Birchwood Update 10/2 /2020

Birchwood Update week Commencing 10/2/2020


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



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

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

Incidents of bike crime in our local area


Please be vigilant and read the report here if your child cycles to school and around the area.We have had a number of bikes stolen from school in recent weeks, plus there have been learners attacked on the way home and their bikes taken. We are advising learners to take care and to walk/cycle in groups on the way home.



The Blue Peter Litter Pick Video is released!


Last November, we were visited by students from the University of Salford who were making a TV piece for a project in conjunction with BBC's Blue Peter.


Blue Peter had asked the university to film a short topical piece of news with a view to airing the report on the programme in the future.

The reporting team decided on a report about recycling and litter as it is very topical and something that is high on the agenda for young people who care about the environment.


The Salford based university contacted Salford Litter Heroes, a community based group in Salford whose aim is to Improve community spirit in Salford and that is where we came in, as Danielle Wright, who set up the group was with us training to teach.


Immediately Danielle and the film crew realised that our school would be a fantastic place for the filming to take place because of our strong commitment and vision on recycling. Our eco warriors are passionate about the environment which is evidenced by the fact that within one year of introducing our eco-committee they had achieved a Green Flag which is the highest accolade a school can achieve from Eco Schools.


The crew arrived on a cold, wet, Thursday to make the film with some of our year 7 and 8 learners who are regular recyclers and though the weather kept us inside for much of the day, our recycling spirits were not dampened as learners demonstrated recycling and the equipment needed.


The crew commented on how polite, enthusiastic and well behaved our learners were as filming involves lots of retakes and hanging around, so patience is key. It was all worth it though as the learners had a great day and the resulting film is fantastic. The short film can be watched here.


Thanks, must go to the University of Salford TV production students and, of course, to Danielle. The film will also now go to Blue Peter Producers who will decide whether to feature it in a future episode. Fingers crossed and watch this space!




BCHS are proud to be awarded the gold accolade in the Wise Up against hate and bullying initiative


The WISE UP initiative aims to celebrate the excellent work that Warrington Schools do to tackle bullying and hate crime. The project is run by Warrington Speak Up on behalf of the Warrington Hate Crime Partnership and is supported by Cheshire Constabulary.

BCHS were invited to the initial WISE UP launch back in October and schools were given the brief to complete and evidence work that had been completed by school to tackle bullying and hate crime. 


We were also asked to fill in a very in-depth questionnaire to show our understanding of hate crime and bullying. The completed questionnaires and documented evidence were then sent to the Hate Crime Partnership Panel. The evidence that we provided included all our Anti–Bullying Week activities, activities that we did during Pride week which celebrated diversity and inclusion and our visit to the Sikh Gurdwara in Latchford again embracing cultural diversity.


We are absolutely delighted that BCHS received the GOLD award and particularly with the comment


“Birchwood Community High School is a beacon of good practice in celebrating difference and diversity…. they never fail to impress”


Mrs Butler along with two learners Evelyn and Daniel from year 10, who are current Anti Bullying Ambassadors, went to receive their award on Wednesday 5 Feb at the Gateway. 


Joe O’Shaughnessy has put pen to paper on his first professional contract with Wolverhampton Wanderers


This week we have had great news regarding another shining star amongst the hall of fame of ex-BCHS learners as Joe O’ O’Shaughnessy signs his first professional contract with Wolves.


Joe who was constantly in the news at Birchwood, alongside Poppy Lawson when they represented the country in the England Football Youth Camps.


On leaving school in year 11 last year, Joe was determined to pursue his dream of goalkeeping professionally and we are delighted to report that Joe is well on course as he has agreed a pro-deal with Wolves.


Steve Davis, Wolves head coach said


“Joe’s been working really hard on his game, He’s got the physique, he’s got the size, his distribution is really good, but he’s still got a long way to go and we hopes the keeper uses the new contract to further enhance his development.”


We know how much this means to Joe and given this great chance, we know that he will run with it and really put in the work to shine as a superb keeper. Well done Joe, we are all delighted for you and super proud!



A busy week for sport


Last week was a busy sporting week at BCHS. On Tuesday, we hosted the Warrington Town Athletics Final in our sports hall. Fourteen primary schools came to join us for the morning event. There was great excitement as the little ones competed to take the awards.


A big thank you must go to our Year 9 sports leaders who did a fantastic job marshalling the events.


In the afternoon Years 7 and 8 competed and we were proud when our Year 8 boys took silver medals which means that they will now go through to the regional finals.


