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Mr Simon Higham: Weekly Update 01/09/16

01 September 2016

I am pleased to inform you all that some excellent settling in has taken place this week. Although not quite a first full week back due to the public holiday, it has been very reassuring to get out and about across classrooms to see our children settling back into school life. In particular, I have been impressed with our very youngest children in F1, F2 and F3 classes who have been learning what it is like to be in school, make new friends and play together in caring environment.


Meet the Teacher Evenings

Your attendance at this year’s Meet the Teacher evenings was very much appreciated on Tuesday and Wednesday. The evenings are designed to give you all an opportunity to meet the teaching staff across AP1 and also the essential information that you need to know about the daily organisation of your child’s class. Over the two evenings, we had in excess of 500 parents – thank you for your support.

To find out even more about our academic staff, take a look at the Our Staff tab on the Homepage of our school website.

In the Spotlight - Meet This Week’s Teacher

In the coming weeks we will meet our new teachers and see how they are settling into BIS and Vietnam. First up is Ms Aziza

Over the forthcoming weeks a new member of our teaching staff will be asked questions about their first weeks in Vietnam, HCMC and our school - this week, Ms Aziza, our Y1 teacher is in the spotlight. Read her responses by accessing this post, in the News and Insights section of the blog.

Parents’ Meetings (pastoral)

Attached to today’s Weekly Update, is an invitation to our first Parents’ Meeting of the academic year. The aim of this meeting is to discuss with the class teacher how your child has settled into their new class and talk with you about any relevant information regarding your child in order to optimise their learning for the academic year ahead.

Look out for your sign up details that will be sent to you on Tuesday 6th September.

Year 5 experience weightlessness – IPC Entry Point

This week, all of our Year 5 children became trainee astronauts in preparation for their forthcoming IPC topic, ‘Mission to Mars’. Trainee astronauts in Year 5 participated in a variety of activities to prepare them for their Mission to Mars.

These included physical activities to test strength and stamina, develop hand eye coordination, experience the feeling of weightlessness and to move through small spaces. 


DSCN1462F1 and F2 – First Days in School

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be 2 or 3 years old again and experience school life for the very first time? Read this post by Ms Maria Shooter, F2 teacher to find out how our youngest children have been settling into their new and exciting environment.

F1 and F2 - First Days in School at British International School, HCMC, VietnamF1 and F2 - First Days in School at British International School, HCMC, Vietnam

Our Mission Statement – The Aide Memoire

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Although there will be no whole school Friday assembly this week, the Aide Memoire attribute of Enquiry has been reinforced through Mile Post Assemblies from Year 1 to Year 6. Centred around the notion of ‘trust’, ask your children what their thoughts on the following question are:

Would you rather?

a.Be trusted yourself


b.Be trusted by others

There have been some very interesting answers so far! I’d be happy to hear of any more that you would like to share with me via my email address:

School Lunches

Last year, our Student Council worked hard with our Canteen staff to update and improve our weekly menus. Did you know that each child is offered a choice of food from a 4 week menu programme?

To access these menus, please click here from the parent essentials section of the website.

Traffic Along Nguyen Van Huong Street

Following my weekly update last week, I have received a great deal of positive feedback regarding the traffic flow outside school during drop off and pick up times. To ensure that the improvements become part of our BIS culture and for safety purposes, please ensure that the following essentials continue to be reinforced:

  • No cars should be parked for long periods of time outside of school – cars should pull in and drop off only on both sides of the road alongside the school grounds.
  • Never U Turn along the stretch of road outside both AP1 and AP2 – if your car needs to turn round, please travel away from school and U Turn where the road is wider and less congested.
  • Ask your driver to show respect to our guards and follow their instructions.


PTG – A Message from the Parent Liaison Volunteer 

Ms Ying

Class  Parents

The role of the class parent is twofold:

  1. To help the parents in a class connect with each other, to arrange special events/play dates
  2. To organise class gifts/parties for the teacher, TA and the children

Thank you to all parents who have signed up to be a class parent this year. If you are interested in either becoming a class parent or want to find out who your class parent is, click on this link.

Class parents really do make a difference across our community – why not have a go yourself!

Upcoming PTG Events:

Thu 22nd Sep - PTG Social Night. A fun night of wine, nibbles and socialising for teachers and parents. (a great opportunity for working parents to join in).

Sun 9th Oct - Family Picnic. A fun day for all with food, drink, stalls and fun activities for both parents and children. (FREE for new families).

Thu 1st Dec – PTG Disco for children

Extra-Curricular Clubs

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Thank you to all parents who have signed up for their child’s term 1 Extra-Curricular Clubs programme. The sign up window closes tomorrow, Friday 2nd September at 12.00pm.

Before the club programme begins on Monday 19th September, click onto the ‘My Schedule’ tab and scroll through to Monday 19th September - you will be able to see your accepted clubs. In addition to this, all accepted clubs will be confirmed to you via email before the Term 1 club programme begins.

More details about all of our clubs can be found in the club booklet that can be accessed here.

Upcoming Dates for your Diary


Friday 2nd: Public Holiday (Vietnam National Day) – school closed

                      Club sign up closes (12.00pm)

Tuesday 6th: Settling In Workshop for new parents – 8.15am (Multi-Purpose Room)

Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th: Parents’ Meetings (Pastoral)

Monday 19th: Term 1 clubs begin

And Finally………

It is with great sadness that I am informing you that Helen Laukam peacefully passed away last night in England. Her husband Ash, who also worked at BIS with Helen, was by her side. Helen taught at the An Phu primary campus from August 2012 until the diagnosis of her cancer in December 2013. She was 56 years old.

Helen will be fondly remembered for her love of life and passion for innovative and creative teaching. She ensured that every child that she came into contact with mattered and that they would be inspired, challenged and cared for all at the same time.

Helen Laukam, former teacher at BIS HCMC has sadly passed away.

Helen Laukam: 1960 - 2016

I wish you all a very relaxing and peaceful long weekend.

Simon Higham, Headteacher at An Phu primary campus