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USH Newsletter 29th January 2018

Headteachers Welcome


Our students returned after the festive break keen and eager to take on the new year together. It is fantastic to see them so motivated and enthusiastic around school.  The hall is currently a hive of activity with the rehearsals for Rock Challenge (our 2018 entry is called Burning Bright) the company are in full swing. Good luck everyone on the 19th at the Guildhall. 

Staff are on top form this term and I want thank them for their unstinting commitment to our students. 

The building work is progressing well (despite the unpleasant weather) and it is exciting to see the first floor going in. If you have time, do have a look at our time-lapse films on the website.

As ever, thanks to parents for your support of USH .

Finally may I welcome my new PA, Nicolette Bateman.  Please feel free to contact her at PAtotheHead@ushschool.org

Stuart Woods, Headteacher

Welcome to New Staff

Welcome to Miss Taak, Ms Ramshaw, Mrs Muchmore and Mrs Bateman who have joined the USH team this term.

Our new SENCO - Zoe Ramshaw

I’m Zoe Ramshaw; the school’s new SENCO.

I joined USH at the start of the January after spending over 10 years at my previous school in Hampshire.  I am really looking forward to building new relationships with the students and their families, particularly for any students who have any Special Educational Needs.

Over the coming weeks, I will be contacting specific parents to discuss their son or daughter and the ongoing support that we are offering them. Developing this partnership between school and home is a crucial part of my role.

If any parents would like to contact me to discuss any specific concerns they may have regarding any aspects of SEND, my email address is zoe.ramshaw@ushschool.org or they can leave a message for me through the main school number.

Work Experience

As you are aware at USH we strongly believe that work
experience provides an invaluable insight into life after school and informs
future choices.  It is reported that the
UKs top businesses prefer to recruit people with work experience on their

In the past a number of students have excelled during their placements and as a result were offered part-time work/apprenticeships.

We would like our students to have the opportunity of placements within sectors they are interested in.  Several students have contacted employers without success.  Areas of interest include accountancy, law, architecture, engineering, IT, administration, police and
design.  If you work within these sectors, or indeed any other sector and are able to help by offering a placement or providing contact details it would be much appreciated.  Year 10 work experience is scheduled for 16th-20th July.  Please contact me at Carey.anderson@ushschool.org

Thank you from the Air Ambulance Service

We received a thank you letter from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Service for the £340.00 raised during our non-uniform day.

Photography trip to London 31st January

Year 9 and 10 photographers had a busy day in London on the
31st January.

At the Natural History Museum, we got the chance to
see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. With over 60 photos to
view, we were impressed with the variety and technical ability of the photos on

During a lecture at the National Portrait gallery we were able to discuss
and get an expert opinion on the photographs from The Taylor Wessing
Photographic Portrait prize exhibition. Then we were able to look round this
prestigious exhibition and complete some writing for their schoolwork with
extra knowledge and insight. As we left the gallery, the sun came out and we
were able to take photographs of some of the iconic landmarks in central
London; crossing the Thames, walking under the London Eye and across Trafalgar

Year 8 Key Information

Year 8 have started to look at jobs and options choices in
tutor time and over the coming months there will be further opportunities to
investigate options.  Tutors and myself will be meeting with and
discussing individual option choices with all of Year 8 to help support them in
making these decisions.  Below are a number of key dates to support both
parents and students in making these decisions.

Week beginning 5th February – Year 8 Reports go home

Week beginning 19th February – Year 8 Options information and booklets sent home

Thursday 8th March – Options Evening

Thursday 15th March – Year 8 Parent’s Evening

Thursday 29th March – Options deadline for return of paperwork

Miss Simpson

Year 8 – Learn with University of Southampton Visit

24 year 8 students visited the university to attend taster sessions with a Geophysicist,
Medic and Acoustic Engineer.

Jacob Mittoo wrote this about the visit:

On Wednesday, in our university trip we had 3 activities. The first was medicine. The second was acoustic engineering. The third was Geo-physics. In Geo-physics, we learnt about the aurora. First we learnt about Kristian Birkeland who made the first Terella and who first proposed the theory that the aurora was because of free electrons hitting the Earth. In the presentation, we played a game of kahoot, which was to do with the aurora. Later, we used a planeterella (an updated version of the terella) to represent what happened. It was extremely fun. The planeterella was of two magnetised balls (one representing Earth and one representing the Sun) in a vacuum and electrons were fired onto the Earth which caused an aurora to light up around it. This was extremely interesting and I really enjoyed it.

