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Mr Simon Higham: Weekly Update 09/02/18

09 February 2018

Our TET celebrations have been in full swing across the Junior Campus this week, bringing vibrant colour, excitement and fun learning experiences to all of our children. Tet is the most important festival in Vietnam. It is the Vietnamese New Year marking the arrival of spring based on the Lunar calendar.

Our TET celebrations have been in full swing across the Junior Campus this week, bringing vibrant colour, excitement and fun learning experiences to all of our children. Tet is the most important festival in Vietnam. It is the Vietnamese New Year marking the arrival of spring based on the Lunar calendar.

TET is a time for a community to come together and celebrate new beginnings and it is evident from our achievements this week, and over this term in general, our amalgamation has strengthened and further developed our school community.

On behalf of all of our school, I would like to both thank and congratulate our Teaching Assistants who have worked tirelessly over the last 5 weeks to ensure that TET is celebrated in a creative and innovative manner - well done to all! Please take time to access the video below that shows our amazing TET Fair on Wednesday and read more about our activities this week in this post by Ms Phuong Pham, Vietnamese Coordinator:

This week, it was a privilege to be part of the judging panel of the NAE STEAM week @ MIT. Open to children of Year 6 and Year 7, pupils were challenged to show how they were innovators of the future in order for them to represent BIS HCMC and visit MIT at the end of April/beginning of May.


What the judges saw was absolutely incredible, with over 2 hours of bespoke presentations that showed what creative and confident young minds we have across our school. Well done to all of those who took part and look out for a post after TET to celebrate those who were chosen. Congratulations to Naomi Tran and Matheo Luong who will be representing our Junior Campus in Boston, USA.

End of School Day Arrangements

The first responsibility and priority of our school is to keep all children safe and well.  In recent weeks, we have noticed quite a large number of children wandering around the campus at the end of the school day. Some of these children have been collected by parents already and then let wander, others have not been collected and instead of going to the late room are waiting for their parents in areas of the school not supervised by teachers or teaching assistants.

Please can we reiterate once again the procedures for the end of day pick up;

  • All children should be picked up at 2.30pm from their classroom.
  • If they have a sibling, the older child can make their way to their sibling’s class and be picked up there.
  • At 2.40pm if a child has not been picked up from their class, they will be sent to the late room which is housed in the canteen.
  • At 3.00pm all children not yet collected from the canteen, will be brought to the office.

With the opening of the EY&I Campus, we have added an extra member of staff to the late room, understanding that some parents are moving between 1, 2 or even 3 campuses.

Often, children go directly to the office and tell us ‘my mum told me to meet her in the office’ or others go to the basketball court and tell us a similar story ‘my mum said to wait for her at the basketball court’.

Please can we encourage you to collect your child/children from their classroom or canteen where they are supervised and safe. Please do not make alternative arrangements with your child as it puts them in a difficult situation and also at risk if they are not supervised.

Thank you for your support in ensuring all our children are safe.

Post Amalgamation Coffee Morning

PTG Coffee Morning 17 (3)-min

Following this term’s opening of the new EY&I Campus, the creation of the Junior Campus and the amalgamation between An Phu Primary and Tu Xuong Primary, I would like to extend an invitation to all parents to come and join us for a coffee morning after the TET holiday:

  • Date: Thursday 1st March
  • Time: 8.15am
  • Venue: EY&IC canteen

This will be a great opportunity for all parents to come together and get to know each other in an informal, school setting.

Please come along to support in order to further strengthen our already thriving BIS HCMC community. All parents are welcome!

Driver’s Code of Conduct


Over the TET Holiday, please take time to speak directly to your drivers regarding our Driver’s Code of Conduct:

In order to keep our children safe on the roads outside BIS, both before and after school, please can you spend a few minutes of your time discussing the following points with your drivers.

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.

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.

Never U Turn along the stretch of road outside EY&IC, JC and SC – tell your driver to drive away from school and if they have to U Turn, please do so on the wider, less congested roads. Try the route past JC along Nguyen Van Huong, as an alternative way to get home – it may take a few extra minutes driving but it will save the time you spend in traffic.

Ask your driver to show respect to our guards and follow their instructions – they are there to keep you all safe and have a difficult job when drivers ignore their instructions.

 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.

We all have our part to play – thank you.

Nhằm đảm bảo an toàn giao thông cho học sinh trường BIS ngoài khuôn viên trường trước và sau giờ học, phụ huynh vui lòng dành một ít thời gian để thảo luận các điều sau với tài xế của mình.

Không dừng gần hoặc trên vạch dành cho người đi bộ – nhằm đảm bảo an toàn cho các gia đình khi băng qua đường, vui lòng yêu cầu tài xế đậu xe cách xa cổng trường để tránh tắc nghẽn giao thông. Xin vui lòng đi bộ một quãng ngắn để hạn chế số lượng ô tô xung quanh trường.

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.

Không quay đầu xe trên quãng đường bên ngoài EY&IC, JC and SC – yêu cầu tài xế lái xe ra xa trường và quay đầu xe ở những khúc đường rộng hơn, giao thông thông thoáng hơn. Hãy đi đường Nguyễn Văn Hưởng đoạn phía trên JC – điều này có thể mất thêm vài phút lái xe nhưng sẽ tiết kiệm thời gian kẹt xe của bạn.

Yêu cầu tài xế tôn trọng các bảo vệ và tuân theo chỉ dẫn của họ – các bảo vệ có trách nhiệm bảo đảm an toàn và sẽ gặp khó khăn trong công việc nếu tài xế phớt lờ các chỉ dẫn của họ.

Giải thích với tài xế rằng hành động của họ phản ánh gia đình của bạn – yêu cầu tài xế tôn trọng cộng đồng nhà trường để trường BIS trở nên tốt nhất có thể.

