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USH Newsletter 12th July 2013

Headteacher’s News

Another eventful fortnight at USH! Our Year 11s had a marvellous time and looked every inch the Hollywood stars as they arrived at their Prom. It was a splendid event and a fitting finale to all their hard work. We look forward to welcoming them back for their graduation ceremony later this year. I do hope you got to see the USH production of CATS last week...rightly, staff and students are still talking about it. Its success was due to the teamwork exhibited by everyone involved...a triumph. Congratulations!

Thanks to staff

Sincere thanks to all staff at USH for your unstinting work over the last two terms. To our staff leaving for pastures new; I thank you for your commitment and dedication to our students during your time with us. I believe USH offers staff a great springboard for future success and on behalf of the staff and students I send you best wishes for your future careers. Farewell to Mrs Brown, Mrs Parsons, Mr Lees, Mr Lydford, Mr Kelly, Mr Winship, Mrs Gillam, Mr Hayford, Mr Allman, Mrs Waterman, Miss Heaphy, Mr McKenzie, Mr Watts, and Miss Lancaster. We will miss you.

We also wish Mrs Kaur, Ms Miles and Ms Jordan all the very best as they begin their maternity leave.

We look forward to welcoming all our new staff in September. The introductions will be in our September newsletter. This will be last newsletter before our summer break so I’d like to say a final thank you to parents for your support over the last two terms.

USH Production of CATS

Ben Conway, Year 8, played Skimbleshanks, the Railway Cat. “This is the first time I have been in a school production but I was successful in the auditions so I was really excited. We spent many hours rehearsing but I really enjoyed the experience of playing to the audience at the Nuffield Theatre. I enjoy drama and hope to have a part in future school musicals.”


Friday 28th June saw our first independent Year 11 Prom, an evening celebrating not only the end of our Year 11’s time at USH, but also our first prom as a co-ed school. Our setting was The De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel, and what a lovely evening it was. We had a fantastic turnout of 110 students attending an evening of food and dancing and it was lovely to see many of our students’ parents present for their arrival. What an entrance some of them made! We had many posh cars, limos, and even a golf cart and a fire engine! A large number of our staff attended the event and it was lovely to see students that we have worked so hard with over the past five years walking down the red carpet. They looked extremely smart and grown up in their suits and amazing dresses! Congratulations and thanks to our Head Boy and Head Girl, Nathan Hack and Kate Ramsden, for organising this huge event for their year group.

Mrs Gillam

On Track for the Olympics?

Further to our recent news about sprinter Oliver Bromby (Year 10), he competed in the National Championships held at Birmingham last week. We are delighted to announce that Oliver achieved a silver medal for second place in the 100m intermediate boys and a gold medal in the 4x100m relay. His second place in the 100m has earned him his first call up to represent England in the schools international match in Dublin the weekend of 20th July. We wish Oliver every success.

Year 6 Transition Days

Our new intake students visited USH for two transition days last week when they were able to meet the teachers and undertake a range of activities, including making plasticine models in Art, a library quest, planting sunflowers and a ‘murder mystery’ lesson in Science involving making jelly babies scream!

Before they left, some of the students decided to type up their comments on the days:

  • “I love it here, I’ve really enjoyed it.”
  • “I loved learning new things, it’s really fun.”
  • “It was awesome when we got to put a jelly baby in a heated chemical, and watch all the different colours come out!”
  • “I loved talking to new teachers, and experiencing all the different textures and making funny animals from our imaginations in art!”
  • “All the teachers here are great, they have made me feel less nervous about coming here in September and they have encouraged me a lot to join in more in class.”
  • “Now I’ve met all the lovely teachers I won’t have to feel so sad about leaving my other school and friends because I know that it’s awesome here and I am glad and proud to now be a part of it.”
We look forward to welcoming all our new students in September.

