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Mr Simon Higham: Weekly Update 20/01/17

20 January 2017

As we said goodbye to International Week last week, we now turn to the celebration of TET here in Vietnam. Behind the scenes, our Vietnamese staff have been preparing for our Tet assemblies and Tet fair that will take place next Monday and Tuesday here at APP. 

  • APP Weekly Update Mr Simon

Year of Rooster

It is my pleasure to deputize for Mr Simon Higham this week in writing this weekly update. Mr Simon is in the UK for our annual recruitment trip.  

As we said goodbye to International Week last week, we now turn to the celebration of TET here in Vietnam. Behind the scenes, our Vietnamese staff have been preparing for our Tet assemblies and Tet fair that will take place next Monday and Tuesday here at APP. All children are encouraged to come to school on Monday, dressed in traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai.

It is such an important time for Vietnam and the preparations are not just confined to school. If any of you have been in District 1 you will have seen that preparations around the city are in full swing.

Here at school we are fortunate to have a dedicated group of Teaching Assistants who, aswell as supporting lessons in school, have also been preparing our Vietnamese Culture lessons and Tet celebrations. More details can be found later in this update.

A reminder that there will be no clubs next week due to TET celebrations and TET holiday. Clubs will resume on Monday February 6th 2017.

Around campus, it has once again been extremely busy. Please continue to read on to see what has been happening around school.  

Community Partners visit The Global Café

Image 2

As part of our International Week celebrations, we invited our community partners to visit the Global Café. We were delighted to welcome over 100 children to enjoy and be a part of our International Week festivities.  Read more about their visit in this post by Ms Samantha Baker, EAL teacher and Community Service Leader at APP. 

Year 5 Stargazing Evening

Image 3

On Monday despite the clouds in the sky, Year 5 students gathered at the small field at the front of the AP1 Campus for some stargazing. Orginially planned for December, the unusual weather conditions in HCMC meant it had to be postponed until this week. Read about the event itself and what the children learned in this post by Ms Deborah Spencer, Milepost 3 Leader.

The Parade of Nations 2017


Our International Week concluded with two very well attended Parade of Nations. It was fantastic to see so many parents coming to support this event. Read more about the parades and follow the link to the gallery of pictures in this post by Ms Dee Grimshaw.

International Week in our LS Department

International Week in LS (41)

Children from across the school had the opportunity to visit the LS department during International Week to experience life in various places around the globe. Read more about it and see some of the wonderful photos in this post by Ms Andrea Dix, LS Leader.

In the Kitchen with F1

F1 Kitchen (1)

Our F1 children have been very busy in the kitchen  this week preparing for Tet. Read all about what they have been up to in this post by Ms Christina Rada Gotis, F1 Teacher.

DT Visits to APS for DT

AP2 DT Visit-9016

There was great excitement in our Year 3 and Year 6 classes as they visited the DT department at APS. Having access to the equipment and expertise of our APS colleagues makes the subject come alive for our primary students. Read more about their visit and view the photos in this post by Maria Shooter, DT subject leader.

HCMC City Marathon

City Marathon (3)

Beyond the classroom many of our teachers have been busy! Last week along with many of our school’s parent community, quite a number of our teachers took part in the HCMC City Marathon with distances ranging from 5K to the full marathon.  Check out some of the great photos of some of the staff that completed the run alongside an article written by the 10K 4th Place finisher, in this post by Mr Rob Sesemann.

Instrumental Music

Instrumental lessons for Term 2 at An Phu Primary will run from Monday 6 February to Friday 17 March 2017.  If you are interested in your child learning one of the below instruments, please click here to complete the 'New Students' form.

We offer individual lessons on the following instruments:

  • Cello
  • Double Bass
  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Saxophone
  • Guitar
  • Ukulele 
  • Drums
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone

For further information about Instrumental lessons in school, please refer to this post by Ms Frances Amos, Music Teacher and Instrumental Leader or contact her directly at the following email address: francesamos@bisvietnam.com



TET is a huge celebration throughout Vietnam. The annual Tet Festival celebrates the New Year and is the biggest event of the year. Traditionally a time for friends, families and loved ones to come together, it is also a time to pay respects to deceased ancestors. Many people celebrate the occasion with a lavish family meal before heading to one of the many public parades and fireworks displays which take place in most major towns and cities. Most shops and businesses close for at least one day over the holiday period.

