Sydenham High School GDST

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Sydenham High School, GDST, is an independent day school for girls aged 4-18 years. Founded in 1887, by the Girls’ Public Day School Trust, we pride ourselves on enriching young minds in a way that will endure a lifetime.

The Senior School at Sydenham High School is particularly distinctive and the girls and the staff are immensely proud of their school. Everyone remarks on the warm, friendly, and ambitious feel to the Senior School and the genuine sense of community and belonging.

The school’s original Anglo Saxon motto, ‘Nyle ye Drede’, means ‘Fear nothing’ and underpins all that we do. Sydenham High is selective but diverse, welcoming girls with wide-ranging talents and backgrounds into a close community that is large enough to offer choice and flexibility but compact enough to ensure that no girl is overlooked. As a high achieving school, we strive to ensure that every girl reaches, or exceeds, her potential by offering exceptional learning opportunities which harness individual strengths.

Girls at Sydenham High are not just academically successful; they are ambitious, open-minded and possess the necessary self-belief to outstrip all expectations. They are also well rounded, happy, down to earth, and much more besides.
Above all, our school is simply bursting with warmth, creativity, talent and, excellence in all that we do.

Gifted & Talented

Our declared aim is for every student to reach her fullest potential. We are selective but diverse, welcoming girls with wide-ranging backgrounds and abilities into a close community that is large enough to offer choice and flexibility but compact enough to ensure that every student is valued. We develop girls’ intellects, fire their imaginations and challenge their talents.  In particular, Our Aspire (Year 7 & 8) and Stretch (Year 12) programmes aim to provide experiences for students to stretch and challenge themselves and develop skills beyond the classroom. The structure of the GDST also provides opportunities for girls to meet, learn and compete with their peers across the Trust’s 25 schools and academies.


We have an excellent reputation for helping bright girls with mild specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, to thrive in an academically selective school. There is a dedicated unit staffed by specialists who provide support to both girls and their parents throughout their school career.

Every girl is assessed and has a personalised learning approach that she, her parents and her teachers understand. Our approach is always to teach girls the coping strategies that will enable them to overcome their specific barriers to learning. Girls learn in the same lessons as other students but may drop Latin in Year 8 to take communications skills lessons.

Bursaries & Scholarships

Scholarships awarded at age 11: academic plus one each for music, drama, art and sports. Also sixth-form academic scholarships. Means-tested bursaries for talented pupils at year 7 and 12 who would not otherwise be able to attend the school. See our website for further details.

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