Birchwood Update 15/10/2018

Birchwood Update week Commencing 15/10/18


What an amazing team Team BIRCHwood really is!


A huge thank you to all our staff, learners, parents, carers and Governors for pulling together and supporting each other last week during our Ofsted inspection.


Thank you to our visiting inspectors for your wonderful comments about our learners and school.  The inspectors found our learners to be enthusiastic, polite, respectful and very proud of their school. The lessons that the inspectors saw were really strong and learners were enjoying learning.


Our learners told Ofsted they felt safe and cared for in school, and whilst in school, everyone can be themselves. What more can we ask for?


We are feeling very confident about the outcome of our inspection and look forward to sharing some very good news with you when we have the report.



Important Information for parents and carers


Please be aware that this Friday, 19 October, our School office will close at 3.30pm.

Amy’s new hairstyle will enable another child to feel beautiful again.


We are very proud of Amy in 8RT who decided that she would like to support other children who are undergoing treatments for cancer and other medical conditions to feel beautiful again. Amy is donating her hair to the Princess Trust who make wigs for children who have lost their hair due to radical lifesaving treatments.


Amy, who has always loved plaiting and dressing her hair, saw an article on hair donation and it made her think how she would feel if she lost her hair and how unhappy she would feel at a time when she was most vulnerable. Though Amy was nervous, as she has had long hair from being a young child, an idea to help others was born.


Amy took the chop last Wednesday and is proud that her hair will go to such a valuable cause.


To make a wig costs between £350 and £500 so donating the hair is not the end of the story. Amy has set up a Just Giving page, which can be found here


She would really appreciate any support that you could give her and the Princess Trust in making her vision of enabling a poorly child to feel better again.


Well done Amy on being such a thoughtful and kind young person. This really is an amazing charitable gesture.





Mrs Bryan congratulates our top six achievers of the week with hot chocolate and a chat.

As a way of saying congratulations and thank you to our weekly top six achievers, Mrs Bryan will be inviting learners for a hot chocolate and chat at break time every Tuesday at her “Headteacher Team Talk”.


This is a fabulous way for our learners to share their success and let Mrs Bryan know what they enjoy about school and what we could do better.


Learners winning this treat will receive an invitation to attend.


This week or winners were Freddie from 8HB and Amy from 8RT who both spoke so confidently about school at our Welcome to KS 3 Evening and Open Evening. Also Hannah from 8RT, Caitlin from 7EV, Estelle from 7LF and Kody from 7RE who were all highest achievers for Birch reward points last week.


Well done to you all and keep up the good work.


Our languages department releases their new Facebook page


For news, views, celebrations and learning hints and tips, check out our new languages page on Facebook by searching Languages at BCHS in your search button and liking the page.




Birchwood’s take on Beauty and the Beast


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






BIRCHwood Team talk


 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.

Keeping your child safe


Over the last few weeks, we have offered tips of safe travel to school as both a cyclist and pedestrian. To round off a theme, today we address Public transport as many of our learners travel to school by both bus and train.


For some really useful advice on safe travel from Merseyrail 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


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 


A date for your diary


Year 7 Parents’ Opportunity to Meet with Form Tutors – Thursday, 18 October, 3.30 to 6.30pm


Your child has now been at Birchwood Community High School for almost half a term and we would like to invite you in to school to give you a clearer picture of how they have settled in. This will give you the opportunity to meet your child’s form tutor again and to receive up to date information on your child’s progress.


You should have received a letter about booking your appointment. The letter can be also be found here



Year 7 Residential Trip to Conwy Centre, Wednesday 20 to Friday 22 March 2019


We are delighted to inform you that we are organising a trip to the Conway Centre for all of Year 7, in March next year.


This will be an ideal opportunity for learners to experience new and different activities and to encourage them to start Year 8 with a focus on making good progress throughout the curriculum.


The centre offers a very valuable learning experience, setting learners a challenging programme of activities far beyond the scope of the normal school day.  Learners who have previously attended a similar residential course in Year 7 have enjoyed the experience so much they often mention it as a highlight of their time at Birchwood.


