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Mr Simon Higham: Weekly Update 15/06/18

15 June 2018

Recently, our campus has undergone a period of change. Upon accepting my new role as Principal of BVIS, I did realise that very quickly this would create both an uncertainty and period of forced change within an academic year that has already seen our school evolve more than it has ever done so throughout its history.

PTG Coffee Morning 17-9500

‘An investment in education always pays the highest returns’ - Benjamin Franklin

Investment in People

Following my email to all parents yesterday, I am pleased to be able to congratulate Mr Chris McKelvie on his appointment to the position of interim Deputy Head Teacher from August 2018. This appointment follows that of Ms Dee Grimshaw to Head Teacher of the Junior Campus. I am sure that you will all share my sincerest congratulations to our new Junior Senior Leadership team and know that you will support them in their new endeavours next year in leading such a vibrant, innovative and friendly campus that focuses upon one main thing – learning.

It is reassuring that the next generation of leadership has come from within and I feel that this is a great strength of our school. Across all of our 3 campuses, we have a plethora of future leaders who are willing to step forward, commit their time, professionalism and efforts to our school. This is a unique situation to be in and one that has not necessarily occurred organically but due to the priorities that we put into investment for the future.

Investment in infrastructure

Investing in people and developing their potential is one element of school leadership but another is to ensure that investment is placed into the physical learning environment that houses us. As outlined in Mr Anthony Rowland’s letter to you last week, the Junior Campus will undergo tremendous improvement over the summer holiday.

Firstly, following our pilot classrooms in Year 3 this year, we have gathered the evidence of what has worked well and what could be further improved to give us 14 new classrooms for the start of the academic year for Years 3 and Year 4. A 3D image of what they will look like is below:


Secondly, we will be further developing our sports provision with 2 separate covered play areas that will effectively wrap sport around our campus. One of these areas, as you enter through Gate A in August, will be a MUGA (multi user games area) that will allow outdoor sports to be played in a weather proofed area. Again, a 3D image of the MUGA can be found below:


The promotion of reading is extremely important across all areas of our curriculum, therefore we have also committed to creating a new innovative library space on the ground floor of our building so that parents and children can access this exciting new provision as they enter through Gate A. The emphasis for the design brief was functionality (see below) and we are confident that our new library space will encourage our children to further appreciate and connect with the written word and information literacy.


Listening and reacting to parental feedback is very important to us all at BIS HCMC and I am also delighted to confirm that the area from the Junior Canteen to the bridge will have a brand new seating area that is fully covered from both the sun and rain. In addition to this, the bridge will also be fully covered so that both Secondary and Junior children will be able to walk comfortably and safely between the campuses in all kinds of weather.


These are just 4 of the exciting improvements and investments that will take place this summer. Watch this space though as more are on their way in our commitment to the best possible learning experiences that we can possibly offer.

Investment in Cultural Understanding

International Week

International Week

Our International Week is fast approaching next week and we are looking forward to another great week of learning across both the Early Years and Infants and Junior Campuses. This year, International Week will run from Monday June 18th to Friday June 22nd 2018.  It promises to be a spectacular week for all.

Friday 22nd June 2018

Our BIS Parade of Nations will happen on this day. This is open to students, teachers and parents. Due to large numbers, there will be two Parades.

Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4B, 4S, 4V and 4H will be in the first parade which will begin at 8.30am

Year 5, Year 6 and Year 4I, 4N and 4C will take part in the second parade which will begin at 10.30am.

Both parades will take place in the gym at the Junior Campus. Children are invited to come to school dressed in their national dress or clothes representing their home country on this day.

If your child is performing in a parade other than their year group parade, you are welcome to come to attend that parade on either campus. Otherwise we would ask that parents come only to the parade in which their child is in for health and safety reasons.  We thank you for your support in this matter.

Investment in our School Community

Head Teacher’s Coffee Morning

Thank you to all of the parents who attended this week’s Head Teacher Coffee Morning that was held at the EY&IC on Tuesday. We value your thoughts, feedback and ideas and will use them as a basis for future discussion and improvement. It was very encouraging to hear your reflections regarding our PTG and even better to have more offering their time and support to ensure that the planned events can take place next year and beyond.

Investment in Opportunities Outside of the Classroom


This week, our Year 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 children attended the PTG Discos that were held on Thursday. Our thanks go to the organising committee and all of the teachers who gave up their time to make this another memorable moment in time.

