Upper Shirley High

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“Good teaching continues to support pupils’ good progress.” Ofsted 2016

Headteacher's Blog


18 December 2018

Thank you to all our stakeholders for a very productive and progressive term. I've been so inspired by our students this term; their insight into USH and their hopes for next year are heart-warming.... Read more

Admirable leadership: In memory

13 November 2018

The passing of 100 years since Armistice Day is so significant for our country that it warrants considerable symbolic gestures of remembrance. At USH, Mr Farley led a series of events to commemorate this... Read more

Transcript of Open Morning Address to prospective parents

4 October 2018

Hello. So now you’ve heard from our Head Girl and Boy, my address will cover other important characteristics about USH, and answer what I feel is the most important question for your visit; will my child be... Read more

Summer Music Festival

25 June 2018

The Jeffery's Education Partnership (JEP) have had a great year with many projects progressing fruitfully over the past three terms. A highlight of our collective calendar was the Summer Festival at... Read more

Rewarding company

5 May 2018

Today we were reviewing this week’s outgoing correspondence to parents and I was about to sign the letters for the remaining Prom arrangements. Thank goodness I paused long enough with my pen to... Read more

The Southampton Spring Teachmeet. Thanks to all who came.

1 May 2018

Thanks to everyone who attended our successful teachmeet which (finally) happened on 26th April. No snow stopped us this time!

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Happy Easter

27 March 2018

It's been a busy and productive term but I have to say, one of the most rewarding in recent memory. What's so good about the staff and students of USH is how they push on and keep focussed; right until the... Read more

The inspirational Charlie Walker returns to USH

18 March 2018

We are delighted to welcome Charlie back to USH. Charlie is an inspirational speaker who's adventures speak to young people on a profound level. Awe and wonder is much misused phrase; here it isn't. We... Read more

Governance at USH

19 December 2017

The effectiveness of a governing body depends on the quality of its governors and in the way they work together and with school leaders. USH is a skills-based governing body which has been led by Andy... Read more

We are proud members of Southampton Education Forum

23 November 2017

The first of our city ‘Teachmeets’ is at St George College on 28th November between 4 and 5.30pm.

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11 November 2017

This year we welcomed 115 grandparents to USH for our Remembrance Service. Our biggest turnout since we began this special event. A number of grandparents made a journey further than most. This year from... Read more

Mulberrry Tree

2 October 2017

You may know that Upper Shirley High proudly cares for one the last remaining Mulberry trees in Southampton.

Early in his reign, King James I instructed landowners to plant Mulberry trees at the rate of... Read more

Proud to be USH: Open Morning

28 September 2017

It’s a great time to be at Upper Shirley High (USH). Our first 180 student cohort has started in Year 7 and our multi-million pound building plan has started. This summer, our Year 11 achieved best ever A*/A... Read more


21 July 2017


As we complete another cycle of school, I’ve been humbled by the hard-work and resilience of our Year 11s and impressed by the support from all the other students.

The ‘business’ end of the... Read more

Behold the hands

16 May 2017

“Behold the hands, how they promise, conjure, appeal, menace, pray, supplicate, refuse, beckon, interrogate, admire, confess, cringe, instruct, command, mock and what not besides, with a variation and... Read more

Funding: People first

14 March 2017

You may have read about school budget cuts in the local and national press. I want to reassure our community that there are no planned reductions in teachers or support staff at USH in the coming years. In... Read more

A pleasure and a privilege

2 January 2017

I have had the pleasure of Chairing the Southampton Education Forum (known as SEF) for the last two and a half years and in December I stood down to focus my efforts on Upper Shirley High’s... Read more

Inviting Applications

8 October 2016

I addressed prospective new students at our annual open morning event this month and was pleased to see so many families considering joining USH. Thank you.

I’ve heard it said that school 'prepares... Read more

Leading the charge

7 October 2016

At this point every year, I invite our middle leaders into my office to discuss their summer GCSE results and I’m compelled to post a blog for two reasons:

1. I don’t Tweet (Kim Kardashian et al... Read more

Lukewarm is no good

13 September 2016

'I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at is full speed, embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become... Read more

Sweet Sorrow

20 July 2016

Endings are difficult. For everyone. Endings bring out deeper feelings of loss and on an organisational level, there can be worry about how things will be different in the future. It’s in the nature of schools... Read more

We are Upper Shirley High

29 June 2016

Dear Students
The result of the EU Referendum has caused confusion and questions across our country.
Please know that a huge majority of our school and importantly the youngest... Read more

Splendid torch

10 May 2016

‘This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the... Read more

Making your mark

3 May 2016

I’ve often heard USH referred to as a family and three years into headship, I increasingly feel what people mean. More than a social unit consisting of adults and children, we are ‘closely related’... Read more

Energy of the mind

26 February 2016

It’s been a humbling month for Upper Shirley High. When Ofsted gave us our feedback following the recent inspection, they said: 

 “You are very ambitious for the success of... Read more


19 January 2016

Happy New Year.

In 1958, WH Auden wrote ‘Routine, in an intelligent person, is a sign of ambition.’

Schools thrive on routine yet no two days are the same.

I’m a big... Read more

Comfort and Joy

7 December 2015

It seems some of our students believe their generation invented abbreviated language. I point out that Winston Churchill was the first person to use the (now overused) common abbreviation... Read more

A special relationship

11 November 2015

When I was little, I remember when my Grandma came over to see the family, it was a big deal; the house was prepared and a special lunch assembled; she'd sit at the head of the table and I waited my turn... Read more

The balanced curriculum

21 October 2015

If art was easy and required no developed knowledge, skill or attribute to succeed, then wouldn't every painting be a masterpiece? every play a hit? every design faultless? every actor an... Read more

A teacher affects eternity

10 October 2015

Looking for a pathway into teaching?

'A teacher affects eternity; you never know when your influence stops'. This profound quote by Henry Adams is perfectly true and should be experienced to be fully... Read more

Welcome to the Headteacher's Blog

2 October 2015

I hold the privileged position of head of our school and it’s my job to make these years some of the best of our children’s lives; well-rounded, high achieving and characterful.

Welcome to my Blog.... Read more

“I would like to thank you for being such an inspiration to both my sons.” Year 10 and 9 parent