A highlight of the year is always our annual awards ceremony at Central Hall. Congratulations to all our award winners, you have worked hard to achieve these awards and they are well deserved. Thanks too to all the presenters, readers and performers who made the event truly student-centred.
The warmth felt between our community has nothing to do with the soaring temperatures and everything to do with the wide-spread commitment and dedication from our stakeholders.
Year 10 Prefect Training at Richard Tauntons
I has the pleasure of taking 27 of our new prefect team to Richard Taunton’s on Tuesday 3rd July for a three hour sessions based around prefect training. This was the first time that they had put on such a sessions for us and included activities which helped the students develop their communication skills, problem solving ability and team work ethos. The morning was a great success and the session they put on was superb. The students took part in a mixture of classroom and activity based tasks including a social pecking order activity with playing cards, building towers with spaghetti and marshmallows, team obstacle courses as well as the theory behind it all.
Tom Barge and Robbie ran the session and were brilliant with our students who all had a great time and learned a lot about body language, how to communicate using more than just words and being confident – all skills which they will require in abundance in their new roles on the student leadership team.
Mr Hall – Head of Year 10
Year 7 Netball final for Hampshire School Games:
On Friday 22nd June the year 7 netball team were chosen to represent the Southampton schools for under 12 Netball as they won both their league and tournament against other schools in the Southampton area. They travelled to the Aldershot Garrison sports centre to compete against 7 other schools who had also won the league within their area. The girls were super excited about the day ahead and the event started with a huge dance performance and speeches from Olympic athletes. There were over 50 schools competing in a range of different sports throughout the day.
Once the girls got to the netball courts they found out their order of play and got into the swing of things. Their first game started off a bit rusty, however they managed to secure a draw. As the day went on the girls were really positive and praised both themselves and other teams even when they were losing. Several members of staff praised the girls on the way they acted both on and off the court and told them that they were a credit to our school.
As the day went on some of the matches proved very difficult, however the girls held their own and managed to win 4 matches, draw 1 and lost 2 against schools they had never played before.
During the awards ceremony the girls were feeling a little down hearted as they didn’t think that they had placed in the top 3. However they managed to secure a bronze medal and took 3rd place which is an amazing achievement. The girls had a fantastic time and were a real credit to the school.
USH Spelling Bee
This week USH held our third annual Spelling Bee. Everyone had a fantastic time and the overall winners are listed below:
Our overall winners of each heat were:
And our overall winner was:
On Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th of July, USH hosted the next cohort of 180 students that are due to come up to USH in September.
Over the two days, they moved through our school, experiencing a range of different subjects taught by different staff members- from English and Maths to Art and Languages. At lunchtime, they had exclusive use of our school canteen and were able to try something from our ever-growing menu. They were then treated to a ‘Musical Celebration’ on the Thursday afternoon with Ms Owen, Mr Harvey and members of the USH choir and orchestra.
Students were also able to spend quality time with their tutor who will support them throughout their 5 years here. It was a fantastic two days and the students are now getting excited about their first day here in September.
A special thank you to the Student Leadership Team, Sports Prefects and Peer Mentors, for being a real support to our year 6 students across the whole transition period. You were an absolute credit to our school.
Head of Year 7
City Athletics - Champions!
Well done to the students who participated at the City Athletics last week. USH won 10 out of the 12 awards.
This is a great achievement and we are very proud of our USH atheletes.
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Visit USH
Upper Shirley High School was treated to the dramatic and rousing sounds of a rehearsing Orchestra, throughout the day on Monday this week.
We were delighted and privileged to welcome some brilliant musicians from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, to work with forty instrumentalists from USH and our feeder schools Wordsworth, Hollybrook and Shirley Juniors.
This was designed to include experienced players and beginners in a day-long experience of working together to create a Performance of two pieces, one called “125” especially written to commemorate BSO’s 125th birthday and included lots of counting in 1s, 2s and 5s, of course … and the other piece, the famous “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite, with its challenges of tempo and dynamic build-up as the steady, quiet, menacing theme gets faster and louder, ending on deafening syncopated chords and terrifying percussion smashes.
Neil, the amazing conductor, had us all exploring the potential of our instruments to start with, with some very effective warm-ups that required absolute focus on his directions in order to get the correct articulation and texture, whether we were playing simple single notes or complicated rhythms.
Then, after an introduction to “125” we divided off into sectional rehearsals, the Woodwind finding a cool air-conditioned space to play their flutes, clarinets and oboe, the Brass melting in the Music room, the Strings (including guitars) charmingly arranged by the pond in the cool shade of the Pollination Area trees, and the Percussion section continuing to annoy the long-suffering workers around the main Hall area, on glockenspiels, tablas, a variety of drums, cymbals and, of course, keyboards. The members of BSO expertly led these, and a lot of general music learning continued, using the musical technical language that is part of a working musician’s everyday vocabulary and not just jargon from a key words test!
A good deal of interest was raised around the school as rehearsals continued through lunchtime (we took our break early) when the pieces were obviously coming together, and applause could be heard from the outside passers-by.
The day culminated in a concert performance of both pieces, to a small but select audience of staff and students, who witnessed some really excellent ensemble playing. The concentration and attention to detail was so impressive, everyone was watching, listening, counting and responding to the conductor and the players around them, there were moments of improvisation from the brass, and dramatic layers of texture building up from the bass, with countermelodies from strings and woodwind weaving in and out in a crescendo to the big percussive coda. Then the joy of recognition when the familiar Grieg theme started to emerge, and the excitement of the accelerando that left the audience wanting more.
We are very grateful to Southampton Music Hub for supporting this excellent music event, and to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for sparing some of their best players for the day. We are very much looking forward to the development of this project into the new school year, as the Orchestra prepares to join instrumentalists from our whole area in an exciting trip to a Big Famous London Venue in November, watch this space for more details!
And above all, we welcome the new Year 7 players who will be joining us in September to consolidate our New Big Orchestra, plus hopefully all those current USH students, with all that combined musical experience behind them, who haven’t yet found their way to the fun and challenge that we enjoy at our weekly USH Orchestra rehearsals!
USH Awarded CAS Lead School
Computing at Schools (CAS) is a national organisation dedicated to providing leadership and strategic guidance to all those involved in Computing education in schools.
The Computer Science department at Upper Shirley High was recently audited by CAS as part of their ‘Network of Excellence’ project.
Upper Shirley High was delighted to be awarded ‘CAS Lead School’ status for 2018/2019.
CAS found that we recognise that Computing is an important subject. They also established that we have developed a broad and balanced computing curriculum. The final ‘Lead School’ criterion that we met was to support other schools in our community through sharing good Computer Science practise.
We are very proud to receive this accolade in recognition of the work that the staff and students we have been doing in Computer Science at Upper Shirley High.
Peter Harvey, Subject Lead Computer Science
We have had passport information from nearly all students – thanks for your help with this. Please keep me informed if you have applied for a new passport.
All students will need a valid EHIC – these are available for free online. Please apply for this in plenty of time as without one, you may be liable for medical costs should anything happen.
For any queries about either trip, please get in touch.
Year 7 Camp
We’re off soon to the New Forest on our camping trip. A final letter detailing the itinerary, what to bring and emergency contacts has been emailed home with a letter given to all students in the assembly this week. Please get in touch if you haven’t received this.
End of Term Arrangements
This term is quickly drawing to a close and we want to ensure that you are aware of the arrangements for the final day of term.
The last day pupils are expected in to school this term is Tuesday 24th July and we will have an early finish. Pupils will be dismissed at 1:05pm