17 September, 2021

Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 17/09/2021

Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 17/09/2021 - mr-ian-battersby-weekly-update-17-09-2021
Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 17/09/2021 The best thing that parents can do to support their child’s learning and development is reading with them.

In almost every presentation that I share with parents, I take the opportunity to say how important it is for children to develop a love of reading.  To quote Barack Obama, “Reading is important. If you know how to read, then the whole world opens up to you.”

September is ‘Read A New Book Month’, so I wanted to share some ways in which you can help develop a love of books with our children:

  1. Make reading a priority - as soon as a baby can sit up, have them on your knee and read with them. As they grow, establish a bedtime routine which involves reading to your children every night.  Make it fun - enjoy precious time together. It’s never too late to start.
  2. Be a great example - let your children see you reading.  Be enthusiastic and tell them about your favourite books.  During the pandemic, reading a physical book is a great way to spend some non-screen time.
  3. ALthough we do need a balance, and time away from screens, there are some super websites that can encourage reading and that have eBooks available:

a) The Book Trust Home Time Hub - here you will find book recommendations, activities for children, and videos of authors and celebrities (including Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall) reading stories.

Book 4

b) Oxford Owl eBook Library - This has been produced by the same company that make the Oxford Reading Tree series. There are many free books to enjoy.

Book 5


c) Epic Books - this collection has over 40,000 online books.  After registering, you can access one free book per day.  Many of the titles are audiobooks which the children can listen to whilst seeing the words highlighted. 

Book 6


You can find more stories (read by teachers) and a whole range of other links and resources on the BIS VSE Primary Library page. If you would like some more guidance regarding to support your child with their reading, Mr John, our EAL leader, wrote this post with some great advice for parents:

Supporting Your Child with Reading at Home

VSPLAT: Talk for Life


Following last week’s successful start, the Virtual SPLAT (V-SPLAT) program has continued to demonstrate the opportunities to develop language skills and talk during this Virtual School Experience in a fun, engaging and communicative way. Water-play continues as the theme for this series of ongoing V-SPLAT sessions, and this week children had the opportunity to explore objects that sink and float. Whilst exploring, explaining and predicting, it has been terrific to see the children’s learning enhanced through this Virtual School project.

Blue Dragon Marathon Walk 2021

Blue Dragon Marathon Walk 202102 002Primary

We have accepted the challenge and we would like to invite you to do so too! 

A reminder that next week we will be participating as a community in the Blue Dragon Marathon Walk 2021. This international event offers an opportunity to join people from all around the world as we go the distance to raise funds for our community partner Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation.

BIS HCMC has entered three teams, one for each campus, and we are looking forward to having the entire BIS community join us in helping vulnerable Vietnamese youth break out of poverty!

For more than 15 years Blue Dragon Children’s foundation has been providing holistic care for those in need, whether a rural child who has found themselves alone on the streets of Hanoi searching for work, or a young woman who has been trafficked into China as a bride. 

Please join a campus team by clicking here to log your miles and make your donation.  For step-by-step instructions on how to make a donation, please click here.

We would encourage you to also watch this video which features one of the Blue Dragon children telling their story of how the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation impacted their life.

Thank you for your support.

Tracey Brownrigg
BIS Community Service Project Manager

Welcoming our New Staff

Each week we will introduce some of the new teachers that have joined our team this year! This week we will learn more about Ms Victoria and Ms Tamsyn who have joined the Year 1 team and Ms Marra who will be teaching Spanish. We wish them a warm BIS welcome!

Ms Victoria, Year 1 Teacher

Victoria Wheeler

Where have you moved to BIS from?

Rupert House Preparatory School, Henley on Thames

Why did you move to BIS?

To start an international teaching career and explore a new country! BIS's reputation made it an obvious choice to learn how to be a fantastic international teacher.

What has been the best experience for you since arriving in Vietnam?

I have loved exploring the local restaurants and cafes, especially the amazing seafood. If you see somewhere full of locals then give it a go!

Tell us one fun fact about yourself (hobbies, interests, talents, etc.)

I'll give any sport a go, and started playing Gaelic Football when I moved to Ho Chi Minh City. If there is any opportunity to run around with my friends then that's where you'll find me!

Ms Tamsyn, Year 1 Teacher

MicrosoftTeamsimage 4

Where have you moved to BIS from?

Dubai, UAE

Why did you move to BIS?

I was looking for a new challenge in my teaching career. BIS fitted my teaching ethos and values.

What has been the best experience for you since arriving in Vietnam?

Meeting lots of new people and trying to learn some key Vietnamese phrases, like hello and thank you.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself (hobbies, interests, talents, etc.)

I love to travel and have visited two of the new 7 wonders of the world. My favourite was the Taj Mahal as it was just so beautiful!

Ms Marta Fabero, MFL  Teacher

Marta Lopez Fabero

Where have you moved to BIS from?

I was teaching in Metro Manila, Philippines

Why did you move to BIS?

To join a great international school community, in an unknown country with a rich culture to discover.

What has been the best experience for you since arriving in Vietnam?

I enjoyed my first pho at the IBIS hotel. I got a glance of what HCMC looks like during the short trip from Ibis to Imperia. I love the view of the pagoda from my apartment, it makes these last days of quarantine much more bearable.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself (hobbies, interests, talents, etc.)

I am a Potterhead! You know what I am wearing on World Book Day.

EAL Webinar

For most of the children at BIS, English is not their first language, in fact for many it may be even their third or fourth language.  To enable children to fully access the curriculum, our English as an additional language (EAL) teachers provide guidance for all staff and focused support for some children.

On Wednesday 22nd September at 1.30pm, our EAL team are hosting a webinar.  It is specifically for  parents who are receiving EAL support, but all parents are welcome and may find it as the topics covered will include the importance of the home language and how best to support your child’s language development.  The link to the webinar will be shared via Seesaw next week.


20/09/21              Blue Dragon Walk a Marathon beings

21/09/21              Moon Festival celebrations

22/09/21              EAL Webinar for EY&I Parents @ 1.30pm

06/10/21              Phonics Coffee Morning

13/10/21              Headteachers’ Coffee Morning

15/10/21              Virtual Co-Curricular Activities: Block 1 Ends

16/10/21              Half-term break begins

25/10/21              Term 1.2 begins

Health and Safety

Please remember to keep hydrated when working during the day and drink plenty of water.

Please remember the 5K to keep safe.

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PTG 2021 - 2022


We continue to encourage our parents to be an active member of our PTG group.  One way is to volunteer as a class or country rep. Thanks to all those that have volunteered so far. We have a great turnout of parents.   It’s never too late so please click on the links below  if you would like to be a class or country rep.

Class rep Sign Up

Country rep Sign Up

This month, the PTG team is planning a workshop related to the upcoming Moon Festival. If you would like to be part of this workshop or have ideas to share, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our email  is primaryptgbis@gmail.com 

 Enjoy your weekend and hope to see more sign ups.

 Thank you,

Gayatri Shankar Primary PTG Coordinator 

And Finally…

The lockdown has presented many challenges, one of which is making sure we get enough exercise.  As you will have read, we have the solution! Join in with the Blue Dragon Marathon Walk.  Not only will it get your heart pumping, but will also make a difference to so many children less fortunate than ourselves.
Moon Festival is going to be different this year.  Children have already been engaged with a variety of activities.  We look forward to the assembly on Tuesday 20th September and encourage everyone to join in with the celebrations by wearing their ao dai throughout the day.

Have a safe and restful weekend.

Ian Battersby
Head of the Early Years and Infant Campus