I would like to begin this Weekly Update with a few numbers:
821, 125 million and 1.
821 represents the amount of entrance tickets sold for our PTG Spring Fair last Sunday. This is the greatest ever amount of people that have attended this annual event.
125 million is the most up to date total of Vietnamese Dong that was raised last Sunday.
1 great morning of family and community fun).
On behalf of our entire school community, I would like to thank our PTG Spring Fair organising committee - Abby Miguel, Nikki Aurora, Neelam Patnaik and Mai Do, who worked relentlessly in ensuring that a community was brought together, to have a great family fun time and also a considerable amount of funds were raised for our BIS community partners. Thank you to all of the families that attended and supported this event.
Continuing with the PTG theme, it was great to see 300 children attending our PTG discos on Thursday. Orchestrated by DJ Rachel, the children danced to the latest tunes, played party games and had a genuinely lovely time. For more information and pictures, please read the post by Dee Grimshaw, Deputy Headteacher. Thank you to the PTG Disco Committee - Lily Guajardo (leader), Mariana Flocco, Marina Valberde, Gina Byun and Lulu Garcia and all other parents who volunteered to help. I look forward to seeing the final disco of the academic year on Thursday 16th June.
Parent - Teacher Meetings and the new Progress Update
Next week, on Tuesday and Wednesday the Term 2 parent meetings take place. Thank you to all parents who have signed up to see your child's teachers as it is an expectation of our school that we have a 100% turnout. If you have not yet made appointments for next week, please contact your child's class teacher via the school diary as the online sign up system has now closed. As outlined in previous Weekly Updates and correspondence, on Monday, you will receive a Progress Update for your child. Please ensure that this is brought to your meeting next week so that it can be discussed with the class teacher.
Finally, I would like to remind all parents to use the designated Adult toilets only whilst on site. Recently, it has been brought to my attention from our children, that some parents are using Child designated toilets, including the changing room facilities. In order to put the safeguarding of our children at the top of everyone's agenda, please ensure that you use the correct facilities. In addition, I would very much appreciate that this message was also conveyed to all adults that attend school on your behalf, including relatives, maids, nannies and drivers.
Term 2 MFL Lessons
Buenos Días! Salut! Zǎoshang hǎo!
Do you know the origins of April Fool's Day in France or what a 'la tortilla de patatas' is? Our children from F3 to Y6 have been very busy this term in their weekly MFL (Modern Foreign Language) lessons. Read more about what they have been learning through the post by Ms Alice Ragouzaridis-Clark, Primary MFL Subject Leader.
Science and Technology Day
Next Thursday our AP1 students are invited to come to school dressed for Science and Technology Day. Perhaps they'll choose to dress as their favourite scientist, perhaps they'll come as a molecule! Whatever they choose, they are bound to have a great day and share in the fantastic learning rich experiences that their teachers have planned. It promises to be a very special day.
HCMC Gymnastics Competition
Last week our gymnastics squad bounded across the bridge to AP2 to take part in the HCMC Gymnastics competition. In this post by Ms Marion Sands, Y5 teacher and PSHE Leader, find out how they did and see some of the photos of our gymnasts in action. It was an action packed afternoon and we are very proud of them on their many achievements.
Community Swim Meet
This week we were delighted to welcome the LTV school to AP1 for a friendly Community Swim Meet. It was great to see all the children taking part in this friendly but competitive event. In this post by Mr Triet, Swimming Coach Assistant, read more about how the children performed and view some of the exciting photos.
Extra Curricular Clubs
Today you will have received a letter via email to about sign up for our Term 3 clubs. Included in the letter are all of the details you will need for our Term 3 Extra Curricular Club programme. Please note the following important dates:
- Monday 4th April at 8.15am: CHQ Workshop for new parents (or those wanting a refresher) in Room 102.
- Monday 4th April and end on Friday 8th April - Term 3 sign up via CHQ will begin on .
- Monday 9th May: Term 3 clubs start.
- Sunday 12th June: Term 3 clubs finish
The booklet is now live and ready to view here.
BIS Holiday Programme this April
To sign up for a programme, please complete the appropriate reply slip that is available from the AP1 cashier and arrange payment before Friday 1st April. All allocations will be managed on a first come, first served basis.
