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Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 21/06/2019

Ian Battersby
Ian Battersby (71 posts) Head Teacher, Early Years and Infant Campus View Profile

With only one week of the school year left, the farewells to members of the BIS community may have begun, but the learning opportunities for children show no sign of stopping.

Life in an international school has many benefits for our children, but one of the challenges is that we know that as the school year comes to an end we will be saying ‘goodbye’ to valued members of our community. On Wednesday morning at the Moving on Workshop, Ms Emma, our primary admissions manager talked about how BIS can continue to support families once they have moved on, and Ms Kim, our school counsellor shared thoughts regarding the best way to help children come to terms with big life changes.  The most important thing to remember being to recognise how your child is feeling and to always be ready to understand and talk about how they feel.

BIS and BVIS Writing Workshop 2019

Writing 6

The writing competition was held earlier in the year, and the winners have been waiting for several months to have the opportunity to take part in this fabulous writing workshop at BVIS.  Ms Gemma and Ms Kirstine took the winners from Year 1 to Year 6 to join their peers at BVIS in a fun-packed day of creativity.

BIS and BVIS Writing Workshop 2019

Year 2’s Visit to the Ao Dai Museum 

Ao Dai trip 6

Through the week, groups of Year 2 children have been heading off on a trip to the Ao Dai Museum.  These off site visits bring so much enhancement to the learning that takes place in the classroom.  Getting on the bus and travelling to District 9 is an adventure in itself, but also seeing the range of ao dais at the museum and discussions that followed help the children to get a deeper understanding.

Year 2’s Visit to the Ao Dai Museum

F3 to Year 1 Transition Coffee Morning

F3 to Year 1 Transition - BIS HCMC

Thank you to all the parents who attended the coffee morning on Thursday; it was great to see such a big turnout.  I have mentioned a few times in previous weeks about the importance of having a smooth transition between the different phases of school (F3 to Year 1, Year 2 to Year 3, Year 6 to Year 7 etc.).  Ms Jessica and Ms Maria talked through some of the similarities and differences that the children can expect as they move into Year 1.  With more details and a link

F3 to Year 1 Transition Coffee Morning

House Point Competition

Each week the children in assembly are very excited to hear which house has won the weekly house point competition and who is in the lead to claim the coveted ice cream prize for the house with the most house points across the term. 

I am delighted to announce that the Term 3 winners are DALAT!

Children in Dalat in F3, Y1 and Y2 should come to school on Wednesday 26th June wearing their house t-shirt, and they will be given their ice-cream after lunch.

NamRunsNam Day


We have a number of teachers leaving Vietnam this year.  Some are returning to the UK, others have jobs teaching in other international schools, but Ms Naomi is doing something completely different.  Ms Naomi is going to spend several months running from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.  She is hoping that her running will raise awareness and funds for some of the school’s community partners.

To send her on her way, on Thursday we are having NamRunsNam Day where we would like the children to come dressed in sports clothes or as their favourite sports star, and to make a donation of 50,000VND to get the fundraising off to a start.

Ms Naomi is funding the run by herself, to make sure all the money donated will be going to the community partners, so if you have family or friends between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City who might be able to let Ms Naomi stay for a night on her journey, please do let the school know and we will put them in contact with her.


Saying Farewell to Teachers who are Leaving

Leaving teachers

Next week we say goodbye to our departing staff that will bid farewell to the students for the last time next Friday.  We have 16 amazing staff leaving the school (both primary campuses) and they will be missed.  While we will be sad to say goodbye, we are excited for them as they embark on their next adventures and this cohort of leaving teachers have some wonderful trips planned. 

To find out more about where are teachers are off to and what they will be doing please read;

Our Leaving Teachers – Where are they off to?

New Primary Teachers for 2019/2020

Just as we say farewell to a number of teachers, of course we will be welcoming new staff to replace them when the new academic year begins.  It gives me great pleasure to introduce them to you.

New teacher 1

New teacher 2

To find out more about our new teachers please click on the link below:

Welcoming New Teachers to BIS

What do you think about Seesaw?


