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Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 13/09/2019

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

Moon Festival provides such a great opportunity to bring our community together and celebrate one of Vietnam’s wonderful traditions.  It gives me so much pleasure seeing the children arriving at school in their colourful ao dais, and the delight on their faces as they watch the spectacular dragon dance.

Moon Festival 2019 - BIS HCMC

The festivities outside were soon followed up by the first assembly of the day for the F1, F2 and F3 children.  Thank you to all the parents who were able to join us for the event; having you there always makes it so much more special for the children.  Our youngest children were mesmerised by the fabulous singing and dancing from our Year 1 and Year 2 children. 

It was a similar picture in the afternoon when the dancers performed once again for the children in Year 1 and Year 2, and their parents.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms Phuc (our assistant head teaching assistant) and the team who worked so hard to make this such a super event for all our community.  Ms Vy, our Vietnamese Coordinator, shares more details and photos in this post:

Moon Festival Celebration 2019

Welcome to Ms Eileen and Ms Siao Tong


My name is Eileen Nonis and I’m very excited to be working as a Learning Support teacher at BIS! I am in Vietnam with my two children, Erin, who is in Year 6 and Jake, who is in Year 3. We have spent the last few weeks in a whirlwind, finding our feet, both in Ho Chi Minh and at BIS; the common consensus, as a family so far though, is that we think we’re going to love our experience in Vietnam!

I am originally from a small town in Yorkshire, Ilkley, which is famous for stunning moorland and a famous song! I have been a teacher for 14 years, first being inspired to teach as a small child when I got my first A4 lined pad and realised that I enjoyed taking the register for my toys, and then as I reached early adulthood being inspired by some of my amazing teachers. I taught in London for the first 10 years of my career, predominantly in Key Stage Two. Whilst in London, I developed an interest in Special Needs and was SENCo at two schools. Other than teaching in London, I have taught in Cairo, in Egypt, which was my first international experience, and in Yorkshire.

When I am not working, I love playing netball, reading, hiking and travelling to new places with my family!

Siao Tong

I am Malaysian Chinese and was raised on the great island of Borneo, the second biggest rainforest in the world. My grandparents were from China, they moved to Borneo about 80 years ago. I have always enjoyed working with children; I even started to teach when I was 10 years old as a volunteer with the Early Years children. I love the Chinese culture so I have learnt to play Chinese instruments, perform cross talk (ask me about this and I will happily explain), do traditional dance and calligraphy. I went to Shanghai University where I learned about the culture even more deeply.

Most recently, I was a teacher in British School of Kuala Lumpur for seven years.  I really enjoyed teaching the students about the language and the culture there. Teaching traditional folk dance is one of my favourite things to do in the school. I am so impressed with Vietnam because the culture here is very similar to China; I do love languages and I hope I will be fluent in Vietnamese soon.

First Aid Community Talk

CPR Workshop 2019 - BIS HCMC

When you join the British International School, you join a community.  The PTG provides many opportunities to get involved with activities that benefit the children, and those which simply bring parents together – you can read about the ‘Newcomers’ Orientation Bus Tour’ in the PTG section of the Weekly Update.  The school also provides regular coffee mornings where members of staff share about a variety of subjects; there is an English Workshop for EY&I parents coming up on the 19th September in the EY&I Sports Hall at 8:30am.  We also host community talks from external organisations. Follow the link below to find out about the First Aid Community Talk that took place this week:

First Aid Community Talk

Following on from the success of the first of our Community Talks, the second of our hands on workshops focusing on First Aid will be given in collaboration with Family Medical Practice and will be run again in Vietnamese.

Wednesday 25th September- First Aid Workshop (Vietnamese)

If you would like to sign up for this workshop, please sign up via CHQ.

Watch out for further talks in English and Vietnamese planned in October, November and December.

Supporting the Learning of Modern Foreign Languages at Home


The teaching of modern foreign languages (MFL) at BIS begins in F3.  On a termly basis, the children learn French, Spanish and Mandarin from our specialist team; Ms Sophie, Ms Fiorella and Ms Siao Tong.  This continues throughout the children’s time in the Early Years and Infant Campus, so by the time the children are ready for Juniors, they are also ready to choose a language to specialise in. 

One of the keys to learning any language is learning the vocabulary.  In this post, Ms Sophie explains how you can support your child at home:

Supporting the Learning of Modern Foreign Languages at Home

World Clean Up Day

World clean up

We're hosting our second annual World Clean Up Day Event on Saturday 21st September between 8.45am and 11.30am and we'd love for you to join us. At BIS we believe in Thinking Global and Acting Local, and cleaning up our area of Thao Dien is just one small pledge that we have made as part of the Clean Up Vietnam initiative. If everyone in our community takes part then just think of what can be achieved!

