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USH Newsletter 13th September 2013

Headteacher's News

Dear Parents

Welcome back to our Autumn term and I hope you had a restful summer.

It has been a brisk start at USH with new staff joining us.  Welcome to:

  • Richard Corser (Assistant Head)
  • Geri Adams (Subject Leader Science) and Chris Whorwood (Science teacher)
  • Victoria Rasey (Subject Leader for Maths) and Kate Allison (Maths Teacher)
  • Sandra Nicklin (Subject Leader for Technology)
  • Naomi Winson (Subject Leader for ICT) and Melanie Chadwick (ICT teacher)
  • Liz Orton and Sophie Dunne (English teachers)
    Sarah Baillie and Myriam Bousseau (Languages teachers)
  • Helen Cadle (Art teacher)
  • Claire Marks (Girls PE teacher)
  • Nikki Swift (Inclusive Learning Coordinator)
  • Govinda Rajpal (Cover Supervisor)
  • Claire Naylor (Food Technician)
  • Fay Atkins and Mary Officer (Cleaning team).

We hope you have already felt the sense of drive and ambition which follows our best ever results, many subjects securing significant improvements. The students should be proud of their achievements. Congratulations everyone!

  • 5 A*-C                                          81%
  • 5 A*-G                                          99%
  • 5 A*-C inc English and Maths   60%
  • At least 1 A*                                 47%
  • At least 2 GCSEs at grade A-C   92%
  • Maths   GCSE A*-C                     74%
  • English GCSE A*-C                     64%

Results continue to improve across the majority of subjects with increases in English, Science and
Art and dramatic improvement in Drama 95%, Music 91%, Geography 90% and PE GCSE 92%.

29% of students achieved the English Baccalaureate subjects which represents an outstanding
increase on previous years.

A very warm welcome also to our new Year 7s. Thank you very much parents for preparing them well for their first weeks in ‘Big School’. We know it can be daunting but I know staff and students have helped everyone settle in well. We are all looking forward to a purposeful term.

Thanks for your on-going support.

Kind Regards

Stuart Woods


USH Students Recreate the Assassination of JFK

This November will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of former President of the United States, John F Kennedy.  In anticipation of this event and to consolidate what Year 9 students were taught in class, Mr Parsons and Mr Hind had the ambitious idea of attempting to recreate JFK’s visit to Dallas during last summer’s Activities week.  With the help of our school Education Welfare Officer, Lyn Zammit, who kindly gave our students access to her open-top car, we dramatically attempted to recreate the shooting. 

Hours of footage was recorded by members of USH TV, including eye witness testimonies.  The editing process, led by Ryan Higdon in Year 10, has now commenced with the aim that our  documentary (title yet to be decided) will be ready to air soon.  Ryan has been interested in the JFK assassination for a long time, “Once I knew we were going to do this recreation I did a lot of
research into the subject.  I was acting as JFK on the day and I really felt the part as we slowly proceeded down the school drive in our limousine.  I am enjoying editing the film.  When finished
it will be about 15-20 minutes long and I hope it will be ready to put on USH TV for the 50th anniversary on 22nd November 2013.  I found all the research fascinating and I have written a 32 page assignment on the assassination for my history.  I love studying history – once you get into it you can’t stop!”

Southampton Art Gallery has been displaying work from Southampton schools and Keira Chapman, now in Year 11, had a piece of her work chosen for the exhibition, which runs until mid-September.

Keira said, “I did an acrylic painting on fabric.  This was done as a piece of work for my final Textiles GCSE; the subject was ‘force of emotions’.  All my family have been to see my work in the exhibition. 
I hope to go on to study A level Art at College.”

Jessica and Hollie at the Royal London Show

You will remember reading last term about Jessica Harrison, now Year 8, and her pony, Hollie, qualifying for the Royal London Show.  They enjoyed yet more success!

The show took place over four days at the end of August/beginning of September so Jessica and Hollie had to stay in London.  On the first day they gained 4th place in the ‘Show Pony in Hand’ class and were then proud and excited to win 1st place in the ’13 years and under Best Rider’ class.  This took them through to entry in the Champion of Great Britain’ class during the evening, but unfortunately they were not placed in this.

During day 2 they won 3rd in the ‘First Ridden Show/Hunter Pony’ class and received an extra bonus card taking them through to ‘The Gwyneth Championships’ in the evening.  They excelled themselves by winning this too!

Jessica and Hollie enjoyed more placings (4th, 5th, 6th and 7th) during the last couple of days, so overall
they did amazingly well in such a big show.

Jessica commented, “In the Best Rider class we had to walk, trot, canter and gallop around the arena.  I was rather nervous at the start but Hollie took it all in her stride.  I am so pleased that we did so well.  We will be taking part at more shows over the next couple of weekends so I am hoping for more success.  I keep all the rosettes I win on a border around my bedroom and I am hoping to fill it up!”