We do hope that your child will be able to join us


For a letter with full details of the trip including how to book and payment schedule see here

PP Learners see here




Year 7 school photographs


Orders of the Kittle school photographs have arrived with us and will be distributed to your child via their form boxes this afternoon.

TTRockstars times table battle for Year 7


Times Tables Rock Stars is a carefully sequenced on line  programme of tables practice which has successfully boosted times tables recall speed for hundreds of thousands of pupils both primary and secondary - worldwide.


The Maths department are running an inter-form TTRockstars competition with Year 7 which will run right through until May half term


It is a double round-robin (where all forms will battle each other twice), and whoever finishes top of the league wins!


Each individual battle will take place over a fortnight and the fixture schedule can be found here.


There will be two battles taking place at a time, meaning one form will have a rest fortnight.


So how can your child contribute?


Anytime learners log in to TTRockstars and get an answer correct in any game mode they achieve one point for their form.


The form with the most points each fortnight wins the battle. Three points are awarded for a win, none for a loss and for a very rare occurrence of a draw, 1 point is awarded.


We will be awarding certificates to highest points scorers of each battle, and a form prize for the overall winner of the league in May.



Year 8 - No specific information


Year 9 - No specific information

Year 10 


Year 10 school photographs


Orders of the Kittle school photographs have arrived with us and will be distributed to your child via their form boxes this afternoon.

Year 10, have the chance to consider the consequence of life choices


As part of the Learning for Life curriculum, 2engage Theatre Company came into school to perform for Year 10 and Year 11 drama classes.


The production called ‘Risking It All’, considers three story lines, based on local case studies, of local young people impacted by issue such as E-safety, substance and alcohol misuse, sex exploitation and inappropriate relationships.


The theatrical presentation highlighted both the risks and direct consequences that young people can face when involved in these issues through their own choice or the influence of others.


During the performance, pupils were engaged in a mid-show discussion using forum theatre. This allowed the audience to consider the fate of the characters and what consequences they could face. The actors then used audience feedback to influence the outcomes of the characters involved.


Thank you to 2engage who really did engage both learners and staff with their performance.


Year 11

Year 11, get food for thought about good and evil.


As part of the ‘Good and Evil’ unit of GCSE Religious Studies, our Year 11 had the opportunity to listen to the role of a Humanist chaplain in a prison.


Thank you goes to Alan Brine who is chaplain at Manchester Prison, formerly known as Strangeways.

Alan, who is a lifelong Humanist and a member of Humanist UK, explained what Humanism means to him and how it affects his work at the prison.


Thank you to our EPR department for arranging this valuable visit which really did get our learners thinking  and will provide them with valuable insight for their examination later in the year.



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.


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 


Great news for Rhianna


Last March, we reported that Rhianna Bibby, one of our Year 13 Birchwood College Students won a coveted placement at BBC Radio Manchester to write and produce a sport news report. The placement went fantastically well with Rhianna broadcasting her report live on Radio Manchester and appearing on North West Tonight on BBC1.


We are proud to announce that Rhianna has now accepted a place on the BFI (British Film Institute) Clapperboard Programme in Liverpool.


This is a much sought after opportunity. Rhianna will be working with professional filmmakers creating two short films from scripting to the big screen.


There are only 20 places annually in each city and Rhianna has been offered her place based on her GCSE practical music video.


Well done Rhianna, we are so proud of your dedication to succeed in the field of Media. To have attained two major successes in coveted placements in your field really is incredible.


Birchwood College Open Evening


Thank you to all the visitors who came to our Birchwood College Open Evening. Feedback was excellent, all visitors really enjoying the evening. Huge thanks to our present students who were on hand to speak to prospective students and parents and carers. Visitors were impressed at our confident, articulate students who are obviously proud to be part of our College.


Also many thanks to our committed staff who have worked so hard to make the event a success.




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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