USH Newsletter

18th July 2014

  • Headteacher's News

    Dear Parents

    What an incredible term!  It remains for me to wish you a happy and restful summer.  USH looks forward to welcoming our new staff in September and I direct you to the final farewells especially written by those staff who say goodbye this term.  Thank you all for your service to the students of USH; notably a special thank you to Steve Laybourne who retires as our longest serving teacher.

    Following the successful Ladies Night organised by our very supportive PTA, I would like to thank the following:  Miranda Boakes-Clark, Nicky Caveney, Sharon Jackopson, Andrea Dixon, Emily Dixon, Lydia Caveney, Ella Clark, Gina Penn, Cheryl Macey, Kate Stone, Ros Hyde, Jenny Love, Martine Halliday, Mary Elia, Nicola King, Charlie Jackopson, Catherine Tilley, Abby Jackopson, Jazzy Dicks, Megan Boston, Colleen Grice and Rowan Thorne.  Thanks are also due to members of staff:  Marie Connolly and Mindo Virk for organising and running a very successful tombola and Martin Perry who was an excellent MC.

    Stuart Woods, Headteacher

  • Introduction

    Upper Shirley High is the place of growth on all levels and the last two weeks have exemplified this.  When most schools are winding down to the summer holidays, USH is winding up to the autumn term; driven by our passion to transform the future and accelerate achievement for all.  As a new Assistant Head to USH, I have to say the sense of momentum at this time of year is very exciting!

    Richard Corser, Assistant Headteacher

  • Starlight Express

    This year’s production of Starlight Express was our most challenging to date, but a challenge that the staff and students rose to with great success. Choreographically it was always going to be a test of skills as students had to take to skates and scooters whilst bringing their characters to life, following directions and singing to a very accomplished and professional student orchestra! The costumes, set and lighting brought the story and atmosphere to life beautifully.

    Rehearsals started months ago, and all students and staff involved worked incredibly hard to bring the 'page to stage'. The students as always showed their passion and commitment throughout by attending rehearsals after school, lunchtimes, weekends and holidays.

    We were very lucky this year to perform at The Point in Eastleigh. They were very welcoming and helpful and had nothing but praise for the conduct of the cast and crew during the time we were there. The Performing Arts Team would like to thank all the staff and parents who helped in the lead up to, and on the nights of the show. Your support, help and encouragement is invaluable.

    To quote a parent: “The show was outstanding! Hard work and effort by all was worth it. Friday’s performance gained a standing ovation and the cast and crew should be very proud of their achievements. Being able to put on a show of this quality in a working theatre has benefits for all pupils involved. Behind the scenes, crew on lights, sound, costume and make up get a true appreciation of what’s involved.”  Thank you, I couldn’t have put it better myself! 

    We look forward to our next production!

    Jo Moroney, Subject lead for Drama

  • Year 11 Prom

    Tuesday 8th July saw the glitzy, glamorous celebration that was the USH Class of 2014 Prom at Chilworth Manor. Despite the afternoon rain, the evening kicked off at 6.30pm bathed in sunshine, with a throng of staff waiting to welcome the students.

    The young men and women arrived in a variety of different vehicles, including sports cars, limousines, a pink camper van sporting the slogan ‘promming without limits’ and even some motability scooters! It was hard to imagine that these glamorous young people walking up the red carpet had been in our classrooms in school  uniform just a few weeks ago but here they were looking like movie stars.

    Staff and students had a buffet meal together and then danced the night away with lots of trips to the photo booth and studio in between.

    I have been to many proms over the last few years and I have to say that this was the best ever. The atmosphere was wonderful and it was a genuine celebration of five years of hard work. 

    A big thank you to Erin Murray and the rest of the Prom Committee who worked so hard to put together such a successful event.

    Sian Roberts, Head of Year 11

  • We are the Champions!

    USH had an amazing day at the City Athletics Championships on Thursday 3rd July. On a very hot day we witnessed ninety-six of our students show application and determination. Most of the students had been attending the club after school to improve their fitness and skills. They were rewarded with some excellent results.

