Year 10 History students recently participated in a two
night, three day tour of the WW1 Battlefields in Belgium and France. The
students were brilliant in very “authentic” conditions. Here is an overview of
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 the
Sanctuary Wood museum. A highlight was being able to put on our wellies/walking
boots and explore the large preserved trenches. We then built on the local research
of soldiers from the Shirley Roll of Honour by visiting the cemetery there,
where Arthur James Harding is buried. He lived at 30 Pond Terrace, Winchester
Road and was a milk boy before the war. He volunteered to be a gunner in the
Royal Field Artillery and was killed in action on the 20th November,
1914. Interestingly, he is recorded as being 20 when he died, but his birth
certificate states that he was 17, suggesting that he lied about his age to
sign up. 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.
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, where it had been snowing. The students were shocked by the 40,057
French empire soldiers buried here and were struggling to comprehend the sheer
number of snow covered crosses.
At Vimy Ridge we visited the impressive memorial for the
missing Canadian soldiers who died taking the area in 1917 along with the
preserved trenches and battlefield. 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. We were really impressed with how students overcame the wind and the
rain to listen to an eye witness account of a private in the Newfoundland
Regiment going over the top on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st
July 1916, as we stood on that very spot in no man’s land. 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 Station Road, who died on the 29th October, 1916 and
Henry Albert Jay, a 24 year old sergeant from 14 Shayer Road.
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
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 then 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. Oren Manure and Anna Asimi laid
the wreath and Jacob Mitoo and Bobo Kinda read the Ode of Remembrance.
I would like to thank the students who were fantastic
throughout the whole trip and made this an engaging 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 Miss Clay, Mrs Cadle, Miss
Bailie, Miss Pasotti, Miss Lyons, Mr Chan and Mr Bennett for their enthusiasm
and support on the trip and the colleagues back at USH who supported the trip
and made sure everything ran smoothly back in school.
Subject Leader for History
World Book Day this week was marked here at USH with a
series of events to celebrate books and reading.
The day was due to begin with a specially designed online
quiz for Year 7 and 8 Tutor groups, challenging the students with questions
about books for children and teenagers. Unfortunately, due to the county-wide
Internet outage this had to be postponed until the following day. Scores were
impressively high and the winning tutor group from each year will be given
their prizes on Tuesday.
Students in Years 7 and 8 were given a book token which they
could either exchange for one of the specially written World Book Day books, or
take to a bookshop for £1 off their next book purchase. The Library was turned
into a Book Stall for the day and students were given time to visit and choose
their books. As you can see from the photos, this was a huge success. I am
extremely grateful to the local independent bookshop - October Books in
Portswood - for providing the books.
School staff made the day extra special by dressing up as
book characters and there were some amazing costumes. We had characters from James and the Giant Peach teaching Maths
and Wizard of Oz characters teaching
English and Drama; MFL were Animal Farm
and Learning Support became Hogwarts for the day! The Geography Department,
appropriately enough, dressed as characters from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and the Art teachers each
represented a different painting from The
A-Z of Art.
This week, as part of our World Book Day celebrations, we
hosted brilliant children’s author Tom Palmer to come in and work with some of
our year 7s on their story-telling skills.
During the first lesson, Tom was working with a year 7
English class whereby he delivered some top tips on how to create a convincing
character voice, before supporting them to write in the voice of the character,
Jim in Treasure Island. He gave some
great advice about how to get into the character’s headspace and consider their
motivations before you start to write, and shared a little bit about how he
approaches the task of writing a children’s book.
After this, in the next lesson he worked with a key group of
students on how to create a convincing opening that really grabs the reader.
Once again, he provided some top tips of the key aspects of a story to think
about before you begin to write. The students were really stuck into the task
of creating their own openings, and produced some really fantastic examples,
some of which are shown below.
During Period 3, Tom had the opportunity to get the students
reading more actively with his famous Football Reading activity, whereby
students got a chance to read some different types of texts before answering
some questions on them. For every correct answer they got, they were able to
have a chance at doing a penalty shoot-out into a goal with a football. Always
a fun way to engage with reading!
This was followed by a nice opportunity for some students to
hear Tom read out an extract from his newest book, After the War, which will be hitting our shelves in May this year,
and hearing about how Tom got into writing in the first place. Students also
heard about how Tom goes about writing a novel, including the planning stage,
researching the topic and ensuring that he is really considering how he will
engage his audiences.
In addition to the schedule for the day, we were also lucky
to have a stall of books being sold and signed by Tom during lunch time in the
hall, which saw some very happy students (and staff!) walk away with a
personalised and signed copy of one of Tom’s excellent novels.
A huge thank you to everyone who supported and made the day
a successful one once again.
He started running as
the bullets zipped past his head and leaving bullet-holes in the ground. Bodies
fell from buildings and explosions seemed to go off at random around the city
centre. Then, from the heart of the square, where the skyscraper stood, a
piercing screech went up and the ground shook. He looked up, and the last thing
he saw was the explosion that almost sealed his fate, and then the glass rained
down, he couldn’t tell the difference between glass and bullets, and then everything
Most people got a
party, and presents on their 13th birthday. Me, I got a bunch of
assassination attempts followed by a sub-optimal cake, with only 12 candles. (I
think we ran out.) To be honest, I don’t even know why these people hate me so
much. I do my homework. I brush my teeth. But I get no reward. Just pain. It
Sorry. I had to move
again from the hideout because they’re doing a systematic sweep of the city
centre for me. So where were we? Oh yeah. I’m telling you about my tragic life.
