Birchwood Update week Commencing 22/6/2020
Introducing our new house and pastoral system
Alongside the exciting visual changes that are taking place at school of which we have kept you fully informed, Ms Mills last week introduced our new House and Pastoral system via an assembly which we shared via Groupcall and social Media. We hope that you have watched the video and are as excited as we are about these changes that will provide many opportunities and benefits.
The video can be viewed here
Last week we were chosen by the Warrington Guardian to visit to see the safe return of Years 10 and 12
Last week was a big week for us as we prepared to safely welcome back our year 10 and 12 students and it was great that we were able to celebrate all our hard work and planning with the greater Warrington Community when the Warrington Guardian came to interview us and do some photographs of how the return was looking.
Thanks to Dave Gillespie for some great photos which will certainly be ones to keep in our massive archive of photos since the school started as they perfectly capture this strange time that we find ourselves living through. I am sure students and staff in the future will look back at 2020 photos and say, ‘that was an odd year!’
The return went well and we were very happy to see our students and hear that they too were pleased to be back and thankful for the opportunity to get back to some face to face time with their teachers.
For more details of the Guardian’s report and to see the photos, click the link here
An important letter to year 10 parents regarding end of term dates and further plans for year 10 can be found here
This week’s star learners who deserve to be celebrated
Wow teachers have been amazed this week at how hard many of you are working and the well-done messages have been rolling in. We hope the following learners will be very proud of themselves
Mrs Hajigeorgiou wanted to mention Amy Groves (Yr.9) who is having lessons in both piano and singing every week with her. She is putting in the work and I'm really pleased with her progress. She is working on her grade 7 pieces in her singing lessons and is really doing well. In piano she is learning various piano arrangements of pop music which she is really enjoying. ('Let It Be' was her favourite)
In EPR, Mr Cosgrove congratulates-
Y8 - Emma James completed a superb project on Church buildings, their use during important ceremonies and the main features and symbols found in them
Y10- Ella Hatton. Georgia Steel, Shannon Downing all producing consistently outstanding EPR work week on week.
Megan Crawford Y10 also produced a lovely image to represent the Sikh concept of mukti, the release from the cycle of birth and rebirth (in photos below)
Mrs Dempsey wanted to praise Olivia Burrows who has completed some brilliant work for English. Click here to see her story
Mr Merrick -Stanley Strong in Year 9 has been working hard. He has even completed extra work and has been reading consistently.
Mr Coulson said, “Olivia Burrows has done some outstanding work for me in Music and really gone above and beyond.”
Miss Roscow would like to congratulate Lilly-Mae Shaw in 7RS who has been working really hard on her English tasks and has produced some impressive responses.
Mrs Latham would like congratulate Olivia Burrows Year 7, Daniel Nowowiejski Year 7, Kiera Metcalf and Nikki Houghton year 9 for the great science work she has received (see the photos below)
Mrs Ikin’s stars are:
In year 7 Olivia Burrows, Libby Kilpatrick, Alex Ainsworth, William Icke, Leon Pritchard, Matthew Fraser, Ria Johnson, C Crawford, Xander Whitling and Joe; Bloxham
In year 8 Luke Robertson
In year 9 Angela Mayaka
In year 10 Shannon Downing
Mrs Halford says congratulations to Sam Robinson in y9 for a fantastic effort in History.
We would also like to congratulate ALL our Year 10s for coming in with an excellent attitude to their learning and a positive attitude to the rules that we have needed to put in place for their safety. After being away from school for such a long time they coped admirably and really showed us what stars they are!
WELL DONE ALL OF YOU!
TT Rockstars rocked over half term!
The results are in for the TT Rockstars competition that ran over half term. The winners of the battle between years 7 and 8 was won by year 8 and it was an incredibly close battle between years 9 and 10 with just 12 points making Year 10 the winners.
There were also some outstanding performances from individuals, see the results below
Kooth is here to help you celebrate Pride month - poster in my pictures
Time for Tea?
Now the weather has gone dreary and we are back inside, this month’s competition is to design, make and serve an afternoon tea.
Maybe your tea will be based on Alice in Wonderland, with jam tarts or will it be traditional with cakes and scones and cream or maybe a choco based afternoon tea for chocolate lovers?
Whatever you decide we would love to see photos of your family enjoying your treat tea. Send photos to email@example.com by Sunday 28 June.
An opportunity not to be missed for Years 9 to 12. Are you interested in design and architecture and want to learn from the best?
If you answered yes, then don’t miss a chance to secure a place with The PLACED Digital
Academy for their 10-week digital programme course starting in July.
