Upper Shirley High

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“Pupils are welcoming and friendly and many are proud of their academy. ” Ofsted 2016


We believe that a curriculum should be enjoyable, meaningful and provide challenge.  It should develop the skills and attributes of students to enable them to reach their potential, so they may make a positive contribution to society - a society that upholds the British values of: personal freedom; tolerance and respect for diversity; equality of opportunity; representative democracy; and respects the rule of law. Students are encouraged to explore the cultural and spiritual opportunities offered to them, to make moral judgements about the world they live in and to link socially with people from many different cultures and backgrounds whilst finding their place in the world of today.

The curriculum offered at USH is:

Broad: We introduce students to a wide range of experiences, knowledge and skills. The curriculum includes the teaching of English, Mathematics, Art, Design and Technology, History and Geography, Music, Physical Education, Science and up to four foreign languages. It will not only be connected to our local community but also involve an international dimension.

Balanced: The curriculum is organised to allow each area sufficient time to make its unique contribution to the educational development of every student. It values their intellectual, physical, emotional, social, scientific and aesthetic development.

Relevant: The curriculum addresses contemporary issues as well as the big ideas that have shaped the world in the past. All aspects of the curriculum are taught in such a way as to link plainly with the student’s own experience and to bring out his or her application to, and value in, adult life. It makes connections between subjects and connections to work. Students will secure fluency in the essential skills (reading, writing, communicating and mathematics).

Differentiated: The curriculum is both secular and inclusive for all. Teaching will consider the ages, abilities and aptitudes of our students. It has a space for child initiated learning throughout and stimulates and challenges students of all abilities.

Art and Design

The Art and Design department at USH is where creativity is driven by the learner.

Students are empowered by visual and expressive vocabulary: giving them the tools to communicate and express visions that are beyond the capacity of words.

The Department 

  • Mariella de Ruiter - Subject Lead for Art & Design/Design & Technology
  • Helen Cadle - Art & Design 
  • Jo Field - Art & Design
  • Louise Clooney - Art & Design/Design & Technology
  • Sharon Hannah - Technician 


Citizenship and PSHE

“Citizenship gives our students a voice and shows then how to use it to make change”

All students in year 7 and 8 at USH receive 2 lessons a fortnight dedicated to PSHE and Citizenship issues. Lessons are delivered in themes, covering topics such as relationships and friendship, making healthy lifestyle choices and looking at strategies to minimise risky behaviours, as well as exploring issues such as Crime, Racism and Animal Rights.</p>

Within Year 9, students receive Sex and Relationship Education through our partnership with the Firgrove Centre,  all students will also get opportunities to participate in a range of events to explore other issues such as Human Rights, The Law and Discrimination within their lessons and during themed days.


  • Suzanne Dibden - PSHE and Citizenship Lead



The Computing curriculum at Upper Shirley High has been designed to equip students to be safe, employable digital citizens.

Students will advance their Computational thinking skills at Key Stage 3. These are transferable life skills that enable students to break down and sequence problems logically. The curriculum also encompasses the use and understanding of information technology. Students will undertake projects that include; web-site building, game creation, architectural design, databases and spreadsheets.

At Key Stage 4 students can choose to specialise in Computing (GCSE) or Information and Creative Technology (Btec). The Computing GCSE has computational thinking as its core. Students develop their problem solving skills, design systems and understand human and machine intelligence.

Information and Creative Technology students will complete coursework designed to develop practical, technical and creative skills. They will gain a broad understanding and knowledge of the industry and will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge in new, practical and creative contexts.


  • Peter Harvey – ICT Lead
  • Daniel Hughes – ICT



The Drama department at Upper Shirley High is a place that thrives with creativity and passion. It is a place that promotes confidence, communication, co-operation, consideration, commitment and contribution. The department aims to impart these important life skills needed during these formative years. Our department is a place that prides itself on lessons that educate, but also excite and help to develop our students into well rounded individuals, bringing out their creative side as well as developing their confidence for performing and evaluating. Therefore encouraging and enabling each other to reach their full potential during lesson time or through our successful programme of extra-curricular drama activities which enrich their time at USH.

School Values within the department


  • In drama we take pride in the performances that we devise and share with the class.

