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Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 04/12/2020

There are not many schools in the Nord Anglia family that have remained open to children since the start of term.  The Vietnamese authorities have done an incredible job to manage the pandemic; 88 days without a locally transmitted case is some achievement.

On Monday we heard the news that there were two new cases of COVID-19. I have no doubt that the authorities will manage this as efficiently as they have previous cases, and we have our part to play. Our guards and cleaners have done a super job in maintaining the increased hygiene measures throughout the crisis, and will continue to do so. We do, however, need to take extra precautions when it comes to allowing parents and visitors into the school.  If this year has taught us nothing else, it is to be prepared for the unexpected. 

Currently, there is no suggestion that schools should close, but we are ready should that happen;  year groups have planned lessons, and ‘SPLAT Box’ resources are stored ready to be distributed, if we have to do so. 

This week we had to close the doors to parents for our Year 1 production, ‘Penguin Pete’ and the F2 and F3 Sing-a-long.  Thankfully, our marketing team were already prepared so we could go ahead with both events, and parents could enjoy them via a YouTube livestream.  It was great to see, for both events, over 180 people watching live and now over 1000 views from relatives and friends from around the world.

Christmas Events at the EY&I

Year 1 Production: Penguin Pete

Y1 Production 14

Having the confidence to stand on a stage in front of a large audience and perform is a skill we want all our children to have.  It is something they will take with them throughout their lives.  It was wonderful to see the F1 children doing just that on Wednesday morning as they delivered their lines, sang their hearts out and danced to the delight of everyone viewing.  The question everyone was asking was would Penguin Pete make it to the North Pole to meet Santa, and finally get something different for Christmas?

F2 and F3 Sing-a-long

EYFS Sing-a-long 11

For anyone who was not feeling in the Christmas spirit after the Year 1 production, you could not fail to be after enjoying the F2 and F3 Sing-a-long.  The children have been working hard with our music department to learn the songs and they sang with gusto, supported by a very enthusiastic audience of Year 1 and Year 2 children.  Well done to everyone involved and I am so glad this could be shared with loved ones around the world.

Read more about our Christmas Events at the EY&I Campus along with a fantastic photo gallery of the Children looking festive.

Year 2 STEAM Project

Y2 Boat 5

STEAM stands for ‘science, technology, engineering, arts and maths, and refers to an approach to learning that encourages students to think critically, analyse the problem and to be innovative in the way they approach solving a practical problem.  You can click here to find out more about STEAM education and our link to MIT.

The Year 2 children have been tasked with developing a boat that can carry ‘Traction Man’ to safety.  Ms Clare explains more in this article.

The BIS Advent Calendar

BIS Advent Calendar 2020-template-page-001

The period leading up to Christmas is known as advent.  There are many traditions in Christian countries that take place during this period; some light a candle that burns down one section at a time until December 24th, special foods are eaten including chocolate and smoked cod.  A popular tradition in the UK is to have an advent calendar, where a section or a ‘door’ is opened each day through December until Christmas Day itself.

This year, BIS HCMC has its own advent calendar of stories.  Ms Helena, who teaches in Year 1, came up with the idea and invited teachers to record themselves reading a Christmas themed story.  We would like to invite you to join with this tradition, and each day throughout December, you can click on the BIS HCMC Advent Calendar and listen to those stories at home.

You can access the calendar with the links to the stories here:

BIS Christmas Story Advent Calendar 2020

Tet Collection 2021

Tet 2020 Gift Box Poster

Although we have yet to celebrate Christmas, preparations are already underway for the Tet Collection.  Tet, the most important event in the Vietnamese Calendar, is an opportunity for us, as a school, to support those less fortunate in our community.  Due to the success of last year’s Tet Boxes, we will continue with the same tradition this year. Information was shared with all children today at assembly and more information about you can get involved can be found by accessing this post:

BIS Tet Gift Box Collection

Spotlight Magazine #6

As we come towards the end of Term 1, we can look back on all that we achieved.  It has been a challenging but hugely rewarding time as we have seen the children return to school and achieve so much.  Look out next week for the latest edition of Spotlight Magazine, which highlights some of the successes we have seen.SPOTLIGHT_E6 Nov 2020

Comic Book

For this year's Comic Book Competition they are using inspiration from James Foley's graphic novel series S.Tinker Inc and Sustainable Development Goal 13 - taking action to combat climate change.  Please watch this video from James Foley introducing the competition

The challenge is to develop a piece with both a visual and written element, inspired by S.Tinker series by James Foley. However, the elements submitted must be the students original work.  The comic must feature an invention of their choice that can be used to combat Climate Change. Children can chose an existing invention, or use their creativity to create a new one!

Children are allowed to use a maximum of 6 panels for their comic and are allowed between 10-100 words maximum.

Closing date 18th January and more information will be shared through SeeSaw.

Any questions please email Ms Sarah

Dates for Your Diary...

5/12/20                PTG Christmas BISzaar - Postponed

8/12/20                Headteachers’ Coffee Morning - Postponed

8/12/20                Carol concert - Livestreamed from 1.15pm

10-11/12/20        F1 Singalong/ SPLATs Postponed

14/12/20              T2&3 Club Booklet available

15/12/20              Term Finishing at 11.50am at EY&I


Health and Safety

This week we had a planned Lock Down. The purpose of this is to test our procedures and evaluate to see if we can improve. Children were very sensible and followed the policy.

Hand, Foot and Mouth

At this time of year, we often see a rise in the number of cases of hand, foot and mouth disease. Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common childhood illness that can affect adults. It usually clears up by itself in 7 to 10 days.

Symptoms can include:

·       Mouth sores

·       red spots/blisters on the hands and feet that may blister

·       Fever (37.8 and above)

·       Sore throat

·       Loss of appetite (not wanting to eat)

Take steps to keep from getting sick:

·       Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

·       Clean and disinfect dirty surfaces and soiled items.

·       Avoid close contact with sick people, like hugging or kissing.

·       Use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze

·       Bin used tissues as quickly as possible

Staying off school:

Keep your child off school while they're feeling unwell.

Please refer to our Parent Handbook.

For more information about Hand Foot and Mouth Disease please click on the following article and the following NHS article


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

Primary Music Concert – Our Christmas CarolPrimary Winter Concert_Gate banner

Unfortunately, the Primary Music Concert is another event where we have had to change our plans due to the recent COVID-19 cases.  Instead of parents coming to watch, we will be livestreaming the event at 1.15pm on Tuesday 8th December.  Once again, by clicking on the link below, relatives and friends will be able to watch the concert live or at a time that suits them:

Primary Music Concert - Our Christmas Carol


Thank you to our PTG for organising the the Christmas discos on Thursday.  The children had a wonderful time and we really missed your presence.  We look forward to a more detailed report next week.

And Finally…

KirstineAs we near the end of Term 1, we often have a few goodbyes to say, and this year is no exception.  I would like to wish Ms Kirsten, one of our primary admission officers, all the best as she heads home to South Africa. Many of our families will have been welcomed to our school and helped to settle in by Ms Kirsten.  We will certainly miss you and I know I speak on behalf of the BIS community in saying ‘thank you’ for all your hard work, and good luck in your new adventures.

Wishing you a relaxing and enjoyable weekend,

Ian Battersby

Head of the Early Years and Infant Campus