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Mr Simon Higham: Weekly Update 29/06/18

29 June 2018

Over the last 9 years at BIS HCMC, I have learned a great deal from the people I have worked with, the children that I’ve guided and the parents who put their trust in me to educate their children within our school environment. 

Goodbye and thank you for the memories!

Friendship Day 18 (11)

Over the last 9 years at BIS HCMC, I have learned a great deal from the people I have worked with, the children that I’ve guided and the parents who put their trust in me to educate their children within our school environment. Over the 25 years of my professional journey in education, I have never spent this length of time at one school. I have always wanted to move on, move up and take on another challenge with new teachers, children and parents. However, what I have learned from BIS HCMC is that it is a very special place to be – I quickly understood this as I became part of the school back in 2009.

But what makes BIS HCMC special? What gives it the ‘feel’ that it has? What has made it the success that it is? For me, this is very simple – the people that are housed within it. They are the special ones who make it the way it is and I am both proud and privileged to have been part of the journey.

As this is my final Weekly Update, I would like to personally thank all of the administrative and teaching staff for their support, commitment and professionalism that they show every day of every week across each academic year. The team that I lead are truly remarkable. To be a teacher, one has to see it as a vocation, a calling and a way of life that consumes all that you do. The teachers at BIS HCMC are amongst the best that I have worked with and we should never underestimate what they do for our children.

I would also like to say thank you to all of the children who I have worked with during my time at the school. They have been inspiring and challenging, polite and courteous and above all shown a thirst for learning and embodied the attributes from our Aide Memoire: integrity, care, respect, perseverance, reflection and enquiry. Our children are truly amazing young people who will go far and make a difference because they have worn the BIS HCMC uniform.

Finally, I would like to thank all of the parents for their support over the years. I have ensured that the door really is always open and that your voice has been championed and have enjoyed the daily interactions on the playground and around our school. Please continue to support our children in partnership with our teachers and work together to ensure that the educational provision that we offer is the most effective that it can be. Challenge teachers when you need more information and tell them what a great job they are doing when they have inspired your children to find out more. In addition, challenge yourselves to become a greater part of our community and become involved in our PTG – we always need your help.

I would like to further thank Mr Anthony Rowlands for his guidance, support and encouragement, together with Mr Ian and Mr Mincher who have helped to shape my thoughts and reflections and who have been incredible colleagues to work closely with.

I now hand over the keys to Ms Dee and wish her all the very best for the future. What a job she will do and what a great place to do it in – I am sure that you will give her as much support in her role as you have done for me.

I will leave you with a quote that means a great deal to me from a person who has always inspired me to do the right thing in the right way:

‘Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever’. - Mahatma Gandhi

What a journey it has been!

End of Year Reminders

Uniform Collection: 2018-19 Academic Year

AP1 Uniform

All uniforms for existing EY&IC students returning to school will be available for collection from the EY&IC Canteen from 8th – 21st August 2018 (8.00am – 4.00pm).

All uniforms for existing JC students returning to school will be available for collection from the second floor above the Canteen from 8th – 21st August 2018 (8.00am – 4.00pm).

Please note that the main building at the JC will be closed for visitors during the Summer due to extensive renovation work.

During the holidays, and in line with the Primary Parent Handbook, please ensure that your child has the correct footwear for the new academic year:

Shoes:  Sensible black leather shoes (Foundation Stage 1 & 2 exempt) or closed toe sandals, preferable without laces for the younger children.  F1 & F2 should wear sensible shoes or closed toe sandals to aid the growth and development of small feet. 

Socks:  White, black or grey ankle high socks. 

(BIS Website – Uniform)

Uniform Recycling

Throughout the uniform collection period, there will be a designated collection area for you to bring and recycle your old uniforms. This will be situated outside of the EY&IC and JC Canteens and will be used to help stock our Upcycling uniform project. Through innovative and practical design, products will be able to be purchased throughout the year from our Pop Up Shop at both Primary Campuses. This is a great way to help your children to understand the importance of recycling and sustainability of global resources.

Please help us to keep this innovative project moving forward - we can only do this, with your support.

Water Bottles

In order to further help with our commitment to zero use single plastic across our campuses, please can I ask you all to ensure that your children return to school in August with a labelled water bottle so that they will be able to access these water fountains.



Thank you for your support this year in helping us to manage the flow of traffic, at peak times, outside EY&IC, SC and JC. Before returning to school in August, please ensure that you discuss the following points with your drivers to help further avoid any unnecessary congestion:

  • 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 EYIC and JC – tell your driver to drive away from school and if they have to U Turn, please do so on the wider, less congested roads away from the residential areas. 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.

In addition, please consider using Gates B and C at the JC as a viable option for drop off in a morning, with SC siblings being able to access the Secondary site via the bridge. Alternatively, JC children could be dropped off outside of SC and access Juniors via the bridge, thus avoiding the need to cross the main road. Please be assured that we will continue to look at further available options that will help to control the flow of traffic during drop off and pick up times throughout the 2018/19 academic year in order to further improve the traffic flow and help to reduce the number of vehicles entering Thao Dien at peak times.

End of Year Reports

Please note that last Friday 22nd June, you received a link to access your child’s End of Year report. I hope that you found this report very informative, highlighting your child’s progress and successes this year whilst also identifying their next steps to learning. This report can be downloaded and saved at your own leisure for future reference.

Access to the SIMS Learning Gateway (SLG) will no longer be available for parents who are leaving BIS HCMC. Therefore, it is important that you download school reports before the last day of school for your child.

