USH Newsletter

7th March 2014

  • Headteacher's News

    Dear Parents

    There is so much progressing well at USH this year and I refer to our school vision which I think helps to explain this… it all comes down to ‘the passion of our people’ and I’d like to dedicate this newsletter to the staff of USH for their commitment to children.  THANK YOU.

    This newsletter is full of helpful information put together by the various teams around our school so please take time to read it… not many photos… we’re working on this!

    I don’t have favourites but I must commend the student production of 'Very Small and Very Far Away' which we experienced this week; its integrity and intelligence was first class.

    Also congratulations to Oliver Bromby who is now ranked first in the UK for under 18 indoor 200M.  He ran at Sheffield Arena last weekend and clocked a time of 21.99 seconds.

    Stuart Woods

  • We Won the University of Southampton Year 10 Challenge: Infectious Diseases!

    Eight schools took part in the challenge and I am extremely pleased to announce that Upper Shirley High won!  Congratulations to the team: Kim Alipio, James Wareham, Tom Harman, Zachary Bull, Joshua King, David Blunt, Emily Yeates, Alice Wheatley, Abraham Orekan, Alex Donovan-Lowe, Sameer Fakirmohamed, Alex Donnachie, Sam Jones, Katie Sherliker and Anna Hotston.  The students worked extremely well as a team, demonstrating their excellent research, teamwork, communication and  presentation Skills.  Well done!

    Mrs Anderson, Careers Adviser

    James Wareham commented, "Taking part in the Year 10 'Learn with US' challenge was a great experience. I feel that I grew closer to my friends and that it taught me much about myself. 'It developed my understanding of viruses which will certainly help me in my scientific studies in the future. 'Researching many different areas in order to create our presentation showed me the importance of finding reliable sources and using a range of information. As well as this, it showed me that everyone has something to offer as part of a group - be that art, research or public speaking, and honing in on these skills is what truly makes a team strong."


  • News from the PTA

    Caribbean Pirate Quiz Night, Friday 14th March at 7pm!  Please come along and join our fun evening; tickets available from the school finance office at £6.50 to include a Caribbean curry and rice.

    We are also helping to raise funds for a new minibus for the school.  Please see the PTA page on the USH website for more details

  • Year 11 Parents - a Date for Your Diaries!

    Wednesday 2nd April, 7.00-8.00pm

    Countdown to the exams….
    Elevate Education are an independent company specialising in exam preparation and study skills. They will be in school with our Year 11 students during the day on Wednesday 2nd April and in the evening will be running a parent seminar on how to help your son or daughter prepare and succeed in their final few weeks. There will an opportunity for a question and answer session and refreshments will be provided. More details will follow in due course.

    Miss Roberts, Head of Year 11

  • Year 10 GCSE Spanish Speaking Controlled Assessments, Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th March

    Our Year 10 Spanish students have been working hard on preparing their notes for their speaking tests which are scheduled to take place next week.

    Please encourage your son/daughter to revise thoroughly for this oral test as it is worth 15% of the final GCSE grade.

    The speaking test timetable which shows exactly when each test will take place will be on display on Friday, March 7th.

    In case of any queries or clarification, please contact me at school.

    Muchas gracias, Mrs Connolly,

  • Science and Maths, Year 11 (period 6)

    This term Science and Maths have been running period 6  on a Tuesday and Wednesday for Year 11.  As we cannot accommodate all students at the same time we have split the year group into focus groups.  Students have received letters to inform them of the sessions they should attend.  New letters will be issued to the next focus group this week.

    If your child has received or receives a letter please support them by ensuring they attend each session on the correct day.

    Ms Adams and Ms Rasey
    Head of Science and Head of Maths

  • Year 9 Science

    All Year 9 students will be taking an important mock GCSE Biology exam on 3rd April, based on the whole B1 Biology module. This will inform us, along with teacher evidence, as to the appropriate science route to be taken in Year 10 to best suit each student.

    Please support your son/daughter by helping them with revision at home. In preparing for the exam previously it has been shown that the following help:

    1. Starting to revise from their exercise books at the soonest opportunity.
    2. Taking an active role in class during revision lessons.
    3. Using revision websites such as BBC Bitesize (AQA syllabus - Science Core) GCSEPod; Youtube (search for AQA Science B1).
    4. Buying an AQA Science revision guide. This can be bought at a greatly reduced price from the school (students should speak to their class teacher about which book to buy).

