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Mr Simon Higham: Weekly Update 06/10/17

06 October 2017

If you missed last Friday’s Moon Festival Celebrations, here is a quick reminder of what happened when we were visited by a whole flight of dragons...

This week we have been focusing upon books, books and more books.

Thank you to all parents and children who took time to visit and purchase books from our book fair that has been taking place in the Library. We hope that you have found the books on offer a great incentive to encourage our children to continue to read regularly at home.

Support your child's reading

According to the Reading Agency in the UK, there are many educational and social benefits to reading regularly:

Firstly, from an educational point of view:

  • there is a difference in reading performance equivalent to just over a year's schooling between young people who never read for enjoyment and those who read for up to 30 minutes per day.
  • In addition to this, children who read books often at age 10 and more than once a week at age 16 gain higher results in maths, vocabulary and spelling tests at age 16 than those who read less regularly.

Secondly, reading can also make you feel better:

  • reading for pleasure has been linked to a reduction in the symptoms of depression and to a reduction in the risk of developing dementia in later life.
  • also, people who read books regularly are on average more satisfied with life, happier, and more likely to feel that the things they do in life are worthwhile. 

So what can you do to encourage your children to read more at home?

This post, that is currently situated within the News and Insights (Whole School) section of our website, gives the Top 5 Tips to Support Your Child's Reading at Home. We hope that you find it useful so together we can inspire our children to read, read and read some more.

Well done to all of our children and teachers who took time to dress as their favourite book character today – a great effort from all involved and lovely to see such a variety of costumes that were on offer. Also, well done to all of the entries to our Create and Illustrate competition. All of the entries can now be viewed along the office corridor with the winners being announced in assembly today. Watch out for more information about the winners in next week’s Update.

Liz M-min

Also, a big thanks to Liz Million, our author/illustrator in residence across our two primary campuses this week. What an inspiration Liz has been to all of our children from F3 to Y6 with her effervescent personality, great illustration tips and all of the amazing drawings that seem to suddenly come to life off the page. We wish her all the very best at BIS/BVIS Hanoi next week and follow her progress on her website and on Twitter:



SSIS Swim Relay

SSIS swim-min

Last Saturday it was fantastic to see over 78 swimmers from BIS HCMC (37 APS swimmers and 41 APP swimmers) participating in SSIS Relay Swim Meet at Saigon South International School, District 7.

There were 6 international schools across Ho Chi Minh City competing: BIS, ISHCMC, AIS, EIS, SSIS and TAS.

Read more about another successful swim meet for BIS HCMC in this post by Triet Pham, Assistant Swim Coach.

Year 2 Community Project

Y2 Community-min

Each week, the Year 2 classes eagerly await the arrival of students from the Anh Minh School. On Wednesday 26th September, about 30 students with hearing impairment and of different ages, came to socialise with the Year 2 BIS HCMC students. This time it was the turn of 2N and 2H to host the visitors.

Read more about how both sets of children are learning how to effectively work and play together in this post by Ms Nicole McKelvie, Year 2 Teacher.

BIS Autumn Holiday Camps

Oct progamme-min

At BIS HCMC we continue to develop the opportunities that our children have for learning both inside and outside of the classroom, during term time and during the holidays too.

We have the pleasure in sharing the upcoming holiday programme. For all enquiries please email Mr Phil Husband at:

All payments should be made to Ms Dung, our APP Cashier.

Deadline for sign up: Friday 13th October

Young Musician of the Year – How to Get Involved

Congratulations to all of our Young Musicians who took part in this week’s auditions on Monday and Tuesday. Well done to all of you who have progressed into the next phase and we all look forward to next Wednesday’s semi Finals. Another great opportunity to showcase your skills at BIS HCMC!

Young Musician of the Year

Digital Citizenship

digital citizen site-min

Being a responsible digital citizen is something that we take very seriously within our school, with regular reminders within our curriculum about how to stay safe when using technology and how to treat others with care and respect within both a physical and digital environment.  In an age where our children often have a greater technological skillset than many parents, it is important to remember that all parents have a large part to play in ensuring that our children stay safe online. To help, please take time to look through our Digital Citizenship site. Within the parent tab, you can learn more about many areas that include:

  • Internet Safety Tips
  • Social Networking
  • Parent Controls for PC, Mac and Mobile Devices

Dyslexia Awareness Week 2017

Dyslexia Awareness

This past week - October 2nd to 6th - was Dyslexia Awareness Week 2017. This week has not only been about awareness, but also about understanding the experience of people with Dyslexia, as not only being one of challenge but of success as well. Read more about how our secondary students have been raising their own awareness and that of others, in this post by Mr Ian Young, Head of Secondary Learning Support.