On Wednesday the newly formed year 10/11 girls football team played their first game against Penketh High, who have a seasoned team with a couple of signed players. Although the girls lost, they played fantastically for a first game and should be really proud of themselves. Well done girls don’t be downhearted and keep up the good work!


Well done also to our netball teams who played friendlies against Kings, the girls worked hard, and Mrs Jones is delighted with the numbers at practice and the determination and hard work that the teams are showing.


Finally, on Friday our new Year 7/8 and Year 9/10 girls’ rugby teams did themselves proud playing against Penketh, Cardinal Newman and Kings. The girls were an absolute credit to themselves and school. Cheering each other on, keeping their cool despite some more aggressive players and playing against school teams with girls that have been playing rugby for a few years.


Players of the match were, in years 7/8 – Lilly Day and Faye Millar and in years 9/10 Phoebe Shovelton and Chelsea Bennet Dowd.

Well done goes to all the girls, they had a brilliant time and were buzzing afterwards and looking forward to more training and games.


Don’t miss a great and varied evening of entertainment on Thursday


On Thursday evening we have our Year 12 and 13 Music and Acting showcase starting at 7pm. If you would like to come along and support us you’ll be in for an evening of exciting entertainment ranging from a musical set from the 60’s and 70’s by Year 12, to a Brecht piece, ending with a very surreal piece of drama based on the subconscious mind performed by Year 13. Due to the content of the Year 13 piece, this performance has been advertised for 14+


We would love as many people to come along as possible to support the students in their live exam.  Tickets are priced at £3 and £2 for concessions.



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


 Keeping your child safe



Teen aggression and arguments, something that all parents must deal with at times.


Following on from last week’s advice on dealing with anger and its repercussions, this week find out how to cope with heated arguments with your teenager, and what to do if they become violent.

The advice here covers How to defuse arguments with your teen and How to deal with violent behaviour.


 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 


Year 8 Science Trip, Chester Zoo, Tuesday 31 March 2020, 9-4pm


This week year 8 will be bringing home a letter regarding a trip to Chester Zoo, organised by the science dept. as a thank you for year 8's  excellent attitude and hard work in their science lessons. The trip is open to all year 8 and a copy of the letter that you will receive can be found here 



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 


A truly motivational MBE


Last Tuesday, Year 10 had the honour of Meeting Charlie Fogarty MBE an international speaker and normal guy who intends to ‘change lives one speech at a time’.


Charlie came to share his life changing story with us which is truly motivational.


In 2012, after just been scouted to play football for Birmingham City, Charlie took an everyday journey into town which changed the course of his life massively, as he was hit by a car and took all the impact on his head. After eleven days in intensive care Charlie’s parent were advised that he had severe brain damage and may never recover, let alone be able to have a good life as before.

But Charlie literally wasn’t going to take this lying down and after six months and lots of hard work, he took his first faltering steps towards rebuilding his life.


In his own words Charlie said, “Two things aided my recovery, friends and family and a ‘never say die’ attitude and determination to play football again”.


So, the hard work began and 18 years later Charlie has a list of accomplishments that anyone can be proud of including playing football again at championship level for the Northern Ireland Cerebral Palsy Squad and receiving the Irish Disability Player of The Year award.

He has graduated with a BSc in Applied Science and in 2018 was awarded an MBE, proving his mantra that everything is possible with determination and hard work.


Thank you, Charlie, for sharing your life good and bad with us, in your own entertaining way, you touched our hearts and made us laugh……but above all you gave us something to live up to!



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


Year 11 Photographs


Proofs will be distributed to learners today via form boxes. Orders should be returned to school by Friday 14 February, or you can drop them into the office during half term, in readiness for collection by the photographer on Monday 24 February. If your child took part in the friendship group photos, please ask them to collect their proof from the School Office as soon as possible in order to get their orders in by 14 February. Alternatively, you can order online as per the instructions on your order sheet.

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


You are also invited to the Warrington Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair on Birchwood Park, see the poster here



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 


Year 13 Photographs


Proofs will be distributed to students today via form boxes. Orders should be returned to school by Friday 14 February, or you can drop them into the office during half term, in readiness for collection by the photographer on Monday 24 February. If your child took part in the friendship group photos, please ask them to collect their proof from the School Office as soon as possible in order to get their orders in by 14 February. Alternatively, you can order online as per the instructions on your order sheet.

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.


You are also invited to the Warrington Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair on Birchwood Park, see the poster here


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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