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, https://forms.gle/ScKczSAoJLD6rHXQA
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.
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
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
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:
Signify waiting spaces for students, staff and
Signify spaced seating for students, staff and
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, PAtothehead@ushschool.org
We are saying goodbye to three members of staff this
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
The Human Givens Institute -
Some more resources from Human Givens including webinars, online courses and
hard copy materials such as posters.
Human Givens Podcast - A really interesting podcast series from Human
Givens, it discusses many varying issues covered by experts in the field.