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USH Newsletter 22nd April 2016

Message from Mr Woods

Hello Parents   

I’d like to formally welcome students back after the Easter Break and commend them for settling back into learning very well.  There is, as ever, much news to report in this edition with the usual exciting curriculum and enrichment opportunities for our students.  That said, it is also a sad time and I have included in this newsletter a special piece remembering a wonderful ex-member of staff who worked here up until 2014 and who died recently.  I am aware that not everyone would have had the pleasure of knowing Mary Christie, but this edition of our newsletter is dedicated to her memory for her 20 years’ service to the community.  She is a sadly missed member of the USH family.   

Stuart Woods

Barcelona Trip

“I really liked Barcelona because it was a lot of fun and we learnt quite a few things about Spain, their history and the places there are to go. My favourite part was when we went to Port Aventura. I would like to go again and people should definitely go if they get the chance”.  Hannah, Year 9

“I really enjoyed my time in Barcelona. My favourite day was when we went to Port Aventura”. Abhiraj, Year 10

“The trip to Barcelona was amazing! My favourite part was the Nou Camp tour” Jeevan, Year 10

What an intensive four days spent in beautiful Barcelona. With the sun shining, we made our way around the sites of Barcelona with 46 students from years 9 and 10. Starting the day (or was it night?!) at the school, all the pupils were in good spirits as we made our way to the airport. We had a few first-time flyers, as well as the more seasoned, but we were all smiling once we landed and walked out into the sunshine to get the coach to the spectacular Nou Camp!

The next four days brought excellent memories; the 35-shot golf pro, the hard-core Shambala riders, the artist extraordinaire as well as managing to identify the right floor [or is that flaw?!...]. The pupils were a real credit to the school.

All in all, it was a memorable visit to one of the most beautiful cities in the world for years 9 and 10. The memories made on this trip will remain with the students for a long time; I know I will always remember Barcelona 2016!

Mr Bhardwaj

Cup success for Year 10 Football Team

The Year 10 football season completed their season with the City Cup Final, played at Queen’s Keep FC on Tuesday 21st April. The game was played against Wildern, a side that we had beaten earlier in the season but we knew the game would be a lot closer this time around!  Wearing the new tops the team were excited and ready to add to the league title they have already won this season.

After a cagey first half where USH were the better side and had the better chances (Josh Rodriguez) it was a typical Cup Final, a very tight game with chances at a premium. The deadlock was finally broken with 20 minutes to go after some sustained pressure from USH.  Harry Jones fired in from 15 yards with a superb strike, a goal that was thoroughly deserved. There was a scare at the other end when Wildern rattled the cross bar with 10 minutes to go, but the game was over when Christos Papakonstatinou poked in to make it 2-0 to USH in the final minutes.

A fantastic win for the team and one that they deserve for their efforts over the past season – well done and thank you to all the boys involved this season!

Mr Hall

Cup Success for Year 8 Football Team

On Tuesday night the Year 8 football team encountered familiar foes Wildern in the League Cup Final.

Wearing our new home kit for its first outing the boys made a professional entrance to the Queens Keep FC stadium and went through our usual pre-match warm up, with some nerves it would be fair to say.

However these were quickly brushed aside at kick off and with 3 clear cut chances in the first 15 minutes, a more composed finish would have seen us 3 goals to the good (Euan Haylor, Ryan Brown and Sam Bowan!).

Wildern were finding it difficult to break up our quick passing and movement off the ball resorting to long balls for their pacey striker to chase, a mix up in communication at the back then allowed Wildern to take a surprise lead. This didn’t last long however as our pressing game allowed us to intercept a pass and release a shot across the box turned in by OWEN BUNDAY, further possession and chances were created before EUAN HAYLOR raced clear to put us 2-1 in the lead shortly before half time. Wildern had one last attack before the whistle and were able to force their way into the box to rifle a shot and end the half on level terms.

Starting the second half we once again applied pressure on the ball and quick one touch football to force opportunities readily,  EUAN HAYLOR’s direct running and through balls by OLLY LOVELL, SAM BOWAN and REECE KIMBER caused Wildern to change formation and numbers in defence.

