Birchwood Update 26/11/2018

Birchwood Update week Commencing 26/11/18



Two of our learners excel in Martial Arts


We had excellent news from parents this week regarding two of our learners who are performing brilliantly in their field of martial arts.


TJ in 8DC, who we reported about in June when he won a double gold in Karate, recently won a place to compete in the Karate Nationals Competition against the best in the UK.


TJ, who has only been doing karate for just over 12 months, did fantastically well. He took the bronze medal to become the 3rd best in Kata in the UK in his age group. TJ is a green belt, which is the lowest belt in this category so was therefore competing against other green belts plus blue and red belts, which are much higher graded.


TJ’s Karate club GKK, his mum, and everyone at school are so proud of TJ and we wish him luck with his blue belt which he will be doing in December.


Our other martial art master is Ethan in 7KJ who has had a great success in Taekwondo.  He has retained the gold medal he originally won at the TKD England Open in spring.


Ethan won his preliminary rounds and then won against Ireland in the final. He is a relentless and talented sportsman even getting praise from the coaches of his opponents!


Ethan’s competing category is junior under 40kg A class. So all matches are to World Taekwondo Federation Olympic rules and are attended by Team GB Olympic coaches.

Well done Ethan, we are sure that your determination and hard work will be spotted and you will achieve your dreams.

Our learners think about respect and the consequences of violence as part of anti-bullying week


As part of anti-bullying week, year 8 and 9 took part in a stand against violence workshop.  The workshop was 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. The workshop was hard-hitting and really made our learners understand the consequences of such violence on all parties involved from the victim’s family to the perpetrators and even to those who had to deal with the aftermath such as the ambulance staff and police. It also made them think deeply about ways to avoid violence both by avoiding fights and by thinking about their personal safety and the safety of their friends


Recycling rolled out across the school by our eco-committee


Following an environmental review of the school. This half term the eco-committee has rolled out a recycling programme across school. We are now recycling plastics, cardboard and paper in classrooms. We have issued every classroom with a recycling box, which is made out of recycled household plastic waste. We aim to reduce the amount of recyclables that go into the general waste bin. In the future, we will be looking to improve recycling of the outdoor bins. So watch this space!


Year 7 forms had a competition to create our eco-code motto. The eco-committee then voted on the best eco-code, the winner was ‘want it green, keep it clean’ an entry from 7RE!





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.




Request for donations for the department


We are asking for your support in donating raffle prizes towards raffles, to be held on our school show evenings this week. Maybe an unwanted present in perfect condition or a bottle of something that you are unlikely to drink; any donations will be gratefully received. Any money made will be ploughed back into our Performing Arts department who spend so much of their tight budget on costumes and props for these brilliant shows. We do hope that you will be able to support us and please send any donations in to the office. Thank you.

Birchwood Team talk - Our uniform policy on coloured nail varnish and false nails


As the Christmas season approaches, we sometimes see the appearance of elaborate acrylic nails. Can we please remind parents, carers and learners that coloured nail varnish and false nails are not part of correct uniform and therefore not allowed in school. Form tutors do a standards check every morning and the protocol for breaches in incorrect uniform is as follows:

  • Learner is sent to Year Team Office by form tutor at start of day

  • YTO contacts parents to resolve the matter swiftly, which will involve removal of the nails

  • The learner will not be allowed in lessons until the matter is resolved.

  • One behaviour point is issued by the form tutor.  


Please avoid disappointment and wasted money by making sure you wait for the holidays to have acrylic nails applied and of course make sure they are removed before we return to school in January. Thank you as ever for your support.

Class of 2018 Presentation Evening


Last Thursday evening, we welcomed back last year’s leavers to celebrate their successes and present some awards and certificates. Our Guest of Honour was Luke Allsup, an ex-Birchwood College student.  Luke was an inspiration as he told us about his volunteering work with Utopia 56, a humanitarian charity who provide assistance to refugees in Calais, distributing clothes, food and water and medical help to those in need. This fits alongside Luke’s University course, International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response at Manchester University.


 Luke’s message to our visitors was to follow their passion and look beyond the obvious. Grasp any chances through volunteering or any other means to gain life experiences and self-development.


It was a lovely evening and so nice to see such a good turn out from both our ex-learners and their families and really celebrate , for one last time the class of 2018 ‘s achievements.




3G Pitch Update


We are delighted to tell you that work will start on 4 December on our new state of the art 3G football pitch. If you are in school or passing by in the coming weeks you will see the building site being prepared and work getting under way. The pitch will be complete by the end of March and we are excited to see the results.

Keeping your child safe


This week our safeguarding advice looks at how to talk to children about sexting. It can be an awkward subject to talk about, but it is important to explain to children the risks of sexting. You can help them stay safe and remind them that they can talk to you if something ever makes them feel scared or uncomfortable. The advice from the NSPCC is here.


Congratulations to our Learners of the week in Science, English and Languages, for weeks commencing  12 and  19 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


Year 7 



Well done Maria in 7RE who navigates her way to success



Last weekend Maria from 7RE fulfilled a dream by taking part in the British Orienteering Championships.

Orienteering is a group of sports that requires navigational skills using a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain whilst moving at speed. Participants are given a topographical map, usually a specially prepared orienteering map, which they use to find control points.


Maria qualified for the event after winning the Warrington and Cheshire Junior School Championship whilst in year 6 and was excited to take the British challenge.


The competition took place in Manchester, where Maria raced against 29 other contestants to take 10th place with a time of 59.17 minutes.

Maria, who has been orienteering for 2 years loves sport and is a keen tennis player. Orienteering appeals to her as it combines her two favourite things – Geography, particularly map reading and sport.


Maria’s next competition is after Christmas when she will compete in the Senior Schools Cheshire Finals. We wish you lots of luck Maria and are very proud of your achievements.


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 - No specific information




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.



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. 



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.


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