Investment in Health, Safety and Wellbeing

Emergency Evacuation

As part of our continued commitment to Health and Safety at our campus, we conducted a real life scenario campus evacuation drill this afternoon in co-ordination with Family Medical Practice.

I am pleased to report that all went well and that the drill was an extremely useful exercise, re-affirming our confidence in the measures that are currently in place.

The purpose of a drill such as this is to ensure that we are ready to react quickly and efficiently in the event of a real life emergency situation. In this drill, we hid one our teachers in the building in a pretend state of unconsciousness. As the campus evacuated, the hidden causality was located, evacuated and our emergency medical response team prioritised their actions. This resulted in all of the children relocating from the small field to the large one and an ambulance being called to evacuate the casualty.

The response times were as follows:

  • All evacuated from the building: 2.42 mins
  • All children and adults accounted for: 4.02 mins
  • Time taken for ambulance to arrive on site after calling: 2.02 mins

Investment in Effective Engagement and Communication

Finally, we would like to remind all parents of the following opportunities over the next 2 weeks to engage directly with your child’s learning experiences:

Wednesday 20th June @ 2:30pm-3:15pm – Open classrooms

Visit your child’s classroom between 2:30 and 3:15pm to see the International Week learning taking place.

Tuesday 26th June @ 2:30pm-3:15pm – Classroom Drop-in

Following the children’s visit in the morning to meet and get to know their new class teacher, this will be an opportunity to say goodbye to this year’s teachers and meet next year’s if they are a current member of staff.

Global Campus Photographers of the Year 

Photograph comp

Following the launch of this exciting new NAE competition in today’s assembly, have you got what it takes to be a great photographer?

Read more about this exciting opportunity and how you can get involved with this competition in this post by Ms Sarah Curran.

Year 6 EAL Update

Year 6 EAL 1

Our Year 6 English as an Additional Language (EAL) students have been focusing on quest and non-linear stories this term.

Read more about how they have worked both independently and together in collaboration in this post by Ms Michelle Bester, EAL Teacher and Ms Shaheena Pall, EAL Leader.

Y1 and Y2 Summer Spectacular: When You’re Smiling

Infant Music

On Tuesday 12th June the Early Years and Infant Campus gym was filled with the glorious sound of our talented Year 1 and 2 Choirs who had been practicing for weeks to prepare for their special Summer Spectacular: When You’re Smiling. An appreciative audience were treated to a range of fun songs as well as some very special solo performances from our talented Year 2 musicians.

Read more about this event and view all of the pictures in this post by Mr Jon Cannon, Music Leader.

FOBISIA Youth Orchestra and Choir of HCMC

FOBISIA Youth Orchestra and Choir 2018

Following on from the success of last year’s FOBISIA Youth Choir of HCMC, this year we were lucky enough to have both an Orchestra and a Choir. Along with students from BIS HCMC, there were also students participating from BVIS and ABCIS in the concert entitled ‘Across the Universe’.

Congratulations to all of the students who participated in this event. More information can be found in this post by Ms Emma Husband, Assistant Head of Music.

BIS Aquathlon

BIS Aquathlon (25)

Last Saturday BIS held our annual Aquathlon. In the biggest turnout yet over 160 students dragged themselves out of bed at 6.00am to swim and run their hearts out. They were competing for individual and team honours as well as scoring points for their houses.

Access this post to find out all of the individual and team results from a most memorable and challenging sporting event. Well done to everyone who took part!

Using Science to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

IB Group 4 Project 2018 5

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) provides a challenging and rewarding educational experience based on the philosophy that students should embrace enquiry and apply critical thinking skills to real world situations. We developed these core skills through our IBDP Group 4 Project; using science to survive a zombie apocalypse.

This was a great event that was both inspiring whilst rather macabre at the same time. Read more about the innovative methods to survive in this post by Mr Matthew Lambert, Head of Science.

Thao Dien Clean-Up

Global Goals Week 2018

The Global Goals Club would like to invite you to join them in their second Thao Dien Clean-Up event. The clean-up will take place on Saturday 23rd June, from 8.30am - 11.30am. You do not have to sign up for the whole time but choose time slots.

