Message from Mr Woods
I am immensely proud of the way in which our community came together to support our recent Ofsted Inspection. Thanks to parents, staff and students who completed questionnaires which the Inspection Team gratefully received.
It takes a community to raise a child and we think Upper Shirley High is a special place to learn and work. Since our last Ofsted inspection in 2011, (where the school was rated Good) Ofsted have raised the bar significantly, making judgements more challenging and with enhanced focus on teaching, learning and achievement of students. Our inspection team was led by Alan Taylor-Bennett (Her Majesty’s Inspector) who captured our school and its spirit in one day; quite an experience. As ever, our students were a credit to their school. The Section 8 Report Letter will be released in due course.
A highlight of this Newsletter is the article on Holocaust Memorial Day when we joined a live Webinar; hearing Rudi Oppenheimer speak of his first hand experience in a concentration camp; so moving and I know our students will remember the experience.
Stuart Woods, Headmaster
Year 10 GCSE Citizenship students in the Dragon's Den!
This week was a big moment for the Year 10 Citizenship GCSE students. Since Christmas they have been working in groups to prepare campaigns relating to the Age of Criminal Responsibility in the UK, and on Monday they were given slots to present their campaigns "Dragon’s Den" style to a panel of decision makers made up of teachers, members of the Police and Southampton City Councillor Stephen Galton.
The students had made a wide range of campaign resources including T-Shirts, Wristbands, Radio Ads and even chocolate coins. The panel were really impressed with the work that the students presented commenting on the maturity and quality of the presentations given by the students.
Photography Trip to London
Year 9 and 10 Photography students went to London to visit galleries and to take photographs around the city. We visited the Natural History Museum to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. With over 100 photos the students were impressed with the variety and technical ability of the photographers. In contrast the National Portrait Gallery had an exhibition of award winning portraits. The gallery gave the students a lecture about the work giving them an insight into each photo and the photographers thoughts and themes. After that the students viewed the full exhibition.
“I was a great trip. I really enjoyed both the galleries and taking photos.” Parmjeet Taak Year 10
“It was a brilliant day. I wish we could have stayed longer” Katie Mason Year 9
Duke of Edinburgh Awards
The Year 9 students who signed up to do their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award are doing really well. Many of them have already decided what they will be doing for each of the different sections and some have already started to upload their evidence.
There is an enrolment fee of £18; this is paid to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Trust. Once students are enrolled they are able to log all their evidence to their eDofE account and will receive a welcome activity booklet which they need to complete and upload to their account. If students have not enrolled by the first camping weekend they may be unable to attend the training weekend.
Meetings are held in room 10 every Friday were a register will be taken; we may then move to a different location depending on what is being taught. Students need to attend the DofE after school club on a regular basis to ensure they are fully prepared for their qualifying expedition, if students are unable to attend they should let Mrs Murphy in the general office know. All students need to attend the practice expedition this is a required part of the award, if students are unable to attend the practice expedition they will not be able to do their qualifying expedition at the same time as their group.
The Year 10 students are doing well with their eDofE accounts with many of them well on the way to completion by the end of this academic year. We hold catch up meetings with our Year 10 students every 2-3 weeks to offer help and support on completing the different sections of their awards.
This is a very busy time for Year 11 students but I hope they will find the time to complete their DofE awards by the end of the year. If any of our students need help with completing their awards please don’t hesitate to contact Mrs Murphy in the general office.
Students who have not logged into their DofE online account in the last 6 months may find their account has become inactive, if this is the case they will need to speak to Mrs Murphy who can arrange for the account to be reactivated.
Holocaust Memorial Day
This year, USH arranged a series of events to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January 2016. All students participated in House assemblies where they took a moment to remember those affected by the Holocaust and those who have suffered in further Genocides. They were encouraged to follow the Holocaust Memorial Day message of “Don’t Stand By” whenever they see prejudice, bullying and hate. Alongside this, all year 9 students were fortunate to listen to a live webcast from Holocaust Survivor Rudi Oppenheimer who described his childhood as a Jew impacted by World War 2, he talked about being discriminated against for his religion and his experience of life inside camps. His words had a deep impact on many of the students, and some students in History and Religious Studies have written letters to him thanking him for his talk and asking questions about his experiences.
Henry Rowden Year 9 has written in his letter ‘I am so grateful that you survived and were able to share the story with so many others and I loved the message that “if you see wrong….don’t just stand there….do something!”’
