Community outreach and volunteering are integral parts of school life at Sydenham High and the girls welcome the opportunity to give back in whatever way they can.
Sydenham High has a number of links and partnerships, both near and far. We are a patron of Sydenham Arts and we have collaborated on numerous projects to date, including providing venues for their events and hosting a joint photographic exhibition.
Sydenham’s outreach programme sees all year 12 students undertaking community service for the year. Some girls choose to help out in their former primary schools, some serve in charity shops and some assist in hospitals and local hospices. We aim to engage with the local community wherever possible, including collecting for the Lewisham Food Bank and we regularly host community groups and courses within the school. In year 10 the girls take part in some local community service, coming up with their own project ideas to support local services and amenities. We often run events for local maintained schools and the school has recently established a partnership with a local primary school in Forest Hill.
Our charity prefects organise fundraising projects for local and international causes and we have a sister school in Nepal which was built through funds raised by pupils at Sydenham High. We continue to support the school in whatever way possible. We also have strong links with a school in Australia, St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls in Perth, with whom we run a student exchange programme.
Local State School Collaborations include:
• Invitation to careers evenings and subject specific conferences and events
• Lewisham Schools Librarians idea sharing hubs
• Art History Link-Up: Member of staff mentors a state school pupil on Saturdays
• Mutual mock university interviews
• Year 13 Classics student attended revision sessions with our Head of Classics
• Places made available to Sydenham School staff for our ‘Being Fearless’ conference in September 2019
• Use of theatre and facilities for end of year school productions and to sit LAMDA exams
• Use of sports ground and the astroturf for sports days and Lewisham sporting tournaments
State and other Independent School Collaborations include:
• Invitation to enter #700STEMChallenge essay writing competition organised by the science department
• Participation in our ‘Bake off’ competition
• Weather or Knot workshops involving taking Maths A Level weather data and transposing it into musical notation, followed by a performance.
Other community partnerships include:
• Prep and Senior pupils visit Westwood House (residential care home) and provide entertainment and company during community service
• School community raises money for local charities and donations, such as to Crisis and Lewisham Foodbank
• School facilities used for Beckenham Festival
• Sixth Form students volunteer at Dulwich College Saturday School for year 6 Southwark school pupils
• Stay & Play and Fina’s Mini Maestros on Tuesday mornings for local parents with 0-5 year olds
• Reading buddies: Year 12 and 13 read with Prep School girls each week
• Year 12 & 13 lead Science assemblies at Prep on topics from dinosaurs to the solar system
• Senior School pupils raise money for, and visit, our sister school in Nepal with charity In Your Hands.
Language lessons at Holy Trinity Primary School
Weekly French lessons have been delivered by our Head of Languages, Mme Parker, to primary school students at Holy Trinity, assisted by a year 13 student who is gaining teaching and linguistics experience.
Science Masterclasses with Bishop Thomas Grant School
Our Science department has been working with girls from Bishop Thomas Grant, a Catholic co-educational secondary school in Lambeth, to deliver a series of Science masterclasses to selected year 10 gifted and talented students, building further on masterclasses held last year.