USH Newsletter

22nd March 2019

  • Tom Palmer Visits USH!

    On Wednesday this week, we were fortunate enough to be joined by popular children’s author, Tom Palmer who came from Leeds to USH for the day, and spent some time working with many of our students and in particular, talking about his latest work. The students particularly enjoyed hearing about his recent book, Armistice Runner, and his newest up and coming book release, D-Day Dog, soon to hit our shelves on 2nd May. We were inspired by Tom’s passion for writing and how he really ruminates with the topics he writes about and spends much time researching them for accuracy, in particular, key aspects of the World Wars that he includes in his works.


    He also shared with us the challenges he faced as a child who really did not enjoy reading, and how his mum supported him to grow as a reader by encouraging him to read short segments from the  newspaper about sport, and in particular, football. This, he said, really changed the way he saw this activity and began to grip him as a reader, to the point where he now thoroughly enjoys reading and being inspired by what he encounters in books, integrating some of those inspirations into his writing journey as well.

    Tom ‘kicked-off’ the day with a Q&A session in the hall followed by a talk with all students in years 7 & 8, which saw some extremely thoughtful and excellent questions asked by students throughout. Later on in the day, he worked with a variety of students in some smaller sessions, including supporting some from across both year groups to develop a story idea and to write an engaging opening for it, and in other sessions, facilitating discussions about reading different types of material which led to a football penalty shoot-out quiz. We were also fortunate enough to have Tom selling and signing his books at lunch and after school. Each session saw some truly inspiring ideas and brilliant engagement from students.

    A huge thank you to Tom for coming in to visit USH, and all staff involved in helping the day to run well.

    Miss Turner

  • Year 8 Girls Investigating STEM Careers on International Women's Day

    On Friday the 8th March we had the privilege of taking a small group of year 8 girls to the International Women’s day event at Winchester Science Centre. The girls began the day with a planetarium show about our place in the universe and had some time to enjoy the exhibits at the centre before joining with girls from other schools across Hampshire for a series of workshops.


    “We had a really good day and loved playing with the exhibits”

    They were in mixed groups with other schools and had the opportunity to work in teams to create fuel powered rockets which they shot across the ceiling. I am proud to say that they all did very well and I was excited to see co-operation and leadership skills emerging from our group of potential engineers.

    “The rockets were fun, ours went the furthest out of everyone”

    After Lunch the girls had a speed-dating style event with many women from different STEM careers from software developers to military engineers. They had a chance to hear about the journey’s the women took to reach their goals and the inspirations and motivation that led them there.

    “I didn’t even know some of those jobs actually existed”

    The day finished with an open question and answer session in the planetarium with some of the STEM ambassadors and I could not be more proud of our girls for their engagement and thought- provoking questions they posed to the panel. We had a great day overall and are looking forward to next year’s International Women’s day. Well done to all involved.

    Alysha Cole (STEM Co-ordinator)

  • Year 9 Film Studies ‘on location film shoot’

    Over the past week, year 9 Film Studies classes have had the opportunity to try their hand at filming their current projects in a different location to the usual school grounds- Southampton Common.

    Considering this new location and all of its benefits, (e.g. a more realistic setting that does not have to be a school) along with its drawbacks, (regular visibility of the public and many dogs wanting to be in their shots!) has been a valuable experience for the students. It has really helped them to empathise with what film directors and crews need to think about and experience when shooting films, and appreciate why film companies choose to close off areas during a film shoot and spend so much money in doing so.

    With their variety of different shot types, sound effects and props, we look forward to seeing how successfully these films turn out.

    Thank you to Miss Williams and Miss Herbert for accompanying the visit.

    Miss Turner

  • Year 10 Global Challenge – Winners

    Two teams were entered for the Learn with University of Southampton Global Challenge.  This was a two day challenge focusing on sustainability and specifically the goals of the United Nations.   One team focused on Climate Action and the other on Partnerships for the Goals.  Research, teamwork, negotiating and debating skills were key.  We’re thrilled to announce the challenge was won by the Partnership for the Goals team.  Congratulations to Charlotte, Sophie, Abigail and a special mention to Tom for his excellent debating skills.


