Birchwood Update 6/1/2020

Birchwood Update week Commencing 6/1/2020


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




16 January – Birchwood College Open Evening, 6-8pm

21 January – Year 11 and Year 13 Leavers’ photos

23 January - Year 11 Performance Review Evening 3.30pm – 7pm




6 February – Year 12 & 13 Performance Review Eve, 3.30pm – 7pm

27 February – Year 10 Performance Review Evening, 3.30pm – 7pm




19 March – Year 8 Performance Review Evening, 3.30pm – 7pm




1 – 3 April – Year 7 residential to Menai

20 April – Year 7 Performance Review Evening 3.30pm – 7pm

Ms Mills and all at Birchwood Community High School would like to wish you all a very happy and successful new year. We hope you had a restful Christmas break and have returned to school feeling invigorated and ready to work hard in 2020.


We have high aspirations for all our learners, and with your help, we can make 2020 a year where each one of us will be successful in our own way.



An important message from Mrs Mills 


Unfortunately, a small handful of learners at our school have been caught shoplifting in Asda at Birchwood Centre. During the last week of term, we told learners that Asda had banned any BCHS learners from going into the store. I have spoken to the store again today and they have said this ban is indefinite and is for all learners as they do not have the resources to police the store for shoplifting. I have said that we think it is unfair to punish all learners for the actions of a few but they are standing by their decision at this point.


We will be letting learners know during form time that the store are upholding the ban for the foreseeable future.


If there are any questions about this, it would be best to direct them to Asda themselves rather than to the school.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit the best sixth form college in east Warrington


On the evening of 16 January, we will be holding our second Birchwood College Open Evening. If you have yet to visit Birchwood College or you have more questions, please join us between 6pm and 8pm. Mr Burrows, Head of College will give a short presentation at 6pm.

After our recent Ofsted Inspection, it was noted, “The progress for general applied qualifications is significantly above the national average”.


Staff and students will be available to discuss courses and any other queries so come along and see why our student are so happy and successful.


Year 7 learners, led by Mrs Downing helped to make Christmas special for local families in need


In December, Year 7 volunteers led by Mrs Downing gave up their free time to make a selection of lovely Christmas tree decorations which they sold to staff raising a grand total of £45.  The money was spent on buying goods for hampers for local families in need and were handed over to Birchwood Community Church on the last day of term


As a result of our year 7 volunteers’ hard work, 45 families in Birchwood received food and presents on Christmas Eve. The families were chosen because of financial hardship but also for some, 2019 had been a tough year and receiving a hamper showed that someone cared about them.


It was a lovely gesture by everyone concerned and a big caring, well done must go to the year 7s involved and to Mrs Downing.


Christmas Theme Day, Friday 20 December


It might seem a long time ago now, but on Friday 20 December, we supported the charity Save the Children by holding a Christmas Theme Day on our last day of term. Learners and staff wore their own clothes to school which included a great selection of Christmas jumpers!


In total we raised £616.68 for the charity.  Thank you to all those who supported this worthy cause.


Keeping your child safe


When the excitement of Christmas is over, the winter can leave people feeling very low, and this obviously includes young people. For help in identifying signs of depression in young people, and who to turn to if you think your child needs medical help, see the advice from the NHS 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

 Year 7 


Have you secured your child’s place on our year 7 residential?


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 payed in instalments.

To secure a place, please pay a non-refundable deposit of £50 and complete the medical information required on Parent Pay as soon as possible.


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


Year 8 -  No specific information

Year 9 – No specific information

Year 10 - No specific information

Year 11


Some specific year 11 dates for your diary


Thursday 16 January - Birchwood College Open Evening, 6pm -8pm. Presentation by Mr Burrows at 6pm


Tuesday 21 January - Your Child’s final school photograph


Kittle, our external school photographer, will be here on the morning of Tuesday 21 January to take your child’s final school photograph. There will be a whole year group and Individual shot plus your child will have the opportunity to arrange a friendship group photograph.


Tuesday 21 January - Mock Results


Year 11 will receive ALL their mock results together on the afternoon of Tuesday 21 January. This will mimic GCSE results morning, to give our learners a taste of what will happen in August when they receive their actual set of results.


Thursday 23 January - Year 11 Performance Review Evening, 3.30pm- 7.00pm in Birchwood College.


We look forward to seeing you all at this event which 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 more details and information on how to book your appointment can be found here


Wednesday 29 January - Year 11 Reward trip to the Trafford Centre


As a reward for learners we have arranged a day out to the Trafford Centre on Wednesday 29 January 2020.

Over the year, learners have been rewarded with BIRCH points for observing our Behaviour for Learning policy, good attendance and accumulating ATL grade 1 and 2s. Securing a place on this trip, therefore, will depend on a culmination of these factors so far this year, and their continued positive attitude.


If your child has qualified for this reward, they should have brought home a letter that also can be found here. If they are unsure as to whether they have qualified they can check with their form tutor.


The cost of the trip which covers the cost of the coaches is £8. Payments should be made using Parentpay.


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, 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



Year 13 leavers photographs


Kittle, our external school photographer, will be here on the morning of Tuesday 21 January to take year 13 leavers photos. There will be a whole year group and Individual shot plus your child will have the opportunity to arrange a friendship group photograph.


Other School information:


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.


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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