USH Newsletter

5th July 2019

  • USH Bake Off

    Signature bakes – Heat 1 to 4

    With the new biscuit signature challenge set, another year of USH Bake-Off began. Within moments of the brief being released the USH students flooded in pairs to the food room to sign up to secure their place in this year’s event and they needed to be quick as all places went within a week.

    The top 14 bakes from all 4 heats got to contest the ultimate baking prize and what a contest we had. They were an incredible range of biscuits produced from the USH bakers who worked hard and had fun along the way. Each heat began with the now famous introduction – On your marks, get set, bake! The soundtrack from the TV show was playing in the background and this really added to the fun and the excitement.

    Although it was an extremely difficult task the top 14 student pairs were selected.

    The finalist were –

    Isabelle Barraclough-White 8V2, Isabelle Johnson 8A2, Mali Belward 9A1, Jess May 9A1, Ella Hubbard 7M1, Maya Miarka 7M1, Keira Joshi 7V2, Shivani Mehta 7E2, Anna Moore 10A1, Anna Prudnikova 10M1, Evie O'Dell 10V2, Myleta Wilkins 10M2, Holly Kirk 7M1, Emily Adams 7V1, Joshua Aspin 9M1, Dawid Staniszewski 9M1, Oliver Norris 7A1, Owen Richards 7A1, Jagoda Kowalska 9E1, Sandra Zygadlo 9E1, Evie Fay 9E1, Raine Hooper 7E1, Mercy Hooper 7E1, Alfie Naylor 9E1, Harvey Whyte 9E1, Raul Mendez 8E1, Josh Page 8M2, Annabelle Hunter 9A1, Abigail Hatton 9A1.


    The USH bake-off final 2019

    The sun was shining, the bunting was hung, the Baker had no doubt dreamt of cakes, and the day had finally arrived. With the brief wide open, only asking them to stop the show in any way they saw fit we were all looking forward to seeing the creativity and fun the students were going to bring. The students were off timetable periods 2-4 giving them 3 hours to create their masterpieces. The students got straight to work making the most of the time and they were a plethora of baking skills on display – whisking, mixing, folding, chopping, piping, baking, frying, weighing, marbling, tempering, proving, kneading, rushing and laughing. As the time flew by it was incredible to see the bakes emerge as ideas became a baked and edible reality. As with all good things, the Bake-off final clock counted down the final seconds and the last second touches were applied. It was time for a quick lunch break and then we had the pleasure of welcoming the friends and families of the finalists in for a spot of celebratory afternoon tea in the sunshine. After everyone had taken the time the bake’s deserved to be appreciate, we took a slice for judging and let the tough decisions begin. The bakers joined their families outside and took their showstoppers with them. It really was great to celebrate with so many parents and grandparents and they seemed to really enjoy our year 10 GCSE students’ hand made range of delectable goodies too. We were thrilled to have Mr Woods back as a guest judge and he was joined by ex-students Oliver Watkins, Kieron Allan, and Rebecca Crawley. They were joined by the USH equivalent (although much younger) of Paul (Mr Davies) and Mary (Mrs Naylor) and the judging did begin. 14 incredible mouthfuls of food and 60 minutes later the great USH bake-off 2019 finalist podium emerged. As always it was a very difficult decision and extremely close, but in the end we were all happy with the unanimous decision. Amazingly two students pairs were tied in second place so we ended up with two second place teams and a first.

    Without further ado the winners of the great USH bake-off 2019 –

    Joint second –

    Joshua Aspin and David Staniszewski’s incredible chocolate wonder cake and Alfie Naylor and Harvey Whyte’s stunning summer pavlova.

    1st place – The ‘A’ team – Anna Prudnikova and Anna Moore’s spectacular cake which would not look out of place at a wedding or similar prestigious event was both a wonder to see and eat. It really had everything – a monochrome marble top, piping, fondant flowers, and a light rainbow interior. Congratulations to two very talented bakers.

    As the sun set on another glorious USH bake-off, one could not help to wonder……..Moore cake anyone?