    The team results:
    • Year 7 girls – 1st
    • Year 7 boys – 1st
    • Year 8 girls – 1st
    • Year 8 boys – 1st
    • Year 9 girls - 2nd
    • Year 9 boys – 2nd
    • Year 10 girls – 1st
    • Year 10 boys – 1st
    • Field events trophy (Girls) – 1st
    • Field events trophy (Boys) – 1st
    • Overall girls – 1st
    • Overall boys – 1st
    • Overall Championships – 1st

    The following students were individual City Champions:
    • Liwia Klozyk – Discus
    • Millie Clark – Javelin
    • Charlie Browne – High Jump
    • Freya Barfoot/Millie Clark/Lily Lavin/Sophia Westcott/Ella Dodd/Charlie Browne – 100m Relay
    • Leon Longhurst – 1000m
    • Toby Phillips – Long Jump
    • Tom Brokenshire/Toby Phillips/Luke Halford/Leon Longhurst – 100m Relay
    • Georgia O’Dell – 100m
    • Jessamyn Berry – Hurdles
    • Olivia O’Mahony – Shot
    • Oliwia Kowalik – Long Jump
    • Alice Orr/Isabelle Bennett/Olivia O’Mahony/Georgia O’Dell – 100m Relay
    • Bastin Punneliparambil – 100m
    • Sebastian Szymula – 200m
    • Harry Jones – 300m
    • Leo Gale – Hurdles
    • Marko Gashi – Long Jump
    • Bastin Punneliparambil/Harry Jones/Sebastian Szymula/Makco Gashi – 100m Relay
    • Reece Reed – 300m
    • Jake Powell – Hurdles
    • Sam Pettit – Javelin
    • Lily Thorne – 800m
    • Abraham Orekan -100m
    • James Parker-Trott – 400m
    • Mitchell Stedman – 800m
    • Jack Coster – 1500m
    • Mitchell Peddie – Long Jump
    • Josh Price – Triple Jump
    • Halder Schaho/Josh Price/James Parker-Trott/Abraham Orekan – 100m relay
    • Grace Robinson – 100m
    • Alice Wheatley – 100m
    • Alex Love – High Jump
    • Emily Neale – Triple Jump
    • Grace Robinson/Alice Wheatley/Keanna Emphasis/Chloe Musgrove/Alex Love – 100m relay

    Congratulations to all the team for their commitment and producing a great day for USH.

    Peter Hadfield, Head of PE

  • Visit to Art and Photography Exhibition at Richard Taunton College

    On Monday 7th July Year 9 students who will be studying Art and Photography next year visited Richard Taunton College to view the A level Art and Photography exhibition. The standard of work was very high and students were amazed and inspired.

    Megan Hare commented, “The work is brilliant. I saw new techniques that I want to try out. Seeing this exhibition has made me want to paint and draw to that same high standard.”

    Jordan Adams: “It is great to see the A level work. The students are really talented. It has given me high aspirations for the future.”

  • Cameras and Photographic Equipment: are you having a clearout?

    We are excited to start GCSE Photography at USH in September.

    If you are having a clear out during the summer holidays and come across an old camera or any other photographic equipment, please don't throw it away or give it to a charity shop, dust it off and send it into school. The new Photography GCSE course will find a home for it. This will benefit the students by giving them a wider variety of photographic equipment to use and study. Please bring any donations to Mrs Cadle.

    Many thanks.

  • Inspiring Geography Homework

    This term we have seen Year 8 geographers complete another P2i at an impressive standard.  Students had a choice to create either a model of a coastal landform, an information poster/leaflet about a chosen stretch of coastline, or a series of postcards from a selection of inspiring coastal locations.  Below are some photos of a selection of the models that were produced.  Well done to all Year 8 students who produced such outstanding work.

    In order they appear, the models were created by Isaac Mittoo, Sam Momber, Rachel King, Reuven Manore, Sam Moore, a joint effort by Lucy Thompson and Emily Smith, Alex Davis, Tom Hayter, Lucy Spencer and Kamil Ullah.

  • Our Forest, Our Future

    On Friday 4th July we had a unique opportunity to be part of the New Forest National Park Authority 'Our Forest, Our Future' conference. A group of nine students who are all part of the Eco Council and avid geographers represented USH at the conference which was held in Brokenhurst

    Or students joined others from a number of schools and colleges across Hampshire and took part in three workshops in the morning, ranging from topics as varied as ‘Food Waste’, 'The Future of Forestry’ and ‘The Queen's Larder’. They then used the information to put together a group presentation about what they considered to be unique about the forest and why young people should be involved in decision making about the forest in the future.

    Our students really came into their own during the presentation and delivered a very clear and well thought out presentation which fully addressed the questions asked. It was also commented by workshop leaders that our students were incredibly enthusiastic and asked great questions to extend their knowledge.

    Well done to Year 10 students Maisie Parsons, Alice Wheatley, Emily Yeates, Zachary Bull and Kim Alipio and Year 7s Erin Won, Reagon Alford, George Heywood and Ben Naylor.

