Birchwood Update 11/11/2019

Birchwood Update week Commencing 11/11/2019


Important dates for your diary:


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




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

Don’t miss a great evening of entertainment


Anyone who has ever been to one of school shows will tell you that they are fabulous, so make sure you don’t miss out on your ticket for this year’s show, Aladdin, 3 is the Magic Number.


Performances will run each evening Tuesday 26 – Friday 29 November at 7.00pm.  Prices are £7 adult and £4 concessions and tickets are available from the school office.



Rehearsals for this week, please see here

Our learners sweep the Board with prizes at the 2019 Creative & Digital Expo



Last Thursday eight of our media learners spent the morning at the Creative and Digital Expo 2019 held at the Pyramid Centre in Warrington.


The event, organized by The Pledge, gave learners the opportunity to hear firsthand from a selection of speakers about their jobs in the industry and the training and steps they took to get there. They also spoke of the fantastic opportunities in the creative and digital world that are out there for young people in the north west with a rosy future and a projected rise in jobs in this field over coming years.

After the presentation, learners had the chance to speak to a wide range of creative and digital companies to learn more and do some all-important networking!


MDS Global, one of the exhibitors, were demonstrating importance of skills such a teamwork, improving work by observing, listening and learning, and creative thinking by asking visitors to try a task. The task was immensely popular as the prize for winners was a drone. We are proud to announce that all 4 drones were won by BCHS learners. So well done to Sarah, Jakub, Krisztina and Kian who did amazingly well against so many learners from schools from all over Warrington.


As ever our learners were a real credit to us and we are immensely proud of all who went on the trip.


Anti-bullying week – 11 to 15 November 2019


This week is Anti-Bullying Week and our theme is “change starts with us”. As our recent Ofsted report stated, ‘Bullying is rare’ at Birchwood as ‘relationships between pupils are very positive’ and ‘Birchwood welcomes and celebrates difference and diversity’.

To further enforce our zero tolerance on bullying, we are asking learners to design an eye-catching, positive anti-bullying message with a graffiti brick style for our new anti-bullying wall in the art block. The winners of the best graffiti brick will either have their design printed on a mobile phone cover for them to keep or win a solar powered battery charger. Work for this competition will be started on Tuesday on our Learning for Life lesson.


We will also launch our new Anti-bullying Ambassador team who have undertaken anti-bullying training as part of the Princess Diana Award. The Diana Award equips young people with the knowledge, confidence and skills to effectively tackle bullying in their schools and communities, online and offline. Anti-Bullying Ambassadors then educate their peers on bullying, promote a culture which celebrates difference, take the lead on anti-bullying and online safety campaigns, and help keep their peers safe.

The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors will be conducting assemblies during and after Anti-Bullying Week. They also plan to visit our local primaries to deliver assemblies on cyber safety and train members of the local community, staff and parents about how to keep children safe online and much more so watch this space!


Change really does start with us and Team Birchwood is proud to join with the Anti-Bullying Alliance and The Diana Award to celebrate and embrace difference and diversity in our school and community.




Parent Governor Election


Have you ever thought about becoming a school governor? We have two vacancies parent governor vacancies on our board of governors. As a governor you can bring your personal knowledge and experience to support our school to improve and succeed.


Parent governors need to have parental responsibility for a child registered at our school. If you are interested please complete the two forms and return them to the school office.


The forms can be found here and here

A Reminder of our policy regarding sugary drinks and junk food in school


Please find a letter here from Ms Mills reminding you of our policy on such items. At the moment we are seeing a great deal of energy drinks, sweets, chocolate and takeaway foods in school and as per our policy on these banned items they will be confiscated or disposed of. We hope that you understand why this is a priority for our school and your child’s learning and development.


Remembrance Service, Saturday, 9 November 2019


Many thanks go to our Learner Officers, the School Choir, Ms Mills and Mrs Hajigeorgiou for representing our school in laying a wreath in respect of those who have lost their lives in conflict. As usual, we are proud to join with the Birchwood community in this special event organised by The Lions.



A lovely end to a great transition club


As part of our mission to ensure an informed choice and smooth transition to high school for our local primaries, BCHS offer a series of after school clubs for year 5 children. This year’s timetable kicked off with our Little Languages club which gave local children the opportunity to visit us over 3 weeks to learn some basics of 3 languages French, Spanish and German.


The children did fantastically well and demonstrated their new language skills presenting a short conversation piece in all three of the languages for their proud parents before receiving awards and treats.


Feedback from parents was excellent with comments such as:


“The club has given my daughter the opportunity to see your school and be more comfortable here.”


“Doing clubs at your school will encourage more confidence to start high school.”


Our next club is the Whizz-Bang Science club which runs on Tuesday afternoons from early December. Letters to apply will be out with primary schools this week so if you or someone you know are interested in joining us please complete the slip and return to your school office or drop in at our reception. For more details email




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


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.


The first session will be 26 November 2019, from 6 to 7pm at Victoria Park Arena, WA4 1DJ. If you are not sure which age group applies, see below:

  • Year 7 are Under 12’s

  • Year 8 and 9 are Under 14’s

  • Year 10 and 11 are Under 16’s


There will be people on the night to introduce you to the coaches and team managers for the relevant age groups!



For more information contact

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 


Year 7 Residential Trip to Conwy Centre, Wednesday 1 to Friday 3 April 2020

In April, we are organising a trip to the Conway Centre for all of Year 7. This will be an ideal opportunity for learners to experience new and different activities and to encourage them to start Year 8 with a focus on making good progress throughout the curriculum.

The cost of the trip is £200 per learner. This includes transport to and from the centre, board, lodgings and the cost of all the activities. The cost can be paid in instalments.


To secure a place, please pay a non-refundable deposit of £50 and complete the medical information required on Parent Pay. The deadline for deposits to be received will be Tuesday, 19 November.


For full details of the trip and how to pay see the letter here



Year 8 -  No specific information


Year 9 


Year 9 Performance Review Evening –Thursday 5 December 2019 in Birchwood College


This event gives you the opportunity to speak with your child’s subject staff to discuss progress and achievement. Please book via our online booking system for parents’ evenings. A letter with instructions how to do this can be found here


We look forward to welcoming you all on the evening


Year 10 No specific information

Year 11


Year 11 Revision Launch PowerPoints


Thank you to all those who attended our Year 11 revision evening last week. We hope that you found it of benefit. All of the resources from the evening can be found on our website if you click here it will take you straight to the right area.  It is the button right at the bottom, the tab called ‘Make it Stick – Learning, Memory and Revision’.


For those who could not attend the event, a copy of the ‘Make it stick’ booklet will be in your child’s form box today.

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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