Birchwood Update - 17 July 2017


Sports Day 2017 – Wednesday 19th, 12.15pm


On Wednesday, we will hold our annual Sports Day. Parents and carers are welcome to join us in the afternoon at 12.15pm, when events will commence.

Learners need to wear their full PE kit. No hoodies or leggings please.

Please ensure, if the weather is fine, that your child has sun cream and a hat and they have a water bottle. We advise them to leave valuables and mobile phones at home as your child will not be able to take these onto the field.

Refreshments, drinks and lollies will be available to purchase; the event will finish at 3pm, as our normal school day.

APPs Own Clothes Day Winners - Thursday 20 July


Congratulations to the following forms for collecting the most APPs this academic year

Year 7-7AE

Year 8- 8WG

Year 9- 9KO

Year 10-10ED.

Learners in these forms may wear their own clothes as a reward on Thursday 20 July. Please note, this reward is only for these forms, everyone else will wear usual school uniform.


Information regarding the last day


Please join us on Friday for our final assembly of this academic year to celebrate the great things that have taken place in school this year.  The assembly will be held in the Sports hall at 11.30am. Learners will then return to form to be dismissed at 12.45pm. All at Birchwood Community High School wish you a happy and safe summer break.


School will re-open on Monday 4 September


Our new Year 7 and Year 12 are to report at 8.45am to the school yard.

Years 8, 9, 10 and 11 will have a later start on the first day to allow Year 7 to settle and are asked to go to their form room for 9.45am registration.

Year 13 will return to Birchwood College a week later on Monday 11 September for registration at 8.45am.

Last few tickets remaining


We have 9 remaining tickets to the Addams Family Musical Comedy at The Lowry Theatre, which will take place on the afternoon of Wednesday 6 September at a cost of £40. The trip is open to all year groups and the remaining seats will be on a first come basis. To book your place please see the letter here.

Snapchat safety advice 



Snapchat is a picture sharing app that is hugely popular with young people. As of May 2017, the app was attracting 166m users a day.  The app focuses on capturing ‘moments’ quickly with users taking images and videos and sending them instantly.

The unique feature of Snapchat is that images disappear within seconds. Snapchat users can specify how many seconds they would like their images to be seen by the recipient(s). This can range from 1 to 10 seconds. Snapchat’s latest update, as of June 2017, is a location-sharing feature called Snap Map.  This feature has prompted some concern from parents and professionals working with children over privacy, and who can find out the exact location of their kids as you don't need to be friends with a user for them to see where you are.

To combat this, users can specify who they share their whereabouts with - all their friends or just a select few. They can even set it to ‘ghost mode’, where they can see where others are without sharing their own location.  Thinkuknow - the education programme of The National Crime Agency’s child protection command CEOP -  has created a guide for parents and carers to help them understand the functions and features of Snapchat and ways to help young people stay safe while using it.


This information has been provided by:  Thinkuknow Parent's Guide to Snapchat or


Mrs Dempsey gets due praise


The Guardian Education Awards celebrate school staff who go above and beyond, in their role within schools. We are proud to say that Mrs Dempsey, Head of English here at Birchwood, has received a Highly Commended, which is a special mention in the paper for those who received some lovely nominations for best teacher and deserved an extra bit of praise for their efforts. 

TTRockstars Wrangle competition results 


Last Wednesday, Mr Speak and 3 learners from Year 7, Jamie Nesbitt (7NH) Ella Hatton (7CI) and Ethan Royle (7CI) travelled to Bolton to represent our school in the Times Tables Rock Stars competition.  The learners had an amazing time and all represented our school very well and we are delighted to report that that Jamie managed to finish in 7th place overall.  He qualified through the heats by placing 3rd in his group (out of 36 opponents) and then in his quarterfinal managing 4th place meaning he was in the last 8 (semi-final). Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it through to the grand-final, where he scored 78 answers in a minute (and would have needed 96 to qualify). This score saw him finish in 7th place out of approximately 140 contestants, a brilliant result!


A huge well done to all learners it’s a massive task representing school in competition, you certainly did us proud!


Year 8 and 9 GO4SET gain silver


We are happy to announce that our Year 8 and Year 9 Science Teams, who entered the EDT Go4SET competition (see last week’s update for details) have received a silver CREST Award from the British Science Association. To gain a silver CREST, learner must complete around 30 hours of science project work, in their own time. CREST Awards are proven to have a positive impact on learners’ achievement and interest to continue towards careers in STEM subjects and they are great for enhancing UCAS personal statements and CVs. 


An honour to perform


Last week 14 year 10 learners, as part of our Year 10 GCSE music singing group, had the honour to perform at the Liverpool Hope University Graduation ceremony.  They were there to honour Eimear Mc Geough, who was graduating and who carried out her teaching practice here with the learners.  The learners performed beautifully with solos by Sophie Jones and Keira Massey.


Uniform for next year


As the summer holiday is approaching, you may be considering purchasing uniform items for next year. Here are some quick reminders:

  • From next year our school skirt and trousers will be charcoal grey.

