Birchwood Update 13/11/17

 Birchwood Update week Commencing 13/11/17


Admissions Consultation


We are consulting on our admissions arrangements for academic year 2019-20. Our proposal is to maintain the existing arrangements with the exception of a change to the Published Admission Number (PAN). The PAN is currently 210 across Year 7 to Year 11 at the school and our intention is to reduce this to 170 for Year 7 for academic year 2019/2020 and for all subsequent years.


The consultation runs from Friday 10 November 2017 to Friday 22 December 2017.


If you would like to send a response or make a comment please either email or write to the addresses below:



Write to: Admissions Consultation

Birchwood Community High School


Brock Road, Birchwood

Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 7PT.


 Visit here where you will find our draft admissions policy. Alternatively, you can contact the school office who can supply a paper copy of the draft policy.


We would like to hear your views about our school so we can share these with OFSTED


We are asking for your support so that we are aware of your views about our school. It will also help us to prepare for our next OFSTED visit which is due this academic year. Thank you t

o all parents and carers who have already filled the online form in. We have had 18 responses so far and all parents have said that their children feel safe and happy at school. We would love more views though! Please read and fill in the online form below.

Parent View is an online facility launched by Ofsted in October 2011 that allows parents and carers to give their views about their child’s school at any time of the school year. The questionnaire is also the main mechanism for parents to give their views to inspectors about their child’s school at the time of a school inspection. If you are a registered parent or carer of a pupil at the school, you can tell us your views about the school by completing Ofsted’s online survey here

Make sure to buy your tickets for a great evening of entertainment


Tickets for this year’s show, Birchwood’s take on ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, will be on sale this week from our school office.


Evening performances: Tue 28 Nov – Fri 1 Dec, starting promptly at 7pm


Ticket prices: £7 adults and £4 concessions


Tickets go quickly so don’t miss out!


Anti-Bullying Week, 13 – 17 November


This week is national Anti-Bullying Week and the theme for this year is ‘we are all different but all equal’.

Activities will take place around anti-bullying and empowering young people to speak out. These include an ‘Odd Socks’ day on Monday, which will really bring home the concept that we are all different! Our Learner Officers will be selling wristbands to support the training of Anti – bullying Ambassadors. Assemblies will be held on the theme of bullying for Years 7, 8 and our Peer Mentors will be visible and available to support anyone in KS3 who has any worries or concerns about bullying.


Continuing the theme of personal well-being and happiness, a number of our learners were selected to take part in the ‘Being Brilliant Programme’ last week. The programme consisted of two workshops, where learners designed their own well-being programme that they will deliver across Birchwood Community High School.

The workshop was based on 12 years of PhD research into happiness, well- being and flourishing lives. Coverage includes well-being, happiness, positive psychology, resilience, personal responsibility, mindfulness, growth mind-sets, goal setting, strengths, altruism and emotional intelligence. The workshops were engaging, thought provoking, inspiring and fun and our learners enjoyed the chance to take part.


Thank you to Twelve 24 for sharing your stories


Last Wednesday learners from all year groups had the chance enjoy some live music and think about the impact that Christianity had had on the lives of others as Twelve 24, a Christian rock band, visited us. Twelve 24 band members Ryan Griggs and Josh Green are involved in reaching out and communicating the message of Christ to young people and the band see their mission as inspiring the next generation to meet its full potential and become world changers.


Thanks go to Ryan and Josh for some great music that really rocked our school, but also for sharing your life stories which really showed our learners that positivity and belief can turn lives around.


For more about Twelve 24 visit here




‘Lessons from Auschwitz’



At the start of November, Mr Cosby and two college students, Luke and James, took an emotional trip to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, as part of the ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ programme. Both of our students found this a tough visit and encountered a range of emotions.

Thank you to Luke for writing a fabulous review of their visit, which you can read Here








Calling Years 9, 10 & 11. Your opportunity to design our school‘s Christmas card.


As usual we would like our school Christmas card to be designed by one of our learners, therefore the Art Department are holding our annual Christmas Card Competition.  The brief for the design is as follows. The card must:

  • Be A5 when folded and fit in A5 envelope.

  • Include the school logo or name and if possible ‘Pride in our School’

  • Include the wording -Season’s Greetings and best wishes for 2018

Deadline for entry is the 4th December and all entries should be handed to Miss Brennan in the art Department. Should entrants require paper or need to use the resources in the Art Department, again see Miss Brennan


ManActco presents 'A Christmas Carol'


On Wednesday 8 November, our Year 11 learners got the opportunity to get into the Christmas spirit early as we were visited by The Manchester Actors Company who staged a performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens. The book is studied as part of the English Literature Curriculum and the performance really brought the character and stories to life. At the end of the performance, our learners were invited to question the characters and their motives, when the cast, still in character, opened the stage to questions



A great week for Year 5 Clubs at BCHS


At Birchwood, we like to welcome prospective learners into our community and last week was busy for both our staff and Year 5s from our local primaries.

On Monday, we started the first run of our Whizz, Bang Science club, when 15 very excited club members joined our Science department to learn all about electricity. Using Playdoh and Plasticine they had a great time building an animal with glowing eyes.



 On Wednesday it was the last session of our Lights, Camera, Action club where club members and their guest were invited to an Oscar award and showing of the two minute movies that they had made whilst attending our club. One group had re-made Cinderella, whilst the other had chosen Harry Potter. The children had planned, acted, filmed, produced and presented their epics and it was great to see how much they had learned and how their confidence had grown.


A big thank you to Ms Denny, Mr Leonowicz and our college students for all their hard work in making this club possible.




