Birchwood Update 24/2 /2020

Birchwood Update week Commencing 24/2/2020

 

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

 

February

 

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

 

March

 

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

 

April

 

1 – 3 April – Year 7 residential to Menai

 

3 April – School will close for the Easter break at 12.30pm after assembly

 

20 April – School and college re-open

 

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

The snow was perfect for our annual ski trip

 

Our annual ski trip set off at lunchtime on Friday 14 February for their mammoth coach journey to Austria. They teamed up with another school in Cambridge so picked them up on the way and arrived in Austria around 5pm on Saturday evening.

Day 1 saw some gentle skiing on the beginner slopes followed by time to relax at the hotel in the evening. Day 2, we headed over to Zauchensee, a resort we used for many years due to the high number of slopes on offer. This was also the place Mr Neil learnt to ski many years ago.

 

Day 3 saw us travel back to Zauchensee as the slopes were quiet and conditions were great. That night we went to the Lucky Flitzer, an alpine rollercoaster built into the slope. The learners loved it, as did the staff!

 

Day 4 we travelled over to Flachau, an area we’ve skied at most years. Although the clouds were quite low it didn’t dampen the learners’ spirits. That night was a trip to the local swimming pool, with wave pools, slides, diving boards and even a laser disco. Someone forgot their shorts but we won’t mention their name!!

 

On day 5, the group skied in Flachua again. Views from the top of the mountain did not disappoint. Then learners took part in a quiz night, with the staff team narrowly missing out on victory.

 

Day 6 and we were back to Zauchensee, partly because that’s where we had to drop off the equipment, but also because it’s an amazing place to ski. There was a mixture of feelings from the learners, some didn’t want to leave, others were looking forward to getting home and seeing their loved ones

.

The learners’ behaviour was impeccable, and Mr Neil and the other staff would like to thank everyone for representing the school so well.

Thanks, must also go all our dedicated staff who make these trips possible.

 

Working together to look after our wildlife

 

As some of you may have seen, we have unfortunately had to remove some dense trees and bushes from along our perimeter fence. As a deeply committed eco school, we did not do this lightly but as the area had not been managed for a considerable amount of time and was becoming problematic in regard of health and safety and safeguarding, it had to be done.

 

However, Birchwood local Rawdon Jones, a keen ecologist, Woodland Trust volunteer and Director of Fairy Forest School, a company specialising in education and events in Woodland, came to our rescue by arranging a donation of new trees from the Woodland Trust therefore involving the community and our learners in creating a new habitat for our local wildlife.

 

A huge thank you must also go to Neil Oxley, the site manager for the woods neighbouring our school for the  large donation of trees via the Trees for Schools initiative which will form a huge commitment on our behalf to plant a perimeter of trees creating a buffer and great habitat for wildlife between school and his woods.

 

Some of the trees are now with us and who better to start the planting process than our eco-committee members, so on the Thursday before half term , even though the weather was bitter our warriors braved the cold to start the work, which Mr Bolton our site manager continued over half term.

 

The area now looks great and we look forward to it establishing well. Thanks, must go again to the three men who through working together have made this possible, Peter Bolton, Rawdon Jones and Neil Oxley. Well done and thank you!

 

 

A message from the science department

 

From Monday 24 February basic equipment such as pens, pencils and rulers will no longer be sold in science. We are making this change in order to minimise any loss of learning time. Learners that have lost their exercise books will still be able to purchase one for 50 pence, but these will now only be sold during break and lunch times and not during lesson time.

Please can we ask all parents and carers to ensure your child has the required equipment needed for every science lesson. The required equipment list is the same as the equipment needed for maths lessons.

  • Pen,

  • Pencil,

  • Ruler,

  • Eraser,

  • Calculator,

  • Protractor, and

  • Compass

The last two items on the list are needed for physics lessons are needed for physics. If you have any trouble in obtaining the equipment needed, email Ms Dannan on wdannan@birchwoodhigh.org  

 

Thanks for a great and varied evening of entertainment.

 

On Thursday evening before half term we held our Year 12 and 13 Music and Acting showcase and what a great and varied evening of entertainment our students gave us! We had some great musical sets from the 60s and 70s by Year 12, to a Brecht piece, ending with a very surreal piece of drama based on the subconscious mind performed by Year 13.

 

As usual our performers gave their all and were brimming with talent. Thank you to all the performers who took part and of course to our dedicated performing arts staff who really go the whole mile to make the performance evenings possible.

 

 

Birchwood College students are smashing their university applications, with a great success rate of unconditional offers on some really interesting courses!

 

Year 13 students at Birchwood College are celebrating as many of them are receiving unconditional offers in their chosen courses. This doesn’t mean taking their foot off the gas however as they all want to achieve their best. It does give them certainty that they can progress onto their chosen field with some really interesting courses and university choices.

 

Well done goes to:

 

Ebony who has accepted an unconditional offer from Edge Hill University. She is off to study psychosocial analysis of offending behaviour.

 

Nathan who has unconditional offers to study history at The University of Wales Trinity St David’s but is also investigating the apprenticeship route.

 

Lois who has an unconditional offer to study law at Liverpool John Moores University.

 

Lily who has conditional and unconditional offers to study law at universities around the country.

 

Rachel who has an unconditional offer to study a childhood and youth studies and criminology degree at Edge Hill University.

 

Jake who has an unconditional offer to study television production management at Edge Hill University.

 

Callum who has secured an unconditional offer to study cartoon and comic arts at Staffordshire University after showing a phenomenal portfolio of his Manga drawings!

 

Well done to all of you, we are immensely proud of your achievements.

