USH Newsletter

17th January 2014

  • Headteacher's News

    A belated Happy New Year to everyone.  Welcome back!

    USH is offering its first crèche facility next week for the Year 11 parents' evening.  For parents who are attending, it’s not too late to book your childcare for infant or junior school aged siblings. You can book the crèche via our new online parents' evening booking service.

    Hopefully you will have all received our letter about parent engagement.  Please do try and find the time to let us have your thoughts and ideas on improving our communication.  We want to try and give you the information you want, at the times in the year that you want it.  Don’t limit your ideas to progress and attainment information; what else would you like to hear about?  We are committed to strengthening our relationships with parents and we need you to help shape these future improvements.  The letter allows you to vote on some possible new engagement initiatives, but if you prefer you can email your ideas to  Finally, please don’t forget the next Parent Action Group meeting on 27th January at 7pm; communication will be one of the topics for discussion. We would love to see you all there!

    Stuart Woods, Headteacher

  • Internet Payments and Cashless Catering

    This message is from Julie Prince, our new Business Manager.

    An internet payment facility has now been installed in the school and we are in the process of setting up the systems to support its use.  As mentioned previously, its initial use will be limited to collecting payments for music tuition and residential trips. In time we hope to extend its use to collect catering money, payments for extracurricular activities (such as DofE), and to enable you to purchase USH stationery items.  In the near future we will be writing to those parents who can enjoy the benefits of this system straight away. 

    I am also currently exploring a number of different packages to enable us to move to cashless catering. This would mean parents could pay for meals using the online payments system which will remove the need for pupils to carry cash into school.  Watch this space….

  • Admissions Policy 2015/2016

    The governors are now consulting on the academy’s admissions policy for 2015/16.  The draft policy is available on the school website  If you would like to make any comments about the draft policy, please email them to the academy’s admissions consultant, Jo Glenton, at or put your comments in writing, marked for the attention of Mrs Jo Glenton to the school office.

  • Next Meeting, Parent Action Group, 27th January

    The next meeting of our Parent Action Group will be held on Monday 27th January, 7.00-8.30pm in the lecture theatre.   Discussion points will focus on communication with parents, homework and our new behaviour policy, with time to reflect on progress since the previous meeting.

    All parents are welcome to attend.

    To give an idea of numbers, please email if you intend to come along.

  • The Great USH Bake Off 2013

    Just thinking about the Bake Off generates awe and wonder!  It truly was an incredible series of events between its conception and the final.  The response from the students and staff was staggering.  We had to open up two new dates for round one and then close the 2013 auditions after two days to cope with the demand as over seventy people signed up for the competition.

    The quality of work from the students involved was amazing.  In round one students were marked for uniformity, creativity, technicality, eating experience and finish.  There was a series of very high scores in every category and a panel of lucky judges got to eat and enjoy some marvellous bakes.  Judging was difficult with so many of the students deserving praise and recognition but only fifteen could make it into the coveted USH Bake Off final.  Exceptional bakes in the first round included Oliwia Kowalik’s autumn wonder (spiced apple pies), Poppy Hammond’s rough puff sausage rolls, Patrick Wood’s mushroom risotto served on parmesan crisps, Ellen Wheatley’s choux buns and Naomi Danson’s summer fruit tartlets with lemon crème patisserie.

    The eagerly anticipated USH final was attended by many parents and easily lived up to the billing.  Participants had two hours to create their Christmas showstoppers.  Mrs Naylor and Mr Davies delivered the famous Bake Off “Ready, Steady, Bake” and the room was filled with concentration, professionalism and ambition.  The creativity and skill level on show was really something to behold and as the judging table filled up with Christmas showstoppers, it was clear just how much baking talent there is at Upper Shirley High.

    After much deliberation the judges agreed on the following:

    • Winners:  Ellen Wheatley and Oliwia Kowalik (both Year 8)


    • Highly Commended:  Maisie Bolton (Year 7), Naomi Danson (Year 7), Matilda Bull (Year 8) and Marlena Gladysz (Year 11)

    Oliwia commented that she loves to cook at home.  "For the Bake Off I made the sort of things I like to cook and they turned out well.  I was really excited to hear I was one of the winners."

