Birchwood Update 4/2/2019

Birchwood Update week Commencing 4/2/2019


Important dates for your diary:



5 February – School closes to learners at 2pm, see below.


7 February – Year 12 and 13 Performance Review Evening, 4pm – 7pm, see our Birchwood College section for more details.


11 February – Year 11 and 13 Photography orders must be returned to the office with payment by this date.


13 February - Year 11 Performance Review Evening, 3.30pm – 7pm in Birchwood College (PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF DATE) for more details, see our Year 8 section.


28 February – Year 10 Performance Review Evening, 3.30 – 7pm.


1 March – Year 8 Options choices are to be handed to the office.

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.

3G Pitch Update


We are delighted to announce that our brand new 3G pitch will be up and running straight after February half term. We plan to make the most of this state of the art facility for our whole community. We will be using it for PE lessons, as part of our extra-curricular timetable, and it will also be available to the local community to rent in the evenings and at weekends. Please contact School Lettings Solutions on or telephone 01925 541 441 for more details.


We are grateful to everyone who has supported the development of our new 3G pitch. The FA and Premier League for their generous support of this project. Birchwood Town Council for their support for our bid and, of course, our partner clubs Birchwood Juniors FC and Woolston Rovers FC who will have a new home for training and match days.


Success in the Junior North West Indoor Rowing Competition


Last Wednesday a number of Year 8 and Year 10 learners, members of the Oarsome rowing project, took part in the Junior North West Indoor Rowing Competition against six other Warrington schools: Beamont, Cardinal Newman, Penketh High School, Culcheth High School, Padgate Academy, Sir Thomas Boteler and Bridgewater High.

In the individual heats for both boys and girls, contenders had to row against each other for 3 minutes on rowing machines. The top 3 winning girls and boys will be invited to London on 15th March to compete in this year's National Junior Indoor Rowing Competition (NJIRC)

We are delighted to announce that Amy in 8RT achieved first place in the girl’s race and Evan in 8BC took 2nd place in the boy’s race so both learners will be representing us down in London in the finals.


There was also a relay event for both boys and girls. The Birchwood girls’ team: Amy, Hannah, Melanie and Sarah-Lea shone again coming second and receiving silver medals.


Kaydi and Esther in year 10 also represented us in the older age group races (college students level), and  held their own despite fierce competition from much older contenders; Kaydi coming third in her individual race.

Well done to everyone who took part, all your weeks of hard training and dedication are really paying off and of course good luck to Amy and Evan who will represent us in London we know that they will do us proud!




Well done to members of our ‘Teens & Toddler’ group on passing their qualification


Last Tuesday Tracey and Kaine from the charity Teens & Toddlers, visited us to give out some well-deserved certificates to members of our ‘Teens & Toddlers’ group who have successfully passed their Level 1 qualification in Interpersonal Skills.


Since September Scott, Caitlyn, Leah, Leyna and Olivia from Year 10 have been taking part weekly in a joint mentoring initiative with both Teens & Toddlers and the local nursery Busy 0-5s.


Our learners were paired with a nursery child and were tasked with mentoring the child through play.  Our learners made some lovely connections with the small children who really looked forward to seeing their ‘big’ helper and role model.


Leyna in particular benefitted from the opportunity as both her and her little mentee lacked confidence at the start of the process, but toward the end both saw their confidence grow and really enjoyed spending quality time together reading and playing.


Of the certificate presentation Tracey said “The dedication from the ‘teens’ at BCHS, both in the nursery and in the classroom environment has really shone through. I am proud to be handing them their qualifications today. Very well done to each and every one of them.”





Poppy is called up again to represent her country.


It is with great pride that we tell you about the continued success of Poppy in Year 11 who has been selected again this year by the women’s under 16 football squad to play in the UEFA Development Tournament between 15 and 21 February, at Loughborough University.


The team will play three games against France, Italy and Spain alongside training and a full education package to compensate for education missed during the academic year.


Poppy is delighted and excited to be called up, as she loved the experience last year.


Congratulations Poppy, we are so proud and wish you every success with the games.



Planning for your future and setting goals. It’s never too early.


At Birchwood, we firmly believe that success comes through careful thought and planning and to support this on Wednesday 6 March we will be holding a Careers Fair in school for years 7 to 13.


The aim is to raise awareness of education and training opportunities and the vast range of jobs and careers available to our learners.

As well as our own College, with our last set of results being our best ever and our applied qualifications attaining significantly above the national average, we have invited other local colleges, universities and companies who offer apprenticeships to come along and have a stand.


Please encourage your child to make the best of this opportunity by talking to as many exhibitors as possible because it is never too early to think about a possible career path and putting yourself ahead of the competition.


If you are a parent or carer and work for an organisation which would like to be represented then please get in touch with our Careers Adviser Mrs R Morris  at


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


In this week’s safeguarding update, we are looking at self-harm. This can take many forms, which can include cutting, burning, bruising, scratching, hair-pulling, poisoning and overdosing. There are many reasons why children and young people try to hurt themselves and once they start, it can become a compulsion. So it is important to spot it as soon as possible and do everything you can to help. If you suspect that your child may be self-harming, please speak to us in school. The NSPCC also have advice on their website here, that you may find useful.




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 28/1/19


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

Please note that the final payment for this trip is due on 28 February 2019

Year 8 


Year 8 Guided Choices Evening


Thank you to everyone who came to our Year 8 Guided Choices Evening last Thursday. Feedback from parents, carers and learners was excellent, with everyone finding the evening extremely helpful and informative Following this event, your child will need to make their final choices and hand their choices form in to the main office by 1 March


A copy of Guided Choices Evening presentation can be found on our web site here

Year 9 - No specific information


Year 10 


An Important message from the English Department for Year 10 Parents/carers


At the start of this academic year, we were considering our Year 10 learners taking their GCSE English Literature exam in the May 2019. In order for us to review whether this was the best decision for our Year 10 learners, they all sat a Mock exam in December 2018. After closely analysing the learner responses and mock exam data, we feel that an additional year would support our learners to develop a more analytical approach to the literature texts and develop a more advanced style in their writing. This means that they will be sitting their GCSE English Literature alongside their other exams at the end of Year 11.    


You will have an opportunity to discuss your child’s progress with their teacher at the Year 10 Performance Review Evening on Thursday 28 February 2019. In the meantime, should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to email the Head of English, Mrs Emma Dempsey with your questions. 


Please find the letter here, which outlines our decision in more detail.

Year 10 Performance Review Evening, 28 February, 3.30 – 7pm.


This event gives you the opportunity to speak with your child’s subject staff to discuss progress and achievement at an important stage in their school life. Your child will be bringing home a letter soon with regard to booking an appointment for this valuable event.



Year 11 


Year 11 Photographs


Proofs will be distributed to learners this week via form boxes. Orders should be returned to school by 11 February at the latest in readiness for collection by the photographer on the 12 February. If your child took part in the friendship group photos, please ask them to collect their proof from the School Office as soon as possible in order to get their orders in by 10 February.

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 


Year 13 Photographs


Proofs will be distributed to learners this week via form boxes. Orders should be returned to school by 11 February at the latest in readiness for collection by the photographer on the 12 February. If your child took part in the friendship group photos, please ask them to collect their proof from the School Office as soon as possible in order to get their orders in by 10 February.

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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