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Mr Simon Higham: Weekly Update 19/05/2017

19 May 2017

It has been another busy week at An Phu primary campus. Although the rains have well and truly come, this has definitely not dampened our thirst for creative and innovative learning.

  • APP Weekly Update Mr Simon

Looking back, it was great to see two super class assemblies this week.

5V very creatively introduced the Shakespearean comedy, ‘The Tempest’ – a play about both betrayal and revenge - to all Milepost 3 children. In addition to this, 3N taught us all about the differences between myths and legends and re-enacted three famous stories to all of Milepost 2 children. Well done to all who took part as your acting, singing and hard work definitely kept the audience attentive throughout.

Well done also to the children who took part in last weekend’s swimming gala. Every competitor contributed to the overall team effort which once again gave BIS HCMC the title of ‘most effective team’.

BIS HCMC Aide Memoire

Looking forward and as outlined in the letter sent to all parents at the beginning of Term 3, our teachers have been working hard to formulate the new classes that will be mixed for the next academic year.

The current year groups that will be mixed are:

  • F1
  • F2
  • F3
  • Y1
  • Y5
  • Y6 *

The current year groups that will not be mixed are:

  • Y2
  • Y3
  • Y4

When making these arrangements we consider a range of factors which include a balance of gender, academic ability, nationality, behavioural needs, learning support needs, children with EAL and social groupings.

On Monday next week (22nd May), the first draft of next year’s class lists for those year groups that are mixing will be sent to parents. If you would like to discuss any educational issues with your child’s class teacher relating to their placement for next year (whether your child’s class is mixing or not), please contact them directly to arrange a meeting before 3.00pm on Friday 26th May.

*Please note that the Year 7 forms will be published slightly later on Monday 5th June due to an unexpected change in leadership in Year 7.

Once this deadline has passed and all suggestions have been received, the final lists will be prepared by adding new students, room allocations and class teachers.

All final lists will then be published to parents on Friday 16th June.

Absence Procedure – Reminder

As outlined in the Primary Parent Handbook, please be reminded that:

On the day of an absence:

Before 8.00am, please inform the office, either by phone or email, that your child(ren) will not be attending school. A suitable reason must be given to the staff together with specific symptoms if your child(ren) are sick.

To ensure efficient lines of communication, please cc your child’s class teacher into any contact that you have with our school office that relates to absence. As always, your support is much appreciated.

HT Coffee-min

On Wednesday this week, with over 100 parents in attendance, the final Headteacher’s Coffee morning took place in the Multi-Purpose Room. I would like to thank all of those who could attend this important event that presented the following topics:

  • The planned amalgamation for January 2018
  • The recent curriculum review and how this will further improve the way in which we assess and track children’s achievement

The full presentation from the meeting can be viewed here.

The next Headteacher’s Coffee Morning is scheduled for Thursday 9th November in the new academic year.

Primary FOBISIA Games 2017

Fob Games 2-min

I am pleased to report that all of our FOBISIA squad arrived safe and well in Shanghai on Wednesday and began their competitions on Thursday. As you can see from the above picture, the medals are beginning to roll in. If you would like to follow their progress, all updates can be found on the Residential Blog and also on our school Twitter account.

Look out for full details of this event in next week’s Update.



Further to last week’s Update, I would like to remind all parents about the forthcoming BIS Aquathlon that will take place on the morning of Saturday 3rd June. If you would like to take part in this exciting event, which incorporates a swim followed by a run, please print off this letter and complete a reply slip for each parent or child competing and return to the PE department or reception of your school before Friday 26th May. As it is a house event for the first time this year, be sure to dress up in their colours and win points for your house!

Julliard Alumni Visitor


At the beginning of this week, if I had asked our children if they had ever heard a bassoonist play before, I am sure that most would have replied ‘No’. However, due to our ever growing and developing partnership with the Julliard School, all of our children attended a short performance from Mr Ben Moermond, principal bassoon player for the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and member of the Julliard Alumni. Read more about Mr Ben’s visit in this post by Ms Beth Bown, Music Leader APP and also on the APP Music Blog.

