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USH Newsletter 8th March 2019

USH Celebrates World Book Day

Thursday 7th March was World Book Day, and staff and students at USH made a big effort to make the day a huge celebration of books and reading.

The Library was transformed into a busy Book Stall for the day, and KS3 students were given £1 tokens which they could either spend on one of the special World Book Day books or take to a bookshop for £1 off their next book purchase. We are very grateful to October Books in Portswood for supplying the books.

School staff made the day extra special by dressing up book characters: each department chose a different book as their theme, and the costumes were amazing. We had Matilda teaching Science, Alice in Wonderland teaching Drama, the Three Musketeers teaching History, and Gangsta Granny was Head of Geography! The EFL Department became Hogwarts, and Food and Maths were characters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Have a look at the photos below to see some of the wonderful costumes.

Year 7 and 8 tutor groups started the day with a Book Quiz, with prizes awarded to the winning tutor group in each year. Scores were impressively high, but 7M2 and 8E1 came out on top. If you fancy trying the quiz, follow the link below, and see if you can beat our high score of 9/10!


During DEAR, some staff read to their classes, either a short story or an excerpt from their favourite book. Students also took part in a Scavenger Hunt, searching the school for teachers’ reading posters and recording what books staff are currently reading. The four winning entries will be announced next week and will each receive a prize.

We have another exciting book-related event coming up on 20th March, when popular children’s author Tom Palmer will be visiting USH and working with Year 7 and 8 students.

Year 10 History WW1 Battlefields Trip 2019

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. Here is an overview of what the students got up to.   

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 students were shocked by the 40,057 French soldiers buried here and were struggling to comprehend the sheer number of crosses. The students were very respectful exploring the chapel within the cemetery and took the time to climb the lighthouse to explore the photographs and artefacts in the museum.

At Vimy Ridge we split into two groups to do a guided tour of the preserved tunnels, which were used to bring soldiers and supplies to the frontlines. Out of the tunnel students were guided around the preserved battlefield and visited the impressive memorial for the missing Canadian soldiers who died taking the area in 1917. We were then back on the coach to visit Newfoundland Park at Beaumont Hamel. This is the site we have chosen for our GCSE site study. Here, students used the preserved battlefields, memorials and cemeteries to construct a narrative about the fate of the Newfoundland Regiment in the Battle of the Somme on the 1st July 1916. We finished our tour of France with a visit to Thiepval Memorial to the 72,000 British Empire soldiers missing at the Somme. Here we found Alfred Henry Budd, a 20 year old Private from the Shirley Roll of Honour, who died on the 29th October, 1916.

When we arrived back at our hotel in Ypres in the evening, students enjoyed some well-deserved down time and took part in a game of ten-pin bowling. 

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 with the other cemeteries we had visited. We were then on to Ypes where students had some time to explore the Menin Gate Memorial (Here we found Edward Lovejoy from the Shirley Roll of Honour who died at the age of 41 on 16th May 1915), before a short walk to In Flanders Fields Museum, which is dedicated to the hugely significant role Ypres played in the war. We were really impressed with how engaged and independent students were in the museum and Ameena Jones, Chloe Gordon, Chloe Foster, Eve Clements and Ella Rios-Clarke each received a small award for being the last groups to leave the museum. 

We finished our Battlefields tour under the cross of sacrifice at Tyne Cot, the largest British and Commonwealth cemetery in the world. We all gathered together to lay a wreath on behalf of USH and hold a minute silence to pay our respects and reflect on our experiences across the three days. Chloe Gordon and Ryan McManus laid the wreath and Finlay Alpin and Ruby Hook read the Ode of Remembrance. 

I would like to thank the students who were fantastic throughout the whole trip and made this an enjoyable and memorial experience. They were very respectful and interested in the places we visited and as our largest group ever, they were very inclusive and kind to each other.   

I would also like to thank Mrs Mahoney, Miss Clay and Mr Chan 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 am extremely proud of them all.

Mr Farley

Subject Leader for History  

BFI Global Film Study Day

On Thursday this week, the year 10 Film Studies cohort, accompanied by myself and Mr. Harvey, attended a GCSE Study Day at the British Film Institute in Southbank, London.

We made our way to Richmond, London in our school minibus and then proceeded to ‘hop on’ the train into London Waterloo, just a short (albeit windy!) walk from the BFI central hub.

Once there, we were shown into one of their many fantastically kitted-out film-screening rooms, where we listened to a brilliant lecture around the key films we are studying, and watched some key clips from them on their marvellously sized cinema screen, which re-focused our attention to the specifics of the film language that their directors chose to use. (This is vital information for the students to include in their exam responses.)

