Birchwood Update 7/05/2018

Birchwood Update week Commencing 7/5/18

 

Jake shares his experience of autism for Autism Awareness Month

 

Last month was Autism Awareness Month and Jake Lindsay in 11KF, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, decided to mark the month by doing his own bit to raise awareness. Jake wrote a series of poems to share his experiences of living and coping with autism in his day-to-day life.

 

Only one person in 100 have autism, and Jake understands it is difficult for others to appreciate how it feels to be autistic. How the mundane and ordinary things that happen in everyday life can cause stress and sensory overload to people who have autism.

 

Jake was delighted that his poems were picked up by Autism Initiatives, a charity who provide a range of services to people with autism. Autism Initiatives are planning to publish the poems on their website. We will be sure to share the link in our weekly update.

 

Jake is hoping that his poems will help those around him at school and in his personal life to understand how he and others with autism feel and cope with life. The approaching GCSE exams are a particularly stressful time for Jake and he hopes that by reading the poems, others in the same situation may benefit from his words.

 

Jake loves poetry and Roger McGough and John Cooper Clarke inspire him. He wrote every day throughout April and really enjoyed the writing as an outlet for his feelings and thoughts.

 

Jake is outgoing and does not let his autism hold him back. As well as his poetry, Jake recently went to New York as part of our media residential trip. He also plays on a local football team and is a member of a drama group in Howley.

 

We are very proud of Jake and his achievements. He is a fantastic, positive and friendly member of our school community and it is great that he is so committed in raising awareness for autism and sharing his experiences so that others can benefit.

 

Keeping your child safe.

 

In this week’s safeguarding update we are looking at self-harm. This can take lots of forms which can include cutting, burning, bruising, scratching, hair-pulling, poisoning and overdosing. There are many reasons why children and young people try to hurt themselves and once they start, it can become a compulsion. So it is important to spot it as soon as possible and do everything you can to help. If you suspect that your child may be self-harming, please speak to us in school. The NSPCC also have advice on their website that you may find useful.

 

 

The advice from the NSPCC is here.

Together we can succeed; success stories from last year’s exam results.

 

This week’s star is Katie Agnew who joined us from Locking Stumps Primary School.

 

On results day Katie was delighted to receive grades 7, 6 and 8 in English and maths plus six A*–B grades including A* in both music and RE. We are delighted that Katie chose to stay and study at Birchwood College where she is studying music and maths.

 

Katie has been a major player in our college music showcases where she specialises in singing and guitar. Katie kept calm throughout year 11, finding time for revision and music, which is her main love.

 

This is an important lesson for year 11 learners as we approach exam season. It is important to work hard and do your best, but do not forget to take some down time to do something you enjoy and helps you to relax.

Farewell Mr Kelly, we will miss you.

 

Last Monday was the end of an era as we said goodbye to Steve Kelly who has worked as a caretaker at school since 1987. Steve has seen the school grow and change beyond recognition over more than 30 years or service. He has worked with all three of our headteachers, Mrs Yates, Ms Bright and now Mrs Bryan.

 

Steve decided to retire to enjoy more time with his family who are keeping him busy. He loves spending time with his grandchildren and says he doesn’t miss the long shifts at school.

 

We celebrated with Steve by inviting him to an afternoon tea which saw colleagues old and new come together to wish Steve well in his retirement. Steve promised not to cry, but there was a definite wobble as Mrs Bryan presented him with his leaving gift.

 

Good luck Steve. Enjoy your retirement and make sure to keep in touch.

 

Please remember to give your feedback on Parent View

 

In last week’s Update, we asked for your help in completing Ofsted’s Parent View survey. Many thanks to those who filled in the survey. If you have been able to find time over the last week, please try to find ten minutes this week to complete the survey. Your feedback will really help our school.

 

 

 

All you need to do is log on here then click on “Give your views” on the top tab and register. It will take about 10 minutes of your time but it will support us to give an accurate picture of our school at our next OFSTED visit and will also allow us to see more of your feedback.

 

Thank you for your support.

 

Would you like to work at school?

 

We are currently recruiting for a range of teaching posts as well as for a Catering Assistant and a Midday Assistant. For more information about vacancies in school please click here.

