USH Newsletter

20th June 2014

  • Introduction


    Ground breaking news at USH this week!  A new phenomenon was born: the Thinking Revolution!  Staff together with students spent the professional development session learning about strategies to develop the skills of thinking.  We were exploring methods such as using visual thinking maps, thinker keys and developing our Habits of Mind; namely working interdependently and listening with understanding and empathy.  Students Isobel McCarthy and Kelly Barlow joined the staff team.  During the meeting they commented, “We felt included because we were able to see why teachers use different activities in lessons and how they help our education” and “We both really want to work in schools.”

    Please keep a look out for the more information about our journey towards making USH an accredited Thinking School in forthcoming editions.

    On the note of learning interdependently, the Geography trip to the coast for Year 8 was a great success.  Our students had the opportunity to take their learning beyond the classroom and into the world around them.  Well done Year 8 for working hard and exemplifying our USH values of ambition, pride and respect.

    This is a week of celebrating our student success, not only in their academic achievement but also for taking on the responsibility of upper school.  Well done to the new House Captains.  We wish you a great year as young leaders!

    Kindest regards,
    Taz Curtis, Assistant Head

  • Our New House Captains

    Congratulations to the following students who have been appointed as House Captains for the next year

    • Isabelle Williams and Tom Harman (Aviators House)
    • Imogen Lee and James Wareham (Engineers House)
    • Alice Wheatley and Abraham Orekan (Mariners House)
    • Cassia Nutting and Jerry Torres (Venturers House).

  • Options Process: to the Parents of Years 8 and 9

    Dear Parents

    Please accept our apologies for the time it is taking to inform your child know about the outcome of the option process.

    We will let all students know the outcomes as soon as we can, but in the meantime please accept our apologies for the delay and thank you for your patience and continued support.

    Kindest regards

    Phillip Taylor, Deputy Head

  • JET Music Prom

    This year sees the inaugural Jefferys Education Trust Music Prom.  This concert will bring together students from across all of the local schools and give everyone an opportunity to perform together.  The performance will be held at Southampton Central Hall on Wednesday 16th July at 7pm.

    Tickets will be available from all of the schools in JET from 1st July and will be £4 for adults and £2.50 for children/concessions. 

    This Music Prom will be a wonderful opportunity to hear a wide range of music and to celebrate the musical endeavours of our students. I look forward to seeing you there.

    Phil Griffiths, Head of Music

  • Year 8 Geography Fieldtrip

    On Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th June ninety students from Year 8 visited Lepe Country Park for a Geography fieldtrip.

    Whilst at Lepe the pupils took part in three different activities. In the morning they went on a guided walk along the beach to discover the different coastal management strategies, and to learn the skill of creating annotated field sketches.  They also took part in a  debate to discover different stakeholder views on the future of Lepe.  After a lunch in the sun and some ice creams the groups took part in a ranger led activity which saw pupils purchase different materials, representing different coastal protection methods, to protect a house on the shore. Then they watched as the tide came in to work out if they had chosen the most appropriate methods to protect their house!

    The trip was a first for the Geography department, having never run a coastal fieldwork trip for Year 8  before.  The feedback from students has been extremely positive, so it’s certainly something we’d like to do again!

    Victoria O’Sullivan, Geography department

    Feedback from the students:

    Isabelle Bennett: “The Lepe Beach trip was amazing! I particularly liked doing the walk and doing the field sketch as we were out in the sun rather than being in a classroom.  Also we were allowed to buy a refreshing ice cream which was nice. I’m glad I came on the trip as it was fun and educational!” 
    Emma Rantakangas: “I liked the walk because of the view and I got to take loads of pictures. I also enjoyed making the house on the shore as it was a hands-on experience.”
    Lara Clements: “The Lepe Beach trip was really good. I really enjoyed making the house at the end; I just wish we had been able to see how long it survived. I also enjoyed having ice cream and drawing my field sketch in the sun. I liked going on the walk around Lepe and learning all about the different methods of protecting the coastline.”
    Finlay Forder: “I thought the trip was really fun. I enjoyed the house protecting activity the most.”

  • Colombian Teacher Educator Visit, 17th June

    We were fortunate to host a visit from another group of Colombian teacher trainers on June 17th.  As well as a guided tour by some of our Year 8 students, our visitors attended English, Maths, Drama and Food Technology lessons and seemed to really enjoy their time with us.

    Their comments included:

    • "We love the signs all around your school which promote your values."
    • "Your students have wonderful manners; they’re clearly very happy."
    • "We’ve witnessed really positive relationships between students and teachers."
    • "Classrooms are well-organised and rooms brightly decorated with lots of resources."
    • "Your school is very clean, neat and tidy."

    Thanks to all the people who facilitated the visit.

    Marie Connolly, Languages department

  • DofE Expedition

    Year 9 students were out over last weekend on their DofE training expedition.  Students spent the night at Foxlease campsite where they had to prepare an evening meal, set up tents, wash up and then pack up tents again at the end of their stay.  They then had to navigate through the New Forest by using the skills they had been learning every Friday over the last few months. 

    Although it was hot the students had a good time and still had plenty of energy left to play football, frisbee, cricket and even their own invention called ‘crounders ball’ with staff.  For the practice expedition the students will be in groups of 4-7 and will need to use the skills they have developed to navigate through the New Forest independently, meeting staff at certain points.

    Jenny Murphy, DofE Coordinator

  • Civil Service Local School Engagement Programme

    Next week will be the penultimate visit of the five week programme for a group of Year 10 students.  The focus of the programme has been to provide an experience of the work environment, job application and interview skills, team building and to develop a positive approach to customer service.

