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Mr Simon Higham: Weekly Update 08/09/17

08 September 2017

I sincerely hope that you had a relaxing long weekend last week and are happy to be back in school for another great week of learning.

  • Y2 arty-min

What has struck me this week is the number of smiles on the faces of children, parents and teachers. After recently showing a visitor around our school, she commented on how happy our school community seemed and that this was epitomised by the smiles on their faces. After reflecting upon these comments, I was interested to find out more about the science behind our smiles. Why is this facial expression so important? What effect does it have on a community as a whole and why do the majority of the BIS, HCMC community feel this way?

Firstly, it is a scientific fact that smiling is contagious. The more smiles you see, the happier you feel. The reason for this is that neurons in the brain have a copying feature therefore if you see a smile, you smile too.

Secondly, when you smile your eyes naturally squint which causes a chemical reaction in your body that reduces the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Reducing the amount of cortisol in your body helps to boost your immune system. Therefore, when you smile, you are making yourself healthier – smiles are a medicine!

Finally, when you smile you are actually exercising 26 different muscles in your body. This could be much more effective than a full workout at the gym and the more you smile, the more you exercise.

The next time that you are in school, take a moment to look around. Take in the positive atmosphere and assess the extent of the smiles that you see and be assured that they are contributing to the health, wellbeing and welfare of all of our community.

I hope that this week’s update makes you smile too as you read through and find out more about the many varied learning experiences that our children encounter on a daily basis.

Parent Teacher Student Conferences, September 12th and 13th 2017

Parent Teacher Student Conferences

I would like to remind all parents about the forthcoming parent, teacher, student conferences that will take place on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th September from 3.00pm until 5.30pm. They will focus on the pastoral element of school life.

This meeting is an opportunity for parents to share information with the class teacher that will support their child’s future learning. Children are also invited and encouraged to attend.

By now, you should have received an email outlining your login details with the online system remaining open until Sunday 10th September.

Please note these conferences are for meeting class teachers only. Specialist conferences will take place in November.

As always, we aim for a 100% turnout for these essential meetings and we look forward to seeing you all next week.

Y5 – NASA Training

Year 5 (6)-min

As part of the IPC entry point for ‘Mission to Mars’, all Year 5 children from both TX and APP campuses recently participated in NASA training. Read more about how our budding astronauts experienced life in space in this post by Ms Deborah Spencer, Year 5 Teacher and Milepost 3 Leader.

Active Planet – Devastation in Year 4

Year 4 - Active Planet

Year 4 students from TX and APP campuses came together in teams to build model towns using paper and card. After careful consideration of facilities required for their models, the towns started to take shape and the students were delighted with their efforts. However, something happened to make them all stop and think. Read about what happened in this post by Ms Jude Handscombe, F4 Teacher and Milepost 2 Leader.

Year 1 Play Dates with Thien Phuoc

Year 1 (2)

As part of their ongoing Community Service programme, Year 1 have begun having a great time interacting with the children from Thien Phuoc. Read more about how they have been learning together in this post by Ms Jessica Miller, Year 1 Teacher and Assistant Milepost 1 Leader.

Year 2 – The Circus is Coming


Year 2 were incredibly excited to be heading off to the Big Top for the Entry Point to their new IPC topic, ‘The Circus is Coming!’ Find out more about their trip in this post by Ms Clare Lowson, Y2 Teacher and Milepost 1 Leader.

Traffic Flow

In order to help keep our traffic flowing, please take time to discuss the following points with your drivers.

  • No cars should be parked for long periods of time outside of school – ask your driver to meet you at a convenient location away from the school gates and please ask them to never double park as this stops the flow of traffic at peak times.
  • Stop, drop and go – take a maximum of 15 seconds to drop off your child and they can walk into school. Try it as it will speed up your journey and that of others too.
  • Không đậu xe lâu bên ngoài trường – vui lòng yêu cầu tài xế đợi bạn ở một địa điểm thuận tiện cách xa cổng trường và không đậu song song với một ô tô khác vì sẽ gây tắc nghẽn giao thông vào giờ cao điểm.

ABRSM – Highscorers Concert

ABRSM Highscorers-min

On Saturday 9th September at 19.00, BIS HCMC will be proudly hosting the 7th Annual ABRSM High Scorers’ Concert in the auditorium.  This concert serves as  a showcase for the top performing students from the June practical instrumental exam session. Tickets are available on the door and are VND 100,000 with students and children free of charge. We look forward to seeing many of you there.

