Autumn Term 2019


Welcome to the Autumn term newsletter. It has been a terrific first term. We are delighted that our Year 7 students have settled in so well and are now confident UHS students. We have also welcomed a record number of students to our sixth form from UHS and other Hillingdon schools. It has been a pleasure to see them enjoying the life of the school and their advanced studies so quickly.

Please enjoy reading through a selection of the many events and activities that have taken place so far this term. You will also find more on our regularly updated Twitter pages.

This edition of the newsletter includes an interesting article regarding attendance and the effect absence can have on students' GCSE grades. It shows how important it is that absences are kept to a minimum.

A reminder to all parents that if your child is going to be absent from school you should leave a voicemail on the student absence line by calling 01895 234060 and choosing option 1; you do not need to speak to someone at the school.

We are always keen to hear from parents who may be interested in serving as parent governors on our active governing body. You do not need to be an expert in education to play a valuable role in the governing body but you will have the best interests of the school at heart and want to help our school be the best it can be. Equally we would be delighted if you were able to bring additional professional experience to the governing body. If you are interested in becoming a parent governor, please contact the Principal in the first instance.


Please feel free to browse our Instagram and Twitter accounts for up-to-date information and updates on the variety of activities taking place at Uxbridge High School. Our Twitter accounts are @UxbridgeHighSch, @UHSPrincipal, @UHS_VAPA and @UHSPE. Our Instagram account can be found here.

Please note that our accounts are public and you can browse them at any time without having to sign up for an account.


Congratulations to all students in gaining positive points for displaying the UHS values this term. Keep up the momentum in the Spring term!

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*NB Wessex House is a 'small' house comprising only 30 students.


We were proud to welcome a record number of prospective families to our open evening in October. The feedback was extremely positive as parents and students toured the school and took part in a variety of activities whilst visiting departments. Many of our students gave up their evening to assist. Each and every one of them represented the school in an exemplary manner. The feedback from visitors was, as always, positive and we expect very heavy demand for Year 7 places next year.


In the week running up to the remembrance commemorations in November, Mr Head spoke to students in assemblies about the significance of Remembrance Day. He told students that one of the reasons he wears a poppy is to remember members of his family who served in WWI and WWII.

On Armistice Day (11th November) the school fell silent for two minutes at 11am. Mr Dawson played the Last Post on his bugle and the cannons sounded at 11am to signify the start of the two minutes' silence.


The student mental health ambassador team are here to help the student body feel more comfortable in their daily life during school hours! We are here to remind the student body that mental health is just as important as your physical health and to give you some good advice on how to deal with things such as exam stress and anxiety you may feel. Staying both mentally and physically well during your high school experience is essential to your future success.

Make sure that you all drink a good amount of water each day and sleep at least 8 hours each night since all this affects your mental wellbeing and emotions during the school day. Every person in the Mental Health Champions team has a lanyard on in case you ever feel the need for any guidance or help on mindfulness - or you just need someone to chat to. We are here for all of you so please feel free to talk to any one of us - we are here to help you on a day-to-day basis. Don't forget that your friends, teachers, family and the safeguarding team are also there for you - why not speak to one of them about how you are feeling?

This term, to help us have a better understanding on how to differentiate and understand mental health issues, us Champions have been receiving fantastic training from our partner, Health Watch Hillingdon! Kim has helped us differentiate mental health from mental illness and we know that it's okay to look for help if you are feeling down, stressed or anxious. We have learned of many coping mechanisms and techniques and the importance of self-care and mindfulness - especially in the run-up to exams.

Each member of the Mental Health Champions team has worked hard on fun and creative ways to spread the fact that mental health is a healthy subject to talk about. We have assemblies, workshops and many other activities planned so that everyone in the school and wider community can have a healthy idea of what mental health is and how important it is. So if you see an activity of ours taking place, please feel free to take part as it will educate yourself and others how to take care of yourself better.


On Tuesday 12th November, the Mental Health Champions team organised a lunchtime workshop, which they had previously presented to the school leadership team, where students had the opportunity to take part in drawing and origami. They also made conversation starters and learned how the way they act towards people can make a difference.

