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USH Newsletter 30th June 2017

Head Boy, Head Girl and Deputies announced!

On Thursday 29th June we held our Annual Head Boy and Head Girl elections.  Our candidates worked hard over the last few weeks to gain votes and to ensure that their message got out to their fellow students.  

As a school, we actively promote our students democratic right as well as the importance of British Values, and I know for many, this certainly has been an exciting talking point over the last week. A big thank you to Southampton City Council for allowing us to use their voting booths and ballot boxes, it gave the occasion a real sense of realism and an insight into how voting takes place in this country. 

And the result...

Head Boy: Oliver Young
Head Girl: Abi Goldstraw
Deputy Head Girls: Isobel Singh and Saffron Sandhu
Deputy Head Boys: Henry Rowden and Jude Carroll

With hearty congratulations to all the students for the well-fought campaign by all candidates - we know that the students will work hard to push our school forward.  

2017 Year 11 Prom

On Tuesday 27th June  Year 11 and many members of staff had the opportunity to put on their finest clothes and put the stress of revising and exams behind them to let their hair down and party at the annual Upper Shirley High Prom.  The Botleigh Grange Hotel in Hedge End was the chosen destination and fingers had been crossed all day that the weather would be kind to us to let us fully enjoy the stunning gardens, unfortunately the rain fell throughout the night but this didn’t stop anyone enjoying themselves and having a great time.

There were some stunning arrival vehicles, the tandem bike and Big Truck being amongst the most original.  The students certainly put  a huge effort into their outfits with both girls and boys looking  stunning; never before has there been so much diamante, organza and false eyelashes in one room.  Following arrival drinks and formal photographs party goers tucked into a two course meal and filled up on sugar and chocolate on the sweet bar.  The DJ had many students dancing throughout the night with Taku Zvavamwe and  Lily Rapley crowned Prom King and Queen.

The night was a huge success and hopefully the class of 2017 will look back fondly on their USH Prom with warm memories for many years to come.

Official photos can be purchased directly from the photographer’s website  www.julesandsue.com with prices starting from £1.

Southampton Film and Media Awards evening

On Thursday, 29th June, our school teamed up with other schools and colleges across the city to come together and celebrate some of the amazing film and media production work that has taken place and been produced by students this academic year. At our venue for the evening, Southampton Solent University, we joined with staff and students from Bitterne Park School and Sixth Form College, The Sholing Technology College, Itchen Sixth Form College, Richard Taunton Sixth Form College, and City College to showcase the excellent talents that our city holds. I was fortunate enough to co-present the evening alongside Stuart Ray, our host from the University.

Our guest speaker for the evening was the mulit-award winning film director, producer and writer, Bruce Goodison, known mostly for his directing of Murdered by My Father (2016), Dr. Foster (2015), Leave to Remain (2013), and Our War (2011). (Bruce’s recent project, Murdered by my Father, has recently won a Royal Television Society Award for Best Director and a BAFTA for Leading Actor.) As guest speaker, he inspired and advised our young and ambitious filmmakers that the most important part of any project is the idea. His assurance that talent is largely unnecessary, and that technology is not too vital a part of the process, really seemed to hit home with his younger listeners and prompted them to realise that they can succeed in the film industry, as long as they have a good idea, a passion to complete it, and a willingness to communicate with others in order to watch it evolve. We were fortunate enough to have Bruce with us for the whole evening, and to present some of the awards too!


Technical performance is also crucial to making a successful film, along with the time and dedication that those aspects take to fine-tune and develop. The talents recognised by each of the awards were based specifically on these key elements in order to celebrate the true successes of our students. Awards were given for: 

Best Cinematography, 

Best Mise en Scene, 

Best Use of Sound, 

Best Editing, 

Best Screenplay, 

Best Visual Effects 

Best Original Idea, 

with the final award that was presented by Bruce, Best Overall Film. Each award was given in both GCSE, and Post-16.

Here at Upper Shirley High, we were abundant with successes for several categories.  Every piece made by USH students was nominated for an award, and the overall wins were: 

  • Best Editing and Best Mise en Scene for a film called Ivy, created by Oliwia Kowalik, Alia Smith, Aggie Szymczak and Katie Street
  • Best Original Idea for a film called Human at Heart, created by Joseph Clarke and Charlie Carter-Banks
  • Best Overall Film, for a film created by Katherine Brockelsby, Jessica England, Alice Parsons and Tasveer Sidhu. 

