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Sydenham High School Junior

A warm welcome

Sydenham High Junior School is a happy and busy school where no two days are ever the same. The aim of our Junior School is to develop enquiring minds and a lifelong love of learning in our girls. Through enthusiastic, inspiring specialist teaching and a broad and balanced curriculum, our girls are well prepared not merely for the demands of Senior School and the 11+ process, but also for a rich and fulfilling future. We have high expectations of the girls in our school and aim to ensure that every girl achieves her full potential. Mrs Katharine Woodcock Headmistress

It has never been a better time to be a girl. That’s why our Junior School is so committed to delivering first-class experiences for every pupil which instil a belief that our girls can reach for the stars. Our Junior School mascot is Fina, the giraffe. Fina perfectly encapsulates the ‘Sydenham spirit’ and, as such, each pupil is invited to become a ‘Giraffe Girl’. Together, we stand tall, stick our necks out and always try new things. Ms Claire Boyd Head of Junior School


Fear nothing


Sydenham High School Junior

Ethos Providing a first-class education for girls was the aim of our founders in 1887 and remains our aim today. The outlook and opportunities for girls may have changed, but our educational goals remain the same. 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.

Sydenham High School is part of the Girls’ Day School Trust, the leading group of independent girls’ schools in the UK.


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. Aims

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 independence of mind and the courage to take risks - Have a strong moral compass and be accepting and respectful of themselves and others

Aspirational setting


Sydenham High School Junior

We share several exceptional facilities with the Senior School, from the Westwood Theatre to the Recital Hall. The Longton Hall is an outstanding concert and performance venue; while the all-weather pitch, large sports hall, eight-acre sportsground and our netball court are superb venues for sport and PE.

On the Junior School site, there is ample outdoor space with two well-equipped playgrounds, as well as a wonderful outdoor classroom where young imaginations run wild and learning through play is encouraged. Inside, dedicated subject classrooms enrich our educational offering; while the Discovery Zone is a space where young minds develop further through books, technology and the creative arts. Above all, we bring learning to life within an inspirational setting where every girl is encouraged to find her spark and the confidence to succeed each day.


4+ We recognise the importance of building confidence at this stage of a child’s learning. That’s why we provide our pupils with abundant opportunities to thrive in the classroom; building on their skills, knowledge and understanding, while introducing new challenges as they develop into independent learners.


Years 1 and 2

The Early Years Foundation Stage is fundamental in instilling positive attitudes to learning. During the reception year, children will play and explore; make choices and learn to try things and persevere; be creative and solve problems; form good relationships; and feel safe, secure and happy. Our spacious and stimulating environment, including a multi-sensory outdoor play area, supports the teaching of carefully planned learning sessions, alongside the children’s own initiatives for learning.

Throughout years 1 and 2, our girls continue to build upon solid Early Years foundations. Dynamic teachers deliver exciting, well-planned and differentiated lessons and provide the girls with a happy and relaxed, yet challenging environment for playing and learning. Girls are introduced to our bespoke CONNECT+ curriculum which delivers integrated studies of Humanities, Art, Design and Technology, alongside our core curriculum study of English, Maths, Science, Computing, PSHE, Religious Education, French, PE, and Music.


Sydenham High School Junior

7+ Years 3 - 6

By the start of year 3, our girls are developing as confident, independent learners. As they progress, pupils become more accustomed to specialist teaching as this provision is further extended to Art, Design and Technology and Latin.

The delivery of our integrated CONNECT+ curriculum continues alongside termly assessment weeks in which attainment and progress are measured in Mathematics, reading and writing. Of course, we constantly track progress so that the level and pace of academic work suits every girl as she progresses through the Junior School. It ensures that she achieves her full potential and is well prepared for moving into Senior School.


We are very proud of our bespoke CONNECT+ Curriculum which provides a rich and meaningful context to the study of History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology and Digital Literacy, as well as some aspects of English, Science and RE. Each term, our girls undertake a study of themes, and this exciting aspect of the curriculum helps them make connections, draw conclusions, and apply their learning in creative ways. Our CONNECT+ Curriculum is constantly developing and specifically designed to ignite the interest, imagination and passion of our young learners as they progress through the Junior School.


Sydenham High School Junior

Connected Curriculum


The whole child

We fundamentally believe that girls can only be successful when they are happy. Pastoral care is the cornerstone of our provision as we strive to ensure that each and every girl is supported to feel fulfilled, safe, and secure within our school community. Our approach to pastoral care focuses upon strong and positive relationships between pupils and staff, as well as an open partnership with parents. We also have clear expectations of behaviour enshrined in our Golden Rules.


There is strong pastoral support from teaching staff who see the girls every day and can closely monitor progress, both socially and emotionally, throughout the year. The small size of our school also makes a difference: each girl is visible and well-known as an individual. This means our teachers have a flexible and relevant approach to the particular personal and unique needs of every girl.

Sydenham High School Junior


Embedded into all aspects of Junior School life, Flourish and Fly is an extensive programme of challenges and activities which complements the highly developed PSHE curriculum and student development programme already operating throughout our school. Flourish and Fly is an exciting and bold initiative that has true Sydenham spirit at its heart. We want every girl to find her spark, challenge herself and soar ahead, knowing she has the innate ability to overcome any obstacles.