‘Plot Twist…’

It was also with amazement and absolute pleasure that part way through the lecture, we were surprised by a guest appearance from film director Joe Cornish himself! (Cornish has recently finished directing The Boy Who Would be King, 2019 and directed one of the films we study for GCSE, Attack the Block, 2011.)

This excellent surprise in the day’s schedule provided the students with a wonderful opportunity to get further insights into their study film as they were able to ask the director specific questions about the technical choices that he made throughout the process, along with the reasoning and intentions behind them. All super information for the students to be to include in their exam responses next year. 

An excellent day had by all, leaving us (or me at least!) feeling fairly star-struck!

Miss Turner, Head of Film

Drama Performances for GCSE

Ahead of the GCSE Drama exams next week all students performed their monolgues to an audience of parents and staff over the last fortnight.

This gave the opportunity for the students to be seen in an entirely different light by both their families and teachers.  We wish all the students the very best of luck for next week.  We know they will be amazing.

Pixl Maths App Winners!!

Year 11 are currently competing against each other for the most points scored on the PiXL Maths App, with the prize of free lunches for a week on offer to the weekly winner. There are lots of students using the app, with the current top 3:

                Callum B (596 pts)

                Josh B (119 pts)

                Ethan M (96 pts)


If you have forgotten your log-in details, then here they are:

                School ID: US1019

                Username: SURNAMEFORENAME

                PASSWORD: FORENAME

UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge

Our top Mathematicians from Year 9 and 10 completed their UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge last month. This year students at Upper Shirley High achieved 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 7 Bronze Certificates. Nationally, the top 40% students were awarded a gold certificate, silver and bronze certificates in ratio 1:2:3.

Our highest achievers are:

Jacob Mittoo recieving a gold ceretificate and is the best in the year and the best in the school!

Jess May was awarded a silver certificate, Chloe Tsao was also awarded a silver certificate and is the best in the year.


Aaron Manuel, Harvey White, Brandon Allen, Owen Barlow, Tomas Sanders, Maisy Charlton and Sophie Chattington have all been awarded bronze certificates.

I am also pleased to announce that Jacob Mittoo has qualified to the next round, International Kangaroo, which he is going to sit on the 21st March-Good Luck!

We have also participated in the UKMT Team Maths Challenge and our team of students represented USH in Bournemouth last week. Elouis Davies, Jacob Mittoo, Ella Connell and Samuel Kinchington had to compete against 20 other teams in variety of challenges. It was a great experience for the students and although we were not successful in making it through to the next round we will take this experience to prepare for next year. 

Lower school students (year 7 and 8) will have their UKMT Junior Maths Challenge on the 30th April, so good luck to them.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the students who participate in the competitions so far and I will keep you up to date with our achievements in Maths.

Agnieszka Adamou


Hampshire Cross Country

On Thursday 7th March, five of our year 7 and 8 students travelled to Basingstoke to represent Southampton Schools at the Hampshire Cross Country Championships, braving the mud and the wind! They all ran brilliantly and were a credit to the school. Congratulations!

Online Photo Permission Form

Before half term we sent home the online photo permission form via email.  Thank you to all the parents who have completed this so far, I hope you found it an easier process. 

If you have not yet returned the form, it is very important you complete this and return to us online as soon as possible.  Please check your emails, including your spam/junk folders for this email. 

If you do not consent to any of them, please just leave the box blank and tick the box to confirm you have read and understood the information on the form. 

Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this.

Mrs Wilson,  USH General Office

Reporting Absence, Appointments and Sickness During the School Day

If your child is unable to come to school, please contact the school before 09.00 to inform us of this. You can phone Alison Small (Attendance Officer) directly on 023 80522721 (there is a voicemail option), or email her at Alison.Small@ushschool.org

If you phone the main switchboard there is an option to select ‘report an absence’ from the menu. Please phone every morning that your child is not attending. We cannot assume that they are unwell on any given day because they were ill the day before. Truancy call will be sent out every day to all parents whose children are not in school, unless the parent has informed us of their child’s absence.

If your child has an appointment during the school day, please inform Mrs Small prior to the appointment. We must have an email, or telephone call from parents before we allow a child to leave site. Again, this is to ensure the safety of your child.

In the event of your child feeling ill during the school day, please discuss with them the procedures they need to follow. They must go to the Medical Room, where they will be assessed by a trained member of staff. If the child needs to go home, you will be contacted by the member of staff.

Please discourage your child from texting/calling you during the day and asking to go home because they are feeling unwell, or upset. They should go to the Medical Room; not only to be assessed, but so that staff are aware of their location.