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Mr. Ian Battersby – Weekly Update 08/04/16

08 April 2016

Dates for Your Diary

25/4 – Term 3 begins at 7.55am

27/4 - Year 6 Residential Trip Meeting - 2.45pm in 6X

2/5 & 3/5 - Labour Day Holidays (School closed)

9/5 - Term 3 Clubs start

12/5 - Induction Meeting for Year 6 Parents at AP2

18/5 - Y6 Transition Day

**JOB OPPORTUNITY: Are you a fluent English speaker and do you hold a recognised qualification in Counselling? Do you have a desire to join our BIS team? If you are interested in our part time Primary Counsellor position, please access this post to find out how you can apply.

On the Tu Xuong BIS Hub this week:

MP3 Production – The Lion King

MP2 Speech Competition

F2's visit to KizCiti

Year 2's visit to Anh Minh School

Parents’ Corner

Enriching the Curriculum

The Lion King

Dear Parents,

This last week of term has demonstrated to me once again why Tu Xuong is such a great place to learn. On Tuesday evening, the children in Milepost 3 performed ‘The Lion King’. The costumes and the set were breath-taking and the children rose to the occasion with fantastic singing and acting.  Reflecting on the performance, it was an ambitious undertaking by Ms Kirstine and the team, but gave a clear message about education at BIS.  Yes, we want our children to achieve academically, but our expectations are equally as high for the non-academic subjects; music and drama, as well as the fine arts and PE. Not only do these occasions enrich our curriculum, but they will give the children an advantage when, towards the end of their BIS careers, they begin the process of application for university.  The feedback we are receiving from the universities is that they want more from their students than simply good grades! We want our children to be ambitious in all aspects of school life and to succeed in every area. There are more great photos in following post: 

MP3 Production – The Lion King

MP2 Speech Competition

MP2 Speech Competition

The theme of ‘ambition’ continued in the Milepost 2 speech competition. 10 finalists from Years 3 and 4, delivered their speeches in front of an impressed group of parents and students.  Prior to Thursday morning’s final, the children had been working on what makes a good speech and the key points to remember when talking in front of a group.  The work had clearly paid off as all the children in the final spoke with clarity and a keen awareness of the audience.  It was an incredibly difficult decision for the judges and congratulations go to Thy (3rd place), Tadala (2nd place) and to our very worthy winner Iris, who spoke eloquently about Korean traditions regarding ambition and how the wisdom of Eleanor Roosevelt is guiding her towards achieving her own ambition to become an anchor woman on the television.  Click the here to read more.

F2's Visit to Kiz Citi

Y2 Kiz Citi

Fire-fighter, pilot, doctor or chef? In F2 it is quite hard to decide what you want to be when you are grown up.  The children had a great visit to Kiz Citi on Tuesday where they got a chance to try out all these different professions – who knows, their experiences here might lead one day to their future career!  To see more photos and find out more about the trip, please follow the link:

F2's Visit to Kiz Citi

Anh Minh Community Partner

Anh Minh Community Visit

Our community programme is well established at BIS, and we are always looking for new partners to work with to enhance what we already offer.  This week our Year 2s made new friends with children from the Anh Minh School for deaf children. Ms Estelle explains more in her post:

 Year 2's Community Partner - Anh Minh School for the deaf.

Masters of Learning - Reflection  and Respect

This term we have been focusing on ‘Reflection’ and ‘Respect’.  In assembly, the children reminded me that to be good at reflection meant valuing the mistakes that we make and making sure that we take time to think about what we could do differently next. 

As well as receiving their certificates and ‘Masters of Learning’ badges, the children were also invited to join Ms Mary and me for tea and biscuits in the office.

Parents' Corner

ARC TX Parent group visit

Our parent community have had a busy week with our community partners.  They have been dog walking, delivering gifts to our partners, as well as spending time with some at some of the organisations we work with.  In the Parent Group post, there are some great ideas about what you could do with your children over the holidays and a very honest reflection on the visit to the Thien Phuoc orphanage.  Please click on the link on the link below:

Tu Xuong Parent Group - 8/4/16

EAL Lessons for Parents

Club sign-up for children is complete and details about which clubs your child has been allocated and details regarding payment will be given after the holiday.  I would like to remind you of one club that we have for parents.  On a Tuesday afternoon, a group of parents meet with Ms Michelle, one of our EAL teachers, to learn English. If you would like more details, please see Ms Emma in the office.

Should I send my Child to Study in an English Speaking Country?

That is a question parents have asked me on several occasions. Students from BIS go on to study at top universities around the world, so I would say it is not necessary. However, it would be good to know the thoughts of someone who has experienced this.  Ngoc Nguyen Anh works at BVIS.  Her parents decided to send her to the USA at the age of 13.  Her thoughts are quite enlightening:

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.

 Ngoc Nguyen Anh

When and why did your parents decide 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.

Do 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 a 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 or ask her any questions you might have, please email me and I will forward your message onto Ngoc.


Wishing you a very relaxing holiday, and I look forward to seeing you all at 7.55am on Monday 25th April.

Ian Battersby/Head of Tu Xuong Campus

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