Flourish and Fly has been designed to inspire, challenge and embolden pupils through unique enrichment experiences. This innovative programme offers every girl the opportunity to discover her own individual talents. The initiative works across all subjects and year groups to stretch abilities, build confidence, and develop collaborative working. Each half term, we focus on one of our Flourish and Fly values – Girls First; Be Bold; Be Principled; Be Networked – as a theme which culminates in a week of special activities and challenges to bring each value to life.


Sydenham High School Junior

Flourish & Fly


Co-curricular & enrichment

Drama plays a significant part of our co-curricular programme at Junior School. The specialist facilities at the Westwood Theatre and Longton Hall ensure that our pupils perform on stage and help with lighting, sound, visual effects and stage management. Alongside our main productions, our girls regularly have the opportunity to attend one of our after-school drama clubs, participate in assemblies to parents, and audition for termly speech and drama showcases. Pupils from reception to year 6 also regularly embrace the opportunity to study for London Academy of Music and Drama (LAMDA) accredited examinations. We are also proud to be regular contributors to the Beckenham Festival each November.


Sydenham High School Junior



Co-curricular & enrichment

Music Specialist music teaching is provided to all our pupils from reception onwards, but this is just the start of the exciting musical opportunities we offer‌ Our programme of clubs includes a range of choir, ensemble and percussion groups for pupils to join, as well as one-to-one peripatetic lessons. Many of our pupils study for the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM) examinations in an array of instruments, including strings, woodwind and brass.

We aim to foster a love of music-making among all our pupils and are proud that our programme offers opportunities open to all. Meanwhile, audition-only activities allow us to pursue an exceptionally high standard of elite musical accomplishment.


Sydenham High School Junior


Co-curricular & enrichment

Sport We want all our girls, from reception to year 6, to keep active, get involved in sport, and develop a real sense of team spirit. All pupils receive specialist weekly PE teaching and we are especially keen to nurture a love for sport and the outdoors from an early age.

From year 3, pupils have the opportunity to represent the school in numerous competitive fixtures and tournaments against other local schools, as well as participate in regular GDST sporting rallies. In addition, all pupils come together once a term to compete in a major Inter-House sporting tournament. As well as making the most of the large sports hall and all-weather pitch facilities at the Senior School, our girls frequently visit our sportsground in Lower Sydenham and swim regularly at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.


Sydenham High School Junior

Co-curricular Clubs & activities Our girls enjoy rich and varied school days, reflected in our wide-ranging co-curricular programme. We offer over 70 clubs each week (before, after or during the school day) which means the school buzzes with children having fun, honing their skills and discovering new passions.

Alongside an extensive choice of stimulating sport, music, art and drama activities, we offer an extensive range of clubs that change each term, from debating to philosophy, fencing, calligraphy and chess. So every girl can find something she truly loves.


Out & about


Sydenham High School Junior

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We offer frequent opportunities for organised educational and cultural visits for all our pupils. Our proximity to London’s museums, galleries and attractions is a real advantage and our pupils regularly make the most of what the capital has to offer. We also benefit from a number of interesting annual GDST excursions which allow our girls to visit other GDST schools around the country. Regular events include the annual Maths Conference at Oxford University and the Digital Leaders’ Forum.


Our exciting programme of residential trips commences in year 4 when pupils visit Stubbers Outdoor Education Centre for two nights. This increases to four-night trips to the Jurassic Coast (year 5) and Northern France (year 6). A ski and outdoor education trip is also available to years 5 and 6.

We are very proud of our status as an all-through school for girls aged 4 to 18. It ensures we can offer an exciting and unbroken educational journey of excellence.

We believe that the extremely high transfer rate from Junior School to Senior School strongly illustrates our success and identity. That is why we are so committed to delivering a robust and thorough preparation programme for all our pupils during the summer term of year 5 and the autumn term of year 6.

Our preparation process for Senior School is supportive and positive, placing our knowledge of the individual pupil at the core. We aim to ensure every girl is well-prepared for the rigours of the 11+ examination process and develops a growth mindset, fostering resilience and confidence to deal with the transition to Senior School in a realistic and composed manner. While achievement and performance in the 11+ process is valued and wholeheartedly encouraged, it is only one element of a broad and balanced curriculum which immeasurably prepares our girls for life in year 7 and beyond.

Sydenham High School Junior

Beyond Junior School


The junior journey We believe our Junior Journey is both special and unique because of the emphasis placed on getting to know each girl as an individual. Strong positive relationships characterise all aspects of learning and development, from reception to year 6. This helps to provide the firmest of foundations for academic success, as well as rounded social and emotional development.

As our pupils grow and progress through the Junior School, they develop the confidence, resilience, skills and knowledge to achieve success and happiness beyond the school gates. The Sydenham spirit promotes ambition, aspiration and compassion and remains with our pupils once they move to Senior School and beyond...


The Girls’ Day School Trust is the UK’s largest group of independent girls’ schools, a national leader in girls’ education. GDST schools and academies share an ethos and a proud heritage of girls-only education and are members of a unique network. Our students outperform their peers in public exams, but we know there’s so much more to a truly broad and balanced education than just stellar exam results. At our schools, girls can compete and collaborate with their peers in other GDST schools, taking part in Trust-wide events, rallies, performances and activities.

Sydenham High School - Junior 19 Westwood Hill London SE26 6BL 020 8557 7070 Admissions 020 8557 7004

Sydenham High Junior School Prospectus 2017  
Sydenham High Junior School Prospectus 2017  

The 2017 Prospectus for Sydenham High Junior School GDST