  • 'Very Small and Very Far Away' - Raising Awareness of Autism

    During February thirty students from Years 7 to 10 took part in a two day workshop led by Lucy Phillips, the educational director of Forest Forge Theatre Company. The workshop was filled with lots of challenging activities and drama exercises (including a little script work) which culminated in a twenty minute performance to parents, ‘Very Small and Very Far Away’, on the evening of 14th February.

    The two days were incredibly eye opening and educational for all involved.  A very moving and at times emotional performance was created that both entertained and raised a necessary awareness of young people on the autistic spectrum. 

    “I enjoyed the workshop because I was able to put myself in the shoes of an autistic person.  I now understand certain behaviours of autistic people”, commented James Winter, Year 9
    "I really enjoyed the autism workshop because it gave me an insight on autistic people and how they are no different to us, but view and cope with things differently. I think that I will be able to relate to an autistic person more because of this workshop." Ella Marsh Collins, Year 9
    “Just wanted to say how much my daughter enjoyed the two day workshop last term and how much we enjoyed the presentation at the end of it. We were impressed at how well they communicated the issues surrounding autism and in such a creative way. Thank you for allowing my daughter to partake in this activity.” Year 7 parent

    On 5th March the students performed the piece again to Year 7s and then to the staff body.

    “I thought it was a cracking performance.  It is something we could perhaps use perhaps for trainee teachers in the future.  Seeing the students act things out made the whole issue so much clearer and I was touched by the references to MFL.  In my opinion, you can learn the social codes for another language BUT only when proficiency is achieved.  What I was left with was the fact that for autistic students, it must be like constantly speaking a foreign language – which is exhausting!” Marie Connolly, MFL teacher

    I would like to thank all students involved for their hard work, maturity and sensitivity during the workshop and performances, also to Lucy from Forest Forge, for her time and efforts to make the project so successful and worthwhile. The performance was filmed by USH TV.

    Mrs Moroney, Drama department

  • Rock Challenge 2014

    On the evening of the 4th March our school took part in the globally-recognised competition of Rock Challenge at Southampton’s Guildhall. Upper Shirley High was represented by a group of students who displayed high levels of talent in their performance ability, accuracy of movement and dance skill, all committing to one common goal: to show the judges how hungry they were to win.

    The theme of the work was based on Equality and the piece was designed to promote the idea that ‘Difference is Brilliance’ as well as encouraging the audience to think about immigration policy and the notion that ‘no-one is illegal’. The piece was challenging for both the audience and the students, and the subject matter provided the judges with plenty to think about. The high-quality performance enabled us to walk away with four awards:

    • Award for The Spirit of Rock Challenge (voted by other schools)
    • Award for excellence in  stage crew
    • Award for excellence in choreography
    • Award for visual enhancement.

    The Rock Challenge Team

  • Our Talented Mathematicians

    The UKMT Maths Intermediate Challenge is run each year by the School of Mathematics at the University of Leeds.  On 6th February they presented our talented Mathematicians from Years 10 and 11 with a challenge that tested their most advanced problem solving skills.  I am delighted to announce that the following  students  performed so well that they were awarded with certificates.

    • The ’Best in School’ result with a Silver Certificate was awarded to Bradley Fallows.
    • Benedict Gardner was awarded with a Silver Certificate.
    • Alex Browne, Emma Crawley and Charles Watkins received Bronze Certificates.
    • The ‘Best in Year 10’ result and Silver Certificate went to Euan Davis, Zachary Bull, Sam Jones, David Starkie and Tom Harman.
    • Bronze Certificates were given to Kim Alipio, Dominic Gardner, Corin Harrison, James Barlow, Kalle Kankare, Maisie Parsons and Edward Curtis.

    Congratulations to all participants!

    We wish the best of luck to our four students who will be participating in UKMT Team Maths Challenge on the 2nd April and also to our Junior Mathematicians, who will take on the UKMT Maths Junior Challenge on 1st May.

    Mrs Adamou

  • Poem written by Euan Davis, Year 10


    The silence, the waiting, the calm before the storm,
    bodies in regiments buried in form,
    All of a sudden, the battlefield shakes,
    Shells and explosions, making deadly quakes,
    A scream of a man the one next to me,
    He falls to the ground chest starting to bleed,
    The guns start to blare,
    Bombs fall from the air,
    All with no-one seeming to care.

    The ash rains down, cinders burning,
    People dying, never learning,
    The man next to me, the fun we had,
    I'd known him ever since we were lads,
    On that day his final breath,
    The one before his eternal death,
    Was spoke to me but what he said,
    Was lost in a hailstorm of lead,
    It still troubles me when I go to bed,
    That I'll never know what he said.

