USH Newsletter

22nd May 2020

  • Headteacher's Message

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Thank you to those parents and children who have returned entries for our recent survey on distance-learning. If you haven’t yet had a chance to do this, please take a few minutes to give us your views,

    USH will reopen for Key Worker children from the 1st June and have been written to today. Newly registered key Worker parents have all been contacted for provision from the 3rd June, though this will be confirmed on the 1st once the site is ready to accommodate more.

    Year 10 face-to-face support will start from the 3rd June (government announcement on the 28th permitting). The first-round of targeted students will be contacted next week so the appropriate consent and preparation to return is secured.

    Hope you have a restful half-term.


    Mr Woods 

  • COVID-19 Adaptations

    The school will be closed over half term to enable us to make site adaptations to ensure we are ready for more keyworker students and some face to face support for our Year 10’s. We thought you would like to see and hear about some of these changes before we send you photographs of the changes after half-term.

    Over half term we will be:

    ·      Removing tables and chairs from rooms to ensure social distancing

    ·      Introducing the use of orange and blue ‘dots’ to encourage safe spacing and safe seating

    ·      Adding sanitiser stations to communal areas: reception, canteen, hall and exhibition hall

    ·      Putting up posters and signage

    ·      Marking safe waiting areas (inside and outside)

    ·      Installing a new safety screen in reception and in other areas


    Safety Notices

    To encourage everyone to display coronavirus safe behaviours, we want everyone to see and feel that the school has changed – maintaining our COVID-SECURE environment as we have a larger group of staff and students in school.

    With that in mind, new banners and signage are being put up at our entrance and around the school. We are also adding additional safety notices around the site to ensure:

    ·      Effective hand-hygiene

    ·      Signify waiting spaces for students, staff and visitors

    ·      Signify spaced seating for students, staff and visitors

    ·      To avoid overcrowding, displaying the maximum capacity of busy shared spaces and operating a one in/one out arrangement

    ·      One-way systems are adopted, where possible


    Across the school, staff are also changing their working practices to mitigate the risk of infection and we are promoting a campaign around workplace safety.

    We hope this gives you a flavour of the work and planning going on behind the scenes.

    Communication remains key and we encourage parents to talk to us as much as they need to – we may not be able to see you face to face at the moment, but we are here, at the end of a phone or email,

  • Staff Leaving USH

    We are saying goodbye to three members of staff this half-term.

    Mrs Alison Small joined USH 22 years ago, originally as a member of the cleaning team and she has undertaken several different roles in her time at the school.  She leaves USH having been our Attendance Officer for 15 years.  Alison has been dedicated to ensuring all our students are marked present each day; a task which is very much easier said than done. Indeed, this is the unsung hero-role of a Secondary school and Alison has always been reliable and dependable in it. If called upon to assist colleagues with a situation or task, she has always shown keenness and willingness to help. She did all this from the smallest office in the school without complaint. Alison has been an amazing colleague and has tackled her role with good humour and persistence every day.  Alison was a critical member of the team who helped our school successfully complete its 2019 Ofsted Inspection. And Alison’s overall contribution has been an intrinsic part of the school growing success and reputation. Her dedication, commitment and humility to USH is inspirational and we will miss her very much. 

    We wish Alison all the very best as she leaves USH for new adventures. Given her enjoyment of cruise holidays, we hope she may once again take to the waves and enjoy a well-earned cocktail when the sun is over the yardarm; travel permitting.


    Mr Dave Wilding is a long-standing member of the USH team and has worked here for 20 years. He has taken up many important roles, including at leadership levels and these included a period as Assistant Head and Senco. As Assistant Head under Mrs Ellins and Mr Brown’s leadership, Dave contributed to the school with his good humour and kind heart. And alongside Mr Woods, he became known affectionately known as ‘mum’ due to his exceptional gift for making tea and tension-releasing badinage.

