Birchwood Update 20/11/17

 Birchwood Update week Commencing 20/11/17


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


Request for donations


We are asking for your support in donating raffle prizes towards raffles, which will be held on our school show evenings. Maybe an unwanted present in perfect condition or a bottle of something that you are unlikely to drink; any donations will be gratefully received. Any money made will be ploughed back into our Performing Arts department who spend so much of their tight budget on costumes and props for these brilliant shows. We do hope that you will be able to support us and please send any donations in to the office.



Miss Conner makes her mark at BBC Bitesize


It is wonderful to celebrate the success of our learners; however, it is equally as good to celebrate the achievements of our staff.


It is with great pride that we tell you that Miss Conner in our Geography department has become a published author in Geography for the highly regarded BBC Bitesize.

She has just completed a yearlong project with the BBC as their Geography Education Advisor, tasked to update their revision resources for learners around the UK for the new Geography GCSE exams. Part of her role was to look at all Geography GCSE exam board specifications and then to decide what content the new BBC Bitesize website should have.


She then wrote the revision guides, tests and glossaries for the rivers, coasts and natural hazards sections as well as giving advice on what videos and animations they should use.


Miss Conner said, “I hope that our learners will really benefit in their Geography GCSE from the revision resources available”

I am sure that our learners will really benefit having such a talented member of staff."


Very well done Miss Conner from all at BCHS.




Jordan in Yr. 11 does his part to support our Armed Forces.


During remembrance week, Jordan, from 11SM, made his grandad proud as he sold poppies again each break and lunchtime in reception. Jordan’s grandad is a volunteer at the British Legion and has inspired him to give up his break times to support our brave men and women working so hard on the frontline.


Selling the poppies, this year, meant much more to Jordan and his family as his grandad is seriously ill and it was important to Jordan to make this massive effort to make him happy , which he did indeed, by raising just short of £70.


Jordan and his family would like to pass on their thanks for your support.



Anti-Bullying Week


Last week during national Anti-Bullying learners and staff supported the theme ‘we are all different but all equal’ by wearing a range of weird and wonderful odd socks. Even some of our boys, who don’t like to stand out in a crowd managed to support the day with a navy and a grey sock. We also had one learner (though I’m sure he had forgotten about the socks) who claimed he was supporting by wearing odd gloves and a few very ingenious staff members who wore odd tights!


It was good to see so many embracing the theme that it is ok to be different.


 Also as part of the week Miss Downing held a pebble painting session, where learners painted pebbles in bright colours and glitter with anti-bullying sentiments so that BCHS can follow the growing trend of leaving lovely painted pebbles in public places to cheer up the day of the lucky person who finds them. So if you are taking a stroll in Forest park this week, keep your eyes peeled for a pebble.

To further underline the ‘no bullying in our school’ message we held assemblies and sold wristbands for Bullying UK.



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




Molly was proud to accept her award on behalf of Lady Diana


On the theme of anti-bullying, we reported that Molly in7DR was to receive an award for her work against bullying, from Inspire North, in memory of Princess Diana.


To gain her award, Molly established the Hate Crime Champions in school, which deals with anti-bullying and trying to prevent future hate crime. She readily and regularly gives up her own playtime and lunchtime to support others through the project.


To collect her award Molly travelled to Leeds, where alongside 60 other ambassadors she was invited on stage to collect her award. She was in good company as there was a member of the Royal Family present, plus a Paralympic champion, a rugby star and Danny from Mcfly.


Molly said, “The thought of going on stage on my own was really scary but I didn’t slip, I just realised what an amazing experience it all was”.

After the presentation, there was a buffet lunch and then workshops on public speaking and career choices.


All in all, Molly has a great day and really deserved after all her hard work.





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 20th November - 3-4.30pm - Whole cast




Wednesday 22nd November - Dance rehearsal with Mrs Burrows

Dancers, Reece, Erin, Mushnik, 3 degrees.

Run dances in the space.


Thursday 23rd November - 3-4PM -  Reece, Erin, Sam, Tom Lowe, Ed Parry.


Friday 24th November-  whole cast


3-7PM- tech run




Are you looking for an outfit for Christmas that can also support charity?


Kaydi Jones in 9WG, who is a young trustee at the Warrington Wolves Foundation as part of her commitment to our TAG (Talented, Ambitious and Gifted) Programme is selling tickets for a ladies fashion show and pop up shop which will be happening on - 


Wednesday 29 November at 7pm at the Halliwell Jones stadium.

For more details and tickets, see Kaydi in 9WG and the poster here

A message from our office


The school office finds that they are recently being passed a large amount of lost property, which are not named; therefore, they are unable to return them to learners. They have everything from socks to coats.

Please can you ensure that all uniform and other equipment is clearly labelled either with sew in label or laundry pen. This will ensure that lost items are returned, therefore saving you the cost of replacement.

If your child has recently lost an item, please ask them to go to the office to see if it is there.


Year 7 - No specific Information



Year 8 


 A big ‘well done’ to the year 8  Netball team who secured a great win against Cardinal Newman last week with score of 5:2



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. For more information, see the letter here



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 


Year 9 Introduction to GCSE Ethics Philosophy and Religion Day, 11th January 2018


We are very excited to offer our first Ethics, Philosophy and Religion day for all our Year 9 learners.  This will be a unique day on the 11th January 2018 to explore world views of three religions and get a glimpse in what it means to be a member of these three communities.  

On the day, learners will have workshops delivered by a Humanist speaker, a Christian youth group and a Sikh educational charity.  We have also been invited to visit our local Sikh Gurdwara in Latchford.  This will be a wonderful opportunity for learners embarking on their GCSE in this subject.  We hope to involve the entire year group in all aspects of the day.

Your child was given a letter, which can be found here


Reply slips to confirm your child’s place on the day must be handed to the office before Thursday 30 November. Thank you.


Year 10


Year 10 English Literature Mock Exam, in preparation for their summer examination:  Tuesday 12 December 2017


Year 10 are sitting their English Literature GCSE in summer 2018, the two papers that make up this qualification will be sat on the mornings of Tuesday 22 May and Friday 25 May 2018. 


As part of the preparation for these exams Year 10 will be sitting an English Literature mock exam on Tuesday 12 December, this will be completed under exam conditions and will give

For all exams, learners will need to write in black biro, they may also bring highlighter pens and pencils and eraser if they wish, these must be in a transparent pencil case with no writing on.  Learners are permitted to bring water into exams to drink but this must also be in a transparent bottle with any labels removed.  Mobile phones and any ‘web enabled’ devices are banned from exam rooms, this included smart watches and Fit Bits.



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 - No specific information





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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