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USH Newsletter 2nd May 2014

Headteacher's News

Dear Parents

I hope the Easter break was restful for you and the holiday gave you a chance to reflect. It’s great to see everyone return, energised for the term ahead.

A very warm welcome to our new staff who join USH this term: Peter Harvey (Subject Lead for ICT), Claire Hodgson (Deputy Subject Lead for Science) and Jenny Murphy (Acting Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator).  On behalf of staff and students I wish you a happy and successful time with us.

We promised more photographs and I’m delighted to see the work of Year 7 and 8 students for their Passport to Independence; so impressive. Well done.

The first of our new USH minibuses is being delivered today and I look forward to sending our students to sporting fixtures and school events in a vehicle deserving of their talents; or in the words of Sun Tzu ‘Every battle is won before it is ever fought’.  


Stuart Woods


Important Updates

Cashless Catering
Thank you to all the parents who attended the meeting this week. From the questions raised I would like to clarify the following points:
• All parents need to return the 'Opt in/out' form so that we can see which method of identification to use for each child.
• If parents do not register for online payments they will not be able to make payments to their child’s dinner money account.
• Parents do not need to have online banking with their bank to use our system.
• Once parents register for online payments,  purchases will be paid for by using a debit or credit card.
• Year 11 parents do need to register. Year 11 students will be identified by a PIN number and not a thumb print – all other aspects of the system are the same.
• Our daily spending limit for student purchases in our canteen will be £5. Parents can lower this figure by writing to the school.

Important Updates
• Apologies that when parents currently log into our online system they cannot see the option to make payments for dinner money. Our system is still being configured; this will be visible after 12th May.
• Allergy alerts: whilst the new system is designed to create allergy alerts this functionality will not be available until September. We have had to delay the introduction of this part of the system pending possible changes to our menus.
• Pupils will be registered for the biometric system in school on 22nd and 23rd May.

Important Dates
Please remember to put these key dates into your diaries
• By Friday 9th May: Parents to return the 'Opt in/out' form (for students in Years 7,8,9 and 10).
• By Sunday 8th June 2014:  All parents must have registered with our online payments system.
• By Sunday 8th June 2014:  Payment to be made to student’s online dinner money account to enable student purchases from the canteen from 9th June onwards.
• Monday 9th June 2014: 'Go Live' day for cashless catering.

Registration with Online Payments
As mentioned previously, all parents need to register to use our online payment system before the installation of our cashless catering system.  If anyone has mislaid our letter explaining how to register please contact the finance office for a duplicate: finance@ushschool.org. These letters were personalised as they contained a unique student code to link parent logins with the financial information for their child.

Music Fees
We have recently posted out to parents music invoices to enable them to see their balance owing for their child’s music lessons in school.  We would be grateful if parents could ensure that they have made payments in line with the schedule we proposed at the start of the academic year. Parents can check their current balance, payments already made, and make new payments via our online payments system.

Julie Prince
School Business Manager

Science Challenge

Last month a small team of students attended the Science Challenge held at Hounsdown School. This challenge was largely made from five different rounds, varying on difficulty and subject. For example, the first three were KS4 chemistry, physics and biology, with a KS3 round and a news round on particularly obscure science.  Between these rounds was an interesting chance for the teams to listen to a short presentation on malaria by a small group of older students.

The scores were very tight with both USH A and B teams tying in second place.  Although some of the questions were difficult, everyone involved thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and we look forward to hosting this event next year.

by Tom Harman, Year 10

Outstanding Geography Homework! (Year 7)

Last term was another fantastic term in the Geography Department and a particular highlight was receiving the P2i homework projects from various Year 7 and Year 8 classes.  In Year 7 students were asked to consolidate their learning in the classroom about river basins by producing either a model of a river basin showing a variety of river landforms, or a Powerpoint detailing the journey of a river from its source to mouth.  See the photos below for a selection of some outstanding models that have been made.

The pictures below show work by Lily Lavin, Maisy Parkes and Poppy Hammond.

Outstanding Geography Homework! (Year 8)

Meanwhile, students in Year 8 have been learning about China.  Their P2i homework project was to produce either a board game based on the country and its famous landmarks, culture and traditions, or to design a route through China for the next 'Top Gear' country special.  As you can see from the photos, students produced some exceptional and creative board games which were tried and tested in class by their peers.  There were also some fantastic Powerpoint and poster presentations produced detailing the planned 'Top Gear' journeys through China, taking in the most famous sights of this fascinating and diverse country.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank parents for their ongoing support to enable students to produce these high class homework projects.

The Geography department

Work shown below is by Nick Elia, Jessica England, Rachel King, Oliwia Kowalik, Imogen Reynolds, Nina Hicks and Emily Smith.

Year 9 English Homework by Zoe Lamb

The sun shone brightly lifting the drowsy atmosphere around me.  Birds swooped from the clear icy sky chatting with others, family, friends.  At the top of the tower I was free, no one to question my actions or decisions; a place where I could be myself, not have to coop up in a fake being.  A façade only I knew.  With the wind chilling my face, from the shadows I stepped into the light.  Except there was no light but plumes of smoke continuously drafting in through my best attempts to shut it out.  It was then at that precise moment the carpeted floor began to vibrate, softly at first but gradually gaining momentum and force. The walls were at it too, rattling in their frames willing to be released.

