Birchwood Update 25/3/2019


Birchwood Update week Commencing 25/3/2019


Important dates for your diary:



25 – 27 MarchYear 13 mocks


28 – 31 March - Year 8 Residential trip to France


4 April Year 7 Performance Review Evening


21 May – KS3 show – Matilda, 7pm, Performing Arts Centre


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


4 JulyYear 11 Prom at Hallmark Warrington


A trip to remember for Year 7


Memories were made last week as many of our Year 7s took their first residential trip with BCHS, to The Conway centre at Menai in Anglesey.


 The learners were so excited to be setting out early on Wednesday morning in lovely warm sunshine and thankfully they arrived to the same amount of sunshine on the beautiful coastline venue, ready for some real adventures.


Whilst at the centre, learners had the chance to try a huge selection of activities including indoor and outdoor rock climbing, mountain biking and water sports such as canoeing and kayaking. Learners also worked in teams to build their own rafts and check how sea worthy they were!


Some learners conquered their fear of heights when they climbed to the top of the high ropes.


Though they were tired out by the daytime activities, learners still found the energy to enter that evening’s Conway Centre talent show. On their second night, learners put on their dancing shoes and danced the evening away at a disco.


Learners and staff had a fantastic time and everyone said that they would love to go back and do it all again.



Fun for those still at school


For learners not able to attend the residential, life was still fun as on Wednesday they took part in a Media taster day. Learners had the opportunity to produce moving image, audio and printed pieces of work.


Learners took video recorders around school to write, film and edit a promotional video about our school. Their second task was to make a radio broadcast on ‘How to survive Year 7’ and as if that wasn’t enough they were also asked to design a cover for a BCHS magazine.

There was certainly enough different tasks there to suit everyone’s interests and abilities though I do think the most popular part of the day was running around the site in the sunshine filming and photographing!


On Friday during their science lesson learners also had fun and lots of sugar as they looked at DNA and made a sample double helix from sweets.



We welcome dignitaries on Friday to officially open our 3G artificial grass pitch


On Friday the red carpet will be out as we welcome dignitaries to the official opening of our third generation artificial grass pitch.


The visiting party will include representatives from the Football Association, The Football Foundation, Warrington Borough Council and Birchwood Town Council, representatives from our partner clubs, Birchwood Juniors FC and Woolston Rovers FC, and our very own James Chester, an ex-learner who plays for Aston Villa and Wales.

Important Information for parents regarding behavioural changes to our after school detention and On Track policy


Learners have been informed that starting from today, Tuesday 19 March there will be some changes to policy.

  1. After school detentions will now be given 24 hours notice, enabling parents to plan ahead and fit with busy home schedules. The detention will take place in M13.

  2. On Track will now start at 8.45am and finish at 4pm.

 As ever, we thank you for working together with us on these changes.

Foodbank Friday


In our continued commitment to support the Warrington Foodbank, helping them provide for those in need in the Warrington Community, we are asking you to look through your cupboards or add a couple of extra items to your food shop this week and send them into school for Foodbank Friday.


All items will be gratefully received. A list of items urgently needed is below.


Keeping your child safe


Last week, Year 11 took part in a mental health workshop to give them some coping strategies to help with their rapidly approaching GCSEs (see the Year 11 section of this update).


Stress and anxiety however doesn’t just affect year 11 and is not just at examination time. It can affect anyone at any time. There is some great advice for young people on the BBC1 website, which explains the differences between stress and anxiety, how identify the symptoms, and what to do about them. The advice is aimed specifically at young people and can be found 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 4/3/19


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





Year 7 



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 should have brought home a letter regarding booking an appointment, which you can also find here.  We hope to see you all on the evening.

Year 8

Bon voyage Year 8


On Thursday learners from Year 8 will be setting off by coach for a fun packed trip to Normandy in France. They will be leaving school early to head down to Folkestone to catch the ferry to Calais and  then on to their home for their stay, the beautiful Chateau du Molay.


Whilst away learners will get the chance to use their language skills at a series of visits and fun activities.


Have a fabulous time Year 8 and we look forward to hearing all about it on your return.

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 have the opportunity to consider their state of mind


In their assembly last week, Year 11 had a mental fitness workshop with the charity ‘State of Mind’ which was founded in 2011 after the tragic suicide of the rugby player Terry Newton after a period of severe depression.


Ian and Will, who presented the workshop, stressed to learners that mental health is as important as physical health, but much more difficult to express and diagnose. And that good mental health will automatically lead to your own level of peak performance.


Learners looked at wellbeing, heathy mind and body, and helping a mate, obviously with a slant toward upcoming examination stress.


Top tips for coping with exam stress were:

  • Do something you enjoy.

  • Get active

  • Talk about how you feel. Don’t bottle it up.

  • Ask for help.

  • Keep in touch with friends.

  • Take a break when the pressure is on.

  • Pick a positive moment from each day


And above all accept who YOU are and try to be the best version of yourself.



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:


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


Please be aware of 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. We 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



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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