Birchwood Update 23/9/2019

Birchwood Update week Commencing 23/9/2019


Important dates for your diary:


Plan ahead - This term’s Important dates for Your Diary




26 September - School closes at 2pm in readiness for Open Evening


26 September - School Open Evening, 4.30pm – 7.30pm




3 October – Birchwood College Open Evening, 6pm – 8pm


10 October – Birchwood College Welcome to KS5 Evening, 6pm – 7.30pm


17 October – Year 7 Meet the form tutor, 3.30 – 6.30pm (NB amended date from that it Yr 7 parent/carer handbook)




7 November – Year 11 Revision launch, 6.30pm – 7.30pm


14 November – Class of 2019 Presentation Evening, 6.30pm – 7.45pm


Week of 25 November – BCHS School Show, Aladdin




5 December – Year 9 Performance Review Evening, 3.30pm – 7pm


20 December - Close for Christmas break

School early closure on 26 September 2019


On Thursday 26 September, we will hold our School Open Evening from 4.30pm. To prepare the school for our visitors,

we will close to learners at 2pm that day.


‘See Us in Action’ Open Mornings


Our school motto is ‘Pride in our school’ and to show how proud we are of our school, we are inviting prospective new learners for 2020 and their families to join us for a personalised tour of school to really get a feel for our school day.


The tours will take place from Monday 30 September to Friday 4 October between 9am – 12pm and must be booked in advance.


To book your tour email with details of your preferred date and time


El día europeo de los idiomas, European Day of languages, 26 September

On this day, 800 million Europeans from 47 member states celebrate the importance of language learning so join us in joining them.


There will be an international menu in the M1 for lunch and the languages department are holding a competition for years 7 and 8 to design a pencil case as a helpful classroom resource in French or Spanish. You could include days of the week, numbers and useful language, all in an eye-catching design.


Application forms will be given out in class and must be returned to your child’s language teacher by 4 October.


Winning entries will be made into a pencil case to keep. There will also be special prize for the form with the most entries.




BCHS Eco-committee take part in a beach clean up


Last Wednesday, 14 learners from year 8, 9 and 10 took part in a beach clean at Formby beach. We were part of a group of over 100 people taking part including local people and businesses as part of the Great British Beach clean sponsored by the Ocado foundation.


Learners did a tremendous job collecting rubbish from the sand dunes and beach area. In total 300kg of rubbish was collected from the beach (over 45 bin bags). Freddie in year 8 found a crisp packet which was 40 years old, showing how long rubbish stays in our environment.


Very well done to all who were involved and what a fantastic day to be at the beach!





What a Team!


A team of learners from all year groups really made us proud last week when they visited local primary schools to tell the children just what it is like to be a member of Team Birchwood.


As usual our learners did us proud answering the children’s questions on homework, trips, subjects that can be studied at high school, detention and rewards. They were kind, friendly and patient with the year 6 children who loved the chance to get answers about all the things that were worrying them about transition to high school.


Jo McGarry, Headteacher at St. Mary's Primary commented "The visit was fabulous. Your pupils are a credit to you."


A special mention must to Luke, our Head Boy who amazed them and the staff with his fantastic language skills as he took them through his prep for GCSE Spanish. He really is amazing both with his knowledge of the language and his accent! The Primary children who are just starting to study language really had something to aspire to. Lucy also played piano, Martha shared her artwork and Phoebe presented.


A big thank you to Phoebe in 9RT, Ethan in 9DC, Leah in 7RS, Frankie and Lacey in 7BN, Pedro and Lucy in 11MJ, Luke in 11Cm and Martha in 11MJ



Are you our new Media Guru? Here is your chance to apply for the 2020 Clapperboard Awards.


Last October we reported that Rhianna in Year 13 was offered a place on the BFI (British Film Institute) Clapperboard Programme in Liverpool. This is a much sought after opportunity and offered Rhianna the chance to work with professional filmmakers creating films from scripting to the big screen. After taking part in the programme Rhianna created a short film entitled 404, a futuristic drama in the nature of ‘Black Mirror’, which was awarded ‘Best Film’ at the 2019 Clapperboard Film Awards.


This opportunity is open to students in years 11, 12 and 13 (it’s ages 16-19) and more details can be found here. So go ahead, be brave and take a step into the real media world !  




The Big Macmillan Coffee Morning, Friday 27 September


On Friday our new learner officer team will start their fundraising duties as they arrange a bake sale in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care.


Cakes will be on sale at morning break outside the college.


If anyone has a little time to bake and donate cakes toward this great cause, they will be gratefully received.


Thank you, in anticipation, for your support.


Birchwood’s take on Aladdin.




