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Mr Simon Higham: Weekly Update 13/04/18

12 April 2018

At the end of a very busy term, we should now take time to reflect upon the great learning that has taken place through a wide variety of creative and challenging experiences.

  • Choosing an international school

This time last term, we were preparing for amalgamation – the bringing together of two primary campuses with the creation and redefinition of the EY&IC and the JC. Our community has worked together to ensure that BIS HCMC still offers the best educational experiences for all of its children across our city and within the South East Asia region. Of course, there have been challenges and frustrations as we deal with new routines, environments and physical locations. However, what has remained a constant throughout is the spirit of BIS HCMC. This has grown and will continue to grow into next term and beyond.

Some of the highlights from this term have been:

Early Years and Infant Campus

  • The phased amalgamation and the opening of the new Early Years and Infant Campus. Although it was a sad moment in time to see the closure of our Tu Xuong Primary Campus, it was invigorating to welcome new children and colleagues at the Junior Campus.


  • TET assembly and TET Fair. These were the first set of post amalgamation celebrations across the primary campuses, with some incredible assembly performances to tell the story of Banh chung and Banh day, the must-have traditional cakes in every Vietnamese family.

Year 6 Cat Tien Trip

  • Residential Visits and Sleep Over. What a great 2 weeks, with all of our Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 children taking part in a residential experience. These experiences build character, foster enquiry and are also great fun. It has been a pleasure to witness the growth in the character of many of our children during this short period of time.

Fobisia Maths (3)

  • FOBISIA Maths Champions. What an amazing achievement for our school to be crowned the best mathematicians in South East Asia.


Friendship Day

  • Friendship Day. An idea that initially came from the Student Council and organised by the children themselves, brought about an amazing day of warmth and togetherness with the focus upon being a great friend.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Thank you to all parents who attended this week’s Parent, Teacher, Student Conferences (PTSCs). Following the Progress Update reports that you received last week, we hope that you have found both means of communication useful in order to further understand your child’s effort, attainment and progress together with their next steps for learning.

If you were unable to meet with your child’s class teacher this week, please ensure that you contact them directly in order to arrange a meeting with them after the holiday. It is an expectation of all BIS HCMC parents to attend each PTSC throughout the year and we always aim for 100% attendance.

End of Term 2 Holiday Sports Camps

A reminder for all parents who have signed up their children to attend the End of Term 2 Sports Camps that these will be held at the BIS HCMC Junior Campus during our upcoming holiday period (Monday 16th to Friday 20th April and Monday 23rd – Friday 27th April.

Please see the poster below for a full list of camps on offer.

BIS HCMC Secondary Campus

Extra-Curricular Clubs – Reminder

Please note that on our return to school after the Term 2 holiday, our club programme will begin again on Monday 7th May, with Vietnamese lessons beginning again on Tuesday 8th May.

Campus Development

Over the holiday period, some extensive building work will take place at our Junior Campus with the final phase of upgrades to all child and adult toilets being completed in the Year 5 and Year 6 building. In addition to this, we will be relocating our Resource Room to allow for the start of our new Junior Library that will be housed on the Ground Floor behind the main office area. This new and exciting learning space, designed around both innovative design and functionality, is planned to be fully completed by the end of Term 3.

We are also pleased to announce that a new substantial piece of play equipment will be installed on the Junior playground over the forthcoming holiday period that will further enhance our provision for physical play during break and lunchtimes.

More extensive upgrades to classrooms and additional learning spaces are planned to occur during the Summer holiday period in readiness for the next academic year. Full details of future developments can be found here.

Class Mixing

By now, you should have received details of our class mixing arrangements for each year group for the academic year, 2018-19.

In the first week back after the holiday, the process of class mixing will begin taking into account the following factors that are in no particular order:

  • gender
  • academic ability
  • nationality
  • behavioural needs
  • learning support needs
  • children with EAL
  • social groupings.

Class mixing occurs in order to gain the most effective balance possible within all new classes.

As outlined in the letter, parents will be given a chance to discuss a first draft of these class lists that are published on Monday 28th May.

Final class lists for all Primary classes are published on Friday 22nd June.

All Year 6 children transitioning into our Secondary Campus, will be notified of their new form groups at the start of their Transition Day on Thursday 7th June.

Junior Debate Competition – 2018

Year 6 Debate (4)

Children in Year 6 have been developing their debating skills this term, aiming to claim a spot in the Junior Debate Competition final taking place on 9th May 2018.

In teams of 4, the children have been given specific motions such as ‘Children under 18 should not have a mobile phone’ or ‘Aliens Exist’. Read more about how the debates are structured and how the children have been engaging in this very challenging topic in this post by Mr Matt Payne, Year 6 Teacher and PSHE Leader.