    Ellen said, "For the final round I chose a meringue, hazelnut cake with the strawberry Santas as I thought this would be Christmassy.  I didn't think I would win so I was amazed and really pleased!"

    Joseph Davies, Food Technology

  • More Photos from the Great USH Bake Off

  • International Food Demonstrations

    Mrs Adamou's Krockiety
    I would like to thank Mrs Adamou on behalf of the Year 11 students for what was both an entertaining and educational series of Polish food demonstrations. Mrs Adamou made Krokiety, a traditional Polish Christmas Eve dish, and although the idea of minced pork filled pancakes might sound unusual, all staff and students agreed that they were quite delicious!  The students' exposure to Polish culture did not stop at the food as Mrs Adamou also told tales of Polish food traditions, played Polish music and let them experience learning in another language.  Krockiety have now been adopted by Mr Davies and Mrs Naylor into their own food repertoire and I suggest that if you ever get a chance you try one and wash it down with some hot and tangy beetroot soup (Zachwycający!)

    Mrs Curtis' Lamb Samosa
    Next up was Mrs Curtis who also turns out to be a very talented and passionate cook. Set to the sounds of Bollywood, the spices were out in full force and the aroma in the food room was breathtaking. Not only were the students in for a culinary treat, Mrs Curtis' knowledge of Indian culture and the common ingredients of Indian cuisine were first class. We learned about the four main spices of all Indian cookery (turmeric, coriander, cumin and chilli powder) and their extra properties. For example, Mrs Curtis informed us that turmeric has antiseptic powers and that cloves are used in India as an anaesthetic. Folding the pastry for samosas turned out to be the hardest challenge for the students but showing the habit of mind, they persisted and were rewarded with some great looking and tasting food!  Some students underestimated the spice power of the Birdseye chilli but I think everyone left well informed and with a lot more love for the great cuisine and culture of India.

    Mr Jones' Jerk Chicken
    This whirlwind tour of Jamaican culture and food was delivered with all the enthusiasm and passion that the people of that well-loved Caribbean island are renowned for.  Looking back it is incredible to think that the demonstration was only sixty minutes long.  We invited Year 7 in to observe  and so the stage was set for Mr Jones' Jamaican adventure.  In no more than five minutes, Mr Jones had smiled his way through the incredibly challenging task of cutting a whole chicken into its eight component parts.  He then proceeded to prepare the famous rice and peas to go with it.  Meanwhile he painted a picture of island life and festivals to really get the appetite going. His presentation on Jamaican culture covered all manner of topics including history, slavery, philosophy, music and Rastafarianism.  Marcus Garvey, Bob Marley and Martin Luther King all contributed and we all felt very privileged to have shared such an insight. The students all returned to sample the very delicious Jerk chicken and all expressed well deserved praise for Mr Jones' incredible effort.

    Mrs Virk's Traditional Chicken Curry
    This culinary journey took us to Punjab in the north of India.  The scent of freshly made garam masala filled the air to the sounds of a romantic Bollywood soundtrack!  Everyone was eagerly anticipating the food.  Mrs Virk proved to be another accomplished cook (how lucky we are here at USH) and began by preparing the onions whilst talking us through exciting tales of an enthusiastic and loud people who love to dance and eat. The curry easily lived up to the billing and all the students stayed until it was gone. (There was hardly any left for Mrs Naylor and Mr Davies!)

    I would like to reiterate just how valuable these contributions have been to the department and add my own personal thanks; it is no easy task to cook under pressure in front of a large group of young people.

    Joseph Davies, Food Technology

  • Christmas Lecture at University of Southampton

    Nine Year 8 and 9 students attended a Christmas Lecture towards the end of last term as a reward for their extra effort, achievement and hard work in Science over the term. The lecture was organised by the Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Southampton and included a short interactive Q&A session, ‘Why Chemistry' and a short presentation from Biological Sciences, but the highlight was a Chemistry demonstration lecture by Dr Ian Dunn.  This highly visual and entertaining lecture illustrated some of the excitement and relevance of Chemistry.

    lara Hicks and Charlie Such enjoyed the lecture: "It was called Hocus Pocus and covered mostly Biology but also some Chemistry and Physics.  We were picked to attend because we had done well in lessons and it was felt the lecture would enhance our learning.  We like studying Science and especially enjoy the experiments.  Recently we have dissecting a heart!"