A schedule of this week’s rehearsals can be found here



Useful Contacts for your child and to to keep by your phone:


  • Year 7 Team Office in Art Building

    • Year 7 Team Leader & Officer  – Mrs Butler: Telephone extension 202


  • Year 8 and 9 Team Office is at the top of main corridor

    • Y8 & Y9 Team Officer – Ms Hickson: Telephone extension 290 

    • Y8 Team Leader – Mrs Jenkinson/Ms Gilchrist

    • Year 9 Team Leader – Ms McAlinden


  • Year 10 and 11 Team Office is in D&T/EPR building

    • Y10 & Y11 Team Officer - Mrs Bird: Telephone extension 229

    • Y10 Team Leader – Mrs Jones

    • Y11 Team Leader – Miss Russell

Keeping your child safe


Safely using the roads as a pedestrian


Some of our learners, particularly our new Year 7s may be travelling to school on their own for the first time. It is important to get into good habits as a pedestrian before the dark evenings arrive.


For hints and tips on pedestrian road safety see 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 before, after school and at lunchtime . 

Click here to access the timetable

 Learning Superstars


Please find our star learners of last week for our languages department

Year 7 


Welcome to Key Stage 3 Evening Information


Thank you to everyone you attended our Welcome to KS3 Evening. For your information a copy of the PowerPoint can be found here


Year 8 -  No specific information


Year 9 - No specific information

Year 10 




It’s never too early to think ahead and plan for your child’s future


Before you know it, this year will fly by and your child will be returning for their all-important Year 11. It is proven that if a learner has an aim and something to work to, success follows.


Learners in Year 10 follow a careers programme throughout the year through Learning4Life lessons, assemblies and presentations which will prepare them for post 16 option.


To support this, you and your child are warmly invited and encouraged to attend the Birchwood College Open Evening on Thurs 3 Oct 6-8pm where you can find out about the many fantastic courses offered here at Birchwood College. There will be a presentation by the Head of College at 6pm.

See the College section below for more details.


Year 11


Warrington Year 11 Careers Event, Thursday 26 September 2019 – 4pm-7pm at Orford Jubilee


This event will provide you with the opportunity to talk directly to colleges, universities, training providers and local employers about education, training, apprenticeships and traineeships, guiding you through the available options and hopefully finding one which will best your career aspirations. You will also be able to speak to other organisations to gain a broader understanding of the career opportunities and other activities available in the local area, such as volunteering and work experience.


College Open Evenings in Warrington:


Birchwood College 3/10/19 6-8pm


You are also warmly invited and encouraged to attend the Birchwood College Open Evening on Thurs 3 Oct 6-8pm where you can find out about the many fantastic courses offered here at Birchwood College. There will be a presentation by the Head of College at 6pm. See the College section below for more details.


WVR College 10/10/19 and 13/11/19 5:30-8pm


UTC 28/09/19 10-12:30


Priestley College 8/10/19 and 9/10/19 5:30-8pm 9/11/19 10:30-12:30


Myerscough College (Walton Gardens) Animal Care, horticulture, landscaping 5/10/19 10am


If you would like to book a careers appointment for your son/daughter to discuss their post 16 options please email our Careers Adviser Mrs R Morris Neighbourhood Hub, Jubilee Way, WA2 8HE



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.


Birchwood College 


Don’t miss out on our College Open Evening Thursday 3 October 2019, 6pm – 8pm


Birchwood has now become a specialist applied learning college building on our fantastic reputation and success in applied learning.


In our last Ofsted inspection, the inspectors stated in their report:


“The progress at Birchwood College for general applied qualifications is significantly above the national average.”


So, if applied learning is for you, we are the College for You, without a doubt!


Visit our college to talk to our staff and students and see the personalised programmes we are able to offer. This year Birchwood College achieved yet another set of excellent results, proving the college really is going from strength to strength.  The vast majority of students have used their hard-earned qualifications to access higher level apprenticeships and university degree programmes. The vocational results at Birchwood are once again exceptional, with 80% of students achieving a Distinction or a Distinction* grade – a phenomenal achievement.  In Music, Acting, Applied Science and ICT – every student achieved the top grade!


100% pass rate for all BTEC applied learning courses

100% Double Distinction* in Music

100% Distinction* in Acting

100% Distinction* in Applied Science

100% Distinction* in ICT

100% Distinction* or Distinction in Health & Social Care Diploma

100% Distinction* or Distinction in Sports Studies Subsidiary Diploma & Diploma

63% Distinction* or Distinction in Applied Law


Just a few reasons why Birchwood College is a force to be reckoned with in post 16 applied learning!




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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