USH Newsletter

13th December 2013

  • Headteacher's News

    Dear Parents

    I will let you cut straight to the good things in this fortnight's news and simply say thank you for everything this term.  I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas break.

    We welcome one new member of staff, Katey Cronan, as Lead in Speech and Language.

    We look forward to welcoming everyone back on 6th January.

    With best wishes

    Stuart Woods


  • Parent Director Election Result

    Following the recent Parent Director Election Lea Hayes was elected to the role of Parent Director for the Jefferys Education Trust Board.

    Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote.


  • Online Payments

    We are pleased to advise you that after Christmas USH will be introducing online payments. I know that many parents have requested this system, having enjoyed the benefits in your Junior schools.  Once the system has been successfully installed we will start by giving parents the opportunity to pay for residential trips and music lessons online and full instructions will be provided at this time. This system will enable you to check balances and make payments from the comfort of your home.  As things move on use of this system across the school will be further developed.

    Julie Prince, School Business Manager

  • Crèche for Parents' Evening

    We are pleased to advise you that we have organised a crèche for our next parents' evening which is on Wednesday 22nd January for Year 11 parents. We hope that this will allow parents to attend the evening without the worry of childcare for younger siblings. There will be no charge to parents as the cost will be met by the school. 

    The childcare provision is being offered by staff from Kidz Play (UK) Ltd, the company who offer breakfast and after school care for Hollybrook and Shirley Junior School. The session will be held in our Lecture Theatre.  The group will run from 4-7pm and Kidz Play will be able to take 40 children at any one time (please note, the age category will be restricted to Infant and Junior school aged children). They will have a selection of games and will offer a planned art activity.

    I am aware that you won’t be able to book the timing of your childcare until you have organised all your teacher consultations. We will therefore ensure that you are able to book teacher appointments well in advance of the evening via our new online booking service.

    I will be sending a letter home in the New Year confirming all the details and explaining how you can make a booking. We will need a minimum of 15 children booked into the session to make it viable. The first session is a trial, but if it proves successful we will offer this facility for all parents evenings across the year.
    Julie Prince, School Business Manager

  • Inclusive Learning Parents' Evening

    Year 7 parents attended the first Inclusive Learning  parents' evening on 11th November. Parents were able to discuss the intervention targets set for their children and were provided with information and guidance relating to supporting these interventions at home. The Inclusion Coordinator, Nikki Swift, SENCo and Assistant SENCo, Louise Woodall and Niki Ryan, were also available. The evening was well attended and has provided an opportunity for parents to be involved with their child’s education in the spirit of the new legislation and guidance being provided by the Government. We would like this opportunity to be available to all parents with children who have additional needs and who are interested in their child maximising their potential. We are holding a second parents' evening open to all parents with children who have additional needs on 22nd January 2014. An online booking system will be available and there will be further details to follow via the website and newsletters.

  • Careers Day, Thursday 5th December

    Year 7 took part in careers related sessions including Kudos; all students now have log-on details enabling them to use Kudos from home. The day ended with guest speakers talking about careers within their sector.

    Lillie-May: "I learnt about different occupations, why people go to university and what you have to have to get to be a nurse.  The speeches were really good."

    Year 8 visited the Careers Coach to research areas of interest by using the Southampton Solent University website

    Abhiraj: "I have learnt more about the job I want and how to get the right GCSEs.  The day was fun, my favourite part was the Careers Coach."

    Some Year 9 students spent an enjoyable day shadowing an adult at work.  Comprehensive lists of skills and qualities required for the work were included on student feedback forms.  Thank-you for organising this opportunity for your son/daughter.

    Alice: "I shadowed a legal adviser and it was interesting to watch her conduct a criminal court, advising the magistrates as to law and procedure."

    Year 10 information sessions covered colleges, apprenticeships, universities, interview skills and career talks by guest speakers.  Special thanks to Ella Clark, Lydia Caveney and Julius Kavuu for their help with the interview skills session and to ex-student Danny McDonald for talking about his role as an apprentice.

    Joanna: "I learnt you should start researching entry requirements for university as early as possible, what courses I could do and what sort of questions I will be asked at an interview."

    Year 11 students attended taster sessions at Richard Taunton Sixth Form City College.

