Birchwood Update 10/12/2018

Birchwood Update week Commencing 10/12/18


Christmas lunch at Birchwood


I hope that your child will join us on Tuesday 18 Dec for our Team BIRCHwood Christmas lunch. Mags and her catering team will be providing a festive feast for our learners and staff. To ensure everyone can sit and eat at leisure we will have two lunch sittings. Years 7, 8 and 9 will eat at 12.15 and Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 will have their lunch at 1.15pm.


The cost of the meal is £2.30; for the menu see the photograph




Christmas Theme Day, Friday 21 Dec 2018


On our last day, our learner officers have organised for us to have a charity Christmas theme day in aid of St Rocco’s Hospice.


Learners are invited to wear their own clothing with a Christmas theme.  Please do not feel that you have to purchase a special Christmas jumper for the day, anything that looks festive is fine. It would be lovely if our Christmas Assembly were a colourful and joyous Christmas occasion to celebrate a really successful term.


The only stipulation of what your child may wear is that it should be appropriate to our school situation so no very short skirts, no crop tops and no onesies please.


The suggested donation to take part in this festive day will be £1.


We hope that your child will join us in celebrating Christmas and helping support this wonderful local charity.


Last day arrangements and Christmas assembly


Our whole school and college Christmas assembly will take place at 11.30 am in the Sports Hall on Friday 21 December, the last day of term. Parents, carers and friends of the school are very welcome to join us for this event. There will be a brunch break earlier in the morning and then school and college will close for the Christmas break after the assembly at approximately 1pm.


School and College will re-open on Monday 7 January at 8.45am.


Season’s Greetings from Mrs Bryan and all the staff at Birchwood Community High School. We wish parents, carers, learners and students a happy and restful Christmastime.


BCHS are on a high note as we are recognised as a Music Ambassador School


Last Wednesday was a great day for our Performing Arts department when we were awarded Music Ambassador Status by Accent Music Education Hub by the Mayoress at Warrington Town Hall


This award celebrates Music Education across Warrington and Halton and conveys the importance of Music within the curriculum. The awards are given in recognition of excellent Music provision and following a formal assessment of our curriculum offer, extra-curricular programme and performance opportunities provided for our learners.


After last week’s fabulous school show the award came at a perfect time to celebrate the excellent opportunities children have to excel in our school and the enormous talent of our learners.


Jamie and Bradley from Year 11 were the proud representatives to receive the award on behalf of all our talented performers







The Willows get festive for the Foodbank


The learners attending the Willows have been busy making Christmas tree decorations over the past few weeks. They have made them to raise money to buy food for the Warrington Foodbank who we have committed to support this year.


There are lots of families in the Warrington area who will struggle this time of year due to added expenses and our learners wanted to help to make Christmas special for those in need.


They did a fantastic job of the decorations with the support of Mrs Downing and they have proved popular with staff, raising nearly £30.


To reinforce this gesture, we are asking you for a final push of the term in collecting foodstuff for the Foodbank. It would be fantastic if we could donate a full trolley of food this month to help provide a great Christmas meal for those who are in need.


Nathaniel bags a fantastic prize for a fantastic attitude

Christmas came early for Nathaniel in 9NH when he discovered he was the golden ticket winner of last week's grand prize the echo camera Wi-Fi quad copter.


Well done Nathaniel all those reward points really paid off for you. We hope you have lots of fun with your prize.


A great new service for learners who are also young carers


Are you a young carer or do you know someone who is?


Do you or a young person that you know look after someone with a disability, mental health condition, illness or addiction?


If so, there is someone to talk to and offer help and guidance.


Come along to our monthly drop in at the Willows meeting room. For dates, see the poster and any more information speak to Mr Crompton.




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.

 A reminder of our Behaviour Procedures


We have reviewed our behaviour procedures and sanctions to ensure we have the highest standards and expectations in school. We will be using Behaviour Points when a learner does not meet our expectations and recording these on SIMS. You will be able to see these in the Xpressions App and on the progress reports that we send home. Full details are in the enclosed Parent Handbook. In summary:

  • We have introduced a LOFT (Loss of Free Time) lunch detention as a sanction for not following our behaviour and uniform standards. It will be the learner’s responsibility to attend this detention once they have been informed of the sanction. If they fail to do this, the sanctions will then escalate to:

  • a one-hour after school detention

  • then a day in the On-track room if they do not attend the detention

  • then an off-site exclusion to another school or a fixed term exclusion if they refuse the On-track room.