  • In drama we take pride in our contributions during whole class discussions, peer evaluation, reflection and group tasks.

  • In drama we take pride in our extra-curricular activities, i.e. drama club, whole school performances and rock challenge. We are proud to represent Upper Shirley High.


  • In drama we trust each other to be supportive when we perform and share our work.

  • In drama we trust the people that we work with by listening to ideas and working to the best of our ability.

  • We trust each other to give honest feedback to enhance our learning in order to improve.

  • Students will trust their teacher to provide a safe working environment where all students will reach their potential.

  • Students will trust their teachers to take risks


  • In drama we respect each other’s voiced opinions and contributions during whole class discussions and peer evaluation.

  • In drama we respect one another’s performances / work and provide sensible ideas using WWW and EBI. We do not talk during any performance. We appreciate all efforts made.


  • In drama we have ambition to climb the drama USH Steps and make progress in the subject. We listen to our formative feedback and aim to make improvements where necessary.

  • In drama we have ambition to create quality performances and learn new skills. We want to impress our audience and work at a high standard in every lesson.

  • In drama we have ambition to take part in extra-curricular activities and school shows.

  • In the drama department we have high expectations in order to get the results.


  • In drama independence is evident when we devise our own performances and create work that demonstrates our individual ideas.

  • During performance although we work as a team and it is about the collaboration we have independence when we create our individual character and perform.

    Janine Lambert – Head of Theatre Arts



The English department at Upper Shirley High seeks to equip pupils with the essential literacy skills which will not only allow them to excel in aspects of Language and Literature, but also to confidently access a range of subjects across the entire curriculum. English lessons are an opportunity to discover, explore, discuss, imagine, and question – regardless of whether you are studying a classic novel or a news article published just the day before! In a world that is constantly changing, we want our pupils to use the written word to gain a better understanding of the issues which affect us all, and feel able to articulate their thoughts and feelings about them. As a department, we look to share our understanding and expertise in creative ways with the intention that our students will begin to share our great enthusiasm for this diverse and varied subject. We pride ourselves on high expectations and encourage all pupils to aspire to achieve their optimum across reading, writing and spoken language.

Bhavini Goldman - Subject Lead for English


  • Bhavini Goldman - Subject Lead 
  • Sarah Hayward - Second in English (KS3)
  • Clare Williams – English
  • Sarah Turner - English and Literacy
  • Sophie Dunne - English
  • Sarah Baillie - English
  • Janny Ahmed - English


Film Studies

The film department is made up of a highly skilled and creative team of staff who are committed to providing the best support to enable all students to develop their creative talents. Through a diverse curriculum, your child will have opportunities to try their hand at screen writing, storyboarding, filming, directing, marketing projects and analysing the impacts of those choices as they are made in the industry, leaving them confidently prepared for a world that is full of media and moving images.


  • Sarah Turner - Film Studies Lead



Choose Life. Choose Upper Shirley High. Choose the food department. Choose tasty food. Choose a balanced diet. Choose the healthy eating guidelines. Choose to avoid the obesity epidemic. Choose happy healthy young people.  Choose to encourage positive change. Choose to work independently. Choose to learn the skills and techniques required to change raw ingredients into delicious food. Choose provenance. Choose positive consumer choices. Choose trading fairly. Choose seasonal food. Choose organic. Choose to learn and grow safely. Choose food hygiene. Choose essential life skills. Choose time management, independence, organisation and budgeting. Choose social interaction. Choose to make over 30 dishes before you are 14 years old. Choose to make your own chocolate. Choose to have fun. Choose Upper Shirley High. Choose Life. Choose the food department.


  • Joseph Davies – Food Lead
  • David Wilding –  Food



Geography is a dynamic subject that is relevant to the 21st century and the world we live in. It is a subject that not only teaches us about the natural and man-made Geography of the world, but also equips students with the key transferable skills that are needed when pupils leave school, such as communication, data analysis and problem solving skills.

Please visit our Twitter page twitter.com/geographyush

Our vision

Our world is our responsibility and our students are at the heart of its future. They are enriched by an awareness of the diversity of our environments and are inspired to seek them out and protect them. Students are challenged to investigate key issues facing the local, national and international communities. Following outstanding geographical experiences that are current, relevant and forward looking, the USH student leaves us fully equipped with the skills, understanding and values to participate as active global citizens.  Geography helps us to learn how we can contribute to a sustainable future for our world.

