Birchwood Update 4/11/2019

Birchwood Update week Commencing 4/11/2019


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



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

Thank you for your generosity


On behalf of the Warrington Foodbank and of course ourselves we would like to thank you for your generosity in donating items for our harvest box collection.


The boxes looked amazing with forms going to real trouble decorating and filling them. We had all sorts of boxes from a shopping trolley and school bus to a lobster


There were winners for best box and most donations for each year group with the overall winner of all the boxes being 7RS with the fantastic multi box happy lobster


The main thing however was that our community pulled together to support a fantastic cause, enabling an individual or family in need to eat well. Thank you so much.


Don’t miss the year 11 Revision Launch, this Thursday


With year 11 mocks rapidly approaching in December, make sure that you and your child are fully prepared by attending our Year 11 revision launch evening this Thursday, 6.30pm – 7.30pm.


Full details of the event and information regarding the mock examinations can be found below in the year 11 section.

A fantastic trip to the Bay of Naples


Over the half term holiday, the geography department led a fantastic trip to the wonderful Bay of Naples in Italy.


The trip offered an excellent range of geographical features to study, ranging from the volcano of Mount Vesuvius to the tourism of the famous Amalfi Coast.


Learners had the opportunity to take part in a range of activities such as tours of Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius and Naples and a trip to the island of Capri where they took a trip on the famous Monte Solaro chairlift.


As ever our learners were a real credit to us, and we were proud to take them on such an adventure.

On their return parents commented on what a wonderful time their children had had and what an amazing experience it was for our young people; a real trip of a lifetime!


A huge thank you must go to the geography team, Mr Bate, Miss Connor and Mrs Ruscoe for all their hard work and time in planning and accompanying this worthwhile trip. We really are so lucky in having such dedicated staff here at BCHS.


Welcoming last year’s leavers for one last time


On Thursday 14 November we will look forward to celebrating with last year’s school leavers, as we invite them to join us for the Class of 2019 Presentation Evening.


This will be an occasion to reminisce and hand out some well-deserved subject and special awards.

It is also an occasion for the young people to collect their GCSE examination certificates which will be available on the night.

We hope to see as many of our ex learners and their families as possible so if you have not booked your seats please do so as soon as possible.


A copy of the invitation letter with instructions can be found here

Girls, why not try some female only rugby?


Warrington Wolves have asked us to invite girls who are interested in trying rugby to come along and join their female only teams. They have teams for under 12s, under 14s and under 16s.


For more information contact





Birchwood’s take on Aladdin.


Rehearsals this week:


Wednesday 6 November - full cast - 3pm -5pm

Sunday       10 November -  full cast - 10am - 2pm


The rest of the week to be confirmed at present


Tickets will be available from the office from Monday 11th November. Performances are Tuesday 26 – Friday 29 November at 7.00pm.  Prices are £7 adult and £5 concessions



Keeping your child safe


To re-enforce anti-bullying week next week, please find some great advice here on all aspect of bullying including what to do if you suspect your child is being bullied or your child is accused of bullying other children

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 Mocks examinations - Monday 9 – Friday 19 December 2019


Below you will find information regarding the year 11 mocks, which will take place in December. Please help us by ensuring that your child is aware of their examination dates and that they attend school throughout this period. 


These exams will be completed under exam conditions and are a good test to measure how much progress learners have made in preparation for their exams next summer


A letter about the examinations can be found here

Mock timetable can be found here and Instructions for candidates, here

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 

College Open Events


Birchwood College Thursday 16 January 6-8pm. If you didn’t manage to make it to our October college open evening, or if you would like to consider courses in more detail, it is not too late as we would love to welcome you in January. If you have any concerns or questions in the meantime please contact Head of College, Chris Burrows on


Other colleges you may want to consider:

Priestley College Sat 9 Nov 10:30-12:30 and Thurs 21 Nov 5:30-8pm

Myerscough College (Walton Gardens) Animal Care, Horticulture, Foundation Learning Sat 9 Nov 10-12pm

WVR College Wed 13 Nov and Thurs 5 Dec 5:30-8pm

UTC Warrington Taster Session Thurs 14 Nov 6:30-8pm



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



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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