“A group of people having common interests: Sharing, participation, and fellowship”
(source: free dictionary)
That’s one definition from the free dictionary and I like the “sharing and fellowship” element as it does reflect how “community” lives among us in BIS. Community is an important word, this is a word you frequently hear around the school but also in your daily lives. This week’s parent group post is focusing on the many ways “community” lives at BIS: both inside and outside of the school and also online. Take the tour!
Community as in “community service”
Our children are enrolled in activities along with the school community partners. Each year group is assigned a partner and through the year, they share moments and activities. But do you know as a parent you can also participate with your child’s class during their community service in school or at the partner facility? If you want to join, you just need to ask a few days before the visit to your class teacher or the class rep could liaise on your behalf.
So on Wednesday, 3 parents went along with the Y6 students to PDV to share activities with the children and also deliver the books donated during the book swap. They had an amazing time making lanterns with PDV and TX children. Please read what they have to say about it:
“We had a good time at PDV. The children are lovely. We brought them cake and milk also as an additional treat”. Ms Duyen
“It was a very heartwarming time to interact with the children who are very keen to learn. Our Year 6 kids are so helpful in carrying the books.
However one improvement is that maybe there can be more Vietnamese books to send to them besides the English ones.” Ms Adeline
We delivered the books which we had received from students for book swap event and Y6 children made paper lanterns with PDV children.
PDV is an organization which helps Vietnamese children (whose families are having financial difficulties to send their child to school) to get education. There are about 100 students studying in PDV and their age group is from 6 years old to 14 years old.
"Our visit was a short one but we had a good time together with the PDV children. There will be one more visit from BIS to PDV this year, so I hope they will have another interesting get together program in the near future.” Ms Akiko
To know more about community service at TX, please click here.
After the break, the schedule for the next community visits for parents will be given. You can pre-register online at; http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d4dafaa29a4ff2-community
Community as…conversation around lunch
On Wednesday, TX parents gathered around a vegan lunch at Kay Vegan Bistro. The lunches are opened to every parent and family who wants to join. They usually happen once a month and it’s always a good opportunity to welcome the new parents. We talk a lot about upcoming events like International Day, our kids and living in Saigon. There is always so much to learn about where we live.
Next lunch will be after the break and probably in a Korean restaurant.
Community as International day at…APS (Part1)
TX, APP, APS…we all form a community, we belong to the same community and this year we are building bridges between the three campuses because one day, you’ll also be a parent in secondary ;) For me, that time came last August, I’m officially a Mom of a “middle schooler”, which now means I need to navigate between 2 campus where almost everything is the same although not exactly the same. So, leaving the differences between being a parent of an elementary child and a middle/high school child, let’s move onto my experience of International Day at APS.
As the event is this Friday, this first part is mainly about “preparation”; pictures and feelings will follow after the break.
Many events at BIS APS are also happening on the two others campuses: workshop for parents, morning coffee with the headmaster, book week etc…and of course one of the children’s favourite, the International celebration. So this Friday, it’s my first “International day” at APS !
We have been preparing that day for a few weeks now and I must thank the “veteran” parents who welcomed us, the “newbies” into the team. At TX, I’m used to working with a team composed of people from different countries, called the “single countries”. At APS we have worked together as one country together with 14 other French parents.
We set up our room representing France on Thursday afternoon. APS students worked along with us. Teams of sixth form students were in charge of unloading the cars and bringing the supplies into the rooms. Then children from all year groups joined their parents to help set up the rooms. We had a lot of help for France and Switzerland with whom we shared a classroom.
So our space is divided into three; a Swiss food corner, a French food corner and a game around perfume and smells. We wanted to show another side of France with our tradition and history about Perfume and I’m not only talking about Chanel No.5 ;) So the game is related to finding and acknowledging odours such as, rose, grass, frangipane etc.. As we predicted there would be expectations or “clichés” so we also provided cheese, baguette, saucisson, madeleines and macarons.
Before leaving the campus I had a quick look around our floor and it was amazing to see how parents have turned their room into a mini country. The children will travel the world in a day!
After the half term break, I’ll share my feelings about the day, how it went and what I’ve learned but for sure being able to join this event also gave me the opportunity to exchange on the topic and get new ideas to use at TX for our international celebration.
In the meantime, I also invite you to read Mr Deyes’ analysis of “International day” on the school blog.
Community as …let’s go to the moon
October is also the time of the year when Y5 students become engineers and build rockets. After working at home and developing their design it was time to come to school and see whose rocket will reach the moon or at least take off. Parents of Y5 were kindly invited to the launching and cheers with the children. Two days prior the event, the Y5 Whatsapp class group was just about the rockets. Parents were as excited as the students.
Being part of the community also involves being part of the daily life within the school walls.
Community as…singing along for international week and crossing boundaries
November 14th will be here soon and TX parents are already busy preparing for the event. International week is about “countries” and usually we work by nationalities but at TX we also like to cross boundaries. So last year for the first time the “single countries” joined forces and worked together. They had fun and were happy to continue in 2016. This year they are welcoming new countries and to their surprise also Vietnamese parents. As the Vietnamese parent is a huge group, they decided to support the “single ones”, which is just such a nice move.
This year also will see the rise of the parent choir. Be prepared to watch a performance where more than 15 nationalities will join to sing “We are the world” (indeed we are ;) ) all wearing their national outfits. Want to join? There’s still time, you can either register with Ms Duyen (Emily’s mom Y1) or online at; http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d4dafaa29a4ff2-international
Community as…online and connected
All BIS campuses are online. You know all about Whatsapp groups (general information group and class groups at TX, or Swim team group in APP etc…), the class blog, BIS official Facebook page, but did you know about Seesaw, Meet mobile app or the social wall? They all provide different information and they are all here to help. Some APPs allow parents and students to share images and information, too!
Let’s take BIS Facebook page. Thanks to that page, I was able to discover the wonderful action 3 little men from APP did : organizing a big second hand sale to raise money to ‘buy’ a heart for a little girl they’ve met during the community service. It’s a touching story and you can read all about it here. Article: Having a Heart.
The FB’s page is also a way to exchange with others parents, teachers and staffs or even visitors. I was involved in a conversation about Albert Camus after posting a comment on Mr Deyes’ post mentioning this French author in his newsletter. It was so nice to see a book i’ve read as a student was also studied in different countries (by the way Camus is not a good souvenir from my school time :) ).
SeeSaw is a new one for this year. This app found by Mr Ali will allow parents to know more about their child during sports lessons and events. It’s fully private. In Y5 we already signed up.
Meet mobile app is used by Coach Wheeler during the swimming meets. Watching your child’s race from the comfort of your sofa is now possible (well, being a marshall or a time/line keeper is also a possible and helpful option).
The social wall : your phone is full of apps, between twitter, instagram, Facebook, periscope, telegram and all the persons/corporate/celebrities you may follow, you might feel you are getting lost. BIS social wall is perfect for you : click to access the wall and through the magic of hashtag, everything publish using #bishcmc on any platforms will ending up on the wall ! You can also try it using #bishcmc next time you take a video or a picture :)
Visit the Social Wall!
This is the end of our "community tour", it’s now time to wish everyone a well deserved break. Enjoy your holidays, may you travel or stay home and come back full of energy for the second part of the term which is quite busy ...for the community :)
Anne on behalf of the parent group.