     If you would like to take part in our next careers day by talking to students about your career path, or can provide details of who I can contact at your place of work, please let me know.
    Carey Anderson, Careers Adviser

  • USH Decorates a Tree for St James Methodist Church's Festival

    Many thanks to Kate Davis, Laurie Pugh and Merriam Cabotaje from Year 9 who helped to decorate our 'Hopes and Dreams' inspired Christmas tree for the festival at St James Methodist Church in Shirley. Upper Shirley High chose to sponsor a tree for the festival as the money being raised was going to both the church and to Childs i Foundation   The Foundation work in Uganda looking after abandoned children and repatriating them with their families whenever possible.  Our blue and orange inspired tree contained decorations made by the students displaying their wishes for how the world could be better for the future.

    Suzanne Dibden, Subject Leader PHSE and Citizenship

  • Young Songwriter Competition

    On Friday 22nd November, 100 years since Benjamin Britten was born, I had the honour of performing at Snape Maltings concert hall in Suffolk. Back in the summer I entered the Britten Young Songwriter competition. I had to compose a tune to fit a poem (about the Greater Gabbard wind farm off the Suffolk coast) written especially by Anthony Horowitz. I was contacted in September to be told I had won, and was asked to perform the song at Britten’s Big Birthday Sing, organised by Aldeburgh Music.

    When I arrived at the concert hall, I was taken to my dressing room which had a beautiful view of the reed beds. I had a short rehearsal with a pianist and a young cellist before I performed my song to an audience of 800. I felt nervous beforehand, but whilst I was singing, I felt exhilarated!

    I was presented with a signed copy of the poem, and a printed manuscript of my song by two of Benjamin Britten’s nephews. I enjoyed the experience very much and it is something I will never forget. The location was beautiful and it was a great privilege to perform there.
    I hope to continue composing pieces for orchestras and choirs and for myself. Who knows, I could be back in Snape Maltings one day?!

    If you would like to hear my song with my sister, Lydia, playing the cello, you can listen on

    Abigail Caveney, Year 9

  • USH Bake Off Finalists

    We are celebrating the success of our USH Bake Off.  Congratulations to the following students who will compete in the final: Ellen Wheatley, Naomi Danson, Poppy Hammond, Maisie Bolton, Oliwia Kowalik, Patrick Wood, Matilda Bull, Jacob Smith, Alice Orr, Marlena Gladysz, Oliver Watkins, Emma Shannon, Isidore Levene, Laurie Pugh and our very own Miss Dunne.  To be through to the top fifteen required something quite special!  Also of note is the number of lower school finalists, some of whom produced GCSE level work.

    The final show stopper challenge will require the finalists to create a breathtaking centrepiece for enjoyment after Christmas dinner. The finalist will have two hours to create their Christmas themed showstopper and will be judged on originality, technicality, finish and eating experience.

    Thanks to all who have supported this endeavour and made this exciting event possible.

    News of the final to follow...

    Joseph Davies, Food Technology

  • Millie's Amazing Art Work

    Millie Browne, Year 11, completed this wonderful piece of work in the five hour Art entrance exam. Her project is based around Ceremonies and Festivals. Millie is a talented student who normally works incredibly slowly.  For her, the success was in planning her work and completing this much to such a high standard in the time she had.  She used her sketchbook constantly in the exam and had a clear vision of the outcome.

    Ms Cadle, Millie's Art teacher, said, "I am very proud of the work Millie has completed. She has shown dedication and skill.”


  • Year 10 Photography, Ceramics and Textile Workshops at City College

    On 22nd and 29th November fourteen Year 10 students went to City College to experience a range of exciting new specialist skills. They created exciting ceramics and textiles based around the theme of Beaches and Boats.

    Tom Kitcher commented, “I really enjoyed the experience which has helped me develop new skills”, and Grace White said, "I enjoyed the ceramics the most. I can’t wait to see how my work turns out when it comes out of the kiln.”

  • More Photos from City College Workshops

  • Finlay takes part in the Santa Charity Fun Run

    Finlay Forder, Year 8, took part in the Santa Fun Run in Winchester last weekend. 