 

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

 

At present, the news is full of reports regarding the suicide of popular celebrity, Caroline Flack. Caroline took her own life at 40 years of age. It seems like this was an example of the issues that we addressed during Mental Health Week, when we asked learners to wear an item of clothing inside out to signify that often outward appearances do not reflect what is going on inside.

 

Though extreme, suicidal thoughts can unfortunately be common for young people. They can affect anyone, of any age, from any background and at any time. Like with physical illnesses, people do not choose to have a mental health problem and they need the appropriate care to get better.

 

For advice from Childline on how to address any worries you or your child may have about suicidal thoughts see here

 

 

Advice on the coronavirus for place of education

 

 A letter from Ms Mills regarding coronavirus has been sent home via email today and can also be found here

 

Please find an information poster here from Public Health England regarding coronavirus and what you should do if you feel unwell

 

 

 

 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 

 

A reminder that the final payment for the year 7 residential trip to Conway centre, Menai on 1-3 April 2020 is due this week.

 

The final amount of £50 or your remaining balance must be paid by Friday 28 February

 

Thank you

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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

 

Year 11 Photographs, last call for orders

 

Due to the half term break, Kittle photography will now be collecting photograph orders on Friday 28 February, therefore this is a last call to get any orders for photos in to our office by this Wednesday 26 February. Alternatively, you can order online as per the instructions on your order sheet.

 

 

Have you thought of an apprenticeship? There is something for everyone at two great local events

 

If you are wondering whether the apprenticeship route is for you then this week is a great time to investigate the possibilities as there are two great events to visit this week and next.

 

This Wednesday 26 February, there is an apprenticeship open event at Waterside Training in St Helens, who provide top quality apprenticeships in engineering and manufacturing.

 

Currently, they have 15 vacancies available with companies such as; 

 

•        AB World Foods at Leigh offering Manufacturing Apprenticeships

•        Diageo at Runcorn offering Engineering and Manufacturing Apprenticeships

•        Essity at Skelmersdale offering Engineering Apprenticeships

•        NSG (Pilkington) at St Helens offering Manufacturing Apprenticeships

•        Stateside Foods at West Houghton offering Engineering Apprenticeships

•        Tremco Illbruck at Wigan offering Engineering Apprenticeships

 

with many more yet to be confirmed

 

Vacancies are due to be released week commencing 24 February 2020 and will be released on Waterside’s Twitter accounts alongside their website apprenticeship page here

 

 

 

 

Next Thursday, 5 March You are invited to the Warrington Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair on Birchwood Park to meet employers in a variety of sectors such as:Accountancy, Business Admin, Construction, Customer Services, Design, Engineering, Health &Social Care, Hospitality & Catering, HR, IT & Communications, Logistics, Marketing and more.See the poster here For more details

 

Also take a look here to see what current posts are available.

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 rmorris@birchwoodhigh.org 

 

 

Birchwood College 

 

Year 13 Photographs, last call for orders

 

Due to the half term break, Kittle photography will now be collecting photograph orders on Friday 28 February, therefore this is a last call to get any orders for photos in to our office by this Wednesday 26 February. Alternatively, you can order online as per the instructions on your order sheet.

 

Birchwood College students are smashing their university applications, with a great success rate of unconditional offers on some really interesting courses!

 

Year 13 students at Birchwood College are celebrating as many of them are receiving unconditional offers in their chosen courses. This doesn’t mean taking their foot off the gas however as they all want to achieve their best. It does give them certainty that they can progress onto their chosen field with some really interesting courses and university choices.

 

Well done goes to:

 

Ebony who has accepted an unconditional offer from Edge Hill University. She is off to study psychosocial analysis of offending behaviour.

 

Nathan who has unconditional offers to study history at The University of Wales Trinity St David’s but is also investigating the apprenticeship route.

 

Lois who has an unconditional offer to study law at Liverpool John Moores University.

 

Lily who has conditional and unconditional offers to study law at universities around the country.

 

Rachel who has an unconditional offer to study a childhood and youth studies and criminology degree at Edge Hill University.

 

Jake who has an unconditional offer to study television production management at Edge Hill University.

 

Callum who has secured an unconditional offer to study cartoon and comic arts at Staffordshire University after showing a phenomenal portfolio of his Manga drawings!

 

Well done to all of you, we are immensely proud of your achievements.

 

 

 

Have you thought of an apprenticeship? There is something for everyone at two great local events

 

If you are wondering whether the apprenticeship route is for you then this week is a great time to investigate the possibilities as there are two great events to visit this week and next.

 

This Wednesday 26 February, there is an apprenticeship open event at Waterside Training in St Helens, who provide top quality apprenticeships in engineering and manufacturing.

 

Currently, they have 15 vacancies available with companies such as; 

 

•        AB World Foods at Leigh offering Manufacturing Apprenticeships

•        Diageo at Runcorn offering Engineering and Manufacturing Apprenticeships

•        Essity at Skelmersdale offering Engineering Apprenticeships

•        NSG (Pilkington) at St Helens offering Manufacturing Apprenticeships

•        Stateside Foods at West Houghton offering Engineering Apprenticeships

•        Tremco Illbruck at Wigan offering Engineering Apprenticeships

 

with many more yet to be confirmed

 

Vacancies are due to be released week commencing 24 February 2020 and will be released on Waterside’s Twitter accounts alongside their website apprenticeship page here

 

Next Thursday, 5 March You are invited to the Warrington Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair on Birchwood Park to meet employers in a variety of sectors such as:Accountancy, Business Admin, Construction, Customer Services, Design, Engineering, Health &Social Care, Hospitality & Catering, HR, IT & Communications, Logistics, Marketing and more.See the poster here For more details

 

Also take a look here to see what current posts are available.

 

 

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 aoreilly@birchwoodhigh.org

 

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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