USH Newsletter

13th February 2015

  • Introduction

    Dear parents and carers

    We find ourselves at the end of half-term having had a most productive six  weeks. Thank you for supporting our staff in their work; as a community we are making a collective difference to the lives of our children.

    I’m pleased the work of our recently re-launched Learning Council has been recognised by Central Government; well done all.

    This half term we say farewell to Nikki Swift (Inclusion Coordinator) and Niki Ryan (Assistant to the Senco): thank you for your service to USH.

    A welcome to new staff in this department will be featured in the next Newsletter.

    I wish everyone a safe and happy half-term holiday.

    Stuart Woods, Headteacher

  • We Made a Difference!

    Here at USH we pride ourselves on being able to listen to those who matter the most, the students!  Our newly elected Student Learning Leadership Council have been hard at work on many projects that will benefit the school, both for students, parents and staff.

    One project in particular has really made an impact and will hopefully be repeated in years to come!  Every year each department in the school creates a display board that is targeted towards a specific group of students.  Last year the challenge was to produce A* display boards which were aimed at encouraging pupils to be the best they can be; this year’s boards were aimed at B grade students and had a fantastic impact on pupils.

    It was important to ensure that each display board hit the mark and was up to the correct standard that we expect for our pupils, so the Learning Council took it upon themselves to scrutinise and judge the B-Boards, giving constructive feedback based on their own thoughts along the way. 

    We were so impressed by the feedback given and the professionalism shown by the Learning Council that the project was entered into the Government’s School Speaker Awards.  Unfortunately we didn’t win first prize but we did receive Government recognition and were awarded a ‘We Made a Difference Badge’ for the schools website.

    The school council are looking forward to creating more inspiring projects which will also make a difference in the future.

    Daniel Hughes, Teacher of ICT and Media

  • Safer Internet Day 2015 @ USH

    Tuesday was ‘Safer Internet Day 2015’ which promotes the safe and responsible use of online technology and mobile phones for children and young people. The theme this year was ‘Let’s create a better internet together’.

    During tutor time students took part in an activity spotting good and bad practice on a fictitious social networking profile. They were also given a booklet containing information and guidance on the whole manner of online e-Safety (Click here to download a copy now).

    Internet safety, or e-Safety, is the knowledge of maximizing the user’s personal safety and security risks to private information and property associated with using the internet, and the self-protection from computer crime in general.

    We are planning a long term e-Safety awareness campaign at USH with the aim of sharing knowledge, guidance and best practice ensuring a safer and better internet. We will be launching an e-Safety section on our school website which we will use as a platform to provide information, guidance, training, multimedia, activities and resources to the school and its wider community.

    We will introduce workshops and parents’ e-Safety sessions which will inform parents and carers about the benefits and risks of the virtual world showing how they can manage those risks.

    E-Safety is not just the responsibility of the IT Coordinator or ICT Subject leader. Keeping young people safe online should be part of everyone’s job. “E-Safety [should be] comprehensive and threaded though the school.” (Ofsted, Inspecting E-Safety)

    Watch this space!

  • Our New Mural

    On Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th February Street Artist My Dog Sighs visited the school to work with students and produce a large scale mural for the new building.  Students learnt how to spray stencils onto cardboard on Monday which was well received by all.  Many described the experience as “fun and something new”.  Josh Oliver described the experience as “inspiring beyond words, life changing and easy to learn”.

    After Monday’s workshop My Dog Sighs selected four successful students to join him on Tuesday to work on the large scale mural. Josh Doughty, Ryan Gray, Ben Wade and Leo Gale worked throughout the day to develop the final outcome, learning further skills such as spray tagging and stencil layering. The outcome is quite impressive: I hope you agree!

    Lucy Sanders, Art department

  • London Art Visit

    During January Year 9 and 10 art students went to London, visiting both the Tate Britain and Tate Modern.

    The two galleries gave students contrasting experiences and they were able to discuss art work by artists such as Kandinsky and Picasso.

    For some students this was their first visit to London; they were excited to see famous London landmarks and thoroughly enjoyed the day.

  • Year 10 News

    University of Southampton Year 10 Challenge – Infectious Diseases
    Eight schools took part and I am extremely pleased to announce that, for the second year running, Upper Shirley High won the Challenge and were nominated best group by their peers!

    Congratulations to the team:  Jack Baguley, Jordan Boota, Merriam Cabataje, Josh Conway, Katie Dixon,  Barnaby Dobbs,  Matty Harman, Mabelle House, Elena Genovese, Elliot Lea, Maisie Lennan, Angel Sumajit, Alex Symonds, Jenny Watson and Edward Whale.

    The students worked extremely well as a team; they  demonstrated excellent research, teamwork,  communication and  presentation skills.  Well done!

    Comments included:
    “I had the opportunity to work with people I would not normally work with.” (Edward Whale)
    “I learnt new research skills that will be very helpful in the future.” (Jordan Boota)
    “The Student Ambassador was very helpful and supportive.” (Angel Sumajit).

    Year 10 Mock Interview Week
    Whether applying for FE/HE or employment, an interview can be a daunting experience.  To help prepare our students for this process, a range of professionals from Capita have kindly given up their valuable time to carry out ‘mock’ interviews this week.

    Covering letters and CVs are critiqued and each student will receive feedback on their interview technique.  Platinum/Gold/Silver/Bronze Certificates will be issued accordingly. 

