Birchwood Update 30/3/2020

Birchwood Update week Commencing 30/3/2020



Covid -19 Time capsule booklet



Scam alert

We have been informed that some parents have received an email stating the following: ‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’.

We can confirm that this is a scam email and is not official. We urge parents that if you receive any emails like this, please do not respond, and delete it immediately



We have had a lot to celebrate after all!


A big thank you to everyone who has been sharing their photos and messages of what your child has been doing for home learning and beyond. It really has been lovely to receive and share.


We appreciate the efforts that parents, carers and learners are putting in to ensure that our children continue to learn and it is lovely to see that homes have been transformed in to studies, gyms and offices……even the family pets have been assisting.


So here is a roundup of last week:  


Bobby in year 7, was has been doing maths with his little brother. While Esther and Alexis were working hard on maths and English. Grace in year 9 was also working hard on English.


Eva Lowe shared some fantastic artwork for her art project which was to make a picture using items from outside and her family from pebbles. Lovely Eva


Aimee in 9DC as well as keeping her school routine the best she can has signed up to a sign language course which she is doing with mum.


Tj has been studying Spanish, maths and French  and even cookery with his nieces who are staying with the family.


Kieran in 10LK has a new study to work in and Rianne has been doing PE this morning with Joe Wix and working with younger siblings.


Grace in 8EV has been doing her work with the help of Lola her dog… I hope he hasn’t been giving her the answers!


Megan in 7RC has a lovely area to work in her bedroom which is nice and bright.


Congratulations to Charlie in 10AE for getting into the spirit of home learning fuelled with plenty of skittles by the look of it!


Shannon in 10AD made a wonderful Lemon Meringue Pie and used a catering blow torch for the first time!


Luke did basketball practice in the garden for his PE home learning and Katie in 7JM took advantage of the sun and worked in the garden to design a comic strip about a Shakespeare play.


We must also give a big shout out to those children who have been with us at school this week. They have been absolutely terrific, working hard and really throwing themselves into the opportunities that have been given to them by various members of staff in cooking, scrapbooking, sport and many more. And thank you to all our staff who have rallied to offer cover or an activity.




Maybe this week we could share some examples of your work by sending any photos etc to Mrs Evans at

Jaycen is delighted to do his bit to help the NHS


When Jaycen in 7RS got a 3D printer for Christmas he never thought that within months he could be using it to save a life, which is exactly what he has decided to do!


Alongside his normal schoolwork, Jaycen has designed his own DT project - to print face shields which are at present in low supply but vital to our NHS and then donate them to Warrington Hospital


The face shields, which are to UK recommended design, consist of a 3D printed headband and a punched laminate shield. He has printed his first few and wants to continue printing these each day to make as many as possible for our brave NHS staff.


Jaycen said:


 “I wanted to help our doctors and nurses during the Covid lockdown, and I know that they’re asking for equipment that they desperately need. Mum got me a 3D printer for Christmas, and I found face shields online that I could 3D print and put together at home. We started straight away and I’m hoping to make as many as I can to send to Warrington Hospital. The hospital have always taken great care of me whenever I’ve needed them so I would like to give a little back in return.”


When we heard of Jaycen’s plan we felt genuinely humbled by his generosity and care for others and we are so proud to have him as a member of our school.


Well done Jaycen, you really are marvellous!



Daniel dances his way to success for Sport Relief


What a surprise we had when watching Sport Relief a few weeks ago, to see an ex-learner of ours Daniel Moores as part of the dance team on the show!


Danny, who was a really popular member of Team Birchwood, regularly appearing in our school shows is currently doing professional dance and musical theatre course at Bird College, London where he was offered the chance to take part.


We are so pleased for you Danny; you did a great job and we are sure that this was your chance to dance your way to even more success!



The Big Birchwood Bake off Competition


As Easter approaches, we thought it may be nice to organise a bake-off competition to keep all our spirits up.


Mrs Ikin has kindly let us have some of her wonderful tried and tested recipes for an Easter cake, which needs eggs and shortbread, which doesn’t. So dependent on how you are finding shopping there should be a chance for all.  Obviously, we can’t judge on taste so the competition will be judged on how wonderful your bakes look.


To take part send a photo of your Easter treat to Mrs Evans at  who will forward to our judges.


Get baking Birchwood!


Easter cake recipe is here

Shortbread recipe is here



Kooth is still there to support you


Kooth will continue to provide online mental health and wellbeing support to young people via any internet accessible device. Kooth provides an opportunity to interact in a supportive way with other young people as well as receive support from a qualified counsellor.


They are able to offer students online presentations about Kooth and online training sessions for staff, both via ZOOM.


To find out more visit here where young people can register and others can find out more about the service.


Further info about signing up can be found here


You can also view a short video about the service  here

Don’t drop your music lessons due to coronavirus


Last week you should have received an email regarding music lessons which can be found here


Music lessons can be done via video so we need parents to download Zoom at 


New starters are welcome too at a cost of £102 for 12 weeks through our summer term



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.


 If you are having problems accessing work online, paper packs of home learning for your child can now be collected at our school office.


 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


Future Plans 


if you have applied to college there is no need to worry. Your college offers will still stand for September. If you haven't had an interview yet, it will probably be done over the phone, you will be contacted about this. If you are looking for an apprenticeship - keep looking but make sure you apply to college as a back-up. If you need any help contact our careers adviser 

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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