    Victoria O'Sullivan, Geography department, and Sam Mawby, Eco Council

  • London Performing Arts Trip

    July 2014 saw another fabulous Performing Arts trip to London. The two days were jam packed with so many activities, including two West End shows, 'Matilda' and 'The Phantom of the Opera', two workshops at the Pineapple Dance Studios (with professional actors), a spooky tour around the infamous haunted Drury Lane Theatre and a very scary tour around the new London Dungeons (not forgetting all you can eat Pizza Hut!)  The students experienced live interactive performances from characters throughout history, including Jack the Ripper, Guy Fawkes and Sweeny Todd. 

    The students were a real pleasure to take on the trip. Their behaviour and their passion for performance was clearly displayed in the workshops and the professional actors who led the sessions were very impressed by their enthusiasm and natural ability to pick up a routine so quickly. The students were a real credit to USH and this was also reflected in their overnight stay in a London Hotel. We are now looking forward to the next trip in 2015.

    Jo Moroney, Subject Lead for Drama

  • International Hockey Trip to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

    After a trip through central London and a bus sight-seeing of London’s most famous landmarks, USH students were able to experience watching elite sport in the UK’s newest and most expensive hockey arena last week. The students were lucky enough to see two world class international matches at the brand new pitch at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. They saw South Africa defeat Scotland 2-0 and then a phenomenal performance by England as they beat Wales 8-0.

    Between matches and at half time there was plenty of entertainment, educational stalls and chances for students to beat the keeper, play hockey and have a tour of a museum, then after the match they had the privilege of meeting the athletes and having tickets and souvenirs signed.

    Students got to see the London 2012 aquatics centre, copper box, viewing tower, the athletics stadium from the outside and to go into the velodrome to see cyclists practising where GB won so many medals only two summers ago. The students had an incredible day and were in awe of the fitness and skill displayed by the athletes and the stadiums in which they perform.

    Students were all impeccably well behaved and a credit to the school, and thanks to Mr Hadfield for driving through all the London traffic!

    Claire Sidney, PE department

  • PTA Ladies Night

    An entertaining night was had by all those who attended the Ladies Night on Thursday 10th July. Nearly £1000 was raised towards our minibus appeal with people enjoying the 'Worn Again Fashion Show' (modelled by parents and students), a fantastic raffle, bottle tombola and refreshments all organised by the PTA.  In addition, the ladies could enjoy a spot of retail therapy with some lovely crafts, jewellery, bags and cards on sale. There was also an opportunity to try various pampering experiences from reflexology to facials, and from nail art to vintage hair styling!

    The PTA are getting closer to reaching our goal of raising £5000 for a new minibus, and would like to thank all those who have already sent in donations. The 100Club launch has been delayed until the autumn term to allow new Year 7 parents to take part.

    Nicky Caveney, PTA Chair

  • Oli Bromby runs in the Schools International

    Oli Bromby (Year 11) competed in the English Schools Athletics Championships. He went into the 100m event as one of the favourites and made it safely through to the semi-final, which he won in a time of 10.78 to progress to the final.   

    In the final, four of the boys all qualified with similar times so it was tough to predict who would win the race.  At the gun Oli stormed out of the blocks and, having the race under control, he stayed in front and won with a time of 10.68. Taking into account a head wind of 1.2, this equalled his personal best and now he has been selected to run for England at the Schools International match in Cardiff.

    We wish Oli every success.

  • Jessica is off to the Royal London Show again!

    Jessica Harrison, Year 8, is enjoying more success in the equestrian world this summer.  Jessica has a new pony and despite only buying Priestwood Pipet in early April, already the two of them have achieved six qualifications in various classes at different shows to win a place at the prestigious Royal London Show, which Jessica took part in last year with her previous pony, Hollie.

    Jessica and Priestwood Pipet have also gained five qualifications with the South West Pony Association and four for the Sunshine Tour, so they are enjoying a very successful show season.

    Well done, Jessica, and very best wishes to you for the Royal London!

  • Isabella Swims for the South East

    Year 7 student, Isabella Fraser-Corbridge, recently swam in the 2014 ASA South East Region Age Group Championships.  The South East is one of eight regions in the country covering Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, the Channel Islands, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Sussex and parts of Surrey and Kent. 

    Isabella achieved personal bests and top eight positions in all seven of her races!  She put in especially memorable performances in both the Individual Medley races, finishing 4th in the 200m in a time of 2.44, and achieving a ten second personal best in the 400m to come 6th in a time of 5.54.  Isabella also came within two seconds of the 11/12 year old National Qualifying Time in the 100m backstroke.