Once again the trio in midfield of RYAN BROWN, ETHAN KIMBER and TYLER GREENOUGH were able to build on possession and EUAN HAYLOR put us 3-2 ahead, with time running down BILLY TERRELL finally put the game to bed cutting in from the right to score and secure the victory 4-2.

A well-deserved win in a fixture that counted as a league result also, meaning we are now proud owners of the LEAGUE CUP and DIVISION 1 LEAGUE TITLE.


Mr Staples

Southampton Junior University

Year 9
Back in November a group of Year 9 students embarked on the SJU project run by the University of Southampton.  Reagon Alford, Phoebe Baldwin, Jonathon Barber, Ella Simmonds and Isobel Singh have been working on a project to research a career in Forensic Science.  While working on the project the students have excelled in their teamwork, organisation, research and independent learning skills.  The team produced a very informative career profile.  On Tuesday, 15th March the students attended a celebration event to present their work.  Students from eleven schools took part and I’m pleased to announce the USH team were awarded 2nd prize.  Well done!

Year 10
A group of Year 10 student have been working on a SJU project run by Southampton Solent University.  Oliwia Kowalik, Poppy Young, Marco Gashi, Sam Momber and Ben Sanderson were given the task of producing a university mini-prospectus.  Following visits to the university and with the support of a student ambassador the students decided the mini-prospectus should be informative but concise, it included an introduction to Southampton Solent University, a section dedicated to ‘common concerns’ a potential student may have - sign-posting where help/support can be found.  Each student researched a subject of interest (Fashion, Criminology, Sport and Fitness, Performance and Computing) and included their findings.

On Wednesday, 16th March the students attended a celebration event to present their work.  The guest speaker at the event was Southampton Solent University graduate Richard Woods who took part in the last series of the Apprentice, (a contestant until week 11).  Richard talked about his struggle with academic studies because of dyslexia and  the determination and resilience required to attain the C grades he needed to be able to go on to study Business and Entrepreneurship at Southampton Solent University.  Richard’s dissertation was on the links between dyslexia and entrepreneurship.  He has gone on to start four successful businesses including the digital marketing agency, Yomp

Oliwia commented ‘Participating in this project has helped me set myself goals for the future’.

Tutor Groups 2016-17

As you will be aware, we recently asked students, parents
and staff to express their preference regarding whether USH should continue
having vertical tutor groups or should move to a system where students are
based in their year groups. We received over 400 responses. The results
indicate that half of the respondents would like to retain the current vertical
system of tutor groups while the other half would like a change to tutor groups
just being made up of students from the same year.

Therefore, we have made the decision that there will be a
reorganisation of the tutor groups based on year groups ready for September but
that we will plan in specific opportunities where the students will continue to
work within their houses and with students from different years. The strong
House ethos and the whole school collaboration will continue.

All students and parents will be notified of their new tutor
group and tutor over the coming months and there will be a ‘Meet the Tutor’
evening held in September. We will endeavour to ensure that the students from
the same year group and the same tutor group stay together and to support all
of our students through this transition process.

Aimee Floyd
Deputy Headteacher

Learn with University of Southampton

Alex Lake, Ben Davies, Charlotte Browne, Erin McManus, Harry Fay, Jake Marsh, Leon Longhurst, Lillie Kershaw, Liwia Klozyk, Lucy Harman, Mary-Ellen Hudson, Naomi Danson, Poppy Hammond and Toby Budd from Year 9 students recently visited the University of Southampton and took part in a Criminology Masterclass.  Topics covered included:  What is crime?  Why does it happen?  Is all criminal behaviour deviant?  At the end of the session students took part in a competition ‘ Hear the case, decide the sentence and see how it compares to the actual sentence passed’.  All students participated and thoroughly enjoyed playing the role of Judge.  Go to http://ybtj.justice.gov.uk/ to play being the Judge.

