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USH Newsletter 15th September 2017

Introduction from Mr Woods

Dear Parents/Carers

Welcome back.

Our inaugural "September Issue" Newsletter is designed as a reminder of the basics around school rules and procedures so that everyone is clear on what is expected.  

Here's to a successful and productive Autumn Term.

Mr Woods

USH School Uniform

At USH, we wear our uniform with pride. Thank you to all parents for their support in ensuring that our students have returned looking smart. While all other uniform expectations stay the same, there is one change to the previous guidelines. Students are now able to wear a single stud earring in each ear. This stud must be metal. 

If parents would like to check the rules regarding uniform, please visit  our wesbite and click on the "Whole School Letters" tab: http://uppershirleyhigh.org/letters_and_forms  

Mrs Floyd
Deputy Headteacher

Reporting an Absence from School / Medical Appointments

Reporting an absence

If your child is going to be absent from school, it is important, for safeguarding reasons, that you contact school before 9am to explain the reason for the absence. 

You can report an absence in the following way;

Telephone – 023 80522721/023 80325333
Text message – 07860 005066
Email – Alison.Small@ushschool.org

Medical appointments

If your child has a medical appointment during the school day, please notify the school prior to the appointment and provide a copy of the appointment card/letter for our records.  Whenever possible, please arrange appointments out of school hours.

Medical Information

School contact: 

  • Our principal First Aider is Mrs Kelly in the General Office, and her email address is Sandy.kelly@ushschool.org   

First Aid Provision at the School:

  • The school does not have an onsite qualified nurse, but has a team of dedicated and qualified first aiders across the school site. 

Administering Medicine:

  • First Aiders are only authorised to give medication to students if a parent has supplied the medication and completed an Administration of Medications form (this can be found on our school website). 
  • All medication must be clearly labelled with the student’s name and dosage.
  • All medication is kept in a locked secure cupboard, and the administration of medicine to students is recorded.
  • It is a parental responsibility to supply the school with in date medication for their child. 
  • For life threatening conditions, such as anaphylaxis and diabetes, the school will check the expiry date of all medicines held on a termly basis, and request replacement medication where necessary.
  • For those students who suffer from hay fever, spare antihistamine can be left in the Medical Room. To reiterate, it must be clearly labelled and we must hold a signed and completed Administration of Medication form.
  • First Aiders are not permitted or qualified to give out paracetamol/ibuprofen to students without written parental consent. 

General Advice: 

  • In periods of extreme hot weather, we advise students to bring water to school and carry sun protection, i.e. sun cream and hat. 


  • If your child is asthmatic, besides ensuring they carry an inhaler in their bag at all times, there is space in the Medical Room to hold a spare (please label and hand in to Mrs Kelly).


  • Students with a life threatening allergy must keep at least one (in date) epi pen with them, throughout the school day, in their school bag. 
  • We recommend that a second one is kept by the school in the General Office. Please supply the school with this second epi-pen in a small container, along with any other medication your child might need in the event of an allergic reaction. For information, these boxes are NOT locked away during the school day, but are in a safe area away from other students. 
  • A copy of your child’s treatment plan from the Allergy Clinic would also provide very useful information. 

Finance at USH

To help you understand more about the finance function at USH we thought it would be useful to share some important information and some frequently asked questions. 

Finance Team
This consists of Karen Hartley (Finance & Payroll Officer) and Harrison Payne (Finance Assistant). They can be contacted on the finance email address: finance@ushschool.org. The Finance Team are always happy to answer any questions and queries you may have.

What you can buy in School?
The Finance Office sell stationery items, school ties and revision guides for a range of subjects.

Making payments to the School
Payments to the school (via the Finance Office) can be made in three ways:

  1. Cash (all cash must be presented to the school in a sealed envelope with your child’s name and tutor group on it, along with what you are paying for e.g. the trip name).
  2. Cheque (they should be made payable to Upper Shirley High School or USH. All cheques must be given to the school in a sealed envelope. Please write with your child’s name and tutor group on the reverse of the cheque, along with what you are paying for e.g. the trip name)
  3. Using our Online Payments System (see details below)

How to set up an online account?
With an increasing offer of school trips and an extremely popular canteen service more and more parents are using our online payments facility. Parents can set up an online account through Tucasi. The Finance Team will provide a link code to enable you to set up your new account or link existing or siblings accounts to allow you to use one log in. If you would like to set this up, please contact us and we can talk you through the process. A presentation for parents and information leaflets are available on request.