Class of 2017 Presentation Evening, Thursday 23 November 6.30 pm


On the 23 November, we will be welcoming back the Class of 2017 as they come in to collect their examination certificates and awards at our Award Presentation Evening. We are looking forward to welcoming as many of last year’s Year 11 back as possible to this lovely celebration of their time here at BCHS.

Year 11 should have all received their invitation to this event and attendance can be confirmed by emailing Mrs Calderbank on, or phoning the School Office on 01925 853500, no later than Friday 17 November 2017.



Rehearsal Schedule - Week beginning 13 October


Monday 13th November

3-4.30pm-Tom Lowe, Sam Sana, Audrey, Seymour, Mushnik, Audrey - HS PA2   

KM- 3 degrees,

Lunch time- HS- Tom Lowe + Sam Sana

Tuesday 14th November

3-4.30PM, HS- TOM LOWE, Erin, Sam Sana, Seymour


Wednesday, 15th November  

Lunchtime- Hs- Tom Lowe, Erin Sam Sana

3-4.30pm KM- Whole cast.

Thursday 16th November - 3-4.30pm Whole Cast

Friday 17th November

3-4pm - 3 degrees, Audrey, Seymour, Mushnik, Tow Lowe, Audrey 2.


A great evening rocking around the clock


Last Wednesday our Year 12 students provided us with an amazing evening of 50s music. The house was packed as students performed many classic hits such as ‘Run around Sue’, ‘Poison Ivy’ and Joe Fitzpatrick could have been Buddy Holly when he performed ‘Oh, Boy!’ Well done to all our talented students and to Ms Walsh for organising the evening.


For more shots see our gallery page


Remembrance Service 2017


Many thanks go to our Learner Officers, the school choir and Mrs Bryan for representing our school in laying a wreath in respect of those who have lost their lives in conflict, on Saturday at Birchwood Centre. As usual, we are proud to join with the Birchwood community in this special event organised by The Lions. 


Year 7


Year 7 Residential Trip to Conwy Centre, Wednesday 18 to Friday 20 April 2018


For your information, a letter regarding the details of this trip can be found here

 Payment instalments are due on the following dates:


7 November 2017

6 February 2018

6 March 2018

3 April 2018

Year 8 


Year 8 Choices Information Evening, Monday 27 November 2017, 6pm - 7pm

We hope that all parents and carers will join us for this information evening regarding the choices process for year 8 and why we are moving to a three year Key Stage 4. Your child will bring home a letter regarding this event later this week. 



Year 8 Performance Review Evening, Thursday 7 December 2017


We do hope that you can join us on 7 December for our Year 8 Parent Review Evening. This event gives you the opportunity to speak with your child’s subject staff to discuss their progress and achievements so far in this academic year.

Please see the letter here as to how to book your appointment.


Year 9



Getting Ready for KS4 Residential Trip to Lockerbie Manor, 11 -13 July 2018


For your information, a letter regarding the details of this trip can be found here 

 Payment instalments are due on the following dates:


7 November 2017

6 February 2018

6 March 2018

3 April 2018

Year 10


Year 10 – KS4 Residential Lockerbie Manor, 25 – 27 June 2018


For your information, a letter regarding the details of this trip can be found here

 Payment instalments are due on the following dates:


7 November 2017

6 February 2018

6 March 2018

3 April 2018

Year 11


Year 11 Mock Examinations. Monday 11 – Friday 22 December 2017


Parents and carers of Year 11 learners should have received a letter through the post regarding their child’s upcoming mock examinations in December. These examinations will be completed under exam conditions and are a good test to measure how much progress learners have made in preparation for their exams next summer.



For a link to the letter see here


Birchwood College


Football success


Congratulations to our college football team who were victorious in The Cheshire Cup. The battle was hard fought and the win was close when Thomas Hatton scored the winning goal to make a score of 3:2.




Year 13 Performance Review Evening, Thursday 16 November 2017, 5.00 - 7.00pm


We do hope that you will join us for our Year 13 Performance Review Evening. This event gives you the opportunity to speak with subject staff to discuss student progress and achievement at a vital stage in their college life.

Please see the letter here as to how to book your appointment.


Other School information:


View your child’s information on your mobile phone or tablet, a great new way to keep in touch.

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new service to make communications between school and home quicker, easier and more effective.

You will be able to view information about your child or children securely on your mobile phone or tablet using the Groupcall Xpressions app.

Once you are set up you will be able to see information such as:

  • Free messages sent by the school delivered to the app

  • Attendance and absence information

  • Attitude to learning (“ATL”) scores for each lesson.

  • Daily/Weekly timetable information

The app is completely free of charge to you and supports Apple iOS and Android devices (with Windows mobile to follow).

In order to use the app school must have your correct mobile number and email address on our school system. Forms are available from the school office to check and update your details or you can simply email them to the school. You’ll need to make sure you keep these details up to date in future to maintain access to the service.

You can download the app by searching for “Xpressions” in the App Store or on Google Play. Once the app is downloaded, simply follow the on screen instructions.

We hope that you take advantage of this new service, which has replaced our ParentsLive system.  If you have any issues or need to know more please contact Mr O’Reilly here at school on



Children on site out of school hours


As a Community School, we welcome clubs and booked activities to use our facilities and school grounds outside the school day. We have become aware though that there are groups of both learners and ex learners on site in the evenings. Please make your child aware that learners are only allowed on site after the school day, if they are part of an organised and booked group. Thank you for your co-operation.

School Nurse: Please note that the school nurse comes into school every Wednesday from 12.15- 1.30pm and is available in the BSR Mentoring Room if any learners or students have any health related issues they would like to discuss.


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