Birchwood Update 3/2 /2020

Birchwood Update week Commencing 3/2/2020


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




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

Joining Children’s Mental Health week with our ‘Inside out’ day


This week BCHS will joining in with Children’s Mental Health Week. Place2Be, the charity organising the week, are aiming is to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health.


Over the last few weeks in our safeguarding section we have concentrated on issues which affect mental health such as depression, loneliness and feelings of ‘not fitting in’ with the crowd or sometimes your own sexuality. We hope you have found the advice useful.


Our theme for Mental Health week will be to ask our learners to look further than the external and stop and consider that things are not always as they seem in people’s lives. Often people may look fine on the outside but are sad, worried and distressed on the inside.


With that in mind, and to really bring the concept home to learners, this Thursday 6 Feb we will be holding ‘Inside Out day’ and inviting staff and learners to wear either their trousers, skirt or blazer inside out. It is a really simple way to make us all stop, look and think about being kind to each other.


We hope you will encourage your child to join in, there is no donation required just a willingness to participate.


During the week, mental health will be highlighted with information from services that can help young people who need support with their mental health.


Learners will also have the chance to send kind thoughts to friends and people who they feel need a lift, with our kindness cards, one kind word really can change someone’s day. If one lonely learner finds a friend, is invited to join a group, a disagreement is healed, or a supportive message makes someone smile then celebrating Mental Health week has been worth it! 




Coming on board with cashless catering


From Monday 9 March learners will no longer be able to bring cash into school to pay for their school dinner. Parents and carers will need to use Parent Pay to top up their child’s dinner money account. This will be a really positive change for our school community. It will support learners to make better food choices and make sure the money parents and carers give their children is spent as they intended.


The majority of parents are already using this method. Over 85% have an activate Parent Pay account. We will be sending out activation letters later this week for all accounts that are not yet active. There is more information in the letter here and on our website


Proud to be hosting and winning at the Warrington Youth Indoor Rowing Competition


Last Thursday we hosted the Warrington Youth Indoor Rowing Competition in our sports hall. We were joined by schools from Warrington, Macclesfield, Congleton  and Tarporley  as part of the Oarsome initiative.


Warrington Youth Rowing was designed to introduce a wide range of young people in Warrington and the region to the sport of rowing. These youngsters would previously have imagined rowing to be an elitist sport and not accessible to them. Warrington Youth Rowing’s aim is to shed this elitist image.


Their vision is to help to bring out the best in the young people on the programme, helping them develop a whole range of skills which will serve them in their future, as well as improving self-esteem, self-confidence, resilience and life skills.

On Thursday, watching the youngsters really put their heart and soul into their rowing really was testament that the aims of Warrington Rowing are really working.


Though the competition to win was tough, it was fabulous to see the camaraderie between teams and some of the great interschool relationships that have built up between children from different schools.

Our rowers, from year 8 and year 9 really made us proud with their stamina and enthusiasm and we saw some awards winners amongst them.


Amy, in Year 9, took bronze in her solo race category, and Evan, also Year 9, took silver in his. Both have also qualified to compete in the Junior Indoor Rowing Championships at the end of February at the Copper Box Arena in London

We were also proud when our Year 9 Girls took the award for The Most Spirited Team of 2019 for their energy, commitment and determination.


Well done to everyone involved in the morning, especially Mrs Swift whose tireless enthusiasm and hard work enables our children to take part in such a worthwhile opportunity.


 For the Warrington Youth Rowing promotional video featuring BCHS see here





Has your child thought about an apprenticeship?


This week is National Apprenticeship Week and at BCHS we believe it is never too early to lay plans for the future. In form time, your child will be discussing the apprenticeship route and whether this is right for them.


If you would like to investigate the apprenticeship route with your child, find out who offers apprenticeships, and what benefits of apprenticeships are, there are two quizzes below which you may find of interest:


How much do you actually know about apprenticeships?


Guess the employer


For learners in year 11 and 13 who are interested in the apprenticeship route, take a look here to see what current posts are available


BCHS are looking for examination invigilator – Ad hoc hours


Grade 2 point 3 (£9.36 per hour) casual hours contract during term time only, when exams are taking place within school and college.  The main exam periods are in May and June each year, but other examinations take place across the year.


Closing date for applications is Tuesday, 11 February with a required start date from 4 March 2020. For more details on the position and how to apply see here



Keeping your child safe


Symptoms of anger; a major cause of unhappiness


Anger can cause many different symptoms. It might affect how you feel physically or mentally, or how you behave. Some people become aggressive towards others when they're angry. Other people hide their anger and may take it out on themselves.

It's not always easy to recognise when anger is the reason why you're behaving differently. For advice on dealing with anger and its repercussions see here


 Star learners of last Week 



Extra-curricular timetable


Please take a look at our new spring extracurricular timetable to see what great activities are available for your child to take part in before and 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


28  February 2020     £50


Payment in full must be made by 28 February 2020

Year 8 -  No specific information

Year 9 


Well done to our Year 9 Netball Team


A big well done to our year 9 Netball team who played in the Warrington schools netball tournament last Wednesday. The girls did themselves proud with two wins out of four, beating Cardinal Newman and Penketh High School and losing to King’s Academy and Bridgewater High School.

Keep up the good work girls!



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 


Year 10 Performance Review Evening - Thursday 27 February, 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

Year 11


Have you thought of an apprenticeship?


For learners in year 11 and 13 who are interested in the apprenticeship route on leaving school or college, take a look here to see what current posts are available

Science support sessions for year 11


It’s never too early to attend pre exam support sessions to build on the results of the recent mock examinations and our science dept are offering the following lunch time and after school opportunities:


Wednesdays, from 3.05- 3.50pmScience study support sessions for all of year 11 are held in science department


11Te/s2 group only - Each Wednesday lunch time there will be study support sessions for triple physics in S4. The focus will be required practicals and long answer questions. On Tuesdays from 3.05pm to 4.50pm Ms Dannan will be holding chemistry study support sessions for this group in S4. On weeks when there are department meetings on a Tuesday, the session will be held during lunch break. This week (wc27th) the session will be during lunch break.

Year 11 Prom


Please be aware that the Year 11 Prom will be held on Thursday 25 June 2020 at Hallmark Warrington, not 2 July 2020 as printed in our parent handbook. The date was a changed due to a double booking at the hotel.


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 


Have you thought of an apprenticeship?


For learners in year 13 who are interested in the apprenticeship route on leaving school or college, take a look here to see what current posts are available.

Year 12 and Year 13 Performance Review Evening –Thursday 6 February 2020


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 on how to book can be found here


We look forward to seeing you all on the evening.



A positive evening for Birchwood College


Thank you to staff, students and visitors who made our College Open Evening, last Thursday, such a success. There was a positive buzz around the college as our students and staff assisted visitors in finding the right course for them. As well as our own learners we had visitors from Culcheth High School, Beamont Collegiate Academy, Padgate Academy and Weston Point College, who were all warmly welcomed.


If you have not yet filled in your application form for college, please do so as soon as possible. The deadline for applications to be submitted is Friday 14 February. Learners will still be able to hand in an application after this date, but we cannot guarantee that they will gain a place on the course of their choice.


If you have, any queries do not hesitate to contact Mr Burrows, Head of College at



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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