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Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 01/11/2019

Welcome back to the second half of Term 1.  I do hope that the holidays proved to be an opportunity to relax and spend quality time with your families.  There is a lot of great learning planned over the coming weeks, and some super events to look forward to. 

This morning the children were given a real treat as the Desford Colliery Band performed a number of wonderful brass band pieces.  Listening to live music performances is so inspiring for our children; opportunities like this one are a great addition to the Juilliard programme which, as a Nord Anglia school, already provide a great foundation for developing our children’s appreciation of the performing arts.

Recently, Ms Fiona and Ms Christine from the Early Years and Infant Campus joined colleagues around the region for Juilliard dance training to extend our provision in the area of performing arts.  You can read more about the training in the post below:

Julliard Dance Programme 

We had the first lesson from Ms Fiona in our last assembly before the holiday. With the rugby world cup happening currently in Japan, it seemed appropriate to learn a rugby-related dance.  The New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks, are famous for their Haka dance that they do before each game, so Ms Fiona taught us all how to do the BIS Haka!

The Haka Dance

IPC Learning Across the School


The International Primary Curriculum encompasses a range of subjects and is taught in an enquiry/topic based approach. Entry and Exit points build excitement and celebrate learning and the children have the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of learning experiences.  Find out more by clicking on the link to read this post by our IPC leaders.

IPC Learning Across the School

Year 1 Play Dates with Thien Phuoc


Our community programme for Years 1 and 2 is now in full swing. Our Year 2 children are now meeting with children from the Anh Minh School for the Hearing Impaired each week.  We believe that engaging with different members of our wider community who have needs different to our own, provides the children with a tremendous opportunity to build empathy for those less fortunate than themselves.

The children in Year 1 are now having play dates with the children from the Thien Phuoc Foster Home for Children with Disabilities.  Ms Jules, one of our Year 1 teachers explains more in this post:

Year 1 Play Dates with Thien Phuoc

Welcome to New Teachers

Helena Tucker


"Hi everyone! My name is Helena and I am teaching class 1H this year.

I am originally from south London, where my parents are currently enjoying their retirement and I have two younger brothers, one who is an aerospace engineer and one who is a chef. Before teaching, I worked briefly in business management but quickly realised my passions lied elsewhere. I became a teaching assistant in a school for children with autistic spectrum disorder and other high-level needs which is where I found my love of teaching. I then completed my postgraduate qualification and began teaching in the UK.

Before my move to Vietnam, I lived in sunny Brisbane, Australia, for a short time but was also lucky enough to find time for a big world travelling adventure! I eventually arrived in Vietnam January 2019 after travelling around the world for 18 months with my partner - we had to face reality at some point! We got to explore many amazing places and cultures, made new friends, visited lots of family and loved every minute of it all! Some highlights include: hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, learning Spanish while living with a local family in Guatemala, taking a helicopter ride over Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand and piranha fishing in the Amazon. 

From all these incredible adventures, Vietnam stood out as the place we wanted to call home. So in January we hopped on a flight with just our backpacks and now here we are, enjoying our wonderful (not-so-new-anymore) city!

I love the vibrancy of Vietnam and how welcoming the community is here. I’m slowly eating and drinking my way around the city, which has become a favourite weekend activity. It’s amazing getting to explore and always discover new places around every corner, staircase or back alley. Any must-visit suggestions are always welcome!"

Vicky Gorton


"Hi, my name is Vicky and I have recently started working at BIS in the EY&I campus. I am working in F2 and teach the wonderful Beetle’s class.

I have been teaching for just over 13 years and have taught in a number of schools around the world. I began teaching in England, in a lovely little school in Surbiton before moving to Coventry where I met my amazing husband, Neil (the assistant Headteacher based at the Junior Campus). We got married in 2012 and moved to Egypt where we taught for two years. Our journey then took us to Seoul, South Korea where we taught for five years. We had so much fun living and working in these countries and feel very lucky that we were able to spend time learning about the history and visiting some very famous landmarks. Now that we are here in Vietnam, we hope to be able to explore and learn more about this beautiful country and all that it has to offer.

When I am not at work, I love to chat to my family who are living in England. I have three sisters and three nephews, and love to hear about how they are getting on at school – I especially like to remind them to be kind to their teachers!

My husband and I also like going to sporting events and have enjoyed watching many live baseball games, attending the Winter Olympics and visiting Wimbledon to watch the tennis. Our sporting highlight, however, was watching the England under 21 team win the FIFA World Cup in South Korea. It’s not often that you get to witness England winning, especially at football!

I have had a wonderful first half term at BIS and look forward to getting to know the school and its community better as the year progresses."

