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Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 23/10/2020

Ian Battersby
Ian Battersby (75 posts) Head Teacher, Early Years and Infant Campus View Profile

Welcome back! I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing the children telling me about what they have been up to during the holidays, and now we are looking forward to an exciting second half of Term 1 with lots of learning opportunities and events planned.

It has been wonderful to see how quickly the children have settled back into their routines from Fundinotots through to Year 2.  Some classes have begun new topics and been following different interests.  I hope you are following what your child has been learning through Seesaw. 

We are into the second year of using Seesaw. It proved an invaluable tool for communication and learning when we were forced into lockdown earlier in the year, however, we are continuing to develop how we can use Seesaw to provide parents with a greater insight into what happens in the classroom.  In F1, F2 and F3, each post to parents is tagged so you can see which area of the curriculum the children have been engaging in.  For our older children, similar tags identify the different areas of the curriculum that they have been learning about.  This is one of the ways we are looking to develop further in order to keep parents up to date about how their child is progressing at school.

Reporting and PTSCs at Primary Webinar

Another key area in which we look to keep parents informed about progress is through reports and Parent Teacher Student Conferences (PTSCs).  On Thursday evening, we held a webinar where Mr Neil and Ms Sarah shared details about some upcoming changes to the interim reports and the timetable for PTSCs across the year.  You can see the webinar again by clicking on the link below:

Reporting and PTSCs at Primary Webinar

As mentioned in the webinar, we would welcome any feedback about the new report format and/or the schedule for PTSCs.  If you do have comments or suggestions please email either Ms Dee or myself:

Year 1 and 2 Phonics Workshop

Just before the holiday, we held a phonics workshop for our F3 parents. This focused on the very start of the process by which we teach children learn to read and write.  On Thursday, Ms Claire, one of our English leaders, and Ms Gemma, our Year 1 leader, took Year 1 and 2 parents through the next stages of the Read, Write, Inc. process, up to children developing their writing skills.  A few key points to remember:

1. Learning phonics is just one of the skills required for reading.

2. A ‘Questions for Reading Bookmark’, identifying other key reading skills such as retrieval, comprehension and inference, and a pdf with tips to ‘Help Your Child with Reading’ will be shared through Seesaw.  Please use these to help you when sharing a book with your child.

3. At home, if English is not your first language, there is great value in reading books in your home language.

4. Learning to read and write takes time, so always make sure that reading with your child is an enjoyable experience. The research is clear; reading for pleasure results in higher academic achievement, greater success in the workplace and a happier life.

If you were unable to attend the session or would like to look at the presentation again, please click on the link below:

Year 1 and 2 Phonics Workshop Presentation

Primary Maths Update

Maths 15

Building on the learning that takes place in the Early Years Foundation Stage, children from Years 1 to 6 enjoy a broad range of subjects and opportunities, but at the core are English, Maths and Science.  As the children develop the key knowledge, skills and understanding, they are preparing themselves for their next stage in learning in secondary school.  

Our math leaders, Mr Rob, Mr John and Mr Andy give us a bit more insight in this post:

Primary Maths Update

A Busy Start for our Year 1 EAL Learners

The ability to speak more than one language has multiple benefits, not only in the workplace, but also for our younger children in terms of their brain development.  This skill is commonplace amongst students at BIS (some being able to speak three or even four languages).  Many children arrive at BIS with this ability, but for some, additional support is required, in the post below, we can find out what the children in Year 1 have been doing.


A Busy Start for our Year 1 EAL Learners

Central Vietnam Flood Relief Appeal

Flood Relief Appeal Poster

With the recent devastating floods and landslides caused by torrential rain in central Vietnam, the BIS school community mobilised this week to find ways in which to urgently raise much needed financial aid in support of those most affected.  As the death toll continues to rise with more than 111 lives already lost and tens of thousands of people displaced having been forced to evacuate their homes and leave them to be destroyed by rising water, an immediate response was needed! Find out more about what the school has begun to do in this post by Ms Tracey Brownrigg:

Whole School Co-Curricular Coordinator and  Community Service Project Manager

Central Vietnam Flood Relief Appeal

Dates for Your Diary...

