Birchwood Update 29/4/2019


Birchwood Update week Commencing 29/4/2019



Important dates for your diary:


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


13 JuneYear 12 Which Way Now event


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


Week of 17 June Years 7 -10 Examination week


27 June Year 9 Performance Review Evening, 3.30pm – 7pm


28 June Inset Day (Warrington Walking day)


4 JulyYear 11 Prom at Hallmark Warrington


A caring gesture to remember a dear friend


There are many time at Birchwood that we are proud of our learners , but that was certainly true last Wednesday as 12 of our year 10 learners showed real care and respect as they remembered a dear friend on what would have been her fifteenth birthday.


The girls, and in particular Leyna and Ashleigh, were close friends with Jessica Scatterson from Dallam who unfortunately took her own life just before her thirteenth birthday in April 2017.


The girls who still dearly miss their best friend wanted to make a gesture to show that Jessica is still in their thoughts on a daily basis so decided to wear pink and white flowers and ribbons, Jessica’s favourite colours, and release some balloons in memory of their friend on a special day.


The girls were touched and saddened, particularly at the release of the balloons but they also gained a real sense of peace seeing the balloons fly away so high on the bright, sunny morning.


The girls hope that Jessica’s family may gain some comfort from the fact that Jessica is still very much alive in their thoughts. Well done girls for being so respectful and committed to their friendship.



Keeping your child safe

Social media plays a huge role in most young people’s lives, and over the next few updates we will look at the most popular social networks that young people use. We hope the resources will support you to keep your child safe in today’s digital world.




Snapchat is a picture-sharing app that is hugely popular with young people. The app attracts an amazing 166 million users each day and focuses on capturing ‘moments’ quickly with users taking images and videos and sending them instantly.


The unique feature of Snapchat is that images disappear within seconds of being viewed. Snapchat users can specify how many seconds they would like their images to be seen by the recipient. This can range from 1 to 10 seconds. Snapchat also has a location sharing feature called Snap Map.  This feature has prompted some concern from parents and professionals working with children as it allows a person’s exact location to be shared with others who do not have to be their friends.


Thinkuknow is a programme developed by CEOP to help young people understand the functions and features of Snapchat and ways to help young people stay safe while using it. The guide can be found here



The BCHS Junior Journalist Club present their findings


To develop links with our local primary schools and help ensure a smooth transition to high 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.


A huge well done to members of our Year 5 Junior Journalist Club who have been interviewing staff and investigating all aspects of our school over the last 6 weeks.


Last Wednesday they presented their findings to a packed audience. The children produced some really impressive PowerPoints which they delivered very confidently.


The club was a real success with great feedback from both the children and their parents and carers.  The children commented that Birchwood was a welcoming place and that the teachers were very kind and helpful. Parents commented that their children had really benefited from attending the club and that the work that the children had done whilst at club reflected well on the school and teaching here.


Our next club in June will be the Coding for Kids Club. Letters and application forms will be with primary schools in the next few weeks.


Parent Governor Election


Have you ever thought about becoming a school governor? We have a vacancy on the board of governors for a parent governor. As a governor you can bring your personal knowledge and experience to support our school to improve and succeed.

Parent governors need to have parental responsibility for a child registered at our school. If you are interested please complete the form and return it to the school office by Friday 10 May 2019.


A copy of the form 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


Well done to the learners below who were selected Learners of the Week for last week by our languages, science and English department.





Year 8 


Year 8 Girls HPV vaccination


Today, all girls in Year 8 will receive a permission slip in their form box for the HPV vaccinations that will take place in school in June. Can you please check that your child has handed this to you and please read and return your permission for your child to receive the vaccination immediately please.

The documents can also be found here


More details regarding the date for vaccination will follow shortly.


Year 9 - no specific information

Year 10 - No specific information

Year 11 

Looking to the Future and next steps for Year 11


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

If your child is considering the apprenticeship route please be aware that many apprenticeships are now being advertised for school leavers on the site, Find an apprenticeship, which can be found here



Also Waterside Training are advertising available apprenticeships in engineering and manufacturing, details of which can be found here.





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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