Later in November they led whole school assemblies, further spreading messages of awareness and support.


Anti-Bullying Week took place from 11th to 15th November. The school's anti-bullying ambassadors led assemblies during the week and spoke to students about the different types of bullying and how it is everyone's responsibility to tackle and prevent bullying. They visited form groups to hear ideas on how we can all work together to reduce bullying.


Our anti-bullying ambassadors also visited Whitehall Junior School recently to engage with Year 5 and 6 students in an anti-bullying assembly. They gave an outstanding assembly focusing on promoting the role of anti-bullying ambassadors. They performed fantastically to about 200 students. Staff at Whitehall Junior were very impressed and praised them for their leadership and organisational skills.

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On Thursday 5th December, we had a wonderful variety of festive performances from students in our Winter Showcase. We had singing, dancing, music, a poetry recital and there was even an audience sing-a-long! Thank you to all students and staff who performed, as well as those who worked behind the scenes to make this such an enjoyable evening.


Five students were invited to speak at the first Be Her Lead conference held at West London Free School on Saturday 5th October.

Be Her Lead is an organisation that works with schools in order to raise aspirations and confidence in female students. The programme ran successfully last year at UHS and is even bigger and better this year with more visits and external speakers to inspire our students.

The conference was a celebration event in which students from schools across London were invited to share their experiences of being a part of the Be Her Lead programme. The students also had the opportunity to participate in a number of workshops designed to make them realise the impact they could have in society as powerful young women. They particularly enjoyed a workshop which targeted period poverty and how to generate change via government policy and grassroots activism.

Hind, Trudy and Eisha from Year 11 were joined at the conference by Summer and Niffy from Year 10. The girls had chosen to prepare a video to present at the conference which they had filmed and edited themselves. The video featured interviews with female staff at UHS as well as other members of the Be Her Lead club.

The girls spoke about the positive impact that participating in the club has had on their school and personal lives. Summer stated "I've always been very sociable but stuck to my own circle of friends. In Be Her Lead I've met girls who I normally wouldn't come into contact with and have learnt a lot from their experiences". Niffy added "I enjoy the fact that we can share our problems in a safe space and support each other through the issues we face in school".

The video was met with a huge round of applause and the girls were congratulated throughout the day for their achievement. Hind closed the presentation by addressing the audience directly and reminding everyone of their individual beauty and power: "I hope that this programme can run in many more schools because it's important for girls to know they are never alone".

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Year 12 students volunteered their time to participate in a Christmas shopping event on Friday 15th November. During the day they assisted elderly people with their Christmas shopping around Uxbridge town centre. The event was organised by the town centre manager and we were one of several schools that had been asked to assist on the day. After helping with shopping, the students attended a festive meal at the Middlesex Suite in Uxbridge Civic Centre. The day got everyone in the festive mood for Christmas!


The Interfaith conference, which took place at Swakeleys School, was a fantastic opportunity for our students to reflect on the subject of forgiveness. We met students from six other schools and completed a variety of activities.

At first our students were nervous about talking to students from other schools but soon took to it like a duck to water. Our students were in groups of six with other students they had never met before and discussed situations in which forgiveness could and could not be given. Students discussed the infamous death of Anthony Walker (with his family forgiving the perpetrators) and Rev. Julie Nicholson (who was unable to forgive the 7/7 bombers).

With all knowledge in hand, forgiveness as a personal objective and hearing how various religions deal with the idea of forgiveness, students were able to act out their own role play about forgiveness using real life scenarios and religious text.

The Interfaith conference was a great success and our students were able to look at how religious and non-religious ideas can be of use in everyday life.


