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Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 11/10/2019

Ian Battersby
Ian Battersby (99 posts) Head Teacher, Early Years and Infant Campus View Profile

At the British International School, Ho Chi Minh City, the health and safety of the children is, and always will be, our highest priority.  Our policies and procedures are far reaching, effecting all elements of life at school.

When we employ new teachers, or have adults come into school, there are a series of background checks that have to take place before they are allowed to work alone with the children.  There is a clear schedule for checking the safety and upkeep of our buildings and resources, including regular external health and safety audits.  Our curriculum includes specific lessons designed to teach the children how to be safe and healthy, for example, in ICT, the children learn about how to stay safe online. 

There is, however, a limit to what we can do in school.  In the course of a year, children spend only 14% of their time in school, and we know that they will keep on learning wherever they are.  As parents, we have a huge responsibility to make sure that our children are learning to take care of themselves wherever they are.   

Here in Vietnam, the statistics tell us that the two highest causes of death or injury in children are drowning and road traffic accidents.  At school, teaching the children to swim is an essential part of the curriculum, however, we are dependent upon parents to teach the children to be safe when travelling on the roads.  We need to teach children that whenever they are riding on a motorbike, they need to be wearing a helmet.  So, at BIS, we are introducing our Helmet Heroes campaign.

Helmet Heroes

Helmet hero

This Friday in our primary assemblies the children were introduced to our Helmet Heroes campaign that is due to begin after half term.  We believe that everyone who rides a motorbike must wear a helmet irrespective of their age.  Helmet Heroes is a plea to all families to be responsible and purchase a helmet that fits and meets the ECE 22.06 standard (Economic Commission for Europe).  Children are invited to design a poster for our campaign to be handed to Ms Mary or Mr Chris by Friday 1st November.  Six winners will receive 10 house points each!  The winning posters will be displayed around the campus to remind our community to wear a helmet every time they ride a motorbike. 

Welcome to New Teachers

Paul O’Grady


This is my first year working at BIS, but my 10th year of teaching English and my 8th of teaching in Vietnam. I’ve taught and managed at a number of language centres in Ho Chi Minh City including ILA and ACET. Before that I also worked in Hungary and in the UK teaching English to students of various ages and nationalities.

It’s been a fantastic first half term and it’s been wonderful to get to know the students, staff and parents here at BIS. Working with smaller groups of EAL students allows us to focus on individual students needs and work with students to improve on the areas they need, which has been very rewarding.

Outside of school I’m passionate about cooking. I don’t cook food from my home country much though - nowadays I’m much more likely to cook sambals, curries and noodle soups. Naturally I also love travelling and eating. My other hobbies include football, boxing, crosswords and reading.

Katrina Paulino


Hi I’m Katrina! 

I taught in the Philippines for four years before making the big decision to move here to Vietnam. All I can say is I am having a blast! A warm welcome from my colleagues has been a big help in making the adjustment to life at BIS. 

I come from a family of six. My parents and brothers live in the Philippines and my older sister is currently living in Norway. Hopefully, I will get a chance to travel to Europe and visit her and my soon to be niece/nephew. 

I enjoy outdoor activities; hiking and long drives are among the things that I have enjoyed with my family since I was a child. I have tried canyoneering and I must say that you should try it too! I am really looking forward to travelling around Vietnam and visiting the places that I have only seen in photos.

I look forward to experiencing new things and meeting new friends in the future!

F3 Phonics Workshop

F3 Phonics

It was wonderful to see so many parents at the F3 Phonics workshop on Tuesday morning.  Ms Maria, our F3 year leader, explained about the key principles behind our phonics programme, shared some of the resources that we use and gave a number of really useful tips how parents can support their children in the process of learning to read and write.  There are more details in the Ms Maria’s post including a link to the presentation used on Tuesday.

F3 Phonics Workshop

Super Scientists

Science 2

Enquiry is one of the characteristics in our ‘aide memoire’ and something that we want to encourage throughout school.  It was Albert Einstein who said, ‘The important thing is to never stop questioning.’ We ask questions in all of the subjects that the children learn at school, but science is the area of the curriculum which generates the most.  Our world is full of wonder and we want our children to be curious about how things work and how we can find solutions to the issues that we face.  Mr John (who teaches in Year 1) and Mr Gary (who teaches in Year 5), our science leaders give us some insight into what the children have been doing in science this term.

Super Scientists

Health and Safety


Once again, thank you for following your child’s schedule carefully and being on time for pick up after clubs.  On the days your child has an after school club, we do ask for parents to not visit the classroom at 2:50pm.  We find this can upset the child and is a distraction to getting all the children safely to the club venues.  If you would like your child to have a snack before club, then pack it in their school bag and they can eat it with their class teacher before the club begins.  Adults are only needed to collect their child at the end of the after school club or lesson.