Uniform – Reminder

AP1 Uniform

Our school uniform is a means of showing our identity and pride in our school to the wider community as well as being practical school wear. We would like to remind all parents of the following points taken directly from the Early Years and Primary Parent Handbook:

  • Children should wear sensible black leather shoes (F1 and F2 exempt) or closed toe sandals, preferably without laces for the younger children (F1 and F2 children should wear sensible shoes or closed toe sandals that will aid the growth and development of small feet. These are not required to be black in colour). We do not allow novelty shoes with flashing lights, squeaking noises or shoes which have the roller ball facility.
  • If the child usually wears earrings, for safety reasons please ensure that suitable studs replace these while s/he is attending school. No looped or dangling earrings are permitted. The PE department may require the removal or suitable covering of studs in PE lessons for safety reasons.

As always, your support and understanding of the above points are very much appreciated.

Traffic Flow


In order to ensure that flow of the traffic outside of school keeps flowing, please can you:

Ask your driver to show respect to our guards and follow their instructions – they are there to keep you all safe and have a difficult job when drivers ignore their instructions.

Explain to your driver that their actions reflect upon your family – ask them to respect all of our school community to make our school the very best that it can be.

Yêu cầu tài xế tôn trọng các bảo vệ và tuân theo chỉ dẫn của họ – các bảo vệ có trách nhiệm bảo đảm an toàn và sẽ gặp khó khăn trong công việc nếu tài xế phớt lờ các chỉ dẫn của họ.

Giải thích với tài xế rằng hành động của họ phản ánh gia đình của bạn – yêu cầu tài xế tôn trọng cộng đồng nhà trường để trường BIS trở nên tốt nhất có thể.

We all have our part to play!

Safeguarding at school – it’s everyone’s responsibility

Safeguarding at School

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).

Please note that CCTV cameras are in operation at all times across the campus.

PTG Update

Family evening-min

Family Evening: Change of Date:

Saturday 11th November, 4.30pm – 7.30 pm at An Phu Primary Campus

Please join us for a Family Evening on 11th November 2017. The family evening is a fun event and an opportunity for the parents, teachers and children to come together as a community. It is also a time for BIS HCMC to welcome all new families and children in an informal gathering.

The family event, previously conducted in the mornings is well attended with numbers of 700 or more. 

The highlights for this evening will include Bouncy Castle, Sand Art, Face Painting and other Games and Activities, alongside a BBQ Dinner.

It is free for all new families and adults and the child ticket is VND 50.000. Tickets will be available for sale at Gate A and Canteen from 1 November 2017. 

We look forward to your participation.

Please email us at if you have any questions or if you would like to help out at any of our events.

Key Dates – Summary
  • Family Evening – Saturday 11th November (please note – change of date)
  • Teacher Appreciation Day – Monday 20th November
  • Term 1 PTG Disco – Thursday 30th November

Key Dates-min

  • Tuesday 17th: Young Musician of the Year Final. All welcome – 6.00pm AP2 Theatre
  • Monday 23rd : Half term holiday begins – school closed
  • Monday 30th : School reopens
  • Thursday 2nd: Headteacher’s Coffee Morning – 8.15am (MPR). Topic: Amalgamation

For all of the dates in this year’s academic calendar, please click here to take you to the front page of the ‘News and Insights’ section of our school website.

And Finally………


Recently, both new and exisiting parents have asked where they can find an overview of topic areas that are currently being covered across our Primary classrooms. Access all of these documents from Year 1 to Year 6 in this document.

For future reference, this can be found on the school website by following this pathway:

Home > Learning > Curriculum > Primary > Primary Curriculum Plans

More details regarding our EYFS Curriculum can be found here.

We wish you all a very pleasant and family orientated weekend ahead.

NAE BA-min

Mr Simon Higham, Head Teacher, An Phu Primary Campus