    The face of the man that died,
    Was never remembered, no national pride,
    All he got was a bullet in his chest,
    And a trip to the church, his written request,
    For what it's worth, he made national news,
    But their story was numbers, not personal views,
    He was but one of many,
    To them just like any,
    But to me, he was my Lennie.

    Euan Davis

  • Recycling Project in Partnership with the Co-op and IKEA

    Thanks to fantastic support from the Co-op and IKEA a recycling project is gathering pace across school.

    IKEA have generously agreed to provide a recycling bin for every classroom and office space throughout USH.  To ensure that the right materials are put in the bins Miss De Ruiter has run an art competition to design a label which IKEA will be professionally producing for USH.  The winning label was designed by Mirajur Rahman in Year 7.

    Using food processors purchased with funding from the Co-operative students will be pulping the recycled paper and turning it into new Art workbooks!  Through the project we hope to raise the profile of recycling across USH and encourage everyone to ensure that paper and cardboard do not go into landfill.

    For more information on how you can recycle at home please go to

    Ms De Ruiter, Art Department and Mrs Mawby, Sustainability Officer

  • Hampshire Indoor Rowing Championships

    USH sent a team to the recent Hampshire indoor rowing championships held at Barton Peveril College. All the students showed excellent determination and application. The team of Charlotte Browne, Phoebe Hatton, Aidan Nicholls, Sam May, Bastin Punneliparambil, Lewis Hill, Ola Leszek, Katherine Brocklesby, Saaqib Mahmood, Connor Seifert, Brook Perry, Luke Biffin, Sharna Mutero, Ashleigh Le Bas, Julius Kavuu and Benedict Gardner, should all be very proud of their achievements.

    Special mention is given to the following students who gained top 3 places
    • Brook Perry (gold)
    • Phoebe Hatton (silver)
    • Ashleigh Le Bas (bronze) and Charlotte Brown (bronze).

    Mr Hadfield, PE department

  • Success at Southampton Cross Country Championships

    The recent Cross Country Championships for Year 7 and 8 students resulted in considerable success for USH.  On a wet and cold day the students displayed excellent endurance and motivation.

    The team results were:
    Year 7 girls – 2nd
    Year 7 boys – 1st
    Year 8 girls – 1st
    Year 8 boys – 2nd

    Individual medals:
    Isabelle Bennett – Bronze
    Leon Longhurst – silver
    Luke Halford – Bronze

    Many congratulations to all the students that ran and represented the school with such pride.
    We now look forward to the four remaining league races that take place in March.  Presently four out of the six teams are top of their league!

    Mr Hadfield, Head of PE

  • Netball Results

    Our Year 7 team had a great 10-1 win against Bitterne Park.  The game against The Gregg School was our toughest game so far but we came out winners by 4-3.  Well played girls!

    Ms Marks, PE department

  • Crafty Chics

    The delightful Year 7 girls finished off half term by making their own bunting for Valentines Day!  I left them to use their own initiative and they had some great ideas!

    Mrs Kelly, Information Officer

  • News from the Science Club

    Floating Soap Bubbles

    Members of our Year 7 and 8 Science Club have been enjoying themselves after school by making soap bubbles float over a large beaker of carbon dioxide. The gas is heavier than air and supports the weight of the bubbles! We also wondered why the bubbles were coloured. Can you think why?!

    If you want to do some fun experiments after school please come up to the science department on Tuesdays!

    Staying Warm and Cloud in a Bottle

    With the cold weather still upon us, we investigated how animals stay warm during their winter hibernation period.  Animals grow a thick layer of fat before they hibernate and Vaseline acts just like this fat.  We looked at Vaseline as an insulator and how it keeps the heat from your hand escaping. We timed how long we could keep our insulated hand in iced water and compared this with our other non-insulated hand!

    We also had fun making a ‘cloud in a bottle’ using the smoke produced from a blown-out match in a bottle partially filled with water.  We altered the pressure inside the bottle to condense the water molecules and looked into how different volumes of water affected the cloud.

    Mr Laybourne and Mrs Robinson, Science department

  • 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:
    Tuesday 11th March - 4-6pm, Evening for parents of students with additional needs
    Friday 14th March – 7pm, PTA quiz night
    Wednesday 19th March - 7-8.30pm, Parent Action group
    Friday 21st March - Staff training (Inset) day
    Wednesday 2nd April – 7-8pm, Countdown to exams evening for Year 11 parents
    Friday 4th April - School breaks up for Easter holidays
    Tuesday 22nd April - Return to school
    Monday 5th May - Bank Holiday
    Tuesday 20th May - 4-7.30pm, 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 - 4-7.30pm, 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