Sydenham High School Welcomes New Head

At an exciting stage in Sydenham High School’s history, we are delighted to welcome a
new Head to lead the school community from September 2022. Living locally for many
years, Antonia Geldeard said, “I have heard lots of wonderful first-hand experiences of
the school. What has always stood out for me has been the overriding commitment to
the individual; the warm, supportive atmosphere, caring for each pupil and helping
each student to benefit from the wide range of co-curricular opportunities on offer;
there is a real commitment to recognising each girl’s own achievement and academic
success, which particularly resonates with me.”
Ms Geldeard studied English Literature at Trinity College and Cambridge University,
graduating with an MA, and later a PGCE in English and Drama. After early years
spent working as a television journalist she joined Alleyn’s School. In 2017, Antonia
moved to Trinity School, Croydon, to take up the role of Head of Sixth Form and then in
2019, she was promoted to Deputy Head.
Following 22 years in co-education and single sex environments, she brings with her a
wealth of experience. “I can see the importance of nurturing strong, resilient, healthy
young women who have the confidence to speak with their own voice and a full range
of skills to be well prepared for their futures. Our classrooms must offer the space for
girls to grow their interests, take the lead, share their academic discoveries, and
explore new things without fear”. Which perfectly aligns with the Sydenham High
motto of ‘Fear Nothing’.
After visiting the school herself, Antonia observed that the pupils that she will be
leading were “happy, confident, and curious – they were quick to ask me questions and
volunteered all sorts of stories showing their utter engagement and joy in school life.
This is a great testament to the ethos of the school and the atmosphere to which all the
community contribute”, something she hopes to further strengthen and build upon
during her headship.
Antonia has extensive academic and pastoral experience, having held responsibility
for Sixth Form, enrichment, EPQ, school admissions and marketing, university
admissions and careers as well as holding the position of Deputy Safeguarding Lead
for many years. She also has experience as a primary school governor. Keen to
maintain the academic achievement and co-curricular experiences of pupils she
speaks of her intention to “adhere to Sydenham High’s ethos”, continuing, “our girls
should be ambitious in their endeavours, develop their higher order thinking skills and
be confident to speak up, stand out, think creatively, and reach for opportunities.”
Antonia has shared her vision for thoroughly preparing pupils for their futures,
whatever pathway they may choose, fostering a depth of character, strong values, and
a willingness to commit and give back to their community. “I will continue the strong
partnerships with all aspects of the community; between the Prep and Senior School,
between pupils and staff, with parents, the local community, neighbouring schools,
alumnae and visiting experts.”
As Sydenham High celebrates its 135th anniversary, it seems that the future of the
school is in good hands.
Visit Sydenham High School this autumn to discover more: