Birchwood Update 17/6/2019


Birchwood Update week Commencing 17/6/2019



Important dates for your diary:


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)


1 & 2 July – Year 6 Induction days at BCHS


2 July - Year 6 Induction Evening, 4.30pm – 7pm


3 JulySports Day


4 JulyYear 11 Prom at Hallmark Warrington


4 JulyYear 10 Taster Day at Birchwood College


9 JulyYear 7 Celebration Evening, 6.30 – 7.30pm


11 July - Year 8 Celebration Evening, 6.30 – 7.30pm


16 July - Year 9 Celebration Evening, 6.30 – 7.30pm


17 JulyKS3 show – Matilda, 7pm, Performing Arts Centre. 


18 July - Year 10 Celebration Evening, 6.30 – 7.30pm

BCHS is amongst 3% of the best eco- friendly schools in the country


Well done to our Eco-committee who met with an external Eco inspector last week to assess how eco-friendly our school is.


After a tour of the school from Pedro Santos and Luke Richardson showcasing our eco-projects, the whole Eco-committee gave a presentation about their achievements this past year. The inspector then asked some questions and was really impressed with the answers the committee gave. He thought our learners showed excellent commitment, leadership and passion towards the eco-schools project and as a result we have been awarded the Green Flag Award, which is the highest award which only 3% of schools hold. 

What wonderful progress in such a short amount of time.






Tears and laughter as Year 11 officially leave us


Last Friday our Year 11 had a fantastic time at their leavers’ celebration. After their physics exam, they had time with their form tutors for gifts and goodbyes, and then it was the all-important brunch and shirt signing session. It was amazing, the trouble that our learners had gone to, in preparing their shirts with glitter and other decorations.


The assembly was fantastic, a real celebration of their time at Birchwood and their many talents.

There were the ‘Dafta’ awards for both staff and learners, including the Cheeky Chappy, Little Miss Sunshine and Future Prime Minister awards.


It was a fantastic celebration, which brought a tear to the eye. Thank you to Ms Gilchrist and the year team for your hard work in making an occasion to remember.


We will miss you Year 11 but look forward to celebrating with you on results day.


Pride in our staff too!


Every week we share good news stories about our learners but we are also proud of our teachers’ achievements, particularly when their passion enables them to meet VIPs.


Mr Ben Coulson, music teacher at BCHS really does have a passion for his subject, not only teaching here but also playing in a renowned brass band and just lately doing lots of work as a musical director.


His latest project, which played at the Royal Hall Theatre in Harrogate in March was a musical based on a Nepalese fairy tale called ‘Monkey Boy’ performed by children from North Yorkshire and Nepal. The event was part of the Harrogate Rotary Club’s annual charity concerts to raise money for international causes. This concert helped provide aid for schools in the poor and remote Panchamul Valley in Nepal.


The UK Ambassador to Nepal was so impressed with the performance and the work that Ben had put into its musical direction that he was invited last weekend to the Nepalese Embassy to meet the Prime Minister of Nepal in person.


Well done Ben your dedication is a credit to you, and we are so proud to have you as a member of Team BIRCHwood.


Birchwood’s Matilda, Wednesday 17 July, 7pm


We have a few tickets remaining for the Key Stage 3 performance of BCHS’s take on Roald Dahl’s Matilda. The show will be in our performing arts studio at 7pm on Wednesday 17 July. Tickets are £5 for adults and £3 for concessions available from the office.

Information for parents regarding lunch time


From this week, we return to our usual time for lunch of 1.15pm. This will mean that the school day will revert to four lessons before lunch break and one after.


The art café will also be available for learners from all year groups to use for eating packed lunches.

The Year 10 GCSE Art group take inspiration for their artwork


A few weeks ago, the Year 10 GCSE art group had the rare chance to see the work of an artist that they are studying at GCSE at they travelled to the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield to see the work of Magdalene Odundo.


Megan Crawford in Year 10 has kindly written a review of the exhibition and what it meant to her


‘The Journey of Things’, an exhibition by the artist Magdalene Odundo at The Hepworth gallery


At the exhibition, we were all given a small sketchbook and booklet with set tasks to complete throughout the day which included; sketching pieces of her work using observational drawing skills and finding quotes from the artist around the gallery to help us understand how she work.

Interesting things that we saw were pieces of artwork from other artists that Magdalene used as inspiration to create her own artwork. Additionally, it was interesting seeing pieces of her work as they are quite unique. I enjoyed seeing all her different work because I haven’t seen hand-sculpted pots like that before.


The exhibit largely focused on the historical influences of her work and I learned that a lot of her inspiration comes from old ceramics, dating back to the Egyptians.


I think that the visit will help with our future project because we have seen her work first-hand and this will help to inspire us when we make our own pots. The sketches we did throughout the day will also help our imagination when thinking of the unusual shape and design of her pots.


Thank you, Megan, for a lovely review. It is great to share the view of our learners.




Our uniform Suppliers


As many of you may now be considering purchasing uniform for the next academic year, please find a reminder of our local suppliers

Touchline UK

Unit 2 Kerfoot Street



Online Shop




Warrington Schoolwear

50-54 Buttermarket St



Online Shop



Also there are some deals on at high street suppliers at the moment that you may like to take advantage of:


Marks and Spencer have 20% of school wear.

Sainsburys are offering free click and collect on orders over £15.

Asda are 3 for 2 on school wear.


Keeping your child safe


Exams time


Following last week’s advice on exam stress which can still be accessed here, it seems appropriate to look at more advice on handling anxiety and stress for young people.


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




Remember that exam stress does not always end when the exams are over. Many young people carrying on worrying about how they have performed in their exams and this can continue up to results day.



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 week commencing 10 June by our science, languages and English department.









Year 7 - No specific Information

Year 8 


Year 8 Girls HPV vaccination


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 -


Year 9 Performance Review Evening Thursday 27 June, 3.30pm – 7.00pm


This valuable event gives you the opportunity to speak with subject teachers 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 10 - No specific information

Year 11


A message from our geography department


Year 11 book amnesty


Please can year 11 return any of the following to the Year Team Office to be in with a chance of winning prizes !


Revision Guides


Library books


Thank you

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



Year 11 Leaver’s Prom, Thursday 4 July 2019


This year the Year 11 Leavers’ Prom will be at the Hallmark Warrington on the evening of Thursday 4 July 2019.  We will be leaving school at 6.15pm and returning late (approximately 12.30am).

All learners going to the prom must travel on the coaches provided. Arriving together on the coaches is an integral part of the evening.  It also enables parents/carers to take photographs at school before we set off if they wish.


The Warrington Guardian photographer will be taking photos at school before we leave as will Mrs Evans, our Events Manager so make sure that you arrive in plenty of time for photographs.


We look forward to a special evening.



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 


Cieron takes gold at the Brazilian Jiu Jitzu British Open


Well done Ceiron, a student at Birchwood College, who took a gold medal in the Brazilian Jiu Jitzu British Open at the NEC in Birmingham last week.


Ceiron, a member of the Warrington Gracie Barra Dojo, was delighted to be part of a team that took four gold, seven silver and four bronze medals in the competition.


Year 13’s final gig …..Don’t miss out


Well it’s that time of the year for us to say Bon Voyage to our Year 13 and as the final part of their BTEC Music they are holding their final gig ‘MOVING ON UP’ at Rylands Recreation Club on Friday 14th June 2019 at 7.30pm.


If you fancy a great night out with fantastic music then come and join us.


Tickets are available at the college reception, £6.00 Adults and £4 Concessions


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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