Twenty-five Year 10 Computer Science and Creative iMedia students went to Twitter HQ near Piccadilly Circus in central London on Tuesday 15th October. The trip was made possible through a partnership with KPMG, whose staff came along to support our students. They worked for the whole day with programmers at Twitter to learn how a website is created and how sites work together. They were taught live coding in HTML, CSS and JavaScript and produced their own webpage and weather app. The students were able to experience the working environment at the impressive headquarters as well as talk to staff. The programmers shared their diverse journeys from being students themselves to eventually working for Twitter. Their enthusiasm was infectious and many students were inspired to work in the technology industry themselves one day. The students were exceptionally behaved and were a credit to the school. The Twitter programmers said they were the best group they had worked with!

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Five talented young writers from UHS have had their stories published in a book called The Other Stories. The anthology celebrates the bright and dark voices of the writers, and is dedicated to honing their storytelling craft. The stories explore the theme of hope, capturing the spirit of UHS's creative culture.

The book is available on Amazon.

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Ten A Level students attended the EMC A-Level English Language conference in October, hearing from a range of incredible guest speakers, from researchers at universities to national journalists.

The conference explored the challenges of linguistics and how linguistics can challenge prejudices about language. Held at Friends' House in central London, the students attended the day of lectures with opportunities to ask questions directly to the speakers themselves.

Year 12 student, Amman, commented "I found the trip extremely informative and interesting and it allowed me to discover new areas of language, including some cutting-edge linguistic research. I'd absolutely recommend the trip to any sixth form English Language student".

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A small but definitely strong squad ventured out to Fortaleza in Brazil to represent England in the IKU world karate championships. The squad included our very own Head of House, Mr Janar. Mr Janar said "I fought with the best in the world. It was a truly remarkable experience, from walking out to the announcement of our country to the prestigious team events to being crowned world champions. We fought a very strong and fast Brazilian team in the semi-finals, much to the displeasure of the home crowd and a powerful Czech team that we fought a disciplined final against. To come back with two gold medals from a world championship is a dream come true. Thank you to all the staff and students who supported me with their best wishes."


Uxbridge High School welcomed Fred Theatre to school on Tuesday 5th November for a performance of A Christmas Carol. All Year 11 students attended the afternoon performance as a fun way of beginning their revision for this literature text. The quality of acting and the interactive nature of the performance combined to make this a thoroughly enjoyable event.

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Representatives from KPMG (a multi-national professional services network and one of the Big Four accounting organisations in the world) came to Uxbridge High School on 31st October to talk about cyber security and online safety.

Each year they run Global Cyber Day which is aimed at educating students of various age groups, as well as the adults in their lives, about the importance of cyber security.

The cyber security team talked to students in Years 7, 8, 11 and 12 about social media, online identity protection, cyber bullying, online gaming and cyber threats and how they can affect schoolchildren and teenagers in their everyday lives.

One member of the team talked about their job which involves companies paying them to test how vulnerable they are to attacks from hackers. The students found this extremely exciting and did not realise the variety of jobs that Computer Science skills could lead to.

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The start of the school year is always exciting at UHS and this September was particularly so for students as we also celebrated Languages Week. Students were encouraged to reflect on how knowing another language can lead to new friendships, jobs, opportunities and experiences with an assembly showing how proud we are of the wealth of languages spoken by students in our school.

Year 7 students were also lucky enough to take part in a living story, helping out with the famous French and Spanish tales of The Three Musketeers and Don Quixote. Many Year 7 students became swordsmen and lords and ladies whilst practicing their language skills.


Six Year 9 students attended the Target Mars event at Brunel University on Monday 1st October with the aim to develop an understanding of how to survive on Mars and life on board the International Space Station, all whilst competing against other schools through a range of science activities. After solving several complex puzzles and conducting some intense space-themed experiments, our group was assessed and scored against other teams from different schools. Our team came 2nd out of 10 schools and showed great teamwork throughout. Well done to Sariya, Hechi, Radu, Lisa, Daniela and Sunmeet!


Well done to all students who have won subject awards so far this term - keep up the good work!

