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Ms Mary McAloon: Weekly Update 22/02/19

Last week Mr Ian ended with the importance of reflection in his weekly update, leaving us with a good place to start this week.

Mr Ian has been in Europe this week inspecting another school as a ‘critical friend’; a fantastic opportunity for Mr Ian to reflect on our practice here at BIS and to consider further ways that we can continue to improve.

“We do not learn from experience….we learn by reflecting on our experience.”  These great words of John Dewey, an educationalist whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform, are words that we should keep in mind as we learn and develop.  Learning is a complex process that takes multiple revisits to consolidate and become learnt.  Taking time to stop and think in all that we do in our lives can not only feel rewarding, but also allow us to ensure the things we do impact positively on ourselves and our learning and development.  

Our F3 children this week had the opportunity to put this into practice when they presented, to their parents, their reflections on their learning experiences at school.  The introduction of SPLAT (Stay, Play and Learn All Together) is a method to support our children in the Early Years to reflect and delve deeper into their experiences to ensure they progress and move forward in their learning.  Ms Maria tells us more about SPLAT in action in the link below.

SPLAT – Stay, Play and Learn All Together in F3

Animal, Rescue and Care in F2


F2 have had company of a few furry friends this week during their community partner visit.  Animal, Rescue and Care (ARC) works with our F1 and F2 classes to build children’s understanding of how to behave around animals to ensure we care for them and keep ourselves safe.  Ms Francez explains how the visits complement our children’s learning and reflection in the link below.

Animal, Rescue and Care in F2

Swim Meet


Sport was the key focus at BIS over the weekend.  As the gates opened to the secondary campus early morning on both Saturday and Sunday, swimmers from around the city arrived to compete for their International school.  With ABCIC, AIS, BIS, EIS, ISHCMC and SSIS in attendance it truly was an event filled with excitement and competitive cheer.  Our BIS swimmers, many of which from the EY&I campus, should be proud of their achievements – their parents and teachers certainly are.  It was a great weekend had by all that finished with well-deserved congratulations to our BIS team.  Please read Ms Emily’s recount of the weekend to find out more in the link below.

BIS Invitational Swim Meet 2019

Community Football

Community Football 2019 (1)

Last Sunday we invited our community partners to join together with their BIS friends in football teams and participate in a friendly football tournament.  With support in abundance from secondary students, teachers, community leaders, football coaches and parents, the event was set to be a huge success.  The smiles on the faces of all the children as the games progressed said it all.  A worthwhile event that our Community Leaders, along with Mr John Handscombe, put together every year that just keeps getting better.  Thank you to all those who supported this very special event.  Please read Mr Luke’s post below for more details.

Community Football Tournament 2019

Staffing Update

Neil Gorton  - BIS HCMC

It is our great pleasure to announce that Mr Neil Gorton has been appointed as the Assistant Head Teacher at the Junior Campus.

Neil qualified from Coventry University with a BA in Business Administration and received his PGCE from Birmingham City University. Neil is currently working at Dulwich College Seoul, during his time in Korea he has been a Year 2 Leader and is currently Year 6 Leader as well as leading Data and Assessment and co-leading Maths. Neil is interested in educational research and won a British International Teaching Award last year for implementing an interleaving strategy into the Maths curriculum. Previously Neil has taught in Egypt and in Coventry, UK, in KS1 and KS2 where he had curriculum roles leading Science and Maths. Neil’s wife, Victoria, is also a primary school teacher.

Neil will work alongside Ms Dee and Mr Chris at the Junior Campus as well as our wider primary leadership team including Mr Ian, Ms Sarah and myself at the Early Years and Infant Campus.

We look forward to welcoming Neil and his wife Victoria to the school.

Be Involved...

Pret-a-Portrait – the new school photographers

Before the Tet holiday, you should have received a letter with details regarding photographs at the Early Years and Infant Campus that will be happening next week from Monday 25th February until Friday 1st March.  If you would like to see the letter again, you can do so here.

Pret-a-Portrait is a company that specialises in taking school photographs and we are very pleased to be working with them this year. Further information about Pret-a-Portrait, can be found by visiting their website, here.

