Birchwood Update 27/11/17

 Birchwood Update week Commencing 27/11/17


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.




Class of 2017 Presentation Evening


Last Thursday evening, we welcomed back last year’s leavers to celebrate their successes and present some awards and certificates. Our Guest of Honour was Miss Jessica Martin, a Structural Engineering Design Apprentice at Sellafield Ltd.

Jess attended Birchwood Community High School from 2008 – 2013 studying with us to GCSE. She then left to study A-Levels at another local sixth form college. After not doing very well in A-Levels, she came back to Birchwood College to re-sit her A-levels in Maths and Chemistry.

 Jess massively improved her grades, allowing her to successfully gain a place on the award-winning degree apprenticeship programme at Sellafield Ltd.

Jess said, “If it hadn’t been for Birchwood College, I would not have the opportunity I have now where I am gaining on-the-job experience, working on one of the country’s major risk-reduction projects whilst doing my Civil Engineering Degree.”

Thank you Jess for a truly inspirational address about never giving up when things aren’t going smoothly.

It was a lovely evening and so nice to see such a good turn out from both our ex-learners and their families.


For more photos of the evening, see the album in our gallery


A Date for your Diary, Our New York Fundraiser, 14 December 7pm


As part of the Media department’s ongoing fundraising for next year’s trip to New York, there will be a Christmas Quiz Night on Thursday 14th December in M1. Doors will open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.  This will be an opportunity to add some money to our ongoing fundraising, whilst having the chance to win some prizes and have an enjoyable evening.


Tickets are on sale at £2 for learners/students and £3 for adults, available from the College and School reception.

Please feel free to bring your own refreshments.




How about a hoodie for the trip?


If your child is going on this fantastic trip to New York, they also have the opportunity to purchase a hoodie to wear whilst away.

It will be Oxford Navy and include a print on the back, the school logo and a name of the learner/student’s choice embroidered onto the hoodie.

The price of the hoodie is £17, payable via ParentPay.


The hoodie is not compulsory but if you would like your child to purchase one, please fill in the order form that your child brought home.

Also available here.


All order forms must be at the school office by Friday 8th December at the very latest. Unfortunately, we will not be able to take any orders after this date.




Global & Special Menus from our kitchen


Our Kitchen will be working hard to make us aware of customs and food from other countries as they launch their initiative to provide a themed lunch once a month.

Last month we had a European twist with French, Spanish and German food to celebrate European day of Languages and last Thursday we went American, to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.There was Turkey and the traditional trimmings for those wanting a full dinner and for those wanting something lighter we had Uncle Sam’s hot dogs and sweetcorn, both finished off with Grandma’s Apple Pie.


Menus to look forward to in the future, will be our BCHS Christmas dinner on  Tuesday 19 December. A Chinese themed menu in January to celebrate the Chinese New Year and of course something special in February for Valentine’s Day.


A big thank you goes to our kitchen staff, led by Margaret, for all their hard work.




GCSE Triple Science classes learn how Physics is used to treat cancer.


Last Friday, we were honoured to welcome Jennie Redikin, a senior medical physicist at the Christie Hospital in Manchester and an expert in radiotherapy physics.  

She came to Birchwood to talk to Triple Science students in Years 10 and 11 about the many ways that physics is applied to medical imaging and treatment, and routes into careers in medical physics. 

Learners were particularly interested in how radioactive sources can be used to treat cancer, and the unexpected findings that MRI scans can reveal!


Thank you Jennie for a fascinating talk and for allowing our students really think about career paths in Science.



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


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 


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.



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


Payment instalments are due on the following dates:


6 February 2018

6 March 2018

3 April 2018


Year 10


Emily returns a champion!



Very well done to Emily in 10KO who returned from Belgium in the early hours of Sunday morning a champion following more skating success. Emily and her skating team, The Whizz Kids, became Silver Medallists in the Junior B category of Synchronised Skating in the Winter Cup 2017.


She will be straight back onto the ice training for the British Championships in January.


Congratulations Emily, we are proud of your success and wish you even more success in January.





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.


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


Payment instalments are due on the following dates:


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 - 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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