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Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 18/10/2019

Ian Battersby
Ian Battersby (92 posts) Head Teacher, Early Years and Infant Campus View Profile

It was so fantastic to see over 150 parents visiting our specialist lessons on Thursday morning.  I firmly believe that as a learning community, it is going to be so much more beneficial to the children’s learning if parents have a better understanding of what happens in the classroom.


After our specialist leaders had explained a little about their subjects and how we go about teaching at the Early Years and Infant Campus, at 9am, parents were given the opportunity to see many lessons being taught to all the year groups from F1 to Y2. 

Like last year, the feedback we have had from parents has been extremely positive.  Unfortunately, due to a timetabling oversight we were unable to show swimming lessons taking place, for which I apologise.  However, we are already discussing ways to make up for this, and are looking at suitable dates later this term when parents will be able to come in to see the swimming lessons in action.

Specialist Open Classroom 

Welcome to New Teachers 

Helen Bonner 


Hello, my name is Helen and I am so glad to have this chance of working in Learning Support and to live in HCMC with my daughter Jenna, who is already involved in everything at BIS. I just wish my son, now at Liverpool University, had also benefited from this education.

I grew up in the UK but have been working internationally for a long time, starting in Malawi as a sports development officer with the National Council of Sports before re-training back home. After teaching in Nottingham for a while, I still felt the international call and went back to Malawi, then Kuwait and finally China before landing here in August. It’s been an amazing privilege to spend time in such different places.

Outside of work, travelling is a definite interest of mine. I have a rather hippy camper van which my son hates but I adore, and I love cooking having been a vegetarian for nearly 30 years. While in Saigon, I am hoping to find some fabulous places to dance since I love it so much but until then, I’m trying to get fitter by doing as much Zumba as I can.

Tom Birbeck 


Hello my name is Tom and I am so excited to be living in HCMC and to be part of the Year 2 team at BIS this year.  Before coming to Vietnam I lived in a small village in the West Midlands (UK) with my mum and step dad. I am an identical twin and have three other brothers in my family. We are all very close in age and enjoy travelling to new places around the world together. I can’t wait for them to come and visit me next year in Vietnam.

I became a teacher after volunteering and teaching English in Ecuador in 2011. I visited remote villages and helped to build schools, homes and toilets for the community. As part of my trip I educated children aged 2-10 and taught them basic English skills. When I returned to the UK I worked as a teaching assistant and then went on to study a PGCE at the University of Worcester.

This is my fifth year of teaching and my favourite lesson to teach is Science. In the UK I was the science leader. I enjoyed organising science fairs, workshops and CPD for the staff and children. 

I really enjoy running and have completed many half marathons back in the UK. I hope to participate in the half marathon here in December. I also enjoy reading. My first degree was in Sociology and Criminology at Cardiff University and this is where I developed a passion for reading crime and thriller novels.

I have really enjoyed trying all the delicious food that Vietnam has to offer and exploring other districts around the city. I can’t wait to travel more of Vietnam and explore more of the wonderful culture.

Helmet Heroes

Helmet hero

You may have seen a caped crusader standing at the entrance to school this week.  No, this is not an early Halloween costume, but it is the Helmet Hero.  As I mentioned in the update last week, putting the health and safety of the children has to be of the highest priority, in school, at home, and on the way to school.  Children (and adults) riding on motorbikes without a helmet is a sight that we see far too often in Ho Chi Minh City.  With the help of Helmet Hero, at BIS, we are committed to helping reduce the number of serious accidents on the road, and we would like to see every member of our community wearing a helmet every time they get on a motorbike.  Ms Mary explains more in this post: 

Helmet Heroes

EAL Workshop


Most of the children at BIS speak more than one language – that is something that I always find remarkable.  All our teachers are aware that when they are teaching they need to be aware of the fact that for most of the children in their class, English is an additional language; they for do not speak English when they get home.  There are multiple learning benefits for bilingual children, but also challenges.  During our parent workshop on Tuesday, the EAL team explained more about the EAL programme and also gave some really useful tips about how to support your children whether they are receiving EAL support or not.

EAL Coffee Morning

Fundinotots Mural

2019-10-17 13_24_39-Window

At BIS, there are many ways in which the fact that we are one school is demonstrated; meetings of senior leaders, joint PTG events, sharing of school facilities, etc.   It is always a pleasure to welcome students from our secondary campus who, as part of their International Baccalaureate (IB), are required to spend a certain amount of their time involved with community, activity and service (CAS). Last year a group of Year 12 and 13 students asked if they could paint a mural on the wall in Fundinotots.  It is now complete, and what a fantastic job they have done!

Year 12 and 13 Students Paint a Mural for Fundinotots

Young Musician of the Year

Young Musician of the Year 2019 | BIS HCMC

On Tuesday evening, I was given the honour of welcoming parents, students and guests to this year’s final of Young Musician of the Year.  As I said on the evening, it is one of my favourite events in the calendar.  Children from ABC International School, BVIS and BIS, performed at such a high standard, the judges were once again left with the very difficult decision of choosing just one winner

Primary Young Musician of the Year 2019

October Holiday Sports Camp

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 2019

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

Activity Provider Time/Location
Football  Rising Star Football Academy  Y1 - Y3: 8.00 AM - 9.00 AM - Secondary Sports Hall
Multi Skills Richard Soriano Y1 - Y3: 8.30 AM - 10.00 AM - Junior Sports Hall
Swimming Mr. Vinh

F2 - F3: 8.45 AM - 9.30 AM - Junior Pool 

Y1 - Y2: 9.30 AM - 10.15 AM - Junior Pool

Desford Colliery Brass Band Concert

Award Winning Desford Colliery Brass Band

The Desford Colliery Brass Band has performed all over the world, recorded award-winning albums and continues to be at the forefront of British music-making.

Don't miss the fantastic opportunity to see this ensemble LIVE in concert featuring our KS3 and community choir at the British International School, Ho Chi Minh City on Friday 1st November 2019. The concert will start promptly at 4:30pm in the Secondary Campus Auditorium.

Everyone welcome. No tickets required.

Poppy Appeal 2019

poppy appeal 1

The Royal British Legion created the Poppy Appeal to help those returning from the First World War. A Century on from that conflict, we’re still helping today’s Service men and women, veterans and their families, whether coping with bereavement, living with disability, or finding employment. Without your help, none of this would be possible.

So please join us in showing that we REMEMBER on the 11th of November by purchasing a Poppy or Poppy stationery

Available at Reception from Monday 28th October until 8th November 2019.

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.



Country Rep Meeting PTG

The latest news from our primary PTG.

Primary PTG Update: 18/10/2019


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.

Thank you,

Ms Mary

Dates for your Diary...

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

And Finally…

Phew!  We have reached the end of a very busy half term.  It has been so wonderful to see the children settling into their new year groups and it is a pleasure to see them flourishing in school.  The children, teachers and all staff have been working so hard and it is fabulous see the progress the children are making.  It is now time for a well deserved rest!

Have a relaxing and enjoyable holiday,

Ian Battersby, Head Teacher Early Years and Infant Campus