    "I had to run 5k dressed up as Santa, along with about 200 other people.  It was great fun and I managed to finish in under twenty-four minutes.  I raised £93.40 for Naomi House so I was very pleased.  I complete in cross country runs for the school so I didn't have to do any special training for the Fun Run."


  • ‘First day at school’ - a short story by Harrison Pitts, Year 7

    As Holly trudged begrudgingly into the large, bright classroom, the butterflies in her stomach flipped and morphed into writhing, biting snakes. As her eyes adjusted to the blinding lamp light, Holly noticed that the room was filled with screaming, shouting children. Some were snatching toy cars or building blocks; some were painting terrifying creatures with big, wide mouths and arms sprouting unnaturally from the top of their heads. It was all so hectic, she didn’t like it. She didn’t like it at all!

    She clutched her mother’s hand like a vice. “I won’t go! I don’t want to! I want to stay with you Mummy, I want to stay with you”, screamed Holly. Stamping her tiny feet, wailing at the top of her lungs and waving her arms and legs, Holly was getting closer and closer to starting a full scale riot.
    But at that moment a very different sort of child dashed in ecstatically. His mouth was curved into a joyful smile and the sound of his laughter acted as a counter-spell to Holly’s gloomy moaning. Holly immediately stopped screaming. The cheery boy waded over and asked conversationally, “What’s your name?”  “Holly” replied Holly, tentatively.  “Mine’s Gary” the boy said.  Holly’s eyes gazed longingly at the box of wooden bricks and seeing her expression Gary took her to play.

    Now Holly wakes up wanting to go to school, just to see Gary and all of her new friends.

    Harrison says, "I read a lot at home and like writing stories. I have always enjoyed studying English.  I achieved a level 6 in English at Springhill Primary School."

  • Jessica and Hollie are still winning Rosettes!

    Jessica Harrison, Year 8, and her pony, Hollie, competed in the Lionheart Show near Ower, Romsey, recently and won more rosettes: achieving two fifth places and a second in the First Ridden, where they had to demonstrate the walk, trot and canter.

  • Crafty Chics

    I advertised this club on the school website stating that it would start after the October half term.  As the break loomed closer, I was starting to think no-one wanted to come along and share my passion for crafts, but then within a couple of days I had seven Year 7s on my list!

    Millie, Hannah, Abbie, Alice, Sophia, Amy and Saffron came to the first session and  I explained what our project was for this half term and they all seemed very keen to get going with the Christmas bags!  Using felt, embroidery stitching, sequins, buttons and lace they should have a lovely bag each to take home and place under the tree.. waiting to be filled with festive goodies!

    The girls have been wonderful and a delight to work with and they take their bags home with them to work on without prompting.  I really look forward to working with them again after Christmas.  We will be making bows and flower brooches with felts, stitching and buttons.
    Sandy Kelly

  • Year 9 Netball

    The U14 team (Lara Hicks, Shannon Harding, Charlie Such, Isobel McCarthy, Izzie Curtis, Angel Sumajit, Lily Thorne, Adele Walker and captain, Kelly Barlow) have done very well this term considering we didn’t have much training time after the summer. The results were:

    • lost 0-17 to St Anne's
      won 6-5 against The Gregg School
      lost 2-15 to Sholing Technology College
      won 8-3 versus St Anne's (notice the improvement from the previous game against St Anne's!)
      won 5-3 against The Gregg School and
      lost 4-17 to Sholing.

    The girls finished in 3rd place in the league behind St Anne's and The Sholing Technology College, narrowly missing out on 2nd place through a goal difference of 8!

    Claire Marks, PE department

    Adele Walker (2nd right, back row) said, "I started playing netball when I started at USH and I have always played in the school team.  I enjoy netball and look forward to the competitive fixtures and getting the chance to test our skills against other schools.  I play the Goal Attack position and although it is nerve-wracking trying to score, I love the feeling of elation when I am successful."

  • Year 10 World Aids Day Assembly

    On the 3rd and 4th December we were fortunate to have representatives from the British Red Cross come into school to give assemblies to Year 10 students about World Aids Day, and to think about those who are affected by AIDS and HIV. Many of the students took Red Ribbons from the assembly to show that they are aware of and care about how those with HIV and AIDS can be treated and stigmatised. The ladies from the Red Cross were very impressed by our students and commented on their insight and knowledge of AIDS related issues; they said that our "students were much more informed and mature than many students at other schools we have been at". Well done to Year 10!  If any student did not get a ribbon and would like one, please see Ms Dibden in Room 21.

