Birchwood Update 6/4/2020

Birchwood Update week Commencing 6/4/2020


Time to Talk @BCHS, a new service to support our community


At times we all need someone to talk to for help and advice or even just a friendly voice  and with that in mind , we are introducing a weekly service called ‘Time to Talk @BCHS’ which will run from 9am -12pm every Wednesday morning, starting this week, 8 April.


Please Email any concerns, queries, requests for advice and help of any sort to  and Mrs Crompton, Mrs Butler or Mrs Roberts will give you a call back. If appropriate they may also recommend a video call via Zoom, in which case you will be sent a Zoom video meeting ID code that you can use in Zoom on your browser on their site here



This service is offered to all our community parents, carers and learners alike and we hope that this will provide added support to everyone with any worries or concerns that they might have at this troubling time.


BCHS along with other Warrington schools do our bit to support our local NHS and carers


Staff at BCHS were busy on Wednesday organising a donation of over 200 sets of protective goggles from our science department to help fight coronavirus.


The bulk went to Birchwood Medical Centre who are becoming a hub for the local area and the rest were donated to two local care homes to safeguard both their elderly vulnerable residents and their carers.


All organisations were extremely grateful for our donation and could not thank us enough as they had been unable to find any themselves. It was fabulous to be able to do our bit for our community.


It was lovely also that Jaycen has had lots of praise and appreciation for what he is doing for the NHS from the media with article in both the Warrington Guardian and Warrington Worldwide. He has now made 10 face shields.


Every little bit helps!


Week 2 of our school closure and We continue to excel


Mr Heaton has been looking at our Hegarty Maths data on the whole he pleased with the results, sharing the data on twitter and Facebook. On Wednesday for example, he shared that you had:


Completed 13209 questions
and were 21st out of 1623 schools

and top mixed high school under 1000 learners!!!

Brilliant work keep it up everyone!!!


I’m sure that he will be looking at individual results too, with a view to Birch points for when we return!


last week was definitely a week to bake - good for the soul and the tummy!


Best bake of the week must go to Isabel in 9HB  who planned, baked and decorated a cake for her brother's 10th birthday as she was worrying that the family may not get out to buy one and what a fantastic result, it looks amazing! Very well-done Isabel. I’m sure Mrs Ikin will be very impressed


Maria in 8EV is also proving herself quite a cook she baked scones which were a lovely treat with jam and cream for her family, plus learnt how to make an omelette and chocolate brownies and Florrie made some fine looking blondies.


Our staff had a little baking competition, to offer a little light relief from lesson planning and teaching their own children!


Miss Connor baked some tasty looking Welsh cakes as she was struggling with ingredients, she used choc chips rather than raisins …. even better and Mr Heaton and family made some lovely dinosaur cupcakes that were really cute.


Mrs Halford made are lovely, glossy chocolate cake while Miss Fogg fulfilled my dreams of the perfect cake with a peppermint aero cheesecake.


Mrs Roberts made biscuits, Mrs Butler scones and more cakes from Mr Cosby and Mr Spencer.


And Mrs O’Riordan made some lovely butterfly cakes, which look perfect for afternoon tea.


The cakes were too many to mention all but well done to all of you who got their pinny and mixing bowl out. Our outright staff winner however was baked by Miss Porteous and it is the wonderful pastel, Mini egged Easter extravaganza on the photos, superb !


Other creative pastimes by staff were painting by Ms Walsh and Mrs Hughes has been teaching herself filet crochet, making a square a day since closure to make an heirloom blanket.


Have you been creative, painted a picture, built something, written a poem? We would love to  share some examples of your work by sending any photos etc to Mrs Evans at





 The Big Birchwood Bake off Competition, entries in by email by this Friday 10 April


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



Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see some Live theatre for both drama and English home learning


Our Drama department are looking forward to hearing how Year 7 and 8 have enjoyed watching performances from the National Theatre and Shrek the Musical.

All are free to watch, and the links are on Birchwood 365 in the Drama folder and on teams. Review sheets to fill in while watching!! Anyone welcome to enjoy!!