Seven Secrets to Success: How to Help Your Child Excel in School

Seven Secrets to Success

One of the most common questions that our teachers and principals receive is how parents can best support their child’s learning. As a school leader, parent of five children, and Superintendent at Nord Anglia American International School in Abu Dhabi, Ethan Hildreth shares his advice on how parents can make the most of their child’s experience in school. Read more about the seven ways that you can help in this interesting post.

Raghav Dwivedi Wins FOBISIA Short Story Competition 2018 (again!)

Raghav Dwivedi - FOBISIA Short Story Winner 2018

A huge congratulations goes out to a former Primary student and now Year 7 student Raghav Dwivedi who has once again been crowned winner of the FOBISIA Short Story Competition! After winning the primary category in 2017, he has now gone on to win the Secondary category as one of the youngest participants in his group. Read more about this extraordinary success in this post by Mr Gavin Donnelly, Head of English.

Coffee and Cake for Cancer

Cake and Coffee

On Thursday parents from across all 3 BIS HCMC campuses came together at the Early Years and Infant Campus to share a hot beverage and a slice of cake and give their support to children with cancer in Ho Chi Minh City. Thank you to all those who supported this event and congratulations to the organisers who make it possible.  

Once again, our community came together to support others less fortunate than ourselves, in a positive and friendly manner that is always attributed to our school.

IronMan 70.3 Vietnam 2018


Ever thought about becoming an IRONMAN? Now's your chance!

Number 1 IRONMAN 70.3 Vietnam will return to the city of Da Nang for its 4th edition on Sunday 13th May 2018. All you need to know is contained within this post.

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 both Juniors and Secondary – 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 AP1 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.

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 Juniors và Secondary – 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 AP1 – điều này có thể mất thêm vài phút lái xe nhưng sẽ tiết kiệm thời gian kẹt xe của bạn.

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

Your Primary PTG Needs You!

Are you interested in helping to coordinate our PTG next year? Can you give a small amount of your time each week to help our PTG continue to thrive?

We are looking for positive and energetic parents to help out next year. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Nicky Green at bisvnptgap1@gmail.com

It would be great to receive a wide variety of volunteers from across both EYIC and JC (and also from a wide spectrum of nationalities) to help keep our PTG moving forward.

PTG Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Please mark your calendars for this year’s AGM that takes place on Thursday 17th May. This is a joint primary and secondary event with everyone welcome to attend to find out about the overview of successes that have taken place as a result of our PTG this year.

International Week

18th – 22nd June is International Week, which is undoubtedly one of the biggest events in our school calendar – further information that relates to the PTG Global Café, will be in the Update early next term!

Term 3 Disco

Save the date and start polishing your dancing shoes - Thursday 14th June!

EY&IC Recycling Pop Up Shop

The Early Years and Infant Campus still needs you! 

The recycling pop up shop needs to have parents managing it at the new campus, just a weekly meeting with Bibi and her committee and setting up the shop once a month.  No sewing involved!  For more details please see the poster on the PTG board at EY&I or contact onemorereused@gmail.com.  

Saturday Football

Saturday Football now takes a break from school during the holiday but will return on Saturday 5th May at the following times:

  • 8.00am – 9.00am on the large field (Years 4, 5 and 6)
  • 9.00am – 10.00am on the small field (Years 2 and 3)

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

Key Dates for Your Diary

Key Dates-min

  • Friday 13th – Term 2 ends: school finishes at 11.30am
  • Wednesday 2nd – Term 3 begins: 7.55am start
  • Wednesday 2nd – Class Mixing procedures begin in school
  • Monday 7th – Club programme begins
  • Tuesday 8th – Vietnamese language classes begin
  • Monday 28th – First drafts of class lists for 2018-19 are sent out to parents
  • Saturday 16th June 2018 - Year 6 Moving on Celebration. 

Early Bird tickets for all Year 6 families are now on sale from the Junior Campus Cashier.

This great deal ends on Friday 4th May so hurry in order to get a great deal.

  • Sunday 17th – Club programme ends
  • Friday 29th – Term 3 ends: school finishes at 11.30am

And Finally………

Students V Teachers Netball Match (7)-min

Take time this holiday to spend quality time together as a family. Take time to talk, to play, to eat together at the table and also take time to share those special moments.

Think about when and how technology can be put aside and time together is prioritised. Switching off will enable you to switch on more effectively as a family unit.

Remember, before we know it, we will be back at school for more great learning opportunities in Term 3. Therefore, plan how you will spend the next few weeks with the focus upon quality communication and interaction, learning together and finally, good old fashioned fun.

We wish you a lovely holiday period, wherever you may be.

Please be safe and we look forward to seeing you all again in school on Wednesday 2nd May at 7.55am.

NAE BA-min

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