With quick decision I sprinted to the stairs, running with little knowledge of what I was to find.  Eight sections of the metal spiralling staircase had fallen; below where all my friends, colleagues were screaming for help, pleading with life.  Something hot scorched my back, ripping me out of my trance, pulling the realisation that in this vulnerable spot of dilemma I was losing oxygen fast.  Black spots clouded my vision, leaving just enough space for me to see the narrow stairs coming to an end. You know what, I could die today.  Suddenly the supporting floor gave way to a pit of darkness.  An unwelcoming sensation battering my thoughts as my body writhed in the rushing air.  Lashing out for something, anything to grasp but to no avail. Engulfed by flames, the last thing I remember was a dark figure.

by Zoe Lamb, 9O

Year 8 Football Cup Final

Year 8 City Cup Final (Clark Lodwidge Trophy)

Pipped at the post in the league by one point to Wildern, the boys were looking to exact their revenge by lifting the Clark Lodwidge trophy at Colden Common FC on Thursday 24th April.

The season had been a progressive one, with new talents unearthed and a strong run of performances taking us to the Hampshire Cup semi-final, second position in the league and culminating in the League Cup Final.  We were in buoyant mood as the boys donned the blue of USH ready for battle and a high tempo warm-up ensued.

Wildern began the match playing to their strengths, pushing the ball into the corners for their pacey attacker to test us, and early battles were won by our back four, Dom Lawrence, Ethan Kimber, Owen Collins and Jared Cook, doing their best to restrict efforts on Tom Parker-Trott’s goal.  Some key saves kept the score level in the first ten minutes until a mis-hit shot caused their striker to stall in the box leaving our captain, Ethan Kimber, with no chance of avoiding a collision.  Penalty to Wildern.  Wrong footed by the shot Tom, in goal, was unable to prevent the goal.  1- 0 Wildern.

We picked ourselves up and tested their back four with mazy runs from Harry Jones and a couple of long range efforts from Seb Szymula.  The constant pressure from Conor-Ryan Langan and Marko Gashi up front worried the Wildern defence, but 1-0 remained the score at half time.

At the start of the second half we made some changes and brought on Liam Biggs and Hamish Hannah.  With almost instant impact Liam drove the ball into the Wildern half and showed good link up play with Harry Jones but Wildern continued to utilise their fast runners and scored on the break to make it 2-0. 

We battled on with 100% commitment, Jared Cook making a foray into the opponents’ half and a header from Marko Gashi going inches wide, before the Wildern keeper was drawn into a top notch save after a dipping shot.  However we suffered a further set back as a defensive clearance only found a Wildern midfielder whose half volley went in past Tom’s finger tips.  3-0 to Wildern. 

I cannot praise the efforts and determination of our boys enough as yet  again we pressed and a spill by their keeper allowed Joe Biffin (or ‘Bitten’ according to the write up in ‘The Football Pink’!) tapped home our goal.  Spurred on by this we created several chances to claw back the lead and Joe just cleared the bar late on.

By the final whistle we had finished much the stronger team and I cannot tell you how proud I am of the fighting spirit, sportsmanship and camaraderie shown by each and every member of the team. Well done boys!

Final result Wildern 3: USH 1.

Mr Staples, PE department 

PTA Minibus Appeal

Thank you to parents who have already sent in donations to our minibus appeal.   Further donations are always welcome as we strive towards our target.

Please click on the links below for more information:



Blue Cake Sale for Autism Awareness

April 2nd was Autism Awareness day which kicked off Autism Awareness month.  Buildings all over the world were lit blue on this day as part of the Autism speaks ‘Global Light It Blue' campaign.  As a school we held a BLUE cakes sale in the Inclusive Learning Department to raise money for Autism Hampshire on Friday 25th April. This charity works tirelessly to gives support and advice to families, as well as helping to shape services by taking account of their needs. The colour blue represents the boys diagnosed with Autism as disorders are five times more common in boys than girls. 

Thank you to everyone who donated, made and bought blue cakes. It was wonderful to see the students selling the cakes suddenly appear to gain a confidence I hadn’t seen in them before. Autism Hampshire will be receiving a total amount of £54.20.
Debbie Rioch
Lead Teaching Assistant for ASD
Inclusive Learning Department

DofE Award News

If your child is involved in the Duke of Edinburgh’s award, I am the new Acting DofE Coordinator and I will be situated in the staff room every day from 11.30-3.30pm. If you or your child have any queries or concerns please ask them to come see me.  If you wish to contact me please email or call the school and I will contact you back.

All Year 11 students who are participating in the DofE need to contact me please, as some students have completed all the levels required but a number of students have only submitted a draft copy which cannot be approved until the final copy is uploaded. Students, if you are unsure about where you are up to or you think you have completed all the levels please come and check.  Having put so much work into the DofE it would be great to see you complete all the levels  and receive your DofE award.

DofE Expedition
A great time was had last weekend by staff and the students who were completing their DofE Expedition.  The students seemed to enjoy themselves as they trekked through the forest. When we arrived at the campsite there was a sense of camaraderie as we all pitched in to set up our tents and prepare the evening meal.  It was a chance for both staff and students to see each other in a different setting and fun was had by all.  At the end of the second day, although they were very wet and tired, the students all completed their Expedition and should feel very proud of their success. 

This was my first time on an expedition and although I wasn't sure what to expect, I had a great experience and enjoyed everything (even the pouring rain throughout the night!)  The students were great company and I look forward to the next weekend expedition.

Mrs J Murphy, Acting DofE Coordinator


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, Alison.small@ushschool.org.

Dates for Your Diaries

Dates to note for this academic year:

Monday 5th May - Bank Holiday
Thursday 8th May – 6.30pm, Year 8 Options evening
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 – 7pm School production: Starlight Express at The Point, Eastleigh
Tuesday 8th July - Year 11 Prom
Wednesday 23rd July - School breaks up for Summer holidays