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Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 13/12/2019

Ian Battersby
Ian Battersby (75 posts) Head Teacher, Early Years and Infant Campus View Profile

Merry Christmas!  I am always astounded at how the time passes.  It only seems like a few days ago when we were welcoming new families to BIS in August, but what a tremendous term of learning and experiences the children have had.

For those children who have had their first days at school, it has been wonderful to see how they have settled and to watch their confidence grow.  It is the same for the children in all year groups who joined this year; positive relationships have been formed and I can see them really beginning to flourish as part of the BIS community.

BISHCMC Full Moon Festival 19-12

As I look back on the term, there have been many highlights – too many to mention. Early in the term, we celebrated Moon Festival; always a great way to introduce new families to the vibrant culture of Vietnam.  Our community came together again more recently for the Family Fun Evening, a chance once again to strengthen the community that we belong to.  One of my favourite moments was when the children were entertained by the Desford Brass Band – they clearly enjoyed it so much.

As I visit the classrooms throughout the term, I am always delighted to see the excitement the children have about their learning.  Our teachers work so hard to prepare stimulating learning opportunities and the children respond at every age.  One example of this is how the children engaged with the Traction Man story in Year 1.  Not only did they develop their English skills, but the STEAM activity of helping ‘Traction Man’ escape from the island with all his possessions, really challenged their problem solving abilities – they loved it!

We have a clear aim to inform parents of how their children learn, and we have had numerous opportunities for parents to come into school. Not only have we have had the parent, teacher, student conferences, but also our ‘Specialist Open Morning’ where there was the opportunity to see specialist lessons in action.  Furthermore, we have had a number of coffee mornings and workshops, such as the ‘Talk for Writing’ Workshop, which I hope you have found informative and provided you with the tools to support your child in their learning.

This week has been no exception with plenty going on as we come to the end of term.



There was a festive theme to the F1 Stay Play and Learn All Together (SPLAT) sessions on Monday and Tuesday this week.  Parents were able to join their children busy at work in Santa’s workshop or enjoying a Christmas story snuggled up on the sofa. The mornings were rounded off with our youngest choirs in fine voice singing their favourite Christmas songs. 


Year 2 Egyptian Day

BIS HCMC Y2 Egyptian Day 19-15

Monday afternoon provided another opportunity for parents to share in their children’s learning.  The ‘exit point’ for this term’s IPC topic ‘Stories People Tell’ was an Egyptian Day where staff and children alike dressed up as God’s and pharaohs (and a few cats), and took part in a day of crafts and activities to celebrate the learning that had been taking place all term.

Year 2 Egyptian Day

Christmaths Time!

BIS HCMC EY&I Xmas Market 19-89

At the recent headteachers’ coffee morning, Ms Dee and I shared the areas that we are looking to develop further this school year.  One of those areas is mathematical reasoning.  We want the children to have a deeper understanding of the concepts that they learn in class, and opportunities to apply their learning in different contexts; this is the test of true learning.  On Wednesday morning, the children from F2 to Year 2 took part in the Christmaths Market where they had been using their maths skills to produce items for sale and then given ‘real’ money to buy Christmassy items and play festive games. 

Mr Rob, one of our Maths leaders explains more:

Christmaths Market

Tidings & Tinsel! BIS Primary Christmas Carol Concert

BIS HCMC Primary Xmas Carol 19-10

There was excited atmosphere on Tuesday evening on the small field at the Junior Campus.  The stage was set, the lights were twinkling and bands, choirs and orchestras, made up of children from Year 1 to Year 6, teachers and parents, all performed for a magical Christmas evening of entertainment.

Tidings & Tinsel! BIS Primary Christmas Carol Concert

Thien Phuoc Foster Home Christmas Party

Thien Phuoc BISHCMC Christmas Party 2018

Each week the children in Year 1 have playdates with the children from the Thien Phuoc Foster Home as part of their ongoing community project.  On Monday, staff and children went to the foster home for the annual Christmas party.  Thank you to the parents who donated gifts for the children; they were very excited when Santa arrived and the children and staff handed out their presents.  Tracey Brownrigg who coordinates our community projects tells more in this post:

Thien Phuoc Foster Home Christmas Party

Health and Safety

Holiday Time

In assembly today I reminded children how important it is to keep themselves healthy and safe by always making good choices.  They were reminded to continue with making these good choices even during the holidays. 

Wishing all our children and families a healthy, safe and relaxing holiday.  Merry Christmas!


Allocation of clubs will be completed after the holidays during the first week back.  If for any reason you met a problem when choosing Term 2 clubs for your child, then please email Ms Hien directly at,

Bridge to the Car Park

It has been super to see so many children, parents and carers using the new bridge between the school and the car park this week.  If your driver parks in the car park, to help increase the flow of traffic, please use the bridge and not have them drive to Gate A, at the front of the school, to pick you up.


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.

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

13/12/19 – Term 1 Ends | 11:50

13/12/19 – Term 2 Club Sign Up Ends | 12:00    

15/12/19 – Parents Evening Online Portal for Term 2 PTSCs with Class Teachers closes | 17:00


06/01/20 – Term 2 Begins

07/01/20 – Welcome Back Coffee Morning

Week Commencing

 13/01/20 – International Week

21/01/20 – EY&I Tet Fair

22/01/20 – Tet Assembly

23/01/20 – Tet Holiday begins

05/02/20 – School reopens

Welcome Back Coffee Morning

I would like to invite you all to our ‘Welcome Back Coffee Morning’ that will be taking place from 8.00am in the Canteen at the Early Years and Infant Campus.  This event is very informal and provides an opportunity to welcome new families to BIS, as well as catch up with all the news from over the break.  Members of our PTG will be there to answer questions about how you can get more involved in the life of the school and regarding forthcoming events including the Primary International Week.

Looking forward to seeing you there.


Once again I would like to thank everyone involved in the PTG, especially Lily and Gayatri, for all they do to enhance the opportunities for the children at BIS.  Enjoy a well-deserved break!

Primary PTG Update: 13/12/2019

And Finally…


Part of the joy of being in an international community is being able to celebrate all sorts of traditions from around the world.  Some traditions are more unusual than others; pantomimes, which are very popular in the UK around Christmas, are a good example.  On Thursday afternoon, the children from the EY&I campus were treated to a pantomime, as teachers, dressed up in all sorts of weird and    wonderful costumes, performed, ‘Kidnap, Magic and Enchanted Come Dancing’.  It really is too difficult to explain the concept, but I know the children had a great time; ask them what they thought.

I have no doubt that celebrations during the holiday period will be varied and diverse, and I look forward to hearing all about them when we return on January 6th.  In the meantime, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone; teachers, teaching assistants, support staff, parents and children for all you have done this year to help make the BIS community so special.

Wishing you all the best this holiday season and for the coming New Year – Merry Christmas!

Ian Battersby, Head Teacher Early Years and Infant Campus