Birchwood Update 9/3/2020

Birchwood Update week Commencing 9/3/2020


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




13 March - Whole school non uniform day – learners and staff can wear something sporty - £1 donation per person to Sport Relief


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




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

 Coming on board with cashless catering


Please remember that from today, 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


This week is Sport Relief week and BCHS will be doing our bit in support, with a non-uniform day and other activities


This week as part of Sport Relief there will be lots going on at BCHS, this afternoon staff will be challenging learners to a netball match, and on Thursday there will be a staff versus learners showdown in badminton. Both events at 3.15pm in the sports hall.


Friday will be a busy one with whole school non uniform day when learners and staff can wear something sporty for a suggested £1 donation to Sport Relief. We hope that your child will support us in this, plus a one mile walk/run around the school site at break or lunch time, dependent on the weather. To finish the week, there will be another sporting battle as the year 11 football team take on a staff team at 3.15pm on the 3G.


Parents and carers are more than welcome to after school events to provide some support.


Evan and Amy have a great day competing at the Copperbox


On Friday 28th March, as the winners for the regional rounds, Amy in 9RT and Evan in 9BC represented Birchwood Community High School in the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships at the Copperbox Arena in London.


Competing against schools from all over the country, Amy came 16th out of the 179 Year 9 Girls who took part and Evan finished 21st out of the 220 Year 9 boys, both managing to beat their current personal bests, an absolutely amazing achievement.


In the team relay, Warrington Schools Year 9 Girls finished 10th overall out of 97 teams taking part. Again, a great score to be proud of.

The Warrington and Merseyside schools travelled together by train to the event and watched the exciting National Final with Plymouth Amateur Rowing Club just managing to hold on to the title for another year. Everyone had a fantastic day arriving home on Friday evening exhausted but proud and happy. 


Many thanks to Warrington Youth Rowing who made this opportunity possible.



On our last day of term our theme is ‘Be Kind’ and with your help it will be memorable

Please be aware that on our last day of term, 3 April, school will close for the Easter break at 12.30pm after assembly.

The whole day will also be centred around the theme of ‘kindness’ and will focus on the negative impact of online bullying as opposed to the impact that being kind and caring brings.


Activities on the day and our assembly will focus on kindness and learners will have the opportunity to purchase an ‘In a world where you can be anything…Be Kind’ t shirt to wear on the day, which 100% of proceeds go to the Samaritans. The T shirt are ordered directly on-line by yourselves at the site here.


Alternatively, learners are asked to donate £1 to wear their own clothes for the day.


As part of our focus on kindness and gratitude in school, we are also hoping to be able to present staff with certificates at the end of term with comments from yourselves about how they have helped or supported your child in school. We have an extremely hard-working body of staff and we are trying to show our learners how gratitude and respect are key values to uphold for a happy and successful life. If you could model this gratitude to your child by taking in part in this initiative, we believe it will be very powerful.

If you would like to nominate a member of staff for an award, please could you email  with the following information:


•             Your name

•             Your child’s name

•             The member of staff’s name

•             The reason for the nomination



We hope that by working together ‘Birchwood Be Kind’ Day will be a memorable day that learner can really take something valuable from


BCHS joins in the fun of World Book Day on Thursday 5 March


Last Thursday was the ever-popular World Book Day and BCHS joined in with the celebrations with a fun day for both staff and learners.


Teenager are often ‘too cool for school’ and hate the idea of dressing up so for a twist the staff did it! Which caused much hilarity.


We had a fantastic turnout of costumes from so many books, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, The Mister Men series to name but a few and also some superb characters in themselves Mrs Jenkinson was made to be Captain Hook and worryingly really suited her moustache! And Dr Moore was a dead ringer for the BFG.


Leading the bunch in true Birchwood spirit was Ms Mills as Miss Trunchbull from Matilda! Truly scary!


Thanks, must go to the forms who did a great job of decorating their classroom doors as book covers. The winners of the best door were, in year 7, 7MR and in year 8 it was 8EV


The winners of the ‘Guess the teacher’s favourite book’ was a tie with Emily Holden and Maria Bird both in 8RE , who both managed to spot all the staff who were hiding behind their books. So well done to both of them.


Prizes for all our winners will be on their way.


