USH Newsletter

19th July 2019

  • Headteacher's Message

    Dear Parents/Guardians

    It gives me great pleasure to intoduce our final newlsetter of the academic year and what a year!

    Thank you for continued support and goodbye to our colleagues moving on.

    Have a great summer everyone, stay safe 

    Best wishes

    Stuart Woods

  • Spelling Bee

    Last Wednesday saw this year’s Spelling Bee Competition here at USH. With the contest having American roots, we decided to maintain the USA theme of the day.

    The Contestants

    Tutor groups selected our contestants; there were 2 spots for each tutor group to nominate a contender. With the increase of SPaG marks at GCSE, we believe that it is important that that we provide students with opportunities to keep their literacy skills in top condition, and so tutors were encouraged to do a ‘spell-off’ during morning tutor time in order to nominate their top 2 spellers to go through to the Spelling Bee heats in order to compete for a chance at the title of Spelling Champion of the Year, 2019.

    The Rounds

    Throughout the day, there was held a year 7 round, a year 8 round and a year 9 round of spellings for the contestants. Each round was held in the hall on the stage, with students each going up individually for a ‘knock-out’ chance to beat their fellow year-group peers, and move forwards into the final round at the end of the day. After up to 7 intense heats (in some cases), we managed to identify 3 proud winners from each year group who would move forward into the Spelling Bee final during Period 5.

    The Final

    After the 3 challenging rounds, 9 students (3 from each year group) were able to wear their medals with pride as they sat in the final contestants’ seats, ready to begin the toughest round yet: the final.

    Gruelling, rigorous and suspenseful… The heats of the final moved forward, as the words increased in challenge. Many of the words were, as students were informed in the weeks prior to the competition, drawn from our Words of the Week bank and this gave them all a great opportunity to draw on their experience of these words from throughout the year. Competitors were slowly but surely lost in the action until we were down to a final 3, at which point we had identified our year 7, 8 and 9 champion, Victoria B (year 7), Samah J (year 8) and Sian C (year 9). Now all that was left was to battle it out in order to find our overall Spelling Bee Champion of the year, 2019.

    After some of the most suspenseful live spelling this school has ever seen, it was extremely close but Year 9’s Sian C just managed to secure the top position, with a fantastic battle fought by the other finalists! 2019’s Spelling Bee Champion was crowned…

  • Awards Evening

    We were delighted to host the Awards Evening 2019 back at USH after having the last few years at Central Hall.   This is an important date in the USH calendar when we can celebrate not just academic and sporting achievement but also those students who have shown great progress or a noticeable contribution to a subject or event. 

    We were pleased that Olivia and Gibril were able to join us to carry out their final duties as Head Girl and Head Boy of 2018-19 before handing over to Ruby and Isaac.  

    Due to the capacity of the gym we were forced to split the presentation into two parts, Year 7 & 8 followed by 9 & 10.  This did however provide the opportunity for students, parents and staff to mingle across the evening and enjoy the barbeque style buffet provided by Chartwells.

    I think we are all agreed that having the Awards Evening at USH allowed for a more relaxed and social evening for families than in previous years and we look forward to a repeat.

  • House Cup Winners ...


    Grand Total No. of Achievement Points:

    Mariners - 122,638

    Venturers - 108,806

    Engineers - 107,203

    Aviators - 95,767


  • TIle Barn Camping Trip

    A great time was had by all at Tile Barn last week. Despite the rain, all 74 students were fantastic. We enjoyed a range of activities from Jacob’s ladder to rounders, orienteering to crate-stack challenge. The staff at Tile Barn and the catering company all commended the students on their manners and enthusiasm. Thank you to all of the students who came along for being such good ambassadors of our school. Mrs Rendall and Mr Perry.

  • USH Boxercise

    Over the last term a group of year 9 boys have been taking part in boxing sessions at Richard Tauntons College. Boxing enhances your cardiovascular health, improves your overall body strength, trains your hand-eye coordination, decreases stress and anxiety and improves body composition, so naturally we thought it would be great for USH students to get stuck into! During their time with Steve at Pound for Pound Boxing, the boys have been looking at self-discipline, control and a range of boxing techniques.


    Footwook, Slipping, Bobbing & Weaving, Blocking & Parrying are just some of the techniques they have learned. Many of the boys have taken a keen interest in the sport and sought out private tuition out of school.


    It has been great to see and hope we can look at continuing this partnership in years to come!



