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First stop quarantine, second stop BIS!

At BIS, HCMC, we have welcomed, and continue to welcome, new students whose first stop in Vietnam has been quarantine, and second stop has been BIS! How do our students feel about this demanding transition?

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Under normal circumstances, joining a new school can be challenging and it is expected that a transition period is required before students feel settled. However, imagine starting a new school after an extended period of home learning and missing the usual opportunities to say good bye to friends and teachers. Imagine having to move to a new country and settle in to a new home as well as a new school. Sounds difficult, right? On top of all that, imagine having to quarantine for 2 weeks! We are so proud of our students who walked out of quarantine straight into BIS, and we are delighted that some of our recently arrived students have shared their experiences with Ms Jude, Year 5 Leader.

We are delighted to welcome new students and families to Year 5 and we understand it can be tricky to settle in a new school. Therefore, we have interviewed some of our new students to check how they are settling in and work out how we can best support them. Ms Jude interviewed 4 students who came straight from quarantine to BIS, Musa (5B), Sia (5B), Maya (5S) and Olivia (5H). 
 

What was the hardest thing about quarantine?

Olivia: It was hard staying inside.

Maya: Not having many people to talk to; not having much space to move around.

Musa: Not being able to go out.

Sia: Doing home learning but I liked my hotel and I didn’t feel trapped.

What was the best thing about quarantine?

Olivia: It was easy to call for food and no need to make it for ourselves.

Maya: Spending time with my family as usually my dad travels a lot.

Musa: When it ended. We got out two days earlier than expected!

Sia: At night we watched movies.

How did you feel to finally get to start at BIS on your first day?

Olivia: Good!

Maya: Excited because doing everything online isn’t as much fun. It’s better to interact with other children.

Musa: Happy.

Sia: So happy!

How do you feel you have settled at BIS?

Olivia: Good.

Maya: I think it’s really good here and I have lots of friends.

Musa: Okay. It’s a bit hard to get to know it as it’s a really big building.

Sia: It’s better than my old school as Sports Day is so much fun!

What do you like about BIS?

Olivia: Everyone’s really friendly.

Maya: Lots of things. It’s bigger than my old school. There are more things you can do.

Musa: It’s friendly.

Sia: ‘Let’s Think In English’ lessons.

What have you found challenging at BIS?

Olivia: It’s hard to find my way around and I don’t know everything yet!

Maya: Leaving my other friends behind.

Musa: Making friends.

Sia: When I came we did lots of things like maths groups, English and Enterprise Day and I wasn’t familiar with these things.

What do you miss about your last school?

Olivia: My friends.

Maya: My friends and teachers.

Musa: My old school was smaller and it was easier to know your way around.

Sia: My old school was bigger but I miss my best friend a lot.

Is there anything we can do to help you settle in?

Olivia: Can’t think of anything.

Maya: No.

Musa: No.

Sia: No.

Was it worth spending two weeks in quarantine?

Olivia: Yes.

Maya: Yes.

Musa: No.

Sia: Yes.
 

The Year 5 teachers have been amazed at the incredible levels of resilience, independence and determination these students and others have displayed in order to cope with the challenges presented. The students are already integrating well in their classes with the wonderful support of our school community. Existing students have been demonstrating our Aide Memoire attributes of ‘Care’, ‘Respect’ and ‘Integrity’ in stepping up to be buddies and supporting our new students in numerous ways. It won’t be long before our new students become fully familiar with the routines and expectations at BIS and then they too can step up and become buddies for future new students!

Jude Handscombe, Year 5 Leader

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