Year 5 Day

Last month we welcomed 120 Year 5 pupils from Shirley and Hollybrook Junior Schools to join us at USH to solve the problem of who stole the USH rabbit. The children were able to solve the mystery by using circle visual maps and four habits of mind (listening with empathy, creativity and imagination, thinking inter-dependently and questioning and posing problems). With the help of teachers across a number of subjects and Year 8 students, the Year 5s had to use these skills to deduce and uncover the true culprit. A fun and productive day was had by all and the Year 5s were introduced to skills and experiences they can expect when they join USH.

Mrs Moroney, Subject lead for Drama

Go! Rhino

Following a parade of the city, the Go! Rhinos will be let loose around many of Southampton’s landmarks between 13th July and 22nd September. When the trail finishes at the end of the summer the larger rhinos will be sold in a charity auction to raise money for Marwell’s rhino conservation projects, and local charities The Rose Road Association and Wessex Heartbeat’s High 5 Appeal. Our very own USH rhino will be on display in the Sea City Museum (Havelock Road, Southampton SO14 7FY) so why not go along to say ‘hello’!

Think IT at IBM

Ten girls from Year 8 visited IBM for two days for the Think IT event. The aim of the project was to inspire girls to take more interest in science, technology, engineering and Maths (STEM subjects), whilst also strengthening their soft skills and encouraging innovation. Each girl worked as a member of a  team, along with girls from King Edward VI, Thornden, Mountbatten and Highcliffe Schools. Teams took an idea for an invention from an initial concept, working it into a marketable product which was then pitched to a panel in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style final activity. The girls made us proud by their team work and determination to complete each challenge. Well done to all the girls: Zoe Lamb, Rochelle Lowry, Adele Walker, Kelly Barlow, Lara Hicks, Daisy Lee, Chantelle Trevatt, Tina Jardim, Savana Dennett and Katarina Wilkins.

Chantelle (pictured right) said, “We worked in teams with students from other schools and had to design a product to help people fight crime. My team’s project was called Smartpoint, a device for an ATM to help people fight credit card fraud.” Savana (second left), “IBM was amazing; the visit gave us lots of different opportunities.” Katarina (first left), “We made friends with students from other schools which was good. The whole event was fun.” Tina (second right), “We had to make something creative and my team won the pitch with our idea of an eye scanner for a security system, so I was really pleased.”

Serious about Squash

Justin Basham, Year 7, competed in the squash event at the Hampshire Youth Games held at Aldershot on 22nd June. Justin played for the New Forest first team and, after leading the first stage, they came second overall, receiving silver medals. Justin was pleased to win three of his four games!

“I started playing squash around the time I started Junior school and I play once or twice a week, sometimes practising with my father. I train in Totton and I am in the first team for the New Forest. In the autumn I start training with Hampshire so I am hoping to represent my county in the future.”

Serious about Saxophone

Nick Willsher, Year 9, has been playing the saxophone for six years and is the youngest member of Southampton Youth Jazz Orchestra. The orchestra recently took part in the Wiltshire Jazz Festival when Nick played a solo with jazz singer, Alexander Stewart. Nick said, “I have also done a solo gig at the Talking Heads venue and a gig and professional recording session at Solent University. I attend Music College on Saturdays and hope to make a career in music."

Southampton City Athletics Championships, 4th July

Our athletes excelled yet again with the USH boys’ team coming first and the girls’ team second, missing first place by only two points. Overall USH are the City Champions, scoring 478 points, with Bitterne Park coming second with 318.5. Congratulations to the following USH students who became individual City Champions in their event: Nadja Kankare (hurdles), Booky Chalk (triple jump), Emily Westhorpe (discus), Joel Chivers (long jump), Alice Wheatley (200m), Molly Biglie (shot), Matthew Loizou (200m), Fabio Manuel (300m), Jack Coster (1500m), Josh Price (triple jump), Joe Parkes (triple jump), Lily Thorne (800m), Angel Sumajit (javelin), Georgia O’Dell (80m), Alice Orr (150m), Oliwia Kowalik (long jump), Olivia O’Mahony (shot), Chelsea Boyle (discus), Bastin Punneliparambil (80m), Sebastian Szymula (250m), Lewis Hill (600m), Liam Biggs (discus) and Aidan Cunningham (javelin).

