Birchwood Update 17/09/2018

Birchwood Update week Commencing 17/09/18


Keeping our Update to you fresh and informative


Our Update is a great way to pass on information, celebrate success and let you know the great things happening in school but to keep our stories fresh, exciting and informative, we have decided from this week to message you on a fortnightly basis.


We will still message you via our Xpressions app, Facebook and Twitter for those messages that we need to get to you quickly or that are relevant to something happening that week at school.


We hope that less is more and that you look forward to hearing from us every two weeks!

A New 3G Pitch for Birchwood


We are delighted to we have been successful in securing funding of £367,000 from the Football Foundation for the redevelopment of our 3G pitch. We have worked hard with our partners Birchwood Juniors FC and Woolston Rovers FC to secure the funding and we are very grateful for their support. The new 3G pitch will be a great facility for our learners and for the local community. Construction will begin during October half term and we are planning an opening date of February 2019.


Birchwood’s take on Beauty and the Beast


On the week of the 26 November, we are in for a treat as out amazing Performing Arts department will present Birchwood’s take on Beauty and the Beast.  Judging on previous shows this will be a real pre-Christmas pleasure.


Rehearsals for the show took place last week and our talented young performers are looking forward to starting the hard work of rehearsals leading up to the show.


If your child has been selected to be part of the cast they should have brought home a contract outlining their commitment they have signed up for and an outline of rehearsals that they will need to attend. Parents of cast members should read the letter carefully and sign to confirm that they are happy for their child to take on the commitment. The letter can be found here


 A schedule of this week’s rehearsals can be found here



Roald Dahl Day 2018





Last Thursday it was 2018 Roald Dahl Day, celebrating the wonderful books written by one of our most loved children’s writers.  To celebrate, members of our English team dressed as their favourite characters including a witch from The Witches, Matilda, from the book of the same name and Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, who thankfully behaved better than she did in the book!





Blood Brothers trip


Trips started early this year as the English department took year 10 to see a performance of Blood Brothers at St Helen’s Theatre Royal to support the leaners preparation for their English Literature examination. It was a fantastic opportunity for our learners to experience an award winning live production of this key GCSE text, really bringing to life the story and characters from this wonderful play.


Thank you to those involved in the planning and support of this trip.


School early closure on 27 September, a date for your diary.






On Thursday 27 September, we will hold our School Open Evening from 4.30pm. To prepare the school for our visitors, we will close to learners at 2pm that day


‘See Us in Action’ Open Mornings


One of our school mottos is ‘Pride in our school’ and to show how proud we are of our school, we are inviting prospective new learners for 2019 and their families to join us for a personalised tour of school with our Headteacher.


The tours will take place from next Monday 24 September to Friday 5 October between 9.30am – 12pm and must be booked in advance.


To book your tour email with details of your preferred date and time


Useful Contacts to keep by your phone:


  • Year 7 Team Office in Art Building

    • Year 7 Team Leader & Officer  – Mrs Butler: Telephone extension 202


  • Year 8 and 9 Team Office is at the top of main corridor

    • Y8 & Y9 Team Officer – Ms Hickson: Telephone extension 290 

    • Y8 Team Leader – Miss McAlinden

    • Year 9 Team Leader – Mrs Jones


  • Year 10 and 11 Team Office is in D&T/EPR building

    • Y10 & Y11 Team Officer -  Mrs Bird: Telephone extension 229

    • Y10 Team Leader – Miss Russell

    • Y11 Team Leader – Ms Gilchrist

BIRCHwood Team talk


We have had a great start to the year for uniform standards. Thank you very much to all parents and carers for your support. Please remember to clearly mark your child’s name and form on their uniform and any personal belongings they bring to school.


This helps our office staff enormously with items of lost property promptly returned to their owner. Thank you again.



 Signing out of school for appointments during the school day


If you wish for your child to sign out of school during the school day, Please ensure that they have a note, a copy of their appointment letter or that you have emailed school on to let us know. thank you for your co-operation.

BCHS has a brand new rewards scheme for this academic year.


We have thought long and hard about how best we can reward our learners who come to school every day and do everything right and are proud members of Team BIRCHwood. We also believe it is important to motivate those learners who sometimes find staying on track a little tougher.


We are excited to launch the Team BIRCH Reward Points Arrow.


Each week learners can collect points for doing a variety of things, and points mean prizes here at BCHS!


We will rewards learners in different ways, sometimes it may be the Top 100 learners, or the Top 10 learners in each year group, or the Top Form Group. This will enable learners to have lots of different chances to gain a prize. There will always be a rewards trip and learners will have to accumulate their achievement points and try to avoid any negative behaviour points to have access to these trips.


Mainly the prizes will be drawn from a Golden Ticket Raffle. If a learner isn’t lucky enough to win the Golden Ticket Raffle you should still hopefully see a Golden Ticket coming home and you will know that it has been given to your child for being great that week in school.

Each term there will be a new arrow with new and exciting prizes on offer and the giant arrows will be displayed around school so learners know what they have the chance to win.


Please encourage your child to aim high, achieve and have pride in themselves and start collecting to win.



Keeping your child safe


Cycle Safely


Now we are back to school and the weather is still fine many of our learners including our new year 7s are cycling to school. As Birchwood is a busy area, and there are many road works at the moment, it is good to be aware of the simple rules that keep cyclists safe.


