Upper Shirley High

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“Relationships between staff and students are excellent.” Ofsted 2011

USH Newsletter

Welcome to the First English Themed Edition of the USH Newsletter!

Meet the English team for this term.

Looking ahead, the English department is fully staffed for September.  We are looking forward to welcoming Clare Williams (Assistant Head and English specialist), Natasha Callaway (our new NQT), Marcus Bailey and Rhian Cox.  We send Sophie Dunne our very best wishes as she leaves for her maternity this term and congratulations to Jas Kaur on her beautiful baby boy born recently.

I have always loved books and reading.  From an early age I used to hide under my blanket at night reading with a torch just so I could finish my book!  I gained an Honours Degree at Bristol University and I am proud to have experienced a Russell Group Education.

I knew teaching was the career for me. I’ve taught for twelve years now, in several schools in Bristol and Hampshire, and have been in management since 2004. I never tire of the students and my experiences with them; every day is an adventure.

My favourite book is probably, now, Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’.  Every single time I read it I find something new to think about, usually something that a student has pointed out or read into its meaning.

English isn’t an easy subject to master but I am so proud of the perseverance and determination that students bring to their studies.  It has been my privilege to join and lead the fantastic English team at USH (particularly after the best ever results of 2014 where the students achieved significantly higher than the national average for progress).  Sarah Hayward, my Deputy Head of English, has been a great personal support to me during my first year here, and together with our team, we will continue to raise standards at USH.

Anna Collins, Subject Leader English


Key Stage 3: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Shoebox Theatres

Year 7 studied William Shakespeare’s 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' and completed a reading assessment based on one scene of their choice from the play.  The students created a scene that was staged in a shoebox which was then annotated with quotations which were used to justify their choices.


Key Stage 3: Spooky Stories and Tasty Treats for Halloween



Year 7 developed their writing and literacy skills using tools such as Slow Writing, story planning and development strategies and using a visual approach of a mountain diagram to help plan the key stages of their ghost stories. The stories were then shared aloud during the planned party before half term and the whole department joined in with listening to them and eating cakes and treats!




Key Stage 3: Myths and Legends

Year 7 studied three myths and legends in detail and then were asked to complete written tasks on each one. They created their own myth and/or legend and presented it creatively… what they produced was outstanding!

Key Stage 3: Chocolate Machine Inventions Year 8

Year 8 studied 'Boy' by Roald Dahl and used Roald Dahl’s experiences with Cadbury’s Chocolates to inspire them to make some chocolate machines and some even made their own chocolates for homework. They continued to show their extensive creative skills and abilities.  Brilliant!


Key Stage 3: Year 9 Words for Work Literacy Initiative – 9C

Year 9 took part in a literacy program called ‘Words for Work’, gaining a valuable insight into the world of work. These students were selected to work with local law firm Eric Robinson Solicitors to enable them to develop their language and communication skills for the workplace. The challenge culminated in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style finale where each individual group of students had to present to members of Eric Robinson staff. As a reward for all of their hard work during the project, the students were then invited to present to the firm’s partners at Eric Robinson headquarters in Southampton, had a tour around their offices and were awarded with souvenirs to take away with them.  Well done all!


Key Stage 4

Year 11 produced some excellent descriptive and argumentative or persuasive pieces of writing for their controlled assessment folders for English this year. Extracts of some of these best pieces are selected for you to peruse.


Reading Mentors

This year at USH we have created a reading mentors scheme which provides targeted students in Years 7 and 8 the opportunity to read to and with a mentor in Year 10. So far we have seen some students go from reading very little at all, to powering their way through books like Harry Potter in no time at all!

One excellent example of the impact that this project is already having is on the partnership of Mohammed (Mo) Chowdhary and Kitty Clark.  Kitty helped introduce Mo to the Harry Potter series and with Kitty he has built his confidence by reading aloud to her.  I found them lost in the world of ‘The Order of the Phoenix’.



The Library

The USH Library is a special place; always buzzing with students reading, talking about books and borrowing them from the Librarians.  In the English department, we are very lucky to have a Library lesson each fortnight with each of our Year 7 and 8 classes but that’s not all the Library offers to the school.  It also runs inductions each year to the new Year 7 students; Book Buzz and World Book Day are huge events on the annual calendar and the library also offers both magazines and newspapers to read in the library and DVDs which can be borrowed.

Accelerated Reader

Year 7 and 8 students continue to make great progress on the Accelerated Reader scheme.  Since September they have passed over 2,700 quizzes and read over 128 million words!  This is an amazing feat! Students are required to carry a book with them at all times, either from home or from the Library. We all Drop Everything And Read for 20 minutes each day, but please encourage your son or daughter to read at home too; this is essential if students are to meet their AR targets. Almost all children’s fiction books have an Accelerated Reader quiz attached.



Plans for the Library for 2016

To help parents follow the progress and achievements of their children on Accelerated Reader, we are introducing Renaissance Home Connect. You will be able to log on and see the quiz scores of your child and what Accelerated Reader books they have been reading. A letter detailing how you can log on will be sent home.

Tutor Groups 2015-2016

Tutor groups for September are soon to be announced.  Students who may be changing tutor groups will be consulted and parents notified.


Online Safety

As part of our ongoing work to keep children safe, we welcomed guest speaker John Robinson, a CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) ambassador, this week to deliver four assemblies to all students about e-Safety.  CEOP works across the UK tackling child sex abuse and providing advice for parents, young people and children.  Mr Robinson covered topics such as ‘Selfies’ and ‘Online Exposure’, as well as informing the students how they can report such incidents or concerns to CEOP using the ‘Click CEOP’ button.  Students were also introduced to the new e-Safety section of our school website and were shown where they can find all manner of advice and useful information regarding e-Safety, as well as where to find the ‘Click CEOP’ and ‘ChildLine’ report buttons.


