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USH Newsletter 16th October 2015

Message from Mr Woods

Dear Parents

It is with pleasure that I introduce this “bumper” edition of the Upper Shirley High School Newsletter.

I am always grateful to receive correspondence directly from students and this week the Upper Shirley High School Netball Team wrote to me in response to receiving their fantastic new kit.  The letter was so well written I have decided to include an excerpt for you to read:

“The teams continue to embody the USH values of teamwork and ambition, but with a new lease of life thanks to the new kit.  Most importantly the new kit has taught all the girls to leave behind their differences and work hard as a team and with respect for the game.  These uniforms mean we are one team not just a group of individuals, and now anyone and everyone will see this, including us.”

Kind regards

Stuart Woods

Grandparent Open Morning on Remembrance Day

On Wednesday 11th November we would like students to invite their Grandparents into school to give them the opportunity to join our Remembrance Day Commemoration, and have a tour of our School.

We know that many Grandparents play a very active role in the lives of many of our students, particularly supporting with childcare. We recognise that Grandparents don’t often get an opportunity to see their grandchild’s school. We opened our doors to Grandparents for the first time in 2014 and it was a fabulous (and moving) community event. We were also very touched by the letters of thanks received after the event.

On the day we would like Grandparents to arrive at 10.50am, so that they are ready to observe a one minute silence with staff and students at 11am. Following the commemoration, Grandparents will have the opportunity to have a look around our School enjoying a personalised tour from their grandchild. Tea and cake will be available at the end of tours and we will close our doors to visitors at 12.45pm.  We will be asking students for visitor numbers closer to the event so that we can make the necessary arrangements.

Please do encourage Grandparents to come along to this event.

Southampton Festival Of Words

Upper Shirley High is delighted to support Southampton Festival Of Words.  Please see the attached flyer for details.

There's a Buzz in the Library...2015!

Here at USH we have a strong reading culture and one of the many ways we encourage reading for pleasure is to give every Year 7 student the chance to choose their very own book to keep. The scheme is called Book Buzz and is partly funded by Book Trust and partly by the school. Students in Year 7 have been able to choose one of twelve books, which are titles selected by a panel of experts to reflect a variety of genres, styles and reading levels. There has been considerable excitement this week as the books arrived and were given out in Library Lessons. It gives us huge pleasure to give such a wonderful gift to each student and we hope that they really enjoy reading them.

This is what some of the students said of their choices:

Sophia Hetherton chose Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan, which she is already enjoying reading. She appreciated getting a free book, and said “I’m happy about BookBuzz because I read a lot at home”.

Callum Cook and Alfie Cranmer chose Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge and said that “BookBuzz is great and the school is really generous”.

Parenting Workshops

Please remember the forthcoming parenting workshops - the next one is on Tuesday 20th October.  Details of the session and how to book can be found by following the links below:

Session Two - Tuesday 20th October: Adolescent & Teenage Boys Development, 7.30-9.30pm www.ushadolescentboys.eventbrite.co.uk

Session Three - Tuesday 17th November: Adolescent & Teenage Girls Development, 7.30-9.30pm www.ushadolescentgirls.eventbrite.co.uk

Session Four - Monday 14th December: Managing Anger & Strong Emotions, 7.30-9.30pm www.ushmanaginganger.eventbrite.co.uk

GCSE Geography Fieldtrip to Barton on Sea

On Friday 18th September, 72 GCSE Geography students and 7 staff went to Barton on Sea to look at the coastal erosion and how it is managed through the different coastal defences. The forecast for the day didn’t look too promising, but thankfully we arrived to glorious sunshine.  As we got off the coach the views were amazing; we could see Old Harry Rocks to the west and in the distance, to the east, was the Isle of Wight.

The students worked in small groups to gather lots of data over the course of the day.  They did a number of activities including taking photographs, drawing field sketches and completing a cross section of the beach using ranging poles, a clinometer and tape measure.  The students also counted waves, measured the wind speed and carried out a groyne investigation to measure the amount of deposition on the west side of the groyne.

After the students finished their last investigations, the bad weather arrived, just as we walked back to the coach.  We were soaked through but thankfully it didn’t spoil the day and the students now have some excellent primary data which they are currently using to write their Controlled Assessment, which is worth 25% of their Geography GCSE.  They are drawing graphs, annotating photographs, analysing a variety of data to write a 2000 word report to answer the key question ‘How successful are coastal defences at Barton on Sea?’

Thank you very much to all the GCSE Geography students for your hard work in gathering some excellent data and to Mrs Laybourne, Mrs Fountain, Miss Simpson, Mr Hall, Mrs Rioch and Mrs Murphy for supporting the students throughout the day.

Mrs Hyslop, Subject Leader for Geography

Netballers looking professional at the National Schools Competition

Miss Marks took the Year 10 netball team to the National Schools Competition at Southampton Sports Centre where they played schools such as Portsmouth Grammar School, King Edward VI School and Bohunt School. Whilst winning was not the focus, the girls demonstrate tremendous pride, team spirit and determination during the day.  They were playing against Year 11 teams for match experience and I know that they will come back next year with even better results.  They never gave up and remained positive throughout the long day of netball.  It was unfortunate the Olivia O’Mahoney rolled her ankle in the last game and we hope that she makes a speedy recover. 