You’ll get to take part in weekly design challenges, skills sessions and professional development.
You’ll also benefit from 1-2-1 support and mentoring from industry mentors including architects,planners, interior designers, construction professionals, and developers, giving you a unique insight into careers and study routes.
The Academy is being delivered in partnership with the University of Liverpool School of Environmental Sciences.
If you are Interested and would like to get involved in this exceptional opportunity, visit placed-academy.com for more info and an application form.
Closing date 30th June.
ADDvanced Solutions Community Network have a new, online offer to support children, young people, families and professionals in the Warrington area.
ADDvanced Solutions Community Network encourages, equips and empowers children, young people and their families living with neurodevelopmental conditions, learning difficulties and associated mental health needs. They help you and your family to better recognise, understand and meet your individual needs, enabling you to manage the day to day challenges.
For more details on their latest help and information click here.
An update newsletter for all our young carers has arrived
The latest newsletter from Warrington Young Carers Services can be seen by clicking here .It is packed with news, celebrations , advice, and things to do and join in with via Zoom.
A great way to keep fit and keep our community spirit
This week the Fitbit group was challenged to continue to improve their weekly step count and they rose to the challenge. Mrs Evans finished in 3rd place with over 80,000 steps, narrowly beating Mr O’Reilly who also broke the 80k barrier. The top two this week were Rhys Black from year 8 (2nd place) and Miss Johnson (1st place) who both amassed over 120,000 steps! Unbelievable numbers to put up in one week. Staff have clearly been pacing the classrooms and corridors again with year 10 returning to school as Mr Burnham, Mrs Jones, Mrs Dannan and Mrs Mulligan all walking between 30,000 and 45,000 steps.
Members were also challenged to complete two different types of exercises. Cycling, walking and home workouts were all posted to the group. Emma Jones in year 8 completed a 7km walk around Delaware Forest and Rhys Black completed a variety of home workouts and long distance runs on his way to over 120k steps. Mr Yates played tennis at the Birchwood LiveWire centre and also took advantage of the cycle paths in Birchwood and local beauty spot Risley Moss nature reserve, despite the rain.
If you would like to join the Fitbit group please email Mr Yates (firstname.lastname@example.org). Follow @BCHSchoolsport on twitter to find out the latest about Phsyical Education and school sport.
Providing support and a warm welcome for our new year 7
In these turbulent times we realise how worried year 6 children and parents must feel regarding transition to high school, so to help you feel part of the team , we hope that you will enjoy the welcome messages on our video from both students and staff.
The video can be found on our year 6 transition page here, telling you all about our house and pastoral system so that you feel you can start getting to know us and those who will look out for you a little more. We are also now able to offer some face to face transition days will be fantastic for all of us. A letter has been posted out to you but can also be found under the House system video. We can’t wait to meet you all shortly!
Ways to Buy Uniform:
In store at Warrington School Wear Centre 50-54 Buttermarket Street Warrington WA1 2NN 01925 576868 OR ONLINE: Alphaschoolwear.com
A price list for uniform from Warrington Schoolwear Centre On Buttermarket St can be found here and on our transition page. The shop is now open for you to visit. A further Price list from Alpha will be added when we receive.
you have any questions, worries or concerns about your child’s transition to high school, click the link to use email@example.com
We can’t wait to meet you and hope that you feel the same!
Don’t forget Fresh, the online youth club – a great way to keep in touch
Young people are really struggling to keep in touch during isolation so don’t be tempted to break the lockdown rules, try Fresh instead, the online youth club which is available after school each Tuesday at 3pm. Have fun with friends without leaving the safety of your home
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 22nd June
10am – Zoe Irwin, Creative Director, John Frieda
2pm – Armando Iannucci, Oscar-nominated Writer & Director
TUESDAY 23rd June
10am – Richard Waterworth, General Manager, UK & EU, TikTok
2pm – Tamara Holmgren, Engineer and Project Manager, BP
WEDNESDAY 24th June
10am – Maurits van Tol, Chief Technology Officer, Johnson Matthey
2pm – Bernadine Brocker Wieder, CEO, Vastari Group Ltd
THURSDAY 25th June ,2pm – Marlon James & Ekow Eshun
FRIDAY 26th June ,10am – James Worrall, Founder, Leaders in Sport
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Show off your skills - Launching on Wednesday 20 May on Twitter - Britain’s got Skills
As part of National Skills Days, Twitter is asking you to share your skills with Britain. The challenge is to choose your skill, whether it be singing, dancing, saying the alphabet backwards…..in fact anything you are good at .