Charlotte wrote “I have learned what skills it will take to go to University and into a job and how criminology is used in society”

Jacob wrote “I have learned that by studying any subject at university you will in turn learn transferable skills”

Harry wrote “I have learned that anything can be achieved and that university looks really fun.  I am more determined to achieve”

USH students visit the Life Lab at Southampton Hospital

32 year 7 students spent an exciting day at the Life Lab at Southampton Hospital, a facility designed to educate young people about their bodies and how to maintain a healthy life style.

The students carried out a number of tests to measure their body’s functions including lung volume experiments, testing fake blood for signs of diabetes, using an ultrasound to measure blood flow through arties and calculating the body mass index (BMI) as well as learning CPR.

In the afternoon session they got the chance to quiz scientists from the hospital’s research department who are working on research on asthma, cancer and lung disease. The scientists told us the groups asked fantastic questions and were really inquisitive about the role of scientists in research.

Finally, the students got together to create a poster of the human body to show all they had learnt about its functions and how to keep it healthy.

It was a fantastic day and the students were a credit to Upper Shirley High.

Mr Clench
Assistant Head Teacher

Year 8 Paris trip, October 2016

We have had a huge amount of interest in the Paris trip and this is set to be Upper Shirley High’s biggest visit ever!  At present, we are in talks with the travel company to secure enough beds at the hotel.  As soon as we have this confirmed, I will write to you with the total cost and payment dates. 

Please note: The tour company are likely to ask for half of the total amount payable by mid-May and the remainder by mid-June.  If these deadlines are not met, places will be lost with no refunds available.  If at any point you no longer wish for your child to go, please contact me as soon as possible.  Once money is paid to the tour company, it is non-refundable.

Thank you

Mr Perry 


Year 10 - Work Experience

As you are aware at USH we firmly believe work experience provides an invaluable insight into life after school and informs future choices.  Recruitment specialist Reed Executive have reported that almost three quarters of the UK’s top businesses prefer to recruit candidates with work experience on their CV.

•73% of employers would employ a candidate with work experience over one without

•94% of employers believe that work experience can add to skills

All students are expected to take part in work experience.  The dates are:

Model 1:  A two week placement, 11th – 22nd July

Model 2:  A placement until the end of term, 11th – 20th July

Model 3:  A placement for one week, 11th – 15th July
Completed paperwork is due in on Monday, 11th April.

Accelerated Reader Success

Over the last fortnight, we have been celebrating the achievements of Year 7 and Year 8 students towards their Accelerated Reader targets.  All students who achieved last term’s reading targets received a certificates and prizes.  Well done to the 125 students who achieved their targets!

8O had the honour of being the first class in which every student achieved his or her termly target, and the class celebrated with home-made cake made by Rebecca Crawley and by Dr Dutton.

Dr Dutton

Support Needed for Mock Interviews

We are planning a ‘Year 10 Mock Interview Week’ in November.  In the past this event has proven to be extremely successful l in preparing students for the interview process required for work experience, college, apprenticeships and part-time work.  We have received feedback from colleges, work experience and apprenticeship providers informing us how well our students perform.

In order to be able to continue to offer this opportunity for our students we are looking for volunteer ‘interviewers’.  If you can offer your support, or provide contact details of colleagues who may be able to help please contact me.  Your support is much appreciated.

Please contact Carey Anderson, our Careers Advisor

Careers Website


A website set up specifically for young people in Southampton
Please take the time to have a look at the website - it has some extremely useful information to support your son/daughter.

GCSE Options, Leaving School, Finishing Compulsory Education, Jobs, Support Young People, Career Links, Apprenticeship Ambassador Film

Summer Term Medical Reminder

Now that the Summer Term is upon us and the pollen count
increases, please can you ensure that your child has their antihistamine
medication before coming to school.  Also. with the Athletics Season
under way, all asthmatics should carry their own inhalers.  Please can you also ensure that your child has a bottle of water and some sun block and a hat in their bags.

Thank you.

Mrs Kelly



All schools in the Jefferys Education Trust will be collaborating, once again, to stage the 2016 JET PROM at 7.00 pm. on Wednesday 15th June at Central Hall.

