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Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 27/09/2019

Ian Battersby
Ian Battersby (104 posts) Head Teacher, Early Years and Infant Campus View Profile

‘One language sets you in a corridor for life.  Two languages open every door along the way.’  Frank Smith

Young children are so open to learning different languages, and it is wonderful to see them freely switching between languages. 

There are multiple benefits to being bilingual. There is clear evidence that bilingualism increases the brain’s capacity for learning, makes individuals more aware of other cultures, in a competitive job market, gives an advantage over other candidates.  At BIS, we celebrate the rich variety of languages we learn and always encourage parents to speak and read with their children in the ‘mother tongue’ at home. 

Another way we celebrate language is through ‘Language in Focus’.  Led by our English as an Additional Language team, each term we learn about a different language and culture.  Currently we are learning Turkish; you can find out more by visiting our BIS Language in Focus blog.

Vietnamese coffee morning 2

Of course, at BIS, HCMC, we have many children who speak Vietnamese, and this week our Vietnamese lessons began after school.  Vietnamese for Vietnamese nationals continues all the way through school; Ms Vy, our Vietnamese Coordinator, led a coffee morning on Tuesday to explain about the programme that we teach across the two primary campuses.  She explains more in this post:

Vietnamese Coffee Morning

World Clean Up Day

World Clean Up Day - British International School HCMC

It was great to see so many families supporting our Clean-Up Thao Dien last Saturday.  Many bags full of rubbish were collected from the surrounding streets and then separated into plastic and other materials.  This in itself was a job worth doing, but it was also good to hear the conversations with children and local people about why we were picking up rubbish and the importance of looking after our planet.

World Clean-Up Day

Welcome to New Teachers


Mr Shane’s Poem

Dublin, Ireland is where it all began,

Where the streets have no name,

And the Liffey boys swam.

To kicking footballs on the streets,

To coffee shop meets,

After all the spars in All Saint’s ABC,

Something rang clear to me,

New beginnings, new people,

New scenery.

A city so robustly charming,

With the finest cuisine,

My favourite Pho,

I can never say No,

No alarm clocks needed,

As the horns get repeated

And gradually any homesickness depleted.

Ho Chi Minh,

My new flame,

My aul triangle will have to wait,

As this city makes one feel great.

Ms Mary Coughlan


I am Mary and I have just started in the Early Years and Infants Campus in August. I am teaching Year 1 and I am loving it. The kids are fabulous! The Year 1 team are amazing and so helpful, as is everyone else in the school, so I am really loving my experience here. Vietnam is fantastic, I am loving the food and I have survived crossing the roads, despite my first few attempts where I quit half way across and ran back to the footpath!

I love spending my weekends exploring and finding lovely cafes and restaurants. I love to travel and hope to go somewhere new every month! I’m from a big family; 8 of us altogether! I have 4 brothers and a sister who is also here in Vietnam. My family are leaving Ireland and coming over here for Christmas, I’m so excited about spending Christmas in the sun with them!

Thank you everyone for being so welcoming and friendly, I am really excited about the next few years ahead!

How To Support Your Child With Learning Workshop 

There will be a Parent  Workshop  on 4th October at 08.30 at Junior Campus. The workshop aims to provide you with lots of fantastic ideas and practical activities to help your child at home. We will be covering motivation for learning; speaking skills; developing your child’s vocabulary; how to read with your child; and the importance of mother tongue. We look forward to welcoming you next Friday!


Sharing Contact Information

Next Wednesday, we will share the contact information for each class with the new class parent and country reps.  They have been given strict guidelines on how to use contact details including; not sharing contact details with 3rd parties, bcc’ing all on emails and not using contact information for anything beyond class and school information. 

If you would not like to receive communication from the class parent or country rep, please let us know and we will remove you from the contact list.  Please email my PA, Ms Hien, hien.ton@bisvietnam.com with your name, your child’s class and the sentence. Please do not share my contact details with the class parent or country rep. 

Please note that if you opt out of this list, you may miss information with regards to school or class events such as class parties or International Week.  

We thank you for your support of our PTG, our class and country reps and all they do for our school.


Week one of clubs is now complete.  Thank you to all those families who have followed their children’s schedules and been on time for pick up after clubs.  On the days your child has an after school club, we do ask for parents to not visit the classroom at 2:50pm.  We find this can upset the child and is a distraction to getting all the children safely to the club venues.  If you would like your child to have a snack before club, then pack it in their school bag and they can eat it with their class teacher before their club begins.  Parents are only needed to collect their child at the end of the after school club or lesson.

Health and Safety


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.

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.  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

Dates for your Diary...

29/9/19 – BBGV Run – looking forward to seeing everyone there

4/10/19 – How To Support Your Child With Learning Workshop 

8/10/19 – F3 Phonics Workshop

10/10/19 - PTG pot luck lunch EYI

15/10/19 - EAL Parent Workshop for EY&I parents

16/10/19 - International Week Meeting

17/10/19 - EY&I Specialist Open Classrooms

18/10/19 – Term 1.1 ends @2.50pm

Be Involved...

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.

Lin Marsh Choral Day


Thank you to all the parent who attended the meeting for Class and Country Reps on Thursday morning.  We really appreciate your support and know that you will do a fantastic job in helping us organise events for the children and giving them an even better BIS experience.  We are still looking for a few more reps to ensure that every country and class is represented.  More details in the PTG post below:

Primary PTG Update: 27/09/2019

And Finally…

Next week, Ms Van, my PA, will begin her maternity leave.  While she is away, Ms Hien Ton will be covering her role. If you need to contact me or arrange an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact her at hien.ton@bisvietnam.com.  I am sure you will join me in wishing Ms Van a happy and healthy maternity leave, and we look forward to meeting her new baby in the coming months.

Have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend,

Ian Battersby, Head of the Early Years and Infant Campus