Year 8 Geography Field Trip to Lepe Beach

Year 8 Geography students went on a field trip to Lepe to study coastlines on Monday 22nd June.

“Lepe beach has been flooded (severely) twice.  We all learned about what is being done to protect the beach and roads from flooding.  This includes groynes, revetments, hills and sea walls.  These structures help Lepe beach by not getting flooded.  We tested how effective they were by testing it out ourselves.  We used materials such as wood blocks as a house.  We needed to protect our wooded ‘house’ from flooding by using mini models of a sea wall, groynes, revetments and hills.  All together, we had a fun time at Lepe beach and I would happily recommend the school trip to others” said Sophia Westcott.

Millie Palmer enjoyed the trip too: “The geography field trip to Lepe beach was very interesting as we got to see all of the different sea defences and how they work.  I liked doing the activity on the sea front as it showed all of the impacts from heavy winds and waves by the sea.  It was really fun!  We had to build a model house and use different props to represent the real life sea defences so that we could see which ones were most effective as the tide came in.”


EAL Enrichment Day

Thirty of our Year 9 students were selected to attend an EAL Enrichment Day at the University of Southampton on Thursday June 11th.  Our students were offered a warm welcome by PGCE trainees who have just completed their teacher training programme.  All participants attended sessions on World Puppets, Pluto, Oceanography and Star Wars.  Everyone had their own personal favourite but all our pupils participated well in the sessions and interacted positively with students from other Southampton schools, as well as their session leaders.

Here are some comments the students made:
• “I enjoyed creating a spaceship and decoding.”
• “I enjoyed the freedom and creativity of World Puppet Festival session.”
• “It was really fun.”
• “The whole day was very good.”
• “Pluto Mission was my favourite session because it was interesting and funny; teachers had really good presentation and organisation.”

Joanna Wojcik, EAL coordinator, and Marie Connolly, Spanish teacher


Hampshire Athletics Finals

Congratulations to the U15 girls’ athletics team who came 6th at the Hampshire finals on Friday.  It was a fantastic day, with a special thank you due to Amelia Youren who stepped in at the last minute due to injury.  Well done to the team: Olivia Norton, Amelia Youren, Georgia O’Dell, Freya Barfoot, Alice Orr, Izzy Bennett and Isabella Fraser-Corbridge.

As the only school from Southampton taking part it was a fantastic achievement to have made it to the finals.  The other schools that were competing at the competition across all age groups were Bay House, Brookfield, Cams Hill, Churcher’s, Henry Beaufort, King Edward VI, Mountbatten, Noadswood, Perins, PGS, Portchester, Ringwood, Robert Mays, St Swithun’s, Swanmore, Thornden, Westgate and Yateley.

Claire Marks, PE department

More Success in Rounders!

The U13 team (pictured) made the rounders finals this week against St Anne’s, where we won 14-5.  A fantastic match to end the season!

Meanwhile,the U15s won the league undefeated with a spectacular win against St Anne’s in the final.

The girls have been outstanding all season, displaying an excellent combination of fitness, tactics, teamwork and good sportsmanship.

Well done to all involved and huge congratulations!

Claire Marks and Claire Sidney, PE department


Poppy is our Trampolining Star!

Poppy Martin-Coe (Year 7) represented USH in the Southampton Schools Trampolining Competition on Sunday 21st June at Fleming Park in Eastleigh.  Out of 76 competitors, Poppy finished 13th!

Poppy said, “I had a great day on Sunday.  It was a very nervous competition for me as I had a nasty back injury through trampolining in April and have only been training properly since the end of May.  I really enjoy trampolining and would encourage anybody to have a go.”

Poppy trains regularly with the Southampton Trampoline Club and if anybody is interested, the website is www.southamptontc.com where you will be able to find more details.


USH Chess Tournament

Twenty five students entered the USH Chess Battle.

The ten first round games have created a lot of excitement and plenty of friendly games have been played too. You can follow the progress of the battle by clicking on www.challonge.com/USHCB

Peter Harvey, Subject Leader for ICT



Calling Former Pupil and Parents of Foundry Lane School!

Andy Withers, the Headteacher of Foundry Lane Primary School, will be leaving at the end of the summer term.  He has been the Head for 25 years.  The school are arranging a 'get together' for ex pupils and parents who would like to come and say farewell to him on Monday 13th July, 3.15-5.15 pm.

Dates for Your Diaries

Wednesday 1st, Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd July, 7.00pm - 'We Will Rock You', school production at The Point Eastleigh
Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd July – Year 6 induction days
Thursday 2nd July – Year 10 Sports Day 11.50-2.40, Sports Centre
Monday 13th July – Work experience starts for Year 10
Tuesday 14th July – Sports Day for Years 7, 8 and 9, Sports Centre
Wednesday 22nd July – last day of term; school breaks up at 1.05 for summer holidays

Dates of Parents’ Evenings:
Tuesday 30th June – New intake parents’ induction evening

Dates for Autumn Term 2015:
Tuesday 1st September – Inset day
Wednesday 2nd September – Year 11 and Year 7 return to school
Thursday 3rd September – Years 8, 9 and 10 return to school

School Closure/Inset Days for 2015/2016 Academic Year:
Tuesday 1st September 2015
Friday 18th December 2015
Friday 12th February 2016
Friday 18th March 2016
Monday 27th June 2016

“"Thank you for helping me to gain confidence in myself and motivating me to keep going and stay happy."” Year 11 leaver