Serious about Saxophone Update

Following our article in our July newsletter about Nick Willsher, now in Year 10, and his success playing the saxophone, at the end of August he had the chance to play in the pit band with the professional musicians at the Mayflower Theatre in the brilliant production of 'Bugsy Malone'. Earlier
in the holidays, he fronted his first jazz quartet as a support act at a jazz club in Bournemouth. This went down really well, and Nick has been invited back for a proper paid slot in the New Year.  Keep playing, Nick, we look forward to hearing all about your future successes!

Crazy about Cricket

Dylan Hatton in Year 8 has been going to training at Hampshire Cricket Club for the last three years and is now in their U-13 squad.  Dylan commented, “The training is tough but I am grateful for the
opportunity this has given me.  I was recently lucky enough to spend time at the English Cricket Board Performance Centre in Loughborough for two days of intensive training and this was an amazing experience.  I usually train with Hampshire once a week at the Ageas Bowl and we have matches during the summer season.  I hope to go on to play at County level in the future.  It would be great to be picked to represent England!”

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.

Sports Day, 16th July 2013

The results for the 5th Annual Upper Shirley Sports day held at the end of the summer term were as follows:

Year 7 Girls – overall placings
1st Aviators
2nd Venturers
3rd Engineers
4th Mariners

Year 7 Boys – overall placings
1st Venturers
2nd Mariners
Joint 3rd Aviators
Joint 3rd Engineers

Individual award for highest points score
Victrix Ludorum: Georgia O’Dell
Victor Ludorum: Bastin Punneliparambil

Year 8 Girls – overall placings
1st Aviators
2nd Venturers
3rd Engineers
4th Mariners

Year 8 boys – overall placings
1st Aviators
Joint 2nd Engineers
Joint 2nd Mariners
4th Venturers

Individual award for highest points score
Victrix Ludorum: Lily Thorne
Victor Ludorum: Reece Reed

Year 9 Girls overall placings
1st Aviators
2nd Venturers
3rd Mariners
4th Engineers

Year 9 Boys overall placings
1st Aviators
2nd Venturers
3rd Mariners
4th Engineers

Individual award for highest points score
Victrix Ludorum: Grace Robinson
Victor Ludorum: Abraham Orekan

Year 10 Girls overall placings
Joint 1st Aviators
Joint 1st Venturers
3rd Mariners
4th Engineers

Year 10 Boys overall placings
1st Aviators
2nd Mariners
3rd Engineers
4th Venturers

Individual award for highest points score
Victrix Ludorum: Emma Crawley
Victor Ludorum: Ellis Roy

Overall result for combined year groups
Champions: Aviators
2nd Venturers
3rd Mariners
4th Engineers

A massive thank you to all staff and students who took part in the very hot and sunny conditions and ensured that the day was a great success.

Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme Update

Year 10 DofE

Practice weekends are running in September and October.  All information has been
passed onto the students, but please contact me if there is anything you are unsure of.  The planned practice for Thursday10th/Friday 11th October has been provisionally changed to Saturday 19th/Sunday 20th due to the darker evenings. More information to follow once final plans are confirmed.  Groups will need to see me the day before they go to gather tents, stoves etc. 

There are no meetings planned until October, so students should keep an eye on Moodle and the notice board outside room 29.

Year 11 DofE

Year 11 DofE students should meet in Room 10 on Friday 20th Septemher from 2.45-3.15pm. 

We are planning an evening, probably in November, where students will deliver their presentation about their expedition and a few thoughts on what they have achieved. Parents will be invited to
this, more details to follow soon.  It is hoped that this will be the final part of the Award for all students.  Students should log all information on eDofE, and see me if they are having any problems with this.


Mr Perry, and the ever growing DofE team! Martin.Perry@ushschool.org

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.

Please note that all cheques paid into the school should be made payable to JET.

Dates for your Diaries

Dates for your Diaries

  • Thursday 26th September: 6pm, Meeting of school PTA
  • Saturday 28th September: 9am-1pm, Open morning

Dates to note for this Academic Year

  • Tuesday 15th October: Year 7 parents evening with tutors
  • Mon 28th Oct-Fri 1st Nov: Half term
  • Wednesday 13th November: GCSE Presentation evening for last year’s Year 11
  • Monday 18th November: Staff training (inset) day
  • Tuesday 3rd December: 4-7pm, Year 7 parents evening
  • Thursday 19th December: School breaks up for Christmas holidays
  • Friday 20th December: School closure
  • Monday 6th January: Return to school
  • Wednesday 22nd January: 4-7pm, Year 11 parents evening
  • Thursday 30th January: 4-7pm, Year 9 parents evening
  • Wednesday 12th February: 4-7pm, Year 10 parents evening
  • Mon 17th-Fri 21st Feb: Half term
  • Friday 21st March: Staff training (inset) day
  • Friday 4th April: School breaks up for Easter holidays
  • Tuesday 22nd April: Return to school
  • Monday 5th May: Bank Holiday
  • Tuesday 20th May: 4-7pm, Year 8 parents evening
  • Friday 23rd May: Staff training (inset) day
  • Mon 26th-Fri 30th May: Half term
  • Thursday 19th June: 4-7pm, Year 7 parents evening
  • Monday 30th June: Staff training (inset) day
  • Wednesday 23rd July: School breaks up for Summer holidays