Birchwood Update 12/11/2018

Birchwood Update week Commencing 12/11/18


Remembrance Service 2018


Many thanks go to our Learner Officers, the School Choir, Mrs Bryan and Mrs Hajigeorgiou for representing our school in laying a wreath in respect of those who have lost their lives in conflict, on Saturday at Birchwood Centre. As usual, we are proud to join with the Birchwood community in this special event organised by The Lions.



Anti-bullying week - 12th-16th November 2018


This week is Anti-bullying week and our theme this year is ‘Choose respect’.  


As our recent Ofsted report stated ‘Bullying is rare’ at Birchwood as ‘relationships between pupils are very positive’ and ‘Birchwood welcomes and celebrates difference and diversity’.


To support on our anti bullying initiative lots of things will be going on around school including assemblies and drop in sessions delivered by our peer mentors and ‘Stand Against Violence’ workshops for Years 8 and 9 . The workshop is based around the story of Lloyd Fouracre; a young man whose life was cut short after an unprovoked street attack on the eve of his 18th Birthday. Their aim is to make pupils understand the consequences this had for all involved and to encourage them to look for ways to avoid violence both by avoiding fights and by thinking about their personal safety (see our safeguarding feature in this update).


On the fun side, decorative biscuits will be on sale in the canteen and we will have a competition to “Guess the name of the Birch Bear”. Learners can pay 50p to guess the name of the huge Bear, which will be presented to the winner; proceeds will be sent to the Anti-bullying Alliance.


An update about George in 11JJ, our BCHS Man of Steel.

George has been competing in the 3 day Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) World Championships event.


After day one George was placed third in the UK, and fortieth in the world. The days race was a 3km course with 80 obstacles, all of which George completed on his first attempt.


Day two was even more gruelling; a 15km race over mud and 100 obstacles to complete. George was able to completed 97 obstacles on his first attempt. He was placed ninth in the UK and twenty-sixth in the world. 


Day three was the team event, which offered a chance to work together and have some fun. With wreck backs, pulls and carries, George excelled on the technical section. It was noted that George’s performance this year showed huge improvement since last year in terms of technical ability, strength but also attitude and mental resilience. 


The future is certainly looking bright for George in this sport and as ever, we are so proud of George’s determination and commitment to succeed.


Birchwood’s Youth Speaks Team get the chance to take some tips from someone truly inspirational.


Birchwood Youth Speak Team attended the Sellafield Awards Showcase Event on Wednesday 31 November at Hinton House in Risley.  The guest speaker was Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, who shared her incredible story with our learners.


Tanni was the UK’s most successful female Paralympian; holding world records and winning the wheelchair section of the London Marathon on six consecutive occasions.


In her presentations, Tanni talked about growing up with spina bifida and her decision to become an athlete. She described the commitment and hard work needed to succeed in her field and the sheer joy of victory.  Her message was simple; to succeed in anything you need planning, teamwork, determination and ambition.


Our learners were in aware of her achievements and came away with a renewed urge to succeed.



Our Performing Arts department releases their new Facebook page


For news and celebrations check out our new Performing Arts page on Facebook by searching Performing Arts at BCHS in your search button and liking the page.




Birchwood’s take on Beauty and the Beast, 27 - 30 November, 7pm 


Tickets for for the show will be on sale in the school office from Monday 19 November.

£7 for adults, £4 children /concessions.


Don't miss your tickets for a great evening of entertainment.




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







BIRCHwood Team talk


Please can we remind all parents and carers that learners are not allowed to bring any sprays into school. This includes body sprays, spray deodorants and perfume sprays. We have had a number of incidents in school this week where sprays have caused the fire alarm to sound and we have evacuated the school. Can you please support us by ensuring that your child leaves all sprays at home. Thank you.


Keeping your child safe


To support anti-bullying week and reinforce the ‘Stand Against Violence’ workshops, please read this fantastic booklet on keeping children safe from violence from the Irish branch of the NSPCC. The booklet covers all sort of violence against young people both physical and emotional and in both the school, community and society. A small read with lots of information.


The Booklet is here

For the attention of  Years 9,10, 11 & 12


How about a geography trip to the bay of Naples in October 2019?


Following on the success of last year’s Geography trip to Iceland. Mr Bate has released details of a fantastic trip to the Italian bay of Naples. The trip is open to learners currently studying Geography in Years 9, 10 and 11 as well as current Year 12 students at Birchwood College.


The Bay of Naples offers an excellent range of geographical features to study, ranging from the volcano of Mount Vesuvius to the tourism of the famous Amalfi Coast. We are looking to do a range of activities such as tours of Pompeii and Naples and a trip to the island of Capri.   Accommodation will be in hotels, flights will be with EasyJet and all meals will be provided whilst in Italy. The trip is currently scheduled to be five days and four nights, subject to the flights available. The proposed trip dates will be during the October 2019 half-term holiday.


The all-inclusive price of the trip will be no more than £700.


Your child should have brought a letter home with full details of the trip and how to secure your place, which must be done by this Friday 16 November.


 For a copy of the letter see here

Congratulations to our Learners of the week in Science, English and Languages, for weeks commencing 29 October and 5 November






































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.

Can you help our BTEC Enterprise Group?