I would like to invite you to our TET Assembly on Monday 23rd January to share in our celebrations of this important time within Vietnamese culture. There will be 2 performances on this day:

  • For the parents of MPF and MP1 children: the assembly will begin promptly at 10.00am in the Gym (all parents are asked to be seated by 9.45am)
  • For the parents of MP2 and MP3 children: the assembly will begin promptly at 1.15pm in the Gym (all parents are asked to be seated by 1.00pm)

The assembly will consist of three dances performed by a selection of children across Year 3 to Year 6.

All children are encouraged to come to school on this day, dressed in traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai.

TET Collection

Tet collection

Please help us make the Year of the Rooster extra special for the children of our community partners by donating high quality items such as: stationery, toys, rice and noodles. If you are able to help in our collection and want to find out more, please access this post written by Ms Clover Sharman, Community Service Projects Manager.

Summer Performing Arts with Julliard

J Summer School

Next summer, give your child the chance to explore their creative talents and work with renowned artists in one of the most beautiful cities in the world—Geneva, Switzerland. Applications for Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard 2017 opened in December.

All interested parents should read this post which will guide you on how to register interest and receive the latest details.

Baker Book Club

Baker's Book Club available once again through British International Club HCMC

There is still time to purchase high quality books through the Baker Books Book Club. For every book you order, we also receive commission in the form of free books for our school libraries. Your orders have, in the past, added hundreds of books to our stock. We are very grateful for your help in this way.

For a comprehensive list of all of the books that are on sale, together with order forms, please access this post by Ms Linda Breard, Head Librarian.

Need Help Ordering?

Should you need it, a help sheet translated into Vietnamese and Korean is available to help with the ordering process. Please ask your child to come to the library to collect this help sheet to bring home to you. 

The closing date for ordering books from the Baker Books catalogue is Sunday 22nd January, 2017.

Staying Safe and Healthy in School

Safeguarding poster

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

PTG Update

Parent Liaison Volunteer, Ms Ying bisvnptgap1@gmail.com


PTG Charity Bake Sale – Friday 17th February.

It’s almost time for the PTG Charity Bake Sale again.

The funds raised from this event will be used to support all our BIS Community Partners.

Please consider volunteering your time to help on the day or to bake something delicious to sell.

Follow the SignUpGenius link http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c054eacae28a4f85-bake or contact Gill – gill_mckenzie@yahoo.co.uk to volunteer.

PTG Events for Term 2

17th February 2017 – PTG Bake Sale

23rd March 2017 – PTG Disco

26th March 2017 – Spring Fair

Upcoming Dates for your Diary

AP1 Weekly Update 06 01 17 (3)


Wednesday 25th: TET Holiday – school closed (School finishes at the normal time of 2.30pm on Tuesday 24th)


Monday 6th: School reopens, Clubs and Vietnamese classes resume.

Wednesday 15th : Headteacher’s Coffee Morning

Monday 20th - Friday 24th : AP1 School Photos

And Finally………

Image 5

Leading on from International Week and our theme of Unity, in milepost assemblies this week, I spoke to the children about what we can do in unity to improve our world. We spoke about ‘The Global Goals’ that 192 Nations across the world have agreed to with the deadline of 2030 being the date to eradicate extreme poverty, improve the number of children accessing education and support gender equality throughout the world as well as 14 other ambitious goals. I was blown away by the mature responses that I heard and the enthusiasm of our students in wanting to be part of the solution to make our world a better place.  Please take a look at the video that was shared with the children and encourage them to share with you at home, what ideas and thoughts they have as to how we can all make a difference.

Thank you for your ongoing support and I wish you all a very relaxing weekend ahead.

Ms Dee Grimshaw

Deputy Head Teacher, An Phu Primary Campus