 

Can you help us?

 

On Friday 8 June, year 13 will perform in their final music gig at college. Although this will undoubtedly be a sad event, it will also be spectacular judging on their previous showcases.

 

Ms Walsh is organising a raffle and needs as many prizes as she can collect. If you would like to contribute a prize, please send it to the school office before Monday the 4 June.

 

And don’t forget to keep the date free in your diary. We will have more details to share in future weeks. Thanks for your support.

 

The KS3 Maths Problem Solving Challenge

 

The winner of last week’s challenge was Danny Metcalfe in 8AE with the answer 5, 11 and 20

 

This week’s challenge is

 

 

 

Answers should be taken to Mr Ashcroft on a sheet of paper, showing your full working out for the answer.

 

Years 8 - 12, Ski residential trip to France, Friday 15 February – Friday 22 February 2019

 

Everybody going on the ski residential next year should now have paid the second instalment of £150, which was due on Friday, 27 April. If you have not yet paid, please do so as soon as possible. Please pay the remaining balance by 23 November. Thank you.

 

 

 

Be Active at BCHS

 

At BCHS we aim to offer a full range of extra-curricular activities which will appeal to a wide spectrum of interests, both before and after school and also at lunchtimes.  For a full timetable of all the activities available, please see the timetables below:-

 

  • Extra-curricular timetable, Spring 2018 - here.
     

  • Lunchtime activities timetable here.

 

Year 7 

 

Year 7 Birchwood Mini World Cup, 16 May 3.15 – 4.30pm

 

On the Wednesday 16 May, Mrs Butler will be holding the Birchwood Mini World Cup Competition. This will be fantastic inter-form sporting competition open to all year 7 learners. The competition will take place after school between 3.15 and 4.30pm in the sports hall and all entrants must wear their PE kit and appropriate footwear.

Come along and join the fun.

 

 

 

Year 8-  No specific information

Year 9 - No specific information 

Year 10

 

 

Summer Examination information

 

All learners in Year 10 will have received their initial summer 2018 Individual Candidate Timetable which details the dates and times of all exams they will be sitting this year.  Please check this document with your child to see when their exam takes place.  Also be aware that the name that appears on their Individual Candidate Timetable is the name that will appear on their exam certificates, if this is not their legal name please inform the exams officer, Mrs Kinnaird at JKinnaird@birchwoodhigh.org.

 

 

For the full timetable, please see here

Media Studies tour to Prague 14 - 17 February 2019 for current Year 10 learners

 

Please be aware that the second instalment of payment for this trip is due this Friday 4 May. The full payment schedule is shown in the table below

 

4 May - 2nd payment - £125

7 December - Final payment -£125

 

A message from our English Department

 

As the GCSE English language exam is rapidly approaching, you can help make sure your child is well prepared for their revision by purchasing the relevant York Notes guide.

 

 

guides are 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

  • Macbeth

 

 

Year 11

 

Year 11 attendance choices after 4th June

 

Last Thursday Year 11 learners received a letter outlining two options for their attendance at school after half term (from 4 June). Learners can choose to either revise at home from this point or attend school lessons and revision sessions. You can find a copy of the letter here.

 

The letter is explains the options and what to think about regarding the suitability for your child to attain the best outcomes on results day. Please discuss the options with your child and make sure you return the reply slip to the school office before Friday 18 May.

Year 11 core exams revision sessions open to all year 11 learners

 

To help to prepare our learners for their core exams, we are offering two-hour revision sessions from 3:15 to 5:15 on the evening before every core exam. These are not compulsory, but did prove to be very successful last year in conjunction with the learners own revision and really helped to boost learners performance. We would recommend that your child attend these sessions. The dates of the revision sessions are:

 

Monday 14 May – Biology

Wednesday 16 May – Chemistry

Monday 22 May – English Literature

Tuesday 23 May – Physics

Wednesday 24 May – Maths

Thursday 25 May – English Literature

Monday 4 June – English Language

Wednesday 6 June – Maths

Thursday 7 June – Biology

Monday 11 June – Maths

Tuesday 12 June – Chemistry

Thursday 14 June – Physics

 

Year 11 Prom, Thursday 5 July at the Hallmark Hotel, Warrington.

