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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...

At Sydenham High School GDST we are celebrating 130 years of providing a first class independent education for girls from 4 to 18.

What makes us distinctly different is the value we place on the individual and the way our motto Nyle Ye Drede (Fear Nothing) lies at the heart of all we do in preparing our students for their futures.

We are a small but high-achieving school and creating an aspirational environment for our pupils is one of our foremost aims. At Sydenham High we strive to ensure that every girl reaches her full academic potential by overcoming her weaknesses and harnessing her strengths. As a result, 2016 brought a record haul of top exam grades and saw the school leap up The Times Parent Power list to 146 in the UK - the largest rise of any of our local independent competitors.

Self-belief and happiness, alongside a ‘can do’ approach to every aspect of school life, enable our students to thrive and succeed. We believe they deserve nothing less than the highest standards of classroom practice in a nurturing and inclusive environment where they can learn to be independent, resilient and free from the fear of failure.

Our excellent pastoral care and small class sizes ensure no one is allowed to slip through the net, while our exciting and enriching co-curricular programme provides every pupil with exceptional learning opportunities beyond the classroom, whether at Junior 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, Ms 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 years. Masterclasses at senior school for years 5 and 6 (most recently in maths, science, history and Spanish); sixth formers run clubs and activities. Junior school currently caters for range of mild SEN: dyspraxia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, Asperger's, autism, ADD,...

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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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