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USH Newsletter 8th May 2018

Topping Off! and Expansion

If you have been visiting the timelapse videos of the expansion you will have seen that the brickwork is complete, the roof is now complete and doors and windows are in!

To celebrate the completion of the roof on the new building we held a 'Topping Off” ceremony.  What is a ‘Topping Off’ ceremony?  Topping Off is a Pagan tradition and for centuries, builders have celebrated the moment a building structure reaches it's topmost point. The age-old tradition, originally conceived to bestow good luck on a building and ward off evil spirits is now more commonly recognised as an opportunity to thank the workforce and celebrate progress made.

One of the earliest ceremonies was held on 28 March 1393 for the Winchester School, while ceremonies have been referred to in writings since 1400.  In the 14th century, it was customary to put a yew tree branch at the highest point of the building to keep evil spirits at bay. Medieval records show that the personal flag of the structure’s owner would be hoisted to the top of the building once the shell was complete. According to other historical documents, a weathercock or vane was placed at the summit.  While constructing great mansions, builders would fly coloured flags from the roof to show they needed more materials. Different colours were used to represent stone, brick and timber.

The topping off ceremony is celebrated around the world.  There is evidence to suggest that the Egyptians used a live tree in a topping off ceremony for the country’s first stone building. Elsewhere, the story goes that a man was buried in the Great Wall of China’s foundations, after builders completed one of the sprawling structure’s sections in 200 BC.  According to an ancient legend, 10,000 people had to be buried beneath the wall but rather than meet with this grim requirement, one person was named "Workman 10,000" and sacrificed accordingly.  In Brazil, branches and leaves are attached to the building and the workforce eat, drink and dance as part of a ritual, in Germany laurels are hung around the chimney and the builders, the Danish decorate the roof of the building with evergreen garlands and in Jordan, builders hold a religious ceremony followed by a feast.

A principal guest is often invited to apply the final pour of structural concrete to the highest point of the building. We were joined by members of the The Hamwic Trust together with the Project Manager and members of the construction team  and Mr Farmer, CEO of The Hamwic Trust signed the last roof tile to be fitted.  In a nod to the past we have placed a yew branch under this last roof tile.

Getting to this stage has not been easy and has involved the hard work and support of many people, all of whom we thanked today.  What they have done as a group is to work together to produce an amazing building in which USH will be able to educate our students with levels of comfort, enjoyment and facilities far ahead of those currently offered in the present building.  We will hope for trouble free progress towards completion later in the year.

Year 7, 8 and 9 Exams

Our thanks go to the students for the impeccable way they conducted themselves in the exam over the past two weeks. These will now be marked within the departments and the students given the results. Their teachers will use this information to further identify what students need to continue to progress. Thank you also to the parents for your support.

Year 10 – Tidal Tuesday

A group of Year 10 students visited Carnival House (Carnival UK’s head office) to find out about the careers available at sea and the lifelong career prospects offered by the maritime industry.
The visit included a CV workshop to learn how to create an appealing and effective CV.  A workshop to learn more about Carnival UK and what it is like to live and work at sea and information on the opportunities available including cadet and apprenticeship schemes.
Student comments include:
‘I have learnt how interesting it could be to work at sea’
‘I want to be a chef on board a ship’
‘I’m considering being a receptionist on board’
‘It has introduced me to life on board and the benefits of working on a cruise ship’
‘It has made me re-think what I would like to do as a career’

Year 7 visit to University of Southampton

A group of Yr 7 students spent the morning exploring the University of Southampton campus and finding out about Higher Education.
‘I really enjoyed our trip to the University of Southampton.  The Student Ambassadors were very friendly and welcoming.  The activities we did on the day educated me on things such as  - they have links in different countries, they have jobs for students on campus and they have a huge variety of courses and societies.  My favourite part of the day was the tour because they have so many buildings and it was very interesting’.  Megan Chadwick

‘I enjoyed the trip to Southampton University because the Student Ambassadors ran a treasure hunt/tour of the Highfield campus which was interesting and we then did some games to do with it.  I learnt they have lots of other links around the world and places they can learn.  We also learnt about the clubs they run and the activities they do in their free time.  Overall, I thought it was a good, interesting trip and I recommend doing it again’.  Kal Robinson

Exploration and Discovery for British Science Week 2018

Year 7s and Year 8s were challenged to create a poster on the theme of Exploration and Discovery for British Science Week 2018. There were many fantastic entries, and it was great to see the originality in the range of posters put forward.

The winner was Cameron who produced an outstanding poster on 'Gravity' and even conducted his own experiment at home. The runners up were Lucas who made a lovely 3D poster about the solar system and James who wrote about the discovery of pasteurisation. They each received their own Science prize.

Online Safety

Please find below a link to The National Online Safety Team's free guide for parents.


They have created this FREE guide for us to share with our community about Yubo (formerly Yellow), the social media application which has been commonly labelled as ‘Tinder for Teens’.

