Birchwood Update 21/10/2019

Birchwood Update week Commencing 21/10/2019


Important dates for your diary:


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






4 November – Inset day, school closed for learners


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

An important reminder for parents/carers


On Friday, we finish school for the autumn half term break. Please be aware that school re-opens for learners on TUESDAY, 5 November. Monday, 4 November is a staff training day.


Connor from Year 13 captains the England Academy


It is with great pride that we report that Connor Wrench, Year 13 student at Birchwood College and Warrington Wolves academy player, was named captain of England Academy for their International game against Wales under 19s at Llanelli at the weekend.

Connor played all of his junior career in the Green and Gold, apart for one season at Crosfields, and has had a superb first season in under 19s academy rugby. He has featured in all but two of the Warrington Wolves twenty five games, and his exceptional performances saw him named Joint Player of the Year at the club awards dinner last Tuesday evening. This accolade tops of an excellent first season at academy level for Connor.


Darren Geritas, who coached Wrench as a young player said, “It is a fantastic honour for Connor to captain his country and everybody at Woolston are delighted for him. You could tell from a very early age that he had something very special about him and he is proving that now. He only turned eighteen a fortnight ago and I am certain that he is only going to get better. Hopefully we will see him wearing the Primrose & Blue in Super League in the not too distant future and full international honours are certainly within his capabilities over the next few years.”


The game itself against the Wales under 19s went very well for the English boys as they ran out 62-0 winners with Connor bagging himself an excellent hat trick of tries.


Well done to Connor and the rest of the team.



A magical experience competing at Disneyland


Last week two of our learners, Millie Simpson (10LK) and Hannah Gregory (7RC), flew to Disneyland Paris with GR8 Gymnastics to compete against other clubs from all over the UK in Gymnastique Magique. The event is one of the premier competitive festival gymnastics events in the world. It is based around Disney themed competitive events and culminating in a parade through the Disneyland park.


Millie performed with her senior squad and won an unbelievable first place. Hannah performed with her junior squad and came an amazing second place.


Millie and Hannah’s mum said “We are so proud of our girls and the rest of GR8 Gymmastics. To have had the opportunity to take part in something so amazing and to come away with a 1st and 2nd was just unbelievable.  As parents we were lucky enough to share this experience with them over in Paris and also watched them dance through the magic kingdom in the Disney parade.”


The girls thought the experience was magical and felt that all their hard work and training was worth it.


Well done girls we are very proud of you.



Can you help our BTEC Enterprise Group?


The Year 10 learners studying BTEC Enterprise need to interview local entrepreneurs about their experience of running their own SMEs (Small or Medium Enterprises). This involves answering some questions about what it’s like to run your own business. The interviews can be done in person or answered via email. If you could help with this in any way please contact the head of Business and course leader, Mr Sutton via his email

Year 10, have the chance to consider the consequence of life choices


As part of the Learning for Life curriculum, 2engage Theatre Company came into school to perform for Year 10 and Year 11 drama classes.


The production called ‘Risking It All’, considers three story lines, based on local case studies, of local young people impacted by issue such as E-safety, substance and alcohol misuse, sex exploitation and inappropriate relationships.


The theatrical presentation highlighted both the risks and direct consequences that young people can face when involved in these issues through their own choice or the influence of others.


During the performance, pupils were engaged in a mid-show discussion using forum theatre. This allowed the audience to consider the fate of the characters and what consequences they could face. The actors then used audience feedback to influence the outcomes of the characters involved.


Thank you to 2engage who really did engage both learners and staff with their performance.



Global Restart a Heart Day


On Wednesday 16 October, it was World Restart a Heart Day. Restart a Heart is a designated annual day of action with the aim to teach vital life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills to as many people as possible. 

In 2018 an incredible 195,000 young people were trained in life saving CPR and this year the aim is to train over 200,000 people globally! 


Our year 12 students were proud to join in and learn this vital lifesaving skill.


Many thanks go to Ron, our instructor, who guided the young people through CPR technique and gave them the confidence that if they were in a situation calling for immediate action, they would know the best way to handle it, and maybe save a life.


As he said at the start of the training “What you are about to learn, is the most important thing you will learn today”.




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.









Birchwood’s take on Aladdin.




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



Keeping your child safe


As it was World Restart a Heart day last week it seems timely to offer advice on not just keeping your child safe but your whole family with a simple guide to CPR.


None of us like the thought of being in a situation where CPR is needed but to know the basics of what to do in that situation is so valuable. As Ron, our CPR instructor, told students the other day attempting CPR cannot do any harm as the person not breathing is in the worse place they can be. All CPR can do is give them a chance.

The guide to CPR in six easy steps 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 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 - No specific information

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 


 Important dates - College Resit English and maths GCSE



4th November   9am       Resit English Language GCSE Paper 1

5th November   9am       Resit Maths GCSE Paper 1

6th November   9am       Resit English Language GCSE Paper 2

7th November   9am       Resit Maths GCSE Paper 2

11th November 9am       Resit Maths GCSE Paper 3


Global Restart a Heart Day


On Wednesday 16 October, it was World Restart a Heart Day. Restart a Heart is a designated annual day of action with the aim to teach vital life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills to as many people as possible. 

In 2018 an incredible 195,000 young people were trained in life saving CPR and this year the aim is to train over 200,000 people globally! 


Our year 12 students were proud to join in and learn this vital lifesaving skill.



Other School information:


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.

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.


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