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Mr Simon Higham: Weekly Update 30/09/16

30 September 2016

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”

  • AP1 Book Week-1433

This week, An Phu Primary Campus has been celebrating all things books. From a book fair in the library to the extreme reading challenge and guest readers in classes to a guest author in school. It has been great to see not only the promotion of the written word but also the emphasis upon writing for fun.

In walking along the International walkway this week, I was stopped by a group of children who had just taken part in a writing workshop taken by Ciaran Murtagh, our author in residence this week. I asked, “Did you enjoy the session?” The exact reply that I received was,

 “I’m inspired to write. School inspires me”.

It doesn’t matter how long we have had experience in primary education, golden nuggets of wisdom such as these must be shared and celebrated.

Well done to everyone who dressed up as a character from their favourite book today – you all looked amazing. So what next? Before you read through the rest of this week’s Update, remember the final words from one of the world’s most famous children’s books:

So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.” 

Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Don’t Stop Reading With Your Children

Reading regularly with your child is a fundamental part of their development and your role as a parent. Read this post by Ms Dee Grimshaw, Deputy Headteacher to learn more about the facts behind this title and why it is essential to read with your children, no matter what their age is.

Don't stop reading to your children. Advice from British International School HCMC

Book Week – Insights from Y4 and the Learning Support Department

Read about how Book Week has taken off in Year 4, with this post from Ms Jude Handscombe, Milepost 2 Leader and in Learning Support from Ms Andrea Dix, Learning Support Leader. The power of the written word has very much filtered into every aspect of school life this week.

AP1 Book Week-1492

Having a Heart – Integrity, care and Respect in Action

Across the whole of BIS, HCMC we ensure that are children are educated in a challenging and thought provoking learning environment. Our Aide Memoire guides our children to recognise the importance of integrity, care and respect and this can be clearly evidenced in the work that we are all involved in with the many community projects that are now embedded into school life.

Occasionally, our children decide to take this philosophy further and into their own hands. Read more about how three An Phu Primary students planned an event, raised money and saved a young life by reading this post.

Heartbeat Vietnam APP Boys

Enterprise Day – Thursday 13th October

On Thursday 13th October between 10.00am and 11.15am, the front playground will be transformed into a colourful, noisy and frantic market place. Classes across the school are shortly going to receive their starting capital and have begun the process of designing a game, service or product that will attract the attention of their customers; other children in the school. In addition to every class becoming a business for the day, every child will be invited to bring in maximum spending money of 100,000 VND.  This will enable them to experience managing their own budgets by being selective in deciding how to spend their money from the array of tempting offers.

Parents are very welcome to come and observe the young entrepreneurs in action, although we would ask parents to resist the temptation to buy from the stalls so that the customer base of the producers is not confused. 

Further details from F1 to Y1 parents and Y2 to Y6 parents can be found in the letters that are attached to this week’s email.

Enterprise Day at APP

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

This week, we would like to introduce Mr Matt to you, our new Y6 teacher, who is in the spotlight. Read about his first impressions of both Vietnam and BIS, HCMC by accessing this post that can be found, with all other posts, in the News and Insights section of the School Website.

Meet Mr Matt, new year 6 teacher at An Phu Primary Campus. British International School, HCMC

Basketball Fixtures Return to An Phu Primary

It was great to see the basketball fixtures returning to An Phu Primary this week with the U11 Girls and Boy’s teams playing against ISHCMC. Read about how BIS, HCMC triumphed in both matches, together with a short match report in this post by Mr Richard and Mr Lamech.


At BIS, the safety of every child in our care is of the utmost importance. As outlined in our Parental Expectations as you enter our school, please take note of the following:

When you visit BIS, you will be treated with integrity, care and respect.

The school has a strong commitment to ensuring that we provide a safe environment for all of our students. We expect that all visitors support us by following the code of conduct outlined below:

On entry to our school, you must:

  • not take photographs or videos of any child without the permission of the Headteacher

(the expectation is that excluding school events, there is no reason to take pictures whilst on site).

  • use the designated adult toilets whilst on campus and under no circumstances enter the changing room areas
  • not be alone or in close proximity with any child (other than your own)
  • not touch any child or invade their own, personal space

If, during your visit, you have any reason to be concerned about the safety of a young person, please contact the Designated Safeguarding Person (Ms Deirdre Grimshaw) or the Headteacher (Mr Simon Higham)

Fundinotots – BIS Baby and Toddler Group

Fundinotots is a friendly place to meet other parents with young children. We provide an informal play environment with opportunities to take part in a range of activities such as painting, soft play, sand pit, water play, storytelling, large play apparatus, library time and music sessions. Refreshments are provided at each session for parents and children.

Find out more by accessing this flier, about our exciting programme for 0 to 36 month children.

Calendar Links

Please take time to browse through the News and Insights section of the school website. Here you will find the ‘Quick Links’ section, and link to all of our class and subject blogs. Have a look through the range of learning that takes place across our classrooms every day and how specialist departments enrich these learning opportunities even further. Some blog highlights are:

Music Blog – listen to the choir sing on Peace Day

1V, Ms Jessica – look at when the class met Ciaran Murtagh

5B, Ms Marion – browse through the incredible science homework projects

ICT – how the first week of animation club was a great success

PTG Update -

Parent Liaison Volunteer, Ms Ying

Project Re-Used

Thank you for supporting our Project Re-Used initiative, taking old BIS, HCMC uniforms and turning them into new and exciting products.

As always, old (clean) uniforms can be dropped off at our Collection Point near Gate A (in front of the PTG board) or in the large boxes outside of the Canteen.

If you would like to get involved in helping Project Re-Used, please don’t not hesitate to email the PTG directly on the email address above.

Saturday Morning Football - Reminder

Saturday Morning Football continues this week. It runs every Saturday through term time and is open to boys and girls from Y2 to Y6.

Please note the changes to the groupings on the flier below:

Sat Morning Football Flyer

For more information on sessions or if you can help with coaching, please contact:




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

Thursday 13th: Enterprise Day – Please carefully read the letters attached to this week’s email

Monday 17th to Friday 21st: Half Term Holiday

Monday 24th: School reopens


Friday 11th: 100 Years of the Somme exhibition

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

Supply Teaching at BIS

Here at BIS we are committed to providing the highest standards of education for our students.

If you are interested in supply teaching at BIS and hold relevant UK equivalent teaching qualifications, please contact any of the staff below: 

Deirdre Grimshaw- APP Deputy Headteacher:

Mary McAloon - TX Deputy Headteacher:

Rebecca Graves - APS Assistant Headteacher:

And Finally………

 Extreme Reading challenge

Thank you to everyone who took part in this week’s Extreme Reading challenge. The display that is currently along the Main Office corridor really does show that reading can take place everywhere.

Please take time to read with your children. Not only will it benefit their understanding and enjoyment of language, it will also bring you closer together as a family. Pick up a book today!

‘To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.’ —A.C. Grayling, British Philosopher.

I will leave you with the Big Question that was asked with the children today:

Would you rather read a book or write a book?

I wish you a very peaceful and relaxing weekend.

Mr Simon Higham, Head Teacher at An Phu Primary Campus