The themes taught in Geography cover local, regional and global scales.  These include forever changing topics which take into account current world issues and it is this that makes it an exciting subject to study.


  • Emma Hyslop – Geography Lead
  • Rebecca Rendall – Geography
  • Charlotte Ndupuechi - Geography


Google Classroom


“A country without a memory is a country of madmen.” 

George Santayana

“We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world ~ or the last.” 

John F. Kennedy

“History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.” 

Robert Penn Warren

Our Vision:

‘History is for all!  We encourage curiosity, broaden horizons and promote independence through a variety of activities in and outside the classroom. We are all about enquiring minds.’

History is a very popular subject at Upper Shirley High across the key stages. We develop an enthusiasm for the subject in all our students. History is one of the most important subjects in the curriculum because it enables students to know who they are and where they fit in the broader context of their place in society, the world and in time.

We provide opportunities for pupils to develop successful working relationships with others, through group activities and role play, as well as developing their skills of self-discipline, independent learning and problem-solving. A range of active teaching and learning techniques, textbooks and resources, trips and ICT are utilised to ensure that all students are engaged.


  • Stuart Farley - History Lead
  • Aimee Floyd - History
  • Adriane Sackman - History
  • Leonie Clay - History



Mathematics; where students develop and enhance their skills of the universal language of communication. Mathematics transcends all boundaries and so do our learners.


  • Jo Eyre - Maths Lead 
  • Agnieszka Adamou – Maths
  • Robin Wallace – Maths
  • Sukhvinder Sehmbi - Maths
  • Ellie Vilsmas - Maths
  • Liam Brocken - Maths 


Modern Foreign Languages

Languages; The department where students are enthused and excited about learning languages and new cultures.  Students communicate confidently in another language.

To achieve our goals we all must communicate effectively, increase urgency, empower each other, celebrate wins regularly and build momentum.

Language Learning at USH

Year 7 – All students will learn French or Spanish

Year 8 – All students will continue to learn the language started in year 7 and will pick up one of French, Spanish or Italian

Year 9 – All students will have the option of studying one (or two) of French, Spanish or Italian to GCSE

Year 10 – Students will continue with their GCSE course(s) in French, Spanish or Italian

Year 11 – Students will continue with their GCSE course(s) in French, Spanish or Italian


  • Gopaal Bhardwaj – Languages Lead & Spanish
  • Marie Connolly – Spanish & Latin
  • Martin Perry – French
  • JJ Smith - French
  • Elisabetta Calamelli - Italian



USH Music Department

The USH Music Department offers a full range of creativity, expression, communication, understanding, development of skills, appreciation, co-operation and participation. Students explore a full range of media, resources, technologies, genres, styles and contexts. Music is made accessible to all for a full range of abilities, interests, skills and purposes, within the curriculum and beyond.

The Music Department provides opportunities for all students to participate in celebrations and productions, at Remembrance, Christmas, School Productions, Awards Evening, JEP Summer Festival and larger-scale Southampton Music Hub events. Instrumental lessons are available for all levels of learner and our musicians are renowned for their dedication and for performing up to the highest standards within the City and school ensembles.

Believing in excellence and engagement, Respecting contributions and skills and Succeeding in bringing together a community through Music and encouraging the musicians of the future.


·  Louise Owen - Music Lead



Every student has the skills to take ownership of their creative journey, widening their aspirations to achieve critical acclaim.

Helen Cadle – Photography Lead

Jo Field –Photography and Art


Physical Education

I hope you find these pages informative and useful and that they give you a taste of the provision offered to our pupils within Physical Education at Upper Shirley High School. We are proud to offer a broad, balanced, exciting and challenging curriculum to our students at Key Stages 3 and 4,as well as AQA  GCSE PE for students to gain a qualification in P.E and Sport during their senior years


  • To deliver a broad and balanced curriculum
  • To offer a logical and accessible progression into PE at KS4
  • To promote a positive learning environment in which all students can achieve, regardless of their PE background or ability
  • To increase the self-esteem of students, and engender an enthusiasm for the subject
  •  To monitor the progress of each student regularly
  • To offer a wide range of extracurricular opportunities to develop the work in lessons
  • To provide opportunities for student to undertake roles such as Sports Prefect in years 10 and 11