  • Year 8 Paris 2014

    Half of the remaining money should have been paid in by the 6th December with the remaining balance due by Friday 10th January.  If there are any issues over payments, please get in touch with me as soon as possible so we can make alternative arrangements. 

    We do require an EHIC for each student – this is available free from the following address -  This is a free service, so do not pay any money if asked to.  Please hand these to me by the end of January.

    We aim to hold a parents information evening in late February to go into more detail about the visit.  The team of staff leading the visit will all be in attendance and will be able to answer any questions you may have.

    Thanks.  Any queries to


  • News from the Science Club

    Last week the Science club got into the Christmas spirit by making scented and glittery bath bombs. Pupils wrapped their bombs in pretty paper and ribbons and are planning to give them as gifts.

    We decided against using colouring in the bombs as after a quick test we realised the colouring would react with the chemicals in our bombs and cause them to fizz before being added to the bath!

    We had lots of fun combining the chemicals for the bombs which are all safe to use in the bath. By the end of the session the school laboratory looked and smelled like a Lush shop!

    This week Year 7 students took part in two magical experiments. In the first experiment, they discovered the secret of 'magic writing', using a special invisible ink which only becomes visible when
    a chemical reaction takes place between the ink and a special spray. Very useful for sending secret messages!

    In the second experiment, the students made raisins dance! They produced a solution containing carbon dioxide gas and watched as raisins danced around in the solution. This is something they can repeat and show you during their Christmas dinners!!

  • DofE News

    Year 9

    It looks set to be our biggest intake yet with some ninety students at the initial welcome meeting!  Information letters, an enrolment form and medical questionnaires were all distributed.  If you haven’t had any of this, please see me for a copy.

    Training will start in the New Year, the first Friday back from 2.45 to 4pm, most likely in the lecture theatre.

    Year 10

    Final routes should now be complete and participants should be making progress with the Volunteering, Skill and Physical sections.  The appropriate pages of the ‘Keeping Track’ booklets need completing as you go.

    Meetings will be slightly more sporadic in the New Year, but staff will always be about on a Friday to offer any support.

    Year 11

    A letter was distributed to all Year 11s explaining that paperwork needed completing and logging on eDofE by the 13th December.  If this hasn’t been done, students may not get their Award authorised in time for the Hampshire Presentation Evening in February which would be a shame.  Please encourage your son/daughter to see me if they have any queries.

  • Donation to Naomi House

    We are sending a fund-raising cheque to Naomi House Children’s Hospice again this year. This has been raised over the last twelve months by Upper Shirley High. For several years now, a number of staff have given money instead of sending each other Christmas cards. This, along with some of the non-uniform money and a donation from the school itself, has given us a generous sum of £1019.87 for Naomi House.

  • 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.
  • Dates for Your Diaries

    Dates to note for this academic year:

    • Wednesday 18th December - 6pm, Christmas Carol Concert, St James Church
    • Thursday 19th December - School breaks up for Christmas holidays at 12.50pm
    • Friday 20th December - School closure
    • Monday 6th January 2014 - Return to school
    • Wednesday 22nd January - 4-7pm, Year 11 parents' evening
    • Monday 27th January - 7-8.30pm, Parent Action group
    • Thursday 30th January - 4-7pm, Year 9 parents' evening
    • Wednesday 12th February - 4-7pm, Year 10 parents' evening
    • Monday 17th-Friday 21st Feb - Half term
    • Wednesday 19th March - 7-8.30pm, Parent Action group
    • 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
    • Monday 26th-Friday 30th May - Half term
    • Tuesday 10th June - 7-8.30pm, Parent Action group
    • Thursday 19th June - 4-7pm, Year 7 parents' evening
    • Monday 30th June - Community Learning day for all staff and students
    • Wednesday 2nd-Friday 4th July - School production at The Point, Eastleigh
    • Tuesday 8th July - Year 11 Prom
    • Wednesday 23rd July - School breaks up for Summer holidays