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What says..

So far, so ordinary, we think as we take a walk across the playground with a pirate ship, hard court and shaded seating until we reach a little plot of land converted into an outdoor classroom where a tiered fire is burning well, and children are writing and exploring their responses to life as a Tudor – a good example of the school’s creative, cross-curricular approach in action. A group of eco warriors were on a high at the time of our visit, having recorded a song and appeared on Blue Peter to talk about it...

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What the school says...

Our Prep School is committed to delivering first-class experiences for every pupil which instill a belief that our girls can reach for the stars.

Our Prep School mascot is Fina, the giraffe. Fina perfectly encapsulates the ‘Sydenham Spirit’ and, as such, each Prep School pupil is invited to become a Giraffe Girl. Together, we stand tall, stick our necks out for other people and aim high.

Whilst children have a natural propensity for curiosity, there can be no doubt on the impact that we, as parents and educators, have on fostering a lifelong love of learning. Creating an environment where joyful learning flourishes helps children acquire knowledge and skills, but more importantly, gain confidence and pride in their own intellectual abilities as the young minds of the future. Girls at Sydenham High Prep School are encouraged to forge their own path, prepare for a future unknown; quietly confident in the knowledge that they have all that they could ever need, within themselves.

Our approach to learning at Sydenham High Prep School inspires and ensures that along this path, the girls develop the habits, skillset, mindset and the wellness to be successful wherever life may take them.
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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 2022, Gillian Panton, previously deputy head. Studied international relations at St. Andrews, followed by a PGCE at Homerton College, Cambridge. Has taught at every stage of prep education.

The head greets girls by name at the school gates every morning and often asks after their pets or the library’s latest must-read. She passionately believes that school should be ‘a treasure trove of magical learning experiences’, where curiosity thrives and critical thinking is ignited through high-performance learning.


At 4+ there are now two reception classes with entrance assessed by girls taking part in a playgroup session with teachers for an hour. Staff are considering numeracy skills, early phonics, handwriting, conversation skills, plus interaction with staff and other pupils. School also requests a report from any nursery. Any SEN needs may be...

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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 School 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
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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