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Sydenham High School: a parents’ guide to Year 7 entry

School guides
Sydenham High School: a parents' guide to Year 7 entry

Sydenham High School is an independent day school for girls aged 4–18 in South East London. It was founded in 1887 and was one of the last schools to be opened by the GDST (Girls’ Day School Trust) – a network of girls’ independent day schools across the country. Education at Sydenham High School follows a ‘can do’ approach, where every girl is encouraged to be ambitious, fearless, independent and resilient and to have a strong moral compass.

The learning environment at Sydenham High School is creative, vibrant and inspiring. Pupils study a broad and balanced curriculum which becomes more diverse as they progress through the school, with A level options including drama & theatre, economics, government & politics, history of art, philosophy, sociology and five modern languages. In 2021, 58% of GCSE results were 9/8/A* alone and 100% of A level results were A*–B.

There are plenty of initiatives beyond the curriculum at Sydenham High School. The Socrates Programme, available to pupils in Years 7–9, offers an array of lectures and workshops on a wide variety of topics including the environment, the arts and technology and culminates in the creation of a final piece. Meanwhile, the school’s Body, Mind and Soul co-curricular programme aims to maintain positive mental and physical health, with girls in the lower school expected to attend at least two activities per week. Examples of activities include contemporary dance, football and yoga (body), bookworms, coding and young reporters (mind) and instrumental ensembles, meditation and cross stitch (soul).

Key information for Sydenham High School

  • Headmistress: Antonia Geldeard

  • Address: Sydenham High School, 19 Westwood Hill, Sydenham, London SE26 6BL

  • London Borough: Lewisham

  • Admissions contact: [email protected], 020 8557 7004

  • Age range and gender: 4–18, girls only

  • Number of pupils: 723

  • Number of places in Year 7: Approximately 84

  • Ratio of applicants to places: 4:1

  • Open day date: Saturday 17th September 2022. Register your interest online

  • Overview of selection procedure: Entrance papers, interviews and school reference

  • Registration opens: Currently open – apply online

  • Registration closes: Monday 14th November 2022

  • Assessment date: Friday 25th November 2022

  • Scholarship assessment date: 2nd–9th December 2022

Sydenham High School fees and financial assistance

The fees at Sydenham High School for the academic year 2022–23 are £6,244 per term or £18,732 per year. Fees are paid directly to the GDST and include public exams and most textbooks. Lunch is charged separately and costs £257.46 per term.

Sydenham High School offers a range of financial assistance to pupils, including means-tested bursaries. These awards are based on financial circumstances and the child’s performance in the entrance exams. As a guide, higher-value bursaries are awarded to pupils from families with a total income of less than £42,500, with families with an annual income of less than £92,500 receiving less financial assistance.

Scholarships are also available for successful 11 plus candidates for Sydenham High School. The value of these is usually up to 10% of the school fees. Scholarships are available in the areas of academia, art, drama, music and sport.

Sydenham High School term dates

The term dates at Sydenham High School for 2022–23 are:

  • Autumn term: 5th September – 15th December 2022

  • Half term: 17th–28th October 2022

  • Spring term: 4th January – 31st March 2023

  • Half term: 13th–17th February 2023

  • Summer term: 19th April – 7th July 2023

  • Half term: 29th May – 2nd June 2023

Admissions process for Year 7 entry to Sydenham High School

If you would like to register your daughter for Year 7 entry to Sydenham High School in 2023, you will need to apply by completing the online registration form and pay a non-refundable application fee of £100 before Monday 14th November 2022.

All applicants will be assessed on Friday 25th November 2022 at Sydenham High School. On the same day, all children will have a 15-minute interview with a member of the school staff. This is an opportunity for your daughter to speak about something she is proud of. Sydenham High School will additionally request a reference from your child’s current school.

All girls are considered for an Academic Scholarship based on their performance in the entrance exam. For other scholarships, applications must be completed online by Friday 11th November 2022. Candidates will also have extra processes to complete:

  • Art Scholarships: Candidates must submit a sketchbook and portfolio of their work before 14th November 2022. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to a drawing assessment and interview on Tuesday 6th December 2022.

  • Drama Scholarships: You will need to provide details of your daughter’s latest exam grade certificates (if applicable) and at least one reference from a drama coach/teacher as part of the application form. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to an audition on Friday 9th December 2022, which will include a small group workshop and the performance of a poem or monologue.

  • Music Scholarships: Candidates must have reached at least Grade 4 on at least one instrument. You will need to provide details of your daughter’s latest exam grade certificates and at least one reference from a named instrumental teacher as part of the application form. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to audition on Wednesday 7th December.

  • Sport Scholarships: You will need to include details of any certificates/awards won for sporting endeavours, and at least one reference from your daughter’s PE teacher or sports coach, as part of the application. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an assessment on Friday 2nd December 2022, where they will be assessed on their general fitness and basic sports skills, demonstrate their talent in at least one sport and undergo a short interview.

Decision letters informing you whether or not your daughter has been offered a place (including offers for bursaries and scholarships) will be sent out by first class post to families on Friday 27th January 2023. There will be a number of opportunities for offer-holders to visit Sydenham High School before the acceptance offer deadline on Monday 6th March 2023.

Sydenham High School entrance exam

All applicants to Sydenham High School for Year 7 entry will take the school’s entrance exam on Friday 25th November 2022. They will take two papers:

How to help your child prepare for the selection process at Sydenham High School

Build foundational knowledge

For 11 plus entry to Sydenham High School, candidates are tested across the Key Stage 2 curriculum in the core subjects of English and maths. Atom Nucleus can help your child consolidate everything they need to know for the exam, with access to over 90,000 interactive questions, helpsheets and tutorial videos – all designed to help your child build the foundational knowledge needed for exam success.

English learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Preparation is key

Familiarisation with the question formats and known styles ahead of the exam is essential to help your child build exam confidence.

An exam preparation subscription with Atom Nucleus enables your child to access quality, unlimited practice material with full score breakdowns to help your child feel confident by the time the exam day comes around. Best of all, your child can take unlimited practice tests that replicate independent school entrance exams, all for one monthly subscription.

Access to immediate support

When working through challenging topics, your child will need immediate clarity with any misconceptions so that they feel truly secure in the exam.

Atom Nucleus includes video tutorials, help sheets and examples with every question to help your child build confidence and competence across all the areas assessed.

Maths learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Engage with their progress

Celebrate your child’s improvement in areas of challenge together. An accurate and ongoing assessment of their areas of strength and development is helpful.

As an Atom subscriber, you’ll have a parent dashboard which offers data-driven insights into your child’s progress. You can use this effectively to help your child set targets, see a detailed breakdown of their progress by subtopic and set custom practices to target those they find most challenging.

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Get started with Atom Learning

It’s our mission to help your child feel prepared and confident before the exam day. Begin your free 5-day free trial of Nucleus today to help your child succeed.

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We know how crucial this time is, so our team is on hand to support you and your family every step of the way. You can book a call with one of our Education Experts to ask any questions you might have about 11 plus entry to Sydenham High School:

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