Using Online Payments
Online payments are currently being used for the following purposes:

  • To top up catering accounts
  • To make payments towards trips (day and residential)
  • To buy school resources
  • To refund the school for lost library books.

Benefits of using Online Payments
We thought it would be useful to share some of the key benefits of using our online payments system:

  • Parents  don’t need to find cash in the morning and can top up online at a time convenient to you
  • It eliminates the risk of money being lost or spent before getting to school
  • In terms of the canteen, it allows parents to keep track of their child’s spending (plus they can monitor their canteen purchases over break and lunch)
  • Parents can set spending limits for their child on a daily basis
  • Your child won’t need to queue up over break and lunch to ‘top up’ their catering account,
  • It removes the need to monitor when cheques are being cashed
  • It makes it easy to check an account balance for your child’s catering account or the balance remaining for a trip. This makes it easier for you to budget and stay in control of your finances.

Cashless Catering
Upper Shirley High operates a Cashless Catering system. This means no cash is accepted in the school canteen for the purchase of snacks, lunches and drinks. All items are paid for via individual student cashless catering accounts. 

How to top up a catering account
There are two ways:

  1. We recommend that catering accounts are credited with funds using our online payments system. 
  2. If you would rather not set up an online account, payment can be made to catering accounts using cash. Students can credit accounts using the two ‘top up’ machines located in our foyer. 

Please note: Unfortunately the Finance Office cannot change notes for students and if given a £10 note from parents the full amount would have to be put onto the account.

Lend Facility in the Canteen
The school offers a ‘lend’ facility at lunchtime to enable students to have a meal if they have either forgotten their packed lunch for their lunch money. 

We thought it would be useful to remind you about our lend procedure so everyone is clear on how it works:

  • If a student has forgotten their lunch, or does not have enough money on their catering account, we will offer a ‘lend’ facility of £2.30. This will enable a student to purchase a meal deal for the day (cooked lunch + desert). 
  • Parents will be informed that a ‘lend’ has been given by way of text and email; we urge parents to top up when they receive this communication from us.
  • A ‘lend’ facility will only be offered over our lunch service (this will not be offered at break time).
  • Students with an overdrawn balance will not be eligible for a further ‘lend’ (once one lend has been given we will expect parents to repay the school before further purchases are made from the canteen). Sorry, we are unable to offer further lends.
  • Only under exceptional circumstances will a ‘lend’ be available on day two and this will need to be authorised by a member of the School Leadership Team.
  • If a student has an overdrawn catering balance parents must ensure they supply their child with a packed lunch/snacks until their catering account is brought into credit.

Financial Assistance for Uniforms
These are the key headlines regarding the support available to parents for the purchase of uniform items:

  • If you are receiving Free School Meals, financial assistance may be available to help provide the essential clothing items that your child needs to attend school. 
  • The school offers support to eligible parents at the beginning of Year 7 and Year 9. 
  • A Uniform Grant application form is available from the School Finance Office.
  • Uniform support will also be considered for students eligible for pupil premium funding; requests must be made via the School Finance Office. 
  • If a uniform grant is awarded to a parent, they will receive a voucher to use at our school uniform supplier, Skoolkit; no cash payment is given to parents. 

Other important information for you to be aware of

  • Please ensure you make payments for trips in line with our payment schedule. This has been created to tie in with payments to be made to the tour operator. The School passes on all payments and cannot subsidise non-payment. 
  • If you are ever concerned about your ability to make a payment to the School please contact the member of staff organising the trip/event in the first instance. 

School Library

The Library exists to inspire and support the learning of the whole school community, and actively supports and promotes reading for pleasure and for information. The Library is a comfortable and welcoming space, with a wide range of resources, including fiction and non-fiction books, reference books, DVDs, magazines, newspapers and networked computers. 

The Library is run by Dr Mount and Dr Dutton, both qualified Librarians, and is open and staffed from 8am until 3pm, except when the Librarians are supporting learning elsewhere in the school. Students may use the Library before school, during break and lunch, and after school. Students may also visit during lesson times with permission from their class teacher. The Library is frequently used as a classroom space, particularly for Reading Lessons. The Librarians are available to help students with choosing a book or finding information in print or online, and are assisted by a team of student Library Monitors.

All students and staff automatically become a member of the School Library from their first day at USH. Students are able to borrow up to four books and one DVD. A fine is charged for DVDs that are returned late.

The Library is a quiet and calm place, where many students come to read and do homework. Users of the Library are expected to respect the space in which they are working and to be considerate of other users. Food, drink, and mobile phones are not allowed in the Library.