English would also like learners (and families) to watch the National Theatre live ‘Treasure Island’ which is available from 16th April here

How lovely to be able to see high calibre live performance from the comfort of our own homes



How about joining Warrington Youth Cabinet and having your say on what matters to you?


Warrington Youth Cabinet works on many exciting projects to help improve the lives of young people in our area. Their goal is to promote great opportunities for youths in Warrington and believe that with access to the right resources, people can become empowered by their own abilities and gain the confidence to meet their full potential.


 We are proud that at Birchwood we already have members of our community that hold Key positions within the organisation, Louis, Viktoria, Evelyne and Daniel but the Youth Cabinet is looking to recruit new members for roles covering a wide range of interests from corporate affairs to education, housing, parks and safety


So, if you are committed to making a difference to the youth of Warrington, see the Warrington Youth Cabinet site here and get in touch.

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

Looking after your Wellbeing and safeguarding is still our Priority


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



 CEOPS Thinkuknow Home activity worksheets to support online safety whilst home learning


Schools across the UK are now closed to most families. CEOPS know this is a difficult time for most parents. Their page and home activity pack is intended to provide you with support and resources to help you learn about online safety at home with your child. 

Click here for home activity packs for children aged 11-13


Click here for home activity packs for children aged 14+


Mental wellbeing is an important as physical, if you are struggling help is at hand


We all deserve to enjoy life and feel good about ourselves. Sometimes however life can be tough, particularly given the current situation. Whether you're feeling great and want to stay that way, you’re a bit fed up; or you are struggling to manage your feelings , then Happy, Ok, Sad by Warrington Borough Council  has links to information and tips ranging from how to boost your mood, to where to get help if you're unable to cope.

They have also introduced a section regarding Covid-19

Happy, OK, Sad can be found here


The Online Youth Connect Five Programme, a free online course to understand wellbeing


This online course is open to parents/carers in Warrington


The overall aim is to promote resilience (resilient families, ways to cope and support):

•             Understanding children and young people’s mental health

•             Understanding wellbeing

•             Understanding why we feel the way we do (emotions)

•             Life skills problem-solving


The course will take place over five days starting on Monday 13th April 2020.

This will be a webinar event using Zoom.


Book your place now, 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


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.


Covid -19 Time capsule booklet


 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


An Important letter from Mr Burnham to Year 11 learners - click here



Continuing with geography pdf -click here


Continuing with history pdf - click here


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


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 haven't applied for college yet, this is still possible but should be done asap, please follow the links below: 


For Birchwood College 

For Priestley College  

For Warrington & Vale Royal College  

For UTC Warrington



School leaver apprenticeships currently being advertised on include:


AB World Foods (Leigh) Manufacturing Technician Advanced Apprenticeship

Barratt David Wilson Homes - Carpenter/Joiner

MAC Furniture  - Furniture manufacturer (Warrington)


It is also worth signing up with Training Providers and registering for vacancies on their websites: for IT/Technical IT/cyber security Accountancy/Business Animal Care North Lancs Training Group (various)  Automotive, IT, Business, Food, Hospitality

JTL, CITB, NWTC - construction, electrical, plumbing etc  - Health Care/Social Care/Admin/Construction/IT 


Apprenticeship vacancies change daily so register, create an account on  and keep checking for updates. In these uncertain times, we would recommend that those who are looking for an apprenticeship should also apply for a college place as a back up. 


If you would like some advice regarding your son/daughter's future plans, college applications or apprenticeships please get in touch with our Careers Adviser Mrs R Morris who will be able to help you via email.





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:


Current college leaver apprenticeship vacancies around the North West include: 


Murphy Group (Warrington) Finance/Accountancy



Degree apprenticeships:

Property Management Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship 

Building Surveyor


Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering

Balfour Beatty Environmental 



It is also worth signing up with Training Providers and registering for vacancies on their websites: for IT/Technical IT/cyber security Accountancy/Business Animal Care North Lancs Training Group (various)  Automotive, IT, Business, Food, Hospitality

JTL, CITB, NWTC - construction, electrical, plumbing etc  - Health Care/Social Care/Admin/Construction/IT 


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.






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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