Birchwood Update 4/06/2018

Birchwood Update week Commencing 4/6/18



Allow your children to shine on our update and social media


You often tell us how much you like our weekly update. It keeps you up to date with what is happening at school and gives us the opportunity to celebrate all the fantastic things that your children do both inside and outside school. We also try to do this on our social media and in the Warrington Guardian.


This is a plea from us, therefore, to complete the photo and video consent form we sent out to you. You can also find a copy here. We need your consent because of recent changes to data protection law.


If your child is in year 11, please do not think that this is not worth doing. On results day, we want to share fantastic photos of your child as they realise how well they have done. If your child stays at college your consent will carry over.


I do hope that you will provide your permission. We never photograph a child who is not happy to be photographed. In our experience, our learners love to share their success.Thank you for your support.

Data Protection - Staying in touch


If you want to opt out of receiving our weekly Update please email

Change of Uniform Supplier


We consulted you in 2017 about changing our school uniform and you told us you wanted a local retail offer to go alongside our existing online supplier. We are pleased to announce that we have arranged for two local retailers to take over supply of our uniform. Both suppliers are already fully stocked can already take orders. We hope this change will give parents and carers a better service.


Touchline UK

Unit 2 Kerfoot Street



Online Shop



Warrington Schoolwear

50-54 Buttermarket St



Online Shop

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


This week’s high achiever is Bethan Swan who came to us from Woolston Community Primary school.


Bethan was and still is a committed and hard worker. She was a valuable member of last year’s learner officer team. Bethan worked hard at her studies and attended revision classes and on results day certainly wasn’t disappointed with her results.


Bethan gained grades 8, 9 and 7 in maths and English and 3 As, one B and A* in chemistry, RE and PE.


We were delighted when Bethan decided to stay with us at Birchwood College where she is studying a great blend of subjects, carefully planned to play to her strengths, chemistry, biology and geography.


On results day, make sure that you chat to our college staff and let them plan a timetable for you, which will allow you to shine.

Eco committee


Congratulations to Isobel Coupe and Sade Whyte in year 10, Pedro Santos and Luke Richardson in Year 9, Miriam Marsh, Connor Stokes and Antony Carroll in Year 8, and Stanley Strong, Luci Hamilton Foster and Freddie Robinson in Year 7, who have all been selected as members of our newly formed Eco-committee.


The Eco-committee will be discussing issues around the school environment and coming up with ideas to tackle these. They will also be launching a review of the school grounds including litter, energy, waste & water.

Keeping your child safe.


As we are heavily in to exam season now, this week seems a great time to look helping your child cope with exam stress. Tests and exams can be a challenging part of school life for children and young people and their parents or carers. However, there are ways to ease the stress.


For great advice from the NHS on helping your child get through what can be a worrying time, please see here


Remember that exam stress does not always end when the exams are over. Many young people carrying on worrying about how they have performed in their exams and this can continue up to results day.

Another great evening of entertainment


On the Wednesday evening before half term, year 13 students hosted a fantastic musical theatre extravaganza. Well done to all the students and staff involved. You really are a talented bunch

There will be one more chance to share the students talents as on Friday 15 June, year 13 will perform in their final music gig at The King’s Head in Warrington. Entry will be strictly by ticket only. Payment on the door will not be allowed. The tickets are £6 and available to buy from the year 13 music students or see Mandy at the college reception



Woolston Rovers Girls Football are Recruiting


Woolston Rovers are looking for enthusiastic players to join their girls teams from under 8s right through to under 16s. For full details see here. If you enjoy football, want to keep fit and have fun go along and give it a go.

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.

Mobile phone sanctions


We would like to remind parents and carers about the school rules on using mobile phones.


Learners must not use mobile phones between the 8.50am and 3.00pm on school days. Teachers will confiscate mobile phones where a learner breaks this rule. The only exception to this rule is when a member of staff asks learners to use their phones in a lesson to support their learning.