  • 8.30 - 10.00am
  • 9.00 - 10.30am
  • 9.30 - 11.00am
  • 10.00 - 11.30am

This clean-up is in support of the Clean-up Vietnam movement and will encourage both participants and members of the local community to be more aware about waste production and disposal. We want to keep our local environment clean and we need your help to do it!

Why should we care?

  • To make the environment around us cleaner.
  • To get involved in community services.
  • To pick up the rubbish that doesn’t end up in the bins.
  • To become aware of the amount of rubbish produced in this area

Further information will follow after sign up closes on Wednesday 13th June. If your child is interested, then they need to be accompanied by an adult.  Please click here to complete the google form.

End of Year Uniform Collection

Uniform Upcycling

Do you currently have old uniform that you no longer use or preparing for next year and need somewhere for all of this year’s old uniform to go?

Our thriving upcycling project needs your old uniform. Simply bring it into school and deposit all uniform items in the collection bins provided. These are situated along the office corridor and outside of the Canteen.

Together, we can continue to make a difference!

Job Vacancy

Part Time Primary Chinese Teacher (equivalent to 2 days per week)

We are looking to recruit someone with a strong desire to work for a growing organisation who has an affinity with and an interest in teaching Chinese to Primary children.

The person appointed will work at the Junior campus, must hold a full degree, qualified teaching certificate and have previous teaching experience within either Primary or Secondary education.

If you are interested please forward a letter of application and full CV which must include a recent professional photograph and the contact details of two referees, one of whom must be your current employer to bis.recruitment@bisvietnam.com by Friday 22nd June.

Managing our Traffic Together

Drivers Code of Conduct

Please take time to talk to you drivers about the this and ensure that it is visible in your car at all times. This will serve as a reminder about our expectations for all drivers when they are bringing our children to school in the morning and picking them up at the end of the day.

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

School Discos

Today saw the first disco at the Early Years and Infant Campus attended by 107 Year 1 children and much fun was had by all! 

Two discos were held for Years 2 and 3 and Years 4, 5 and 6 at the Junior Campus with a great turnout as usual. 

Kepi sponsored some of the prize vouchers and there were some lucky winners throwing some great moves!  Thanks as usual to the great disco hosts Ms Rachel and Mr Jonathan and all of the teachers, TAs and school staff who helped before, during and after the event.  



JC disco2

PTG Orange T Shirts

Any orange PTG t shirts not now required (in case you’re sadly leaving) please return to either campus Reception (Ms Phuong at Juniors or Ms Palm at EY&IC) to be collected by PTG. Many thanks for your valuable contribution this school year and good luck to you with your new adventure! 

Class Reps / Country Reps – 2018/19

Are you interested in continuing or joining as a class reps and/or country rep?  The sign up link will be out soon for you to register.  For more information in the meantime please contact Leanne at:


PTG help and support for the next academic year.

Further to the Head Teacher coffee morning this week where PTG was discussed in more detail if you'd like to join the main committee or sub committees for near year, please email bisvnptgap1@gmail.com for more information. 

Saturday Football

There is SATURDAY FOOTBALL on Saturday 16th June. 

Both sessions will take place on the small astro turf field as the large field is being used for a T-Ball tournament.

Yr4/5/6 train from 8-9am and Yr2/3 train from 9-10am.

The 2018 WORLD CUP starts this week! Hooray!

For all enquiries, please contact myself in the main office or via email - Simon.Higham@bisvietnam.com

Key Dates for Your Diary

Key Dates-min

  • Saturday 16th June - Year 6 Moving on Celebration. 
  • Sunday 17th – Club programme ends
  • Monday 18th – Friday 22nd – International Week
  • Tuesday 26th – Junior classroom drop in: 2.30pm – 3.15pm. Come along and informally meet your child’s class teacher for 18/19.
  • Friday 29th – Year 6 Leaver’s Assembly: JC Gym (10.30am)
  • Friday 29th – Term 3 ends: school finishes at 11.30am

And Finally………

Year 6 Moving On Celebration

Year 6 ticket

We would like to wish all of our Year 6 children a great evening at their Moving On Celebration at the Sheraton Hotel on Saturday evening. I am sure that both children and parents will have a great time as they reflect and reminisce about their primary years. Have great time everyone!

On behalf of all of the Junior Campus team, we would like to wish you a very family orientated and relaxing weekend ahead.

NAE BA-min

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