Please log into SLG via the school website.

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on SLG.
  • Click on View Reports.
  • Click on each Academic Year for the reports for that year.
  • If you have more than one child at school, you will need to do this for each child. 

The reports for the last 3 academic years are available to download. We advise you to download and save them to your personal files.  

Year 6 ‘Primary Journeys’ Exhibition

Year 6 exhibition (6)

On Wednesday 27th June, the Year 6 children opened the doors to their ‘Primary Journeys’ Exhibition and they shared their creative work proudly with their parents and friends. Read more about this incredible event that celebrated looking back and looking forward in this post by Mr Greg Wilde, Year 6 Teacher and Year 6 Leader.

A huge thank you to all the staff, parents and of course, the children for their efforts. Amazing!

Reading through the Summer

Reading over the summer

Over the summer break, one of the best ways you can continue to support your child's academic development is through encouraging them to read – try making shared reading a part of your holiday routine.

Read this post as a useful guide on how to continue to foster a love for the written word during the long holiday period.

Join the BIS HCMC Community Choir

Community Choir

Free on a Thursday morning? Want to get more involved with the school community? Then the BIS HCMC Community Choir might be for you! Open to all parents and staff across our 3 campuses, you’ll have the opportunity to improve your vocal ability as well as perform in live concerts with our students at events throughout the academic year.

Rehearsals will take place on Thursday mornings between 7 and 8am at our Secondary Campus. All abilities welcome.

It’s sure to be a great deal of fun so come along, grab a coffee, have a sing and try something new!

To sign up, please click on the following link:

If you have any questions please contact Fran Amos on

Thao Dien Clean-Up – Thank You

Clean Up Thao Dien (11)

On Saturday 23rd June, 40 members of BIS HCMC's community, including students, parents and teachers from across our 3 campuses set out to clean up Thao Dien in support of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals. A huge thank you to everyone who came out and took part in this community clean up.

In this post, read more about the event and view the many pictures that were taken on the day.

Put a note in your diaries of our next event taking place on World Clean Up day, Saturday 15th September.

Animal Rescue and Care (ARC) revisit F1 and F2 classes


Students in F1 and F2 were revisited by our community partner Animal Rescue and Care (ARC), to learn more about animal safety and wellbeing whilst interacting with real dogs. 

Read more about how we have developed this important community link in this post by Ms Samantha Baker, Year 1 Teacher and Mr Luke Nevile, EAL Teacher (both Community  Service Leaders).

Juilliard Alumni Visit - Jason Crimi, Trombonist visits BIS HCMC

Juilliard visit Jason Crimi

On Tuesday 26 June we were privileged to host our latest Juilliard Alumni visitor.  Jason Crimi is the associate Principal Trombone of the Seoul Philharmonic orchestra.

This is yet again, another example of how our Juilliard collaboration is inspiring our children to appreciate and understand a wide variety of musical genre from some the best musicians in the world.

Read more about Jason's visit in this post by Mr Ian Alexander, Director of Music

Global Campus Photographers of the Year 

Photograph comp

Have you got what it takes to be a great photographer?

Simply choose the theme that best represents what Global Goal 16 means to you:

  • PEACE: Safety & Calmness
  • JUSTICE: Leadership & Fairness
  • STRONG INSTITUTIONS: Family & Friendship

Once you've chosen a theme, think about how you can capture it visually.  Plan and practice your shots. You can visit the Composition Course page on Global Campus Online to help you with your photography skills!

  • Photographs entered must be your original work.
  • You may only send in one entry.
  • The digital file must be 20MB or smaller
  • Do not use a filter on your photograph
  • All the required information must be submitted with the entry, including:
  • The title of the photograph
  • Location of the photograph
  • Chosen theme - A 50 word explanation of the photograph
  • Your school house

If the photograph you took is of a person, you must ask them for permission to use their picture in the competition. By entering the competition, students agree that Nord Anglia Education can publish their photographs online and in the ‘Global Campus Photographer of the Year’ calendar.

DEADLINE – 1st October - Please email all entries to Sarah Curran Assistant Headteacher.

Good luck!

The NAE - Unicef Sumit 2018 in New York City

NAE UNICEF Student Summit

As part of Nord Anglia Education’s collaboration with UNICEF, student ambassadors from our family of schools around the world will visit New York in just a few weeks from 6-13 July to demonstrate how our schools are working to meet the United Nation’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development, including through the annual Global Challenge.

Our best wishes go to Doan Nguyen (Year 12), Vy Nguyen (Year 11) and Ashley Lee (Year 10) for being chosen as our BIS HCMC representatives.

Click here to find out more about each of our ambassadors.

Access this post for more details on this unique experience offered to us as part of NAE.

End of Year Uniform Collection for Upcycling

Pop up shop 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!

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.

Key Dates for Your Diary

Key Dates-min

  • Friday 29th – Term 3 ends: school finishes at 11.30am
  • Wednesday 8th – Tuesday 21st – Uniform collection
  • Tuesday 21st – New Pupil Orientation Morning
  • Wednesday 22nd – Term 1 starts

And Finally………

On behalf of all of the Junior Campus team, we would like to wish you a great holiday. Goodbye and thank you to all of our families that are leaving us to embark on your new adventures and thank you for allowing us the privilege of educating your children.

For all returning BIS HCMC families, Ms Dee and her team will see you all again on Wednesday 22nd August.

Be safe, take care and above all, have fun!

NAE BA-min

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