    Most recently, Dave has assumed a role on the Safeguarding Team and leads the routines of managing cases and case-logs as part of this vital school business. Thank you Dave for performing this important role for us.

    The USH Food Team would like to take this opportunity to thank Dave for his contributions to the USH food department. Indeed Dave relishes his food and this was evident particularly in his practical lessons where Dave’s passion shone through. Safety was always a key priority and Dave never knowingly underused a meat thermometer. Hundreds of young people have benefitted from his guidance and will no doubt remember all the positive times that they shared together.

    Back in the day, Dave worked within the PE department, Mr Staples remembers him playing in the staff vs students football games, knee strapped, all left-foot…the general aim seemingly to get up to speed and boot the ball as hard as possible. All of the kids had a nick name of some description, one of the more favoured was ‘Colonel’ for a student with the surname Sanders. Mr Staples cannot remember the last time he saw Dave run.

    Mr Hall remembers Dave spending most of his first year in teaching on crutches following an operation on his knee; therefore spending most of his time in PE either being propped up or sat down! His ‘horrendous’ array of trainers whilst teaching PE are remembered, the silver Nike ‘Air Moon’ boots being one of the worst!  Dave always had good relationships with the kids, always good for hitting a softball or two onto the school roof.  It is amazing how he managed to involve a dodgeball in most gymnastics lessons he taught!

    Mr Woods recalls Dave being at the epicentre of staff-outings where he demonstrated his immense capacity for stamina during evening social events (Dave not Mr Woods). And when on typical good-form, the term ‘life and soul of the party’ was a fitting description. The leadership look forward to enjoying a farewell drink with Dave when gatherings are once again permitted.

    Dave leaves USH to take up a leadership role in another school in Southampton and we wish him every success.


    Mrs Kate Stride was our Lesson Cover Teacher and latterly our Lesson Cover Supervisor from September 2015, a very important role in our school which ensured day-to-day smooth running of classes when teachers were out.

    One of her passions was Rock Challenge and she worked tirelessly on the choreography, organisation and planning behind the scenes. All this work paid off when we won with ‘Love Can’t Touch’ in 2016.  Kate also made a huge contribution and helped with school productions, her last being the hugely successful The Little Mermaid.

    Kate’s passion and energy at Rock Challenge inspired many of our students and she also created strong relationships with some who often felt that they could talk to her better than with anyone else. Kate was also involved in Dance GCSE for a time.

    We hope Kate leaves USH with fond memories and send our best wishes as she begins a new job.

  • USH Commemorates VE Day 75

    Well done to Myleta W and Theo S for delivering VE Day packages to those in our community who lived through the Second World War on VE Day and to Zameer A, Jacob M, Ben D-P, Anna S and Ruby H for their thoughtful messages and questions on behalf of USH. I have received positive feedback from a number of people who received the packages about how much they appreciated the messages and to answer your questions.

    A massive thank you to the Local History Group for letting us be part of this brilliant community project and to all the people who took the time to answer our students’ questions about life during the war. We really appreciate you sharing your fascinating memories with us and helping us to find out more about the impact of the war on our locality.

    The photo is of Myleta delivering a VE Day package to her grandmother who grew up in Shirley during WW2.

    Take care,

    Mr Farley    

  • Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

    As you may know this week is Mental Health Awareness Week 2020.

    The topic chosen for this year is kindness, something we can all agree is pretty important in life, right now in particular. Kindness helps bring us together and can act as the glue that binds our communities. By helping our young people see this and encouraging it, we will create a happier, more compassionate world for all of us in the future.

    Below are two great resources from the Human Givens Institute to raise awareness, get us all talking and give us some fresh ideas for how we can show and celebrate our kindness. 

    The Human Givens Institute - Some more resources from Human Givens including webinars, online courses and hard copy materials such as posters.

    The Human Givens Podcast - A really interesting podcast series from Human Givens, it discusses many varying issues covered by experts in the field.