USH Newsletter

21st November 2014

  • Introduction

    Remembrance Day was respectfully observed at USH on Tuesday 11th November at 11am. The front lawn was awash with red poppies created by students.  For the first time at USH grandparents attended the event, followed by their grandchild showing them around the school and joining them for refreshments in the pavilions.  I would like to thank the numerous grandparents for taking the time to write in expressing their thanks and enjoyment of the morning.  I would also like to thank Jo Laybourne for organising the event, Joshua King for his excellent rendition of ‘The Last Post’ and Lizzie Laybourne for her reading.

    Dave Wilding, Assistant Head

    Supporting our Local Community
    You may have heard about the gas explosion in Shirley on local and national news, which sadly destroyed a house as a father and daughter slept.  Miraculously no-one was seriously hurt in the accident. The young girl involved, Bella Sabanal, is a student at Wordsworth Primary School which is part of our Multi-Academy Trust.  As a result of this we are opening a collection at USH; if you would like contribute towards supporting the family, donations can be left at reception. Thank you.

    There is also a collection in the community: donations can be sent to

  • Remembrance at USH

    To commemorate Remembrance Day the students of Upper Shirley High School created a Field of Remembrance.  Each of the 2368 poppies was dedicated to a soldier from Southampton who died in the First World War.

    “It has been a tremendous project and everyone in the school community has been involved,” said Jo Laybourne, a teacher at the school.  “Last week my daughter, Lizzie, and I were privileged to attend a ceremony when the Queen opened a new National Memorial Garden in London.” 

    On Remembrance Day Jo and Lizzie again went to London to take part in Remembrance events where Lizzie read John McRae’s poem, ‘In Flanders Field’, in a ceremony attended by hundreds of people at the Guards Museum in Birdcage Walk.  “It has been a tremendous honour to be asked to take part in these events.  We were one of seventy British and Belgian schools involved in a project to promote the meaning of Remembrance for future generations and I was chosen to represent all the British school children in reading the poem.  We also laid a wreath on behalf of the school and individual remembrance crosses in the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey,” said Lizzie.

    Grandparents were invited to take part in the two minutes’ silence at the school and Joshua King played the Last Post which could be clearly heard throughout the local community.

  • Year 7 Map Skills Field Trip

    This term in Geography Year 7 have been studying map skills.  To put all of their hard work and knowledge into practice we organised a local field trip to Southampton Common.  The trip was run on three separate days, allowing all Year 7 students to enjoy the experience. 

    All students were equipped with an Ordnance Survey map and a research booklet, which they used to answer questions along the route.  Our journey started at school and along the way students used their maps to work out directions, distances and heights, showing some great initiative.  The Year 7s demonstrated strong field sketching skills and produced some excellent sketches.

    Despite some rainy weather, the trip was a huge success and the students were in great spirits.  They showed an enthusiasm and keenness to participate which was a joy to see! 

     “The trip was really good fun and I learnt a lot about the surrounding area and had a chance to get to know and work with people that I hadn’t before,” said Lucy Wickens and Kirsty Wakefield commented, “I learnt how to read six figure grid references in the real world, which was very useful. It was great to practise skills outside of the classroom and I would definitely recommend the trip for next year.”

    The selection of photos illustrates the success of the trip and smiles all around!

    Dani Caudwell, Geography PGCE student

  • Lewis' Photograph is Published!

    Congratulations to Year 10 student, Lewis Jewell, whose lovely photography of roses was chosen by the Daily Echo for their daily 'Caught on Camera'.

    Lewis only started his photography hobby fairly recently, but he already has work experience and a possible Saturday job lined up with a local photographer.  He said, "I am studying Photography for my GCSEs and I hope to pursue this as a career.  I saw the roses laid on a memorial at the Play Park at Southampton Sports Centre and thought they would make a lovely photograph."

    We all wish Lewis every success in the future.

  • Cake Sale for Children in Need

    Although staff training days are pretty hectic, we decided that having one so close to Friday 14th and the official Children In Need fundraiser was an opportunity for a cake sale that we just couldn’t miss.

    Staff baked and bought a huge variety of cakes which were eagerly consumed.  We were delighted to be able to raise in the region of £100 for this important charity.

    With many thanks to all who contributed.

    Marie Connolly and Kate Cronan

  • Year 11 Updates

    Busy Time for Year 11!
    Wednesday 12th November saw the return of Elevate Education to deliver the second of a series of seminars designed to give Year 11 students the tools to succeed in the build up to the summer exams.  Ross Jennings was again the seminar leader and he got the students considering how to organise their time when thinking about the build-up and in particular the revision process. Time management, avoiding procrastination and planning how and when to revise were the key topics of the seminar, and the students left with a greater understanding of how to revise and how to ensure that the demands of the exam period can be managed effectively.

    As a follow up to this, Elevate ran our parent seminar the following evening and offered handy tips on how parents can support their son/daughter through what can be a testing time for all. This session was a hugely positive occasion and it was great to see so many parents in attendance.

    Mock Exams, Thursday 20th November – Friday 5th December
    The mock exams began with Art on Thursday and Friday of this week and will continue over the next two weeks.  Please note that the exam timetable can be viewed on the exams section of our school website  All students should have a copy of this; if not they can be collected from the general office.

    We wish all of our Year 11 students the best of luck with these exams and look forward to giving out a fantastic set of results before the end of term.