Fortunately, only a very small number of our learners do not follow our school rules.

  • We have introduced a new sanction for learners who do not come to school in the correct footwear. If a learner is in incorrect shoes, the Year Team Officer will contact the parents/carers to resolve the matter swiftly. If this cannot be resolved on the same day, the learner must wear black pumps issued by the school. Refusal to do this will result in the On-track room until the matter can be resolved.


3G Pitch Update


We are delighted to tell you that work has started 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


Safeguarding as Christmas approaches


As Christmas draws near, many children may be looking forward to receiving new electronic devices or games under the tree.  However, before you wrap up your presents, have you checked out the safety features?

For lots of advice for parents and carers to help you get to grips with the safety features available on the most popular gadgets this Christmas see the advice from Childnet International here


And for setting them up safely see here


Whatever presents you’re buying for your children this Christmas, one of the most important things you can do is have an open conversation with your child about technology and the internet. By maintaining an open dialogue with your child and encouraging them to talk to you about their internet use you can help your children access the amazing resources the internet has to offer whilst keeping them safe online. 


Congratulations to our Learners of the week in Science, English and Languages, for weeks commencing 26 November and  3 December









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 


Year 7 get the chance to quiz the professionals


As part of the careers programme in Learning 4 Life, Year 7 were visited by five people from different professions. The aim was to raise awareness of the many different careers that exist and the increasing trend towards self-employment.


We would like to thank representatives from; Sellafield, Media & Digital Design and Web Studios, Pure Gym, Nationwide Cleaners and Gleeds for making the sessions interesting and informative and explaining to learners the importance of qualifications as well as building up skills through extra-curricular activities.


The visitors commented on how engaged the learners were, the quality of questions asked and how much they enjoyed visiting Birchwood Community High School.  Izzy Crompton in 7ME said it was a “fun and educational experience” and Theo Jamison said the morning was “an interesting experience that can help me in the future”

Well done Year 7 and thank you to all our visiting professionals who gave us their precious time.


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


Payment schedule:

Date                     Amount payable

25 January 2019 -   £50

28  February 2019 - £50


Year 8 


Year 8 are asked to think before they flush


Many thanks to the ‘We are Gibber’ the drama based training agency, who in cooperation with United Utilities delivered a lively presentation to Year 8  about the dangers of wet wipes and the impact that they have on the environment when flushed down the loo.


The presentation had a real eco message but delivered in a way that our youngsters really engaged with; it’s not every day that we have Lady Gaga hosting a quiz on wet wipes!


Thank you to the performers who did a great job ensuring that learners really will ‘think before they flush’.




Year 9 - No specific information

Year 10 - No specific information


HOBY 2019


Since 1958, HOBY’s (Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership) mission is to inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. We are proud to offer selected Year 10 learners the chance to take part in this valuable initiative.


Congratulations to the following year 10 learners who have been successful in obtaining a place on the Hoby leadership programme 2019, which will run in the Easter holidays. They will be doing a leadership project around learner well-being when they have completed the Hoby programme.


The learners are:


Niamh Aldridge 10PC

Katie Henderson 10EP

Chloe Johnson 10EP

Kaydi Jones 10WG

Chloe Knight 10EP

Year 11


Year 11, places are available now to join the fantastic National Citizen Service Summer 2019 programme!


We would like to tell you about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which your son or daughter can sign up for this summer. National Citizen Service (NCS) is a government-backed programme run by Warrington Youth Club and supported by Birchwood Community High School. NCS helps young people build their confidence and gain new skills while having fun and giving back to their community – the best possible springboard for their future. Whether you are about to start sixth form or college, or preparing to enter the working world, signing up to NCS is one of the best decisions a young person can make.


Government backing means that it costs just £50 to take part in our four week summer programme which covers all activities and residential costs. If you child is entitled to free school meals the cost is only £25.


For more details and how to book your child’s place on this great opportunity, see the letter here


For any queries, please contact Mrs Wardell at

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


Birchwood College 


BTEC Applied Law trip to Manchester Crown Court


On Tuesday 4th December our year 12 BTEC Applied Law students visited Manchester Crown Court to observe a trial .


There are a number of court rooms and students were split into small groups of 3 or 4 to sit in the public gallery during a trial.  It is an excellent opportunity to experience the legal system first hand and to see the operation of the rules that students have been studying in a real case.


The students were fascinated with the process and can really relate this ‘real world’ encounter to enhance their classroom learning.



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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