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Welcome to our first half termly SFH6 newsletter for 2016-17.

This term we began by celebrating  Fantastic A Level and Vocational results, once again achieving the best results in the borough.

Over 80% of our Year 13 leavers progressed on to University this Autumn, more than half of those to the top Russell Group and Research Intensive Universities. We also welcomed our fabulous new Year 12 with two induction days run by our Y12 tutors and the 'live n learn' team. This really helped our students think about the skills and attitudes they will need to develop to be successful in the 6th form and to develop ‘growth mind-sets’. We enjoyed meeting all our new sixth form parents at the end of September and we look forward to working closely with you over the next two years.


Our Year 13 students have been working hard on their UCAS applications, researching courses and writing their personal statements. We have 17 students who are applying to Oxbridge or Medicine and they have already sent their applications off and are now waiting for news! For those still working on their personal statements the half term will be a good opportunity to get these completed as well as revising for the Mock Exams.

SFH6 Ambassadors

Many Year 12 students have now successfully applied to become SFH6 Ambassadors to join our Year 13 team. These students are all keen to take on a leadership role around the two schools and have already supported with Year 6 open events, the Year 12 parents meeting and fund raising for Macmillan. You can see these students in their distinctive red T Shirts representing the sixth form at the SFH6 Open Evening on November 17th and a wide range of other events over the year. Students still interested in applying to become ambassadors and supporting their 6th form at our Open Evening are welcome to apply straight after half term.

Sixth Form Council
Students have also applied for the 6th Form Council and the first meeting of this group will take place after half term.

Reading at St Bartholomew’s Primary School
A group of Year 12 students have already volunteered to take part in this year’s reading programme with St Bartholomew’s Primary School. This will take place every Wednesday afternoon starting straight after half term. Volunteering is an excellent opportunity to develop skills and to pass on your experience. We hope to be able to offer other opportunities to volunteer later on this year.

emagazine A Level English Literature Conference
On Friday 14th October 2016, a group of twenty English Literature students were taken to the emagazine yearly Literature Conference at Friends House, Central London. The conference offered these A Level students fantastic opportunities to enrich their current studies in English. It also provided a valuable insight into the study of English in Higher Education – an experience of what university lectures and seminars may entail.
There was a ‘Read This Now’ panel discussion chaired by Professor John Mullan (Professor of English at University College London) with Dr Caroline Edwards (Lecturer in English at Birkbeck University), Sarah Crown (Director of Literature for Arts Council England) and Andrew Michael Hurley (author of ‘The Loney’, ‘Cages and Other Stories’ and ‘The Unusual Death of Julie Christie and Other Stories’). Each panelist offered a recommended reading list of ten novels, poems or short stories for students. They also spoke about their rationale in choosing their recommended ten. Professor Mullan ended the discussion with some advice for students on attending and preparing for university interviews, what interviewers look for in potential students of English and the importance of being widely read.
Sarah Crown offered advice on how to approach poetry, what to look for and ways in which deeper, more abstract meaning can be pulled from poetry. This was particularly useful to students as this year they will be sitting a paper in which they will be analysing poetry by John Keats.
The conference concluded with an interactive session led by actors Simon Bubb and Emma Pallant which helped students to explore ways in which dramatic texts can be brought to life. In particular, they explored Shakespeare and how stage directions are silently embedded within the structure and rhythm of the play itself. Again, pupils found this useful as they are currently studying Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’, as well as Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’

AS Media visit to The Guardian Newspaper

Earlier this month a group of 25 A Level Media students visited the Guardian Newspaper to take part in a 1 day ‘hands on’ workshop to find out more about video editing for news. Students created their own online news stories which you will be able to have a look at on our youtube channel shortly.
The Guardian sees itself as a ‘digital first’ newspaper with their online presence becomming more and more important. Our media students were really encouraged to be told that studying Media is seen as excellent preparation for working as a journalist. Really useful skills were developed during the day as well as an insight into working in a very modern and forward looking environment. We hope to see many of our students ‘in print’ in the near future!

A Level Physics – 2 Great events
Listening to Sounds from Space!

