Sydenham High School GDST
15 & 19 Westwood Hill, London, SE26 6BL
020 8557 7004
|Headmistress||Mrs Katharine Woodcock|
|Date Appointed||April 2017|
|Girls Age Range||4-18|
|Number of pupils||665|
|Tweets by SydenhamHigh|
We are a high achieving school on a smaller scale. What makes us distinctly different is the value we place on the individual and our motto, Fear Nothing, underpins all that we do. Our pupils are ambitious and resilient with independence of mind, the courage to take risks, a strong moral compass and global perspective, accepting and respectful of themselves and others. Our pupils have been described as having ‘self-confidence without arrogance’ which is a perfect description of a Sydenham High girl.
Our school is cosy and welcoming though it is not an environment that cossets pupils to protect them from the realities of the outside world, but a place where resilience and independence are fostered, encouraged and developed over the years, allowing every girl to develop academic enthusiasm, an enquiring and discriminating mind and the ability to stand up for what is right.
Our pupils make us incredibly proud every day. They are kind, considerate, bright, articulate and courageous. Our pupils achieve across a broad range of areas, from having artwork selected for the Royal Drawing School’s Summer Exhibition, gold medals at the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships, Armada Cup diving competition, Beckenham Performing Arts Festival, a third place position in the British BMX Championships in the U16 Cruiser category for a year 8, selection for our Prep netball team to represent the London Borough of Lewisham at the London Youth Games and bronze medals in the Newham Junior Fencing Series to our year 10 Geography pupils passing the United Nations Qualification on Climate Change (developed for post A Level graduates and for teachers) after our Head of Geography became the first teacher in London to become an accredited UN Climate Change teacher.
We are passionate about offering a plethora of enrichment opportunities for pupils, such as our Lecture Series which has seen girls at Senior School hear from, and quiz, fascinating speakers such as Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, lawyer and human rights activist, and alumna and former GB fencer, Claire Bennett, whilst Prep School pupils engage with topics such as artificial intelligence, industrial product design, transport planning and Science workshops by the Royal Institution. Our bespoke Socrates Programme gives pupils the opportunity to develop the confidence to think for themselves and plan their own independent research, as they hear from speakers across industries and create a final piece and written rationale - perhaps making a costume for a character in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, developing an app to help donate money to the homeless or an exhibition of animals created using foraged plastic pollution. Each spring we challenge pupils aged 11-18 from schools across London to write an article on a topic of interest within the four STEM categories, which is then judged by experts in the field including pilots, journalists, mathematicians and surgeons. As well as academic enrichment there are many opportunities for cultural development such as our year 10 exchange programme with St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls, Perth, a biannual trip to Nepal to support our sister school, Shree Jugal, and World Challenge. Our broad co-curricular programme; Body, Mind and Soul, encourages all students to access clubs and societies ranging from ultimate frisbee to game design, bookworms and robotics, expanding and enhancing all three of these areas.
Our Eco commitment is bolstered by passionate Eco Councils at Prep and Senior School, who ensured that we achieve our Silver Eco Schools Award and are on our way to achieving the Green Flag Award. Community outreach and volunteering are integral parts of school life, from Prep through to Sixth Form, pupils are community spirited and globally conscious, welcoming the opportunity to give back in whatever way they can, be that through foodbank donations, charity fundraising and local community projects.
Our pupils leave with a real sense of purpose, confident and assured, and equipped to cope with life beyond school. As parents readily point out, our pupils are not ‘spoon fed’ but are curious, ambitious and have the ability to bounce back.