For hints and tips on safe cycling see here






Extra-curricular timetable


Please take a look at our extracurricular timetable to see what great activities are available for your child to take part in both after school and at lunchtime . 

Click here to access the timetable


Please remember to give your feedback on Parent View


Just a reminder that if you have a spare ten minutes in your day please complete the Ofsted survey about our school. Your views are important to us.


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.



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.


Year 7 


Year 7 photographs; Individual and Form shots.


Your child should bring home their proofs today. If you wish to purchase the photographs, this can be done online via Kittle’s website here or you can return the form and cash or cheque  to the school office by break on Tuesday 25 September.


If purchasing via school, please can you ensure that your child’s name and form is clearly indicated on the form. Thank you


A date for your diary


Welcome to Key Stage 3 Evening, Thursday 20 September 2018 - 6.30pm – 7.30pm in the Main Hall


We would like to invite you to this evening, which will help explain to you the expectations and demands we have of all Year 7 learners as they begin Key Stage 3

The evening is aimed at parents/carers only and learners are not expected to attend.

The objectives of the evening are:

  • to provide a smooth transition from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3

  • to support you with vital information about Key Stage 3 and our expectations of Year 7 in particular

  • to strengthen the vital home/school working partnership

Please note that you will need to park on Birchwood Shopping Centre car park and allow time to walk across to the school and use the main front entrance of the school to reach the M1.

The presentation will start promptly at 6.30pm and last for about one hour.




Year 8 - No specific information

Year 9 - No specific information

Year 10


Year 10 photographs


Your child should bring home their proofs today. If you wish to purchase the photograph, this can be done online via Kittle’s website here or you can return the form and cash or cheque  to the school office by break on Tuesday 25 September.


If purchasing via school, please can you ensure that your child’s name and form is clearly indicated on the form. Thank you


Year 11


Well Done to our Year 11 Football team


Well done to our Year 11 Football team who were victorious over Penketh High School, last week, beating them 4-3. The boys were a credit to us as always with special mention to Oliver Abbey, Kyle Best and Luke Urey who all played very well.


Looking to the Future and next steps for 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


Learners have been following a careers programme throughout year 10 to prepare for this and will continue to learn about post 16 options, through Learning4Life lessons this term, assemblies and presentations.


You are also warmly invited to attend the Birchwood College Open Evening on Thurs 4 Oct 6-8pm where you can find out about the many courses offered here at Birchwood College. There will be a presentation by the Head of College at 6pm.

Warrington Borough Council have also organised a Careers and Apprenticeship Fair which takes place on Thursday  20th September, at Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub, 4pm - 7pm. Last year's event attracted over 40 exhibitors and 650 young people and their parents.


So far exhibitors include: Waterside Training, Toni & Guy, Morthyng, Morrisions, NPL Football Academy, University of Chester, Priestley College, UTC Warrington, Aldi, Prince's Trust, Warrington Youth Club, Unilever, Bell Group, Derwen College, Riverside College & Cronton 6th Form College, National Careers Service, Jobcentre Plus, Little League Sports, Warrington & Vale Royal College, Army Recruiting, Glyndwr University, Babcock International, Ps Coaching, St Helens College and University Centre, Body Focus Training, O2/Telefonica, Mantra Learning, Northwest Education and Training, Lifetime Training, Armstrong Works, Barclays, Street League, Changing Lives in Cheshire, The Growth Company, SGI, Sellafield Ltd, Cunningham Training, People Plus and Careers for Young People.


To confirm attendance and book a slot visit here 


If your son/daughter requires a careers interview to discuss post 16 plans please contact our Careers Adviser, Mrs R Morris

Media Studies tour to Prague 14 - 17 February 2019

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

Birchwood College 


Don’t miss out on our College Open Evening.


Visit our college to talk to our staff and students and see the personalised programmes we are able to offer. This year our results were fantastic, our best ever.

  1. 100% of A-level Geography, Maths and PE students at Birchwood College achieved the top grades of A*-C.

  2.  Our acting students results were 100% Distinction*, the top grade possible, in the Level 3 BTEC Acting course

  3.  Our music students all achieved Double Distinction*, the highest grades possible, in their Level 3 BTEC Music Diploma course. Three of the students are going on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in September, which is an outstanding achievement. No wonder Birchwood has such a fantastic reputation for the Performing Arts! 

  4. Health & Social Care students at Birchwood College have performed at the highest level. All the BTEC Sub. Diploma and Diploma students have achieved on or above their target grades.

  5. Level 3 BTEC Sport students also achieved some excellent results, many of them receiving a Distinction* grade. Sporting courses continue to be a real strength at Birchwood College, providing a platform for students to progress into the sports industry.

 Just a few reasons why Birchwood College is a force to be reckoned with in post 16 education!





Other School information:


Keeping in touch gets even easier with the introduction of the Xpressions website


We are pleased to announce that Groupcall Xpressions is now available to access on your computer via a website. The login page can be found here.


This gives you a further way, as well as accessing the APP on your mobile phone and tablet, to view information about your child

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

Xpressions is completely free of charge to you and supports Apple iOS, Android devices and now Windows operating system.


In order to use the Xpressions, 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 will need to make sure you keep these details up to date in future to maintain access to the service.


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



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:


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


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


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.

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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