USH Newsletter

15th May 2015

  • Introduction

    Dear Parents

    You will be receiving a letter shortly which will outline details of our Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 internal exams in English, Maths and Science which are scheduled after half-term.

    These exams will give students opportunity to experience test conditions and are designed to improve understanding of formal testing.

    I have tasked senior staff and subject leads to tailor the exams so they are appropriate to each year and ability group, and to ensure we make the process as accessible as possible; this is very important.

    The results of these exams will inform staff of how best to support your son/daughter as they continue their studies; we know that working memory is becoming increasingly important and revising the right things will provide useful practice.

    I thank you in advance for supporting the exam process at USH.

    This week, I have had the great pleasure of talking with Year 11 students who are feeling happy and confident in their exam performance; rightly so.  As I have said to them…all the hard work will be worth it.

    Year 11 Briefing 

    Half Term Revision Sessions will take place from Tuesday 26th May to Friday 29th.

    Students should look out for their personalised revision times in the letter which will be sent .  It is expected that students attend their nominated sessions to further support them in realising their target grades.  These sessions will focus on examination strategies and high frequency examination topics.

    As the exams progress, students will be completing courses for a number of subjects.  To this end, we will be reducing the timetables for Year 11 as of Monday 8th June.  From this point on, students will only be required to attend the lessons and seminars that they are yet to complete the course for.

    Leavers Assembly
    On Monday 15th June at 2pm we will hold our leavers assembly for Year 11.  The expectation is that all students attend in full school uniform.  Historically this has been very well received by previous year groups as it is an opportunity for us to celebrate their time here at USH.  It will give the year group the opportunity to sign shirts (please bring a spare shirt with you) and reminisce over the last five years.  Special awards are being prepared by Mr Hall and staff.

    Results Day
    Results will be available to collect from the school hall on Thursday 20th August from 10am onwards.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Hall, Head of Year 11.

    We all wish Year 11 the very best of luck over the coming weeks and look forward to celebrating their successes.

    Stuart Woods, Headteacher

    I would like to congratulate the Year 11 students on the very positive start they have made to the exam season.  Their behaviour, attitude and application in the first exams were exemplary. The standard has been set and I hope that this positivity continues through the coming weeks.  It goes without saying that everyone at USH wishes our Year 11s the very best of luck.

    Prom 2015
    Letters will be sent home during the week outlining how much is owed for this year’s Prom ticket based on any discounts that may have been earned over the past term.  I’m pleased to say that 80 students out of 118 attending the Prom did reach the threshold for receiving either 75%, 50% or 25% on their Prom ticket.  All outstanding monies should be paid to the finance office or via the online payment system by June 17th.

    Prom is on Thursday 25th June at the Ageas Bowl in West End.

    Kieron Hall, Year 11 Leader

  • Homework Club

    USH is pleased to introduce Homework Club which started on Monday 11th May.  This is an opportunity for all students to use the Library to complete their homework with the guidance of a member of staff and have access to ICT, book and graphic resources.  In the true sense of ‘club’ attendance is voluntary, a register will be kept and regular attendance will be rewarded. The club is being offered to give students a quiet place to work outside of school hours, enable students to separate work from play and to promote independent learning habits.

    Homework Club runs from 2.40-4pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Students can arrive and leave at any point within this time slot.  There will be basic equipment and resources available and usual Library rules will apply.  The expectation is that students bring the homework task and any specialist resources along to the club and they will be encouraged to work with their peers to deepen their understanding of the task which has been set.

    Please encourage your child to attend and thank you for your support. 

    Richard Corser, Assistant Head, and Kate Westley, Lead Cover Supervisor

  • History Club: Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War

    USH students recently volunteered to support the Maritime Archaeological Trust’s 'Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War' project.  The project is part of the government funded research and commemoration of the war during the centenary and provides much needed balance to what we think we know about the First World War.  All students are aware of the horrors of trench warfare but the significant war going on at sea with considerable loss of life, especially in Southampton, is often overlooked.  By participating in this project USH students were able to work with and become experts researching an important and neglected part of our local history.