As a school we have now been using Seesaw for one year. Last week, at the Headteachers’ coffee morning there were some questions about how we could improve. We would like to encourage all parents to spend a few moments filling in a questionnaire about what you have liked and ways we could improve for next year.  Please click on the form here and complete the questionnaire.

Thank you for your time in helping us reflect and develop our use of Seesaw.

Seesaw: If you are leaving BIS this year

For families who are leaving this term you will still have access until the 5th July 2019.  Some of you may want to download your child’s journal to keep forever. To do this, click here and follow the help sheet. If you need any help with downloading the journal, please do speak to Ms Sarah at the EY&I or Mr Chris at the Juniors. You must do this on a computer, not on a mobile device.

BIS Summer Holiday Sports Camps

Due to on-going construction and renovation work in each campus that may last the whole of the summer holidays, and in consideration of the health and safety of our children, we have decided to not plan any summer sports camps in July or August this year. We appreciate your understanding of this reasoning. Holiday sports camps will resume in the October holidays.

Roadworks Outside the Early Years and Infant Campus

As we are all aware, Thao Dien is presently undergoing some major roadworks which are now close to the main entrance of the  EY&IC. As a school, we have tried very hard to communicate with the construction company to delay any work close to the school until the summer holidays. However, the work needs to be completed within a particular timescale and will carry on.  I would ask for everybody’s patience and understanding whilst this work is ongoing. Hopefully, it will benefit everyone in District 2 in the future.

Anthony Rowlands

Managing our Traffic Together

Just prior to the holiday, I was contacted by a member of our local community asking about what was being done about the traffic situation in Thao Dien.  I met with the gentleman in question and showed him the procedures we have in place and how the school has invested in measures to help ensure the traffic keeps flowing, for example, creating the car park next to the Early Years and Infant Campus.

He was impressed with all that we have done.  Thank you to everyone who has worked with their drivers to ensure that the code of conduct is followed.  Unfortunately, there are still some drivers who insist on double parking near school and doing U-turns close to the drop-off area.  Please speak to your drivers to remind them of what is expected. 

Thank you – together we can make a difference.

Drivers Code of Conduct

For more information about how we can work together to improve traffic around our campuses, please access this post.

Be Involved...

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.

PTG Update


After so many successful PTG events this year, the final one took place on Thursday after school – the end of term disco.  With games, dancing and snacks for all, the children loved taking part.

A number of roles have now been filled for our PTG next year, but there is still an opportunity to get involved.  Please contact the office if you are interested.

Primary PTG Update: 21/06/19

Toothpaste and Toothbrushes Campaign

British International School HCMC Toothpaste Collection

Alois Luong who is one of our brilliant community-minded students in Year 12 would like to collect toothpaste and toothbrushes during the last two weeks of school. A few years ago, Alois collected dental items which were delivered to those in poverty living in Vietnam with great success, and he would like to rerun this project.

Good dental hygiene is something we take for granted.  We brush our teeth every day and visit the dentist regularly to ensure our teeth are healthy.  For many in poverty in Vietnam, this simply doesn’t happen; these things being considered a luxury.  So, when you are doing your shopping, please buy an extra toothbrush and some toothpaste and place it in the collection box which will be located in the Parents’ Hall from next week.

Toothpaste and Toothbrush Collection 2019

Dates for your Diary...

21/6/19 – End of Year Reports Emailed to Parents

25/6/19 – Year 1 Global Village

25/6/19 – Open Afternoon

27/6/19 – NamRunsNam Day

28/6/19 – Term 3 Ends @ 11.50am


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 between campuses and across roads.

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.

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…

Computers, iPads, smart phones, smart watches; these are all part of our lives now, but could we cope without the technology? On Thursday, all three campuses faced the challenge of TechNoDay.  At the EY&I, no lessons were taught using whiteboards, no activities happened using the iPads, instead the children were involved in other activities…which they loved. Look out for the post about it next week.  In the meantime, why not challenge your family to one day at the weekend with no screens.  What will you talk about?

Wishing you a safe and enjoyable weekend,

Ian Battersby, Head of the Early Years and Infant Campus