USH Newsletter

3rd October 2014

  • Introduction

    Last Saturday USH welcomed Year 5 and 6 families to our 2014 Saturday Open Morning.  Many of our visitors commented on how impressed they were with our school, our staff and most importantly… our students.

    Visitors commented: "Your tour guides were amazing and an absolute credit to the school"…"Our visit was hugely positive and showed the school at its very best"…"I really want to come here, I love science!"  We welcomed nearly 500 families during the morning and we would like to thank the local community for your support; including our PTA.

    USH has been oversubscribed for the last three years and our intake spreads over thirteen feeder schools so please see our guidance on admissions for help with applying.

    In other news this week, I commend the behaviour of our students as they collectively displayed an exceptionally responsible and mature attitude during an extended fire drill this week.

    Phill Taylor, Deputy Head

  • Remembrance 2014: A Field of Poppies

    It is 100 years since the start of the First World War and there will be many local, national and international events commemorating Remembrance on and around 11th November.

    Last year, my daughter, Lizzie (then in Year 10), and I represented the school on November 11th at the Menin Gate in Belgium at a ceremony attended by the Duke of Edinburgh.  Lizzie read Laurence Binyon’s 'Ode to Remembrance' and laid a wreath on behalf of the school community.  This year we will be attending a similar ceremony in London on Remembrance Sunday. 

    On 11th November, at the front of the school, there will be a Field of Poppies, each one dedicated to a Southampton soldier or family member who lost their life in the First or Second World Wars. If you know of any relatives who you would like to be remembered please talk to your son or daughter so that they can inscribe a poppy for them. The poppies will be completed in tutor time over the next couple of weeks.

    We will also have a Remembrance Display at the front of the school in the weeks leading up to 11th November.  If you have any copies of photographs that you would like to contribute to the display please contact me at  Personal links and connections to the World Wars are becoming more and more distant, but they help to make Remembrance so meaningful to the younger generations.

    If students currently have fathers, uncles, brothers etc serving in the armed forces we would also like to include them in our display.

    Finally, if you know of any relatives who died in the First World War and would like a wooden cross to be laid in their memory, please contact me by email at the above address, with the soldier’s name, regiment and date of death so that I can arrange for the crosses to be inscribed.  We will lay them in London with a wreath on behalf of the school and their names will be added to the school’s Book of Remembrance.

    We will keep you informed of all the Remembrance events at Upper Shirley High School; there are many individual stories of soldiers linked to staff and students which we will share over the next few weeks.

    Jo Laybourne

  • Geography Fieldwork Trip to Lulworth Cove

    On Friday 19th September a group of 71 Year 11 Geographers headed off to Dorset to visit the Jurassic Coast and the World Heritage site of Lulworth Cove and Stair Hole.

    The students were conducting fieldwork as part of their GCSE course in order to answer their controlled assessment question, 'To what extent is geology the main influence on the distinctive landform features of your chosen coastal study area?'  Despite the heavens opening on the journey down, the sun shone for our visit and the students were able to conduct their research, collect data and have a picnic lunch on the beach.

    Students successfully worked in groups to carry out beach profiles and field sketches which they will analyse when back in the classroom and present as part of a 2,000 word written report which is worth 25% of their final GCSE grade.

    As teachers it was great to see students engaged in their tasks and asking lots of questions about the area. It was even better to hear "Wow!" when students saw first hand the impressive site of Stair Hole which they had previously only seen in photographs.

    It was a great trip and the students were a great credit to themselves and to the school.

    Victoria O'Sullivan, Geography department

  • Visit to the Boat Show

    On 18th September a group of students from Years 8 and 9 visited PSP Southampton Boat Show.  Each tutor group had a chance to nominate a tutee to represent them in this event. The main aim of the visit was for each house team to find out how the Boat Show relates to their house name (Aviators had the most difficult task, but they managed quite well!)  The students had an opportunity to learn from experts about  business, marketing and possible careers in the marine industry.  Rentokil was the most popular stand visited by our students: they could try dry insects, choosing from the Pestaurant Menu! Some of them were brave enough to take on the challenge!