Key Dates for your Diary
Monday 4th April
Progress Update given out to parents (hard copy and through SLG)
Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th Apr
F1 - Y6 Parents evening
(Academic) -3.00pm - 5.30pm
Monday 4th April – Friday 8th April
Term 3 clubs sign up
Thursday 7th April
Science and Technology Day
Friday 8th Apr
School finishes at 11.30am
Monday 25th April
Term 3 Begins
Essential Information for Parents
2015 – 2016 Early Years and Primary Parent Handbook
AP1 Parent Calendar
Weekly Canteen Menus - (Next week's menu is: Menu 4)
Class Blogs - (Find out about what has been happening in your child’s class, access homework links and also the weekly Learning Letter)
2016 – 2017 Term Dates
Follow us on FaceBook and Twitter
An Interview with Ngoc Nguyen Anh
Ngoc went abroad at the age of 13 and graduated from St Mary’s College in Moraga, California with a degree in Business Administration. After graduation she worked at Macy’s as a Sales Manager for 2 years. She came back to Vietnam in 2013, and two years later Ngoc joined BVIS as our Translator and Copywriting Officer. We asked Ngoc to share with us her thoughts on her experience studying and living abroad for 11 years.
When and why your parents decided to send you to study abroad?
When I was 13, my parents decided to send me to study in an English-speaking country because they thought that moving abroad at a young age would make it easier for me to get accustomed to a new culture, and that living abroad will considerably improve my English. In 2002, there were hardly any good international or bilingual schools in Vietnam for my parents to choose from, so to achieve these goals, going abroad was the only choice at the time.
What was your experience of moving abroad as a teenager?
At the beginning I was very excited about the idea of going abroad; however, the first few months turned out to be the worst experience I had ever had. I went from being very happy and confident living in Vietnam to being anxious, stressed and very unhappy when moving abroad. I was in a new environment, had to make my own decisions, do everything myself, learn new things by myself, and all of this while badly missing my family and friends. I am lucky that I am such a strong and resilient person, but many other international students fall into depression or develop anxiety disorders.
What challenges did you have to face when you were there?
When I moved abroad, initially I really struggled with my English, and therefore I felt extremely isolated, lonely and abandoned. Even though I knew that my parents sent me abroad to give me better opportunities in life, but it was very hard. As a 13 year old girl I found myself not only living in a new country, but also living in a new home, learning a new language and being unable to express myself, on top of all other issues every teenager has to deal with – it was too much to take in. After the first 2 months, my English started to improve and I began to make some friends, but just a couple of years later I had to face another problem. When I turned 15, I badly needed guidance and advice of my parents, yet being so far away and not being able to speak to them in person on a daily basis had created an emotional distance between us. A strong contributing factor was also the Western culture that I was being exposed to, which doesn’t value close family relations as much as we Vietnamese families do.
Did you think your parents made a right decision sending you abroad at that age?
I understand why my parents sent me abroad and it certainly gained some very valuable experience from living abroad for a number of years. However, I wish my parents let me graduate from high school here, and then send me abroad to study at a university there. It would probably have given me the same benefits in terms of my English and learning about a different culture, but I would have been better prepared for dealing with anxieties of living away from my family and friends. My experience of studying abroad made me more independent and open-minded, which is great, but I sometimes wish that I could be more Vietnamese. It was culture shock for me to move back to Vietnam after growing up abroad from the age of 13, and I felt more like an outcast here than a happy Vietnamese person returning home after a long absence. I didn’t have any connection with my mom because we have such different mindsets now, which made me very upset, and it took me a long time to fit back in here, in my own birth country.
What advice could you give to parents who are thinking about sending their children abroad?
If you are thinking of sending your child abroad, please wait until they are old enough to be on their own and mentally prepared. Please remember that teenagers need structure, not the freedom to do whatever they want without parental guidance. Nowadays, parents have the luxury of sending their children to an international school, where your children are being taught in English and Vietnamese. They study with teachers who come from English-speaking countries, and therefore are getting used to Western culture gradually. Most importantly, talk to your child before sending them abroad –after all it is their lives that you are deciding on.
If you would like to speak to Ngoc about her experience in confidence, please email her to arrange a meeting or ask her any questions you might have.
I wish you all a very pleasant and relaxing weekend.
Simon Higham / Headteacher