Birchwood Update 4/12/17

 Birchwood Update week Commencing 4/12/17


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

What a truly Fantastic show!


 An enormous well done to our cast members, Little Band of Horrors and Performing Arts staff for a memorable take on the musical ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.

The players were exceptional with Reece as Seymour playing a very convincing geek, who we were all rooting for in his attempt to ‘get his girl’ beautifully played by Erin.

Ellie, Sophie and Eleanor whose voices and harmonies were fabulous led us through the story.

Our baddies, Cory as Mr Mushnik and Bradley as the nasty dentist boyfriend were fab. Bradley playing the sadistic Orin brilliantly …..There’s no way I’d visit his dental surgery!

There were too many great performances both in singing, dancing and acting to mention all by name, but each and every cast member gave 100% all helping make this a great show.

Two people however that also need a mention, as they were vital to the show, though we never saw them until the curtain call, were Sam and Edward who played the voice of the ever-hungry Audrey 2.

Huge thanks must also go to those behind the scenes: The stage crew, lighting, sound, costume and many more. Also thanks to our talented musicians who played live music throughout the show: Nathan, Hayden, James, Joe, Will, Mr McCabe, all led by Ms Walsh.

Finally, to the people whose vision and hard work made the show possible, The Director, Miss Senior, Musical Director, Mr McCabe and Choreographer, Mrs Burrows. Thank you so much for all your months of dedication and hard work above and beyond the curriculum. You really are fantastic.


For more photos of the show, see the album on our Gallery page.



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.



Whole School Christmas Celebration Trip; The afternoon of 20 December


Following the success of last year’s whole school Christmas skating trip, we are offering a visit to The Hive Retail Park in Widnes on the afternoon of Wednesday 20 December where learners can chose to take part in either Silver Blades ice skating or Widnes Super Bowl bowling.

This trip is open to all year groups and your child will receive a letter with regard to pricing and booking their place.



School Christmas Lunch, Tuesday 19 December


On Tuesday 19 December, the Kitchen will be serving our Christmas lunch. There will be a traditional turkey roast and a vegetarian option, plus dessert or drink for £2.20.

We hope that your child will join us for this festive feast.



















Maths Success Boards


The maths Department have recently updated their success boards, which can be seen in the main maths corridor. Awards are given for all year groups and maths classes each half term with ‘Highest Achieving’, ‘Most Improved’ learners and awards for Hegarty Maths celebrated. Your child will have been given a certificate recognising their achievement, but see if you can spot them on our boards.



Hannah is a success on the sax


A massive well done to Hannah in 11CA who took her Grade 5 Saxophone exam last Saturday.

We have just had the results back and Hannah achieved a Merit which is a fantastic achievement and very much deserved.

Mr McCabe said " Hannah is a fantastic girl who makes playing the saxophone look effortless. I am so very proud of her."



We echo that sentiment Hannah; very well done.














Year 7 


Year 7 Christmas Disco, 13 December, 5-7pm


Just to up the excitement of Christmas for our Year 7, Mrs Butler has organised a Year 7 Christmas Disco!

The event will take place on Wednesday 13 December between 5pm and 7pm in M1 diner.

There will be a tuck shop and our resident DJ, DJ Hamiton, will be providing the tunes.


The Disco is strictly for Year 7 only.
















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 11 January to explore world views of three religions and get a glimpse in what it means to be a member of these three communities. 

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.


If you have not sent your reply slip back to the office , please do so as soon as possible; this fantastic opportunity will not run if numbers are not sufficient. The visit is free of charge so please do not let your child miss out.


The letter with reply slip can be found here




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


A message from our English Department


York notes revision guides will be available to purchase through the school shop on the school’s website, here, from Monday 4th December. All guides are priced at £2.40 each and learners will be able to collect the revision guides from their English teachers.

For Year 10 classes the guides required are:

A Christmas Carol

Blood Brothers





A brilliant showcase for our budding engineers


Four Triple Scientists from Year 10 headed to Penketh High School to take part in a little friendly competition against fellow high achievers in Warrington. 

Their task was to design and construct an open-span bridge, using their own knowledge and some background research - the Birchwood team constructed a 175cm long bridge using just string, paper straws and little bit of cardboard for the  barriers! They had no input from teachers either, who were in competition too!

Unfortunately, they were beaten to first place by just 3cm! However, Cory, Emily, Owen and Catherine were worthy silver-medal winners and brilliant ambassadors for Birchwood Community High School, showcasing their talents as budding engineers!"















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


A message from our English Department


York notes revision guides will be available to purchase through the school shop on the school’s website, here, from Monday 4th December. All guides are priced at £2.40 each and learners will be able to collect the revision guides from their English teachers.

For Year 10 classes the guides required are:

A Christmas Carol

Blood Brothers

Romeo and Juliet

Our Year 11 BTEC Travel & Tourism group see, first-hand, the effect of a fantastic visitor attraction on Manchester’s economy


Mrs Wilson’s Year 11 Travel & Tourism class visited the Manchester Christmas Market last Thursday, in order to experience the Market as part of their Travel & Tourism course covering the principles of sustainable tourism. The learners enjoyed the full experience on offer at the event, especially the outdoor ice-skating at Cathedral Gardens ice rink where even the staff managed to stay upright!

They also visited the many stalls from Germany, France and Italy who offer a wide variety of goods, eventually enjoying a cup of hot chocolate at the Town Hall market. The learners conduct throughout the visit was a credit to both parents.





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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