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Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 26/01/18

26 January 2018

It has been a momentous week in the history of BIS.  In 1997, the school began life as a pre-school called ‘Tiny-tots’ in a villa on Nguyen Van Thu Street in District 1.  A year later, another pre-school called ‘Fundinos’ was opened in District 3.  Now, for the first time since 1998, the British International School, Ho Chi Minh City is operating from 3 campuses all in the same vicinity.

  • Facilities 18-9216

During this last week of the phased amalgamation, all the planning and preparation has come to fruition.  The new Early Years and Infant Campus is looking magnificent, and excitement levels were very high on Monday morning when all the F3 and Year 1 children from TX and AP1, became the first pupils to learn together at the new campus.  They were joined shortly afterwards by our youngest school members – the Fundinotots.

Ms Jess, our Year 1 leader, shares some of her reflections on the first week,

‘What a fantastic first week it has been in the beautiful new campus. The children have settled in brilliantly, taking full advantage of all the bright and clear spaces that the new building provides. The classrooms are an absolute hit with all of the children!

In addition, we have done gymnastics in the new and spacious Sports Hall with Mr Richard, as well as enjoying music sessions with Ms Beth in the Music Room.

With a new building, has come some new routines, that the children are adapting to really well. This has meant that we can continue to focus on the most important job of all…learning.’

Y1 Visit 18-9103

If you would like to visit the new campus and see for yourself, you can book a tour by clicking on the following link:

Book Your New Campus Tour

Traffic – New Routines

I would like to thank everyone who has followed our directions this week at the beginning and end of the school day.  At the Tu Xuong and An Phu Primary campuses, our routines are well established so the traffic continues to flow.  As we are establishing routines at the new campus, I have observed a number of points this week:

  1. The flow of traffic is most disrupted in front of school when drivers insist on parking right next to school, double parking or trying to do a U-turn in the heavy traffic.  You can see below that the black car is double parked.  It is blocking the traffic and forcing motorbikes and other vehicles into the middle of the road. This is in turn causing a backlog of traffic to both the Junior and Secondary campuses.

Double Parking

  1. There are many vehicles that come to school to drop just one child.
  2. Parents who arrive early and leave later (having enjoyed a coffee from PJs) appear to have low stress levels.
  3. There is frustration from parents who walk because of the state of the pavements between the campuses.
  4. As Mr Anthony Rowlands wrote in his email, BIS related traffic is a contributor to the Thao Dien ‘rush hour’, but by no means the sole contributor.  The traffic gets blocked in a number of places nothing to do with school e.g. the junction of Thao Dien Street and Xuan Thuy Street.

So what are we doing?

  1. Myself and other members of staff have been on duty before and after school encouraging drivers to follow our guidelines and to drop children safely in front of the school gate.

Drop off

  1. On Thursday, representatives of the school met with members of our local people’s committee to discuss:
    1. Installing a crossing outside the Early Years and Infant Campus
    2. Improving the pavement between the campuses
    3. Finding solutions to the congested areas e.g. the Thao Dien Street, Xuan Thuy Street junction
  2. Asking for your support with following the rules and reducing the number of vehicles:
    1. Please insist that drivers do not double park or do U-turns anywhere along Thao Dien Street.  Ask them to park past the Junior Campus on Nguyen Van Huong Street where the road is wide and there is plenty of space.  Call them when it is time for you to be picked up.
    2. Walk if you are able to.
    3. Come earlier or leave later - enjoy a drink at PJs Coffee.
    4. Find someone who you can car pool with.

Thank you – the traffic will not be a problem if we work together.

The Tet Shoebox Appeal 2018

TET Collection-min

Each year, we have a Tet Collection where we receive donations which we then pass on to our community partners.  This year we are going to make our donations more personal.  We would like every child in BIS to collect together a box of items which can be given as a present to someone less fortunate than ourselves at this time of celebration. You can bring your Tet Boxes to any campus and more information can be found in this post:

The Tet Collection

International Week 2018 - Update

International week has traditionally been held in the first half of Term 2 at the Primary Campus. Due to our phased amalgamation, we have made the decision to postpone International Week until Term 3. As a leadership team and after consultation with the International Week committee, we felt it would be unfair to students, teachers and parents to hold such a huge event when children and teachers will only just be settling into their new classrooms and campuses.

We will confirm the new date ASAP but it is most likely to be in June towards the end of Term 3. We feel this date will allow all students to have settled into the Infant and Junior Campus and will also provide a fitting end to our amalgamation as we come together as a school to celebrate such a special event for our International community.

We would like to thank all of our parent community for your support and understanding about these changes.

Ms Dee and Ms Mary

Upcycling Uniform Project


Our Upcycle Uniform group have been busy and have new products to unveil at their next pop up shop on the Junior Campus on Thursday 1st February from 7.30am.