Make a short video of your skill and post on twitter with # my skills and @NCWSkillsDays and @BCHSchool
For more information see here
We know you are all tremendously skilled at lots of things, so let’s share Birchwood!
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 email@example.com 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 Well being and safeguarding is still our Priority
PLEASE FIND AN IMPORTANT NEWSLETTER WITH THE LATEST VITAL SAFEGUARDING ADVICE FROM MELISSA MARSH-CROFT (PC 5721) OUR WARRINGTON YOUTH ENGAGEMENT OFFICER
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 www.Kooth.com 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
Please find our latest advice and resources for home learning on our page here
Year 8 and 9
Year 8 and 9 Immunisations catch-up
The immunisation team will be inviting year 8 and 9 into school for the vaccinations they have missed during closure. The invitation letter will be sent out to your home and a copy can also be found here .Please call the immunisation team office to make your appointment as they will be handling this directly. Thank you.
An important letter to year 10 parents regarding end of term dates and further plans for year 10 can be found here
A message from Ms Mills
I hope you are all okay – I wanted to write home to give you a further update on where we are up to with a few things.
Firstly, the year 11 leavers hoodies are now available on the school shop. These are a free leaving present from us, you just need to visit our online shop and order the size required. See here for how the hoody looks , though we do not have the facility to produce the nickname element.
Secondly, I wanted to check that you are aware of the transition material that is available for you to get ready for next year. There is a year 11 area on Microsoft Teams that you can access and I have uploaded transition packs for the following A levels: Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Economics, English Literature, French, Geography, History, Maths, Media and Physics. For students who are looking to study an Applied Learning qualification next year, you can access transition material on our school website at https://www.birchwoodcollege.org/home-learning. On Microsoft Teams, I have also included a link to a range of different lectures to prepare for next year that covers nearly every subject that I could possibly think of! It is https://www.gresham.ac.uk/watch/.
Finally, I am posting weekly assemblies for year 11 every Friday in the Microsoft Teams area, so please ensure you are checking here regularly for updates and information.
If there is anything else we can help you with at this time, just let us know.
A link to a letter that Ms Mills sent out to Year 11 parents can be found here
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
We are delighted to announce that we have worked with the hallmark hotel to provisionally reschedule our Prom to 3 September, of course dependent on social distancing rules a that time.
We a will also be organising a commemorative leavers hoody for all of year 11, these will be free of charge as a leaver present from us to you.
If you have any concerns, questions and worries about anything, year 11, please remember that we are here for you and there is always someone to turn to for help and advice via phone call or email to our pastoral team, SLT team, Form tutor and Head of year team and Mrs Morris for career concerns.
Looking to the Future and next steps for Year 11
The latest advice from Mrs Morris for those who are seeking an Apprenticeship -
School leaver apprenticeships are currently being advertised here
If you need any help with applications/writing a CV, interview skills or just what to do next please get in touch with your Careers Adviser, Mrs R Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org .She is working at home , waiting for your messages
Great news for Birchwood College, we have been chosen to deliver the new T Level qualifications from 2022.
T Levels are new courses coming in September 2020, which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A levels. These 2-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work.
T Levels will offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). They will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.
T Levels will become one of the main choices for students after GCSE alongside A Level qualification. After a thorough application process, we are proud to have been selected to deliver these courses and are excited about the opportunities they will offer our students. The chance to complete an academic qualification whilst undertaking work experience within specific areas of industry will ensure our students are fully prepared for the working world.
The new qualifications will play a key part in rebuilding the economy after the coronavirus outbreak, boosting access to high-quality technical education for thousands of young people so they can progress to the next level, whether that is getting a job, going on to further study or an apprenticeship.
Emma Mills said:
“We are very excited to be part of the rich and varied approach to post-16 education through being able to deliver T levels in our college from 2022. We know this will hugely benefit our students by unlocking a wealth of opportunities which will ultimately enrich their future.”
More details of specific courses will be shared when finalised and we are looking forward to extending further the fantastic range of qualifications on offer at Birchwood College.
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.
Do you need some inspiration about your pathway in life?
Here are some useful websites for year 12 and 13 students to help with career planning, getting advice on next steps, hearing from other young people telling their stories and local businesses/organisations who recruit college and university leavers and what they are looking for. Hopefully it will provide some inspiration!
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.
Year 13, are you looking for an apprenticeship?
For those of you in year 13 who are looking for apprenticeships/employment keep checking on the following sites
If you need any help with applications/writing a CV, interview skills or just what to do next please get in touch with Mrs R Morris, your Careers Adviser.
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:
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 email@example.com
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.