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Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 04/10/2019

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

It is never too early to start enjoying books with children.  Quality reading time is an investment in your child’s future; many studies have shown that how children who read on a regular basis are happier and more successful.

Before my son could speak or walk, I remember reading ‘This Little Baby’ by Sandra Lousada over and over again.  It didn’t matter that he didn’t understand the words, he loved the interaction with the pictures, the closeness and comfort of sitting on my knee, and then the mirror at the end where he could see his reflection. That was a particular favourite, but as he grew, we soon moved on to other picture books, then longer stories.  Reading was a regular part of his bedtime routine, all the way through his primary education and on into secondary. Without doubt, it helped develop in him a love of reading.


Last Friday, we had ‘Snuggle Up and Read’ in F1.  The children came to school dressed in their pyjamas and delighted in a morning of snuggling and stories.  The purpose of the morning was for the children to enjoy the books being shared with them, but also to encourage all our parents to make it a daily part of each child’s experience at home.  Ms Bethan explains more:

Snuggle Up and Read

Welcome to New Teachers

Alyssa Ignacio

Allysa Ignacio

Being a teacher means learning something new every day. This is why I am excited to be here in Vietnam and to work at BIS. Everything will be a new experience!

I come from a big family in the Philippines; I am very close to them all, even to my aunts, uncles and cousins.  I haven’t had much trouble adjusting to life in Ho Chi Minh City though since everybody in the community is very welcoming.

I am a coffee lover so during the weekends I explore the different cafés here in Saigon. Taking pictures, travelling and dancing are also my hobbies and interests.

I am loving my stay here in Vietnam and I am excited about visiting new places and making new friends.

I’m Allysa and I can’t wait to seize every moment of my new beginning here in my new home.

Lisa Rhodes

Lisa Rhodes

My name is Lisa and I joined BIS in August. I am working on the Early Years and Infant Campus and I have the pleasure of being a class teacher in Foundation 3. Since I have arrived, I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and the support of the BIS community and I feel very lucky to be a part of such a wonderful school and living in such an exciting city!

I love to travel and learn about different places and cultures so I do it quite a lot! I have visited over 30 countries so far and I have spent time living in England, South Africa, Canada, Peru, Thailand and Spain. I am really looking forward to learning more about Vietnam and the wonderful culture here, and I am also very pleased to be adding it to my list of international homes!

Outside of school I enjoy socialising with friends, trying new things (like a brilliant woodblock printing workshop I attended recently), hiking, running and yoga. I have already registered for a couple of half marathons in HCMC and I am excited to be doing my first ever Triathlon in Danang in May!

I hope to meet many of you in our upcoming BIS community events so if you see me please do come and say ‘hi’!

BBGV Fun Run

BBGV Fun Run 2019 - British International School HCMC

It was an early start on Sunday morning for over 100 members of the BIS community as we gathered together in District 7 for the annual BBGV Fun Run.  Over the years, this event has raised over 11 billion VND for various charities in Vietnam, and there was a huge turnout again this year.  Thank you to everyone who came to support this super community event.

BBGV Fun Run

How to Support Your Child with Learning Workshop

Parent Workshop - BIS HCMC

Thank you to all the parents that also attended our workshop this morning about supporting your child’s learning at home.  It was a great turnout and our thanks to the EAL teachers that ran this event for us. It was wonderful to see parents engaging with one another and enjoying the session. If you missed the workshop, you can access the slides here.



We would like to wish former BIS teacher Ms Naomi Skinner the best of luck as she sets off this Sunday on her NamrunsNam epic run from Hanoi to HCMC.

Find out more about this amazing charity run and how you can support her along the way. Click on this link to find out more.

Open Morning at BIS Junior Campus for prospective parents

Junior Campus Open Morning - British International School HCMC

In just over a week, on Tuesday October 15th, we will have an Open Morning at the Junior Campus. This event is not for current parents but for families that may be considering joining BIS. If you do know of families and friends who might be interested, please please direct them to this page where they can sign up. Please note that places are limited for the open morning. 


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.

Dates for your Diary...

8/10/10 – F3 Phonics Workshop

10/10/19 - PTG Potluck Lunch @ EY&I

15/10/19 - EAL Parent Workshop for EY&I parents

15/10/19 – Young Musician of the Year Final – Secondary Theatre @ 6pm

16/10/19 - International Week Meeting for Country Reps 8.30am @ Junior Campus

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

18/10/19 – This half term ends @2.50pm

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.


By the time this update is published, another super PTG event will have taken place, the Bake Sale.  Thank you to all those who donated to this event; we’ll hear more about it in next week’s PTG update.  We are also looking forward to the Potluck lunch next Thursday, if you are able to join us or to contribute, please see the PTG post below for more details:

Primary PTG Update: 04/10/2019

And Finally…

As Pie Corbett, the inspiration behind the ‘Talk for Writing’ programme we use at BIS, says, ‘in order for children to write stories, they need to be able to tell stories, and in order to tell stories, they need to hear stories’.  The F1 children had their ‘Snuggle Up and Read’ last week, with the focus on listening to stories. Next Tuesday, we have a workshop for F3 parents to look at how we begin the process of learning ‘phonics’, an essential skill for learning to read. 

This session will be led by Ms Maria, who will introduce the Read, Write, Inc., programme that we use.  I do hope that all F3 parents will be able to join us, as well as Y1 and Y2 parents whose children are new to learning phonics at BIS.

Have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend,

Ian Battersby, Head of the Early Years and Infant Campus