Birchwood Update 11/3/2019


Birchwood Update week Commencing 11/3/2019


Important dates for your diary:


11 March 14 March - Year 11 Core Mock Exams


15 MarchComic Relief Non Uniform Day


18 March, 6-7pm in M1Year 8 meeting for parents of those attending the upcoming French trip


20 - 22 MarchYear 7 residential trip to Menai


25 – 27 MarchYear 13 mocks


28 – 31 March - Year 8 Residential trip to France


4 April Year 7 Performance Review Evening


14 June Year 11’s last day in school. See Year 11 section below for more details


4 JulyYear 11 Prom at Hallmark Warrington


Our first whole school Careers Fair was a huge success


Last week saw a new event in the BCHS calendar as we held our very first whole school Careers fair.


The college was our venue and the whole of the ground floor was filled with exhibitors from a variety of businesses and further and higher education providers.


Representatives were present from major universities and colleges included Birchwood College, Myerscough College and Reaseheath College. Representatives from the NHS, Navy, Army and RAF and businesses from fields such as engineering and science, beauty, hospitality and service industries.


Learners also got the opportunity to speak to a number of inspiring apprentices to really get a feel for this career path.


All year groups from Year 7 to Year 13 attended the fair. The aim was to highlight the links between education and employment, to raise learners’ motivation to succeed in school, and take part in extra-curricular activities and work experience throughout learners’ school and college life.


Prior to visiting the fair, learners were involved in activities about career paths available top them. They were provided with a list of exhibitors so that they could look at areas which may be of interest and prepare some questions that they may like to ask about particular paths.


Feedback from our learners was really positive. They really felt that the fair showcased the range of options that are available to them after Year 11 and beyond, giving them a positive focus and a real goal to work toward.


Feedback was also excellent from our visitors, who found that our learners were well prepared for the day, asked some good questions and were positive regarding their aims for the future.


One exhibitor said, “This full school careers day is a fine example of a school providing their students with lots of opportunities from a range of providers! I had lots of meaningful conversations with young people inspired by engineering and STEM subjects. Well done BCHS.”


A huge thanks must go to all our exhibitors for taking time out of their working day to visit us and also to Mrs Morris, our school Careers Advisor for all her hard work and planning to make the day possible. This event will definitely be a permanent fixture in our school calendar going forward.




British Science Week is causing a buzz in our school

This week is British Science Week and our science department have been busy planning some really exciting lessons for Years 7, 8 and 9 learners to take part in this week.


Year 7 will be conducting experiments on absorbance of different materials as they design a space nappy! When astronauts do a spacewalk, outside the shuttle, they’re often outside for up to 7 hours at a time. This means they have to wear a specially designed ‘space nappy’ whilst they are outside.


The Year 8 topic is ‘What elements are in an asteroid?. They will learn to identify elements using a flame test.


Year 9 will learn about rockets, and how they work, which is a fun outdoor activity. Let’s hope that the good weather returns.


All year groups will take part in a team building activity where they will be challenged to build the very best communication tower to hold a NASA satellite from paper, card, sellotape and paperclips!


Learners will have a great time while learning a lot about science. Thank you to Miss Johnson and the science department for all their planning and hard




Please support us in ensuring that our facilities are the best they can be


Last week we emailed a letter to all parents and carers with regard to our rules regarding learners being on the school site outside school hours.


Some damage has been caused to the site and a learner has been hurt trying to climb over the fencing. I would like to remind you that learners are not allowed on the school site at any time unless they are with a member of staff. The rule about this is below:  


Unless there is a member of staff running a special extra-curricular activity, the school site is out of bounds for all learners on weekdays after school clubs have finished (usually after 4.30pm) and at weekends and during school holidays. 


Please support us by making you child aware of this rule so that our facilities are the best they can be for us to use in school time and for the community to book and use out of school hours.


Thank you for your support in this matter. A full copy of the letter can be found here

A date for your diary - Comic Relief Day, 15 March


On Friday 15 March we will be fundraising with the nation as we join in with Comic Relief Day. Learners will be invited to wear their own clothes for a donation of £1. The money collected with be divided between the Comic Relief charity, Cancer Research UK and Alzheimer’s Research UK.


Our Learner Officers will also be organising a cake sale to take place on the day, so if you are a keen baker and would like to support us by sending in some cakes, they will be gratefully received.



