Back to School - September 2020

COVID-19 Risk Assessment

Please download the latest risk assessment for Birchwood High School: Covid-19 Risk Assessment – September 2020

Changes to Peripatetic Music Lessons for 2020/21:

Please see Peripatetic Music Lessons – 2020/21 Academic Year for more information.

Press Release – GCSE Examination Results 2020

After all the political turmoil, 236 Year 11 students received their long-awaited GCSE levels this morning to smiles and jubilation.

Principal, Dr Ingate, said “I was so relieved to hear that the government had decided to do a U Turn and base these results on teacher assessed levels. Last week’s A-level fiasco has also been addressed and we are in the process of re-sending these students their up-dated grades. I was delighted to see so many happy and successful boys and girls. At Birchwood, I was so impressed with the professional and accurate way our teachers worked to give each student the best-fit GCSE level for each subject they studied. There was rigorous moderation and standardization. No one should feel that Year 11 students have got off lightly. They worked incredibly hard for the last 3 years and were preparing for their public exams as schools were closed due to Covid-19. I know that many were upset by this at the time, but hopefully today has gone a long way to redress their sense of achievement. We have seen record Sixth Form uptake for students wishing to study A-Level or Level-3 BTEC. Students moving on to FE College or apprenticeships also have the qualifications to do so.”

Mr Herbert, Head of Year 11 said “I feel privileged to have been able to work with such a fantastic set of students over the past 5 years. I have witnessed the hard work, enthusiasm and drive to succeed in so many, as well as the kind, polite and caring behaviour they demonstrated every day. I am exceptionally proud of every single one them and I wish them all the very best as they embrace the next stage of their education.”


Press Release – Sixth Form Examination Results 2020

Amongst the backdrop of uncertainty, lockdown and long-awaited results, 120 Birchwood High’s A-Level and Level 3 BTEC students were overjoyed and relieved to receive some excellent grades meaning that everyone moving onto Higher Education, would be able to progress successfully.

Dr. Ingate commented “This cohort of A-Level Students gave a lot to the school and it was a shame to see their final year cut short in March. Nevertheless, it was super to see them again this morning and to wish them the very best with their futures.”. Mr. Torrance, Head of Sixth Form added, “I am very proud of this year group, they are a real reflection of the Birchwood Community and so many of worked incredibly hard during their time with us and ensuring that they made a real impact along the way! During lockdown what has impressed me most is how they have shown a real sense of maturity and resilience that will enrich them for many years to come, I wish them all the very best in their next steps.” The school reported that most grades were in line with their teacher’s assessments – and particularly strong at the A/A* level. The school has shared their teacher’s assessments with the students to help anyone who wished to appeal.

Key Worker Registration

If you are a key worker, as defined by the DfE (please refer to Appendix 1 in the letter below), and would need to send your child to school next week (daily from 9am-3pm) to allow you to fulfil your vital role in supporting the NHS or other essential services, please download the letter below for full instructions and the link to the registration questionnaire:

Please note that there is a deadline for registration of 5.00pm on Sunday 22 March



Healthy Minds Network (HMN) have launched a new early intervention and prevention helpline for children and young people aged 10-17 in Herts. The helpline will provide a safe , non-judgemental space to talk to a Young People Advisor or Mentor who will provide emotional support, advice and information, signposting and discuss coping strategies. For opening hours and more information please visit the website https://www.hertsmindnetwork.org/young-peoples-helpline.

The Helpline number is 01923 256391.

Opening times at the moment are:

  • Mon, Wed, Fri – 13:00 – 16:30
  • Tues, Thurs – 17:00 – 19:30
  • Sat – 10:00 – 13:00

The Schools and Families Advice Line (SFAL) is a new service established to provide emotional wellbeing advice and early help to children and young people, families and schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It can be really worrying when you or someone you know is going through a difficult time. If you feel this service could help, please call our Single Point of Access (SPA) who will take your details before passing them onto our call back service.

This service is open to self-referrals from families and young people, and education, health and other professionals involved in supporting young people and their families.

Contact details:

You will get a call back from a mental health practitioner between 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday. Support will be offered in a one-off, up to 1 hour phone call

How can the service help?

Supporting children, young people, their families and schools by providing early advice around:

  •  General concerns around mental well-being, coping strategies and self-care.
  • How to support children and young people in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak (e.g. understanding, frustration, anxiety etc).Supporting mental well-being during the transition back to school and the anxiety around this uncertainty.
  • Support for education staff around their own mental well-being and advice around how they can care for themselves.
  • ‘Whole school approaches’ to supporting mental well-being.
  • Specific anxieties (around COVID-19/self-isolating measures, transition between year groups, developing and maintaining relationships, fear of failure, low self-esteem or aspirations, trust issues, social anxiety, etc.)
  • Phobias (animals/insects, specific food stuffs, specific objects, modes of transport etc.)
  • Low mood
  • Emotional regulation difficulties
  • Mild obsessive compulsive difficulties that are starting to impact day to day activities.
  • Low-level behavioural concerns
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Signposting to services and resources that may be helpful for supporting mental wellbeing.

WELCOME TO BIRCHWOOD HIGH SCHOOL

We at Birchwood are part of something special, something outstanding.

Welcoming all, supporting all and encouraging all.

Enjoying together the exploration of ideas, the excitement of learning and the celebration of our achievements, in a school where we feel safe.

Your future matters to us.

“Your dreams, your future, our challenge”