These diary covers are a great way to keep these important books clean and in good condition. There are 3 fantastic designs to choose from.



With our new Early Years and Infant Campus, we are looking for some help with our Upcycle group. If you would be interested in joining our team, please get in touch with Bibi who can tell you what is involved:  berengere.humbert@gmail.com

Vietnamese Lessons in Term 2

Ms Phuong, our Vietnamese Coordinator has emailed all parents whose children study Vietnamese at BIS.  Once again, these are the arrangements for the lessons next week:



w/c 29th January

Vietnamese lessons begin on Tuesday and continue to the end of the term.

Thank you for your understanding.


Children can start at BIS when they are 2 years old.  Fundinotots is the ‘BIS Baby and Toddler Group’ where parents of children aged 0 to 36 months can other parents and allow their children to engage in a range of activities.  From January 15th, Fundinotots will be based on the new Early Years and Infant Campus.

Fundinotots 2

Health and Safety Reminders


Please make sure that whoever is bringing your child to school or collecting them at the end of the day is wearing their lanyard containing your child’s identity card.  It is also very important that at both the beginning and end of the day, you scan the card on the machine as you arrive and when you leave the site.  This enables us to keep a record of who is on the school site at any one time; another measure that helps us to keep your child safe.


Every child who rides a motorbike at all times must wear a helmet to protect themselves in case of an accident.  We are continually witnessing children being brought to school on a motorbike and not wearing a helmet.  Please ensure that this safety feature is a part of every single motorbike ride for both your child and you.

Thank you,

Ms Mary


We are looking to expand our current team of invigilators by recruiting reliable and confident people to assist throughout our busy examination periods of January and May/June each year.  This team invigilates at IGCSE and IB level during both internal and external examinations. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Preparing the examination venue prior to examinations in accordance with regulations
  • Distribution of scripts and supervision of students during examinations
  • Team work skills and flexibility are essential

No experience is required as full training will be given and the position is on a casual basis with days/hours being variable depending on examination demands.

For further information, please contact Tracey Brownrigg (Examinations Officer) at Tracey.Brownrigg@bisvietnam.com

Upcoming Events

29/1/18 Amalgamation:

F1 and F2 to start at the Early Years and Infants Campus

Year 2 to start on the Junior Campus

6/2/18 – Tet Fare at the EY&I (children to wear ao dais – thank you). Please note this is event for children only.

7/2/18 – Tapestry Coffee Morning for parents of children in F1, F2 and F3

9/2/18 – Tet Holiday begins @ 2.20pm

26/2/18 – School reopens after the Tet Holiday


Newcomers Bus Tour – (picture already sent to you under separate cover)

We held our Newcomers bus tour this week and we had a lovely morning showing our parents around D2 and part of D1, stopping at the Jade Emperor Pagoda and L'Usine in Le Loi for 'brunch'.  It was great to make new friends and show you around, thanks for joining! 

BIS Primary Spring Fair -

Sunday 25 March, 10-2 pm at the EY&I Campus.  Save the date!  Come and have fun and refreshments and raise money for our community partners!  We will be looking for tombola gifts (small toys, stationery items etc) for children and good quality second hand books (children and adults) to be donated please after the Tet holiday.  Details of where to drop these off are to follow. 

We are looking for raffle prizes for the Spring Fair, if anyone has a Company and they can donate something please do contact us bisvnptgap1@gmail.com for further details.  Raffle tickets to be on sale during March. 

2018 Spring Fair - Poster Design Competition-page-001


Has anyone any orange or yellow t shirts from past events from PTG?  If you have them spare can you please return them to Nicky Green for storage and for use at future events – thank you.  Please contact Nicky on – bisvnptgap1@gmail.com.  Many thanks. 

And Finally…

Y2 on the Dome

I spent Friday at the Tu Xuong Campus in the company of F1, F2 and Year 2.  We had a wonderful farewell TX picnic and it was great to see so many parents join us for this occasion.  At playtime, we posed for one last TX group photo on ‘The Dome’.  As evening fell, all the children, teachers and teaching assistants had gone home, the removal company removed the last boxes and furniture from the Tu Xuong Campus, and it was very quiet; the end of an era, so to speak.  All that was left was a shell.  It was no longer a school – simply a building.  The school had moved on. 

A school is not a building; it is a community of people with a shared purpose of providing the best education for the children in their care.  The Tu Xuong and An Phu Primary communities have now joined.  Together, I firmly believe that we will be able to provide an even better education for the children, and that our community will continue to go from strength to strength.

I look forward to seeing you all on Monday morning.

Have a marvellous weekend,

Ian Battersby/ Head of Tu Xuong Campus