Birchwood Update 23/3/2020

Birchwood Update week Commencing 23/3/2020



Thank you for your support over the last week which was extremely difficult for learners, staff, parents and governors alike.


However, through clear, timely and regular communication we managed to survive!

Over the next weeks or months, we will pledge to keep up our regular communication through Website, letters, text, email, Facebook and Twitter.


To keep normality, we will also aim to send out a slimmed version of our update, which again will share any important news.


As we won’t have much school news to celebrate, it may be good to share news of anything that you child is doing well at home. Let us celebrate any great pieces of home learning or anything that you or your child is doing to help the community, friends of family. At this time, it would be lovely to have some great achievements to share. Please send any news to Mrs Evans at


Working together we can get over anything and last week showed what a great team Team Birchwood is!

Working together to continue to learn


Last week we launched our home learning area for anyone who is not attending school so they can continue to learn while at home. At present there is enough work on the system to last until the Easter holidays and then the page will be updated at the start of the new term with new work if it is needed.

Learners will need to complete 5 hours of work a day whilst at home, unless they are ill and are unable to.

On the site you will find guidance for both learners and parents and carers plus guidance on how you can support your child. There are also contact emails for each department should you need further assistance


Let's work together to continue learning through these difficult times.

The learning page can be found here


Mrs Evans, with the help of teaching staff,  has also set herself a task to provide an idea of an interesting leaning task, each school day to share on Facebook and Twitter, so check social media daily for more ideas to engage your children.

This week we do have a terrific good news story to share, Tj is on his way to the Karate World Cup in 2021


 It has been a meteoric rise for Tj in 9DC in the world of competitive Karate as he only started out at GKR Karate in October 2017. James, his instructor’ said “When TJ first came to class He wouldn’t say boo to a goose and had no confidence in his ability but by July 2019 and after a lot of effort and commitment he reached his Red belt or 4th Kuy, which is an amazing achievement.”


Last Weekend he competed in his last tournament as a red belt at the GKR Northern Region Tournament in Sheffield and won 2 gold medals one in each discipline Kata and Kumite.


 Kata involves practicing a series of moves that become more and more complicated as you progress through the grades. It is a way of remembering a series of self-defence moves to protect yourself. Kumite on the other hand is sparring or fighting but the club has very strict non-contact rule during training and competition for the safety of all students


Tj’s gold medals now mean that he is one step further on the Journey to competing in the GKR World Cup Tournament in Australia in 2021.


Tj is, as you would expect, very proud of his achievements but not half as proud as his mum, who said “I’m so super proud of Tj for all the hours of training and commitment he gives to his karate” She is now doing some serious fundraising for the fare to send them to Australia for the World Cup next year !


It’s great to hear and share the success of one of our learners and TJ has really made us proud but James, Instructor for GK Karate, again sums it up when he said “Tj will be the first student I have seen grow from a shy white belt to a confident red belt looking forward to new challenges when he grades to brown belt later this month. His achievements over the last 2 years is the reason why I enjoy teaching karate, he is a credit to his dojo (class).


A huge well-done TJ and roll on the World Cup next year!




Mr Walker comes in to help make the NHS a safer place


A big shout out this morning for Mr Walker who came in to make some acrylic door openers with our laser cutter from the plastic which will be left over due to school closure. They will be donated to local hospitals where they will help combat the issue of spreading the virus through contaminated door handles. Well done Mr Walker and we are so pleased that you have been able to use school resources to such a great cause.


 Year 7 - No Specific information at present


Year 8- No Specific information at present


Year 9- No Specific information at present

Year 10 - No Specific information at present

Year 11


Does your child know what they are doing now that they have finished school?


The majority of learners have applied to college, attended interviews and been made a conditional offer. If your child has not made any applications please encourage them to do so asap an application form is available on our college website, which you can email to Chris Burrows, Head of College on along with any questions or advice.


For apprenticeship vacancies – see here . (It is also a good idea to apply for Birchwood College as a back-up even if you want an apprenticeship).


Year 11 Prom


Unfortunately, It looks that our Prom will be cancelled, please be aware that we will work alongside the Hallmark hotel to reschedule Prom when our current circumstance permits. We will ensure that when we can, year 11 will have the leaving celebration that they deserve.

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, are you looking for an apprenticeship?


Any Year 13s still looking for an apprenticeship will find lots of companies advertising vacancies at:


Skills North West


What Career Live Liverpool



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 back of the Willows

    • 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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