    Before students could begin their volunteer research for the Maritime Archaeological Trust they needed to be introduced to maritime archaeology.  This involved them working with Jasmine Noble-Shelley and Helen Wallbridge from the Trust to find out what they do. Students had a lot of fun trying on SCUBA gear and learning how this enables maritime archaeologists to work under water, and operating Mini ROVs and Mini Airlifts to see how these are employed in Maritime Archaeology!  They were also able to handle real archaeological artefacts and find out how these findings are recorded.

    For the next two sessions students were introduced to Research Officer, Stephen Fisher.  Stephen showed students how to access online research and archives, and what we can use the information to tell us about the war at sea and shipwrecks off the south coast.  Students then chose a forgotten ship wreck and applied their new research skills to identify as much as possible about the ship, its crew and what happened to it during the war.  They threw themselves into this challenge with great enthusiasm and I was really impressed to find out that they had carried out further research at home.

    In the final session, students had the opportunity to present their research to Jasmine and Stephen. They did a brilliant job and were able to talk with great confidence and expertise about their chosen shipwrecks; including Ami Nicholls who informed the group about a hospital ship, HMHS Anglia, which she found had struck a mine and sank in fifteen minutes returning from Calais to Dover in 1915 carrying 390 injured officers and soldiers, and Ben Naylor and Allan Pope who told us about the German submarine U-103 and how it was rammed and sunk by the armed merchant RMS Olympic in the English Channel on the 12th May 1918.

    Overall, it was a thoroughly successful project and I would like to congratulate the students who gave up their time to get involved; they should be very proud of what they achieved!  They  learnt a lot about maritime archaeology, the First World War and historical research and their findings have contributed to an important local/national project within the community.

    Jasmine and Stephen commented how impressed they were with the enthusiasm and dedication shown by our students and by the quality of their presentations.  I would like to thank the team at the Maritime Archaeological Trust and our amazing students:  Andrew Carr, Harry Price, Thomas Groves, Ami Nicholls, Allan Pope, Ben Naylor, Alicya Wyse and Katherine Brocklesby.

    Stuart Farley, Subject Leader for History

  • Year 9 take part in ‘Words for Work’ Literacy Initiative

    During the spring term, targeted students from Year 9 took part in a literacy programme called ‘Words for Work’, gaining a valuable insight into the world of work. These students were selected to work with local law firm, Eric Robinson Solicitors, for six weeks to enable them to develop their language and communication skills for the workplace.

    The challenge culminated in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style finale where each individual group of students had to present to members of Eric Robinson staff and they then had to choose which product they would most like to invest in, based on the quality of the pitches given. As a reward for all of their hard work during the project, the students were then invited to present at the Eric Robinson offices in Southampton to the firm’s partners, enjoyed a tour around and were awarded with souvenirs to take away with them.

    Well done all!

    Sophie Dunne, English Teacher

  • City College Photography Day

    On Monday 11th May sixteen Year 10 GCSE Photography students went to City College to have a taster of using a wide range of photographic equipment.  They had great success in the darkroom and the work they created will be exhibited at City College in the next few weeks.  Making use of the photography studios at City College the students also took photographs that created mood through lighting.

    Helen Cadle, Art department

  • News from Geography Department

    Over the last three months I have been working within the Geography Department as part of the University of Southampton’s undergraduate ambassador scheme. The main purpose of the ambassador scheme is to design and deliver a special project of some description. I therefore created and presented a three-part workshop series for Year 11 students focusing on Ordnance Survey map skills, in particular map symbols, grid references and measuring distance. I was mesmerised by the intelligence and enthusiasm of the Year 11s within the workshops and believe that they will do really well in their upcoming GCSE Geography exams.

    As well as running the workshops I was also fortunate enough to observe and assist other year groups in their Geography lessons whereby I was able to revise my knowledge of globalisation, tourism and sustainability. It was amazing to see that the next generation of geographers are inquisitive and critical of the subject and I’m sure that the younger students at Upper Shirley High School will follow in the footsteps of the current Year 11s and achieve great things.

    I would like to thank all staff and students at Upper Shirley High School for your hospitality and wish the best of luck to Year 11 with their upcoming GCSE exams.