Not only will you be doing your bit towards cleaning up our planet you'll also gain House Points for participation which count towards the House Points total for the year. In fact, the more family members and friends you bring along, the more points you'll receive.

There will also be other activities taking place, including a rubbish sort and plastic cleaning, and eco-friendly items and refreshments for sale. We'll be collecting plastic separately to use in our plastic shredder as part of our Precious Plastic project; find out more by following this link:  

The clean-up will be managed in small teams with a staged leaving time:

  • Group A will meet by 8.45am to leave at 9.00am
  • Group B will meet at 9.15am to leave at 9.30am
  • Group C will meet at 9.45am to leave at 10am

Please be on time for the Group you select as there will be a safety briefing before you leave.

Please note: we have a small number of clean-up kits available to borrow, however we strongly recommend that you bring your own gloves (gardening style, not plastic or rubber) and tongs for picking up the rubbish.

Children from our Primary Campuses must be accompanied by an adult. Though we have a number of BIS staff attending the event they will be taking part in the event themselves.

Please sign up using this form. If you are signing up as a family or group then please only complete one form and add all of the names in the relevant question section.

We look forward to seeing you on the 21st!

The Clean Up Vietnam Team

Co-Curricular Activity (Clubs)

All club allocations have now been finalised.  The deadline for payment was today, Friday 13th September at 4pm.  If payment was not received by this time, then your child will have been removed from the club.

For any questions regarding clubs, please visit Ms Van in the main office or email her on

Thank you,

Ms Mary

Dates for your Diary...

19/9/19 - English Workshop for Early Years and Infant Parents @ 8:30am in the EY&I Sports Hall

19/9/19 - PTG Social

23/9/19 - Term 1 clubs begin
23/9/19 - Vietnamese classes begin
25/9/19 -
First Aid Workshop (Vietnamese)

27/9/19 - HoPE Conference

24/9/19 -Vietnamese Coffee (Juniors) - Class and country rep meeting

29/9/19 – BBGV Run

3/10/19 - EAL Parent Workshop

10/10/19 - PTG pot luck lunch EYI

14/10/19 - EY&I Specialist Open Classrooms
16/10/19 - Intl Week Meeting
18/10/19 - EAL Parent meeting Pre JC

18/10/19 – Term 1.1 ends @2.50pm


Health and Safety

Safeguarding Training

Safeguarding Training 2019 - BIS HCMC

All our staff, including teachers, teaching assistants, guards, cleaners and admin staff complete training to ensure that all children feel safe and secure at school, and are protected from harm.  On each of the campuses, the deputy head teacher has the title, designated safeguarding leader (DSL), which means they have overall responsibility for safeguarding children. On the Early Years and Infant Campus, this is Ms Mary McAloon.

Over forty delegates gathered at the Early Years and Infant Campus on Thursday to receive Level 3 Safeguarding Training, which is for members of staff who have positions of responsibility (including the DSLs) when it comes to safeguarding.  Sean O’Neill, who is the DSL at the Secondary Campus, explains more about the training:

Safeguarding Training


Clubs will begin on Monday 23rd September.  Please be sure to check your child’s schedule and alter the required pick up times accordingly.  If, for any reason, your child will not participate in their club on a particular day, we ask for you to visit the club teacher on that day to inform them of your child’s absence.

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.

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

Be Involved...


PTG Bus Tour 2019 - British International School Parents

Primary PTG Update: 13/09/2019

Community Choir

BIS Community Choir

If you enjoy singing and would like to join the Community Choir, rehearsals start very soon:

  • Thursday 19th September 7am in the Secondary Theatre
  • Friday 20th September 1:15pm in Room 110, Junior Campus

We will be performing at the Christmas Concerts in December.

And Finally…

Community has been mentioned several times in this update, and I would like to thank all the parents who attended the Parent Teacher Student Conferences (PTSCs) on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  Building relationships is at the heart of any community, and I know that the teachers have really appreciated the time to get to know you a little better and to discuss how your child will continue their educational journey this year.

Please remember, if you would like to discuss anything regarding your child’s education, you do not need to wait until the next PTSCs (which will be at the beginning of Term 2); all our teachers are always ready to meet with you.  Additionally, if you would like to discuss matters of a whole school nature, Ms Mary, Ms Sarah and myself are available; simply contact Ms Van ( to arrange a meeting.

Have a relaxing and wonderful weekend,

Ian Battersby

Head of the Early Years and Infant Campus