GCSE P.E has a practical component worth 40% of the overall examination grade. An example of

some of the practical activities students follow are listed below:

  • • Football
  • • Netball
  • • Basketball
  • Handball
  • • Table Tennis
  • • Badminton
  • • Rugby
  • • Gymnastics
  • • Athletics
  • • Cricket
  • • Rowing

It is highly recommended that those who choose GCSE PE should play for a team inside/outside school as a minimum requirement

The practical element of the course also involves analysis of performance which counts for 10% of their practical mark. Students learn how to identify their strengths and weaknesses, in order to plan for improvement with a written piece of coursework in year 11.

60% of the overall grade is a theoretical examination. This is split into 2 papers both worth 30% each (78 marks each).

Paper 1

·  Applied anatomy and physiology

·  Movement analysis

·  Physical Training

·  Use of Data

Paper 2

·  Sports psychology

·  Socio-cultural influences

·  Health, fitness and well-being

·  Use of Data


  • Hannah Wright-Davies - Physical Education Lead
  • Rick Staples - Physical Education
  • Kieran Hall - Physical Education
  • Lisa Suffling – Physical Education
  • Claire Fortune – Physical Education
  • Victoria Way - Physical Education 


Religious Studies

At Upper Shirley High, we believe that allowing opportunities for personal and spiritual development is as important as securing the academic skills. Therefore, all students in year 7 and 8 will receive one hour of Religious Studies education every 2 weeks.

These lessons aim to build understanding and knowledge of the different people who live in the UK and the various beliefs represented. Students will be encouraged to think critically, ask challenging questions and consider religious and moral issues that face society today.

In KS3, students will be introduced to aspects of the 6 major religions, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism through examining moral and ethical questions such as:

 How did the world begin?

 Are Humans responsible for evil and suffering in the world?

 Should the UK reinstate the death penalty?

 Can you change things without using violence?

 What is religion like in the 21st Century?

 Why have different groups suffered persecution?

 Is Jedi a religion?

In KS4, all students will continue to reflect and build their understanding of society through dedicated units in the PSHE curriculum focusing on the role of marriage and the family, discrimination within society and issues surrounding blood and organ donation.

For those who wish to continue studying Religious Studies in more detail there is also the option of choosing the GCSE course at the end of year 8.

We follow the AQA Religious Studies A curriculum, which with units on “Crime and Punishment” and “War and Peace” allows us to continue to explore many ethical questions including the rights of animals, the role of men and women in society and the treatment of people today.

For the GCSE course, students are expected to specialise in 2 religions, at Upper Shirley High, we follow Christianity and Hinduism.

As outlined by the Government, parents do have the right to withdraw their child from Religious Studies lessons in order to follow a curriculum, which more closely matches the religious beliefs and values of your family.

However, we would encourage you to contact the school for more information around the lessons taught and the resources used, so you are thoroughly informed used before making that decision.

Subject Lead - Suzanne Dibden



Students follow a 5-year curriculum. Therefore, ever year is equally important in the students’ progression to their GCSEs.

In Years 7 and 8 students are taught using AQA’s Big Ideas, each of which has a theme and applies science to real world scenarios.

Year 9, 10 and 11 are currently following the AQA Combined Science: Trilogy specification with the top class in Year 11 following the AQA Separate Science specifications.

We rely heavily on formative assessment and online learning tools. We are enthusiastic users of Kerboodle so all our students have access to it as well as other platforms such as Focus Science and eChalk.

Lastly, our students are assessed frequently but not excessively to allow them to be independent and reflective learners.


  • Andrei Stanescu - Science - Subject Lead 
  • Salma Shoaa - Science 
  • Tim Roberts – Science
  • Joshua Chudley - Science
  • Alysha Cole - Science
  • Victoria Way - Science and PE
  • Lisa Suffling - Science and PE
  • Kasla Robinson - Senior Science Technician 
  • Heidi Mittoo - Science Technician 



Latest Sports Results from USH

Netball Cup U14 and U16

Last night (10/01/19) the U14s and U16s competed in the annual cup competition. The U16s came first and the U14s came second!! A great team performance from everyone, particularly the U14s who went down to do 6 players after Olivia Austin went down injured.

