Upper Shirley High

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“This is a good school for the creative variety of subjects.” Year 6 parent

USH Newsletter

Headteacher welcome


The autumn at secondary school is synonymous with refocus and renewal. Throughout this term we have been working together to secure increasingly high expectations in conduct, uniform and commitment to independent learning.

I continue to be inspired by our students and I was delighted to celebrate with those whose efforts won them a place on the Attitude to Learning Leader Board and I am joining year groups in
their celebration assemblies in the coming days to share their successes. I addressed Year 11 prior to the release of their Mock Exam results this week, encouraging them to give themselves space to make sense of where they are and where they want to be. I’ve long since stopped telling them how important these exams are; students know this already. My job is to strengthen the learning bond with teachers and give everyone the confidence to aim high.

I want to thank parents for your continued support of our school and thank you to staff for your commitment this term.

I wish everyone a safe, restful and restorative Christmas holiday.

Here’s to successful 2018 together.


Mr Woods


USH Christmas Card Competition – the winner is……

Congratulations to Elle Lavin in Year 7  for winning the USH Christmas card competition.
Students were asked to create a photograph to go on the front of the 2017 Christmas card and Elle’s photograph stood out as the very best. She used props and lighting creatively to make this stunning image.

Christmas Arrangements

Here are some important dates for December –

Monday 18th December

Practice rehearsal day for those students and staff involved in our annual Christmas Carol Concert. More details to follow for parents with students taking part in this event.

Tuesday 19th December (daytime)

Christmas Lunch in School. There will be no break service on this day and no other food will be served at lunchtime. If students have not ordered a Christmas meal they will need to bring a packed lunch into school. Unfortunately, the kitchen will not be able to accommodate last minute orders on the day.

A Christmas meal will be provided to those students eligible for free school meals, but they must
be ordered in the normal way. If a student who has free school meals does not wish to have a Christmas meal, they will need to bring in a packed lunch, as no other meals will be supplied on the day.

Tuesday 19th December (evening)

Christmas Carol Concert at St James’ Church, 6.30pm-7.30pm.
Refreshments provided afterwards by the USH PTFA.

This is a very special community event for our staff and students; we are planning a wonderful festive event to showcase our musical talent. All parents are welcome.

Wednesday 20th December

Last day of term. This will be a non-uniform day and we ask students to bring in a charitable donation of 50p. We would encourage students to come into school wearing sensible
clothing with a festive theme; I know many students will enjoy the opportunity to wear their Christmas jumper.

The Talent Show will also take place on the last day of term along with a variety of
seasonal activities in tutor bases.

Students will be leaving school early at 1.05pm – there will be no lunch service on this day.

Thursday 21st December

INSET (School closed for students)

If you have questions about any of these events, please call the school office, or email
our general address: info@uppershirleyhigh.org

Grandparents Open Morning

Grandparents Open Morning:

This year we welcomed 115 grandparents to USH for our Remembrance Service. Our biggest turnout since we began this special event. A number of grandparents made a journey further than most. This year from as far away as Bristol and The Isle of Man.

Guests gathered with staff, students and cadets to mark our observance, showing collective respect for those who fought and those who fight for our country. We followed our service with refreshments and good conversation, sharing memories, some in pictures but most held only in mind.

Thank you to everyone who was able to come and to our absent friends; your grandchildren are a credit to you.

Local History Project – Grandparents can you help us?

Nuffield Southampton Theatre have set up a fantastic local History project for schools looking at the little known history of the Spitfire dispersal factories in Southampton.

As a result local businesses were requisitioned by the Ministry of Air Production in order to continue the manufacture of the aircraft - much of this took place here in Shirley! To support this exciting project we are looking to collect:

•  oral histories from local residents

•  copies of sources, e.g. photographs, records of working in one of these factories

If you have any information about this or any local History that we can use to engage our students please contact: Mr Farley – Head of History (stuart.farley@ushschool.org)

Year 10 Battlefields Trip

Mr Perry and I are delighted to confirm that the Battlefields Trip will be going ahead this year for Year 10 History and French students. From February 1-3, Students will be exploring historical WW1 sites and cemeteries in the Ypres Salient, Belgium and in the Somme region of France. Students from Mr Perry’s French class will also have the opportunity to practice their French in the town of Lens. 

