USH Newsletter

28th June 2013

  • Headteacher’s News

    On Wednesday, I had the great pleasure of welcoming Year five students from Shirley and Hollybrook Junior schools for a creative learning day. I was particularly impressed with students’ enthusiasm for Habits of Mind and willingness to think deeply. A formal thank you to Chris Bulmer and Gary Hampton for supporting this work. Thanks also to USH students who were actively involved in making the day a real success. USH is delighted to be a part of the Jefferys Education Trust multi-academy and this day was testament to the strength of our working partnership.
    Congratulations to Nadja Kankare who learned recently that she will be attending one of Finland’s best colleges: Luostarinvuori In Turku. To have gained a place there is a huge achievement. Well done Nadja.

    The date for parents’ Blueprint Update evening is Monday July 22nd 6.30pm until 7.30pm. This evening will inform parents on progress towards our collective goals and will give an opportunity to discuss potential forthcoming events at USH.

    There’s so much to celebrate in this edition…I hope you enjoy the read.

    With thanks for your continual support

    Stuart Woods

  • USH One of the Best in the Country at Student Progress at GCSE

    We are now proudly displaying this certificate sent to us by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. The Chief Executive said, “Upper Shirley High School should be congratulated for their stunning performance in adding value to their students’ achievements. They are one of the best schools in the country in outperforming expectations for their pupils and improving their future prospects. There is plenty that other schools could learn from Upper Shirley High’s success.”

  • Jefferys Education Trust Parent Director Vacancies

    The Jefferys Education Trust (JET) currently consists of Upper Shirley High, Shirley Junior School, Shirley Infant School, Hollybrook Junior School and Hollybrook Infant School. We are looking for two parent representatives to join our Board of Directors - we need one parent from one of our infant or junior schools, and one parent from our secondary school. The position of parent director on the JET board is a new voluntary post, and we are looking to find two enthusiastic and committed individuals who are not currently sitting on a local governing body of one of our JET schools. Our directors play a key role in the strategic development and oversight of our academy schools, whilst not getting involved in the day to day running of the schools. The Board work closely together to create a
    learning community that promotes excellence for all, raises standards in education across all key stages, and creates a learning environment where all children achieve excellence. In addition to this, we continue to support our co-operative values in seeking to create a caring environment that supports all learners, whatever their natural talents. We aim to develop all our pupils into well informed, motivated young people confident in themselves and actively aware of their role as citizens in today’s society.

    Our new parent directors will be:
    committed to the development of the Jefferys Education Trust learning community;

    • able to attend Board meetings which are held once per term in the evening;
    • prepared to actively contribute to meetings in an objective manner in order to support the best outcomes for the children in the learning community.

    This is an exciting opportunity to make a very real and positive contribution to the education of every child in our community of schools.

    If you would like to nominate yourself for the position of parent director then please contact Sam Mawby (Clerk to the Jefferys Education Trust Board) at to request an application form by 12 noon Friday 5th July. If necessary an election will be held and further details will be given in due course.

  • Congratulations!

    Well done to Clare Hughes, our Data and Examinations Manager, who has passed her Certificate in School Business Management following two years of study.

  • Mock Trial National Finals

    “On 22nd June the Mock Trials team went to Nottingham to compete in the National Finals. Unfortunately we didn’t win but we had a lot of fun and we learnt a lot about how the legal system works.”
    Anna Pugh, Year 9

  • Cake Sale for Children in South Africa

    When Venturers house decided to raise money for Lily of the Valley Children’s Village, Lilly Rapley and Parmjeet Taak, Year 7, (pictured), volunteered to help. They commented, “Our idea was to hold a cake sale to raise money for the village where Miss Roberts recently spent a six month sabbatical. We stayed after school one night to make and decorate several dozen cakes, and Miss Roberts helped by bringing some in. We sold the cakes to students and staff and raised just over £35. We enjoy baking and plan to raise money in this way again.”

  • Good Luck Jessica!