    Overall Isabella finished 7th in the BAGCAT out of fifty-eight swimmers in her age group, securing her place with some of the top swimmers in the region.

    Congratulations, Isabella, on your success.

  • Year 10 Book Group take part in Carnegie Shadowing

    For the past three months the Year 10 Book Group, which meets in the Library on Thursday lunchtimes, has been taking part in the national Carnegie shadowing scheme. The Carnegie Medal is probably the most prestigious of all the awards given to young people’s fiction, and is awarded annually by CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals). Book Groups across the country are invited to take part in the shadowing scheme, which involves them reading and discussing the shortlisted books (eight titles in total) and voting on their overall favourite – in effect, shadowing the judging process.

    The winner of the award has just been announced and this year it is 'Bunker Diary' by Kevin Brooks, a hard-hitting story about a sixteen year old boy, Linus Weems, who wakes up in a low-ceilinged rectangular building made entirely of whitewashed concrete, with no windows and no doors. The favourite of the Shadowing groups was a different book, 'All The Truth That’s In Me' by Julie Berry, a powerful and beautifully written book about a seventeen year old girl, Judith, who returns to her community after two years missing, her tongue cut out and her best friend dead.  She cannot speak, so instead silently pours out her thoughts and feelings to the love of her life, her childhood friend, Lucas.

    The USH Year 10 Book Group maintained their own page on the Carnegie Shadowing website, uploading reviews, blogging and voting for their favourites. You can view this page at scroll down to Upper Shirley High Ten by Ten.

    This is what some of the Book Group members said:
    Euan Davies: “I read 'The Wall' by William Sutcliffe and found it so gripping I couldn’t put it down.”
    Maisie Parsons and Cassia Nutting: “Carnegie shadowing has made us read books that we might not otherwise have picked up, but which have turned out to be really good reads. It is wonderful to have a set of eight quality books already chosen for us to read. After reading and enjoying our first book, we were all encouraged to read the others as we realised the potential.”

    All the shortlisted titles are well worth a read and can be borrowed from the School Library.

    Rosina Mount, Senior Librarian and Carnegie Shadowing Group Leader

  • DofE Expeditions

    Year 9 students have started their practice expeditions where all the hard work they have put in over this academic year will be put to the test. The students have separated into smaller groups of four to seven and each group will set off from the start point with everything they will need for an overnight stay at Tile Barn campsite.  This will be the first time the students have had to carry all the kit while navigating their way through the New Forest!

    All groups have done the emergency procedures training and will have contact details with them in case they need to contact a member of the staff during the expedition.

    Jenny Murphy, DofE Coordinator

  • M2's World Cup Sweepstake Raises Money for Charity

    Year 8s in M2 decided to raise money for charity, and have some fun with the World Cup!

    All Mariners tutor groups have a change jar in their tutor bases to raise money for the chosen house charity, the Royal British Legion.

    Ethan Kimber, Finley Forder, Stanely Blunt, Leo Gale and Charlie Carter-Banks asked to run a World Cup sweepstake to encourage fellow tutees to donate to the charity. They organised the sweepstake and asked tutees to donate at least 25p in order to select a team.  The prize pot, a box of Celebrations, was donated by their tutor, Miss O’Sullivan.

    The sweepstake has been a talking point for the tutor group and the Year 8s have been updating their wall chart after every game. So far the tutor group has raised over £10 for their charity. Well done boys for being so charity minded!

  • Farewells from Staff

    This year completes my thirtieth year of teaching at Bellemoor School and Upper Shirley High; a suitable landmark, I feel, to begin a period of semi-retirement. I could not leave you without wishing to thank all past and present students, parents, staff and governors for your support over these many years. It has only been possible to make such progress for our school by working closely together. My decision to live and work within the community has meant that a great number of entire families are known to me. You have played a large part in my life and it has been a privilege to be a part of yours; thank you all. I shall still see you around - so say hello!
    Stephen Laybourne, Science department

    It has been a privilege to be part of the USH success story.  The school is so different now to what it was eight years ago. There has always been a family feel to the school and our PTA work tirelessly to support this. Our students have been lucky to experience the diverse environment and range of activities, from International Day to the USH Village Show to all the trips aboard - and how can I forget the memorable talent shows?  I have enjoyed working with the most fantastic and talented staff and, of course, our outstanding students. It has been a difficult and heart wrenching decision; however it is now time to say goodbye.
    Mindo Virk, EAL Coordinator

    Retirement now has become a reality. In a few days, a lifelong career in teaching will cease and exciting opportunities for travel, new interests and family will beckon. I will miss my friends and colleagues at USH and I would like to thank all of you for your constant support throughout my seven years here. My heartfelt thanks go to the English department - past and present - for their unstinting support and hard work. Last but not least - the students. Will I miss you?  Yes of course I will and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you happy and fulfilling lives.
    Rosemary Hough, Subject Leader English department

    I joined Upper Shirley High in July 2007 when it was still Bellemoor Boys School and I was a newly qualified teacher of Religious Education.  My University tutor and a local parent recommended it highly and what an incredible journey it has been!  I am so glad I took their advice. As a keen traveller with a love of different cultures, highlights for me include my international experiences (made possible through the school): trips to France, Kenya, Poland and Chicago - seeing the world through the eyes of our students.