The Year 10 learners studying BTEC Enterprise need to interview local entrepreneurs about their experience of running their own SMEs (Small or Medium Enterprises). This involves answering some questions about what it is like to run your own business. The interviews can be done in person or answered via email.


If you can help with this in any way please contact the head of Business and course leader, Mr Sutton via his email 

Year 7 


Fantastic flip-flops


Well done to the following learners who won the flip-flop competition, which was organised by the Languages department to celebrate European Day of languages. Their designs were fantastic and I’m sure that they will be excited to see them made into actual flip flops.


Ebony Dix-Baker 7LE

Isabel Toynton 8DR

Leah Wimbleton 7RT

Erin Ivey 8RT

7LF are rewarded for good their behaviour


7LF were the worthy winners of the Year 7 inter-form competition. The competition focused on the form with the lowest negative ATL score and 7LF were the worthy winners. Their reward was a lunch out at McDonald’s which they thoroughly enjoyed.


The next year 7 inter-form competition will focus on punctuality and attendance and the winners will be treated to Domino’s pizza.



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


Payment schedule:

Date                     Amount payable

7 December 2018 - £50

25 January 2019 -   £50

28  February 2019 - £50


Year 8 


Year 8 Performance Review Evening, Thursday 6 December 2018 from 3.30pm - 7.00pm in Birchwood College.


We do hope that you can join us on 6 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 - No specific information

Year 10 


Year 10 Residential visit to Lockerbie Manor – 10-12 July 2019


Payment schedule


Date                      Amount 

21 November 2018 - £40 

6 February 2019 -     £40 

6 March 2019 -         £40 

3 April 2019 -           £35 




Year 11


Year 11 Raising Achievement Evening PowerPoints


Thank you to all those who attended our Year 11 Raising Achievement evening last week. All the information that we provided is available to look at on our Parent Information Evening page on the website, which can be found here


We hope that these PowerPoints will be helpful for both your child and yourself as we approach the examination season.

Well done to Emily and the skating Whizz Kids


Another learner who continues to excel and make her mark in her field is Emily in 11KO.


Emily who skates with her team the Whizz Kids travelled to London to take part in the Lee Valley Open Skating Championship last week for their first competition of the season.  The outcome was exceptional as Emily and the team won gold and took a personal best score.


Great news Emily.



Year 11 Mocks examinations - Monday 10 – Friday 21 December 2018


Below you will find information regarding the year 11 mocks, which will take place in December. Please help us by ensuring that your child is aware of their examination dates and that they attend school throughout this period. 


These exams 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


A letter about the examinations can be found here


Mock timetable can be found here and Instructions for candidates, here




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 


Our Year 12 acting and music students treat us to two fantastic performance


Last week our Year 12 acting and music students performed their first BTEC assessment piece and treated us two fantastic showcases for their talent. The acting students performed selected scenes from The Crucible, the classic piece by Arthur Miller and our music students rolled back the years by entertaining us with the sounds of the 50s. Both performances were a joy and really demonstrated the wealth of performing arts talent of our learners and students. We now look forward to our school show, which will take place during the week of the 26th of this month, details of tickets above. 



Year 12 hear from the team behind the roadworks around Birchwood



Last week we had a visit from four staff working on the Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald joint venture which is responsible for the roadworks around Birchwood. The aim was to get an important message across to Year 12 as they start driving and to make them aware of the dangers on the road and how to drive safely especially through road works.


The presentation included lots of useful information, which could come up in the theory test as well as in the practical driving test which many will take later this year. The session also highlighted the range of jobs which exist so close to the school and the multinational companies which base themselves here.


Learners heard from a civil engineer, an environmentalist and a design engineer who admitted they did not know what they wanted to do when they were in college, but progressed onto university and are now on a graduate programme. For more information on careers go here 


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 Phones, Earphones and Speakers in school.


Phones and headphones may be brought in to school but must be kept in bags or zipped in blazer pockets out of view at all times. Learners must not use phones at any time on the site between the bells at 8.50 and 3.00pm unless they are asked to do so by a teacher in a lesson for a reason that is related to learning. In this case, the teacher will issue instructions on the use of phones or headphones, which must then be followed. If a phone is out during the school day, even to check the time, this will be confiscated. There is a staged system of sanctions and mobile phones, earphones and speakers are counted as identical items.  If you think a learner is using a smart watch in the same way as a mobile phone, please speak to their Year Team Leader or Year Team Officer. 


If a learner is concerned about an issue at home and feels they need to speak to a parent, they need to go to the Year Team Office and discuss this with Year Team Officer. Staff should confiscate mobile technology items that are visible and in use during the times specified.  They should be taken to the school office.  The system of sanctions are:


Stage 1 - First offence

  • The item is confiscated and locked in the school safe

  • The item is collected by the learner at the end of the day

  • One behaviour point is issued by the Office

Stage 2 - Second offence 

  • The item is confiscated and locked in the school safe

  • The item is collected by the learner at the end of the day

  • One behaviour points issued by the Office

Stage 3 - Third Offence

  • The item is confiscated and locked in the school safe

  • Parents/carers are informed and asked to collect the phone at the end of the school day

  • One behaviour points is issued by the Office.

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.


Please reload