Well done to all!!

This is set to be the first of many years of celebrating our city’s students and their amazing talent, and we are looking forward to even more USH students achieving amazing successes and receiving awards next year.

Sarah Turner, Head of Film.

Year 8 visit to Southampton Solent University – Women in Engineering – The Faraday Challenge

On arrival at Southampton Solent University we were briefed on our challenge: to code and create two products that could help the British Sailing Team.  Within our groups we delegated roles such as accountant (in charge of what extra equipment we purchased), coder and safety advisor.  Then we got to work.  Our group created two products to aid human performance in relation to the environment; light adjusting sunglasses and a fitness monitor.  This must have gone well as we won!

Overall, it was a really fun and interesting experience that has helped us all understand the part engineering plays in modern life.

Our winning team: Charlotte M, Mabel G-G,  Zuzanna K, Issy G, Abigail W and Sophie C

Year 9 visit to Richard Taunton’s Sixth Form College – Women in Science

‘This was a great opportunity to learn about different scientific accomplishments achieved by women.  We also learnt which areas of science we are best suited to when we leave school’
Tamzin Mittoo

‘This was a great opportunity to further my knowledge in careers in science.  The people who involved were very inspiring and have definitely changed my views on science and engineering positively’
Eleanor Marshall-Cox

Year 9 visit to Southampton Solent University – Taster Day

‘This was a chance to experience three very fun and interesting subjects: Journalism, Product Design and Performance.  In the Journalism taster we had the opportunity to take photos and then present them on a magazine cover.  The Product Design taster consisted of us contributing ideas on designs for lights on a bus. Performance was very energetic and fun as we had the chance to improvise and do script work.  The whole experience caused me to think more about my future and also about the present due to the link of these subjects to my current ones’.
Maria Willsher

‘The taster day at Solent University was very inspiring.  We go to see where our GCSE choices can lead.  We got to use new computer programs, perform and design a new lighting systems’.
Heather Doswell 

USH Bake-Off

As the 4 heats of this year’s Great USH Bake-Off draw to a close it is a time for reflection and celebration. With over 90 students and staff entering and some truly exceptional bakes it has been another really good example of just what our USH  community is capable of. 

With over 40 teams and only 14 spaces in the final the competition was fierce and although not all the teams can make it into the final all should be congratulated for their incredible effort and baking prowess. The top 14 really showed that extra something special in terms of creativity, technicality and finish. Their signature bakes are all displayed in the photos below.  They are Amy Clark & Freya Barefoot, Olivia Norton & Adiela Manore, Molly Ellis & Ema Rafiu, Lucy Barlow, Becky Crawley, Livvy Willis & Abbie White, Freya Bates & Emily Hayes Arter, Myletta Wilkins & Izzy Grant, Emma Blankley & Sophie Fay, Millie Read & Bella Hudson, Abigail Hatton & Annabel Hunter, Harvey Whyte & Alfie Naylor, Lou Forder & Dan Rowden, Jacob Mittoo & Oren Manore. 

They shall all be baking their summer showstoppers in the 2017 final which is taking place on the 10th of July. We are really looking forward to seeing all the individuality and awesomeness on the day and we wish them all the very best of luck.

A special mention must go to the 4 staff teams who entered. Not only did they show an incredible amount of talent they also added a huge amount of value to the student experience. It was great to see the students and staff interact in the relaxed and creative setting of the bake-off tent. Congratulations to Miss Simpson, Miss Suffling, Mr Perry, Miss Dunne, Mrs Hyslop and Mr Hughes. There work is also displayed below. 

A huge thanks must go to Mrs Naylor, Mrs Hannah, and our incredible student rep Kieron Allan who are working tirelessly behind the scenes and who this competition would not be possible without. 

Thanks to all the bakers and families who took part and we will be back next month with news of the final. 

Mr Davies
Subject Lead, Food and Nutrition

GCSE Art and Photography Exhibition

Please join us for our GCSE Art and Photography Exhibition at the School of Art, Design and Fashion at Southampton Solent University.

