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Sydenham High School (GDST)

(14 Posts)
RubyAndCustard Mon 14-Nov-16 13:03:43


Considering applying for Sydenham High School GDST for DD. She's very bright, arty (not sporty) girl. Just wondering if anyone has any insight into whether it supports and encourages bright pupils. What we liked from the open day is the ethos that it is very supportive and nurturing - however seeking reassurance that bright pupils don't 'coast'.

We're also doing the Alleyns and JAGs route - but we're not tutoring as a matter of principle (would rather she got in on realistic and true merit rather than unhappy and pressure), so these two are probably more of a gamble (guessing a lot of children are tutored for these schools as they're so competitive - so we'll probably not get in).

Any insight gratefully received!

CauliflowerSqueeze Tue 15-Nov-16 20:35:06

Headteacher has reputation of being quite spiteful. It's a small school which has pros and cons

user1479248038 Tue 15-Nov-16 22:40:24

I have two daughters at the school, one at Junior school and the other at the Senior school. Both are extremely happy there and both are doing very well - no coasting going on here. The school does indeed manage to provide a very nurturing and supportive environment whilst also ensuring that the girls achieve their potential by being challenged and by having all kinds of opportunities to extend their learning. If your daughter is quite creative and into art, then the school provides great opportunities in this area and their annual D'Art exhibition is pretty impressive. I must also add that I've known the current head teacher of the Senior school for 9 years now and the word "spiteful" is simply not a word I would use to describe her. Rather she is caring, passionate, inspiring, fun and a fabulous role model for girls. Likewise the head of the Junior school (in her third year) is proving to be an asset to the school. Hope this is helpful. I know how challenging it feels to find the right school for your children. Best of luck wherever you choose.

ApocalypseSlough Tue 15-Nov-16 22:43:01

Never heard spiteful- nor of anything that could be described as such. Lovely school, nurturing and excellent pastoral care and results.

jane07958 Wed 16-Nov-16 13:20:24

I have 2 daughters in the junior school, I couldn't be happier with Sydenham High. It's a warm and loving school .
I strongly object to the word spiteful being applied to either of the Head Teachers.

aonions Wed 16-Nov-16 17:45:32

I have a daughter in Junior School. It's a wonderful, nurturing school that also encourages the girls to stretch themselves and to achieve the very best that they can. Having never expected any particular level of achievement from my daughter (rather allowing her to find her own space) she has truly excelled in a number of subjects which I attribute wholly to the school and its approach to teaching. It's a challenge - we always want to make the best choices for our children - I don't think I could have made a better one. I have a 7 year old who is inspired and eager to do more and do better and really enjoys school. It makes me very happy to know that she is happy. When she hears her little brother say that he can't do something, she always reminds him that he can't do it 'now' - it shows she is bringing a bit of Sydenham Spirit home with her! I would take the 'spiteful' comment with a pinch of salt - a reputation requires a certain amount of consensus and I'm not aware of any nor would I describe any member of staff at the school as remotely spiteful. I think there would be plenty of objections to such a suggestion and it looks much like the writer doesn't have first hand knowledge in any event. Good luck with your decision making!

CauliflowerSqueeze Wed 16-Nov-16 19:08:23

it looks much like the writer doesn't have first hand knowledge in any event

Not the case I'm afraid. Sorry. I am being deliberately vague but it's not my experience and not that of 2 others I know.

However, you can only speak as you find. Great that so many are happy with it.

RubyAndCustard Thu 17-Nov-16 12:40:11

Thank you so much for the responses.

We are applying to the Senior School - so hope some of that ethos at the junior school is applied also at senior level. I hear the GCSE results are also on the up year on year which is also a bonus (I can assume JAGs / Alleyns results are higher as maybe they've creamed off the 'top' performers?).

I believe there is a new head starting next year (from Queens?) - so I'm not remotely bothered by the post regarding the current head. I find such comments unnecessary in the grand scheme of things.

Thank you X

user1479462670 Mon 21-Nov-16 21:27:13

My daughter joined Sydenham High Jr department aged 4 and left aged 18 with 10 A/A*'s GCSE; and 3A/B at A levels. She received offers from 5 universities 2 of which were unconditional. She is currently studying French at Birmingham University. I found Sydenham provided the perfect combination: it's academic, sporty, arty and the drama department outstanding. My daughter is academic and very sporty. She was able to combine her sports with her GCSE and A levels. Extremely supportive staff. Really cared about the girls and their achievements. My daughter was voted Head Girl; attending the GDST Head Girls conference gave her the opportunity to link up with girls from all the other GDST schools. My daughter left Sydenham High as a well educated, articulate, confident young woman. I would highly recommend the Sydenham.

MaudOnceMore Tue 22-Nov-16 00:28:23

Eek. I expect it would take a couple of minutes research to identify your daughter. Is that what you want?

Babybunting82 Tue 21-Mar-17 09:13:01

I went to SHS, the head who has just left who you speak of as "spiteful" taught me both English and classics for a number of years (before she took on the HT post), she was the most lovely and caring teacher in the whole school, we all adored her and still talk about her very fondly. I was absolutely atrocious at English but she did everything she could to help me (I recently got a full academic scholarship to study at MSc level so some of it must have sunk in!) , I've got absolutely nothing negative to say about her at all. "Spiteful" is the last word I would associate with her.
The school is small, warm and caring, it focuses on developing well rounded confident young women, not just exam results.
My time at SHS is a time I look back on very fondly. You certainly aren't allowed to "coast", I was considered bright at primary school but I found I was continually challenged at SHS. In terms of art (i wasn't sporty either) they've a huge art studio in addition to a ceramics and metal/wood working workshops. I did art at GCSE and was spoiled for choice!

livingfunky Mon 19-Feb-18 19:29:33

I'm thinking of sending my daughter to Sydenham High and wanted some feed back on the level of difficulty for the entrance exams for the junior school. Many thanks

user1495443009 Mon 19-Feb-18 20:08:31

It is a lovely a school; not super competitive so she should be fine with some preparation and exams practice. Is it 7plus?

I don't think you will need any preparation for 4 plus .

sydenhamhiller Tue 20-Feb-18 23:14:33

You could try the eastdulwichforum for some local traffic.

Just from hearsay (have 3 children from y1-y9), I don’t think it is particularly onerous to get in. It seems like a lovely school: know a couple of girls at junior school at the mo, one who was there, and a couple who are now at the senior school, and it’s all very positive. We looked at it for DC2 for secondary - I think it is the loveliest place I looked at apart from DUCKS many years ago. (All 3 are at 3 different state schools, for context.)

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