It’s never a good sign
when the lights flicker during an interview. Everyone dismissed it as nothing,
a mere technical difficulty, not knowing what was to come. The interviewer continued
on, for another two minutes. She suddenly stopped talking, mid-question. Only
the person being interviewed could see the terror, deep within her eyes. He
pieced together the situation, but before he could do anything- he bit the
“Hiss! I thought I
told you, I won’t eat this whiska’s peasant food, for I am a QUEEN!” screamed
Fluffy at her human slave.
“Aaw. You have such a
cute meow!” was all he replied with.
She screamed again,
“Tiger’s slave serves him Sheba! I will not eat this cheap stuff you’ve put in
front of me. How would you like it if I moved in over the road? They give me
human food there!” She sighed. It was no use. As she padded over to her cat flap,
she prepared her cutest begging face for the neighbours.
She sat outside the
door opposite, and prepared her longest, saddest meow.
On Thursday 5th March, I hosted the first USH
Climate Change meeting where students were invited to come and voice their
views and concerns. We had 19 students attend the first meeting and many of
them had some excellent ideas to make USH more sustainable.
We discussed how
each of us as individuals can make a difference but also how the USH community
can come together to make a difference. We spoke about waste and recycling in
the school, fast fashion and energy saving.
I have asked students to research
recycling schemes that we could join as a school. Myleta in year 11 talked
about fast fashion and has many ideas on how to reduce our demand for this. She
is currently promoting the idea of buying a second hand prom dress from Oxfam
and has created a poster to support this.
Oxfam along Shirley High Street has a dedicated wedding and prom dress section
so if year 11s are still looking, please consider buying second hand; not only
would this save you money but also you would be more sustainable by reducing
the environmental impacts.
If anyone else is interested in Climate Change please come along to the next meeting, held on the first Thursday of every month.
On Wednesday 4th March, 77 year 11 Geographers
went to Bournemouth for the day as part of their GCSE Geography. Despite the
cold, wind and lots of rain, the students managed to collect all the data they
needed for their Paper 3 exam in June.
We had to change around the itinerary
for the day due to the rain but the students coped fantastically. They spent
the first hour on the beach, investigating the coastal management for their
physical Geography fieldwork and then after lunch, they were in the town centre
collating land use data and asking the general public their questionnaires for
their human fieldwork.
I was most impressed with the student’s attitude and
dedication on the day. They all played their part to make it a very successful
day. Thank you to all the Geographers and the staff who accompanied us to
ensure it was a very positive experience for the students.
Year 9 and 10 students were lucky enough to have a wonderful
creative experience with first and second Photography year students from City
College. As part of the City College work experience programme the older
students taught USH students about the lighting equipment and techniques to
create some amazing portrait photography. Over the short time the students
became comfortable with each other and the younger student learnt a lot from
the more experienced City College students. The results were impressive with
every student having the chance to take some unique portraits.
National Indoor Rowing Championships took place at the Copper Box arena in the London Olympic Park (the venue was
used for Handball in the Olympics) on Friday 28th February 2020.
We were delighted that Verity competed for USH in the Year 9 girls
event. In this age group the girls have to row for 4 minutes.
We are told it was a very
busy, loud and exciting atmosphere. The event team make clever use of computer
graphics so you can see where each competitor in a heat is in relation to each
other during their row. In Verity's age group 178 talented athletes from right
across the country took part. She rowed really well, keeping a high and
consistent pace throughout, and managed to row 983 metres in the four minutes.
This placed her in an excellent 26th place.
Verity began rowing with local club Itchen Imperial last May
and will be using the sport as one of her case studies for her GCSE PE.
Results of the event are here: https://www.londonyouthrowing.com/event/njirc2020
Year 10 Mock
applying for FE/Apprenticeships/HE or Employment an interview can be a daunting
experience. To help prepare our students
for this process, a range of professionals gave up their valuable time to carry
out ‘mock’ interviews.
Letters and CVs were critiqued and each student received feedback. The following students attained Platinum,
Gold and Silver Awards:
Platinum: Sian, Lou F, Georgia, Finn H, Daniel R
Gold: Zameer, Jessica C, Jake, Max H,
Silver: Olivia A, Bonnie C, Maddie F, Evie F, Sam F,
Hollie G, Rowan G, Jerry, Eden H, Steven, Toby, Oren,
Jess M, Dasha, Dawid, Ryan, Kate, Karl
Well done Yr 10!
Year 8 Choices Workshops
It is important
that students consider their option choices carefully. To help with this process students attended
workshops run by Solent University; they focused on the right and wrong reasons
for choosing subjects, post 16 pathways and career routes.
As you are aware at USH we strongly believe that work experience
provides an invaluable insight into life after school and informs future
choices. Leading UK businesses report they prefer to recruit people with
work experience on their CV.
In the past a number of students have excelled during their placements
and as a result have been offered part-time work/apprenticeships.
We would like our students to have the opportunity of placements within
sectors they are interested in. Several students have contacted employers
without success. Areas of interest include accountancy, law,
architecture, engineering, IT, administration, police and design. If you
work within these sectors, or indeed any other sector and are able to help by offering
a placement or are able to provide contact details of a contact it would be
much appreciated. Year 10 work experience is scheduled for 13th
– 17th July. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are delighted to confirm that the trial weeks of the breakfast service has been a great success. This service will therefore continue on a long term basis.
It is great to see so many of our students using the service and enjoying their toast with friends!