    Period 6 Sessions
    Period 6 sessions for Year 11 are now running in all subjects from 2.40-3.40. Students have been made aware of this and are expected to attend subject sessions if directed by their teacher. We encourage all students to participate in period 6 as those who attend regularly do make greater progress than those who do not. Please see above the period 6 timetable for this year.

    Links to GCSE Syllabus for Year 11
    We are taking measures to provide parents with all relevant subject information linked to each GCSE subject.  There will soon be a document on the school website which provides a link to the syllabus requirements for all courses where there is an exam element to it. There are also useful website details for all subjects to further support the work that can be completed by students at home. This document will be located in the exams section of the USH site.  We anticipate that this will be available to access by the end of this week.

    Kieron Hall, Head of Year 11

  • Sporting Success in Hampshire for USH!

    On 6th November I had the pleasure of attending ‘A celebration of Sporting Success in Hampshire’ in Winchester where the following students received awards against the best schools and athletes in Hampshire.

    The Michael Austin Harlick Outstanding Sportsperson Award 2014
    Brook Perry (Year 10): Rowing

    The citation for Brook was: “As County Champion Brook has become enthusiastic to achieve more. She trains three times a week and her club coach believes she has what it takes to go to the English Championships next year.”

    The Michael Austin Harlick Outstanding Sportsperson Award 2014
    Oliver Bromby (ex Year 11): Athletics

    Citation: “Oliver has had a brilliant season winning every competition he has entered.  He competed in the English Schools Championships 100m final with a time of 10.68seconds. This is a young man to look out for.”

    The Ken Butcher Cup 2014 nomination
    Upper Shirley High U13 Netball team

    This team have been unbeaten since the start of Year 7 and remain unbeaten halfway through Year 9. Although they did not receive the award and are unaware of their nomination, congratulations to Alice Orr, Olivia O’Mahony, Jazzy Berry, Kayleigh Betteridge, Georgia O’Dell, Beth McConnell, Flo Stone and Molly Robinson.

    It is a great achievement to be compared to Hampshire schools in this way, so well done to all the students involved.

    Claire Marks, PE department

  • Netball News

    At a very cold Sports Centre the U16 and U14 girls finished the league last night.

    U14s played against Bitterne Park and won 9-0.  They continued to play even though we had injured and ill players.  Well done girls; winners of the league and STILL unbeaten since Year 7!

    U16s had their last ever game last night in the play-offs. They had a great game against Sholing A who won 14-7. They drew in the 2nd half and were more competitive as the game went on.  The girls then played the Gregg School who won 4-0.  Thank you to Lara Hicks and Kelly Barlow who helped play and umpire due to player illness.

    The Year 7 team has been announced and is available to look at in the girls' changing rooms.

    Year 8 trials were held this week: team news to follow.

    Claire Marks, PE department

  • Minstead Study Centre - Residential Opportunity for Year 7s and 8s!

    We have a fantastic opportunity to take 24 Year 7/8 students to Minstead Study Centre in the New Forest at the end of January 2015 for 2 nights/3 days.

    The focus of the trip will be the environment with students learning about energy saving, recycling, bio-diversity and much more.

    We have been able to secure full funding for the trip so there will be no cost involved to take part.

    If you son/daughter is interested in going to Minstead Study Centre please ask them to speak to their tutor.  Letters with more information about the trip will be sent home for those who register their interest by Wednesday 26th November. 

    If you have any questions about the trip please contact Mrs Mawby at

  • DofE Expedition

    Most of our Year 10 students have now logged in to their eDofE accounts and are working on completing the different sections of their Bronze award.  Any student in Year 10 or 11 who has not yet logged in will need to see me in the general office.

    Students need to look at their eDofE account regularly or it will become inactive (although it can be reactivated on request).  Also, if students don’t sign into their accounts until they have completed all the sections, they may find one or more of the sections has expired as they need to have been done within the previous three months. 

    Our current Year 10 students should be working on completing the final touches to their PowerPoint presentation or their filming of their qualifying expedition.  They will be holding a presentation evening so that parents to see what they got up to while out in the New Forest and a letter will be sent out once the date has been set. 

    On 15th December we will be holding a Year 9 assembly to talk about the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Students already taking part will talk about their experiences and what to expect if taking part. 

    Students who wish to enrol in the DofE will need to collect letters for parents to complete and return, together with the enrolment fee. 

    Jenny Murphy, DofE Coordinator

  • Paris 2015

    The final payment was due last Friday, 21st November. Thank you to those of you who have paid the full amount already.

    We have had passport information from most students now – any outstanding, please get in touch as soon as possible.

    All students will need a valid EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) in case any medical treatment is required during the visit.  This can be found for free at the following link:  We will be asking for these in the new year.

    We will be holding a meeting in the new year.  The sheer scale of this trip means we have a number of logistical issues we’d like to make you aware of well before the visit itself and we will contact you with a date and time before Christmas.

    Any queries, please contact me on

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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 24th November to Friday 5th December – Year 11 Mock exams
    Wednesday 17th December – 6pm, Christmas Carol Concert, St James Church
    Thursday 18th December – Christmas lunch for students; school breaks up for Christmas holidays at 2.40pm
    Monday 5th January 2015 – school reopens for Spring Term

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

    Dates of parents’ evenings:
    Thursday 11th December – Year 10 Progress evening
    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 10th March – Year 7 parents’ evening 1 (*as a result of feedback USH has given an additional earlier opportunity for Year 7 parents to come and meet teachers)
    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 2
    Tuesday 30th June – New intake parents’ induction evening