How To Become An Ironman


Following last week’s item on the 3rd annual 70.3 IRONMAN Vietnam, this week we turn to what motivates an individual to take part and could any of you reading this Update, really take part in an IronMan event?  Read about the responses from our BIS athletes who have experienced what it takes to become an Ironman in this post by Lucy Glynn, Online Marketing Officer.

Toothpaste Collection

In partnership with the NGOs, Vietnam Health and ASSORV will be organising a 2-week collection of toothpaste at BIS Ho Chi Minh City from the 15th - 26th of May. In July, we will then organise the distribution of the toothpaste in order to motivate those less fortunate than ourselves to receive a medical check.

Thank you to all parents who have already donated toothpaste in the box situated outside the side entrance to the Main Office area at APP. For further information about this worthy cause, please refer to the information poster below.


Staying Safe

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.

no stopping-min

In order to keep our children safe on the roads outside BIS, both before and after school, and keep the traffic flowing down Nguyen Van Huong Street, please can you ensure that:

  • Never stop on or near to a pedestrian crossing – in order to ensure that our families can cross the road safely, please instruct your driver to park as far away from the main gates as possible to avoid congestion. Try walking a short distance to keep cars down to a minimum.

Current School Vacancies

job vacancy-min

If you are interested in finding out more about working at our dynamic and forwarding thinking school, click on this link that advertises the positions that are currently available.

PTG Update

Parent Liaison Volunteer, Ms Ying

Global Cafe1-min

PTG Volunteer Coordinator 

We are currently looking for a new PTG Volunteer Coordinator to help lead with the organisation of our PTG for the benefit of our children, teachers and community.

If you would like to find out more about the role and how you would be supported, please refer to the role description below and contact either Ying Mckenzie (current PTG Volunteer Coordinator) or Mr Simon directly.

Role Description

  • Work closely with Head Teacher to bring together the school community - via Class Representatives, Country Representatives and holding PTG events
  • Set up Events Committees for each PTG event (organise an Event Leader)
  • Brief committees and support them with their event (kick off meeting, answer questions, find solutions, support with advice)
  • Use Sign Up Genius to help set up simple rosters
  • Set up Class Representatives and Country Representatives system via Sign Up Genius at the beginning of the school year
  • Assist in writing PTG articles for the Weekly Update - this job is often delegated to the Event Leader
  • Write articles for Spectrum (school magazine) - one per term
  • Write a brief report for the AGM (one per year)
  • Coordinate with the Treasurer and Community Service Department on how PTG funds should be allocated to community groups
PTG Second Hand Sale (Flea Market)

Have you got some unwanted items in your home and are looking to create more space? On Sunday 4th June the PTG are holding a Flea Market at APS. Read through the poster below for all of the details.

Flea Market-min

PTG Events for Term 3
  • 15th June – PTG Disco

Key Upcoming Dates for your Diary

save the date

  • w/b 22nd and w/b 29th: Year 6 Residential trip to Malaysia
  • Monday 22nd – Friday 26th: Draft class lists for 2017/18 to parents (except current Year 6)
  • Wednesday 17th – Sunday 21st: FOBISIA Games
  • Friday 2nd June: Draft class lists for 2017/18 to current Year 6 parents
  • Saturday 3rd: BIS HCMC Aquathlon
  • Thursday 8th: An Phu Primary, Summer Music Concert
  • Sunday 11th: Term 3 Club programme ends
  • Friday 16th: EoY Report link sent to all parents
  • Friday 16th: Final class lists out to parents

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 Wall-min

Have you heard about our Social Wall?

Would you like to be able to get one of your pictures onto our Social Wall?

Click here to access many images from social media that encapsulate the vibrancy and diversity of events and learning opportunities that can be experienced at BIS, HCMC.

Remember to use: #bishcmc


Mr Simon Higham

Head Teacher, An Phu Primary Campus