The scores were:

Round 1:

U14 USH 2 vs STA 4

U16 USH 7 vs STA 2

Round 2:

U14 USH 12 vs TGS 1

U16 USH 5 vs TGSb 2

Round 3:

U14 USH 5 vs STG 0

U16 USH 3 vs OAS 0

Round 4:

U14 USH 6 vs OAS2 4

U16 USH 7 vs TGSa 4

Round 5:

U14 USH 4 vs OAS1

U16 USH 11 vs STG 0

Round 6:

U14 USH 5 vs RCS 7

Round 7:

U14 USH 5 VS BPS 3

Netball results

Under 14

USH 10 v Oasis Mayfield 0

USH 16 v St Georges 0

Under 16 USH 11 v Greggs 12

Netball results

Under 16

USH 24 v Oasis Mayfield 0

USH 20 v St Georges 2

Netball Results

Under 16

USH 29 v Oasis 0

USH 7 v St Annes 13

Under 14

USH 9  v Oasis B 3

USH 4 v Redbridge 5

Yr 11 football result:

Bitterne Park 1- USH 2

Scorers: Sam Bowan and Zack Williams

Man of the match Ben Puleo

This week's netball results:

Under 16's

USH 17 vs St Georges 5

Under 14's

USH 17 vs Oasis 0

This weeks netball results were:

Under 16’s

USH 10 vs Sholing 3

USH 18 vs BPS 5

Under 14’s

USH 15 vs St George 1

USH 8 vs St Anne’s 9

Year 10 league

USH 3 v Wildern 1

Year 7/8 Girls Football

USH 8 v Regents Park 1

Netball U16 team this week

USH 7 vs Greggs 13

USH 11 vs St Anne’s 10

Netball U14 team

USH  13 vs Bitterne Park 7

USH 16 vs Greggs 3

Year 9 Football

USH 5 v Redbridge 1

Year 7/8 Girls Football Monday 24th September

USH 8 v Hamble 0

Year 9 Football Result

Tuesday 18th September

USH 3 v Cantell 1

Rounders 9th May 2018

USH 5 v Regents 1.5
USH 7 v Redbridge 3

USH 6 v Regents 3.5
USH 10 v Cantel  2.5
USH 8.5 v Redbridge 2

Netball 14th March 2018

Year 7’s

USH 20- 0 Oasis Mayfield
USH 10 – 2 Redbridge

Year 8’s
USH 5 – 5 St Anne’s
USH 11 – 0 Oasis Mayfield

National Rowing Championships

Two of our students, Eleanor Marshall-Cox and Millie Terrell qualified for the National Rowing Competition on Friday 9th March.

Millie achieved 4th place and lost out on 3rd by 2 metres and Eleanor came 28th out of 151 competitors from all over Great Britain so this is a huge achievement for both girls, well done!!

The scores for Netball this week were:
Year 7’s
USH 16 – 3 TSCT A
USH 11 - 1 Bitterne Park

Year 8’s
USH 16 – 2 TSCT B
USH 8 – 14 Redbridge
Currently the year 7’s are top of the leader board and remain undefeated.

Year 9 Boys Football
USH 5 - 2 Oasis Lords Hill

Netball - 21st February 2018

Year 7:
USH 17 - Greggs 1
USH 14 - St George’s 0

Year 8:
USH 6 - Sholing A 7
USH 4 - Bitterne Park 0/p>

The year 7 team is currently undefeated.

Year 10 football result:

Bitterne Park 2 USH 4

U12 Netball

USH V Gregg 16-1

USH V St Georges 9-4

U13 Netball

USH v Greggs 14-3

USH v St Georges 17-1

Miss Wright Davies


Year 11 - Period 6

The Period 6 timetable is in operation from 26th September and students will be invited to attend their session until 4pm. Each period is specifically designed to address knowledge gaps for small intervention groups, and students will be informed by letter which subject areas and skills sessions they are expected to attend. To identify which options subjects are in which section (W,X,Y,Z), the class code on students timetable matches each options block, E.G: 11x Art.

Mr Staples


“Learning is promoted strongly.” Ofsted 2016