  • Only black leather formal shoes are now acceptable for footwear.

  •  Year 11 will have a different tie to identify them as our senior learners. The new tie will be given to Year 11 on their first day back in school.

We have prepared this guide to give more advice to parents and carers on the school uniform.


Charlie and The Chocolate Factory 


Last week we were entertained by our KS3 learners when they performed Birchwood’s take on Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Thanks to all the learners who took part, for a show to remember and of course to Mrs Senior and team for making the show possible.


For photos of the show please see our Facebook page and the album in our Gallery here



Well-being Week


Last week we held our well-being week, where we asked both learners and staff to connect with each other, be active and be aware of our surroundings and feelings and to give something back to our community.  Thank you to everyone who provided an activity both for staff and learners. Activities were broad, covering food, sports, art, choir, music, meditation, massage, walking and fundraising.  It was a lovely way to end the year bringing us together as a community


Music success


Well done to our Year 9,10 and 12 learners who have just passed their ABRSM grade 3 written paper in musicology. Learners are: In Year 9, Beth Woodward and Chee Ying Liu. In Year 10, Hannah Van den Branden and in year 12, Hayden Astley, Nathan Peers, James Harper and Jack Ratcliffe.

Well done also goes to Erika Strong in 8WG, who has recently had her results back from Trinity College of Music Grade 2 Keyboards examination, in which she received a Merit!


Summer Soccer at BCHS


We are happy to announce that Wigan Athletic Community Trust will be running soccer camps at our school during the summer holidays. The cost of the camp is £8 per 9am-3.30 session, running on selected dates in August. For details of dates, more information and a registration form, see here.


The Birchwood Oscars are back!


Our annual Media Department Oscar Presentation Evening for Year 11, 12 and 13 Media students will take place on Wednesday 19 July in The Performing Arts block and we ask all visitors to arrive at 6.15pm, for a 6.30pm start.

This evening, provides a fun opportunity to celebrate the practical work produced and gives our young media stars the chance to walk the red carpet to receive their awards.



HPV Programme for girls in Year 8, next year


All girls in this year’s Year 7 will be bringing home information, today, with regard to the HPV vaccination programme to take place next academic year when they are in Year 8.

The allocated date for Dose 1 at Birchwood Community High school is Wednesday 20th September.  

Please ensure that you have returned your completed consent form to the office. Thank you

Year 8 learners see the world with the viewpoint of disability


On Tuesday 11 July, Mrs O’Brien and Mrs Dixon accompanied a group of year 8 learners to the Disability Awareness School Event at Walton Hall Gardens. The event was both inspiring and interesting, enabling learners to become more aware of the issue of disability. During the sessions we got to hear about the work the charity does to support people in Warrington who have physical, sensory or mental health issues. We took part in (and won) a picture quiz where we had to identify the purpose of various objects which helped people who had physical disabilities. The learners found this experience to be worthwhile and they were engaged by the highly moving personal stories shared during the day.


Cerys from 8WG breaks into acting


Cerys, who signed up last year to a modelling and acting agency last year got an extra special email asking her to make her debut on TV. Last week saw her being an extra on the second series of ‘Victoria’ and ‘The Worst Witch’. she was, however, obviously spotted for her talent, as she was then offered a speaking part in ‘The 4 O’Clock Club’ for CBBC.

When the email arrived Cerys said she was nervous but really excited but once she arrived on set everyone, including her chaperone, was really nice and made her feel relaxed. The days were long, nine hours on average, but it gave Cerys, who would like to be an actor, the opportunity to watch other actors at work and pick up some useful tips on remembering lines and how to behave on a film set. Well done Cerys and we wish you luck for future roles.


KS3 celebration Evening 


Thank you to all those parents and carers who came to our KS3 Celebration evening last Thursday. It was a lovely celebratory evening where many learners received well deserved awards. As not all learners who were to receive a prize could attend the evening event, Year 9 will have short assembly next Tuesday at 9am to give out the remaining Awards.

A massive well done and thank you must go to all our learners who took part in the evening as performers and helpers. It was a fitting tribute to how far our learners have come since joining us in Year 7.



Year 10 excelled in their interviews. 


Last Tuesday our Year 10s had the chance to sample a real life interview situation as we held our careers mock interview day.  Thank you goes to all our guest interviewers from local businesses, our staff who supported and the learners themselves who had prepared so well for the day.

The guests were really impressed with our learners and the way they conducted themselves during the day. A message from one of the guests who came in to do the mock interviews read, “just to say what a credit the students were and how focused and mature they were. I really enjoyed the day and the opportunity to meet such a lovely group of young adults”.

Our learners also enjoyed the experience and found it really beneficial.



Molly from 10RE swims her way to success, again.


We are delighted to announce that Molly Boniface-Ashton has been selected to represent Great Britain in the European Junior Women European Championships in Belgrade in August.

Eileen Selvey, Team Manager said “There are very few athletes who represent their country in such a prestigious event. I am sure Molly will represent her country with pride and will do all she can to realise her sporting dreams.”

Well done Molly and we wish you success in the competition

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