The event will be featuring the Jet Staff and Parent choir which you are invited to join. No previous experience is necessary and we welcome mums, dads, grandparents, ex-students, teaching staff, office staff....everyone! Join in the fun, raise your spirits and help to bring our JET community together.

Rehearsals will take place in the music department of Upper Shirley High School on the following dates.

We would like you to ideally attend three of the rehearsals including the final practice.

MONDAY 23RD MAY  5.00-6.30pm
THURSDAY 26TH MAY  5.00-6.30pm
MONDAY 6TH JUNE  5.00-6.30pm
THURSDAY 9TH JUNE  5.00-6.30pm

Please note, for those with child-care issues, children are welcome to come along to rehearsals, ideally with something to do quietly by themselves.

Science Club

Just a reminder to all our Key Stage 3 Scientists: Science Club begins again this term, every Week B Tuesday after school.

See you there!

Miss Linehan

British Science Week was 11th- 20th March.

To celebrate Upper Shirley High Science department challenged each tutor group to complete a quiz.

The quiz had five rounds and had questions relating to the following areas:

  • Science and the performing arts
  • Science and history
  • Science and dance
  • Science and geography
  • Science and Sport.

The winning tutor group was M7 and the runner up was V3.  They received badges and chocolates as prizes!

Remembering Mary Christie

On Monday members of Upper Shirley High School Staff gathered with the friends and family of Mary Christie, a former teacher at USH, who very sadly lost her battle with cancer earlier in the month.

Mary joined Bellemoor Boys School back in 1992 as a Supply Teacher.  She worked here from that point onwards carrying out various roles including Teacher of Maths, RE and Geography, Head of Year and Head of Mariner’s House.  She was a much loved and popular member of staff with pupils, parents and colleagues and people found her extremely supportive, honest, trustworthy and reliable.  Mary gave a huge part of her working life to our school, eventually retiring in August 2014 after a long and successful career here.

It is to her great credit that staff have shared some memories of Mary and we have included these below.

Mary exemplified the spirit Upper Shirley High with her loyalty and commitment and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to her family at this very difficult time.

Stuart Woods

“Mary was an exceptional teacher and so much more than that a fantastic colleague.  Nothing was ever too much trouble for her no matter how busy she was - she had time for everyone. We shared lots of laughter over the years and there was always a twinkle in her eye. She will be sorely missed.”
Marie Connolly, Teacher of Languages

“A hard working, straight talking, inspirational teacher who was dedicated to helping all in her care to reach their potential”
Sam Mawby, Clerk to the Governors

“When I joined school almost 10 years ago (Bellemoor at that time), Maths department was dominated by male teachers and students. Mary was the only female and my ‘rock’ ever since for 8 years. I always looked up to her as a widely experienced person, admiring her strong personality, calmness and patience. Mary was a devoted teacher, first one in the school in the morning and last one to leave, always there for the students, myself, the Maths team and anyone who needed help, support or just a friendly ‘ear’, especially ‘her Mariners’ as she used to call students and staff.  Always competitive against the rival Houses, Mary led Mariners to success as a House and as each individual.  It was a privilege to work with Mary and I will always remember her.”
Agnieszka Adamou, Teacher of Maths

“Mary was a wonderful colleague, dedicated and always supportive. However, I will mostly remember her as an inspirational teacher. She taught my daughter in Year 7 and, as a teacher whose first subject was not Maths, could well understand how students might find the subject difficult. My daughter lacked confidence in Maths, believing she couldn’t do it, and it was Mary who helped her overcome her fear, so that now my daughter is studying Maths at A-level.”
Rosina Mount, Senior Librarian

"A great friend right from the start when I
joined Bellemoor School 15 years ago, any problem her answer was 'Leave it with
me, I will sort it' and she did!"
Sandy Kelly, Information Officer

“Mary was an inspiration to me both personally and professionally. I will always look back with fond memories of working with her. She and I used to teach the year 11 year group together in master classes which I simply couldn’t have done without her. The students and staff both respected and liked her. She was an outstanding practitioner and a very good friend.”
Philip Taylor, Deputy Headteacher