    I have also loved being part of the transformation of Upper Shirley High into the local school of choice and seeing it at the heart of the local community. However, the real highlights of my time here are the things that happen every day in the classroom, the interactions with students and as a teacher of RE, Humanities, and Psychology, the immense privilege of seeing young people developing their views on the world they live in and the issues it faces.
    It is time for me to move on and take on a new challenge with education but I cannot thank the school enough for all the opportunities, both professionally and personally, that it has afforded me, the amazing staff team that I work with and most of all, the incredible students who make every day different and no work day ever boring.
    Sian Roberts, RS, Head of Year 11

    After six years at Upper Shirley High it is time for me to move on to work at Kings’ School in Winchester.  I would like to thank many valued colleagues for their support and friendship throughout my time at USH.  I am constantly inspired and motivated by the amazing and talented students that I have the privilege of teaching.  I will miss you all and I wish every one of you lots of success and happiness for the future. 
    Kerry Harman, Science department

    The end of full-time work and a step towards retirement is a significant milestone that offers up new and exciting opportunities. Having relocated to Hampshire and left my previous, long held post as a head of Maths in Suffolk, I have spent the last four years of my career at USH where I have worked with some fantastic colleagues.  I am moving to become the Maths Coach at Toynbee School in Chandlers Ford where I will be working with small groups of students for two days a week. It is a new role and one I am looking forward to.  As for the rest of the week, I will be spending lots more time with my delightful grandsons!
    Diane Pugh, Maths department

    Three and a half years seems to have gone in a blink of an eye!  The day before I had my interview at USH my youngest daughter, Anna, was born and the prospect of a job interview after being awake all night filled me with dread.  Anna will turn four in October and when I think about my departure from USH I can’t help but think how much has changed since then. 

    I will leave with very fond memories of both the staff and the students, who I can honestly say are the best group of students that I have had the pleasure of teaching in my fourteen year career.  Some of my highlights would include going on the day trip to Boulogne, only to leave my car parked on Bellemoor Road, totally unlocked, with the windows down and house keys on display!  I think it is fair to say that Mrs Parsons (who some of you may well remember) wasn’t too impressed.  You may want to ask Mr Perry about this as he is the one who had to take a call from Mrs Parsons whilst we were on the ferry! 

    Of course, visiting Berlin in 2012 with Miss Simpson, Miss Eyre and Mr Champney and the most incredible group of Year 11 students will also be happily remembered, as will having the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau with Miss Roberts last summer. 

    I would also like to thank Mrs Cookson for being the ‘face of Upper Shirley High’; you've certainly made me smile each day!  Finally, I would like to thank and wish good luck to the incredible team of teachers that I have been lucky to work with in the Humanities Department.  I can only hope that my colleagues of the future are as dedicated and committed to enhancing the lives of our youngsters through the teaching of the Humanities subjects as they have been.  Have a happy and restful summer.
    Grant Parsons, Head of Humanities

  • Applying for Free School Meals (Eligibility Checking)

    This is to let you know that you can now apply online for free school meals for your child.  Here is web address for the application:

    However, if you prefer you can still complete a paper application and hand it into the school. We can then apply via the web form on your behalf, and let you know the result.

    Applying for free school meals not only gives your child the opportunity to have a meal but the Government also gives the school additional money to help with your child’s education.  In the new financial year this has been increased and it is therefore to your child’s advantage that you apply for free school meals even if your child doesn’t actually take up the offer of a meal.

  • Dates for your Diaries

    Dates to note:
    Tuesday 22nd July – 7pm, Parent Action Group social/wrap-up
    Wednesday 23rd July - School breaks up for Summer holidays
    Tuesday 2nd September – Inset day
    Wednesday 3rd September – 8.30am new Year 7 start; 9.50am Year 11 return to school
    Thursday 4th September –  8.50am Year 8 return; 9.50am Year 9 return; 11.05am Year 10 return
    Saturday 27th September – Open Morning

  • 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