Mr Woods kindly bought the Netball Teams some new kit to wear for games; the girls looked the part, and wore their new kit with pride.  Kelly Barlow wrote a letter on behalf of the teams thanking him for the kit which was gratefully received.

The following girls deserve special mention: Beth McConnell, Alice Orr, Chloe Field, Kayleigh Betteridge, Vicky Latala, Jazzy Berry, Flo Stone, Olivia O’Mahoney and Molly Robinson.

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Throughout the year the students have worked on the 4 different sections that make up their Bronze Award. The sections consist of Volunteering, Physical, Skills and their Expedition. Students have to attend regular after school meetings were they will learn various skills to help them achieve their Bronze Award.

To gain the Bronze Award, students commit to a set amount of time doing each of the different sections. They can do all of the sections at the same time or do one section at a time.

Our Year 10 students have been working towards completing their Bronze Award with many of them well on their way to completing their awards. They have done their Assessed Expedition over the last month and have all completed with flying colours. The independent assessors were very impressed with our students and how well they helped and supported each other. Below are some comments from the assessors regarding the students:

“This team enjoyed their venture in the New Forest. Throughout the expedition the girls demonstrated teamwork with everyone making a contribution to the venture. Camp craft was well organized; tent pitching efficiently undertaken.”

“This team worked well together, they had excellent navigation skills. Despite this team clearly having a lot of fun, this did not distract them from meeting all the conditions, to complete this expedition successfully. They should be proud of their achievement, of passing this section of the award, at a high standard.”

At the campsite, students set to work setting up camp and cooking their evening meal. Once they had cleared away the evening meal, we gathered together around the fire pit to eat marshmallows and tell stories. At around 9.30pm students got ready to settle down in their tents with lights out at 10pm. The following morning students set of for the second day of their expedition.

We were all impressed with how supportive the students were towards each other, their energy and enthusiasm was refreshing and made the weekend a very enjoyable time for all participants.

We will be enrolling the Year 9 students in the coming weeks and hope to hold a meeting with the students before the half term. Students are already showing an interest and number of students have already asked about when they will be to start. Students will bring home an enrolment letter and a medical information form, these will need to be completed and the enrolment fee paid before students can be enrolled.

Netball League

After a few weeks of cancelled fixtures the netball girls got into the swing of things at the sports centre with the U14 and U16 leagues getting underway.  Wearing the new netball kit, I heard parents talking about “how professional” USH students looked and about how we “stand out” from the other schools. Our winning ways continued last night, the girls were tremendous (as always) and thanks to Kelly Barlow who will be umpiring and managing the Year 9 team. The girls are fantastic students to work with and I look forward to the rest of the season.

USH A WON 4 vs. Bitterne Park B 3
USH A LOST 2 vs. Sholing 13
USH A WON vs. Redbridge (conceded)

USH B WON 9 vs. Bitterne Park A 5
USH B LOST 21 vs. St Annes 8
USH B WON 5 vs. Greggs B 4

USH WON 14 vs. St Annes 5
USH WON 14 vs. Cantell 7

Well done everyone.

Miss Marks

Patchwork Cushions

Well done to Molly Dampier, Anna Hodges and Katie Lewis for completing their patchwork over the Summer Holidays...they have now been transformed into cushions!

Mrs Kelly

Cross Country Success!

We had a fantastic cross-country fixture on 7th October, with some great team efforts.  It was great to see some new additions to the team.  The Boys did very well - the Year 7 Boys Team and Junior Boys A Team both came first and our Junior Boys B Team came second.   The girls also excelled, with our Year 7 Girls A Team coming second and the B Team winning their event.  In the Junior Girls' event, the A Team came second and the B Team came first.  Congratulations to all the participants!

School Expansion Update from the Upper Shirley High Governing Body

Following the recent consultation in relation to the expansion of Upper Shirley High we are continuing to pursue this exciting, and necessary, opportunity for the School and our community.

We acknowledge that to further improve our facilities will take high levels of energy and commitment from the School Leadership Team and the Governing Body.  However, we would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that, whilst the expansion is important to the future of Upper Shirley High, the main priority at all times will be the delivery of first class education, meeting all of our students' needs. 

We will continue to update you as the expansion plans progress and look forward to working with you all to ensure that the next chapter in Upper Shirley High's story is the success it deserves to be.

Upper Shirley High Governing Body

Messages for Students during School Hours

We understand the necessity for parents to ask us to pass on messages to students from time to time and, whilst we endeavour to pass on urgent messages to students during the School Day, we would ask that you discuss after-school arrangements with your child/children in the morning before they come to School. 

It is your child's responsibility to inform you if they have to attend any after-school activities, i.e. Clubs, Sports Fixtures, Detentions.  We hope that you will understand that it is not possible for our Receptionist to leave the Reception area unstaffed to go and look for individual students.  We very much appreciate your cooperation in this matter.