    Luke Thurlow, Southampton University Undergraduate Ambassador

  • DofE Expedition

    The Year 9 DofE students spent a weekend at Foxlease campsite taking part in their first training weekend. They arrived at the campsite on the Friday evening where they immediately started to set up their tents and prepare and cook their evening meal. The students seem to enjoy all aspects of the training, including washing up dishes and packing up the campsite the next day!  During the evening they set about planning their routes and filling in route cards before playing Frisbee and other games.

    Every Friday after school the Year 9 students have been learning how to read maps, take bearings, use a compass, cook and set up tents so it was nice to see them putting these skills into practice!  Adults accompanied the students on their walk and though some students started off a little unsure they soon gained confidence and showed some real skill for navigation and group leadership. We will continue with the Friday after school training to further enhance the students’ navigation and compass reading skills, as well as work on some first aid training. Students will now be planning for their practise weekend which they must complete as part of the DofE award. The adults will arrange to meet up with them at various points on the route but will not accompany them throughout the entire walk as they did with the training weekend.

    The volunteering, physical and skills sections are organised by the students themselves, although if they need advice we are always here to help, or they can go to the DofE Award official website.  Many of the students may well be able to use something they are already doing for some of the sections and will not necessarily need to find time to commit to anything else unless they wish to. 
    Students will be given their Duke of Edinburgh welcome packs during a training session on eDofE; this will involve how to fill in and complete the welcome page and the cover pages for each of the sections.  When we run the training session on the eDofE it is advisable that students know what they plan to do for each of the different sections. Any queries regarding the DofE can be directed to me in the general office.

    Jenny Murphy, DofE Coordinator

  • Congratulations!

    Congratulations to the eighty-seven Year 8 students who have been recognised by subject leaders for having an exceptional attitude and exceeding their progress targets in their lessons. 

    Congratulatory notes will be found in the envelope with the student's report.  As a school we are very proud of the enthusiasm and effort that these students have shown.

  • Rounders Results

    The U13 and U15 started the rounders season off last week with games at Redbridge. It was a very windy and cold day which made it very hard to play!

    The U13 team lost to St George 6-3½ and beat Redbridge 6½ -3.

    On Tuesday this week the U13 team lost narrowly to Regents Park by 4 to 3 ½.

    The U15 team beat Regents Park by 10 to 2½ and Chamberlayne Park by 9 to 3½.

    Claire Marks and Claire Sidney, PE department

  • Paris 15th/18th October 2015

    A reminder that the next instalment of £80 was due on Friday 15th May.  If there are any issues with this, please contact me with a matter of urgency as you risk losing any monies paid until now.

    We plan to hold an Information Evening on Thursday  11th June from 6-7pm to tell you all about the itinerary, what to bring, money and passports.  A letter will come home with your son or daughter in due course confirming the date and time and what you need to bring to the meeting.  We will be requesting passport information.  You have two options:

    1.  If your son or daughter has their own valid passport, please bring this along for us to make a photocopy.

    2.  If your son or daughter does not have a valid passport, you can travel on a collective passport which we will apply for prior to the summer holidays.  For this, we will need two recent passport photos.  You will be asked to fill in a nationality questionnaire at the meeting.

    We will also be asking for any food or medical requirements.

    We look forward to seeing you all there.

  • Dates for Your Diaries

    Weeks commencing 1st and 8th June: Years 7-10 internal school exams in English, Maths and Science
    Tuesday 23rd June, GCSE Art Exhibition
    Tuesday 23rd June, 3.00-5.30pm - Skoolkit in school to sell uniform to existing students
    Thursday 25th June, 6.30pm – Year 11 Prom at the Ageas Bowl
    Wednesday 1st, Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd July, 7.00pm - 'We Will Rock You', school production at The Point Eastleigh
    Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd July – Year 6 induction days
    Monday 13th July – Work experience starts for Year 10
    Wednesday 22nd July – last day of term; school breaks up for summer holidays.

    Dates of parents’ evenings:
    Thursday 18th June – 4.00-7.30pm Year 7 parents’ evening 2
    Tuesday 30th June – New intake parents’ induction evening

    Dates for Autumn Term 2015
    Tuesday 1st September – Inset day
    Wednesday 2nd September – Year 11 and Year 7 return to school
    Thursday 3rd September – Years 8, 9 and 10 return to school