  • Characterisation Masterclass

    On Thursday 11th July a selected group of year 9 GCSE Drama students led a characterisation workshop for cast members of Shirley Junior’s production of Bugsy Malone. They were selected due to their attitude and commitment to Drama this year. The students involved were an absolute credit to the school and epitomised the USH values of believe, respect, and succeed. The characterisation workshop was planned and created by the students involved. They produced a range of fun and exciting activities that enabled the cast to feel safe and supported as they experimented with their characterisation. Their thoughtful planning and excellent delivery of the session has helped Bugsy, Tallulah, Fat Sam and Blousey perform with confidence. I am incredibly proud of all students involved.


  • STEM Trip

    The science department took a small group of year 7 students to the Winchester science museum for their annual STEM Fayre. The students started the day with a Planetarium show exploring our place in the universe, followed by a series of workshops led by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air ambulance service.

    The students got to experience how the air ambulance service works to rescue people in tricky situations as well as explore some of the equipment used by the specialists in their day-to-day jobs. We also had time to explore the museum’s hands on exhibits in between activities with great enthusiasm and an added edge of competition.

  • Lifelab

    Upper Shirley High has joined the ranks of schools in Hampshire to become a part of the Lifelab project.

    Students in year 8 have been following a short series of lessons designed on raising awareness of health and health implications caused by lifestyle factors that not only affect themselves but their future generations. The series of lessons is followed up with a trip to the Lifelab itself at The University Hospital Southampton where students get the chance to complete a whole series of activities designed to encourage them to think about healthy choices and the positive impact they can have on their own lives.

    The students are encouraged to make a pledge for their own health at the end of the course and we look forward to helping them focus on a change they would like to make as well as supporting them to achieve their targets.

    More information about the University Hospital Southampton Lifelab can be found at the following link.

  • It's A Knockout

    What a perfect day for It's a Knockout we had last week, the sun was shining and it was hot.  Those students rewarded this year with the opportunity to spend a few hours tackling the inflatable course had a brilliant time.  

  • Staff Update

    At the end of this term we say goodbye to several teachers.  Leaving USH are:

    Mrs Clooney, Mrs Floyd, Mr Hughes, Miss Kennard, Mr Muller, Mrs Ndupuechi and Mrs Owen.  

    We wish them all the very best for their future plans.

    We are welcoming some new staff to USH and many of them have already been in and around school over the past weeks.

    Welcome to:

    Mrs Justine Buxey (Teaching Assistant), Miss Anneli Clements (Deputy Head), Mrs Nadine Cullan (Teacher of Science), Mrs Annia Evans (Teacher of Drama), Mr Alasdair Gregory (Teacher of Science), Miss Carmen Haverly (Life Coach), Mr Jonathan James (Teacher of ICT/Media), Miss Zoe Lyons (Admin and Welfare Officer), Mr Chris Old (Teacher of English), Mrs Rebekah Pasotti (Student Support and Guidance Co-ordinator),  Mr Mike Scott (teacher of Geography), Mrs Stacey Sellick (Teacher of Science), Miss Freda Selway (Teacher of Art & 3D) and Mr George Smith (Teacher of Music).



  • Sporting Successes

    Congratulations to Darshi who came 2nd and The National Skills Diving Finals on Saturday 6th July.

    Congratulations to Verity who attended the Scottish Swimming National Summer Championships.  Verity won the silver medal in the 1500m freestyle, and finished 4th in the 800m freestyle (missing out on a Bronze medal by less than half a second). She swam significant personal bests in both her races to do so.

    Well done to Olivia who over the weekend achieved 1st place for the Discus in the English Schools Athletics Championships. Throwing over 32m!! What a fantastic result Olivia.



  • CIty Athletics

    We took just under 100 students to the sports centre on 5th July to compete in various athletics events against other schools in Southampton. We have had students out at athletics club since Easter practising and working really hard for their events. How the day works is that you get points for where you place in each event, the higher the place, the more points.

    The results of the day were as follows:


    Year 7 Girls 2nd (2 points from 1st place)

    Year 7 Boys 1st

    Year 8 Girls 3rd (24 points from 1st place)

    Year 8 Boys 1st

    Year 9 Girls 1st

    Year 9 Boys 1st

    Year 10 Girls 2nd (5 points from 1st place)

    Year 10 Boys 1st


    Girls field events 1st

    Boys field events 1st


    Girls overall 2nd (7 points off first place)

    Boys overall 1st


    Overall winners and therefore city champions!!

    A fantastic result, and testament to the hard work of students training for the event. A big thanks to Mr Brocken for helping the PE department prepare students.