A letter went out to all year 11 learners last Thursday with details of how to book a place at the Prom.

 

We do hope that your child will join us for what will be a fantastic final celebration of their time at BCHS.

 

The Prom will be at the Hallmark Hotel (formerly the Fir Grove) on Thursday 5 July. Learners will enjoy a mocktail on arrival, a three-course meal and then a disco. Return travel by coach from school is included in the price alongside a memento Year Book to keep and cherish.

 

You can find a copy of the letter here.

Important careers information and guidance for Year 11 learners

 

All Year 11 learners should now have made some plans for after year 11. According to the Government, young people must stay in education or training until at least the age of 18. See the information here

 

They must do one of the following:

  • stay in full-time education, for example at a college/6th form

  • start an apprenticeship or traineeship

  • spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training

 

It is possible to get financial help with education costs. In England, you can apply for a 16 to 19 Bursary Fund to help with education costs – this is means tested. Please see here

 

If you are eligible for Child benefit, this will continue if your child stays in education. You will need to inform the CBA about this.If your child starts an apprenticeship, then you will not be eligible for Child Benefit as they will receive a wage.

Apprenticeships

 

The following companies are currently recruiting:

 

Nuvia -http://www.nuvia.co.uk/careers-apprentices-design.asp (closing date 16/3/18)

Volvo – HGV technician

Kone – Engineering

United Utilities – Science

Mercedes Benz – Light Vehicle Maintenance

Barratt Homes – Engineering and Design

Daresbury Labs – Engineering

Atos – IT Software Development

 

All these and more vacancies are advertised here

 

Even if your child is keen to get an apprenticeship, it is still a good idea to apply for a college place as a back-up.

Birchwood College offers our Internship Placement Programme.  This is a specially tailored educational pathway, which allows the student to learn at college whilst completing a placement at a partner organisation, allowing a more hands-on learning experience. For more information, contact Mr Burrows, Head of College at cburrows@birchwoodhigh.org.

 

Warrington and Vale Royal College is also an option as they offer both apprenticeships and full time courses.

 

If your child requires any assistance with securing a place in education, training or an apprenticeship please get in touch with our Careers Adviser, Mrs R Morris rmorris@birchwoodhigh.org asap.

 

 

 

Summer Examination information

 

All learners in Year 11 will have received their initial summer 2018 Individual Candidate Timetable which details the dates and times of all exams they will be sitting in May/June this year.  Please check this document with your child to see when the first and last exams take place.  Also be aware that the name that appears on their Individual Candidate Timetable is the name that will appear on their exam certificates, if this is not their legal name please inform the exams officer, Mrs Kinnaird at JKinnaird@birchwoodhigh.org.

 

For a full copy of the summer exam timetable see here  

Important date for your Diary

 

 

 Friday 15 June – Year 11 Celebration Assembly following on from the GCSE Physics exam

 

Thursday 5 July - Year 11 Prom at The Hallmark Hotel, Warrington

 

A message from our English Department

 

As the GCSE English language exam is rapidly approaching, you can help make sure your child is well prepared for their revision by purchasing the relevant York Notes guide.

 

Guides are 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

Birchwood College 

 

 

 

Summer Examination information

 

All students in Year 12 and 13 will have received their initial summer 2018 Individual Candidate Timetable which details the dates and times of all exams they will be sitting in May/June this year.  Please check this document with your child to see when the first and last exams take place.  Also be aware that the name that appears on their Individual Candidate Timetable is the name that will appear on their exam certificates, if this is not their legal name please inform the exams officer, Mrs Kinnaird at JKinnaird@birchwoodhigh.org.

 

 

For the full timetable, please see here

 

Other School information:

 

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 to 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.

 

E-Safety update

 

As ever, BCHS are always looking out for your child’s safety whilst online. Please find the latest guide for parents and children with regard to safe use of live streaming Apps.

 

 As the guide says

“You can now broadcast from anywhere in the world, to anywhere in the world for free using the device in your pocket.”

 

So please read the guide found here, and keep your child safe

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 aoreilly@birchwoodhigh.org

 

 

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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