Birchwood Update 21/1/2019

Birchwood Update week Commencing 21/1/2019


An Important notice regarding early closure on Tuesday 5 February.


Please be aware that school will finish one hour early on Tuesday 5 February for an additional staff training session. Learners will be registered and dismissed at 2pm so please ensure that you have made appropriate arrangements for your child. Thank you for your support and I am sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause.

Niamh takes the opportunity to thank Alder Hey Hospital for their care and kindness



We are extremely proud of Niamh in 7ME who has been working hard to support a charity, which is literally close to her Heart, raising £170 to support Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.


 Niamh who was diagnosed at two years of age with a hole in her heart has spent a lot of the time over the years at the hospital, having three major operations to help with the condition and always found the staff there brilliant. Though no one likes to be in hospital Niamh soon realised what an



amazing job the staff do there and now she is feeling better wanted to show her thanks and appreciation for all their care and hard work.


Niamh raise money for the hospital in a number of ways. She collected unwanted books from family and friends and with the help of her Nan held book sales; she also made more than 60 keyrings, which she sold through a local shop.


After raising the money, Niamh decided to donate half to the Cardiology department who cared for her so well and the other half to the Intensive Care department as she was touched by the story of little Alfie Evans who sadly passed away at Alder Hey last year.


Niamh said, “It was hard work raising the money but Alder Hey are brill and I’m really proud that I could do a bit to help them after they helped me.”


Well done Niamh, you really are a star.







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.





Keeping your child safe


This week in our safeguarding advice, we look 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.

 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

Learners of the Week - wc 14/1/19


Well done to the learners below who were selected as 'Learners of the Week' by the English, languages and science departments





Year 7 



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 Guided Choices Evening, Thursday 31 January, 5.30-7.30pm


Your child has brought home a letter inviting you to our Year 8 Guided Choices Evening.

A copy of the letter can be found here


As this is an important time in your child’s educational journey. We aim to support both your child and yourselves to make well-informed choices about which subjects they will choose to study at Key Stage 4.


The evening gives you the opportunity to speak to subject staff about the courses on offer as options. There will be a short talk covering the choices process and pathways on to which your child can opt.


We aim to provide the correct option pathway that best suits your child and with your help and support I am sure that we can work together to succeed.


We look forward to seeing you all on Thursday 31 January

Year 9 


Daniel, Lucy and Evelyne from Year 9 share their views on disability in education.


On Wednesday 16 January, Lucy, Daniel and Evelyne in Year 9 took part in the district heats for the Rotary ‘Youth Speaks’ annual competition, held at Statham Lodge Hotel.


The group, along with Miss Fogg and Miss Evans, prepared their speeches for several months to get ready for this prestigious event. Their chosen topic was ‘Disability in Education’. The group delivered a powerful and informative speech but were just pipped to the post by Culcheth High School, who were well deserved winners of the intermediate grouping.


The team did not completely lose out though. They made great friends with the two teams from Whalley Range Girl’s High School in Manchester and it was lovely to see the learners all cheering each other on!


The Youth Speaks after-school club will be running again from September.


An inspirational start to the Inspiration Programme!


Twenty learners from Year 9 had a fabulous first session of the Inspiration Programme with motivational speaker David Hyner, a quite literally ‘larger than life’ character who engaged our learners for three hours with his positivity and toe curling magic tricks! The session was FUN, challenging, and interactive, helping learners to develop skills and confidence to set MASSIVE goals.


In February, the learners will go to a team-building workshop and take part in an enterprise day as part of the programme. David and his team commented, how well behaved and positive our learners were and we are sure that by taking part the learners are building up essential skills and the motivation to succeed in their exams and beyond.


All Year 9 will be learning more about goals and career planning during Learning4Life after half term and have access to our Careers Adviser Mrs Morris who is in school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays if they wish to discuss their individual plans."





Year 10 - No specific information

Year 11 - Dates for your diary


Tomorrow, Tuesday, 22 January, we have our school photographer on site to photograph year 11. There will be a whole year shot for school and individual shots. Learners will also have the opportunity to organise their own friendship group shot with the photographers.

Year 11 Performance Review Evening – Wednesday 13 February, 3.30pm – 7pm in Birchwood College (PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF DATE)


We hope that you will join us for this valuable event, which gives you the opportunity to speak with your our staff to discuss progress and achievement at a vital stage in your child’s school life. Please book via our online booking system for parents’ evenings.


A letter with details about booking your appointment has been sent out with learners and can be found here


As well as our own Birchwood College, we have invited some other local colleges, universities and apprenticeship providers to this Evening to share information about pathways, opportunities and qualifications after year 11 and beyond. Warrington Youth Club will also be present to talk about the National Citizen Service. Hopefully you will get chance to visit these organisations during the evening. Our Careers Adviser, Mrs Morris will also be available to offer careers advice and guidance.



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 



A positive evening for Birchwood College


Thank you to staff, students and visitors who made our College Open Evening, last Thursday, such a success. There was a positive buzz around the college as our students and staff assisted visitors in finding the right course for them. As well as our own learners we had visitors from Culcheth High School, Kings Leadership Academy, Beamont Collegiate Academy and Lowton High School who were all warmly welcomed.


If you have not yet filled in your application form for college, please do so as soon as possible. The deadline for applications to be submitted is Friday 15 February. Learners will still be able to hand in an application after this date, but we cannot guarantee that they will gain a place on the course of their choice.


If you have, any queries do not hesitate to contact Mr Burrows, Head of College at




Dates for your diary


Tomorrow, Tuesday 22 January, Year 13 will be having their final official leavers’ photos taken. There will be a whole year shot and individual shots. Learners will also have the opportunity to organise their own friendship group shot with the photographers.

Year 12 and Year 13 Performance Review Evening Thursday 7 February, 4pm - 7pm


We do hope that you will join us for our Year 12 and 13 Performance Review Evening. This event gives you the opportunity to speak with subject staff to discuss student progress and achievement at a vital stage in their college life. 


For Information on how to book your appointment see 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.


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