    Mr Davies, Head of Food


  • USH says a fond farewell to the class of 2019.

    The week beginning 24th June saw USH say goodbye to our Year 11 students for the final time before the end of summer term. Both events were a fitting finale to their five year journey at USH and we would all like to wish them an enjoyable and restful summer break and we look forward to seeing them at results day in August.


    Leavers Assembly

    On Tuesday 25th June we welcomed nearly 150 Year 11 students back to school for leavers assembly. This year the students were treated to speeches from Mr Woods and Mr Hall as well a number of subject awards being handed out to celebrate individual student successes from across the year. The afternoon culminated with the students being able sign shirts and eat ice creams before being joined by the staff to say their final farewells.


    The sun shined and the dresses dazzled as staff and students joined at the Botley Park Hotel on Thursday 27th June to celebrate in fine style at USH prom 2019. The entrances were grand and excitement levels were high as the students in all the glamour assembled to enjoy their final time all together which each other.

    The evening began with welcome drinks in the atrium before moving through the Fair Oak suite for an American themed buffet followed by plenty of fun, dancing and laughter. During the evening awards were given out and I’m pleased to announce the following winners:

    Prom King – Lenny Smith


    Prom Queen – Marny Rowan

    Best Dressed – Callum Hann

    Best Dressed – Hasti Schaho

    I‘d like to take this opportunity to thank both staff and students for the effort they all went to in making the event a success. A fitting end for a fantastic group of young people!


    Mr Hall



  • Year 6 Transition

    This week on Wednesday and Thursday (3rd and 4th July), we welcomed our new cohort of Year 6 students for our two Transition Days – a cohort of 217 students from over 12 different Primary schools, our biggest intake yet! The students were greeted by the smiling faces of their tutors and new Heads of Year, and we had an assembly to introduce them to life at Upper Shirley High.

    The Year 6s got to spend two days in the life of an USH student, experiencing an extended tutor time with their new tutor for September, followed by a diverse range of lessons they will have on their timetables when they join us – they got to enjoy learning about Egyptian numeracy with the Maths department, they played language games in their MFL lessons, and they were able to perform some scientific experiments with their new Science teachers.

    Our fantastic Student Leadership Team and Sports Prefects put on a vast range of activities for the students at break and lunchtimes, from the ever-popular massive games of football on our Multi-Use Games Area to softball on the tennis courts, and socialising and reading in classrooms and the library. All of our new Year 6 students had really positive and exciting social times with us, starting making new friends with people from different primary schools, and began their process of joining the USH community.

    We finished our Transition Days with a fantastic revival of two numbers from this year’s school production of Aladdin (some of our main cast of Year 11s even came back to school to join in!), and from the applause, I think it’s fair to say they had quite a few fans!

     We are very excited to welcome the new cohort for September 2019 after the summer, and we wish all the Year 6s a wonderful summer. Next stop, Upper Shirley High!

  • For year 6 students!

    I hope you enjoyed your Geography lessons this week, we know we did! In our lessons and the assembly, I mentioned to you about sending the Geography Department a postcard from your summer holiday. This could be from a day trip to somewhere or a holiday you are going on. We will be displaying the postcards in the department so we can see where you went this summer and what you got up to. You can either post them or hand them in to us in September. Make sure you remember to put your name and tutor on them please.

    Look forward to seeing where your summer takes you.

    Mrs Hylsop and the Geography Deparment

  • Musicians of USH

    “It has been a fortnight full of activity for the Musicians of Upper Shirley High!

    There was the Annual JEP Summer Festival at Central Hall – all our Trust schools gathered together to participate in a wonderful evening of community, creativity and harmony, with instrumentalists, singers and readers performing in a full range of styles and genres. From the tiniest singing “Doe a Deer” (with all the actions - ahh), to the charming and confident Presenters/Comperes from our own new Student Leadership team and readers from each age range of the winning Poems on the theme of One Moment, One People, everyone had a chance to shine.

