Birchwood Update 4/5/2020

Birchwood Update week Commencing 4/5/2020


Our new artwork has gone down a storm!


Last week Ms Mills gave us all a sneak preview on social media of a piece of 16 feet artwork that she had been working on with Manchester based artist Justin Eagleton which will take pride of place in our school

The piece that is a celebration of all things both Warrington and BCHS was no sooner out there than it received acclaim from both Warrington Guardian and Warrington Worldwide, click to read their reviews.


We would like to thank Justin for all the incredibly hard work that he has put into the piece even making a few tweaks to include other local heroes that were suggested on social media after the piece was unveiled including George Formby and Viola Beach.

What is also most pleasing is being able to celebrate some of our ex learners who have forged their way to success including James Chester, Josh Brownhill, Oliver Ormson, Yemisi Oyinloye, David Brooks, Ryan Latimer, Stephen Jordan, David Wright and George Sampson.

We hope that when the piece is installed, our students will really enjoy looking and learning and taking inspiration from this amazing artwork.


Winning work for our competitions


Thank you to those who entered our latest competitions, winners are announced below:


‘Life through my Lens’ photo winner is Emma James from 8DL for her gorgeous macro photo of the inside of a flower, stunning colour and great focusing. Well done Emma.


The ‘We are Family’ photo competition winner is Libby Kilpatrick in 7CH for her clever interpretation of family at this present time. A row of family slippers with a heart really says it all at a time when we are in lockdown. Well done Libby.


For our toilet roll art, Miss Brennan has chosen Olivia Burrows, 7MR with her lovely recycled collage watering can inspired by artist Jennifer Collier. Well done Olivia! A very imaginative response.


Amazon vouchers will be in the post for our three winners.




Our next competition is to tell us what you think of your grandparents and how much you are missing them


You can tell us this any way you like, letter, poster, photo or video. Wouldn’t it be amazing for your grandparent to see a message from you on our website?


Take a look at the video 'you told us about grandparents' video on right on top row - for some ideas 


Entries to be emailed to before Friday 15 May



Two of our students take time to think about what they are thankful for


Whilst at school last week two of our Key worker students, Jamie-Lee and Candice in year 7, were tasked with letter writing as part of their home learning. They got their heads together and thought that rather than writing an imaginary letter, why not write a real one thanking those who they think are excelling or doing a great job during lockdown.


First on their agenda was to express their admiration and thanks to the hero that has caught all our imaginations and admiration, Captain Tom Moore the World War Two veteran who raised more than £30m for NHS charities.


They found his address and set about writing letters that really expressed what they thought of what he has achieved, with words from the heart. The letters were posted last Monday, and the girls hope that Captain Tom received them for his 100th birthday which was celebrated by his promotion to the rank of honorary colonel with a military fly past. The girls’ letters can be seen in the photo below.


The girls were then on a roll, really thinking about who else they wanted to thank and wrote a fantastic letter to our staff thanking us all for coming in, making them feel safe and pushing them forward to succeed. A copy of their letter can be seen here


A huge well done to both girls for your kindness and thinking about others as well as yourselves in these unprecedented times. One of our key values at BCHS is kindness and both girls have certainly lived up to that aim.




Extra exercise books for home learning


We have had a couple of requests for extra exercise books as some students have done so much work they have ran out of space in their book!


If you need an extra book for your home learning these can be collected from the office next time you are passing.


Looking to the future - Advice from Mrs Morris for our year 12 and 13s


We hope all our college students are keeping well in lockdown. 


Click here for some useful info from UCAS on looking after your mental health and wellbeing.


There are also some interesting workshops run by Edge Hill University for Year 12 and 13 students on a range of topics including: preparing for university, the current situation, student finance and interview skills. There are also subject focused sessions e.g. Routes into Sport or Health.

Click here to see more


Students in England encouraged to apply now for student finance

The Student Loans Company has confirmed that the application service will remain open to students as part of its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and are encouraging students in England to apply for student finance as soon as possible to ensure their finances are in place for the new academic year.


New students are being asked to submit their applications before 22 May 2020. The Student Loans Company is contacting returning students to remind them to reapply for their next year’s student finance. The deadline for these applications is 19 June.

Applications for student finance can be made here.



Learning about life with vtalks from Speakers for Schools


We are excited to introduce a great new learning experience this week to you as we launch Speakers for Schools virtual talks

Find out about the world and how it works from a range of experts, who share their expertise on a wide ranging spectrum of topics from working for BBC news, to creating the perfect CV , to handling your anxiety.

