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Mr Simon Higham: Weekly Update 11/11/16

11 November 2016

Last week’s Update featured inspiration from a gold medal Paralympian, Le Van Cong. This week, the children have taken their learning to new heights being inspired by the events from the First World War, linked specifically to the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. 

  • APP Weekly Update Mr Simon

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, 

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, 

Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs, 

And towards our distant rest began to trudge.  

Dulce et Decorum est, Wilfred Owen (first published 1920)

The extract above from the poem by Wilfred Owen describes how it felt to be in the trenches of France almost 100 years ago to the day. It’s title - Dulce et Decorum est -  translates from Latin meaning "it is sweet and honorable...", followed by pro patria mori, which means "to die for one's country".

I hope that you have enjoyed looking through the primary led Battle of the Somme exhibition today and also hope that you are able to visit the Auditorium at AP2 this evening between 4.00pm and 8.00pm to see the full exhibition in all of its glory. In addition, I am sure that you have been impressed by the simplicity and impact of the new poppy art installation down the stairwell near to the Gym (see below).

BIS Ho Chi Minh Mr Simon Higham weekly Update - Poppy

This week, our children will never forget and are determined, from what they have learned that it is something that will never happen again.

Look out for more information regarding our exhibition on the News and Insights section of the school website.

Y5 and Y6 Visit Art and Science Exhibition

BIS Ho Chi Minh Mr Simon Higham weekly Update - Y5 Art Ex

Over the last two weeks, Year 5 and Year 6 children have visited a local art gallery to interact with both Art and Science. Students were fortunate enough to meet and talk to the artist Lena Bui. Read more about their visit and view just a selection of the pictures on display by reading this post by Ms Deborah Spencer, Year 5 teacher and Milepost 3 Leader.

EAL in Mile Post 1 (Year 1 and Year 2)

BIS Ho Chi Minh Mr Simon Higham weekly Update - EAL MP1

Find out more about what has been happening across our EAL (English as an Additional Language) Department in this post by Ms Samantha Baker and Ms Kate Tipler, EAL Teachers.

Primary and Secondary Collaborative Learning

BIS Ho Chi Minh Mr Simon Higham weekly Update - Coll learning

Real collaborative learning helps to develop leadership skills amongst children and also allows a mutual respect for learning to be built up across the age ranges that we have within our school. Recently, Year 4 children have teamed up with IB students in a collaborative design and technology project. In this post by Ms Jude Handscombe, Year 4 Teacher and Milepost 2 Leader, learn more about how great learning across both primary and secondary is occurring.

BIS Barracuda’s Compete in Hanoi

BIS Ho Chi Minh Mr Simon Higham weekly Update - UNIS swim

Last weekend, the BIS Barracuda swimming team took part in the UNIS Invitational in Hanoi, with 151 personal best times achieved and being named the ‘most efficient team’. Our thanks to all of the competitors, teachers and parents who attended this event – well done!

Read more about this event through this post written by Mr Rick Wheeler, Aquatics Director.

Cultural Literacy with Julliard

British International School, HCMC collaborating with world renowned performing arts conservatory. The Juilliard School.

According to The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a report released by the World Economic Forum earlier this year, some of the top skills needed in 2020 include complex problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity. Read more about how the Julliard curriculum is helping to inspire this creativity through this post by Ms Lucy Glynn, Online Marketing Officer.

Mathematics Workshop

BIS Ho Chi Minh Mr Simon Higham weekly Update - Maths

What do space and logic have in common?

Soon there will be a chance for parents to engage with the wide range of Mathematics learning that your child experiences in our school. The what, why and how Mathematics is taught will be demystified, explained and showcased in a newly update workshop format for parents. Please ensure that Friday 25th November at 8.15am is pencilled into your diary.

Look out for more details that will be sent to you next week!

In the Spotlight - Meet This Week’s Teacher in Focus

BIS Ho Chi Minh Mr Simon Higham weekly Update - Ms Kate

This week, we would like to introduce Ms Kate to you. She is one of our EAL (English as an Additional Language) teachers and this week, she is in the spotlight. Read about her first impressions of working at BIS in this post.

PTG Update

Parent Liaison Volunteer, Ms Ying

International Week and the Global Café

BIS Ho Chi Minh Mr Simon Higham weekly Update - Int Week

International Week is fast approaching and preparations are in hand for the various events. In this post by Dee Grimshaw, Deputy Headteacher, find out more about our Global Café, Parade of Nations and how you can be involved in this inspirational event.

Upcoming Dates for your Diary


Friday 11th: 100 Years of the Somme exhibition (4.00pm – 8.00pm at AP2)

Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th: Andy Gleadhill (percussionist) visits An Phu Primary Campus

Friday 18th: Teacher’s Day celebrated at school

Thursday 24th: F2 and F3 Sports Day – 8.30am

Friday 25th: Maths Workshops (Y1 to Y6) – 8.15am, Multi-Purpose Room

Friday 25th: PTG World Coffee Morning – more details next week


Thursday 1st: Year 1 (8.15am)/Year 2 (9.50am) Sports Day

Thursday 1st: PTG Disco

Wednesday 7th: MP1 (Y1 and Y2) Christmas Production to parents (8.30am)

Friday 9th: Interim Reports out to parents

And Finally………

BIS Ho Chi Minh Mr Simon Higham weekly Update - Poppy field

When and how did the poppy become a symbol of Remembrance?

The significance of the poppy as a lasting memorial symbol to the fallen was first realised by the Canadian surgeon John McCrae in his poem ‘In Flanders Fields’. The poppy came to represent the immeasurable sacrifice made by his comrades and quickly became a lasting memorial to those who died in World War One. Inspired by McCrae's poem, an American War Secretary, Moina Michael, bought poppies to sell to her friends to raise money for Servicemen in need after the First World War. It was adopted by The Royal British Legion in 1921 as a symbol for the Poppy Appeal in aid of those serving in the British Armed Forces. The symbol of the poppy today represents Remembrance of the past and hope for the future.

In Flanders Fields, John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

I wish you all a very peaceful weekend.

Be Ambitious

Mr Simon Higham

Head Teacher, An Phu Primary Campus