Birchwood Update 14/10/2019

Birchwood Update week Commencing 14/10/2019


Important dates for your diary:


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





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 - 6 January - Christmas break

Difficulties in viewing the Update.


Last week some people told us they were having difficulty viewing photographs in our update. The problems relate to using Microsoft Internet Explorer.  If you are experiencing problem and are using Internet Explorer as your web browser, please close and re-open in another browser such as Google Chrome.

Instilling good values of social responsibility at BCHS and being the best we can be in November.


As a way of equipping our learners with a good sense of social responsibility and pride in our school, Ms Mills is introducing a system of community duty, where each learner will have one community duty every academic year to help with tidying up in the canteen areas. We will start after the October half term holiday with each form in the school being allocated a week in the year.


We will also run an initiative after the October half term break called Respect Reaps Rewards. Any learner who receives 50 BIRCH points between Tuesday, 5 November to Friday, 6 December, can wear their own clothes to school on Friday, 13 December and will also receive a Christmas selection box.  To gain points staff will be looking out for polite, kind and respectful behaviour to reward with BIRCH points as well as the usual points going out for ATL1s in lessons, good behaviour and perfect attendance.


Participation in either initiative is not compulsory, but we really hope our Team Birchwood spirit will ensure that all learners and staff will get on board and we will become the best that we can be and reap the rewards that joining in brings.

Your child will bring home a letter with full details. A copy can also be found here.



A reminder about the Harvest boxes foodbank collection 


Come on BCHS community, we are asking for your support.


Read the Warrington News article here about the demands on the Warrington Foodbank and get sending your donations in to school for our Harvest foodbank collection. They really need our donations to stop a family going hungry!!



Form tutors are collecting your children’s donations. Other donations from staff, governors and members of the public can be put in the foodbank trolley in the admin corridor and handed in to the office.


This year there will also be a prize for forms with the best decorated box and the fullest so send in what you can and encourage your child to get involved.




George battles the wind and rain at the World Obstacle Course Racing Championships at the weekend.


Our very own Man of Steel, George Houghton had lots to contend with at the weekend and it wasn’t just from the other competitors as he took part in the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships in Kelvendon Hatch, Essex.


Contenders from all over the world met for the competition where Appallingly bad weather made all races very difficult. Saturday particularly saw a lot of competitors taken off course with various degrees of injuries and hypothermia, but George battled bravely on finishing all his three races.


In his 3K race, category 13 – 19 years, he was placed 34th in the world and 8th in Great Britain. In the 15K he was placed 16th in the world and 9th in Great Britain. Fantastic placements for 16-year-old George who has just progressed with us to Birchwood College.

His final race was a 7K obstacle course which he completed with his mum Lynette who said “We enjoyed being out there with no pressure running and doing the obstacles together. Not all 16-year olds would be seen out with their mum, so it meant a lot to me. I am so proud of him.”


Next year the competition will be held in Vermont, so hopefully the weather may be better, and George will be working hard to qualify.

Good Luck George and congratulations on this year’s performance, you have made us proud yet again.





Our new Year 8 Oarsome rowers want to carry on the BCHS tradition of excellence in rowing


Last July we reported that our Year 8 Oarsome rowers shone at their final Oarsome regatta against 8 other local Warrington schools and were awarded The Roger Chicken Memorial Trophy for “The best performance across all areas throughout the year”, with BCHS as standout winners from all judges.


This academic year it is time to move on to a new set of year 8s to maintain the tradition of excellence in rowing and sportsmanship, so we hand over the baton to Faye, Kyra and daisy in 8KJ. Porsha-Mai, Logan, Kian and Oliver in 8RE. Caitlen and Thomas in 8EV and finally Keon in 8JS.


They will train every Friday morning with Mrs Swift at Warrington Rowing club so work hard and do yourselves and us proud.






Birchwood’s take on Aladdin.




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



Keeping your child safe



Following on from World Mental Health day last week - Checking that your teenager is coping


The teenage years are both exciting and challenging for parents and carers. It can be hard to know whether a teenager's feelings and behaviour are normal or becoming a problem. 

Anna Freud Centre's child mental health experts have written a leaflet to provide simple advice and guidance to parents and carers about how to make conversations about their child's feelings part of everyday life.

Download "Talking Mental Health with young people at secondary school: some advice for parents and carers" booklet 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 and English and science departments


Year 7 



Year 7 Parents’ Opportunity to Meet with Form Tutors – Thursday, 17 October, 3.30 to 6.30pm


Your child has now been at Birchwood Community High School for almost half a term and we would like to invite you in to school to give you a clearer picture of how they have settled in. This will give you the opportunity to meet your child’s form tutor again and to receive up to date information on your child’s progress.


Your child should have brought a letter home with details of how to book your appointment which can also be found here

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 No specific information

Year 11



Year 11 Revision Launch Evening, Thursday 7 November 2019, 6.30pm - 7.30pm in M1


This year is a crucial final year for Year 11 who are currently busy preparing for their mock exams in December. The challenge to perform highly in the mocks and then in the summer exams is greater than ever and parents and carers can make a significant difference to the results achieved. The Revision Launch Evening aims to assist in preparing learners and parents for these vital examinations. The main objective of the evening is to provide you with the best possible and most up to date advice, strategies and resources available so that you can help your child achieve their very best in the summer.


The evening will consist of a general session on revision applicable to all subject areas followed by three workshops covering the key subjects of Maths, English and Science. On the evening you will also receive: -

  • useful information on how to work together with school to support your child

  • useful tips on different types of revision techniques to make information ‘stick’

  • advice about managing time, work, life and stress


We do hope that you and your child will join us for this valuable event; to book your place see the letter here

Year 11, places are available now to join the fantastic National Citizen Service Summer 2020 programme


We would like to tell you about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which your son or daughter can sign up for this summer. National Citizen Service (NCS) is a government-backed programme run by Warrington Youth Club and supported by Birchwood Community High School. NCS helps young people build their confidence and gain new skills while having fun and giving back to their community – the best possible springboard for their future. Whether you are about to start sixth form or college, or preparing to enter the working world, signing up to NCS is one of the best decisions a young person can make.


Government backing means that it costs just £50 to take part in our four-week summer programme which covers all activities and residential costs. If you child is entitled to free school meals the cost is only £25.


For more details and how to book your child’s place on this great opportunity, see the letter here


For any queries, please contact Mrs Wardell at



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.


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 


Birchwood College 


Birchwood College Open Evening


Thank you to all the visitors who came to our Birchwood College Open Evening. Feedback was excellent, with all visitors really enjoying the evening. Huge thanks to our students who were on hand to speak to prospective students and parents and carers. Visitors were impressed at our confident and articulate students who are obviously proud to be part of our College.


Also, many thanks to our committed staff who have worked so hard to make the event a success.

If you have any further questions about college and courses available don’t hesitate to contact Chris Burrows, Head of Birchwood College at


Other School information:


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


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.


Please reload