The guide informs parents about the dangers associated with the platform and how they can reduce the associated risks, including, but not limited to; Bullying, Low Self Esteem, ‘Going Live’ and Location Features.

Paris Trip Information

We will be hosting an information evening for the Paris trip on Thursday, 24th May starting at 6pm in the Hall.  Students and parents are invited and we will be sharing information about the itinerary and answering any questions people may have.  We will be collecting in passport, medical and dietary information on the evening.  A letter will be emailed and sent home with students prior to the meeting detailing what is required.

As a reminder the third payment of £125.00 is due by Friday 18th 2018 this will leave £100.00 to be paid.  If you are having any difficulties in making these instalments, please contact the finance office.

Annual Swimming Gala

On Thursday 3rd May, the ‘USH Swim Team’ competed at the Annual Swim Gala hosted by The Quays Swimming and Diving Complex in Southampton. 8 Southampton Schools were present at the event and USH took 37 swimmers from years 7-10 to participate. It was a great afternoon and we had some great wins, with the following students achieving GOLD in their individual event:
Dominik Kozak – 50m Breaststroke
Oliver Cook- 25m Butterfly
Issy Turner- 50m Backstroke
Evie Turner- 25m Butterfly
A massive thank you to all the swimmers that took part, you were a credit to the school.
Miss Dunne and Miss Wright-Davies

Table Tennis Star in the Making Perhaps?

In the last newsletter we wished one of our Year 9 students good luck as he was about to travel to Inverness to represent England in a national table tennis competition.
Mathieu’s team came 4th out of 6 teams, but individually he won 5 out of 9 games.
He said it was very difficult, but a great experience and looks forward to next year!
Well done Mathieu.

Year 10 – City football cup winners 2018!

USH Year 10 football continued their fantastic record in city cup finals with a thrilling 5-4 win over Wildern School at AFC Stoneham. Despite the game being switched from the main pitch to one of the out pitches the boys maintained their focus and went 1-0 up thanks to a Josh Batt header from a well worked corner. Due to the high temperatures the mid-way point of each half saw much needed drinks breaks, this worked in Wildern’s favour as by half time they had scored twice to move 2-1 up.
The team came out for the second half rejuvenated and an excellently taken goal by Ollie Lovell levelled the scores up as he calmly side footed the ball into the far corner of the net. The second half was like a game of basketball with teams taking in turns to attack and this brought a flurry of goals as Wildern re-took the lead to go 3-2 up before USH again responded well to level things up at 3-3 thanks to the first of Ewan Haylor’s two goals. As the game approached the final ten minutes both teams were tiring and it became a battle of desire and of which team wanted to win the game more. A period of USH pressure paid off as Ewan Haylor scored his second with a header before a frantic final five minutes of the match.
Ben Puleo saved brilliantly from a goal bound Wildern effort, but the rebound shot was stopped on the line by the desperate Ewan Haylor, only to then have been adjudged by the referee to have handled the ball and prevented a clear goal scoring opportunity. The letter of the law was enforced by the referee which meant USH had to face a penalty and the last 5 minutes of the game with ten players. Wildern equalised to make the game 4-4 and at that stage USH were happy to get to extra time…however, the resilience and never say die attitude of the players resulted in one final attack with Ollie Lovell skilfully working his way into Wildern’ s penalty area before being tripped by a defender – Penalty to USH! Ollie confidently struck the ball into the bottom corner of the net to give USH the win and cue scenes of celebration after an excellent but extremely hard fought win.

Thanks to all of the players involved this season for their dedication and efforts and to all the parents for their support, especially at the cup final – it helped make a difference!
Well done USH Year 10 football team, we are very proud of you!
Ben Puleo, Billy Terrell, Josh Humphrey, Josh Batt (Captain), Tyler Greenough, Zack Williams, Reece Kimber, Sam Bowan, Ollie Lovell, Owen Bunday, Ewan Haylor, Ebenezar Gyeabour, Hayden Bussell, Seb Biela and Kacper Hajdus.

Enthusiasm for Geography

Well done Joe of year 9 for another excellent bit of homework proving that homework doesn't always have to be completed on paper!  The year group's enthusiasm for this terms topic of tropical storms has been great and Joe created this amazing example using Lego to go with his work. 

Mrs Ndupuechi.

JEP Summer Festival

All schools in the Jefferys Education Partnership will be collaborating, once again, to stage the
2018 JEP SUMMER FESTIVAL on Thursday 21st June at Central Hall. 
The event will be featuring the JEP Staff and Parent choir which you are invited to join. No previous experience is necessary and we welcome mums, dads, grandparents, teaching staff, office staff, ex-students....everyone!

See the attached poster for details of the rehearsal dates and venues.  Join in the fun, raise your spirits and help to bring our JEP community together.

A reminder ..... 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

Stationery Items Available from the Finance Office

Exam time is upon us again and I would like to remind all parents and students that stationery items including, pens, pencils, calculators etc. are available from the finance office.