Message from Mr Woods
Dear Parents and Carers
I want to wish you all a happy and restful Christmas. It’s be a hugely successful term here at USH. Thanks to staff, students and families for your commitment to our school.
Today we say goodbye to a longstanding and highly regarded member of support staff. Mrs Pat Allen. Pat has been here for 22 years and has seen USH transform into the school we experience today. Pat brings a huge sense of warmth and generosity to the staff. Pat, you are one of the kindest, generous, funny people and you have a heart of gold. You will be missed and we wish you all the best for a happy retirement.
Christmas Concert, Wednesday 14th December
Students, Staff and Parents joined together for a celebration of all the musical talent we have here at Upper Shirley High School and we were treated to feast of talented musicians and singers.
We would like to thank the students themselves for the hours of practise and dedication they show to their musical ventures. We are also hugely grateful to the parents for the encouragement given to their children and to the Southampton Music Service and teachers and staff at USH for supporting music during the school week and at big events like the Carol Service.
Finally, a huge thanks to Miss Shaw for all of her hard work in the preparation for this concert.
Pop Up Christmas Craft Club
A group of eager girls from Years 7, 8 and 9 started a four-week Christmas Project. They were ably assisted by Miss Rioch, Ms Wojcik and Ms Adrezejewska. A total of 18 girls worked on their fabric trees; they got the hang of folding their fabric squres into tringalees and using craft pins to layer them onto the polystyrene cones. Some of the girls went home with sore thumbs, but they came back and finished the project! And, after adding a few finishing touches, a few of them went on to make some Maths-inspired Christmas Cards.
We will look at running a similar club in the New Year after February Half Term that will focus on Easter Decorations.
Well done girls!
Year 11 Photography Trip to City College
On Monday 5th December Year 11 photography students went to City College. Students were able to experiment in the darkroom making photograms and use the specialist lighting equipment. Being creative with the professional resources made for an exciting day with some amazing results.
“I had a great day and I got some amazing shots for my photography coursework”
Year 11 student Archie Barron
“This was the first time I had been in a photography darkroom. I loved it”
Year 11 student Juliana Fonseca
Whole School Careers Day, Friday 9th December
The Students from USH had their annual Whole School Careers Day on Friday 9th December, organised by Mrs Anderson, our Careers Adviser. This is what some of the students had to say about the experience:
"On careers day we started off by going to the hall for an assembly with people from the university. They talked about clubs in university and how there is not only one route to it. Once it had finished, everyone went back to their tutors and a university student came with us and went through a short power point about universities and careers. We had to guess the names of pictures of universities, which I found particularly enjoyable. Later we did a quiz on Plotr, a careers website. We looked at our recommended jobs – some of my top jobs were physicist, immunologist and surgeon. Finally, we met professionals, I met a sports coach, a police officer and an apprenticeship training provider. Careers day inspired me on what careers I might consider and my favourite part was definitely meeting the professionals." - Jacob M
"I really enjoyed careers day. I learnt what I would have to do to get all the things I’d want in life" - Tom G
"I really enjoyed meeting the professionals because it was interesting to hear from people from a range of careers" - Becky R
"I enjoyed careers day because it was an opportunity to meet lots of people and find out about their jobs. I really enjoyed getting the profile of a random person – what they do, their salary and working hours" - Emily H
GCSE Presentation Evening
Simon Weston, CBE, honoured us by being the Guest Speaker at our GCSE Presentation Evening this month. Last year's Head Boy and Head Girl (George Fay and Kitty Clarke) sent out letters to Mr Weston in the hope that he would accept our invitation to be Guest Speaker. Low and behold he responded and agreed. He made a moving and inspirational speech to last year's Year 11s and we are very grateful to him for agreeing to do this.
At the very end of November we rounded off the Year 9 and Year 11 Netball season with the Cup Competition. It was extremely cold, but the girls were fantastic and, even with cold hands, managed to get brilliant results.
U16 Team: WINNERS
U14 Team: RUNNERS UP
Well done to everyone involved.
Mrs Fortune and Miss Wright-Davies
A group of students from USH missed the last lesson of the day on Wednesday to take part in the County Rowing Challenge. They did very well considering they were tired before they even started! The following students did particularly well:
Freya Bates 3rd BRONZE
Lucy Walker 4th
Adam Hodges 3rd BRONZE
Eleanor Marhsall-Cox 2nd SILVER
Olivia Norton 3rd BRONZE
Ola Leszek 4th (By 1 metre!!)
Well done to everyone who took part!
Spelling Bee 1 Results are in!!
This is a competition for Year 7 students, designed to complement the topics studied in the year. It aims to help the students to practise and improve their vocabulary, spelling and memory skills in the foreign language. Students were given a set of fifty words to learn in the target language at the start of the term, which they were tested on at the end of the term. The following students deserve special praise:
Spelling Bee 2 will start in January!!
The PTFA held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday. At the meeting the group reviewed the previous year and discussed their new fundraising ideas for the coming year. The minutes from last year’s meeting are now on our website.
There are three exciting new events planned for 2017:
• Friday 31st March, PTFA Fashion Show/Clothes Sale
• Friday 7th July, PTFA Charity Auction
• Saturday 14th October, PTFA Car Boot Sale
Please put these dates in your new 2017 calendars and diaries, and share with your friends. Further details on these events will follow.
How can you help? Well, after Christmas the PTFA will be collecting any of your unwanted Christmas gifts to be used as either future raffle prizes or as items in our first charity auction in July. These gifts can be sent into school in January via students or left at reception.
The PTFA are always looking at ways to increase their fundraising. Please let us know if you work for a company who offers a match funding scheme or if you work for a larger organisation that makes charitable donations to schools.
This year the PTFA will be supporting the Library in the purchase of additional books; this is provide new teaching and reading resources and to support the school in a grant application for additional library resources. To celebrate this a PTFA member has created a fabulous Christmas tree made from books. The USH PTFA would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!
The next PTFA meeting is on 18th January at 7pm in the Bellemoor. The main agenda will be planning the Fashion Show/Clothes Sale in March. Please do come along!
The PTFA are continually looking for new people and new fundraising ideas. Whether you have the time to be an active group member or would prefer to support specific events, they would love to hear from you. Please use the PTFA contact button on the school website to find out more (under Parents/PTFA).Julie Prince
Leavers and Joiners
As mentioned by Mr Woods, we are saying goodbye to Pat Allen, a key member of our Administrative team. Mrs Allen (Pat) writes:
"It is with a sad heart that, after 22 years, I have decided to retire. I have see lots of changes through those years but the family-feel amongst the staff has never changed and the children have always been part of that family".
We are also saying goodbye to other members of Staff who are moving to pastures new. In the case of Miss Bousseau and Mr Hird, they are returning to their home countries. We wish all our "leavers" all the very best for the Festive Season and beyond. They are:
Thank you all for your hard work at USH and for your contribution to our school community.
In the Spring Term we will be welcoming:
Blake Rayner (new Subject Leader for Science)
Gemma Bull (English)
Daniel Woollard (Modern Foreign Languages)
Used Postage Stamps for RNIB
The Royal National Institute for the Blind collects used stamps and sells them to raise money for Guide Dog training. Please save your stamps and hand in to Reception. (They should be removed from the envelope with a 1cm border all round). We collect all year and send them to the charity on a regular basis. Many thanks for your past and future contributions.