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USH Newsletter 18th December 2014


Words fail the amount of pride resonating in the church when our students joined the community (including staff and ex-students) to sing an extract from The Messiah.  It has been in the planning for almost two years and was every bit worth waiting for….stunning!

Mr Griffiths, Matt, our PTA, staff and everyone who supported the event; thank you. What we experienced last night warrants queues around the block next year.  When I asked Year 11 if they’d like to come back next year, they replied….try stopping us!  Fantastic.

I enclose a picture of our student hosts (Liwia Klozyk, Ben Naylor, Ruby Conroy, Callum Watson, Ryan Higdon and Luke Halford) from the Year 10 tutors’ evening.  Thank you to all for helping out and I am glad you enjoyed the winter wonderland treat you were given on the night.

This term we say a heartfelt thank you to two of our cleaning staff: Mary Officer for her good service to USH, and Kathleen Eldridge who is retiring after many dedicated years of service.

It remains for me to wish you a safe and Merry Christmas on behalf of Upper Shirley High. Here’s to a great new year!

Stuart Woods, Headteacher

Year 7 Trip to the Snow Queen

On 9th December sixty-four Year 7 students attended the Christmas production of ‘The Snow Queen’ at the Nuffield Theatre.

This enchanting new version of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale was adapted by Georgia Pritchett and featured new songs, spectacular set designs and an enchantingly humorous retelling of this timeless story that melted our students’ hearts.

The story told of a Snow Queen who kidnaps a young boy named Kai.  His best friend, Gerda (a stumpy, grumpy and determined little girl), becomes the unlikely hero who sets out to rescue him.  On the way she found friends (different characters from some very well known fairy tales) who helped her discover the truth behind the mysterious Snow Queen and why she lives locked up in solitude in her Icy Palace.

The students who attended represented the school fantastically and seemed to enjoy the experience.  Year 7 students throughout the year will be working towards achieving their Bronze Arts award. This theatre trip will enable students to reflect upon their experiences through the writing and sharing of a review to complete part B: ‘Being an audience member’.

All in all it was a lovely way to start getting into the Christmas spirit.

I shall be running another Arts Award theatre trip in the New Year.

Jo Moroney, Subject Lead for Drama

Matthew Wellman, Gibril Jatta and Ajay Sahota (pictured) thoroughly enjoyed the production.  Gibril said, “It was very engaging.  Some bits made you have to imagine what happened next, but you did find out in the end.”  It was Matthew’s first visit to the Nuffield, “There were only eight actors so they all played several roles but it worked really well.”  Ajay commented, “You wanted to know what would happen next all the time.”

The boys explained that there are four parts to the Bronze Arts award: taking part in an activity such as dance or drama; being an audience member;  finding out and writing up about the arts (such as what inspired them to do part one) and skill sharing what they have learned with another student by giving them a review.  They would all like to go on to do their Silver Arts award.

Careers Day

Whole School Careers Day’ took place on Thursday, 11th December.  Year 7 took part in careers related sessions including ‘Meet the Professionals’ and Kudos; all students now have log-on details enabling them to use Kudos from home.

Kudos generates a personalised list of career ideas.  It does this by asking a series of ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ questions and which qualifications students are aspiring to.  It then produces a list of career suggestions based on those responses and information on each suggested career along with why it has been suggested.  A searchable A-Z list of careers is also provided.  Please encourage your son/daughter to use this program at home.
Year 8 worked on their ‘Dream Cloud’: the aim is to bring home some of the realities of working life.

Some Year 9 students spent the day shadowing an adult at work; comprehensive lists of skills and qualities required for the work were included on the student feed-back forms.  All the students reported how much they enjoyed their day. Thank you for organising this opportunity for your son/daughter.

Year 10 information sessions included sixth form and vocational colleges, apprenticeships, universities, interview skills and ‘Meet the Professionals’.

Year 11 students attended taster sessions at either Richard Taunton Sixth Form or City College.

If you would like to take part in our next careers day by talking to students about your career path or can provide details of who I can contact at your place of work please let me know.


Abigail's Amazing Musical Achievements

Abigail Caveney, Year 10, performed her own song, ‘Happy Holidays’, in the background of Southampton Airport’s Christmas holiday video.  You can hear Abigail’s song and see the video at the following link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGLNwilEzqM.

Abigail also recently attended a composer lab organised by the BBC:
“On the 13th of December I travelled up to London to the BBC Maida Vale Studios to attend a BBC Proms Inspire Composing Lab with two composers, Anna Meredith and Fraser Trainer. There were about thirty other children there ranging from the ages of 12-18 who all played different instruments. We were all taken through to a massive studio, which, in fact, Gareth Malone uses in all his choir programmes!

Throughout the day we had lots of workshops, composing in groups and individually. There were even about five professional musicians from the BBC Symphony Orchestra who played several pieces which was a privilege to hear!  We then composed an ostinato (base line) and a melody (main tune) in groups. When we put them together it sounded really impressive!

After that we were able to compose our own pieces using two of the instruments provided; I chose voice and violin. We only had an hour to write a piece which was performed by the professionals! My piece was a mellow song which I named ‘Dark Waters’.  Overall the experience was amazing and is definitely something I will remember!

