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Mr Simon Higham: Weekly Update 17/02/17

17 February 2017

It was announced that from the next academic year, and following discussions with teachers and parents, children from Year 3 upwards will select one language to study – French, Spanish or Mandarin.

  • An Phu Primary Weekly Update with Mr Simon Higham, British International School HCMC

Thank you to all of the 70 parents who attended this term’s Headteacher’s Coffee Morning on Wednesday morning. The focus of this gathering was to give parents an overview of the vision that we have for the future of learning at the British International School HCMC and also an opportunity to listen to and interact with a presentation by our MFL Department. We hope that the message of innovation and forward thinking education was clear.

It was announced that from the next academic year, and following discussions with teachers and parents, children from Year 3 upwards will select one language to study – French, Spanish or Mandarin. This is an improvement in language learning from our current provision were children select a language from Year 5 upwards. More information regarding this improvement will be coming to all parents of Year 2, 3 and 4 parents in March.

Quick links 17

Following an extensive range of questions and feedback during the session, please be reminded to look through the ‘Quick Links’ that can be located in the ‘News and Insights’ section of the school website. In one click, these links take you to important areas of the website were information about our primary curriculum, canteen menus, club booklet and much more can be found.

For those parents that want more, please take time to look through the ‘parent essentials’ section of the school website. Here, more whole school information can be viewed.

The full presentation from Wednesday’s event can be found here.

Introducing Our New Parent App:

Parent App

Now available to download from the Apple Store:  AND from Google Play:

If you have any further questions regarding the presentation or any ideas for future Headteacher Coffee Mornings, please do not hesitate to come and talk with me as I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts.

Parent Survey

BIS HCMC Parent Satisfaction Survey 2017

There are only 5 days before the survey closes. 

Thank you to those parents who have already completed this survey. To-date we have had an impressive response rate and ideally we would like to hear from all our parents.  Your feedback is essential in creating the best learning environment for your child as your responses will inform us on how we can improve your child’s overall learning experience.

The 15-minute online survey will only take fifteen minutes and is available in 18 languages.  Your answers will be treated in the strictest of confidence.  Each family needs to respond only once on behalf of all your children.  

We appreciate your participation and very much value your feedback – your opinions count!

You can access the survey HERE

Year 3 – Chocolate Wrapper Designs

Y3 chocYear 3 children have been designing, making, tasting and evaluating using ‘chocolate’ as their inspiration. Read more about how they have been working within our secondary school, using innovative technology in this post by Mr Jon Phillips, Year 3 Teacher and Assistant Milepost 2 Leader.

Let’s Think in English


Just before the Tet holiday, Mr Michael Walsh from Kings College, London, visited our school over a period of 9 days to help deliver training to teachers regarding the Let’s Think in English programme. Based on *Cognitive Acceleration which has been around for over 30 years, the stimulating lessons are designed to develop children’s confidence in communication, collaboration and reasoning. For more information about this training and how it will help your children in their learning and thinking, read this post by Ms Shaheena Pall, EAL Leader.

Digital Citizenship Workshop

Digital Citizenship

I would like to extend an invitation to all parents to attend a Digital Citizenship Workshop on Thursday 23rd February at 8.15am in the Gym.
Mr Adam Astley, Learning Technologies Coordinator, will lead the first part of the session regarding ‘Digital Safety', with the second part of this session, led by Me Chris McKelvie, Assistant Headteacher, outlining the vision for the use and integration of technology within Year 5 and Year 6 classrooms for the next academic year.  Please look out for more information early next week, regarding this event.

We very much look forward to seeing you there.

School Photographs

BIS Ho Chi Minh Mr Simon Higham's Weekly Update - Reminder

Mr Johnny Woo will be at APP all of next week. Please check your children’s diaries / learning letters which state which day your child’s class and individual photograph will be taken. Please can you ensure that all children are dressed in full school uniform, including socks (white, grey or black) and black shoes.

Shortly after your child’s photos have been taken, you will receive an order form for you to complete and return to school with the correct amount of money owed. Delivery of all photos will be in Term 3.

Sibling Photographs

If you are interested in having sibling photographs, Mr. Woo will be available on Monday 20th to Thursday 23rd from 4:00pm - 5:00pm and on Friday 24th from 2:30pm - 4:00pm.

Limited spaces are available and if you have not already done so, please email Ms Thanh in the Main Office ( who will endeavour to allocate you a time on your preferred day. Please note that all allocations will be made on a first come, first served basis.