    Jessica Harrison, Year 7, started riding at the age of three! “I have had my own pony, Hollie, since last year. I came first in two classes at the Lionheart Horse Show, which was held recently at Ower, near Romsey. One was the Best Condition class, and the other was the Bright Sparks Riding Pony class. This qualified me for two further events, the Royal London Show and the South West Pony Association Show, but they are both on the same day! We have decided I will go to the Royal London Show which is in August. I hope to pursue my interest in horses and ponies into a career.”

  • Year 7 Boys are Hampshire Champions!

    Our Year 7 boys qualified for the final of the Hampshire track athletics competition which took place at Aldershot last Friday. The team produced a tremendous performance to be crowned as Hampshire champions. The team of Bastin Punneliparambil, Harry Jones, Lewis Hill, Sebastian Szymula, Tom Parker-Trott, Daniils Stakanovs, Charlie Carter-Banks, Leo Gale and Alex Davis deserve many congratulations for this wonderful achievement.

    Harry Jones (front row, second left) won both his races, running the 80m in 13.8 seconds and the 150m in 21.1. He said, “I really enjoy running and I keep fit with all the football training I do. I plan to join Southampton Athletics Club too. Our team were competing against all the best schools in Hampshire at athletics and we were delighted to win the shield.”

  • Celebrating Success

    We are very keen to celebrate success by our students both in and out of school. If your son or daughter has participated in a sporting event, musical concert, dramatic production or anything else of note please ask them to come and see the newsletter editor, Ms Challis, so that we can share their achievement with all our community.

  • Lessons from Auschwitz

    Last week the History and Religious Studies department were given a wonderful and unique opportunity to develop their understanding of the Holocaust by participating in the Lessons from Auschwitz project. On Sunday 16th June Mr Parsons and Miss Roberts went to London to attend a seminar which examined pre-war Jewish life and the challenges and opportunities raised by a visit to a Holocaust related site. The highlight of the seminar was the talk given by Renee Salt, a holocaust survivor. Renee recalled her personal experiences of the Holocaust from the German invasion of Poland in 1939 to the liberation of Bergen Belsen in April 1945. Her experience was grim and was uncomfortable to hear but in the same way was totally inspirational. If on reading this you would like to find out a little more about Renee Salt then I would recommend the following sites:

    We then proceeded to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau on a one day visit to Poland on Wednesday 19th June. This visit proved to be both emotionally and physically draining but one that will live with us for the rest of our lives. Our local guide was passionate, informative and challenged our pre-existing notions of the Holocaust. The sheer scale of it was simply difficult to comprehend. To help us we were advised to look at the events of the Holocaust through the eyes of the victims that perished. To imagine the pain and suffering of one victim or family had more impact than trying to comprehend the fact that 6,000,000 Jews were murdered. For me, one of the most poignant displays that we witnessed was the set of keys confiscated by the Germans. For these individuals, the keys would have represented ‘hope’. Hope that one day they would return home to the house they had left behind before this catastrophe began.

    On 30th June we shall be back in London attending the final seminar which will allow us to reflect once more on what we experienced during the visit. We will discuss the pedagogical approach to teaching the Holocaust and will examine and discuss practical ideas for delivering meaningful lessons on this emotive topic. In the future we hope to collaborate once more with the Holocaust Educational Trust and invite a holocaust survivor into our school. News of this will follow in future additions of this newsletter. To find out more about the Holocaust Educational Trust visit their website
    Mr Parsons

  • Employability Boot Camp - Year 11

    BT, the National Apprenticeship Service and MyKindaCrowd are offering free employability skills Boot Camps. The events are taking place on 1st, 2nd July and 4th, 5th July and will be led by BT and MyKindaCrowd facilitators. In order to sign up applicants should be:

    • 16-18 years;
    • Interested in apprenticeships;
    • looking for the extra skills and confidence to get an offer from an employer.