Art: Year 8 - Grace, Lacey-Mai, Thandi; Year 9 - Isabella; Year 10 - Elsi, Tia; Year 11 - Bethany, Madison, Robbie; Year 12 - Yash; Year 13 - Jack

Business: Year 10 - Elia, Gabriele, Nasrin; Year 11 - Josh, Ruquayyah; Year 12 - Anil, Claudia, Natasha, Tayab; Year 13 - Tania

Computer Science: Year 7 - Jana; Year 8 - Brett, Ionut, Lacey-Mai, Noreen; Year 11 - Dafne, Eduard, Josh, Klea, Rohan; Year 12 - Naeem, Yasmine, Yash; Year 13 - Saira, Thomas

DT: Year 7 - Rae; Year 8 - Aliya, Camelia, Tihanna; Year 9 - Angelina, Emma, Sunmeet; Year 10 - Aidan; Year 11 - Corneliu, Sam; Year 13 - Aaron, Alan

Drama: Year 7 - Ashita, Cody, Teigan; Year 8 - Adrian, Joel; Year 9 - Ella, Keira; Year 10 - Jamie; Year 11 - Hannah; Year 13 - Dominic, Elleanna

English: Year 7 - Maymunah; Year 8 - Tara; Year 9 - Douglas, Sariya; Year 10 - Daniel, Mason; Year 11 - Keira, Renee, Robbie; Year 13 - Azaan, Shannon

French: Year 7 - Sultan; Year 8 - Kawthar, Nehaa; Year 10 - Daniel, Rohullah; Year 11 - Aminur, Yalda

German: Year 10 - Chelsea; Year 11 - Abdishakur, Hollie, Nabeelah, Rhianna

Science: Year 7 - Grace, Mahdiyah, Miftahul; Year 8 - Esa, Kaden; Year 10 - Imogen, Tanika; Year 11 - Keira, Samuel, Yavnish; Year 12 - Hussain, Naomi, Simran; Year 13 - Aaron, Sofiana

We will be revealing our Autumn Term Principal's awards during assemblies this week. Look out for the names of the winners in next term's Spring newsletter.


Miss Charlebois has become the first UN accredited climate change teacher in Hillingdon and can now deliver up-to-date climate change lessons to all students at UHS. She plans to deliver best practice with all teaching staff, especially the Humanities, Science and Business departments.

Miss Charlebois said "I'm extremely proud to have become one of the UN accredited climate change teachers in the UK. Our school is keen to help raise awareness of climate change issues to students and the wider school community. I have already started planning an eco-club in the new school year that will, with the Science department, work on climate change issues and try to find solutions for our community. The participation of our students as the next generation of global citizens is extremely important to develop a sustainable future for them."

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Year 10 went to see Intermission Youth Theatre perform the play 'Excluded' recently. 'Excluded' is a Shakespeare-inspired play about exclusion, education and issues facing young people today. The students really loved the play and talked to the actors and directors after the performance - one of whom was a former UHS student! They were a real credit to the school and they have already asked when and what the next trip will be.

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The Year 12 and 13 BTEC Performing Arts students went to the Lyric Hammersmith to see 'a colonial reboot' of 'A Doll's House' by Henrik Ibsen. The director chose to set the play in colonial Calcutta in 1879. The students really enjoyed seeing BAFTA-nominated actress Anjana Vasan and the contrast of this production from the original.

The students enjoyed the trip to a theatre they had not been to before and were entertained by the production which was acted and staged superbly. We all enjoyed reviewing it on the tube back to Uxbridge!

'A refreshing new interpretation' - Dom, Year 13

'A colourful production' - Madhavan, Year 12

'A marvellous play' - Elleanna, Year 13

'A fantastic theatre trip' - Miss Marshall

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The Year 11 GCSE Drama class went to see the 'hit musical for today' 'Everyone's Talking About Jamie' at the Apollo Theatre in London. The students enjoyed the journey to the theatre and seeing the sights of London.

They loved the musical (as everyone does!) and in particular the comedy and the catchy songs. The fact that it is based on a true story about a boy who wanted to wear a dress to his prom made them engage with the story straightaway as the characters were relatable to them.

The standing ovation at the end (when we also all danced and sang) was the perfect end to an amazing production that all students said they wanted to see again!