    The following day a group of Key Stage 4 students had a very special tour around the Show, accompanied by a BBC Solent Radio reporter, with the goal of finding out the career paths in the marine industry. The students said it was a valued experience and they are sharing it with their fellow tutees. 

    Aggie Adamou, Maths/Community teacher

    Leon Longhurst, Year 8, wrote, "When I arrived at the Boat Show I thought 'Wow, this is amazing!'  I loved the fact that there were all sorts of vessels from jet skis to big boats.  It was a tremendous day to have out of school and I thought the layout of the boats was super cool."

    Lydia Nutting and Jude Carroll, Year 8 enjoyed their visit, "We were able to look around some of the really expensive boats moored at the pontoons, including one that was really cool and cost £700,000!  We were also able to pick up lots of leaflets from the promotional stands and we would like to visit the show again in the future."

    Jude added, "I might think about a career in the boating industry; I would certainly now like to go out sailing with my grandad as he has a yacht."

  • Amy's Monologue Published by Young Writers!

    Amy Oliver, Year 8, recently entered a fantastic 100 word monologue into Young Writers’ national writing competition, Mini Monologues.  Students write from the point of view of someone who inspires or intrigues them.  Amy’s monologue 'A Dead Person (From Paranorman)' has been chosen to be published in Mini Monologues - Southern Writers.

    Amy is very proud of her work!

    "A Dead Person (From Paranorman)

    One petrifying night, an ample cloud hovered over my dead but... still alive grave.  All I could hear was glass shattering; leading to my painful death.  My heart was thumping so hard that I couldn't hear a single sound until... a shadow approached!  I screamed louder than ever before, with my voice crumbling away.  Nobody knew what was coming next, resurrection was about to strike!  My eye twitched for the first time in 65 years.  After I peeled away many layers of dust from my old, scaly and party wrinkled face.  I noticed that my grave had suddenly lifted."

  • Science Workshops for Year 11

    Science workshops will run on Wednesdays period 6 and are open to all Year 11 students.

    Workshop dates for B1

    • 8th October
    • 15th October
    • 22nd October.

    Students' homework is to revise the B1 topic and come to the workshops prepared to ask questions, seek explanations and deepen their understanding of topics within B1 that they need additional help with.

    Hot drinks and a selection of cakes available each week!

  • Well Done to Year 7 Football Team

    Congratulations to the Year 7 football team who won their first match as USH players 4-1 against Mountbatten in the Hampshire Cup.  Goals were scored by Reece Kimber, Zack Williams, Ollie Lovell and Sam Bowan.

    The team continue their season this week with their first league game at home to Sholing. The early signs are for a successful season ahead!

    Kieron Hall, PE department

  • Macmillan Coffee Morning

    Staff baked, bought, ate and drank their way through a mountain of sweet treats at a lunchtime social on Friday, September 26th (and had a chance to guess the number of hundreds and thousands on a cake!) 
    Grateful thanks to all who took part for their generous donations – your support has enabled USH to send a cheque for £160 to Macmillan.

  • Careers News

    Year 9

    As part of the careers education programme and to help with the transition process from Year 9 to Year 10 we are planning a ‘Go To Work With A Parent (family member or friend) Day’ on Thursday, 11th December.  The aim of the day is to raise awareness of the world of work.  This opportunity will allow your son/daughter to gain valuable first-hand experience of the workplace, an important element of the careers programme which we are unable to offer in school.  Letters giving more detail will be issued shortly.

    Apprenticeship Information Event

    Thursday 16th October, 2.40-4.00pm in new build.   This event is primarily for Year 11 students planning or considering the apprenticeship route.  However students and parents from all year groups are invited to attend.