Research is at the core of science, and is how scientific knowledge and understanding progresses; much of this taking place at our universities. In partnership with Queen Mary University of London, students studying physics at Sydenham and Forest Hill sites have been given the opportunity to participate in a real scientific research project focused on plasma waves in the Earth’s magnetosphere. Dr Martin Archer came into Forest Hill on Tuesday 18th October to run an introductory session where the students listened to the ‘sounds of space’. Yet, whilst these magnetosphere plasma waves aren’t sounds, the data taken from various satellite detectors have been converted into sound waves by QMUL so we can take advantage of a powerful pattern recognition system – the human auditory system. The SFH6 research groups will continue their work up until March when they will present their findings at QMUL – we wish them all the best with this exciting opportunity.

Mr O’Donnell
A Lesson from Carlo Rovelli (author of Seven Brief Lessons in Physics)
On Monday 10th October our A Level and GCSE Physics students were also very fortunate to meet Professor Carlo Rovelli, theoretical physicist and author of two books. Professor Rovelli gave a truly inspiring lecture on Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity and encouraged our GCSE and A Level students to ask questions about what we think we know. This was a great opportunity for our students and you can read more about it here.

A-Level Product Design trip to Design Junction Kings Cross 2016
Earlier this term the A-Level Product Design students went on a day-trip with Mr Bima to Design Junction Kings Cross 2016, the internationally-recognised design trade show which was being held at Kings Cross this year.  We had the opportunity to see cutting-edge products which have been designed using the latest technologies and following the latest trends.  Ranging from 3D pens to lighting, fixtures and furnishings one would normally only see in top restaurants, offices and homes of the rich and sequestered, it was a real eye-opener.
All of the students enjoyed seeing designing in the real world and the opportunities offered by new technologies for designing. Mr Bima found it a pleasure to be able to spend the day with such a lively, talented group of future designers!

Mock Exams

Mock 1week is shortly after half term (7th November) and students need to get their revision organised to ensure that they achieve well in these exams. We expect students to create a revision timetable and to use the half term week and then their study time to revise thoroughly. Revision needs to be active and techniques such as flash cards and the Cornell method have been recommended to students.

Students should follow the 3 steps for success:

  1. Checklist: Have you got a list of everything you need to learn and know for each Mock exam?
  2. Plan: Have you got a written revision plan for half term? Make sure you make one and that it covers everything on your subject checklists
  3. Learn & Test Yourself: Make sure that you are using active revision methods to learn and then test yourself to check it’s working! Reading or ‘going over’ your notes WILL NOT DO!

Do you use Cornell? Or Flash Cards?
What we know about how our memory works means that ACTIVE methods are a MUST

The websites below can provide some really useful advice on revision techniques and planning, take a look
Students - remember that your teachers will use the results of Mock 1 to identify your strengths and areas to improve on as well as to work out and revise students predicted grades so make them count!     a youtube clip explaining the Cornell method


We would like to remind students that we expect everyone to maintain 100% attendance to lessons. Research shows that students with excellent attendance and punctuality usually achieve at least one grade higher than other students in their exams. We are extremely impressed by the large number of students who have maintained a 100% attendance record since September, in fact too many to list here!
If you do have to be absent from school please remember that a note or a phone call from parents is needed to authorize the absence.

17th November SFH6 Open Evening for prospective students held at Sydenham School
18th November The sixth form deadline for UCAS is 18th November All students applying should make sure that they have seen their tutor to discuss their personal statements and references.
23rd November 20 SFH6 students are attending the Young Peoples Question Time at Southwark Cathedral.
1st December Year 13 Parents held in the Main School Hall at Sydenham School
9th December All Year 12 students are attending the Skills London Careers event at the Excel Centre Docklands.
20th December Last day of term
3rd January Start of term SYD
5th January Start of term FH

Head of SFH6 Gill Pooley: Teaches Sociology, Media Studies and the Extended Project.

Head of 6th Forest Hill Mr Maton: Teaches Economics and Business Studies

Deputy Head of 6th Forest Hill Mr Salmon: Teaches Maths and Politics.

Head of 6th Sydenham Ms Belger: Teaches Sociology.

Head of Year 12 Sydenham Ms Conway: Teaches Health and Social Care, Citizenship and PSE.

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