Alfie Naylor wrote:

At the university trip I enjoyed the medic workshop as I liked learning to do CPR.  We also learned which different types of doctors there are and what they do.  We did a quiz as well where the winner won a prize which was fun.

Arts University of Bournemouth Visit

On the 29th January year 11 art students visited Arts University of Bournemouth to take part in a drawing masterclass.

The session gave Year 11 students the opportunity to experience the AUB campus and explore progression routes into the arts. The bespoke life drawing session strengthened their observation and drawing skills.

Students thoroughly enjoyed the
experience, working in the new drawing studio and drawing at easels.

The drawing workshops were challenging, but all students made incredible progress as they grew in confidence and developed skills in proportion and form.

Thank you to AUB for hosting, and we hope this becomes a yearly opportunity for Year 11 art students.

Accelerated Reader News for year 7

Year 7 students have now been reading and quizzing for more than a term, and most have really embraced the reading culture at our school. Here at USH, we participate in the Accelerated Reader scheme, where we ‘read a book, then take the quiz’ and build up points
towards termly targets.

Year 7 students have now read a staggering 49 million words and passed 1,550 quizzes. Last term, 82 students achieved their reading targets and were awarded certificates, achievement points and prizes. This term, the aim is for even more students to meet their targets, and so we are enlisting the support of family and friends, who can help by encouraging children to read, reading with them or listening to them read and taking an active interest in their progress. To enable this, we are inviting parents to participate in Home Connect, which allows you to view the individual reading progress of your child on the Accelerated Reader scheme. You will have received a letter about this on Tuesday, but please contact me at Rosina.Mount@ushschool.org
if you need any help or further information.

I will be available in the Library during Year 7 Parents’ Evening to answer any queries you may have and give advice on suitable books for your child.

Battlefields Trip

We left school bright and early last Thursday in good spirits, not least because our driver Dennis seemed very pleasant!  A nice bus driver makes all the difference, and so it proved.  After a quick stop for breakfast en route, we were on the tunnel in no time at all, the M25 was nice to us.

After arriving in Belgium the first stop on our tour was Lijssenthoek Cemetery, which is the second largest British and Commonwealth cemetery in the Ypres Salient due to it being a casualty clearing station during the war. Here students were
able to explore graves of all nationalities, rank and regiment, including Nellie Spindler, a nurse who died as a result of her bravery to treat patients closer to the front in order to save lives. 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.

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.

The hotel accommodation was like a modern dormitory with plenty of space for luggage on the floors with beds that were far more comfortable than they
appeared.  The place was ideal with a pool table and bowling alley, both of which proved very popular with the students. The staff had never witnessed such comical and indeed lengthy games of pool!

On Friday morning students were up for an early start 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.

The French students were dropped in the town of Lens and we made our way to the train station taking special note of road signs and shop windows, working out meanings and giving the students a real life context to what they have learnt in the classroom.  At the station, amongst lots of nervous giggling, all students managed to order their train tickets and even work out the platform and time of the next train to Arras.  We had 30 minutes in Lens and some of us were lucky enough to go to a café where the larger than life owner had
made crepes for ‘La Chandeleur’ (pancake day) and we were fortunate enough to be offered one each.

The History students then travelled down to Vimy Ridge where 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 for the Canadian divisions who took the area in 1917. Students were impressed by the spectacular memorial to the missing and explored the tunnels and trenches with great respect and curiosity. We were then back on the coach and moving south to the Somme where we visited Newfoundland Park. The site brought by the
Newfoundland government with the help of donations from wives and mothers contains the best preserved battlefield of the Somme offensive in 1916, along with memorials and cemeteries to the fallen. 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. It was interesting to hear students ask and debate
as we walked across no-mans land towards the German trenches about where the memorials and cemeteries were for the German soldiers and whether more effort should be made to remember their story here. We finished our tour of France with a visit to the incredible Thiepval Memorial to the 72,000 British Empire soldiers missing at the Somme. This was a special moment for Tamsin Mittoo who was able to find her relative on the memorial.

Meanwhile, the French students arrived in Arras after a short walk to the ‘Place des Héros’ where they were tasked with attempting a range of challenges to engage them in the language.  Students managed to order food and drink, find out their equivalent shoe size, take photos to prove what they’d found and generally absorb the surroundings of a beautiful French town.  The weather was mixed, beautiful sunshine, a rainbow then heavy rain but the students spirits were good and they came back full of stories.  We caught the train back to Arras to meet the History students coming back from the Somme.

