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USH Newsletter 20th October 2017

Paris 2017

We had a smooth, early start to the trip, leaving school around 6am.  The motorways were mercifully quiet meaning we got to Dover in time for our ferry – the drivers did suggest it might be tight but we made it!  A calm crossing was followed by our first encounters with the language, culture and money at the service station.  Students learnt that many things are the same in both languages and managed to order food without much problem and had a game of ‘babyfoot’ for good measure.  We arrived in Paris in good time to get settled into our rooms, eat a lovely French meal ‘chez Didier’ with lots of compliments coming from the students.

We caught a train into Paris the following morning with very few students losing their tickets; one student in particular crawled under a barrier as their ticket didn't work!  A beautiful morning beckoned over the centre of Paris with clouds making way for glorious sunshine.  Unfortunately, the time spent waiting to go through security to the base of the Eiffel Tower was somewhat wasted as, to our astonishment, the tower was shut.  It seems a strike had been called with no warning.  The staff at the boat ticket office knew nothing of this and were happy to accommodate us on a river cruise after lunch.

We made our way to Sacre-Coeur via the numerous souvenir shops – cue students buying Paris hats and PSG shirts galore.  There was a festival going on at Sacre-Coeur so we thought it wise to head to the Artists Quarter at Montmartre for the students to check out what was on offer.  Having had caricatures done, we headed through Pigalle (which raised a few eyebrows) to the restaurant for our evening meal.  It was pleasing to see students trying some different food, one even winning an award for loving a ‘galette complete’.  The two groups took different routes home on the trains, but ultimately (and unknowingly) ended up on the same train at the end.  An honourable draw to end a great day, despite the disappointment of the Eiffel Tower being shut.  Did anyone mention it was Friday the 13th?!

Saturday's weather was even more glorious and the excitement of going to Disney hit fever pitch at we approached the park.  The Tower of Terror loomed large, the Castle brought the magic and we got through in good time to see the Parade and try a few rides.  Onto the Studios in the afternoon and several students teamed up with staff to try a few rides with queuing times less than in previous years.

We returned home the following day (with more beautiful sunshine) in France and slightly grey skies in Dover.  I can safely say that most people would have happily stayed in France.  Paris continues to be a place of awesome beauty and despite missing out on going up the Eiffel Tower, it’s a friendly and vibrant destination for our Year 8s where they learn to live with each other, look after each other, budget their money and just try something new.

Thanks for making it so great Year 8!!!   

Mr Perry

Grandparents Open Morning - Friday 10th November

USH will be hosting our annual Grandparents Open Morning on Friday 10th November.  Students will receive an invitation for their grandparents - please do join us for the morning which will include an Act of Remembrance at 11am.

Year 10 Battlefields Trip

The deadline for the Battlefields Trip has been extended until Friday 3rd November. This is to ensure every student in Year 10 taking History has the opportunity to attend this brilliant trip to the WW1 battlefields on the Western Front. Not only does the trip enrich our GCSE History Paper 2 site study of Newfoundland Park, which is a preserved battlefield on the Somme; it also provides students with an incredibly memorable and powerful opportunity to attend the battlefields during the centenary of the final year of the conflict and observe the huge impact WW1 had on so many different nations and how the fallen have been memorialised and remembered.

Please see the attached letter providing details about the trip and how you can book your child on to it. Here is a link to the article from last year’s trip to provide further information about the experiences your child will have:


Please do not hesitate to contact trip leader and Subject Lead for History, Mr Farley if you have any questions about the trip.


Letters from the Library ….

A warm welcome to all new students!

It’s been very busy in USH Library since the beginning of the new academic year.  We have been introducing the new Year 7 students to the delights of the Library, both in social times and during their fortnightly Library lessons.

All Year 7 students receive a free book from the Library during the autumn term. The book is theirs to take home and to keep, and is our gift to them.  We hope that it encourages them to read for pleasure.  To provide all students with a free book, we have teamed up with the charity BookTrust, who run a programme called BookBuzz. Students choose one of seventeen books, all selected by BookTrust, which will then be delivered to them later in the term.

Some students have written a few words about BookBuzz:

“Superstar Geek. That’s the book that I chose. You might be wondering: what am I doing? Well you see, I’m choosing a book for BookBuzz. You choose a book from the options you are given, then after a while you get the book…to keep….for free!  Hopefully, I will like my choice and you would too, when you do it of course.”

Samah J, 7C

“When I was told we were getting a free book as a welcome to the library, I was surprised. The library at USH likes to involve us as students and they encourage us to read books that are our level and are about a subject we enjoy. I am looking forward to reading Girl on a Plane (my free book).”

Megan C, 7U

“It was nice to know that I’m soon going to get a book of my own choice. There were some very good books on the list. I chose Blood Guard.”