    The Solent Skills Festival
    Wednesday 22nd October 2014: 2:00pm to 6:00pm
    A FREE  Interactive World of Work Event For Parents, Carers and their son/daughter(s)

    Solent EBP invite you and your son/daughters(s) to join them from 2pm on Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at Southampton’s City Cruise Terminal, Berth 101, Herbert Walker Avenue, Western Docks, Southampton SO15 1AJ.

    This event is suitable for all secondary school students.

    The Festival introduces students and young people to many industry sectors, offering a range of professional, technical, and vocational opportunities.  You will be able to learn about careers, jobs, apprenticeships, roles available and the different skills needed.

    FREE REGISTRATION will be completed using EVENTBRITE
    To register your FREE attendance for the Festival go to:

    Please inform Mrs Anderson if you plan to attend this event.

  • Paris 2015

    26th to 29th March

    Letters have been available for all students to take home.  If you haven’t had one or need a replacement, these are available from room 21 at lunch or break, or can be sent via email.

    If there are any issues with payments or you have any concerns, please get in touch as soon as possible.

    If your child has a valid passport, they can travel on this.  We will ask for a photocopy before Christmas.  If your child does not have a passport, they can travel on a collective passport for which we will require two passport sized photos.  Please note however that children born outside of the UK will need to travel on their own passport – the collective passport is not an option.  More information will be sent out before Christmas.

    All children will need a valid European Health Insurance Card, available for free (do not pay for this service) at:

    Martin Perry,

  • Follow the Science Twitter Page!

    Science has a new Twitter page!  The page has been set up and updated by James Wareham and Kim Alipio (Year 11).  Any budding twitter users are welcome to help out with updating the page.  For more information see James, Kim or Miss Adams.

    The page has a featured scientist of the week. This week it is Marie Curie.

    It also has helpful revision links and tips, interesting science news and lots of new developments.

    Find us on Twitter@ScienceUSH

    Don’t forget to follow us!

    Miss Adams, James and Kim

  • Science Club

    Science had its first science club last week – and it was a ‘flying success!’  Students launched ping pong balls using trebuchets but it’s not clear who won the ping pong war as they were flying in all directions!

    We then launched eggs across the field using a giant catapult.  Students protected the eggs using a variety of items (but not all of the eggs were saved!)

  • Medical Appointments

    If your son/daughter needs to leave school during the day for a medical appointment, please contact our Attendance Officer, Alison Small, on telephone number 023 80522721 prior to the appointment.  For safeguarding reasons, students will not be allowed to leave the school site on their own if we only receive a note in their planner.

    Whenever possible, please make appointments outside of school hours.

  • 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

    Monday 6th October - ‘Invisible Difference’ workshop for Year 10
    Tuesday 7th October - ‘Invisible Difference’ workshop for Year 9
    Thursday 9th October - ‘Invisible Difference’ workshop for Year 8
    Friday 10th October - ‘Invisible Difference’ workshop for Year 7
    Thursday 16th October - Year 7 parents’ evening with tutors

    Inset day/school closure dates for this academic year:
    Monday 17th November 2014
    Friday 19th December
    Friday 23rd January 2015
    Friday 20th March

    Dates of parents’ evenings:
    Thursday 16th October - Year 7 parents’ evening with tutors
    Thursday 13th November – Year 11 Exams evening
    Tuesday 18th November – GCSE Presentation Evening for last year’s Year 11
    Thursday 11th December – Year 10 Progress evening
    Wednesday 17th December – 6pm, Christmas Carol Concert, St James Church
    Wednesday 21st January 2015 – 4.00-7.30pm Year 11 parents’ evening
    Thursday 29th January – 4.00-7.30pm Year 9 parents’ evening
    Thursday 12th February – Year 8 Options evening
    Tuesday 24th March – 4.00-7.30pm Year 8 parents’ evening (*please note change of date)
    Wednesday 1st April – Year 9 Options evening
    Thursday 23rd April – 4.00-7.30pm Year 10 parents’ evening
    Thursday 18th June – 4.00-7.30pm Year 7 parents’ evening
    Tuesday 30th June – New intake parents’ induction evening