  • U16 Netball

    The Under 16s had a challenging season. Strangely there is no Year 10 league in the city so a combined Year 10 and 11 team entered the U16 league. The Year 10s entered the league as Champions from last season and the Year 11s after a season's gap.

    The girls worked hard to gel together and really began working as a unit as the first league games approached. They are a well-motivated and talented team and produced some excellent results throughout, including ending the season by beating Cantell 9-6 and Woodlands 17-1.

    Well done to all girls involved!  Lauren Cole (Captain), Booky Tipsuwan, Lottie Roscoe-Macey, Emily Neale, Chloe Musgrove, Eleanor Stone, Charlotte Franklin, Kaitlan Brown, Anna Hotston, Sare Veizaj and Grace Robinson.

    Claire Sidney, PE Department

  • Year 7 Netball

    The girls playd their first warm up tournament at the end of last term at St George School and did very well with the following results:

    • lost 5-0 to St George
      won 1-0 versus St Anne's
      won 1-0 versus Sholing
      lost 2-1 to the Gregg School and
      won 3-0 against Bitterne Park School.

    They have two games yet to play as the tournament had to to stop due to lack of light! However this was an excellent start and the girls are looking forward to the league in the New Year.

    The Year 7 team is Katie Hilliard, Abi Goldstraw, Freya Barfoot, Erin McManus, Maisy Parkes, Charlie Browne, Millie Clark and Maisie Bolton.  Well done everyone!
    Claire Marks, PE Department

  • Crafty Chics

    The 'Crafty Chics' girls took home their completed Christmas bags and we are now starting on projects using felt to make brooches, key rings and hair slides.

    Mrs Kelly

  • Year 7 Textile Club

    Every Tuesday we attend textile club run by Miss de Ruiter and Mrs Kelly. We started by making our own sketchbook and decorating it with coloured paper. Our sketchbooks will record our journey as we learn new skills and techniques.

    Last week we created fabric and paper collage and stitched onto them. We really enjoyed this technique as we love sewing. It was fun sat with our friends and learning in a relaxed and fun environment.

    Written by Year 7 Textile Students

    I must say it is a real pleasure working with the girls in our new Year 7 who come along to Textile Club on Tuesdays.

    Mrs Kelly

  • Former Student is World Bowls Champion!

    Congratulations to former student, Tom Bishop, who has just become World Bowls Champion of Champions.  Tom, a member of Atherley Bowling Club, won the Championships, held in New Zealand, in December. 


    Congratulations Tom, we are all very proud of you!

  • DofE

    Year 9
    Training is running every Friday until Easter from 2.50 to 4.00 in the lecture theatre.  Attendance is compulsory for those wishing to take part in the Award so please keep one of the DofE team posted about any absence.  We will be asking all students to bring in a cup (preferably suitable for camping).

    The training weekend is the 13th-15th June.  Each student will spend a 24 hour period in the forest during this weekend.

    Year 10
    Each expedition group will be asked to attend a mentoring session during this term for support in completing the Service, Physical and Skill sections.  The aim is for all of Year 10 to be finished by June.  Additional sessions may be required to complete expedition routes. 

    Year 11
    Several students have completed their Award and badges are being sent to the school.  Please bring in ‘Keeping Track’ booklets for checking.

    Thanks, Mr Perry

  • Science Club

    Calling any Year 7 and Year 8 budding young scientists!!

    Come and experiment every Tuesday during this term after school in the Science Department.  Science Club runs from 2.40 until 3.30pm.

    During Science Club our super scientists continue to enquire and investigate the amazing world of science.

    This week they compared the colours in Smarties.  Using a scientific technique called chromatography, our scientists were able to observe the mixture of colours separating before their eyes!  

  • Nestlé Box Tops for Schools Scheme

    The Nestlé box tops for schools scheme is finishing soon. Please send any remaining box tops in to the library by the end of February.  Thank you.

  • 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 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
    • Thursday 13th February - 6.30pm, PTA meeting
    • Monday 17th-Friday 21st February - Half term
    • Friday 14th March - 7pm, PTA quiz night
    • 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