05/11/20              EY&I Specialist Open Classrooms @ 8:30am beginning in the Sports Hall

10-13/11/20        F2 & F3 SPLATs

12/11/20              Coffee Morning MFL (Y2 choices)@ 8.30am (tbc)

19/11/20              F1 development day @ EYI sport hall

25/11/20              International Week meeting 2

26/11/20              Moving on Workshop @ BBT

27/11/20              T1 Vietnamese classes finish

29/11/20              T1 Clubs finish

1&2/12/20           Vietnamese and EAL PTSCs

2/12/20                Year 1 Production

3/12/20                EYFS sing along

3/12/20                PTG Disco

5/12/20                PTG Christmas BISzaar

7/12/20                T2&3 Club sign up

8/12/20                Carol concert 6pm@ JC

9-10/12/20          F1 Singalong/ SPLATS

11/12/20              Club sign up end @ 12pm

15/12/20              Term Finishing 12pm


Health and Safety

At this time of year there are a lot of coughs and colds in the community. It is a decision every parent faces regularly: whether or not to keep a sick child home from school. If your child is sick, of course they shouldn’t go to school. Sometimes the decision is clear: your child looks awful and you can’t imagine sitting them up, let alone sending them anywhere. However, sometimes children don’t look so bad and the decision is less obvious.

Please keep your child at home if they exhibit any of the following symptoms;

  • A persistent cough, heavy cold symptoms, or another common but contagious illness.
  • Your child has had any episode/s of vomiting/ diarrhoea in the previous 12-24 hours.
  • They should remain at home for at least 24 hours from the last episode of vomiting and at least 48 hours from the last episode of diarrhoea.
  • If they have a temperature greater than 37.7°C (99.8°F) when they first wake up in the morning. They can return to school when they have been fever free (without fever relieving medications) for at least 24 hours.

For the wellbeing of our school community, if your child is unwell or sick overnight or when they wake in the morning they should be kept at home until they are rested and symptom free for at least 24 hours (48 hours for Diarrhoea).

More information can be found in our Parent Handbook please click here or contact me

COVID Precautions

Just a reminder that all children should wear a mask to and from school, and when not in the classroom (moving between classrooms, playtime, etc.).  Please make sure the mask is named and that your child has a spare in their bag.

Children should be bringing a water bottle to school every day as part of their usual routine, but it is all the more important during the current coronavirus pandemic.  Please make sure that your child brings their water bottle, with their name clearly on it, every day.


If for any reason your child is absent from school, we ask for you to inform the class teacher and email reception You can also inform the receptionists via telephone from 7:30am on the morning of absence.  If your child usually takes the school bus, we would also ask for you to also inform Ms Trang, our bus manager, via email at 

When calling reception please use the telephone number: 

•            Early Years and Infants (EY&I) – 028 3636 0055

Community Choir

community choir

The community choir rehearsals are back this week.  Rehearsals are at 7am on Thursdays in the Secondary Theatre and at 1.15pm in the Junior Campus Multi-purpose room.  All staff and parents welcome. Here is a link to the website with details of forthcoming performances and music we will sing.


WIthout doubt, one of the highlights of the year, for the whole BIS community,  is International Week.  This takes place in January and preparations are already well underway.  Its success depends upon the support of our fabulous parent community, and we want every nation to be represented and celebrated during this time.  This is where you come in.  Find out more in the PTG Update.

Primary PTG Update: 23/10/2020

For more information about the PTG, to connect with us personally, or if you would like to  support as a volunteer, please email us directly on

Thank you for your continued support! 

Primary PTG Coordinators

Secondary PTG Make-Up Demonstration

ptg make up

Dear Parents

The PTG would like to invite you to join a Professional Make-Up Demonstration and a catch-upJust in time for the festive season, Amina – an ex-model and professional make-up artist – will be there to share some hot tips on the most up-to-date styles. 

Event Details: Professional Make-Up Demonstration and catch-up

Date: Friday 30th October

Time: 10.00am to 12.30pm

Venue: Private residence in Thao Dien, address on registration.

Registration: 350,000vnd please pay at the Secondary Campus Reception before Tuesday 27th October 2020.

If you would like to visit the Secondary Campus in person to make payment, please email Katie or Ms Nguyen in advance so that we can help you.

For any other queries, please email the Secondary PTG at

We look forward to seeing you.

Yours sincerely

Gayatri Singh and your PTG team 

And Finally…

Collaboration, communication and community are three watchwords that are central to ensuring that BIS children have the best educational experience possible.  This has been a focus in this week’s update, and I would like to draw your attention to another event that will be happening at the EY&I Campus on Thursday 5th November.  In order to give you a deeper understanding of our specialist provision at BIS, we will be holding another ‘Specialists Open Classrooms’ morning.  Please put that date in your diary - more details to follow next week.

Wishing you a relaxing and enjoyable weekend,

Ian Battersby

Head of the Early Years and Infant Campus