Shannon Hodgson Year 9 said ‘I applaud Rudi’s willpower to continue retelling the traumatic events that took part in your life, to hundreds of people, that’s what I feel, is true bravery’
If you would like to see Rudi’s testimony from the webcast it can be viewed on the following link
Holocaust Memorial Day Trust work tirelessly to ensure that each year students are able to understand what has happened and why. This link provides further information on what was discussed in the assembly.
Cross Country Success
On Saturday 23rd January USH had lots of representatives at the muddy sports centre for the next round of the Hampshire Cross Country Championships. Even to get to this competition is a success in itself. The results are as follows:-
61st Liam Biggs
30th Luke Halford
49th Ben Bowles
1st Toby Hale
Luke, Ben, Toby H, Toby B, Leon have been part of an undefeated cross county team in year 9 and have consistently demonstrated PRIDE every week. I would like to congratulate all of the cross country runners who have represented USH this year, in particular the year 9s.
Vivaldi Big Sing
Several members of the USH Choir took part in the Vivaldi Big Sing run by the Southampton Music Hub and Richard Taunton’s Sixth Form College at the Central Hall on Monday 18th January. The students participated in two workshops delivered in school by Kath Page from the Southampton Music Service and a rehearsal on Sunday 17th January at Taunton’s College with a full Baroque orchestra. On Monday there was another full rehearsal in Central Hall followed by the concert in the evening. It was a long day but our students rose to the challenge and behaved impeccably. In the evening we were treated to a number of pieces of Baroque Music including excerpts from Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Double Violin Concerto. The final performance of the evening was a massed choir of 200 voices performing Vivaldi’s Gloria which included USH students. They thoroughly enjoyed their experience and sang their hearts out!
BBC School Report Day
On Thursday 10th March, 2016, Upper Shirley High will be taking part in BBC School Report Day. Students in year 9 Film Studies will have one day to create a TV News programme and have it uploaded to the web by the deadline of 4pm. Work is already underway to organise the news room, research stories and develop the journalistic skills required to be able to produce the report on the day.
The programme will be available to watch online at the web address below from 4pm on March 10th. You can find the page in the “Learning” section of the USH website. In the meantime, you can visit the page now to see the report that students produced in 2013.
Any other students who would like to work as part of the news team can come along to USH TV club after school on Fridays and speak to Mr Hind. We will need filmed location reports to include in our news programme so if you have a good idea for a story, come and let us know!
Teaching & Learning Survey
Please click on this link to complete a short survey on Teaching and Learning at USH. Thank you for your help with this.
Thank you from Hollybrook School
Once again the staff at Hollybrook Infants would like to thank the USH Students for their commitment to running the school's Art Club during the Autumn Term.
Lara Williams, Matilda Bull, Sam Moore and Ryan Wilkinson all gave up time after school every Tuesday to inspire some of the Year 2 children to create art work using a range of mediums.
They were excellent role models for our young children and their expertise has been much appreciated by staff and pupils.
Christmas Card Recycling
The Eco Council have gathered and counted 1450 cards as part of the Marks and Spencer Christmas card recycling scheme that supports the Woodland Trust (500 more than last year!).
Thank you to everyone who kindly dropped cards in to school. As a result USH will have contributed to the planting of 1.5 trees this year, next year we are going to make it 2! So far the national recycling scheme has funded 32,000 trees in the UK so is really making a difference.
University Students visit USH to learn about EAL
On January 18th two university students, Natalie and Charlotte, visited USH. They spent the whole day at school getting experience in working with EAL students. EAL students are students who learned English as their second language. Natalie and Charlotte are training to be primary school teachers and have not yet had an opportunity to work with students who spoke little or no English. They found it to be an eye-opening experience!
They started the day with a lesson in Polish. They could not wait for it to be over! It was horrible for them to stare at a piece of text in a language they did not understand and not be able to follow or even understand the instruction! Then they learned about EAL strategies and were ready to observe Mrs Rasey in Maths and Mr Day in Science given them a chance to put the EAL strategies into practice. Finally, it was time for them to take advantage of their new gained knowledge: they spent one hour with Miss Wojcik’s Year 11 Maths Intervention Group working with students who had recently arrived in England and one hour helping more advanced EAL students in Year 11 with their English coursework.
Natalie and Charlotte said they were now more empathetic towards EAL students and more aware of possible ways of aiding their learning.
EAL co-ordinator at USH
Naomi House and Jack’s Place
For several years, some of the staff at Upper Shirley High have donated money for Naomi House instead of sending Christmas cards to each other. This year, we raised £95 for them. Over the years, we have donated over £3,500 to the charity. I am sure you will agree that it is a very worthy cause and we are happy to contribute to such a deserving charity.