    Students commented
    "I have improved on my social skills as I am not very confident speaking to people."
    "Some of the information we have been given, such as customer service skills, has been useful for the future."

    Carey Anderson, Careers Adviser

  • Reward Trip, Friday 11th July

    The reward trip is run to recognise students' efforts over the course of the academic year.  Students are assessed on their progress in all subjects, and their attendance, punctuality, achievement and behaviour points and the clubs they have attended.  This is collated and the top fifty students in each house are invited on the trip to Thorpe Park.

    David Wilding, Assistant Head 

  • Paris Trip and Visit to Boulogne

    It is looking increasingly likely that the Paris Trip planned for October 2014 for current Year 7s will be moved to late March 2015.  We have found a hotel that has the capacity for the whole group and are in final negotiations with the travel company over the price.  Deposits remain refundable at this time and you should receive a letter in the next week giving more information about the dates and prices once we have final confirmation.

    Boulogne Visit

    Our day trip to France is rapidly approaching and all students should have received a letter with information about the itinerary, final cost and requirements for the journey.  We are in for a very early start and late return so please bear this in mind.

    If you have any questions about either visit, please get in touch.

    Thanks, Martin Perry

  • Well Done, Karen!

    Congratulations to Senior Finance Officer, Karen Sorfleet, for achieving her Accounting Qualification by passing her AAT Level 2 Certificate in Accounting exams.   This involved a lot of hard work and study: well done, Karen!

  • Student Hosts

    Our Student Host scheme in reception, which has been running for four years, was created for two reasons:
    • To offer KS3 students a different experience of how a day runs outside of class and give them the chance to meet different people who make up our organisation.  At its best, the day should involve lots of different tasks but ultimately be underpinned by work they do at their specially designated desk;
    • To offer guests and visiting students the opportunity to speak with our children when they arrive.

    We believe meeting and talking with different people builds confidence and character in students and the one day each child is asked to become Student Host should end up being a positive experience.

    Students can decline any offer of hosting and if important events (such as assessments) in their day mean they cannot attend, we will always make alternative arrangements.

    If you don’t want your child to be part of our student host programme please let the school know.

  • Display of Lost Property

    We currently have a large amount of unclaimed lost property.  This will be put on display each break and lunchtime in the hall from Monday 23rd June until Wednesday 25th June.  If you know that your child has lost any item of clothing please ask them to go along and try to find it as any items left after this date will have to be disposed of.

  • Uniform on Sale in School

    Our uniform suppliers, Skoolkit, will be in school to sell uniform on the following dates:

    • Wednesday 25th June between 2.30 and 5pm to sell to existing students
    • Tuesday 1st July between 5.00 and 8.30pm to sell to new intake.
    Marilyn Robinson, Senior Finance Officer

  • Communicating with USH regarding Attendance

    USH has decided to install an automatic communication system that will allow you to contact us directly by text message in order to keep the school updated with any information regarding attendance, for example:
    • Absences
    • Lateness
    • General enquires about your child’s attendance.

    Our school’s dedicated mobile number is 07860 005 066. Please confirm your child’s name at the start of your text. 

    We will be able to text back using the system; the aim is to free up time in the attendance office.  During busy hours the staff receive many phone calls asking questions that are not of an urgent nature, so by using Text Messages In you will be helping the school.  Thank you.

    Alison Small, Attendance Officer

  • Warm Weather: Inhalers

    During this warm weather and high pollen spell please ensure that your child has their inhaler in their bag and that they have taken their antihistamines if required.  The school is not allowed to hold any emergency inhalers. 

    Please ensure students have plenty of fluids (not fizzy drinks) throughout the day.

    Sandy Kelly, First Aid/Welfare 

  • Donation of Clothes for PTA Fashion Show

    Are you having a wardrobe clear out?  The PTA would be very grateful for donations of clothes for the 'Worn Again Fashion Show'.  This will be held at the Ladies Night on Thursday 10th July.

    If you have any good quality clothes, shoes or accessories which you would be prepared to donate to raise funds for the school mini-bus appeal please bring them to the school office.  Any unsold clothes will be given to charity.

    The PTA

  • Southampton Family Fun Sports Day, 26th July

    Southampton Sport are working together with ActiveNation to provide a family fun sports day at Southampton Sports Centre on Saturday 26th July 2014, starting at 11.00 am.

    There will be a big variety of sports available, including wheelbarrow races, egg and spoon, sprints, long jump and a football tournament.

    There will also be a Village Fete with activities and stalls, including inflatables for both children and adults! 

    For more details, or to book your sports, please have a look on their website

  • Help us to Save Used Postage Stamps

    Please bring any used postage stamps into reception as we are saving them for the Royal National Institute of the Blind charity.

    Stamps (UK and foreign) should be removed from envelopes, leaving a 1cm border all round.

    Many thanks.

    Lesley Cookson, Reception

  • Dates for Your Diaries

    Dates to note for this academic year:
    Monday 30th June – normal learning day: all staff and students in school
    Wednesday 2nd-Friday 4th July – 7pm School production: Starlight Express at The Point, Eastleigh
    Wednesday 2nd, Thursday 3rd July – Year 6 induction days
    Tuesday 8th July – Year 10 Sports Day
    Tuesday 8th July - Year 11 Prom
    Thursday 10th July – PTA Ladies Night
    Wednesday 16th July – 7pm JET Schools Music Prom, Central Hall
    Friday 18th July – Years 7-9 Sports Day
    Tuesday 22nd July – 7-8.30pm, Parent Action Group social/wrap-up
    Wednesday 23rd July - School breaks up for Summer holidays