Safeguarding at school – it’s everyone’s responsibility

EYFS concert-min

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

Comm thanks-min

The PTG is run by volunteers from the school community, and to make our communication and events run smoothly we need a few extra helpers from time to time. If you can spare a little (or a lot!) of time, please consider signing up for one of the below roles.

Class Parent Volunteers

Please consider volunteering to support your child’s teacher. We, the PTG promise we will make the role as easy and fun as possible by providing you with everything you need to do a great job! Please email us at bisvnptgap1@gmail.com if you have any questions, or sign up HERE.

Currently, we still need volunteers for these classes:

Christina Rada-Gotis F1V 

Holly Johnson F3H

Andy James 5V

Francez Fernandez F2S 

Gemma Gotting 2V

Matt Payne 6S

Patricia Thomas F2V 

Nicole McKelvie 2N 

David Cotmore 6M

Rachel Stewart F2N

Robert Sesseman 3H 


Gurvinder Paul F3V

Melanie Wagstaff 4N


Country Representative Volunteers

January is a great time at school with International Week. Global Café is an event held during the week that provides the opportunity to showcase all the great things about YOUR country. Please consider signing up as a country representative to be part of this event, and welcome new families from your country if they join the school through the year. You can sign up HERE.

Currently, we still need volunteers for:












Hong Kong 

Korea, South 

Saint Kitts and Nevis 










Sri Lanka 


Costa Rica 










Saturday Morning Football (SMF)


This is a parent-led activity from 8-10 am on a Saturday morning.

Venue: An Phu Primary football fields

Registrations will take place this Saturday 9th September between 8-10 AM.  Please turn up at any time between these hours at APP.

For more information please e mail - bissaturdayfootball@gmail.com

We currently need parents to come forward to help with the administration and coaching to make this important club happen.

PTG Social Night

PTG social-min

We would like to cordially invite all BIS Primary Parents and Teachers of BIS for a Social Evening. Details are as follows:

  • Date - Thursday 21st September
  • Time – 7.00pm -10.00pm
  • Venue - Mad House, 6/1/2 Nguyen U Di, Thao Dien, D2
  • Price – 300,000 VND per person  (includes refreshments and snacks)

Tickets are on sale at Gate A and the Canteen before and after school from 11 Sept – 21 Sept (please sign up at ‘Sign Up Genius’ if you can help with the selling)

Link to Sign Up Genius - http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c054eacae28a4f85-ptgsocial1

Any queries please do email the PTG at bisvnptgap1@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you!


There is a change of date and time to the ‘Family Picnic’ which now becomes the ‘Family Evening’. This will now be held - Saturday 14 October, 5.00pm - 7.30pm at our AP1 campus.  Please save this date in your diaries!

Key Dates – Summary
  • Family Evening – Saturday 14th October
  • Teacher Appreciation Day – Monday 20th November
  • Coffee and Cake for Cancer (Joint AP1, AP2 and TX) – Friday 24th November
  • Term 1 PTG Disco – Thursday 30th November

BBGV Fun Run

BBGV Fun Run

BIS HCMC are proud sponsors once again for the BBGV Charity Fun Run on Sunday 24th September. This promises to be a fun community morning for all the family and in aid of a fantastic cause. To find out more about how you can register for the 3km fun run please click here.

Key Dates-min

  • Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th: Parent, Teacher and Student Conferences
  • Thursday 21st: Reading Workshop for MPF and MP1 (Fundinototos – Y2) – AP1 Gym
  • Sunday 24th: BBGV Fun Run
  • Wednesday 27th: Supporting EAL Students at BIS (a workshop for parents) – 8.15am
  • Thursday 28th: Reading Workshop for MP2 and MP3 (Y3 – Y6) – AP1 Gym
  • Friday 29th: Moon Festival (children can come to school dressed in Ao Dai)

8.15am – Dragon Dance in school (all welcome)

10.00am – MPF and MP1 (Fundinotots – Y2): Parent Assembly

1.15pm – MP2 and MP3 (Y3 – Y6): Parent Assembly

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………


BIS, HCMC – Social Wall

Social Wall-min

Take a look at our Social Wall – a collection of pictures and posts from our social media sites.

This will give you a further insight into our busy school, focusing upon innovative and challenging learning experiences for all of our students!

NAE BA-min

Mr Simon Higham, Head Teacher, An Phu Primary Campus