    Carey Anderson, Careers Adviser

  • We make good Pizza here at USH!

    I was delighted to receive the following letter and photos from a prospective parent.

    "Dear Mr Davies
    We met at the USH open morning last September when I sampled some of that fantastic pizza your students were making.  I followed the link you sent and eventually got round to trying out the recipe.  You said to send some photos. 

    The proof is in the eating of course and they were good – although not as good as I sampled at USH!

    Thanks again for the info. We eagerly await early March when we see if USH has a place for our son."

    Joseph Davies, Head of Food

  • Rocket Day

    Eleven Year 9 students visited Brookfield Community School and took part in the Ogden Trust Rocket day last week. Students spent time building and decorating their own rockets, watching the Starchaser Show and then got to launch their rockets on the school playing fields.  It was a fun and physics-inspiring day!

    Claire Hodgson, Science department

  • Well Done Postcards

    Congratulations to the eighty-nine Year 8 students who have been recognised by subject leaders for excellent attitude and exceptional progress made in their subject.  Individual recognition postcards were sent home with their reports.

  • Textile Club

    Year 8 textile students have just completed their first project of the year. They have combined art and textile techniques to create these beautiful bird paintings on canvas.  They first painted their design and then stitched over the top using the free machine technique.

    The next project is a fashion challenge; students will work in small groups to design and construct a paper prom dress.

    Mariella De Ruiter, Head of Art

  • USH TV

    USH TV has been very busy over the last few weeks, shooting a range of programmes around the school.  Will Hockley and Ben Naylor went along to rehearsals for the Carol Concert and shot a news report about the event.  Craig Ballard and Reuven Manore filmed a report about Joy Haizelden, a member of the GB Wheelchair Basketball squad, who has been using the school gym to practise her shooting and develop her fitness.

    USH TV has also been working hard on a series of films about the Habits of Mind.  Short films have been produced which encourage students to develop their ability to listen with empathy, think flexibly and apply knowledge in new situations.  During the rest of the year, production will continue until a film has been made about each of the Habits of Mind. 

    You can find all of these films on the USH TV website at  Students have also shot reports about an art project and the USH bake off, both of which should be coming to the website soon, so do check regularly for new films. 

    USH TV is open to students in all years; just come along to the new build after school on Wednesdays to get involved or speak to Mr Hind to find out more.

  • Well Played Alice!

    Congratulations to Alice Orr, Year 9, who has been selected to play hockey for the Hampshire U14 team.  Alice started playing hockey at the Southampton Club eighteen months ago following encouragement from Miss Sidney.  She became one of just a few girls in her age group to be nominated for the selection process which has taken five months of training and assessment.  Seventy-eight girls were nominated from all over Hampshire and Alice has been selected for the final squad of twenty-two.  She has also been a proud wearer of her USH hoodie!

    Well done Alice.

  • Year 7 Netball

    The Year 7s played netball against St George's on Tuesday at the sports centre.  They were losing 2-0 at half time and came back to a draw at 2-2 at full time.  A great team effort all round, well done everyone!

    Claire Marks, PE department

  • Come Along to the PTFA Hollywood Bollywood Quiz Night!

    The Parent Teacher and Friends Association (PTFA) would like to invite you to our annual quiz night on Friday March 13th at 7pm.  This year's theme is Hollywood Bollywood, and for just £7.50, you will enjoy a delicious curry meal from Sanjha's restaurant and take part in a fun quiz.  Costumes are optional (dress as a Bollywood or Hollywood character or an actor going to the Oscars); there will be a prize for the best dressed!

    Tickets will be on sale from the School Office immediately after half term, and must be purchased by Friday 6th March. You can either buy a table of 8, or individuals and groups of less than 8 will be joined to make up a full team.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    The PTFA

  • Sainbury’s Active Kids is back!!

    The USH PE department would like to ask for your help again.

    Last year we collected over 15,000 Active Kids vouchers which helped us buy plenty of new equipment. We are asking you to help us again this year please and donate any vouchers collected up until 5th May 2015.

    Students and parents can hand in vouchers at the collection box at front reception.  If possible we would love to beat last year’s total.  Thank you for your contributions!

    USH PE department

  • Recycled Christmas Cards

    The Eco Council would like to thank everyone who brought in cards (students, staff and parents).  As a result of your efforts 1050 cards were collected and recycled which will equate to a tree being planted by the Woodland Trust.

    Next Christmas we are aiming for 2 trees!

    Sam Mawby and the Eco Council

  • Used Postage Stamps

    I am collecting used postage stamps for the Royal National Institute of the Blind charity.  Please bring stamps into Reception. 

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

    Lesley Cookson, Receptionist

  • Communicating with USH when your Child is Unwell

    It is very important to inform the school if your child is going to be absent. 

    We have also installed 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. 

    Otherwise you can report any absence directly to the Attendance Officer, Alison Small, on 023 8052 2721.

    Thank you.

    Alison Small, Attendance Officer

  • 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

    Friday 13th March, 7pm in school hall – PTFA Quiz Night, Hollywood Bollywood theme
    Thursday 25th June, 6.30pm – Year 11 Prom at the Ageas Bowl

    Inset day/school closure date for this academic year:
    Friday 20th March
    Dates of parents’ evenings:
    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 8 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