Physics Day at St Anne's

Fifteen Year 9 students went on a physics day hosted by St Anne’s School.  Among many activities, students tested their acceleration when running and looked at their own arteries and livers using a medical ultrasound kit.  They also had the chance to dress up in a medical suit.

Here’s what Emma Mason thought of the day
Ogden Trust Year 9 Physics of Sport and Medicine Day (my thoughts):
We went from USH to St. Anne's School for the day for a science event.  It was very intriguing and fun and we did experiments for the day in groups; there were other schools who took part as well.  We were involved with various experiments on the day and my favourite was the wind tunnel.  In our group we had to put hats on and put our heads into a box which was a wind tunnel.  Smoke went through from one side at a high speed and you could see what happened when the smoke hit the hat at such a high speed.  We discovered that the most suitable hat in the wind would be the cycle helmet because of the smoothly curved shape it had, compared for example to the bobble hat.  In conclusion it was a really enjoyable day.  We were trusted with delicate ultrasound machines and sport equipment.  I would love to do this again!"

On 1st December Year 10 Photography and Year 9 Art students had the opportunity to visit the National Portrait Gallery in London.  They participated in a lecture and viewed two exhibitions: The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize and ‘Who are you?’ by Grayson Perry.  In addition they recorded their journey around the surrounding streets through photography.

• “On the London trip, I enjoyed walking around Trafalgar Square taking photos of all the festive things. I also enjoyed the first part at the National Portrait Gallery. I learnt that the most simple photos can be the most effective.” (Jordan Adams Year 10)
• “I really enjoyed this trip because it enabled me to explore how photography works and how photographers express themselves within their work.” (Megan Hare Year10)

Helen Cadle, teacher of Art and Photography

Visit to Kurt Jackson Art Exhibition

On Friday 5th December Year 10 Art students visited the Kurt Jackson exhibition at Southampton Art Gallery.  Kurt Jackson is a British painter whose large canvases reflect a concern with natural history, ecology and environmental issues.  The Year 10 art students will use his paintings as inspiration for their own work back in the classroom, looking at his use of colour, technique and context.

Mariella De Ruiter, Head of Art

USH Celebrate Indoor Rowing Success

On Thursday 11th December we took a team of eighteen students to the Hampshire Indoor Rowing Championships at Barton Peveril College in Eastleigh.  Many of the team were nervous about the challenge facing them but they performed with both good technique and determination to achieve some excellent results, with many of the team beating their personal bests.  Mr Hadfield would like to thank each of the team for representing the school with such pride.  The team consisted of Ethan Holmes, Harry Price, Maria Willsher, Olivia Norton, Oliver Young, Aidan Nicholls, Phoebe Hatton, Charlotte Browne, Seb Syzmula, Liam Biggs, Olivia O’Mahony, Ola Leszek, Lewis Jewell, Brook Perry, James Parker-Trott, Luke Biffin, Alice Wheatley and Grace Robinson.

A special mention to Brook Perry and James Parker Trott who were Hampshire Champions, winning gold medals.  Luke Biffin, Olivia O’Mahony  and Ethan Holmes won silver medals. They are all now invited to represent Hampshire at the National Championships held in London.  In addition Lewis Jewell and Seb Syzmula won bronze medals.

Peter Hadfield, Head of PE

Year 10 Girls Run Hollybrook After School Art Club

The Year 2 children at Hollybrook Infants would like to thank USH Year 10 students, Laurie Pugh, Ellie Lambeth and Kate Smith, for running their after school Art Club. These Year 10 girls have prepared and taught fifteen lucky Year 2 children a range of exciting art techniques and projects for the Autumn term.

Upper Shirley High is proud to have such dedicated students, giving up their time to pass on their art skills.

Helen Cadle, Art department

Paris 2015

We look forward to seeing you all at the Information Evening on Thursday, 8th January from 6-7pm in the school hall.

We will go through the proposed itinerary for the visit and some of the organisational aspects and there will be an opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

All students require an EHIC, available for free at: https://www.ehic.org.uk/Internet/startApplication.do
Please order this as soon as possible of you do not have one for your son or daughter. 

Ideally, we would collect these in at the information evening along with any medical or dietary issues there may be.

Mr Perry  Martin.Perry@ushschool.org

Collection for Southampton City Mission

 In the spirit of Christmas Upper Shirley High have been collecting food and clothing items for the Southampton City Mission.  Thank you to everybody who gave donations.  A delivery was made to the charity on Monday 15th December.  The charity has just set up a new warehouse and was in urgent need of donations.  Your kind giving was appreciated and will help people in poverty over the Christmas period and through to the New Year.  Jennifer from City Mission came to greet us and said she would like to thank everyone for making a big difference in helping the charity this Christmas.

If you would like to learn more about the charity or volunteer to help out please visit www.southamptoncitymission.co.uk.

Dates for Your Diaries

Monday 5th January 2015 – school reopens for Spring Term
Thursday 8th January – 6-7pm Paris trip information evening

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

Dates of parents’ evenings:
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