Thanks to everyone who put the effort in to make this a great day, particularly Mrs Dempsey, Head of English, who was unfortunately, after all her hard work sick on the day and missed out on the fun!



We need your help with the ‘Big Birchwood Cut Off’ in aid of the Little Princess Trust

If you are a hairdresser or know someone who is and would be willing to spare an hour or two on the morning of 23 April to do some haircuts to support the Little Princess Trust, a charity who make wigs for children with cancer. could you ask them to email before Friday 20 March for more details and to confirm that you are able to help.


There will be no styling involved just simply to cut length to send to the charity


BCHS really need your support for this really worthwhile event, an hour of your time could make a sick child feel like a princess again.

Year 8 get the chance to speak to local professionals about their pathways from school


At Birchwood Community High School, we are lucky to have the support from local companies and former students who give up their time to come into school to speak to our learners


On Tuesday 3 March, during National Careers Week every year 8 learner had a choice of 7 sectors and attended 2 workshops to find out more about jobs and careers, what they involve every day, entry requirements and opportunities. It is good to think about careers early on and to get as much information as possible in terms of what is available. This gives learners some focus and a goal to work towards. The learners asked some interesting questions and were really engaged. Their questions included, “What A Level choice would you advise I take if I want to go into nursing?” and, “In your field, do you think it’s better to do an apprenticeship, or go to university?”.


We would like to thank representatives from the NHS, Sellafield (Engineering), Cheshire Police, Myerscough College (Animal Care) and HE Simm Construction as well as two former students Yemesi Oyinloye an Actor (recently in Cold Feet and Bancroft, previously in Coronation Street and Emmerdale) and Alex Heywood a Football Coach who has worked in the USA and Canada. Feedback from Year 8 included, “I didn’t realise there were so many different careers in the NHS” and, “I can’t believe she was in Emmerdale!”.



The UKMT Maths Challenge results are in for year’s 9 & 10



On Thursday we received the results of the UKMT Maths Challenge paper that year 9 and 10 sat last half term and as ever our learners have made us proud:


In Year 9


Gold awards go to:

Sadie Johnstone who scored best in Y9 and best in school and now qualifies to go through to the Kangaroo challenge

Joshua Vickers who also qualifies for Kangaroo challenge.


Silver Award awards:

Heidi Perrin

Isabel Toynton, who also qualifies for the Kangaroo challenge

Evan Wray


Bronze Awards go to:

Daniel Beech

Holly Hudson

Isaac Jones

Samantha Piazza

Finn Ruddy

Stanley Strong

Anna Toynton


In year 10


Gold goes to Jacob Dunn, who scored best in year 10 and also goes forward to the Kangaroo Challenge.


Silver Award

Eliza Piskor

James Short, who also Qualifying for the Kangaroo challenge.


Bronze Award

Jack Brent

Megan Crawford

Oksana Rodnova


Hard work and preparation really pays off when it comes to exams


Ms Dannan, Head of Science, would like our Year 10 and 11 learners to check out a great twitter resource for science revision. It should be really useful for the rapidly approaching exam season!


The Twitter Science Revision Channel can be found here


You can also get the official Twitter app here  


There is also a homework revision schedule calendar here . Ms Dannan suggests learners spend 30 minutes on each task.  Revision (mind maps, notes or flashcards) should be shown to their science teacher. For more detail see Show my Homework.



Keeping your child safe



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 latest guidance 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 - No specific information

Year 8 


Year 8 Performance Review Evening –Thursday 19 March 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 more details and information on how to book your appointment can be found here

Year 8 trip to Chester University, 10 & 11 March 2020


Last week Year 8 brought home a letter regarding a trip to Chester University 10 March B Band and 11 March A Band. This is part of their careers education programme and all learners are invited to attend.

A copy of the letter can be found here. If you have not already given your consent, please could we ask you to do so asap via Parent Pay as soon as possible please.

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 - No specific information

Year 11


Year 11 photographs


The year 11 leavers photos have arrived at school and will be distributed this afternoon via your child’s form box.


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


The year 13 leavers photos have arrived at school and will be distributed this afternoon via your child’s form box.

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? Don’t miss this great local event.


This 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.


This event is now in its 6th year. It has always been a huge success, attracting some of the top North West employers and last year received c.900 visitors. Please book early and select your chosen visiting time.


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


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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