Air Pollution in HCMC

Air Pollution Event BIS HCMC

On Thursday 28th February, Dr Olivia from the Family Medical Practice will be presenting on the current increasing issue of Air Pollution in HCMC.  Dr Olivia will cover how it can impact your health and the things we can do to reduce these effects.  If you would like to attend, please click the link in the recent Seesaw post and complete the form, so that we are aware of numbers.

Join our BIS Baby and Toddler Group


Children can start at BIS when they are 2 years old. Fundinotots is the ‘BIS Baby and Toddler Group’ where parents of children aged 0 to 36 months can meet other parents and allow their children to engage in a range of activities. Fundinotots is based on the new Early Years and Infant Campus.

To find out more about fundinotots at BIS HCMC, please click here.

BIS Community Choir (for parents and staff)

BIS Community Choir

Following a successful term with wonderful performances throughout the Christmas period, we are looking forward to a new term and would welcome new members to come and join the chorus.  Rehearsals are on Thursday 7.00-7.45am (Secondary Auditorium) and Friday 1.15-2.15pm (Junior Music Room), so please come along to the one that is most convenient for you.

If interested please e-mail Mrs Frances Amos or visit for more information.


Bake Sale (1)

Thank you to all who joined us for the PTG Bake Sale on Wednesday.  A whopping 15 million VND was raised for our community partners.  There are plenty of photos of this event and more details in this PTG post:

Primary PTG Update: 22/02/2019

Dates for your Diary...

25/2/-1/3/19 – School Photographs at EY&I

25-27/2/19 – F2 SPLAT Sessions

28/2/19 – 8:15am Pollution Talk with Dr Oliva EY&I Canteen

6/3/19 & 8/3/19 – F1 SPLAT Sessions

21/3/19 – Headteachers’ Coffee Morning

23/3/19 – PTG Spring Fair

4/4/19 – Earth Day

4/4/19 – Term 2 Discos

5/4/19 – Progress Update to parents

10/4/19 – Year 2 Production @ 8.45am in the Sports Hall

11/4/19 – Coffee and Cake Morning for Cancer Care

12/4/19 – Term 2 Ends @ 11.50am



To ensure our children keep safe while outdoors, please remember to send your child to school with a hat and water bottle each day.  We recommend for children to apply sunscreen of SPF30+ before school to protect them from the sun whilst playing outside.  Please note, children do not spend prolonged periods outdoors whilst at school and are reminded to play in the shade when on the playground.

Sports Pitch

For safety reasons, balls brought from home are not permitted on the sports pitch.  Before school, teachers will provide the balls and bibs when they are supervising from 7:45am and will allow 20 children on the pitch at one time.  After school from 2:50pm, no balls are allowed on the sports pitch.

We thank you for following these rules to keep everyone safe at school.

Permission to leave slip

We would like to remind all parents that school identification badges must be shown and worn at all times when on any of our three campuses (including weekend and evening events).  If not, you will be asked for some form of identity and be required to wear a visitor’s badge.  

If you are collecting a child without the ID card, you will need to visit Reception for a ‘Permission to leave slip’ before collecting your child from the classroom and exiting the campus together.

We thank you for your cooperation in keeping our students and school site safe and secure.

Health and Safety

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 across roads and along the pavements.

Safeguarding at school – it’s everyone’s responsibility


It is every parent’s wish to capture memorable moments on camera of their child at school either performing in an assembly, on their birthday or simply playing with their friends on the playground before the start of the school day.  Any photos that are taken by parents on personal devices must be kept private.  They 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.

BIS CPO poster_2018_Dec2018-1

If, during your visit to school, you have any reason to be concerned about the safety of a young person, please contact the Designated Safeguarding Leader.

And Finally…

With so many events and learning that has happened for the children this week, I suggest finding time together as a family to reflect on these activities to help transform the learning to learnt.  Seesaw is a great tool to support this process – log in together and have a go.  For those of you who know me, you will know that I like to cycle, and this weekend I plan to cycle to Long Hai.  I find that time on the bike for me is a great place to reflect on my experiences over the week.  So, I expect to have learnt more by Sunday by making time for reflection.  I hope you too can find time to reflect.

Wishing you a relaxing weekend.

Mary McAloon, Deputy Head of the Early Years and Infant Campus