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Mr Simon Higham: Weekly Update 26/05/2017

26 May 2017

As outlined in last week’s Update, on Monday all of the draft class lists of classes being mixed for the next academic year were sent to parents. I would like to thank all of the parents who have engaged with us over the week as part of the class mixing process. I am pleased to inform you all that our teachers will now begin to finalise the class lists for the next academic year and allocate class teachers and rooms in readiness for this information to be shared with you on Friday 16th June.

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

A great teacher is a school’s best resource and at BIS HCMC we pride ourselves on the quality, qualifications, professionalism and experience of all of our teaching staff. A high quality staff demands a high quality professional development and we are constantly looking at ways to ensure that all teachers receive a varied and challenging range of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) throughout their time at our school. This week, our teachers from An Phu Primary crossed the bridge to learn more about Design and Technology with secondary colleagues. Laser cutters, 3D printing, textiles and Tinkercad were all on the menu, ensuring that a great deal of reflection and discussion was taking place regarding how this can further our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) learning within primary. Read more about this initiative in this post by Maria Shooter, F2S Class Teacher/Primary Design Technology Leader


Learn more about Nord Anglia Education’s collaboration with MIT on STEAM subject by clicking on this link.

Today, for those who placed an order, we are pleased to be able to send home your child’s individual and class photographs. We hope that you will be pleased with the overall quality and standard and that you will be able to look back at these photos in future years with a great fondness.

Whole School New Campus Architects Drawing

As part of the ongoing amalgamation preparations planned for January 2018, and following last week’s An Phu Primary Campus Headteacher’s Coffee Morning, this week was the turn of BIS HCMC Tu Xuong Campus. With the topics of the new Early Years and Infant Campus and the development of An Phu Primary to create a new Junior site, it was very encouraging to speak with the Tu Xuong parents and to discuss topics such as: future educational provision, start/finish times and traffic congestion.

Across our campus this week, there have been many varied learning opportunities for all of our children. I was fortunate enough to attend an excellent assembly written and performed by children currently accessing our MP2 EAL programme, with the focus of turtles. Well done to all who were involved for an entertaining and thought provoking assembly. I had a truly turtletastic time!

F3 Binh Tho-min

F3 had a fun and activity-filled morning playing with their friends from Binh Tho School this week as part of their extremely successful community partner visits. Both our BIS HCMC children and the children from Binh Tho learned a great deal from other and we look forward to developing this partnership further in the future. Learn more about our community service learning across the school by clicking here.

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.

Year 4 Active Planet – IPC (International Primary Curriculum) Fun

Year 4 Active Planet IPC Fun (7)-min

Year 4s are really getting stuck in to their IPC topic ‘The Active Planet’. There have been many highlights including learning about forces of nature through peer presentations, a chance to ask a real live geologist (Tilly’s grandfather, John Chambers) questions via Skype and a disaster relief workshop led by Amelie’s mum, Annabelle who is experienced in humanitarian aid work. Read more about Year 4s exciting, hands on learning from real life experts in this jointly written post by Ms Jude Handscombe, Y4 Teacher and Milepost 2 Leader and Anjali Bhaskar, student in 4N.

FOBISIA Youth Choir – The Joy Of Song

Zimbe 2

The hard work and dedication of 60 students from BIS, ABCIS and BVIS – the newly formed FOBISIA Youth Choir of Ho Chi Minh City -  was rewarded with a stunning concert at Soul Academy last Thursday (18th) and Friday (19th). Along with musicians and singers from the International Choir and Orchestra of Ho Chi Minh City the youth choir dazzled the audience with their wonderful singing, bright T-shirts and huge smiles. Read more about this amazing event in this post by Mr Jon Cannon, TX Music Leader.



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 the main office by Monday 29th May at the latest. 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!

Summer Music Concert

Music Polo Shirts-min

This Year’s Summer Music Concert will be held on Thursday 8th June and is entitled ‘Now That’s What I Call Music!’.

If your child still has an AP1 Music polo shirt (see above picture) at home from a previous school concert, please can this be returned to Ms Beth or Ms Fran in the Music department as a matter of urgency. We have a number of these which have not been returned and stocks are running low.

Annual ISHCMC Invitational Swim Meet

Swim meet-min

On Saturday 13th & 14th May over 440 swimmers took part in the 6th Annual ISHCMC Invitational Swim Meet 2017. There were swimmers from 10 International Schools from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Cambodia. Read more about the success of our BIS swim team in this post by Mr Vinh Nguyen, BIS HCMC Head Swim Coach.

Toothpaste Collection

Thank you to all parents and children who have donated toothpaste over the last two weeks. In July, in partnership with the NGOs, Vietnam Health and ASSORV, we will organise the distribution of the toothpaste in order to motivate those less fortunate than ourselves to receive a medical check.

Your small contributions will make a huge difference to the health and wellbeing of others.

Toothpaste collection BIS HCMC

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 stopping2-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 you:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Have you ever considered visiting the Terrace Café, located outside of the Canteen at An Phu Primary? Open from 7.15am – 9.00am and 2.00pm – 4.00pm and serving healthy refreshments it’s an ideal way of beating the congestion in a relaxed and spacious environment. Try it next week – it could make a difference!

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 bisvnptgap1@gmail.com

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 AP2. 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 29th: Year 6 Residential trip to Malaysia
  • Friday 2nd June: Draft class lists for 2017/18 to current Year 6 parents
  • Saturday 3rd: BIS 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………


A huge congratulations to all of our Year 13 students who will be attending their Graduation Ceremony at the Park Hyatt on Saturday.

As always, BIS HCMC is certainly setting the standards for other schools to follow with consistently extra ordinary examination results. Our 2016 IBDP results showcase a number of impressive statistics for our cohort, both as a group and also on an individual level.

  • 43% of our students achieved 40 points or more, placing them in the top 6.7% in the world.  This is the level of attainment required to gain entry to the world’s elite universities, such as Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard and Stamford.
  • One of our students achieved a perfect score of 45 points.  Only 145 out of 150,000 students achieved this remarkable score. 
  • A second student achieved a highly commendable 44 points.
  • Our average score of 37.2 points was significantly above the 2016 world average of 30.07 points.
  • BIS HCMC students passed the IBDP with an average grade of 5.9 per subject compared to the average global grade of 4.70.

We all wish you the very best in the future learning.


Mr Simon Higham, Head Teacher, An Phu Primary Campus