The schedule for talks which are accessed online are below:


MONDAY 4th May, 10am BRANKO BJELOBABA Finance and Engaging in Democracy Speaker & 2pm CARL JONES Award Winning International Creative Director

TUESDAY 5th May, 10am KATHLEEN ALDER Managing Director, WildKat PR & 2pmGEOFF MULGAN CBE Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation

WEDNESDAY 6th May, 2pm PROFESSOR BILL MCCAFFREY Professor of Sedimentology, University of Leeds

THURSDAY 7th May, 10am YOUR SQUIGGLY CAREER & 2pm DR JANVI PATEL Entrepreneur, Female Founder & Board Advisor, Ambassador for Equality

MONDAY 11th MAY 10am – Session in partnership with GAIN & 2pm –, Co-founder and Director, Deltapoll

TUESDAY 12th MAY 10am – Simon Mannion, Deputy Chief Executive, Arts & Culture

WEDNESDAY 13th MAY 10am , Vice President for EMEA, Facebook & 2pm – Sereena Abbassi, Worldwide Head of Culture & Inclusion, M&C Saatchi

THURSDAY 14th MAY  10am, General Manager, Snap Inc.

FRIDAY 15th MAY  10am – Fawaz Bitar, Senior Vice President, HSE, BP

MONDAY 18th MAY  10am – Aleida Rios, Group Head of Engineering, BP& 2pm – Session in collaboration with Unifrog

TUESDAY 19th MAY 10am – Robert Peston, Political Editor, ITV & Founder, Speakers for Schools

 & 2pm – Kathrina Mannion, Director of Environmental Policy, BP

WEDNESDAY 20th MAY 2pm – David Dein, Former Chairman of Arsenal and the Football Association

FRIDAY 22nd MAY 10am – Tom Dore, Head of Education, British E-Sports Association



To listen to the talk, just before 10am on the date of the talk that you are interested in click here and select the speaker. The link is also available on our home learning page on the website here


More information about vtalks and a user guide can be found here


There is also feedback sheet that  here you can complete after the talk and email to so Ms Mills can see your thoughts and what you have learnt from the speaker ( sheet saved in April folder)


 We hope that you will make use of these vtalks and learn for life with the experts!

Follow us on Twitter too


Facebook is a really successful platform for sharing news and stories with you, but did you know that for educational news, advice, stories, hints and tips, Twitter is great too.


To follow our main site use @BCHSchool, but many of our departments also tweet regularly, see a list below:


Sport dept. - @BCHSchoolsport   

Media dept.- @BCHSchoolMedia

Geography dept. -@BCHSchoolGeog

Birchwood College -@BirchwoodColl

Eco committee -@BCHSchoolEco

History dept. -@historybchs1

Science dept.- @ScienceBchs

English dept.-@dempsey_mrs


Baking is great but getting flour, not so great!


We have noticed that baking is tremendously popular amongst everyone during lockdown. It really is great for wellbeing to create something fantastic to serve and eat. It also gives us the chance to use our creativity in decoration and it gives us the feelgood factor when people appreciate it. However, on the downside getting flour can be difficult.


Mr Ikin has been thinking about this and has asked us to share two of her favourite flourless bakes


Chocolate roulade and meringues – click to get the recipes, and please share any photos of what you make at the usual so we can share with Mrs Ikin



Working together to continue to learn


A letter was sent out on Monday 20 April regarding home learning for our summer term. The letter can be found here


Students can access work in three ways:


Show my Homework for maths work, found on our website here 


The Oak National Academy Platform – link in the letter


Our Passport to Success , found on our website here 


Please contact us if you do not have access to either a PC/tablet/laptop and we will try to sort one out for you

Warrington Foodbank still need your help at this difficult time


Though shopping is difficult at present don’t forget that if you are over at the shops at the centre and can  buy an extra item or two for the foodbank and drop into school , we can organise a collection of drop off of goods to the Warrington warehouse.


Stocks are low and with more and more people living on lower, if any salaries please help where you can.


Our reception is open daily 9am -3pm, let’s see if we can do our bit for those less fortunate at this trying time.


See the photo for the goods that Foodbank are particularly short of at present, alternatively you can make a cash donation online


Time to Talk @BCHS, a new service to support our community.  Every Wednesday morning between 9am -12pm we are available for a chat


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.



Looking after your Wellbeing and safeguarding is still our Priority






Isolation doesn’t mean silence

There is NEVER any excuse for domestic violence and isolation should not mean silence.

At this time when families are thrown together for longer periods if you or anyone you know is living in fear do not put up with a bad situation. For help and assistance please see the poster and for your own and your family’s safety please get in touch - help is out there





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 



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.






Please reload