Tất cả chúng ta đều đóng vai trò quan trọng – xin cám ơn.

SISAC Cross Country Championships – 2018

Cross Country SISAC (1)

Tuesday 6th February marked the first SISAC competition since the primary amalgamation which meant BIS HCMC were able to enter 2 teams into the U9 and U11 boys and girls’ categories. In total, we had a whopping 56 students from the Junior Campus from Years 3-6 representing BIS HCMC.

Read about both the individual and team successes in this post that was completed by our committed PE Department. Champions again across the board!

Well done to all of our athletes who took part and to all of our PE staff who helped to make this happen. What a team!

BIS HCMC Take the Gold at Invitational Swim Gala 2018

swim gala 2018 03

The results are in and they speak for themselves:

Overall Team
1st BIS HCMC 3488pts
2nd AIS 1549pts
3rd SSIS 449pts


Most effective Team
2nd AIS
3rd SSIS


Read more about individual successes in this post by Mr Phil Husband, Director of Sport.

The British International School Awards - 2108

Uniform Upcycling

The British International School Awards recognise excellence in British schools overseas, celebrate the successes of the education sector and help set benchmarks for best practices in schools. After being shortlisted in 2017 for our Community Service Projects we were delighted to once again find out we were shortlisted for the International Impact Award for our uniform upcycling project “One More”. Read more about how you can help support the project by accessing this post.

BIS HCMC Welcomes Juilliard Curriculum Mentor Paul Murphy

Paul Murphy

This week we have been lucky enough to have been visited by Paul Murphy, our Juilliard Curriculum Mentor. This is now Paul’s fifth visit to BIS HCMC where he has met many of our staff and students. Read more about Paul’s visit in this post by Mr Ian Alexander, Director of Music.

Extra-Curricular Clubs for Term 2 and 3 – Important Reminder

We would like to further remind all parents that next term’s clubs will begin after the Tet holidays.

Thank you to all parents who have visited our cashier this week to secure their child’s place within our paid clubs programme.

Please note that there will be a number of weeks in between where clubs do not run:

Week beginning 9th April to Tuesday 1st May due to holidays.

If you need more information, please contact:

Ms Duyen at BIS HCMC, Junior Campus  or

Ms Van at BIS HCMC, Early Years & Infant Campus

We Still Need Your Plastic Bags

A new club has been introduced at the Junior Campus where children can not only learn to crochet but also help the community at the same time. In the club the children will be upcycling plastic carrier bags into crocheted mats for the homeless. We are excited to be able to recycle plastic is such a way to help others.  In order to do this we need to gather and recycle as many plastic bags as possible. Please can we ask you to gather all your plastic bags and drop them off at the collection points around school.

There continue to be boxes outside the canteen, in the office and at the Early Years and Infant Campus by reception.  Please help us (and the environment!) by donating your plastic bags – we will put them to good use.

Safeguarding at school – it’s everyone’s responsibility


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.

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

PTG Update

BIS Primary Spring Fair

Thank you to our committee who have been busily meeting this week to organise this community based event in readiness for our return after TET. Any additional volunteers are most welcome to join.

PTG Coffee Morning

The event will take place on:

Sunday 25th March

10.00am -2.00pm

at the EY&I Campus. 

Don’t forget to save the date and come and have fun and refreshments and help us to raise money for our community partners!  We are looking please for donations of the following from parents straight after the Tet holidays:

  • Tombola gifts (small toys, stationery items etc) for children
  • Good quality second hand books (children and adults)

Can the above please be dropped with -

Ms Phuong, Receptionist at Junior campus, or

Ms Palm, Receptionist at EY&I campus

We are also looking for raffle prizes for the Spring Fair, if anyone has a Company and they can donate or sponsor an activity at the event please contact us at for further details. 

Raffle tickets to be on sale during March. 

Saturday Football

Please note that there is NO SATURDAY FOOTBALL on Saturday 10th, 17th or 24th February as BIS is closed for the TET holidays.

Saturday morning football will resume on Saturday 3rd March.

Coaches needed for Y2/3 and 4/5/6 & Administration Volunteers

We are still looking for more Parent Coaches for the Y2/3 and Y4/5/6 teams. For each year group we want to make small coach teams (with parent and student coaches) so we/you are more flexible in case of you have to travel/have other commitments. Don’t worry too much about experience, as you will work in a team. Let us know if you can run one session and/or help to run a session each week.

If you are able to help out or would like to find out more about how you can enrol your child, please email here

Calendar | BIS HCMC

  • Friday 9th: School closes for the TET holiday
  • Monday 26th: School reopens – EYIC: 7.45am / JC: 7.55am / SC: 7.50am
  • Monday 26th: Club programme begins – please carefully check your child’s club schedule
  • Tuesday 27th: After school Vietnamese classes resume
  • Monday 5th: Year 6 Trip 1 leaves (Cat Tien)
  • Monday 5th: Year 4 Trip 1 leaves (Long Hai)
  • Tuesday 6th: Year 5 Trip 1 leaves (Hoi An)
  • Wednesday 7th: Year 4 Trip 2 leaves (Long Hai)
  • Thursday 8th: Year 3 Sleepover

And Finally………

On behalf of BIS HCMC, Junior Campus I would like to wish you a family a very happy and prosperous lunar new year.

Many thanks to our friends at Santa Fe for sharing their 'Tet Survival Guide 2018' for those of you who are staying in Ho Chi Minh City or Vietnam for the holidays. Access the guide here.

Chuc Mung Nam Moi!

See you all again on Monday 26th February.

NAE BA-min

Mr Simon Higham, Head Teacher, BIS HCMC, Junior Campus