On the final day, we visited Langemark, one of only four German cemeteries in the Flanders region, and students were immediately struck by the sombre contrast to the allied cemeteries. We then visited Tyne Cot, the largest British and Commonwealth cemetery in the world and students were able to look down across the wet, ploughed fields and imagine why the Battle of Passchendaele was such a failure. We were again impressed with the students interest to wander through the 12,000 graves and read the diverse and personal stories the grave stones reveal. We all gathered under the cross of sacrifice to watch Ella Rodgers and Ines Belmonte lay our USH wreath and listen to Katie May and Preet Singh read
the Ode of Remembrance. We then shared a minute silence to reflect on what we had seen during our trip and to pay our respects on behalf of the school and the community.

This was the first time we combined the Battlefields and French trip and the feedback from students was that they didn’t want to come home and they’d have quite happily spent more time in France!  The students have been buzzing about the visit and parents have been in touch to say how their sons and daughters have not stopped talking about their experiences.

Mr Perry and I would like to thank the students who were fantastic throughout the whole trip and made this a really enjoyable experience for all. We would also like to thank Mrs Anderson and Mrs Ahmed for their enthusiasm and support on the trip and also the colleagues back at USH who made sure everything ran smoothly back in school.

MrFarley and Mr Perry

Google Classroom and USH Steps 2

Having recently started using Google Classroom as our main homework and resource management website we are holding a information evening for parents on 27th February from 6pm till 7pm.  During the evening we hope to show how Google Classroom allows students, teachers and guardians to monitor homework and other resources in real-time. The talk will run through how Google Classroom works and how to make the most of our new system. We will be holding a Q&A session at the end of the presentation.

The second half of the evening will give us a chance to introduce the new tracking and monitoring system that has recently been developed and introduced throughout the school.  This part of the presentation will also cover changes to exams and grades, target setting, performance measures and reporting home to parents.  The PowerPoint from the presentation will be available afterwards on the school website, along with a much more detailed and in depth version for those parents who want a deeper level of information.

Ongoing support and identification of Year 7

The Learning Support team have spent a large part of the last term working with the Year 7 students to identify any specific needs they may have. Most recently, they have overseen the completion of the Cognitive Ability Test (CATs) with all of Year 7.

The results of the CAT’s give our staff information about how the students’ brains work and further insight into strategies we can use with individuals to help them achieve. The students behaved impeccably and were a credit to you and our school.

Employment Support Project

Please see the attached flyer regarding a project taking place across the city

Sports Lego-tastic

We welcomed students from Shirley Infant/Junior School, Hollybrook Infant/Junior School and Wordsworth Primary School to use our Gym for their Sports Lego-tastic event.  Using Lego combined with sports activities and
challenges they developed team work and resilience. 
Our Sports Leaders helped run the day and it appeared that everyone had lots of fun.

Success in Netball

Congratulations to the Year 7 and 8 Netball teams who have won their first league games very convincingly. It looking like it could be a very successful season!

Year 7

USH 16 Greggs 1

USH 9 St Georges 4

Year 8

USH 14 Greggs 3

USH 17 St Georges 1

Miss Wright-Davies and Miss Davey

Barcelona Trip

Final instalment was due by Monday 5th February 2018.  The full payment of £485.00 is required by this date to ensure the travel company can be paid to ensure the trip goes ahead with no planning issues.  If you have a balance to pay please do so at your earliest opportunity.

Paris Trip (Year 7 Only)

Deposits of £50.00 are now being taken for the Y7 trip to Paris in October 2018.  This trip is now available online to allow parents to make payments at their own convenience, payment can also be made by cash in school given to the finance office or by cheque made payable to Upper Shirley High School.

Tile Barn (Year 7 Only)

Deposits of £20.00 are now being take for the Y7 trip to Tile Barn in July 2018.  This trip is now available online to allow parents to make payments at their own convenience, payment can also be made by cash in school given to the finance office or by cheque made payable to Upper Shirley High School.

Trip Payments

If you are having any difficulty in making payments for any trip in line with the scheduled instalment dates originally sent out on the trip letter for the trip your child is attending,
please contact the finance office on finance@ushschool.org  to discuss the possibility of a revised payment plan.