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Mr. Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 15/11/19

Ian Battersby
Ian Battersby (103 posts) Head Teacher, Early Years and Infant Campus View Profile

Maths and English are often referred to as ‘core’ subjects, especially in primary schools, which is why the children spend significantly more time learning in these areas.  In an international school, the mix of nationalities and languages provide challenges when it comes to English; in recent years we have introduced strategies, such as ‘Talk for Writing’ and the ‘Read, Write, Inc.’ to help accelerate the children’s progress in these areas. This year, we are having a focus on further developing maths, a subject which we know is already strong.

Children at BIS are, in general, particularly strong with their computational skills.  They can calculate quickly and have a good knowledge and recall of maths facts, such as times tables. Through looking at an analysis of the results from maths assessments, it is clear that our children are not so strong at being able to solve mathematical problems and apply their knowledge into different situations.  For example, many children when asked to calculate 27+14, would quickly give an answer, but if the information was provided in the form of words, ‘there were twenty-seven people on a bus and fourteen more got on, how many now in total?’, they may have more difficulty solving the problem.


As I mentioned, developing children’s reasoning skills, particularly in maths, is a priority this year, so to help us do this, we invited Fran Watson from NRICH maths to join us last week and this, and provide training, and teach demonstration lessons, so as a school we might be better equipped to help develop the creative, problem solving thinking that is so essential in today’s world.  Mr Neil, assistant head at Juniors, explains more of what Ms Fran has been doing:

Developing our ‘mathematical muscles’ in the primary school


-SPLATs F3-35

Following on from the highly successful Stay Play and Learn All Together (SPLAT) sessions in F2 last week, it was the turn of F3 parent to join the fun in F3.  It was wonderful to see so many parents join us for these events, and I do hope that you found the opportunity to learn more about how F3 children are educated, useful:


Year 1 and 2 Sports Day


There was a great atmosphere on the field at Juniors this morning.  In front of a huge crowd of encouraging parents, first the children in Year 1, then the children in Year 2, took part in a variety of races and activities, competing on behalf of their house teams; Saigon, Hanoi, Dalat and Hue.  Thank you to all the parents who came along to support, and to all the PE staff, especially Mr Richard Soriano, who coordinated the morning’s events.

Year 1 and 2 Sports Day

Year 2 Modern Foreign Language (MFL) Choices


There are various points in a child’s educational career when decisions need to be made regarding what to study at school.  My daughter, who is currently in Year 11, recently made decisions about which subjects to study when she enters Year 12 and begins the International Baccalaureate programme. 

At the Early Years and Infant Campus, children learn Chinese, Spanish and French, switching languages every term.  In Year 3, children will specialise in one of those three languages, and continue studying it all the way to iGCSE in Year 11.  On Tuesday morning, Year 2 parents gathered as Ms Sophie, our MFL leader, explained the rationale behind this process and talked about the benefits of our programme.  You will soon be receiving an email, asking for Year 2 parents to choose the language they would like their child to study. 

If you have any questions regarding this, please contact Ms Sophie (Sophie.Tighzer@bisvietnam.com), and if you were unable to attend, you can see her presentation below:

Year 2 MFL Choices Presentation

UNIS Hanoi Invitational Swim Meet

UNIS Hanoi

Congratulations to the BIS Barracudas for a great job at the swim meet in Hanoi last week end.  Seeing children who were at the EY&I Campus last year competing in these events is a real inspiration to the those in the junior squads.

UNIS Hanoi Invitational Swim Meet

CIS/WASC Accreditation


At our Headteachers’ Coffee Morning last year, Ms Dee and I spoke about the ways in which BIS ensure that the education we provide is of the highest quality.  In April, we were delighted to be judged ‘Outstanding in Every Category’ by the British Schools Overseas inspectorate.  Next week, we have visitors from the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), who will be spending the week looking at all the different elements of our school.  For the past nine months, teams of teachers from all three campuses have been working together to produce reports about BIS.  We look forward to getting the feedback from the team about where they perceive our strengths to lie, and the areas where we can do even better.


Support Services Coffee Morning


On Tuesday 19th November there will be a chance to meet some of the many support services that are available in our community. You will be able to learn about who they are and what services they offer. For example: what does an Occupational Therapist do? What is a Speech and Language Therapist, a Behaviour Specialist or an Educational Psychologist?  You will also have a chance to meet our school counsellor and her team. In addition, you can find out more about how the Learning Support department supports children in school and what you can do to support your child at home.

The coffee morning will take place at 8:30 am in the Black Box Theatre on the Junior Campus.

All are welcome.

Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation

Blue Dragon Children's Foundation - BIS HCMC

At BIS, we partner with many worthy organisations with the main focus being to educate our children and help them develop an empathy towards those less fortunate themselves.  One such organisation is the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation.  Ms Naomi who is running from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh has spent time with the children supported by Blue Dragon, as a result, they are one of the organisations she is raising money for (https://namrunsnam.com/). 

To find out more about Blue Dragon and how you can support them, please see the post below:

BIS Community Partner Spotlight - Blue Dragon Children's Foundation

Poppy Appeal 2019 - Thank you!

poppy A big thank you to everyone who supported with this year’s Poppy Appeal. Across all three
campuses we raised 8,945,000 VND.

  • EY&IC – 1,646,000 VND
  • Junior Campus – 3,783,000 VND
  • Secondary Campus – 3,516,000 VND

This money will go to The Royal British Legion which is a charity that provides financial, social and
emotional support to veterans and members of the British Armed Forces, their families and

Desford Colliery Band

Desford Band Visit 7

A few weeks ago we welcomed Desford Colliery Band to BIS giving our youngest children the opportunity to experience hearing a huge range of brass instruments not commonly found in Vietnam.

Desford Colliery Band


Family Fun Evening

After all the hard work and preparation, the day of the Family Fun Evening is upon us.  I look forward to seeing you tomorrow afternoon (4-7pm) to what will prove to be a great evening for all the family.   More details in the PTG Post:

Primary PTG Update: 15/11/2019 


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, it is essential that you to do so in the next two weeks; 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.


BIS HCMC are looking to recruit to expand our current team of exam invigilators. We are looking for reliable and confident people to assist throughout our busy examination periods of January and May/June each year. 

Your role will include invigilation at IGCSE and IB level during both internal and external examinations. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Preparing the examination venue prior to examinations in accordance with regulations;
  • Distribution of scripts and strict supervision of students during examinations.

We are looking for:

  • Team players and people who are flexible in their approach.

You do not require experience as full training will be provided, and the position is on a casual basis with days/hours being variable depending on examination demands. You will, however, need to meet our safer recruitment policy by providing an up-to-date police check and completing our online safeguarding training.

If you are interested and would like further information about how to become an invigilator, please contact Abbie Astbury (Examinations Officer) on abbie.astbury@bisvietnam.com

Dates for your Diary

BIS Christmas BISzaar 2019

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 | 8:45 start

                      Term 2 Club Booklet Live | 15:00

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

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

                       Term 2 Club Sign Up Ends | 12:00  




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.

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
Deputy Head Teacher

And Finally…

As you may have noticed, the bridge between the school and the car park is nearing completion.  We are anticipating that all the work and safety checks will be completed soon, so that the bridge can open in the first week of December. 

Once again, I look forward to seeing you all at the PTG Family Fun evening tomorrow. 

Have a super weekend,

Ian Battersby
Head of the Early Years and Infant Campus