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Ms Deirdre Grimshaw: Weekly Update 11/09/2020

Deirdre Grimshaw
Deirdre Grimshaw (87 posts) Head Teacher, Junior Campus View Profile

Student Leadership begins at the Junior Campus with new roles and responsibilities for many of students.

Dee's article 1109

Dee's article 1109

It was wonderful to welcome so many parents on site once more to visit their children’s classrooms and hear about the year ahead at our Parents Information Evening on Wednesday. We look forward to seeing you all again this week for your children’s Parent Teacher Student Conferences.  More details below.

This week our student leadership began in earnest.  With the election of our House Captains, they join our very able Student Council Executive Committee in leading student leadership on the Junior Campus.  Student Voice in a school is integral to its success and we are delighted to have wonderful student ambassadors in a variety of roles across the whole campus and from every class.  Roles include Eco Warriors, Canteen Monitors, Playground Monitors, Class Student Council Reps and House Captains.  Each play an important part in driving our school forward and ensuring student voice is heard.  My thanks go to all children that volunteered, interviewed and are carrying out these roles.  There will be changes to positions each term to allow as many children as possible to take part and have their voice heard. 

House Captain Interviews at the Junior Campus.

Student leadership 1

Find out more about the House Captain interviews and the process the students went through in this article by Mr Mike Martin, Year 6 Leader

MFL – How to help your child at home

MFL 1109 3

Our students at the Junior Campus are all very lucky to be learning a language with one of our MFL teachers.  To support them, the teachers have put together a list of useful websites that children can use at home. Find out more in this post by Ms Sophie Tighzer, MFL Subject Leader.

New Teacher Profiles

We would like to welcome all of our new staff to the school. This week we introduce Mr Oliver Dowden, Year 6 Teacher and Ms Ann Harvey, PE teacher.

A chat with Mr Oliver Dowden, Year 6 Teacher

Oliver Dowden

Pick the first 3 words you think of when I say Vietnam:  

Home, family and beaches. 

What are your first impressions of BIS?  

My first thought was ‘Wow!’ due to the scale and size of the school. Then I was so happy to receive such a warm welcome from all the staff in the school across the campuses; this confirmed to me I was working at the right place. Since then, I have been so impressed with the organisation of the school, the sense of pride within the BIS community and of course, the wonderful students at BIS. 

What new experience have you had since you arrived in Vietnam? 

I have been lucky enough to live in HCMC, Vietnam for over 7 years but in this city, each day brings new experiences. My newest experience has been navigating my way through the District 2 traffic on the way home from work following heavy rains. I am trying to learn the quickest, least flooded route to make it home. 

I have also really enjoyed meeting the BIS security team who keep our school safe every day. They do a fantastic job and they always make the effort to say, ‘good morning!’ and ‘good evening!’ as I enter and leave the school. It is always a great wat to start and finish my day. 

If you were writing a postcard to friends back home, what would it say? 

I miss you all! I hope I will see you all again soon. I am not sure when or where it will be but know that I am thinking of you all. I cannot wait for you to see how our daughter has grown. I cannot wait to see how all your children have grown. When we finally get together, I will tell you all about my wonderful new school and all the fantastic staff and students who I get to spend each day with. I am so looking forward to hearing all about how life has been for you since we last saw each other (July 2019). 

Stay safe, keep in contact with each other (that helps me a lot) and know that me and the family are thinking of you. 


A chat with Ms Ann Harvey, PE Teacher 

Ann PE

Pick the first 3 words you think of when I say Vietnam:

The first 3 words I think of when someone says Vietnam are; friendly, independent and busy!

What are your first impressions of BIS?

My first impression of BIS was that it was so welcoming. From the moment we had our first Quarantine Inset, to the day I walked on campus, I felt looked after and part of a big family. The children are friendly, positive and so polite and the facilities are fantastic.

What new experience have you had since you arrived in Vietnam?

I have had a range of new experiences since I arrived in Vietnam. I think the ones that stick with me the most include, The traffic! Coming from a fairly small city with pedestrian crossings, learning how to cross the roads here was most certainly an experience! I have also experienced the friendliness of the local people, whenever I am struggling to do something, there is always someone there to offer a helping hand!

If you were writing a postcard to friends back home, what would it say?

If I was to write a postcard home it would say:

‘Safely out of Quarantine, enjoying all the sites HCMC has to offer. Bitexco Skydeck has been my favourite so far. School has started well; everyone is so friendly! Looking forward to exploring the city and the country some more!’

Parent Teacher Student Conferences (PTSCs)

Thank you to all the parents that have signed up to come to the PTSCs next week on Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th September.  All meetings are in person, in your child’s classroom, with your child, unless you have specifically requested a Virtual meeting. Sign up is still open and your log in details were sent in an email to you on Tuesday 8th September.  We look forward to seeing you next week.

Co-Curricular Activity (Clubs)


Please note that the deadline for club payments has now passed.  All clubs are now finalised and no further changes can be made.  We thank you for your cooperation with this. We need to ensure club lists organised for our club providers and for Health and Safety.  Please be aware that Clubs begin on the Junior Campus on Monday September 21st 2020.

Health and Safety

Drop Off and Pick Up arrangements

Sincere thanks to everyone for your support in adhering to the guidelines for drop off and pick up. In the afternoons for those exiting through Gate C, please do not cross the road to the secondary campus there.  Please go to Gate B where guards will assist you.  Please note that parents cannot cross the bridge at this time as parents are not allowed in to the secondary campus. Thank you for your cooperation.

PTG Updates

Our PTG Volunteer Coordinators (from L-R): Gayatri, Lily, Pamela, Jana, Ai, Vivian and Thomas (not in the photo)

Our Primary PTG group have had a number of meetings already and are finalising class and country reps.  Next Tuesday 15th September they will meet with all Junior Campus class and country reps.  Find out more in their weekly update by clicking HERE.

Thao Dien Clean Up Day 2020

World CleanUp Day 2020

On Saturday 19th September BIS HCMC will once again be cleaning up Thao Dien as part of World CleanUp Day

There are two ways that you can join our clean-up event: come along and join us on Saturday, or run your own clean-up in your local area.

To join us on Saturday at BIS please follow this link for sign-up and input this code: CL34NB1S

We have limited the number of attendees in each 45 minute time slot and you will be asked to select the time that you wish to attend. You can of course keep going longer if you wish. Please make sure that any primary students are accompanied by a supervising adult at all times; our staff will be joining the clean-up as participants and not as supervisors.

Primary PTG Update: 11/09/2020

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 

Dates for your diary

15.9.20 – Junior Campus PTG Class and Country Rep Meeting  (Registration required)

16/9/20 - Parent teacher student conferences

17/9/20 - Parent teacher student conferences

21/9/20 – Term 1 clubs begin

30/9/20 - Young Musician Semi Final

1/10/20 - Moon Festival Assembly Juniors Campus Parents of performers only.

2/10/20 – Junior Campus Dragon Dance  - Students only

1/10/20 - Moon Festival Assembly EY&I – Parents of performers only.

6/10/20 - Young Musician Final @BVIS

And Finally…

Please ensure that your children attend the Parent Teacher Student Conferences with you next week.  Moving forward as a team is key to your child’s success.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Dee Grimshaw, Headteacher, Junior Campus