Our Values and Ethos

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”

Dr Chris Ingate Principal

We are very proud of our school, where students not only leave with strong academic qualifications but also as well-rounded individuals with a sense of responsibility and a willingness to contribute to both the economy and society in general.

Birchwood is a successful 11-19 mixed converter Academy with 1350 students on roll. We are rightly proud of our ‘comprehensive’ ethos and inclusive philosophy where the academically gifted achieve top grades at A-Level and GCSE, going on in record numbers to Russell Group Universities. Conversely, those students who need more help are encouraged to progress in a caring and supportive learning environment.

Read Dr Ingate's full message

72%

2+ A*-C in Science

82%

Level 4+ in English and Maths

61%

A*-B at A-Level

92%

got into their first choice University

At GCSE, our examination results have steadily improved year-on-year

At GCSE, our examination results have steadily improved year-on-year. For 2018, 73% of our 235 students passed English and Maths, matching our record results of 2017 and significantly above the national average (62%). With 82% of students achieving a Level 4+ in both English and Maths and with 72% achieving 2+ A*-C in Science, our core subjects performed well against national statistics and this meant that a record number stayed on into our Sixth Form to study A-Levels or Level 3 BTECs.

Our most recent Ofsted report (May 2017) picked out the following strengths:

  • The school’s provision for personal development and welfare is outstanding.
  • Pupils’ behaviour is good. Pupils are polite, courteous and show respect for fellow pupils, staff and visitors.
  • Parents are effusive in their praise for the school and its support for their children.
  • Pupils are proud of their achievements and of their school. Pupils feel very safe and well cared for.
  • The school’s work to promote respect and tolerance of diversity is exemplary.
  • Pupils are well informed about the next steps in their education through high-quality careers information and guidance.
  • Relationships between staff on duty are good, with pupils showing courtesy and respect to staff and visitors
  • Leadership and management of the sixth form are strong. The sixth form has increased in size and offers a broad range of academic and vocational options.

Strategic Intent

Birchwood High School aims to provide outstanding educational opportunities for all. To be a Great School.

With regards to admissions, our admission criteria are simple and transparent – we offer 240 places to boys and girls who have a brother or sister at the school and who live in and around the Bishop’s Stortford area.

As a well-resourced secondary school, we have the financial advantage to ensure we have excellent and well-maintained facilities along with a diverse and wide-ranging curriculum.

We are also fully staffed with high-quality teachers and support staff who work incredibly hard on behalf of our excellent students.

We are confident in our direction of travel and will ensure that in five or seven years’ time when your son or daughter sits their GCSEs or A-Levels, that they will succeed both academically and personally and go on to do great things.

We are also fully staffed with high quality teachers and support staff who work incredibly hard on behalf of our excellent students. For me, it is a great privilege to lead Birchwood High School.

We are confident in our direction of travel and will ensure that in five or seven years’ time, when your son or daughter sits their GCSEs or A-Levels, that they will succeed both academically and personally and go on to do great things.