    USH Choir, even without much rehearsal time as a full ensemble with the Year 10s and 11 immersed in GCSEs and Mocks, gave a strong, vibrant and exciting rendition of Riptide, followed by a touching version of Happier, which many of the younger audience members enjoyed singing along with. Both songs were enhanced by numerous lovely contrasting solo voices and were accompanied by USH musicians. Later on, all got to join in singing with the massed choirs, new songs and old, with added harmonies.

    The USH Orchestra’s instrumentalists rose impressively to the challenge of Scheherazade, a beautiful, lyrical suite of lush melodies by Rimsky Korsakov, based on the Tales of the Arabian Nights. We started with some deafening fearsome chords as the Sultan condemns his Princess to death, then the poignant pleading tones of a solo violin, played with great expression by Josh Clark. After a meander through the various themes of the stories that Scheherazade tells, the piece ends in a gorgeous, shimmering, peaceful reconciliation. This was followed swiftly by her most famous Tale, Aladdin - Alan Menken’s Disney version, of course - with highlights from the fabulous USH School Production earlier this year. We conjured up the oppressive heat and mysterious desert atmosphere, the plodding camels and modal melodies of “Arabian Nights”, launched into a brash and jazzy rendition of “Friend Like Me” and ended with the full-blown richness of “A Whole New World”.

    Later on in the programme the USH Orchestra also played their favourite piece so far this year, Skyfall, rehearsed in part by Andrew Carr who here took the Trombone solo, and led by Harry Price on Violin, with key sectional leads from Becky Rees on Clarinet, Finbar Harvey-O’Keiffe on Trumpet and Myleta Wilkins on flute. We were supported by the epic tuba tones of Mr Hanchett who, next, went on to conduct the world premiere of his own arrangement of Uptown Funk for Massed Orchestra, which featured every instrumentalist in the room, it seemed! It was a splendid, energetic, loud, fun performance and, in spite of us not having rehearsed together until the day, we kept very tightly to the beat, got into the groove and ended the show with a bang!

    The following day, the cast of Aladdin had the excitement of a trip to London to see a different version of Our Show, all our favourite tunes and more! … And as far as my Music report goes, I can testify that especially amongst the vocalists and performers of Aladdin, singing at USH is alive and well – and very powerful! – above all, at the back of a coach!

    Since then I’ve been very proud to witness the contribution that many USH students also make to the musical life of the wider community. Southampton’s orchestras and ensembles are full of the most dedicated young musicians I have had the pleasure to work with: Southampton Youth Strings, Brass Roots, Southampton Concert Youth Sinfonia led by Harry Price, Southampton Youth Brass Band, principal trumpet Pip Watkins, Southampton Wind Band, Southampton Youth Orchestra featuring some of our most accomplished students of Grade 7 and above. All owe much of their success to the wonderful support that the USH parents and SMS instrumental teachers give abundantly to our young musicians.

    All these ensembles are currently rounding off their summer season with concerts, and just this week at the Guildhall, many of these diverse groups came together for a city-wide celebration of a fantastic year: it was awesome!”

    Mrs Owen

  • University Challenged

    On Monday, 1st July, Upper Shirley High pitted their wits against other Southampton schools in the annual University Challenged competition at the University of Southampton. Our team of four students in year 7 performed well against Bitterne Park School, but were beaten by just one question!

    In addition to the competition, the students were treated to a tour of the University, as well as a session on making decisions using Mathematics and Game Theory. Well done to the USH team; Evan H, Ryan W, Abi B and Molly GG.


  • Southampton Education Forum Teachmeet

    On Monday 1st July several USH teachers represented the school at the Southampton Education forums Teachmeet.  The event took place at University of Southampton where professionals from across the city shared innovative teaching and learning ideas.

    This gave teachers valuable experience of sharing best practise whilst also acquiring new initiatives to bring to their classrooms. 

