Aerial Photograph of Site

Detached Playing Field - update - 21 December 2021

Governors have now met to consider the feedback from the public consultation with regards to the 3.4Ha detached playing field adjacent to the school.  It is land owned by the school which has been used for PE and Sports. However, the school is keen to explore a variety of development options to improve its use and effectiveness.  A sub-committee of Governors has been set up to lead with this project and their Terms of Reference and minutes from their initial meeting can be found here:

London Spanish Film Festival

Spanish A level and Year 11 students recently attended the London Spanish Film Festival, which took place at the Ciné Lumière in South Kensington.
We met at Bishop’s Stortford train Station at 3.35pm and travelled into London via train and the tube. We arrived in plenty of time to be able to grab a bite to eat before making our way to the cinema on foot. It was so great to be in London again after so long!
We chose the film “La Isla de las Mentiras” (Island of Lies) which had a very unusual but interesting storyline. It was about a shipwreck off the coast of a small Galician island and how the people dealt with the incident, with lots of twists and turns.
I enjoyed the whole experience of watching the film in Spanish; it made me think about the cultural aspects involved and how the film was made (we study a film as part of our course). This trip was also very helpful in terms of developing my listening skills, and being totally absorbed in something different. I would recommend this trip to any Spanish student as it was beneficial and an enjoyable experience. We will look forward to the next one!
Alice Peacock, Year 13

Birchwood “Unsung Heroes” receive their highly commended certificate at the Indies

On Thursday 18 November, Miss Munro, Mr Osborne and myself went to the annual Indie awards at the South Mill Arts Centre. Our PPE manufacturing team had been nominated for the unsung hero award by readers of the Bishop’s Stortford Independent. It was a fantastic evening with a red carpet and meal laid on by a local caterer. We were at a table with the other nominee; Dr Sian Stanley. It was great to put a face to a name as during our time manufacturing we were in contact on several occasions to ensure the PPE went out to where it was needed locally. We were so proud to be awarded the highly commended certificate in
recognition of our work over that challenging time.
Mr Stephens, Technology

Birchwood wins the immediate level at the annual Rotary young engineer challenge

On Tuesday 16 November we hosted the annual Rotary young engineer challenge. Teams from TBSHS, Leventhorpe and the Bishops Stortford College came to compete at three different levels. It was a really tricky task for all but our intermediate team of Lucy Moorfield, Rosie Thorpe and Severin Fleet took first place with our other two teams taking a close second in their
respective categories. Birchwood won the immediate level.

Students meet Olympian

On Thursday 21 October, four of our Year 9 students were invited to Hertfordshire Sports Village to become part of the Inclusion Champions Academy. Birchwood students, along with 60 other Year 9 students across Hertfordshire, took part in a two hour workshop where they had the opportunity to learn new skills and practise ideas, with a view to offering clubs for targeted groups of Birchwood students. Double Olympian and two times world champion rower, Tony Garbett was on hand to offer guidance and support. Even helping the Birchwood team when they were a member short in the sitting Volleyball event.
All of the students were amazing, Olympian Tony picking out the Birchwood students as being really pro-active and stand-out performers on the day.
Look out for the inaugural Inclusion Champions Clubs which will pop up at lunchtimes after half term. They will consist of a range of fun activities in a supportive environment.

House Staff Bake

Thank you to everybody who got involved with the Staff Bake Off this year.
A special thank you to everyone who baked, judged or donated.
The winners are listed below:
1st place is Miss Cuddington with her Reindeer mint chocolate cake
2nd Place is Mrs De Graaf with her orange and almond cake
3rd Place is Miss Long with her Kinder Beuno cookies

Gardening Club wins third prize

As it reaches the end of this year’s very successful growing season the students entered some of their wonderful produce into the local Sawbridgeworth Garden and Allotment Show, which takes place every year (the first Saturday in September). They came third in their section for their Rainbow Chard. We are currently looking for some new glass for our greenhouse so we can continue with projects over the winter months including making some bug and bird houses.

Mrs Homer

National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day is a UK wide celebration of poetry, and the theme this year was Choice. To celebrate National Poetry Day form tutors read a poem to their tutees during form time. All staff were invited to choose their favourite poem and students were asked to guess which member of staff had submitted each verse. Congratulations to 7CHT and 11MAS who both guessed correctly. Both forms have been awarded House points.
Mrs Gibson,
Library Resource Manager

People jumping on the beach at sunset

PSFA Photo Competition - "What Makes You Happy?"

Win a £25 Amazon voucher!

Email your photos of what makes you happy to by 16 September 2021

Entrance fee is £2 per photo; payment by PayPal:

The 12 best photos will be used in our 2022 calendar

The competition will be judged by award-winning photographer Sophia Spurgin, ARPS

Please download:


Students celebrating their GCSE exam results

GCSE Results - 12 August 2021

After a tricky last 18 months, 230 GCSE Students collected their well-deserved results this morning.  With large numbers hoping to stay on into the Sixth Form, the pressure was on to secure the levels needed. Record numbers of students – such as these pictured – achieved top grades across the board but it is important to recognise today that every 16 year-old deserves recognition for what they have achieved.

Dr Ingate, Principal said  “if you had told me two years ago that these students  would have to cope with the pressures of a global pandemic, lockdowns and remote learning I would have not believed you.  However, here we are today celebrating a fantastic set of results meaning that every 16-year old should be able to successfully move on to their chosen next step, whether this is Sixth Form or FE College.   It is often said that adversity brings out the best in people and I have certainly witnessed this.  From a total commitment from their teachers to do their very best to ensure their classes performed well - through to absolute resilience and determination from these students to do their best.  They have been remarkable – putting up with uncertainty, government u-turns and the ebb and flow of a pernicious virus – always with a willingness to do the extraordinary – something that will put them in good stead with whatever life has to offer in the future.”     

“They should all feel a great sense of satisfaction today because that hard work has paid off.  Their GCSE Levels were carefully calculated from internal exams and controlled assignments as well as teacher assessments.  It was no surprise that our submissions and samples sent off to the exam boards for scrutiny checks were not changed or amended.”

Mr Stopps, Deputy Principal added “every member of Birchwood’s Class of 2021 should be very proud of their achievements as one chapter of their life closes and another one opens.  As well as congratulating the students we would also like to thank all of our parents and carers who have offered plenty of their own grit, determination and resilience in supporting their children to make the most of their education in what have been uniquely trying circumstances.  It has been a real team effort and both the Year 11 students and their teachers owe our parents and carers a debt of gratitude.  In overcoming adversity in the way they have I have no doubt that the Class of 2021 will go on to be decent, thoughtful and successful adults in their future adventures.  We wish them well.”

The final words go to Mr Phillips, their Head of Year, who added “I am so very proud of our year 11 students. They have come up against tremendous challenges and not been found wanting. Their resilience, perseverance and character are a credit to themselves, their parents and to Birchwood.”