Lucas O, 7S

Finally, we said goodbye to Dr Dutton this week as she moves on to a new post at Salisbury Cathedral Library. We wish her lots of luck in her new job.

Dr Mount
Senior Lirbrarian

Goodbye from Dr Anne Dutton, Librarian

After five and a half years of working in the Library at USH, I am leaving to take up the position of Assistant Librarian at Salisbury Cathedral.  Instead of looking after a library filled with books for young people, I shall be looking after a library filled with historic, leather-bound volumes.  My working life will be quite different!  I have greatly enjoyed my time here as a school librarian.  Many people think that school libraries are silent spaces, only visited by bespectacled, bookish students, but USH Library is a busy, lively place, filled with all kinds of students, doing all kinds of activities – reading, doing homework, doing the crossword, hanging out with friends, playing games, and talking to the Librarians.  I have particularly enjoyed getting to know so many of the students, and having such wide-ranging discussions with them.  It has also been a privilege to work with such wonderful colleagues.   Goodbye to you all, and thank you for so many great memories.

Where have you been?

On the Year 6 taster day, the new Year 7s were set a task.  We asked them to send the Geography Department a postcard from their summer holiday.   It was fantastic to see so many waiting for us when we returned to school in September.

The Year 7s had travelled from Cornwall to Edinburgh and Spain to Disney Land. The student that made us most jealous had travelled to Bali in Indonesia, where there are often volcanic eruptions.

Thank you to everyone who sent postcards in; they are now on display in the Geography Department.

The Geography Department

Netball Update

The Under 14s Netball Team have had a great year so far. They currently stand in 3rd place, 1 point behind St Anne's and with 1 game  in hand. They have made massive improvements since last year, with a good wins against St Georges 19-0 and St Anne's 10-6 on Tuesday!

Well done

Mrs Fortune

Support Needed - Mock Interview Week (w/c 6th November 2017)

We are holding our ‘Year 10 Mock Interview Week’ w/c  6th November.  In the past this event has proven to be extremely successful 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.

Mrs Anderson
Tel: 023 8032 5333

Go To Work With An Adult Day - 7th December 2017 (Year 9)

Letters regarding ‘Go To Work With An Adult (parent, family member or friend) Day’ have been sent home to Year 9 Parents.   This event will take place on Thursday 7th December.  The aim of the day is to raise awareness of the world of work.  This opportunity will allow your son/daughter to gain valuable first-hand experience of the workplace, an important element of the careers programme which we are unable to offer in school. 

We hope that you will be able to take your son/daughter to work or arrange for him/her to go to work with a family member/friend. 

If you have any queries, please contact Mrs Anderson.


Work Experience Report

The school year ended for Year 10 students with Work Experience.  We had a record number of students taking part and we received some excellent comments from employers.  There are too many to publish them all, but here are a few employer comments:

 ‘Carried out all tasks thoroughly.  Would take again for work experience’

‘Great guy, seemed to enjoy what he was doing.  Sure he has a bright future’

‘Really impressed, well presented.  Really good with customers’

‘Fantastic worker. Worked hard on a wide variety of tasks (admin, helping in lessons, sports lessons)’

‘Worked really hard, completed all tasks given with a smile.  Always happy to help all members of staff’

‘Pleasant and enthusiastic throughout week.    Capable, followed instruction well when working with complex instruments.  He should be proud of his efforts’

‘Pleasure to have for work experience.  Self-motivated and hard-working’

‘Approach to work experience was positive.  Showed a mature level of confidence.  Presented a positive work ethic.  Pleasure to have as part of the team’


Well done to all students who took part!

Mrs Anderson

Careers Information

Please take the time to have a look at this 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


Thank You

Mrs Anderson

SEND update

Mrs Bradshaw has left Upper Shirley High School to pursue charitable interests.  Please contact Heads of Years in the first instance for any queries or concerns in relation to SEND.

School Trip Payments Update

The next instalment for the Barcelona Trip (£140) is due on 20th November.  

The final payment for the Ski Trip was due on 2nd October.  Please can you ensure that payments are made as soon as possible.  

If you have any difficulties or issues with payments, please contact the Finance Team

Canteen service

We have received a few queries from new Year 7 parents about our canteen menu and the availability of fruit and veg. To help parents understand this, we have posted a copy of our new autumn menu on our website under the Parent tab and then School Meals. 

We also thought it would be useful to summarise the current offer. At the moment, students are able to purchase pieces of fruit or a melon/grape pot at each service. At lunchtimes, we have the salad bar and vegetables are available with the main meal options. 

We have recently added vegetable bags to go with our ‘grab and go’ foods such as pizza, rolls and baguettes. They contain either sticks of carrots, peppers or cucumber (all these items are also available from the salad bar). We have agreed to run this as a trial so we can check there is sufficient demand.

If you have any queries or concerns over our catering service please contact Julie Prince, the School Business Manager.