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UHS recently hosted a book fair in the library. Every book that was sold earned the school a reward. This raised £191.56 in total for us to purchase new books for the library.

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This first term has seen much success for the students of UHS. We have had more students than ever attending clubs, in particular in dance and rugby and our new boxing club, run by Mr Janar, has been extremely popular. In terms of results, they have been up and down but students have learned a lot from all performances in order to move forward in future fixtures. With a huge amount of rainfall the last few months we have had much disruption and many cancellations, meaning we have some rearranged fixtures that we can look forward to in the new year. Be sure to keep up to date on Twitter and in The Dome to see which fixtures you can come and support!

Girls’ football has been taken to new heights with the support of Brentford FC, and more girls than ever are attending the club. We have also had the privilege of hosting a number of tournaments where the girls were extremely successful, scoring many goals and experiencing some wins along the way too.

Year 7 students have enjoyed their first taste of sport at UHS and again with much success. The UHS rugby tournament saw the boys finish in second place with some fantastic skills on display and excellent finishing from the likes of Leo and Mason. The boys have also taken to the football pitch against some tough opposition and will continue their development into the new year. The girls have played their first netball fixtures, coming away with a win and they are looking forward to more success in the future. Year 7 is proving to be a really exciting year group and one we look forward to taking in to the new year to experience yet more success with a massive amount of talent apparent throughout all squads!

Our dancers, led by Ms Gardner, have been working hard as always. They look forward to their second appearance at Big Dance Off in the new year. It's great to see some new faces at the dance club, making huge amounts of progress. All the hard work will lead in to the Summer showcase at the end of the year where the PE department and dance group will team up with music and drama to put on a fantastic show - watch this space!

We also had the privilege of taking some of our Year 7 and 8 students across London to the O2 as part of Rugby X, a new fast and exciting style of rugby union. Our students were lucky enough to walk out into the arena, sharing the same experience as the professionals, where they played and won a competitive game of the exciting new rugby format, led by ex-England and Fiji 7s’ coach Ben Ryan. This was an amazing experience and one our students will treasure for some time!

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As always, team PE would like to thank each and every student that has attended new clubs and represented the school in the many sports we offer. Keep up the tremendous work, get yourself to as many clubs as possible and enjoy the improvements and experiences you share with your peers. A special thank you also to all staff working tirelessly to run our extensive extra-curricular programme; none of this would be possible without you!! Rest up, enjoy the break and come back firing after Christmas ready to start the new year with a bang!


Having good attendance is the single most important factor for any student who wants to achieve well at school and reach their potential. Good attendance and punctuality are also key skills that employers, universities and colleges look for.

Research also shows that good attendance is a habit that starts in Year 7.

Here at UHS we have the expectation that all students have an attendance record that is at least 96% - that is less than 8 days' absence during an academic year. If you take a look at the graph below, produced from data collected by the government, you will see that dropping a little bit below our minimum expected target of 96% to 90% reduces your child's chance of gaining 5 good GCSE passes from over 71% to 56%.

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To help you keep any absences below 8 days, please book medical appointments outside of school hours, wherever possible. If your child is feeling slightly unwell, please encourage them to come in to school to see if they can cope. If you are worried, send them in to school with a note and if they do not improve during the morning, we will contact you to arrange for them to go home.

Please do not use term time for holidays. It has been shown that missing just 17 days of school in Year 11 reduces final GCSE grades by one level across all subjects. A two-week holiday combined with some illness would reach this figure. The associated drop in grades could easily be sufficient to prevent your child from getting on to a sixth form course and ultimately the university or career of their choice. Potentially the cost of resitting a year and the long-term impact of lower grades on future earnings will be far more than the money saved on cheaper flights.

If you are concerned about your child's attendance, please contact their guidance leader or head of house who will be able to offer support.


17th December - Christmas lunch for students

19th December - End of term


You may not be aware that you can take a tour of UHS from the comfort of your home! Take a look at the virtual tour of the school site on our website -