For early morning clubs starting at 7:30am, children must be escorted by their parent or carer to the club venue.  Supervision from the school begins at 7:45am, therefore no children should be left by their carer/driver at the gate to enter school alone.  Children are not permitted on site before 7:45am without a parent/carer supervising them.


Please take note of the school’s policy regarding photographs.  Photographs shared privately through our online journal, Seesaw, must be kept for personal viewing only; they must not be shared publically on social media.  Any photos taken in school on personal devices must be of your own children only and must not have other parents’ children in the photograph.  All photos taken of your children at school must not be shared publicly on social media or between non-family members such as, other parents in the school.  By following these guidelines, we ensure our BIS safeguarding policy is adhered to and that our children are kept safe.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Before and after school waiting area

When waiting to drop off and collect the children at the EY&I we ask for all parents, carers and children to wait on the ground floor only.  This rule is in place to ensure lessons and clubs that are running at these times are not disturbed and all children in the building are kept safe.  People sitting around the lower ground floor outside the canteen, on the staircases and along the corridors will be asked to move to the ground floor by our teaching staff.  Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our campus safe.

Stay Vigilant

As in all major cities petty crime does occur, as a reminder to all of us please always take care of your personal belongings, especially when walking between campuses and across roads.

October Holiday Sports Camp

F3 swimming 4

During the upcoming holiday, there are a number of sporting opportunities available for EY&I children:


If you would like your child to attend one of these activities, please click on the link below for more details: 

October Holiday Sports Camp

Dates for your Diary...

15/10/19 - EAL Parent Workshop for EY&I Parents | Canteen | 8:30 – 9: 30

15/10/19 - Young Musician of The Year Final | Secondary Theatre | 18:00 – 19:30

16/10/19 - International Week Meeting for Country Reps | Junior Campus | 8:30 – 9:30

17/10/19 - EY&I Specialist Open Classrooms

18/10/19 - Half Term Ends |14:50

27/10/19 - Short Story Competition

05/11/19 - PTSCs for children receiving EAL Support | Junior Campus Gym | 15:00 – 17:30

06/11/19 - PTSCs for children receiving EAL Support | Junior Campus Gym | 15:00 – 17:30

08/11/19 - NRICH Maths Workshop | Multi-Purpose Room (227) | 12:45 – 13:30

15/11/19 - Primary Athletics Day Y1 & Y2 | Junior Campus

16/11/19 - PTG Family Evening | Junior Campus | 16:00 – 19:00

20/11/19 - World Children’s Day/Teachers’ Day

21/11/19 -  F1 Development Day | EY&IC Sport Hall

                       Moving On Workshop | 8:30 – 9:30

26/11/19 - F2 & F3 Sports Day | Junior Campus

29/11/19 - End of Term 1 Vietnamese Classes

01/12/19 - End of Term 1 Clubs

03/12/19 - Vietnamese PTSCs Y1 ~ Y6 | Junior Campus Gym | 15:00 – 17:30

04/12/19 - Y1 Production to Parents | EY&IC Gym | 8:00 – 14:00

                 Club Booklet Live | 15:00

                 Vietnamese PTSCs | Junior Campus Gym | 15:00 – 17:30

05/12/19 - PTG Disco | 14:45 – 17:00

EYFS Christmas Singalong | 8:00 – 14:00 | EY&IC Gym

08/12/19 - Community Football

09/12/19 - Club Sign Up Begins | 17:00

10/12/19 - Primary Carol Concert | JC

11/12/19 - Christmas Panto | 13:00 – 14:00 | JC

13/12/19 - Term 1 Ends | 11:50

                  Club Sign Up Ends | 12:00

Community Choir

community choir

If you enjoy singing and would like to join the Community Choir, rehearsals have started, but it is not too late to join:

  • Every Thursday at 7am in the Secondary Theatre
  • Every Friday at 1:15pm in Room 110, Junior Campus

We will be performing at the Christmas Concerts in December.

PTG Update

BIS PTG Potluck Lunch

It has been a busy week with two super events taking place over the last 7 days and so a big ‘thank you’ to Gayatri and the team who have worked so hard to make these events so successful.  Last Friday, children, parents and teachers alike were enjoying the Bake Sale that took place after school. There was another ‘feast’ on offer on Thursday lunchtime, as the parents and teachers gathered for the Potluck lunch. 

Primary PTG Update: 11/10/2019

And Finally…

At the British International School, Ho Chi Minh City, we are very proud of the education we provide. In addition to the learning that takes place in the classrooms, we have an amazing team of specialist teachers who every week spend time with your children teaching them music, physical education (PE), information and communications technology (ICT), modern foreign languages (MFL) and library skills.  We have communicated through Seesaw details of the ‘Specialist Open Classrooms’ event which will be happening on Thursday 17th October, beginning in the Small Sports Hall at 8.30am.  I do hope you will be able to join us, as we explain more about the role of our specialist teachers and then provide an opportunity for you to visit the classrooms and see the specialist teaching in action.

Have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend,

Ian Battersby, Head of the Early Years and Infant Campus