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Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 05/04/19

Ian Battersby
Ian Battersby (79 posts) Head Teacher, Early Years and Infant Campus View Profile

“Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.”  Former US President, Jimmy Carter

A quality education is not simply about enabling students to go to the best universities.  At the British International School, Ho Chi Minh City, our aide memoire does have a focus on developing the academic attributes of enquiry, reflection, perseverance and learning together, but it goes further.  Equally as important are the moral characteristics of integrity, respect and care which are required for our children to grow as responsible global citizens.

F1 Earth Day 2

Across the primary campuses, on Thursday and Friday of this week, we celebrated ‘Earth Day’.  Children came to school wearing blue, green and white as a symbol of their connection to the Earth.  In class, each year group focused on a different endangered species and produced a large sculpture made from recycled materials which they shared in assembly.  We enjoyed a vegetarian lunch, just to make us think about what we eat and the impact that has on the planet.  Everyone also made an Earth day promise, many of which have been shared on Seesaw. Here are a few from Year 1:

  • ‘To never put rubbish on the floor outside and on the street’
  • ‘I won’t use plastic straws.’
  • ‘I will turn off the tap and if I go out I will turn off the light.’

As well as developing a love of learning, we want our children to develop a love for nature, and a sense of social responsibility for our environment.  What makes this event even more special is that it was the idea of our Student Council.  On Earth Day, we saw our children from F1 to Year 6 making their voice heard, and thinking about how they could make a difference – with their determination to do so, there is hope for our planet.

To read more about Earth Day throughout Primary, please read this post:

BIS HCMC celebrates Earth Day 2019

Progress Update Reports and Specialist Parent Teacher Student Conferences (PTSCs)

Attached to the Weekly Update email last Friday, you were sent a letter about our upcoming Specialist and Vietnamese PTSCs. All the necessary details are within the letter or within the separate instructions that were sent on how to use the online sign up portal.

For parents at the Early Years and Infant Campus, this is an opportunity to speak to the teachers if your child receives learning support, English as an Additional Language (EAL) or studies Vietnamese after school.

Thank you to those parents who have already signed up; if you haven’t yet done so, sign up closes at 4pm on Sunday. 

Our Term 2 Progress Update Reports were made available online for parents today, Friday 5th April. The login details for the SLG site to access your child’s report were sent to you today. For children that have recently joined the school, dependent on their time in school and year group, they will either receive a ‘Settling In Update’ on Seesaw or a ‘Term 2 Update’ via email.

If you have any questions or issues regarding either the Progress Update or PTSCs, please do not hesitate to contact Ms Mary

‘Hats Off!’ to the Year 2 Production

The children in Year 2 have been working very hard learning songs and their lines for the Year 2 Production, ‘Hats Off!’ When Apple, the horse, finds a hat one Autumn, she is delighted, but as the year passes, will she be able to hold on to her hat?  To find out, you will have to join us at 8.45am on Wednesday 10th April in the Sports Hall.

British Schools Overseas Inspection

In our last Headteachers’ Coffee Morning, Ms Dee and I spoke about the forthcoming British Schools Overseas (BSO) inspection.  Why be inspected by BSO?  This is what the UK Government says:

‘We have put in place a voluntary inspection scheme for overseas schools. This ensures schools provide their pupils with the skills and qualifications they need to enter or re-enter the British education system. The scheme helps to inform parents about how the standards in these schools measure up against the standards that apply to independent schools in England.’

British Schools Overseas Inspection Scheme

Led by Mr Mark Evans from Penta International, a team of seven inspectors will be visiting the three campuses from Sunday to Wednesday, next week. We look forward to welcoming them to BIS and to receiving their feedback on the quality of education that we provide.

Be Involved...


PTG Coffee and Cake Morning 2019 - BIS HCMC

The PTG have an extensive schedule of events throughout the year which really do complement our school, supporting and encouraging our community to build. Last week their efforts were focused on the Spring Fair, and this week, they turn to the upcoming Coffee and Cake Morning in aid of Thuy’s Dreams. 

Thanks to many of you for registering your interest to come to the PTG Coffee and Cake Morning on Thursday 11th April. It will be a lovely social event for a wonderful cause! Not only will we have an array of delicious cakes, we will also have speakers including Secondary students who take part in weekly Cancer Ward visits, as well as music performances from our talented Primary students.

Important information about the event:

  • If you intend to donate a cake or savoury item, please complete the google form at this link:  
  • It would be fantastic if any parents could host a baking session with other parents – this worked well last year and lots of fun was had by all!
  • If you plan to bake a cake, please bring the recipe on the day so they can be shared with other parents
  • We are asking that you deliver your cake to the EY&I Campus Gym from 7.30am onwards on Thursday so the tables can be set up.
  • If you can, please donate the use of a cake stand. They can be left at any campus. Please label clearly with your child’s name and class so they can be returned to you after the event.
  • Please bring your Tupperware for takeaways!

For more information about the event please contact:

Mel (secondary)       

Niki (Junior)              

Gayathri (EY&IC)     

To read more this week from the PTG, please click the link below:

Primary PTG Update: 05/04/2019

Spring Fair Raffle

With over 400 prizes to be won, the raffle at the Spring Fair proved very popular.  You can check if you have won a prize at both the EY&I and Junior campuses.  If you have won, you need to collect your prize by Monday 8th April from the Junior Reception.

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, 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.

Dates for your Diary...

7/04/19 -  Term 2 Clubs finish.  Please remember there are no clubs or Vietnamese lessons next week

8-9/4/19 – PTSCs with specialist teachers

for EY&I: EAL, Learning Support and Vietnamese learners only

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

11/4/19 – Coffee and Cake Morning for Thuy’s Dreams Cancer Care @ 8:30am in the EY&I Sports Hall

12/4/19 – Term 2 Ends @ 11.50am

2/5/19 – Term 3 Begins @ 8:15am


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.  We are in the process of installing extra seating in the shaded areas to increase the seating areas for our community at these times.  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 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.

Online Safety

Keeping safe is priority for us all.  Even when we believe our youngest children are safe, they may well not be if the parental controls and recommended filters have not been installed or applied.  When children search online and watch content using sites such as, ‘youtube’ it is important to have all the safety nets in place.  We advise parents to install content filters and apply parental controls on all devices that our young children have access to.  If you would like any support on this, please contact Ms Mary and I will put you in touch with our ICT teachers to help.

End of Day Procedures

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 child’s 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.  Please note, once your child has been handed over to you at pick up time (both after school and after clubs), the responsibility of your child has also been handed over to you.

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

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.

Safeguarding at school – it’s everyone’s responsibility

Personal Photographs

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.

Thank you,

Ms Mary

And Finally…

If you have not yet volunteered to bake something for Thursday’s PTG Coffee and Cake Morning, it is not too late.  One in two people will get cancer in their lifetime. All of us have been affected in some way by cancer; Ken, my father-in-law, died at the age of 59 before he had the joy of seeing his grandchildren born. We want to raise as much money as possible to support a local cancer charity, Thuy’s Dreams. If you are not able to bake, please join us to enjoy a coffee and a cake and to help make a difference.

Have an exciting and enjoyable weekend,

Ian Battersby, Head of the Early Years and Infant Campus