    To book a place go to

  • Year 10 Visit to Eastleigh College

    To help with post-16 choices thirty students visited Eastleigh College to find out about the courses on offer. This was a hands-on event giving students a good insight into 25 different courses including:

    • Plumbing (‘Bend it Like Beckham’ pipe bending activity)
    • Electrical/Building (‘Fire in the Hall’ commissioning a fire alarm)
    • Automotive (‘Pit Stop Challenge’ wheel changing activity)
    • Aviation (Take-off and landing)
    • Engineering (‘Plastic Fantastic’ thermoplastic moulding activity).

    Student comments on the event included:

    • “I have learnt a great deal about what Eastleigh College has to offer. It showed me I need to work hard in science. I’d like to stay longer”.
    • “I now know what college is like and the courses you can take. I know what I need to work harder in. I would like more time at the college”.
    • “There are many courses to take; I will work harder in my subjects to achieve the grades needed”.
    • “I know about the different courses you can take at Eastleigh College and I know what to do in the future”.

    On Thursday 11th July there is an opportunity for Year 10 student to visit Itchen College to ‘try out’ a range of AS/A Level and BTEC subjects including:
    Business, Sport and PE, Sciences, Humanities, Art and design, Unformed Public Services, Health & Child Care, Dance and Performing Arts, Law and Criminology, English and Media, Psychology, Travel and Tourism, ICT and Computing, Modern Foreign Languages.

    Once again this is an opportunity to help students with their post-16 choices. Places are limited so please encourage your son/daughter to see Mrs Anderson to book a place.
    Mrs Anderson, Careers

  • Newsletter Poem

    The Wolf

    by Joshua Hannam, 8 Pascal

    The wolf waits for its prey.
    Its thick grey fur blowing in the ice cold breeze.
    Waiting patiently, it spots dinner out in the open.
    He slowly creeps out of the dark, gloomy cave.
    He is now edging closer and closer to the deer,
    When only a few feet away, the wolf pounces!
    He clawed the deer and it hurled in pain,
    But he couldn’t get a good grip.
    The deer tried to run one last time and he was free.
    Long gone into the forest the wolf goes home.
    He returns back to his cave hungry and tired.
    Now, he will need to wait until tomorrow
    In the bitterly cold winds and snow.

  • Eco Update

    We Need Your Plant Pots!
    Do you have any small plant pots to spare? The Eco Council are running an activity during our Transition Days on the 3rd and 4th July and need 100 pots for planting sunflower seeds. If you have any that you can spare please bring them to school reception for the attention of Mrs Mawby.

  • USH Eco Heroes

    Many staff at USH are trying to reduce their impact on the environment in a whole variety of ways. Among these are the Food Tech team (Mr Davies and Miss Lancaster) who have been composting fruit and vegetable peelings to reduce our landfill waste and regularly use a clothes horse to dry tea towels instead of using the tumble dryer, helping to keep our energy use to a minimum. Not content
    to stop there, Food Tech will be running catering lessons for the Learn and Grow team in July using the food that they have grown in the vegetable plot to support the theme of eating seasonally and locally. Well done Food Tech!

    If you would like to support USH in becoming a greener school please contact Mrs Mawby on

  • A message from the Friends of St James Park (FoSJP)

    You may have heard the exciting news that St James’ Park has been nominated for a National Lottery Award for the recent restoration and improvements. From over 900 other lottery projects nominated, St James’ Park is now down to the last seven projects in the environment category. The winner will be the project that receives the most public votes. If you, or your child have enjoyed the new facilities, and believe it deserves to win, please follow the link below and cast your vote. It is a very simple and quick process which just requires you to leave your email address to stop multiple voting.

    Once you have voted please share the link with any family, friends and colleagues who may like to support the park. If you have a facebook account you can share the link once you have voted so that your contacts will also be able to vote. Grandparents without email can also vote by telephone, call 0844 836 9687. It costs 5p from a BT landline and different rates may apply from other providers and mobiles.

    If you are able to help us publicise the vote by putting up a poster please follow the link below to the FoSJP website where you can download and print a poster.

    Thank you very much for your support - each vote counts.