    Thank you to all those who visited and those who presented - Mrs Shoaa, Mr Farley, Mrs Hyslop, Miss Turner, Miss Clay, Miss vlismas, Miss Way and Ms Goldman 

  • Rounder’s League Winners

    What a fantastic result for the year 7/8 Girls Rounder’s team!  They had a close final match against St Anne’s which turned out to be the league decider. Both teams were very tense as this was such an important game. St Anne’s bowler folded under the pressure and gave away 1 ½ rounder’s on ‘No Balls’ which proved to be vital. Our fielding was outstanding throughout and we kept our calm to pull through 7 ½ to 4.

    Well done

    Miss Wright-Davies

  • Safeguarding - TikTok

    Please find below a link regarding a social media app, TikTok that we felt parents should be aware of.



  • Communication from Hampshire Constabulary

    I am writing to you as Hampshire Constabulary has received a number of reports this year concerning the sharing of indecent images by young people.

    The images appear to have been mostly “selfies”, and are shared through personal Social Media accounts or private messaging, through what has become known as “sexting”. The common themes have been pressure or persuasion to obtain images or sending on images which have been received without permission.

    We want to reassure you that we have been in contact with children and parents who have reported this to us.

    It is at this point we should remind young people of the risks around sending nude images of themselves to anyone at any time.

    It’s really important that they understand that sharing images of this kind is a crime. We do not want to criminalise children however the serious offences are ‘making an indecent photograph of a child’ and ‘distributing an indecent photograph of a child’.

    As you will know, there could be a huge emotional impact on a child should an image of themselves be shared by other people or published in an online forum. 

    It is vital young people are encouraged to tell trusted adults if they are concerned about an image they have sent or received. They should always call 101 and report it.

    There is a wealth of educational material on the Safe4Me website that can be used in schools by pupils.  There is also advice for professionals and parents that we hope you will promote in any forward communication following these reports. 

    Megan’s Story is a recent example of the dangers of sharing nude images and we would encourage you to show this short film to your pupils.

    If you, your staff, or parents that you are in contact with have any concerns about the safety of children online or would like to know more, there is further support and advice available on the CEOP website.

    Kind Regards

    Chief Inspector Phil Lamb

    Hampshire Constabulary 

  • School Library – Book Amnesty

    Calling all Parents! Does your son/daughter have any overdue books at home that they borrowed from the School Library? Maybe they’ve been hanging around for so long that they’ve become part of the scenery? Or maybe they’re so late that they’re simply embarrassed to return them.

    If the answer is yes, don’t worry!  The Library is holding a Book Amnesty from Monday 8th July until the end of term. Just drop the books off in the box by the Library door, or hand in at Reception, and their Library record will be cleared with NO QUESTIONS ASKED !

  • Paris 2019

    Thank you to all parents who have completed payments for the Year 7 Paris trip taking place in October 2019. The final payment of £75 is due on the 17th July – if you have not yet completed payments, please make sure that you do so by this date – if you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mr Smith ( – merci beaucoup!

  • INSET DAYS and Term Dates for 2019/20

    Please note that the last day of this summer term is Tuesday 23rd July 2019.  Students are expected in school for the full day ending at 2:40pm.

    Term dates and INSET Days for 2019/20 are as follows and are available on the website.

    Autumn Term Begins: 

    Tuesday 3rd September 2019 (Year 7 and Year 11)
    Wednesday 4th September 2019 (All other years)

    Half-term: Monday 28th - Friday 1st November 2019

    Term Ends:
    Friday 20th December 2019

    Spring Term Begins: 
    Monday 6th January 2020

    Half-term: Monday 17th - Friday 21st February 2020

    Term Ends:
    Friday 3rd April 2020

    Summer Term Begins: 
    Monday 20th April 2020

    Half-term: Monday 25th May - Friday 29th May 2020

    Term Ends: Friday 17th July 2020


    Friday 8th May 2020 (May Day Bank Holiday)



    Monday 2nd September 2019

    Friday 20th December 2019

    Monday 9th March 2020

    Friday 26th June 2020

    Monday 20th July 2020