Stay, Play and Learn All Together – SPLAT


Next week we begin our SPLAT sessions for the children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). SPLATs provide an opportunity for parents to come and experience how the EYFS learning spaces work.  Play is central to the learning in EYFS, but the activities are specifically designed to enable the children to develop across the 7 areas of learning:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

We look forward to welcoming our F2 parents to our learning spaces to experience the learning first hand and to have the opportunity to find out more about how their children learn in F2.

Poppy Appeal 2019

Remembrance Sunday and Poppy Appeal 2019

All BIS families are invited to attend the inaugural Commonwealth Remembrance Service in HCMC on Sunday 10th November, 12.15pm, in Mai Khoi Church, 44 Tú Xương, Phường 7, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh. The Junior Harmony Choir will be supporting this event and no tickets or advanced booking is required if you would like to attend. However, there is limited parking near the church.

If you require any more information about the service,  please contact Ms Beth directly at

The significance of the Poppy on Remberance Sunday

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

The Plastic Diet Challenge

Re think plastic VN

Are you up for the Challenge???

BIS is teaming up with Rethink Plastic Vietnam for the November Plastic Awareness Month. The Plastic Diet Challenge starts with a ‘baseline’ survey and will be followed by 3 weekly surveys and “tips & tricks” over the course of the month of November. Your task is to try to reduce the amount of single-use plastic you use each week. Find out more in this post:

Plastic Diet Challenge

Parent, Teacher, Student, Conferences (PTSCs) for children receiving EAL Support

On Tuesday and Wednesday next week, parents of children who receive English as an Additional Language support have an opportunity to speak to their child’s EAL teacher.  You should have received an email with details of how to sign-up for an appointment.  If you have not done so, please contact Ms Shaheena or Mr Luke ( or

PTG Update


Preparations are well under way for Family Fun Evening that will be happening on Saturday 16th November.  Find out more about the evening and other events led by our fantastic team, the PTG, in the link below:

Primary PTG Update: 01/11/2019


At the beginning of this academic year we implemented a new management information system called, iSAMS.  Many families are already befitting from the services this provides.  The system comes with a parent app that allows you to get important information about upcoming school events, access details unique to your children and locate quick links at the touch of a button.  If you have not already downloaded this app, I strongly encourage you to do so; please speak to your class teacher for your unique code or pop into the office and we will help you get started so that:

  1. We can send you 'push notifications' to the iSAMS iParent App. In order to subscribe to these notifications, please follow the instructions attached sent via email on Wednesday October 9th 2019.
  2. You can log into CHQ using exactly the same username and password as your iSAMS Parent Portal account- Instructions sent via email on Wednesday October 9th 2019.
  3. You can view links to important information (eg Parent Campus handbooks, options booklets, etc) - just navigate to the 'Info.' tab and tap on 'Bookmarks & Web Links'

Remember, this is the only way you will be able to view your child's academic reports. In addition, there is a wealth of information for you to view on the portal and app.

Community Choir

BIS 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.


Health & 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.  If you arrive to school before the start time of the club, please wait on the ground floor in the Parents’ Hall.  Children must not arrive to the club venue before 7:30am as the teachers are setting up at this time.

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.

Head Lice

There have been cases of head lice at the Junior Campus, so we would like to remind all parents about the procedures if your child has head lice. Many thanks for your cooperation.

1.           Please inform the class teacher immediately.

2.           All children in the class will be checked by the Nurse.

3.           A letter will go home to parents to inform them if their child has head lice or that there is the case in the class.

4.           The parent is responsible for treating the child.  We recommend treating your child if another child is found to have head lice in the class.

5.           All children should be treated on the day the letter is received.

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

05/11/19 – F2 SPLAT – F2H and F2N

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

06/11/19 – F2 SPLAT – F2S and F2V

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

07/11/19 – F2 SPLAT – F2B and F2I         

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

11/11/19 – F3 SPLAT – F3B and F3I

13/11/19 – F3 SPLAT – F3S and F3V

15/11/19 – F3 SPLAT – F3N and F3H

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

                      Term 2 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

06/12/19 - BPS Feeding Frenzy | BKK

08/12/19 - Community Football Competition

09/12/19 – F1 SPLAT – F1B and F1I

                      Term 2 Club Sign Up Begins | 17:00

10/12/19 – F1 SPLAT – F1S and F1V

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

13/12/19 - Term 1 Ends | 11:30

                       Term 2 Club Sign Up Ends | 12:00    

And Finally…

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, Ms Naomi, a former BIS teacher (who left Year 2 last year), has taken up the challenge of running from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City to raise money for some of our community partners and to draw attention to some of the issues facing Vietnam today.  She has made great progress already as you can see by clicking on the link:

NamRunsNam Progress Update

If you would like to donate to the charities that Ms Naomi is running for, or would simply like to follow how she is doing, you can do so through her website:

Have a wonderful weekend,

Ian Battersby, Head of the Early Years and Infant Campus