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.
Sydenham High’s first Medical Focus careers evening attracted an audience of over 120 students eager to learn about potential roles in medicine and allied medical fields.
Students from Sydenham High were joined by delegates from Dulwich College, Streatham & Clapham High and Sydenham Girls’ School to network informally with more than a dozen experts from different medical specialisms and find out more about these specific career paths.
The experts included: a GP registrar, a vet, a specialist in clinical radiology, a radiographer, a midwife, a chiropractor, a paediatric research nurse, a consultant periodontist, a dental hygienist and a speech therapist.
The event was part of the school’s Medical Focus Programme. This offers lectures, talks and help with preparation for university applications from reading lists to interview practice supported by workshops run by the Drama department, as well as BMAT and UKCAT exam preparation.
The latest Literature masterclass went live as Sydenham High conducted its first conference via Skype, to speak with the poet Andy Hopkins about his anthology Dark Horse Pictures.
The A Level English class explored Hopkins’ work, focusing on one of three selected poems, ‘Dark Horse Pictures’, ‘Levee/Burgh-by-Sands’, and ‘Prefrogs/Unfrogs’. Analytical skills were certainly tested by the complex imagery and philosophical nature of these texts, and gave some insight into the challenging nature of contemporary poetry.
Next, students were afforded the rare opportunity to question the writer himself, as Andy Hopkins appeared live on-screen via Skype from Cumbria. Hopkins listened to the spirited discussion and appreciated the varied interpretations of his work. He then took time to discuss style and stimulus with his audience – even offereing a few tips to the budding writers amongst the sixth formers.
Sixth form students from Sydenham High School GDST have been crowned winners at the seventh annual Girls’ Day School Trust Young Leaders’ Conference after they were inspired and put through their paces by leaders from all walks of life at an ‘Apprentice-style’ charity challenge, designed to help this new generation of leaders prepare for their futures.
The three-day event, from 29 September – 1 October 2017, aimed to give students experience of real-life situations and develop crucial leadership skills, from negotiation to financial planning.
The 140 delegates, from across the GDST, were split into teams and given less than 36 hours to create a digital fundraising and awareness campaign for one of four charities: Hope and Homes for Children; mothers2mothers; Room to Read and Rwandan Youth Information Community Organisation (RYICO). In previous years, ideas proposed by students have inspired award-winning charity initiatives.
The overall winning team, who came up with a highly creative and deliverable campaign for international literacy charity Room to Read, included Sydenham High sixth former Amelia Bourne. Amelia is one of the school’s two marketing prefects and a Head of House. A second Sydenham High sixth former and Head of House, Itoro Udoaka, was a member of the runner-up team, which created a campaign to promote a social enterprise programme run by Rwandan charity rYico supporting vulnerable and abused girls and women.
Prior to the challenge, Team GB Olympic hockey gold medal winner and former team captain Kate Richardson-Walsh was among those on hand to inspire students. Along with other leadership role models, including Chartered Management Institute (CMI) CEO Ann Francke, Kate spoke with students and offered her top tips on leading successful teams. British Army officers then led a series of team-building exercises.
Year 12 Politics students took an individual group tour of the Houses of Parliament as part of their introduction to the A Level Politics course.
As part of the tour, they were able to see the Queen’s apartments, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. They were particularly taken with the Queen’s throne in the House of Lords from which the Queen’s speech is delivered. Along with the long history of the throne they learnt that it is rumoured that Michael Jackson had once offered to buy it for four million pounds!
The students also saw the statue to which a Suffragette had chained herself, in the Votes for Women campaign of the early 20th century. Another highlight was visiting the Great Hall where many dignitaries have addressed Parliament, including Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama.
The students took part in a workshop where they were able to discuss the role of pressure groups in our democracy. They also had a stimulating debate about the effectiveness of the NUS and the Howard League for Penal Reform.
All the students agreed that the visit has given them a greater insight into the workings of Parliament and an ideal start to their A Level course..
Sydenham High is offering an exciting new programme of lectures and workshops for students to encourage them to question and examine the world around them in the tradition of the great Greek philosopher Socrates.
Running during the first two academic terms of the year, the Socrates Programme will include lectures and workshops, which promote a wide variety of topics, including the environment, the arts and technology. It is designed for senior school scholars from year 7 to year 13 and other students in these years who would like to take part can also apply for a place.
A trio of Sydenham High School sixth formers is celebrating stellar A Level results. Rachel Honeysett, Evie Richards and Greta Holmes achieved all A*s and As in their subjects and have top university places awaiting them.
Rachel will be heading to Edinburgh to follow her dream to become an engineer, taking a degree course in Mechanical Engineering. Evie will be joining her at Edinburgh to study English Literature and Classics, while Greta has a place to study Geography at Birmingham.
Courageous 19-year old Ella Howard is celebrating achieving the A Levels she thought she might never be able to take. Ella suffers from a rare congenital bone condition called Hajdu Cheyne syndrome, which severely affects her head and neck. The condition, which is similar to osteoporosis, brought symptoms of hearing loss, pain, exhaustion and difficulty concentrating, and, as these got progressively worse, regular school attendance became difficult. At 15, Ella had a major operation to fit a halo head brace to her skull. Although initially successful, when it was removed her symptoms returned only worse, so that after a year a second operation was necessary. This meant that she had to stop her A Level studies and repeat year 12. Throughout, Ella remained determined to carry on as normally as possible and, with the support of her family, her friends and her teachers, she was finally able to successfully take A Levels in Sociology and Psychology and now has a place at Winchester to study Childhood, Youth and Community Studies. Her condition is not holding her back with her gap year plans either; she will be travelling to Thailand, Bali and Australia.
Staff bid a fond farewell to members of year 13 and their parents at a reception and dinner held in the school’s orangery and vaulted dining hall.
At the same time Mrs Woodcock warmly welcomed the leavers into the school’s alumnae community which will give them access to the Girls’ Day School Trust’s unique network of over 70,000 like-minded women who can help and mentor them as they develop their careers.
The evening was a moving occasion as the students look forward to the next stage in their education, life at university and a bright future. Each student received a engraved pen as a leaving memento.