  • Year 11 - 20 Day Challenge to 'Go Green'

    All year 11 students have been tasked with completing a 20 day challenge. The first 50 to complete it will get £5 off their prom voucher and everyone who completes it will get a phone call home to celebrate. Congratulations to our current winners, we are very proud of your efforts! Everyone else – you have until the 3rd of April to “GO GREEN”. Please remember you can always come and ask a maths teacher for help if you get stuck.

    Current GO GREEN champions:

    1.       Jamie S

    2.       Callum H

    3.       Becky C

    4.       Hasti

    5.       Callum B

    6.       Preet S



  • Famous Band in the Making Perhaps

    We may have an famous band in the making here at USH!  The Year 7/8 USH school band Outbreak played a gig at the Art House earlier in the month.  According to their Mentor during their debrief session they sounded great.  Mrs Owen heard the recordings and she has been complimentary too.  Perhaps we should look out for them in the future?


  • National Youth Orchestra

    We are very proud of Andrew C who attended the National Youth Orchestra Inspire Residential at the University of Liverpool during the February Half Term.

    Us this link for more information about the event


  • Year 7 - Paris 2019

    The Paris Trip is planned for later this year in October.  This trip will be offerred to current Year 7 students and a letter with information has been issued this week. Any questions regarding the trip should be directed to Mr J Smith, in the first instance.

  • Finance News

    Paris Trip October 2019 – Year 7 Parents – If you would like your son or daughter to attend the trip in October, please send in the completed permission slip and deposit of £65 by FRIDAY 29th MARCH 2019.

    Aladdin Theatre Visit – For the cast of Aladdin, we will be taking them to see the Broadway show at Prince Edward Theatre in London on 20th June 2019. If you would like for your child to go, please send in a completed permission slip and deposit of £10 by FRIDAY 5th APRIL 2019.

    Duke of Edinburgh – The last instalment of £40 was due on 8th of March and there are a number of outstanding payments for this. A letter has been sent out to parents specifying individual amounts due. Please also note, the next and final instalment of £30 is due FRIDAY 5th APRIL 2019. If you are having any difficulties, please contact Mrs Murphy (DofE Manager) or the finance team.

    Payments can be made by Cash, Cheque (Please make cheques payable to “Upper Shirley High School”) or using our online payments system. If you would like to set up an online account, which will give you access to top up catering accounts and make payments for trips, please contact us and we can provide all the relevant information.

    If you are having any difficulty in making payments for any trip in line with the scheduled instalment dates, please contact the finance office at the earliest opportunity on to discuss the possibility of a revised payment plan.

  • Replenishing of Stationery Items

    It is that time of year when student's pencil cases start to run empty and may require some replenishment.  While you are food shopping over the weekend if you are able to pick up anything that may be useful to your sons/daughter's it would be appreciated.

    The Finance Office also stocks pens, pencils, calculators etc.  

  • A Guide to the Social Networks Your Children Use

    Stay up to date and keep your children safe in today's digital world.  The link below will take you to the NSPCC information page for parents.  Here you are able to sign up for a letter with updates regarding apps/social media as well as finding out information about parental controls.

  • Pupil Premium Plus

    Currently, all schools in England can receive the Pupil Premium Plus for children adopted from care, or who left care under a Residence Order on or after 14 October 1991. This can also include any children under a Special Guardianship Order. This funding was implemented in recognition of the traumatic experiences many children may have endured in their early lives and a realisation that their needs do not change overnight.

    If you believe USH is unaware of an aspect of the history of your child or the child you care for, please contact the appropriate Head of Year to discuss this further or email a member of our admin team at To enable us to claim the Pupil Premium, you will need to provide supporting evidence e.g. the original Adoption (Court) Order.  This information can then be added to our systems and can secure additional funding that we can use to support your child.