Welcome to Year Five – General Questions and Answers (2020)

We appreciate that you will have many questions and queries about your new school. Staff at Birchensale Middle School are often asked questions in relation to your education, school timings, expectations and a myriad of other topics. Although we will not have answered them all here, we are providing you with our most commonly asked questions in the hope that you are able to find the information you are looking for quickly. In addition, please take some time to look at the rest of our detailed website with your family. If you are still unable to find your answer, please contact Mrs Cartwright via email: HeadofYear5@birchensale.worcs.sch.uk 

What are the school opening and closing times?

The school bell will ring at 8:45am each morning – please ensure that you are on the playground ready to line up for registration when the bell rings. It is important that you are on time or you will miss out on important notices. The end of the school day is 3.15pm, but our library is open until 5:00pm every weekday and there are lots of clubs you can attend after school. You will find out about these when you join us.

What do I do if I am late for school?

If you are late, you need to go to the main office. It is important to arrive at school on time, so speak to your form teacher for some tips to be on time.

How much is a school dinner?

A school dinner costs £2.25. There are lots of options which you can have at lunch time from the dining hall or Takeaway Tuck (located in the tuck area). When you start Birchensale, you will be given a menu, so you know what will be served each day.

Can we eat snacks at break time?

At break time, you can bring your own snack to eat in the dining hall or tuck area; also, you can purchase food from the dining hall or Takeaway Tuck. You must not eat food on the playgrounds. Please remember to put your litter in the bin too – we respect our school environment at Birchensale.

Is drinking water available?

You will have the opportunity to fill your water bottles up at break time and lunch time at the water fountains which you can drink in lessons. The Year Five fountain is located between the Year Five toilets. There is also a water jug in the dining hall at lunchtime. You can purchase juice, flavoured water or chocolate milk from the canteen or Takeaway Tuck; these drinks can only be consumed at break or lunch time.

How do I pay for things at Birchensale?

You will have your finger print scanned when you join Birchensale, so your parents can set up a ParentPay account to pay for your lunches, snacks, trips and other items. Information about this will be sent out when you join us.

Can I bring a packed lunch?

If you would prefer to bring a packed lunch, that is fine. We encourage you to bring a healthy lunch, and we ask that you do not bring nuts to school as some children in our school have allergies. Unfortunately, we cannot heat up any food for you, so only bring food that you can enjoy which is cold.

What do I need to wear to school?

We take pride in the way we look at Birchensale. You may have noticed that the children recording the tour videos were wearing trainers, this is because they are doing sport activities whilst in school at the moment – you will need to wear the correct school shoes with your uniform.  Our Uniform Policy will give you more information about what you need to wear. Click Here

Can I wear jewellery?

We ask that you do not wear jewellery to school for safety reasons. You can wear a watch (which is not linked to a mobile device), but this must be removed for any physical activity. If you choose to wear a watch, it is your responsibility to look after it.

What do I do if my parents or carers want to speak to a teacher?

We will have meetings with your parents and carers throughout the year to discuss your progress. If your parents or carers need to discuss anything with us outside of these meetings, they should either write a message in your diary (which you will receive when you join Birchensale) for you show to your teacher, or contact the school office who will pass a message on and the teachers will make direct contact. Your parents or carers cannot come to the office and expect to be seen by your teachers straight away. The staff at Birchensale have lots of different jobs, so it is important to follow this process.

What clubs are there?

We have lots of different clubs at Birchensale including Sports clubs, Drama, Choir, Art and Languages. When you join us, there will be updated information of all the clubs sent out to the classes and this information will also be uploaded on the website for you to discuss with your family. We encourage you to attend as many clubs as you can.

What happens if I get a detention?

At Birchensale, we focus on the positives: we encourage our students to get involved in as much as they possible can. Not only will you learn new skills, you will also make lots of new friends and gain lots of achievement points. When you start with us, your form teacher will explain our Reward System to you.

This is our Code of Conduct:

If you do not follow expectations, there will be consequences such as detentions. Your form teacher will explain these in more detail, but this is our behaviour pyramid.

We are certain that you will want to attend our reward trips, parties and gain prizes, so you will be following our Code of Conduct and making the most out of every opportunity at Birchensale.

I find learning difficult. What can I do?

There are lots of adults and other children at Birchensale who can help you. We plan lessons which allow all the children in our school to learn. Please do not worry if you feel like you are not very good at things; there will be things that you are really good at.

I do not know any other children who are going to Birchensale. Will I make friends?

Yes! You will make lots of new friends. Birchensale is one happy and friendly community. It will be daunting when you first start, but try to be confident and say hello to someone new. They will be feeling just as nervous as you are.

Can I bring a phone to school?

If you have a genuine reason for bringing a mobile phone to school, you will need to have permission from Mr Brazier (Head Teacher). Please ask your parents or carers to write a letter to him to explain why you need your phone with you. All phones must be turned off during school hours and locked in your lockers.

How do I get a locker?

As mentioned before, you will have a ParentPay account set up when you join, and you will be able to pay for your locker key on there – it is a £5 payment. You will also need to purchase a lanyard and key tag to write your name and form on. Once you have everything you need, your form teacher will decide when you have shown the right responsibility and independence to look after your locker key. If you lose your locker key, you will need to buy a replacement for £2. Lanyards and key tags can be purchased from the library shop when you start.

What stationery or equipment will I need for my lessons?

You will need the following items:

Handwriting pen (blue or black)
Colouring pencils
Geometry set (not compulsory)
Calculator (not compulsory)
Plastic folder (to store equipment, planner/diary and homework – not compulsory)

You will also need a lanyard for your locker key and a key tab to write your name and class on if you misplace your locker key.

You can purchase lots of items from our library shop when you join us (see photos above and price list below). The library shop is cash only.

​You should also bring a water bottle with you to school. 

Please ensure all of your equipment is named. It will be your responsibility to look after your things. 
At the moment, we have not been informed by the government that you will not be able to bring your equipment with you when you join us in September, but please check our website for updates and announcements during your summer holiday. 

Where will my child enter and exit the school in September? 
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 From the front gate continue down the driveway.

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Around the side of the building

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And into the school behind the sports hall.

Pupils’ view of Birchensale

Here are three current Year 8 pupils’ views and advice for starting Birchensale