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.

London Performing Arts trip

June 2013 saw another fabulous Performing Arts trip to London. The two days were packed with so many activities, including two West End shows, two workshops at the Pineapple Dance Studios (with professional actors), a spooky tour around the infamous haunted Drury Lane Theatre and a very scary tour around the new London Dungeons. The students experienced live interactive performances from some characters throughout history, including Jack the Ripper, Guy Fawkes and Sweeny Todd (not forgetting all you can eat at Pizza Hut!) The students were a real pleasure to take on the trip. Their behaviour and their passion for performance was clearly displayed in the workshops and the professional actors who led the sessions were very impressed by their enthusiasm and natural ability to pick up a routine so quickly. The students were a real credit to USH and this was also reflected in their overnight stay in a London Hotel. We are now looking forward to the next trip in 2014.

Mrs Moroney, Subject Lead for Drama

Newsletter Poem

The Dolphin

by Katarina Wilkins, 8 Pascal.

As graceful as a butterfly he leaps through the air
You’d have to be seriously stupid not to stare.
Its air hole spits, nothing could compare.
The others are jealous they say it’s not fair.
Its sleek grey skin glistens in the light;
He then swims through the shimmering ocean until he’s out of sight.
But then his eyes turn to stone and pierce the sky of the night.
It then darts across the ocean without putting up a fight.

Shirley Junior Sports Day 2013

On Friday 21st June, USH had the pleasure of hosting Shirley Junior School’s annual sports day. This event saw all of the students, teachers, admin staff and a large number of parents and grandparents converge onto the field for the fun, competitive and exciting sporting event.

As the children arrived dressed in their house colours and sporting some very creative team banners, the atmosphere was one of eager anticipation and excitement. The weather was kind, except for a brief shower which didn’t dampen the spirits of the children participating.

The event was organised in a way where each class took part in a series of eight multi-skilled sports activities, ranging from agility ladders to football dribbling. Points were earned and totals were to be added up to provide an overall house winner. The Year 9 sports prefects from USH were again excellent and helped to ensure the event ran smoothly and that the transitions between activities were seamless.

Important News about our Online System for Checking Students Attendance and Reports

Since early 2011 USH has provided an online system for parents to check student attendance and reports, however this system is now due to be replaced. On Wednesday 24th July the existing system will be shut down so that work on the replacement can begin. If you currently have a valid username and password and would like to retain any of the information held there, please print copies before the end of term. Our replacement system will become available in the autumn term, and we will announce more details regarding the launch shortly after the new term begins.

The IT Team

European teachers come to Upper Shirley High

On Wednesday 3rd July, we welcomed six European teachers who are currently in the UK to observe teaching practice, with a particular focus on teaching foreign languages. The group included teachers from Spain, Portugal, Italy and Romania and they observed a variety of lessons in the English and Modern Foreign Languages department. Emma Rantakangas and Oliwia Kowalik from Year 7 were fantastic hosts for our visitors, taking them on a tour of the school and ensuring that they were able to find their way from one lesson to the next. They were also on hand to answer any questions the teachers had throughout the day. They were also able to enjoy a selection of food from our canteen in the Pavilions area.

The teachers really enjoyed their visit to Upper Shirley High and comments included:

  • “What welcoming teachers who pay attention to every detail in the teaching system; pupils and teachers have a great relationship.”
  • "The school is very well organised and the materials and methods are diverse, students are very active and teachers are dedicated to their work.”
  • “The school was such a pleasant place to be in, the facilities are great and the pupils are well-behaved and polite.”

Our students also enjoyed the experience, having the opportunity to chat to the teachers about their experiences in school and on trips such as the Barcelona trip. Overall, it was a successful day and we look forward to hosting more visits in September. Thank you to all the teachers who were observed, the students and the kitchen staff.