This is an incredible experience for the students during the centenary of WW1 and will not only enrich their learning in the classroom, but also contribute greatly to student’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural development. Therefore, we would like to thank parents for your ongoing support with this trip.

Please find attached the confirmation letter that will be given to students this week. The total cost of the trip is £220 minus the £40 already paid for the deposit.

If your child is in Year 10 and takes History or French, we have 4 available spaces on the trip. Please contact Mr Farley or Mr Perry if they still want to go.

Details of our most recent WW1 Battlefield trip are below: 

Year 10 World War One Battlefield Trip 2017

Year 10 History students recently participated in a two night, three day tour of the WW1 Battlefields in Belgium and France. The students were fantastic and it was a great experience for all involved.

The first stop on our tour was Lijssenthoek Cemetery, which is the second largest British and Commonwealth cemetery in Belgium due to the nearby casualty clearing station. Here students were able to explore graves of all nationalities, rank and regiment, including Nellie Spindler, a nurse who died as a result of a shell explosion saving others at the front. We then drove beside the old railway line the 14km to the front line trenches, where students were able to visualise what the war was like thanks to the many artefacts at Hooge Crater museum. A new feature at the museum was the reconstruction of part of a German front-line trench. Being in the trenches in the cold and mud surrounded by two massive mine craters and concrete machine bunkers gave the students a grim idea of what soldiers had to go through on both sides.

In the evening the students took part in the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate, a nightly tradition for the missing British Empire soldiers going back to 1927. Students were then rewarded for their efforts during the first day with a visit to a local chocolate shop.

Students were up for an early start the next day in order to cross the border into France. Our first stop was to visit the largest French military cemetery, Notre Dame de Lorette. The feedback from students as they stood amongst the 40,057 French soldiers buried here was how they were struggling to comprehend the sheer number of crosses.

At Vimy Ridge we were given a tour of a British tunnel, which was used to bring soldiers and supplies to the frontlines. Out of the tunnel we explored the preserved battlefield and visited the amazing memorial for the Canadian divisions who took the area in 1917. We then visited Newfoundland Park to explore the preserved battlefields, memorials and cemeteries from the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Here students stood by the death tree and listened to an account of a soldier from the Newfoundland division who described the harrowing experiences of soldiers trying to make it through the only gap in the barb wire. We finished our tour of France with a visit to Thiepval Memorial to the 72,000 British Empire soldiers missing at the Somme.

A real highlight from our time in France was that Maisy Parkes and Ben Naylor were able to lay crosses at the graves of their relatives who they had researched prior to the trip. In addition, we saw the cemetery where Ami Nicholls’ relative is buried and Abigail Goldstraw took a photo of her relative’s name on the Thiepval Memorial. Ben has written about his experience: “Percy Thompson was my great, great, great uncle, I felt very honoured to visit his grave and place a remembrance cross next to it whilst on the battlefields trip. It is an experience I will never forget.”

On the final day, the students explored In Flanders Fields Museum dedicated to the hugely significant role Ypres played in the war. We then visited Tyne Cot, the largest British and Commonwealth cemetery in the world. 

Despite the pouring rain, which allowed us to picture what happened here in the Battle of Passchendaele quite vividly, the students continued to be interested and engaged and it was here under the cross of sacrifice where we all gathered to lay our USH wreath. We then visited Langemark, one of only four German cemeteries in the Flanders region, and students were immediately struck by the sombre contrast. Here we showed our respect to the German soldiers who lost their lives by laying another USH wreath.

Now on our way back home, we stopped at the town of Poperinge, a place behind the frontlines where British soldiers could relax and be human again.
Here, students were faced with the difficult concept of the ‘Death’ cells where British soldiers were imprisoned and in rare cases shot at dawn for serious civilian crimes and military crimes such as cowardice.

I would like to thank the students who were fantastic throughout the
whole trip and made this a really enjoyable experience for all. I would also like to thank Miss Simpson, Miss Sackmann and Mr Bhardwaj for their great effort and support on the trip and the colleagues back at USH who supported the trip and made sure everything ran smoothly back in school. The students really were a credit to our school and I was extremely proud of them all.

Mr Farley

Subject Leader for History

School History Project Advisor for South East Region:

Head of History, Mr Farley, has recently been appointed as the School History Project
Advisor for the South East Region, a fantastic opportunity.

