Birchwood Update 25/2/2019


Birchwood Update week Commencing 25/2/2019


Important dates for your diary:



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


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


6 March BCHS Careers Fair for all year groups


11 March 14 March - Year 11 Core Mock Exams


20 - 22 MarchYear 7 residential trip to Menai


Looking forward to welcoming the Juniors Journalists


To develop links with Year 5 in our local primaries and help ensure a smooth transition to our school when the time comes, BCHS offers a series of after school clubs where Year 5 children get the opportunity to come to our school, meet our staff and pupils from other schools, try some activities and have fun.


On Wednesday we will be welcoming 25 children to join us each Wednesday to investigate and write a newsletter about our school. The BCHS Junior Journalist club will see members interviewing staff, including our Headteacher. Talking to our learners, from Year 7 to the Head Boy and Head Girl, and finding out about our brilliant reward system and our expectations of behaviour in school.


Our last club, the Whizz, Bang Science Club, finished just before the holidays with a lovely parental celebration, which saw more than forty parents visiting school to see what their children had been learning about in biology, chemistry and physics.

The feedback from parents about their child’s experience at the club confirmed the clubs really are valuable for transition.


“The experience my daughter has had has been great. She’s come home each afternoon and taught the whole family something new about science.”


“It has been good to see how the staff are with the children and how they are happy with the club.”


“It has been great for my child to have an insight into Birchwood before we have to apply for a place next October.”


“It was a great opportunity to understand the school’s capabilities. Thank you.”


“My son cannot wait to start high school; he gets very excited coming to these clubs.”


Our next clubs will be a computer coding club, and languages club, which will follow later in the year. For more information contact



Learners spend half term out and about in Europe enjoying residential trips.


The Year 11 Media trip to Prague set off on Thursday 14 February. They had a very varied itinerary, combining both sightseeing around and about the city on their first day. On day 2, they visited the Barrandov Film Studios and Czech Radio to see why Prague is becoming so important in the Media world. Day 3 took in the Jewish Cemetery, Prague Castle and a unique trip to the Black Light Theatre.



Our annual ski trip set of at lunchtime on the Friday before half term for their mammoth coach journey to Austria and the snow, arriving at teatime the following day.

Day 1 saw some gentle skiing on the beginner slopes followed by time to relax at the hotel in the evening. Day 2, some groups made their way up the mountain and the evening got competitive in the hotel games room with Mr Cowdell winning the pool tournament.


For days 3 and 4, we travelled to a different resort (Zauchensee) where we had new slopes to play on and clear blue skies. The evenings were also action packed with a trip to the lucky flitzer a mountain rollercoaster and to a local pool to go on the slides and the wave pool.


Day 5, we skied in Flachua. An area that previous trips have used many times. Then back to the hotel for tea then back on the bus to travel home. Arriving back at school on Friday for a well-earned weekend of rest!


Learners’ behaviour was impeccable and Mr Neil and the other staff would like to thank all the kids for representing the school so well.

Thanks must also go all our dedicated staff who make these trips possible.






Poppy is a credit to England and Birchwood


Just before half term, we reported that Poppy in Year 11 had been selected by the England women’s under 16 football squad to play in the UEFA Development Tournament at Loughborough University.


The team played three games against France, Italy and Spain alongside training with the England coaches.


Poppy had a fantastic time and was proud to represent her country and pleased with her performance and the outcome of the games. The girl’s beat Italy 3 -1 and drew with both France and Spain.


This weekend Poppy will play for Manchester United in the FA Semi-Final in London, against Chelsea.


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

3G Pitch Update


On the subject of football, we are delighted to announce that our brand new 3G pitch is now up and running. 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 and the pitch will be open at lunchtime for learner’s use, so if your children have moulded stud boots encourage them to bring them in, to really get the best out of this fantastic resource.  


The pitch will is also 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.





Fair trade fortnight is back


The ever-popular fair trade tuck shop is back! It will be outside the college entrance at break time until Friday 8 March!

There will be ethically produced treats such as chocolate, cereal bars, juice and other fair trade items available.

Erika picks up a top prize


Very well done to Erika Strong in 10WG who was the winner of our golden ticket for reward points awarded during last half term. Her prize was a HD tablet!


Congratulations Erika and keep up the good work.

The Red Box Project arrives at Birchwood


We are proud to announce that we are being supported by the Red Box Project, which provides free sanitary protection for girls who need it.

Last year, our learners and college students took part in the British Youth Council’s ‘Make Your mark’ vote, which highlights issues that Young people in Britain are most concerned about. One of the issues that our community voted for was ending period poverty by scrapping taxes on sanitary products.


The Red Box Project was founded in March 2017 by three friends who wanted to give young people in their local area access to sanitary products. After reading about ‘Period Poverty‘ in the news, they were angered at the idea that young women were missing out on their education because they couldn’t afford the products they needed during their period.


The Red Boxes are found in each Year Team office, the main office, Mrs Jenkinson’s office and the College. Learners can go to any of these and get free sanitary protection when they need it.


For more information about the Red Box Project see here



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.


We are looking forward to welcoming representatives from: Chester University, Edge Hill University, Manchester Metropolitan University, UA92, Gleeds, Balfour Beatty, NHS, the Army, Navy and RAF, White Rose Beauty College, Warrington Vale Royal College, UTC, Myerscough College, Reaseheath College, Ask Apprenticeships, Warrington Youth Club, Sellafield, Wood Plc, Park Royal Hotels, Bam Nuttall, Everton Football College, Simian Risk, Jacobs, Bridgewater Health Care and Morrisons supermarkets plc.


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



Last week we looked at suicidal thoughts in young people following the press coverage of the death of Molly Russell at just 14 years of age. As well as looking at suicide sites Molly was accessing photos of self-harm. Self-harm is not usually a suicide attempt or a cry for attention. It is often a way for young people to try to cope with and release overwhelming emotions. It should always be taken seriously. For advice on why young people self-harm and what to do if you see signs of it in your own child see the link to the NSPCC site 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 11/2/19


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






Year 7 


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


Before we know it, Year 7 will be setting off on their first residential visit with BCHS. To make things easier for parents and answer all those questions that you may have, we have prepared a booklet outlining everything that you need to know to prepare for the trip. A copy has been sent home with your child and a copy can be found here.


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

Year 8 


Important reminder


Please be aware that the Year 8 Options choices form must be handed in to the office by this Thursday 28 February.


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

Year 9 - No specific information


Year 10 



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. A letter can be found here with regard to booking an appointment for this valuable event.




Year 11 


Kittle official leavers photographs


The leavers photos of years 11 and 13 which you ordered before half term will be sent home tomorrow via your child’s form box.


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 


Our students raise £60 for Mind


Well done to our Year 12 Work Skills class who really worked as a team to raise £60 for the mental health charity Mind.


The students held a Valentine’s day bake sale at break time which was a real success, the cakes being snapped up almost immediately. A huge thank you also goes to Mr Neil who baked a fantastic romantic, large cake which was raffled. Jamie pollard in 11KO was the lucky winner of the cake I’m sure he really enjoyed it!


Kittle official leavers photographs


The leavers photos of years 11 and 13 which you ordered before half term will be sent home tomorrow via your child’s form box.

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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