The exhibition is open on Tuesday 4th July from 4pm to 7pm and on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th July from 11am to 3pm.

See the flyer for full details.

We look forward to seeing you!

Maths Fun Day

Being the ‘very best we can be’ is a key aim at USH. The mathematics department looked at a range of world records and invited some Year 7 students in over half term to compare themselves against some record holders.

We started the day, comparing speeds and distances against Usain Bolt, measuring our times over 100m, how far we could run in 9.58 seconds and then plotting our finishing positions on a graph compared to the world record.

We explored averages through our attempts to throw a paper airplane further than the world record of 226ft. On average, our throws were only about 200ft short.

The next world record was one of our favourites and we all tried really hard to eat more than 65 M&Ms in 1 minute with chopsticks. Our results were plotted on graphs as well as tally tables and we compared the chopstick skills of boys against girls.

After finishing off the spare M&Ms, we finished the day, practising our core numeracy skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fraction, decimals, percentages and time. We did this through playing as many Maths board games as we could before it was time to hand out certificates and prizes and go home.

We all had a wonderful time and look forward to the next maths fun day after September.

Mr Wallace

And the winner is...

The winner of the prestigious CILIP Carnegie Medal was announced last week, and the result surprised many of the members of our two Year 9 Carnegie Shadowing groups, which have been meeting in the Library over the past few months. The winning title was Salt to the Sea by Ruth Sepetys, a haunting story about refugees escaping from Germany at the end of WWII.  As often happens with the Carnegie award, the students’ favourite was different from that of the judging panel. Nationally, student shadowing groups voted for The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon, but our own students had different preferences.

Some of our students have written about their experiences with shadowing.

“Reading the Carnegie medal shortlisted books was a great experience. Out of a total of eight books, I read seven, many of which I never would have read if it wasn’t for the shadowing group. Taking part in the shadowing group allowed me to talk to other people about the shortlisted books we were reading, which I found enjoyable as it meant I could share opinions, and debate which book we thought was the best. My favourite of the books was Stars at Oktober Bend.” Tamsin, 9O

“I thought shadowing was really good because a lot of the books I wouldn’t normally have chosen, but they were really well written and it helped me realise that there are really good books out there that aren’t what I’d usually read. My favourite was Beck.”Abi, 9T

“It was interesting to try new books and genres whilst doing the Carnegie book shadowing. It helped me search a wide variety of unique books. My favourite was Beck because it was written to be very realistic and has a brilliant story line which keeps you reading more.”Job, 9G

“It was a different experience to read a variety of books that I wouldn’t usually read. My favourite book was Beck. It was a really realistic book of a genre I wouldn’t normally read. It was the sort of book you couldn’t put down, with a brilliant story line.” Ema, 9I

Dr Mount’s shadowing group produced a Shadowing page and blog on the Carnegie Shadowing website which can be viewed: http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/reading-groups.php

Y7 Camping Trip

The Year 7 Camping Trip is only 3 weeks away!! We will be holding assemblies with the students to tell them more about the trip and handing out medical and dietary forms.  Students will not be able to take part in any of the activities if the Centre does not receive completed forms.  

Last week we sent a letter home with students detailing the timings, the kit requirements and a request to inform us of any dietary requirements.  If you didn't receive this letter, please get in touch.

Final information regarding contact details will be sent out prior to the trip.

Mr Perry

Paris Trip, October 2017

Please can you ensure that EHIC cards and Passports are ordered and up-to-date.  The collective passport will be sent off in the next few days and we are unable to add names to this once it has been submitted.

Please remember that payment for the trip is now overdue so if you haven't payed or you wish to discuss payments further, please contact the Finance Department.

For any other information regarding this trip, please contact me on the email address below.


Mr Perry

USH Social Media

All the latest updates from USH can be found on Social Media

Twitter: @ushschool

Instagram: ushschool (this account shows how wonderfully creative our students are)

And find us on Facebook - find us, like us, follow us!

Permission for photographs

If you haven't returned your photo consent form, please can you return this to the school as soon as possible.  The letter and form can be found under the "Parents" section of our website by clicking on "Letters and Forms" and selecting "Whole School Letters".

If you have any problems, please contact the school and we can arrange for you have another printed copy.

Thank you.