Firstly, welcome to the new term. It’s a pleasure to be back. Thank you to parents and carers for preparing students in readiness for a strong start to the year. This term is about getting back into the routine of learning and gearing our brains back into action after the summer!
Our new Year 7 students have made a great first impression and hats-off to those who decided to take notes during my welcome assembly- leaders in the making.
I re-iterate our collective congratulations to all GCSE graduating students for their exam results. A very positive year for USH overall with 4+/5+ & 7+ grades measuring above or well-above the national averages.
I am pleased to be launching our new whole-school rewards and recognition strategy to students over the next two weeks. You will hear students speak about ‘The USH Peaks’ and this is a new, more consistent and fairer approach to recognition of the very best behaviours for learning. It is designed to take the guess work out of what it takes to succeed and it ensures students and parents receive timely and meaningful feedback on successes at school. It includes grouping and grading students based on behaviour and progress combined and offers a range of intervention approaches to help them further unlock a path to success.
I am implementing more rewards, more frequently and for greater numbers of students. This includes a new Lesson Award across all subjects- you may have already received an alert congratulating your child on their success this week.
For graphic emphasis we are basing this on a series of mountain ranges (hence the name The Peaks) and it our goal to help as many students as possible reach the top (Our Aspire Group). Uniquely, students will build their disciplined behaviours across a whole-year and not be repeatedly tested on the same things over and over again. These behaviours will lead to our ultimate goal-transformation. Our research over the last 3 years has come-together to share the USH ‘recipe for success’ with all. It has been co-designed with staff and the Student Leadership team. With good engagement in this strategy, we aim to ensure students will leave us fulfilled, independent, fluent and creative learners.
Here are the visuals to give you an insight in the strategy and help support your son/daughter in their successful completion of their Peaks journey.. Good luck everyone and I look forward to welcoming the first students into the Aspire Group. More information will be featured in the forthcoming newsletters.
At the end of last term our Y10 computer science students entered a national game design competition organised by University College London. The competition was called ‘Mission Maker Macbeth’ and was intended to help teach classical literary texts and computer coding through game design.
The students were provided with a Macbeth themed tool kit taken from the larger game design engine ‘Unity’. With these tools they were asked to create a game level based on a scene or theme from Macbeth. Macbeth is their GCSE Shakespeare text and the students were able to bring their previous knowledge to bear on the project.
In August we were delighted to be informed that Ethan Pl and Finbar H had won second and third prizes respectively. The boys won £400 pounds worth of Amazon vouchers for the school. The panel of judges sent detailed feedback which complimented the boys’ use of imagery, voice actors and game dynamics. They were also given constructive criticism on their efforts.
The Upper Shirley High computer science department is very proud of all of the work our computer scientists did on this project and it is excellent to win a competition of this stature.