Confiscated phone are taken to the school office and process below is followed:

  1. First offence: The phone is locked in the school safe where it can be collected at the end of the day by the learner.


  1. Second offence: As above but a Year Team Leader after school detention is issued and parents and carers are informed.


  1. Third offence: The phone is confiscated and locked in the safe and school inform a parent or carer who are asked to collect the phone at the end of the school day. The learner will also receive an after school detention with a member of our Senior Leadership team.

The KS3 Maths Problem Solving Challenge




This week’s challenge is


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


For your information, the remaining balance for this trip must be paid 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, Summer 2018 - here.

  • Lunchtime activities timetable here.


Year 7 - No specific information

Year 8


Congratulations Charlie


A very well done to Charlie Van den Branden in 8NI who recently sat his Grade 1 Drums Exam, Mr McCabe got the results back over half term and he achieved a distinction, which is the highest grade possible. Great work Charlie we are very proud of you


Year 9


Pedro represents the North West at Volleyball


Well done to Pedro Santos in 9MJ who has been selected to represent the north west in volleyball in the highly prestigious inter-regional volleyball championships. Pedro, who attended trials in the sports centre, is delighted to be selected.


The team played over the weekend at the national volleyball centre in Kettering, and though they were not victorious, Pedro said the experience was fantastic and he hopes to be selected to compete again next year.


Well done Pedro and keep up the hard work


Year 10



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


Please be aware that the final payment for this trip should be made before 7 December 2018

Year 11


Important dates 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


Thursday 23 August – GCSE Results Day

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:



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.


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.



The following companies are currently recruiting:


Nuvia - (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


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 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


For a full copy of the summer exam timetable see here  


Birchwood College 


Our College Students have plenty to celebrate


Congratulations to Tori Stammers in year 13 who has gained a higher level solicitor apprenticeship with Eversheds Sutherland. Tori is the only student they are taking on in Manchester. We are sure that Tori will fit in well and we wish her every success. Tori has always showed real commitment to everything that she has done at Birchwood and we are sure that her positive, can-do attitude will make her a true asset to the company.


Congratulations also go to Tash Hill who has gained a higher level apprenticeship with Waites, again we are sur that Tash will become a valued member of their team.


We are also proud to announce ALL of our students who applied to university are have received, including 13 unconditional offers.


Well done to all students and our fabulous staff at Birchwood College.  We say that Birchwood College is the college “Where you matter”. This really is evidenced with these fabulous results, our students and staff really do work together to attain the best for each and every one whether it be an apprenticeship, university or in the workplace.

Year 13 Leavers’ Night – Friday 6 July 2018


We have also organised a year 13 Leavers' Night on Friday 6 July.  This will be a fantastic opportunity for your child to celebrate their education at Birchwood. The event is being held in a private room at Block One Nightclub (formally ‘The Apartment’) on Bold Street in Warrington.


The evening includes a buffet and Block One’s own in-house DJ.  The event starts at 7.30pm, and will finish around 12.30am. This venue is exclusively for the Birchwood College party until approx. 11.00pm, when it will then be open to the public. Students will need to travel to and from the party independently, as transport is not provided.


Students will need to bring their proof of age ID to the evening if they wish to purchase drinks at the bar. It is important to note that staff at Birchwood College will not be responsible for students who attempt to obtain alcohol if they are under 18 and we trust you will support this requirement. 


Students should arrive promptly on this day, and in the right frame of mind to enjoy a celebratory evening.  If over 18, they should refrain from over-indulgence of alcohol prior to, and during the event, as this will result in them being sent home.

The cost of this evening will be £10. To secure a place, please complete the reply slip attached to this letter making payment preferably via Parentpay or cash or cheque.

A Level Results Day – Thursday 16 August 2018


Results will be available in Birchwood College on the morning of Thursday 16 August 2018.  Senior staff will be available between 9.00am and 12.00pm to provide students with their examination results and offer guidance as required for university or career plans.  It is important that students are available to collect results in person on the day

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



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



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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