The Schools History Project (SHP) believes that helping children and young people to understand themselves in time is a vital part of education.  SHP promotes a history curriculum for all learners that is rigorous, engaging and inclusive and also provides highly-regarded professional development for history teachers through its conferences and courses. Mr Farley will provide a local contact point for teachers and trainees looking for support in their history teaching. A main part of the role will be supporting History teachers in the South East deliver the OCR SHP specification successfully working with lead examiners to hold termly network sessions here at USH to share best practice.


Jesse-Jake Meets the Mayor!

On Thursday 23rd November, Jesse-Jake Le-Warne attended the awards ceremony for the ‘Southampton Flag Competition’ at the Civic Centre. Jesse-Jake came 1st in his age category and was awarded 2nd place in the overall competition. 

He had the opportunity to meet the Mayor of Southampton and featured in Friday’s Daily Echo. His flag design is featured below. Well done Jesse-Jake!

Miss Dunne - Head of Year 7

Library News

Year 7 students received an early Christmas present from the Library last week. Every student received a book of their own, to keep, as part of the Book Buzz scheme. Students had made their choices back in October, from a list of seventeen titles, and had been waiting eagerly for the books to arrive. 

The Librarian handed out the books during Library Lessons and students started reading them straight away. The Book Buzz scheme is one of the many things we do at USH to encourage reading. Year 7s have already made a promising start with their reading and are making good progress with Accelerated Reader.
All the Book Buzz books are part of the Accelerated Reader scheme, so students will be able to take quizzes once they have finished their books.

Below: 7T receive their Book Buzz books.

Sporting Success!


Congratulations to the under 13 and under 15 netball teams who came second in the Southampton Schools Netball league and tournaments.


Congratulations to the following students who gained places in the Hampshire Schools Rowing Competition;

Michal Falkowski:2nd

Millie Terrell:2nd

Eleanor Marshall-Cox: 2nd

Olivia Norton: 3rd

Adam Hodges:3rd

The following students have qualified for the National Schools Rowing competition in March 2018 by competing in the Hampshire schools competition earlier this month and achieving 2nd n their age group.

Eleanor Marshall-Cox (10), Millie Terrell (7), Michael Falkowski (7)

Cross Country:

On Tuesday 28th November, 20 students took part in Hampshire Schools Cross Country at St. Swithun’s School in Winchester. Congratulations to all those who took part and represented the
school brilliantly, competing against some of the strongest runners in the region.

The following students have been chosen to represent Hampshire at Cross Country after being very successful this season:

Lou Forder, Olivia Norton, Eleanor Marshall-Cox, Leon Longhurst, Ben Bowles, Luke Halford


Darshi Rana (Year 7) competed in the Southern Schools Trampolining competition and achieved 7th out of 31 competitors. This was an excellent achievement as she competed in the next age group up in the U14 category!!

Well done and good luck for future competitions everyone!

The PE Department

Important Messages from the Finance Team:

Barcelona Instalment Reminder: The latest instalment for the Barcelona trip was due on the 20th November.  If the payment is still outstanding it is very important to make the payment as soon as possible. If you are having any difficulties in making the payment, please contact finance on finance@ushschool.org where we will be happy to discuss this and help where possible.

The final instalment for the Barcelona trip is due by the 5th February 2018, please feel free to make smaller payments between now and February if you would find this easier.

Payments can be made online, by cheque made payable to Upper Shirley High School or in cash at the finance office.

Ski Trip Final Payment: The final payment for the Ski trip was due on Monday 2nd October. Any outstanding balances need to be paid as soon as possible?  If you are have any difficulties in making this payment please contact the finance office at finance@ushschool.org to discuss the possibility of a payment plan.

Cheques: The school now has a new bank account. In future all cheques being sent into school will need to be made payable to Upper Shirley High School.

Where cheques are not made out to Upper Shirley High School, this may cause a delay in payments being made as they will unfortunately need to be returned and rewritten.  Thank you in advance to everyone for their assistance with this matter to ensure the smooth running of all payments.

Stationery: A range of stationery can be purchased from finance, such as pens, pencils, calculators, rules, protractors, school ties etc.  A full price list can be found on the glass window of the finance office (unfortunately these items cannot be purchased online)

“The academy benefits from being part of a local multi-academy trust. You particularly value the close links this gives the academy with its community.” Ofsted 2016