.

Though she splits the flights with her first officer, she maintains responsibility for the safety of all those on board. Before every flight they brief each other on the minute detail of the take off and all potential scenarios and contingency plans. Even once the plane is in the air there is a great deal of flight management to monitor all the instruments and fuel consumption as well as the weather as even a small thunderstorm requires a wide berth and this affects other elements of the flight.

The girls got into the mindset of a pilot and completed a task scenario to decide which course of action they would take in the scenario of a passenger requiring emergency medical treatment, before the final Q&A session.

We learnt all about easyJet’s Amy Johnson initiative to address the gender imbalance in the pilot community and Olivia encouraged any girl who was thinking about training as a pilot to follow her ambition and hopefully help to raise the percentage of pilots who are women worldwide!

Thank you to Olivia for returning to talk to us and to Mrs Pett for coordinating the visit.



Sydenham High’s hockey team end the season on a high

On Thursday 15th March, Sydenham High hockey team played a 9 aside game against St Dunstan’s; the last game of the season. The team played well in the first half, managing to keep St Dunstan’s out of their scoring half but the the score was still, frustratingly, 0-0 at half time. When the game started again, we maintained our energy and a few minutes into the second half saw our first goal. After this, the goals kept coming. A short corner ensured our second goal was scored. The ball was hit out by Ellie and hit into the goal by Charlotte.

Not satisfied with two goals, we continued to play hard and, even when St Dunstan’s made a breakthrough, the defenders managed to work together to clear the ball out. Then we received another short corner when the ball hit one of the opposition’s feet in the scoring area. Again, a great hit by Ellie allowed Charlotte to score her second goal to make the score 3-0. Near to the end of the game, St Dunstan’s tried to make a run up the pitch but an amazing tackle by Sabiha stopped them, and a quick pass to Charlotte who dribbled past the defender resulted in a hat trick for Charlotte and a fourth and final goal for the Sydenham High hockey team.

Emily Walsh won player of the match for her excellent defending and the whole team were pleased with the win. A great way to end the hockey season.

Sydenham fencers advance

March has already been a busy month for Sydenham’s fencers with 2 Regional Events taking place on consecutive weekends.

In the London Region, Lyla Waller (Year 7) made a significant improvement on her last year’s 9th place to take Bronze in the Under 12 Foil. This qualifies her for the National Championship in May.

Also in the London Region, Elisa Morris (Year 8) in her first competition, narrowly missed victory in her third bout in the Under 14 Foil and so faced stiff competition in the 2nd round when she came up against a very capable left-handed fencer. Despite “upping” her game she was unable to break through her opponent’s defence.

In the SouthEast region Ipek Tsil Kara (Year 8) managed a 5-3 victory in her 2nd bout in a field that included last year’s U12 National Champion. In the 2nd round she fenced well but was unable to cope with her opponents relentless counter-attacks.

Well done to all our fencers and we look forward to seeing them progress.

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