On the day, please bring your children to the Multi-Purpose Room 5 minutes before the time you have been allocated to fill in an order form and then get the group photo taken. Please note that sibling photographs are an additional service and any orders during this time will require payment on the day.

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher directly.

BIS Spring Concert

Annual Whole School Concert

The British International School HCMC Music Department presents our annual whole school concert on Thursday 2nd March at 6.30pm. For more details at this time, please click on this post.


Fundinotots programme

Fundinotots is our thriving Baby and Toddler group that take places every morning from Monday – Friday. To find out more about Fundinotots and how to enrol your child who is 0 – 36 months old, please do not hesitate to contact Ms Hanh in the APP Admissions Office.

Tet Collection - Update

Tet collection

Over the last month, all three BIS HCMC campuses have been gathering donations for the annual Tet Collection to benefit some of our Community Partners. This year, there has been an overwhelming and generous response from the families and staff!

The Community Service Department would like to thank everyone who donated for helping us support some of our partners with items they need and requested. The donations are still being sorted and recorded, so check back next week for a complete report.

The collections with be donated to the following Community Partners: Thien Phuoc Home for Disabled Children, Anh Minh School for the Hearing Impaired, Poussieres de Vie Center, Mai Tam AIDS Shelter, Children’s Cancer Ward, Mai Am Shelter, Ky Quang Pagoda II, Nhat Hong Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Village of Hope, Binh Trieu School, Binh Tho School, Binh An School, and Thao Dien Disabled School.

Staying Safe in School

stop and think

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)

Parents and Visitors’ Code of Conduct

Our 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
  • only use the designated adult toilets whilst on campus and under no circumstances enter the children’s toilets or changing room areas
  • not be alone with any child
  • not touch any child or invade their own, personal space
  • not take any contact details from any child

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

The Wizard of Oz at BVIS, HCMC

Do you want to see over the rainbow and follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City? Now you can as BVIS, HCMC is taking us all back in time with their performance of The Wizard of Oz. Read about dates and how to purchase tickets in the poster below.

The Wizard of Oz at BVIS

PTG Update

Parent Liaison Volunteer, Ms Ying

PTG Charity Bake Sale - Friday 17th February


Thank you to everyone who attended today’s PTG bakesale also a very big thanks to all who donated both sweet and savoury treats to sell.

Please look out all of the pictures and updates from today’s event in next week’s Update.

PTG Poster Competition

get writing

Following the introduction to the PTG Poster competition last week, have you spoken to your child about their entry? 

The PTG is organising a poster competition for the upcoming Spring Fair 2017 and the winning poster will be the official poster for the event and each entry will have a chance to win a special prize.

To enter the competition: 

  1. Use white A4 paper only
  2. It must have the words PTG Spring Fair 2017
  3. The design must incorporate Spring colours

One winner will be picked by our expert panel of judges.

Closing Deadline for all entries is next Friday, 24th February at 3:30 pm.

Please ensure that all entries are handed into your class teacher with your name and class clearly written on the back.

PTG Events for Term 2

23rd March 2017 – PTG Disco

26th March 2017 – Spring Fair

Key Upcoming Dates for your Diary


Monday 20th to Friday 24th: School Photos (look out for your child’s class date/time that will be coming soon from your child’s class teacher)

Thursday 23rd: Digital Citizenship Workshop for Parents – how to keep your child safe online


Thursday 2nd: Annual Whole School Music Concert

Tuesday 7th – Friday 10th: Year 5 Residential Trip

Wednesday 8th – Friday 10th: Year 4 Residential Trip

Thursday 9th: – Year 3 Sleepover

Sunday 19th: - Term 2 Clubs Finish

Monday 27th: - Progress Update Report Out To Parents

Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th: - Parent Meetings (academic focus)

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………

social media

Do you like to ‘Like’ on Facebook?

Do you like to ‘Follow’ on Twitter?

Do you like to ‘Watch Us’ on YouTube?

If you haven’t already done so, visit the range of social media available from BIS HCMC to help stay connected with the plethora of events that are occurring on a daily basis across our 3 campuses.

For instance, would you like to find out more about why the fire engines visited our An Phu primary Campus this week? Find out more by clicking here and ‘liking’ our post. 

Mr Simon Higham, Head Teacher, An Phu Primary Campus