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What says..

‘Many pupils leaving after GCSEs are surprised how much they miss being known to staff and the reassurance that familiarity provides’ says one parent and, as many others, identifies it as a real asset which the school often doesn’t do enough to promote. SEN pupils are well-catered for too. The slightly chaotic art room is overflowing with talent and more and more are going on to study art-related subjects at university. More unusual tastes - code-breaking, Japanese and fashion – are catered for too. Recent additions to enrichment...

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What the school says...

Sydenham High School is part of the Girls’ Day School Trust, the leading group of independent girls’ schools in the UK, and we are celebrating over 130 years of providing a first class independent education for girls from 4 to 18.

Our school motto, Nyle ye Drede, (‘Fear nothing’), lies at the heart of all we do. A Sydenham High education is centred upon the girl, where academic excellence and pastoral excellence go hand in hand. We want our pupils to have a ‘can do’ approach and inner strength so that they are enabled to thrive, succeed and be happy.

We are a school which is small enough to ensure that every pupil is visible so that her education is both aspirational and personalised. We want to empower our girls to face potential challenges with confidence. We want them to be resilient in all that they do so that in an ever-changing world they are able to respond positively to the ever-increasing demands placed on them, both at school and in their future lives.

We want to inspire our pupils to:

- Achieve individual excellence; to be inspired and to inspire
- Be ambitious and outstrip expectations
- Embrace opportunities
- Be bold, fearless and resilient
- Have an independence of mind and the courage to take risks
- To have a strong moral compass and be accepting and respectful of themselves and others

Sydenham High is selective and diverse, welcoming girls with wide-ranging talents and backgrounds into a close community that is large enough to offer choice and flexibility but compact enough to ensure that no girl is overlooked. Our exciting and enriching co-curricular programme provides every pupil with exceptional learning opportunities beyond the classroom, whether at Prep School, Senior School or Sixth Form.

A Sydenham High education not only prepares our young people for university and future employment, but also gives them the necessary skills and confidence to succeed, prosper and be happy. Girls at Sydenham High are open-minded and ambitious and possess an inner strength and self-belief to exceed expectations. Sydenham High is a school bursting with warmth, creativity, talent and, above all, excellence in all that we do.

There is no better time to join us.
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What the parents say...

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2015 Good Schools Guide Awards

  • Excellent performance by Girls taking Drama & Theatre Studies at an English Independent School (GCE A level)

Other features

All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.




What The Good Schools Guide says


Since April 2017, Katharine Woodcock, previously senior deputy head at Queen's College. French and Russian degree from Bristol and PGCE from St Mary's College Twickenham. Has also taught at Oakham, where she was became housemistress. She is married and has two children.

Head of junior school since 2014, Claire Boyd, previously head of lower school and on the senior leadership team of Ravenscourt Park Prep. She has a politics degree from Royal Holloway College and a PGCE from Roehampton.

Academic matters

French for all from 4, Latin is taught to the top two prep school years. Masterclasses at senior school for years 5 and 6 (most recently in maths, science, history and Spanish); sixth formers run clubs and activities. Prep school currently caters for range of mild SEN: dyspraxia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, Asperger's, autism,...

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Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

The school's special needs policy follows the recommendations of the Code of Practice (2001). At admission each pupil is looked at as an individual case to see whether the school can effectively meet her needs. A girl would only be refused entry if she was unable to attain the required academic standard or if the school was unable to cope with the child's difficulty once every effort had been made to accommodate her needs. The school has a Learning Support Department run by a qualified dyslexia teacher. Individual difficulties (eg mild dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, Aspergers) are handled as appropriate by the Learning Support Department. Pupils whose difficulties form a significant barrier to learning may have an Individual Education Plan and some targeted help from the Learning Support Department. Pupils with specific learning difficulties should be able to cope in mainstream classes but the school offers a supportive environment in which staff are made aware of the ways in which these students can be supported within the classroom. The Junior Department also has access to well qualified perpatetic special needs teachers who can give long term individual support during school time and parents may wish to use this facility for which an extra charge is made.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class Y
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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