Hillsyde News

Newsletter for the Hillsyde 14-19 Federation (Forest Hill, Sedgehill & Sydenham Schools)

Issue 2 March 2007

It’s official - Sydenham School is Outstanding!

Ofsted (the government’s school inspectors) have judged Sydenham School to be “an outstanding and fully inclusive school”. Here are some more comments from Ofsted:

Ofsted also agreed that the work of the Hillsyde Federation already has had a positive impact.

Well done to Sydenham School !

Year 7 Trip to Sleeping Beauty Pantomime at Greenwich Theatre

On Wednesday December 6th fifteen students from Forest Hill School, Sedgehill and Sydenham enjoyed a wonderful performance of this well-known tale. The five boys from our school had a great time. Brandon Lummis, H7G, said, “I liked the look of the stage and the beautiful lights. The scenes changed by people pushing the middle of the set round. I liked the way they changed costumes quickly. They had songs we could join in with, and the little children started dancing. But the witch was scary. A boy behind us was crying.”

Residential Visits

An important part of the experience of senior students involves leaving behind the classroom and taking part in residential visits. This not only allows students to expand on what they do in school, but aid personal and social development in a host of ways. What happened on such visits is often remembered far longer than what happened in the classroom! At Hillsyde we are continually seeking to expand the number of opportunities on offer.

A number of residential trips have taken place during the Spring term. For example, fifty A-level Business Studies students went to Paris and Euro Disney on a tailored visit that included examining different business practices as well as seeing the sights, going up the Eiffel Tower and experiencing French ‘joi de vivre.’ Y11and Sixth Form Art students journeyed to Barcelona to visit its excellent art galleries and architecture while historians went on a residential visit to Rome to bring alive the Italian history that they have been studying. In addition, two Ski trips have taken place one to Chantel in France and one to Quebec in Canada.

Did the moon landings happen (or did the lizard men get there first)?

And by popular vote, the answer is… Yes, the moon landings did happen.

Moon Landing On Monday 5 March, Dr Jon London gave a fascinating lecture to Hillsyde Year 10 students, parents and teachers about the moon landings. In particular, he discussed the belief held by some people that the landings never happened. Throughout the lecture, the audience were asked to give their opinions (through electronic voting devices) and the audience overwhelmingly concluded that the evidence tells us that the moon landings did happen.

Dr London was part of the British team competing for the X Prize, a competition to see who would be the first nongovernmental organisation to put people into space.

This lecture was held to launch the Hillsyde Federation support for Triple Science for Year 10 students. About 90 students from all three schools are part of this hugely exciting new project. Year 10 Science lessons will be supported by the development of engaging online materials, extra classes and a residential course. The next stage of this project occurs on Tuesday 17 April, when the students will visit Imperial College (world renowned for its excellence in Science) to use their laboratories.

Well done to all staff involved with this project and in particular well done to Matthew Rees for leading and coordinating so effectively.

This Triple Science project is a wonderful example of the benefits available to students when the three schools work together as the Hillsyde Federation.

Business Paris Trip

Paris by night Hillsyde Business Studies students have just returned from a four day trip to Paris. The party of 50 students from across the federation were based in the Euro Disney resort. They were given the opportunity to join business students from all over the UK to watch various presentations from a wide rage of speakers. The visit of course included a fun day out in the theme park and the Warner Studios. The students also experienced a cultural day in the centre of Paris which ended with a meal in the Eiffel Tower and a trip down the river Seine to view Paris by twilight.

Here are some responses from a few students:

Higher Education Fair

Hillsyde students at the Higher Education FairAround 160 of our Y12 AS level student attended the Higher Education Fair at Crystal Palace on Wednesday 7th March where they interrogated university staff on such matters as course entry requirements and student finance. This is one of our stages in preparing student for applying to university during the next Autumn Term. It will be followed by a number of university visits and a ‘UCAS’ week in June. Y13 students have now received all of there offers including one student who has been accepted at Cambridge University to study Natural Sciences and another who has been accepted to study Veterinary Science. This follows on from our success last year of having two going to Oxford University to study Mathematics and one student going to Cambridge University to study Social and Political Sciences.

UCAS: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Year 13 students have now finished the time consuming process of applying for university and other higher education colleges to start the next stage in their academic career. Students are now reaping the rewards by being offered places at their chosen universities! University will be a life changing experience for our students. They will experience a brand new learning environment, they will meet lots of new people from different walks of life and for some this will mean leaving home and living independently.

“I have been offered an interview at the University of Brighton. I am slightly nervous but still excited as it is the first step towards achieving my goal of becoming a P.E. teacher.” Nick

“I am excited about visiting universities as I have been accepted at 5. My first choice will be Sussex” Lauren

“I am still waiting for my last offer but it’s an exciting experience. I am going to hopefully pursue my computing ambition at Lincoln University.” Rory

“I can’t wait to start my Art Foundation Diploma at the London College of Communication. T’m really looking forward to the new experiences that lay ahead.” Claire

Modern Schools for the New Century

Forest Hill rebuildFrom the Hillsyde News, March 2007
Within the next few years, all three Hillsyde Schools will have been completely refurbished or rebuilt. As many of you know, Forest Hill School is already being rebuilt (by Bouygues as a Private Finance Initiative project), the work is ahead of schedule and the students will move into the new buildings by January 2008. Work will soon begin to rebuild Sedgehill School (by Learning 21 as part of the government’s Building Schools for the Future programme) and the students will move into the new buildings by December 2009. Sydenham is due to join the BSF programme in 2008, and is looking forward to planning and preparing new and improved provision for all students. “Watch this space!” All Hillsyde students will soon have modern schools built for the new century.

[Download this Newsletter in PDF format]