Birchwood Update 13/1/2020

Birchwood Update week Commencing 13/1/2020


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

Yemisi gets her first big TV break as a regular role in the second series of Bancroft


Festive viewing has been a real treat for staff at BCHS as one of our former school and college student Yemisi Oyinloye has been a regular on our TV screens.


 Yemisi, who lives in Locking stumps attended our school and college between 2005 and 2012 and always made us proud by being a hard worker and high achiever. Her aim was to become an actor and she was a regular performer in our fantastic school shows, working her way up from supporting to main character roles throughout her seven years here. Whilst still at college she landed her first professional part, taking time out of her college schedule to perform at the Leeds Playhouse for a two month theatre run, picking up her studies on her return.


After leaving Birchwood College, Yemisi followed the normal route of an aspiring actor, working mundane jobs to pay the rent whilst pursuing her dreams of stardom.


 In 2013, Yemisi moved to London to take part in a 12 months theatre course during which time she appeared in shows in London and the Edinburgh fringe.


Upon returning home she auditioned for her fist TV part as a guest lead in the daytime series Doctors winning the part. Yemisi said “It was a fantastic feeling to get my first TV job, when I found out all I could do was cry as things were becoming real!”


After this success Yemisi was on a roll entering and winning the Monologue Slam competition in Manchester where she was spotted as a rising star by an agent, which led to more TV parts in Casualty and in Doctors again as a different character.


Her most exciting challenge and biggest break so far however was her 2020 debut, playing DC Sally Read in series 2 of Bancroft which aired over 3 nights starting on New Year’s Day. What a fantastic start to the Year!


Yemisi auditioned for the part in Manchester, beating 1000s of other submissions for audition, preparing and reading her part for the casting director. When her agent rang to offer her the part, he put her on speakerphone so the rest of the office could hear her screams of utter excitement about the news.


I asked Yemisi how she felt about her first day of filming Bancroft. She said, “I was terrified, but I soon found out that there was no reason to be worried as the cast and crew were amazing, so kind and supportive”.And as for working with Sarah Parish, who plays title character DS Elizabeth Bancroft, Yemisi said it was a real a real honour. In her words “Sarah was lovely and a real pro. Working with such a good actor makes your performance better. She really gave me something to aspire to. Even when not acting myself if was fabulous to watch and learn from such a great cast.”


Mrs Forster, Yemisi’s drama teacher whilst with us said “It is wonderful to see Yemisi doing so well and very exciting to see her on TV and watch how well her career is progressing. She has already been in to speak to our next rising performers at school, they can learn so much from her. We are proud that her acting roots were laid at BCHS. She deserves every success as she is a talented and determined young woman.”


For a flavour of Yemisi’s work, you can take a look at her IMDb showreel here and even better Yemisi appears on TV again this evening at 9pm on ITV in the first episode of series 9 of the fantastic Bafta-winning series Cold Feet as the character Amber.




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


This Thursday, 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”. And if that is not good enough reason to come and visit take a look at last year’s results:


100% pass rate for all BTEC applied learning courses

100% Double Distinction* in Music

100% Distinction* in Acting

100% Distinction* in Applied Science

100% Distinction* in ICT

100% Distinction* or Distinction in Health & Social Care Diploma

100% Distinction* or Distinction in Sports Studies Subsidiary Diploma & Diploma

63% Distinction* or Distinction in Applied Law


We are very proud of these extraordinary results, and they show that our College really is the best place to come for students who want to take the Applied learning route.


We hope to see you on Thursday where 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 - 9 have a chance to shine at our new Musical Theatre club


We have an exciting new extracurricular club for learners in Years 7 -9, running both after school and lunchtime.  The Musical Theatre club with Mrs Scott and Mr Coulson will be offering learners the chance to try their hands at a variety of musical theatre skills whilst also having fun. The club will be held on:


Tuesdays after school, 3-4pm

Wednesday & Thursday lunchtime


They will also hold auditions, tomorrow Tuesday 14 January for those learners who would like to perform in the club showcase during the summer term.




Keeping your child safe


Following on from last week’s advice on identifying signs of depression in young people, a cause of depression can be feelings of loneliness and not being part of ‘the crowd’. For advice on how to cope with feeling lonely, which we all do at times of our lives, see the nhs help and support page here


What parents need to know about TikTok


It's always good to be aware of online safety for the latest social media apps that are popular among teenagers. Please find a guide to TikTok with the latest advice here 



 Learners of last Week for Geography 




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 



Remaining payment schedule for year 7 residential trip to the Conway Centre, Menai on 1-3 April 2020


Date                          Amount

24 January 2020        £50

28  February 2020     £50


Payment in full must be made by 28 February 2020

Year 8 -  No specific information

Year 9 


Year 9 Vaccinations


Boys and Girls - DTP and Meningitis ACWY


Today, permission forms for your child, both boys and girls, to receive DTP and Meningitis ACWY vaccinations have been put in form boxes for your child to bring home. Please fill this in and return to the school office as soon as possible. A copy of the forms can also be found here

Vaccinations will take place on the of Tuesday 21 April and Wednesday 22 April.


Girls only- Dose 2 HPV


The second dose of the HPV vaccination for girls only, will be given on Tuesday 11 February. If your child did not have the 1st dose for any reason they  will be picked up in this session.  There is no permission form to complete as permission was given for dose 1


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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