Keeping your child safe


As the weather gets better and the evening are lighter, young people are out and about more to meet friends. So this week we ask you to consider road safety.


Road incidents are a major cause of injury and death for young people in Great Britain. The transition between primary and secondary school is a significant factor in child pedestrian casualties as children often begin to walk to school unassisted and have to negotiate unfamiliar routes. Combined with the risk taking tendencies, adolescents between the ages of 12-16 year olds are consequently one of the most vulnerable groups of road users accounting for 51% of all child (0-16 years) road casualties.


For great advice on how you can help keep your child safe see here


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.



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 4/3/19


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



Year 7 


Year 7 get a head start on Science week

Science Week kicked off early for year 7 with a science trip last week to the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. The learners were enthusiastic and took part in all the interactive activities, pushing their inquisitive minds to ask questions about how the world works. The learners showed some excellent competitive spirit on an information hunt with the top prize being 5 BIRCH points per person. The day was an amazing success and Mr Berry and Miss Johnson felt very proud of our learners.





Year 7 Performance Review Evening Thursday 4 April 3.30pm – 7.00pm


This event gives you the opportunity to speak with your child’s subject staff to discuss progress and achievement at a vital stage in their school life.


Your child will be bringing home a letter shortly with regard to booking an appointment for this valuable event, and we hope to see you all on the evening.


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.

Year 8 


Year 8 French Language Cultural Tour, Normandy, Thursday 28 to Sunday 31 March 2019


As the year 8 France residential approaches, we invite parents and carers to a short meeting which will take place on Monday 18  March from 6-7pm in the M1.


This meeting will give you the opportunity to meet with some of the members of staff that will be accompanying learners on the trip as well as discussing the following points;

  • Preparing your child for a trip abroad

  • Behaviour expectations

  • Itinerary

  • Accommodation

This meeting will also give you the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have about the trip.


For a copy of the letter inviting you to this event see here

Year 9 


Year 9 Vaccinations


Thank you to those of you who have returned the forms for your child to receive DTP and Meningitis ACWY vaccinations . If you still have the form for your child please return it to the school office as soon as possible. Vaccinations will take place for boys and girls on the mornings of Tuesday 2 April  and Wednesday 3 April.


Year 10 - No specific information

Year 11 


Year 11 Core Mock Exams, Monday 11 March – Thursday 14 March


Year 11 learners are rapidly approaching their GCSE exams, and to support their preparation further we have arranged mock exams in the core subjects, English, Maths and Science.  These exams will be completed under exam conditions; are a good test to measure how much progress learners have made, and will support them with their revision planning during the build up to the final GCSE exams. The timetable for these exams is here. Prior to these exams however, learners will receive individual timetables which detail the rooms they have been allocated for each exam and their seat numbers.

Year 11 Leaver’s Prom, Thursday 4 July 2019

We do hope that your child will join us for what will be a fantastic final celebration of their time at BCHS.


The Prom will be at the Hallmark Hotel (formerly the Fir Grove) on Thursday 4 July. Learners will enjoy a mocktail on arrival, a three-course meal and then a disco. Return travel by coach from school is included in the price. There will be a professional photographer present during the evening who is offering an optional prepaid value package so that you have a special memento of the evening. We are also offering the chance to purchase a BCHS keepsake printed hoodie


For full details and how to order, you can find a copy of the Prom letter, which has been given to your child here.



A date for your Diary.Year 11 last day in school, Friday 14 June 2019


For your information, the last day that your child will be in school is Friday 14 June. On that day there will be a science examination in the morning followed by our Leavers Celebration Assembly.


Please be aware however, that there are still 2 GCSE examinations after this date - German on 17 June and Polish on 19 June.


More details will be sent out nearer the time.

2019 Examinations


A full timetable of all summer examinations has been released and can be found on our website here


Results days 2019


A level/BTEC - Thursday 15 August 2019


GCSE/BTEC – Thursday 22 August 2019


More details will follow with regard to collecting your child’s results nearer the date.

Birchwood College 


2019 Examinations


A full timetable of all summer examinations has been released and can be found on our website here


Results days 2019


A level/BTEC - Thursday 15 August 2019


GCSE/BTEC – Thursday 22 August 2019


More details will follow with regard to collecting your child’s results nearer the date.


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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