Miss Roberts

Eco update - solar toys and wildlife!

Members of the Eco Council really enjoyed welcoming Year 6 to USH during our Transition days and ran a session looking at saving energy. Students worked in groups to come up with ideas on what we should do at USH to save energy and then got to see renewable energy in action using a variety of solar toys! Each student was also invited to design a badge to symbolise what the Eco Council stands for. The standard was really high so the Eco Council are going to have a hard time deciding on the winning entry which will become the new badge for next year! As a result of the two days over twenty Year 6 students have signed up to join the Eco Council in September – we look forward to working with them as they start their journey with USH.

Looking ahead to next year, the Eco Council will be leading on the development of our wildlife area to transform it into a more effective area for learning which everyone can use. If you have any ideas in terms of the sorts of things we should include to encourage wildlife or where we might be able to apply to for funding to support the project please contact Mrs Mawby.

The Summer Break is Fast Approaching...

Learn & Grow Summer Programme

  • Are you looking to do something fun with your holidays?
  • Do you enjoy being in the outdoors and working as part of a team?
  • Would you like to learn about growing and selling your own food?

If so our FREE Summer Holiday programme could be just what you are looking for!
7-28th August – Every Wednesday 1-3pm
Upper Shirley High Market Garden, Bellemoor Road
To find out more contact the Learn & Grow Team at Solent EBP
Tel: 023 8072 5725/Email: enquiries@solent-ebp.co.uk

Upper Shirley High Market Garden NEEDS YOU!

Helpers from the local area are desperately needed to help prepare the food growing area at Upper Shirley High, Bellemoor Road

Come along to one of our workdays:
26th, 29th, 30th July 10am-4pm
Refreshments, tools & equipment provided

To find out more contact Chris at Solent EBP
Tel: 023 8072 5725/Email: enquiries@solent-ebp.co.uk

Southampton Holiday Hockey (for Year 7 age group)

Southampton Hockey Club are pleased to be running three summer holiday hockey sessions 10am to 12 noon on 6th, 13th & 20th August at Southampton Sports Centre (SO16 7AY)
All sessions overseen by qualified hockey coach with DBS check
Session costs per child £2:50 or £6 for all three sessions
Sticks and balls supplied.
Players will require trainers (no studs), shin guards and clothing suitable for weather

Requests for Leave of Absence

With immediate effect, Upper Shirley High will no longer authorise family holidays. There is not an automatic entitlement for any family holiday or leave of absence during term time. The Headteacher will consider each request on its merits but will usually only authorise leave in exceptional circumstances. This is in accordance with amendments to school attendance regulations by the Department for Education. Please refer to the Attendance Policy on our website for further information.


USH promotes healthy eating and therefore we do not allow caffeinated or energy drinks to be consumed during the school day.


USH TV has been out and about in the local community, making a film to help raise money for a community sports project. The video features young people from Shirley, many of whom are USH students, who play in the Shirley Wanderers football team. The team trains in St James' Park every week and gives young people who wouldn't normally be able to play for a regular football team the chance to develop teamwork skills and improve their fitness, as well as taking part in matches. The video was recently shown at a fundraising evening and received good reviews! Over £600 was raised on the night and the project is hoping to attract more funding in the future. You can find out more about the project by watching the video here:


The new ‘Welcome to USH’ film is now online at ushtv.org

Hay fever and Asthma

With the hay fever season now upon us, please make sure you have given your child their medication. If your child suffers from asthma, please ensure they carry an inhaler at all times. The school is unable to supply emergency inhalers or antihistamines for legal reasons. However a spare, clearly labelled inhaler for your child can be left locked in the medical room cupboard. Hay fever medication can also be kept in a locked cupboard, but parents will have to fill out a form giving permission for staff to administer the medication.

Mrs Kelly, Information Officer/First Aid

When your child is unwell

It is very important to ring the school if your child is going to be absent. Please report any absence directly to the Attendance Officer, Alison Small, on 023 8052 2721.