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Ms Deirdre Grimshaw: Weekly Update 04/09/2020

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

A busy week here at Juniors including Vietnam National Day Holiday!

Y5 article 0409 5

Early starts and late finishes are becoming the norm once more as children began swim trials, Moon Festival rehearsals and Vietnamese lessons this week.

Ken robison

Sir Ken Robinson, a pioneering educationist, died on August 21st at 70 years old. Robinson long championed the idea that creativity was key in children’s education, going against the popular idea that language and arithmetic are far more important. His Creativity Ted Talk is one of the most watched talks ever with over 67 million views.  One of his most famous anecdotes is a story he heard from a teacher regarding a child in her class that was drawing a picture.  It highlights the confidence and creativity of young children. During the drawing lesson, the young girl was absorbed in drawing a picture of a person.  The teacher asked her who it was and she replied that it was a picture of God.  The teacher was surprised and said, “But nobody knows what God looks like.”, The girl replied, “they will in a minute.” 

One of the reasons I love working at BIS is that we strive to build the confidence of students, encourage their creativity and celebrate their diversity.  It can be tricky to balance curriculum objectives with stimulating lessons and allowing for collaboration and creativity but that never stops us. Our teachers are driven, they are passionate about their students and learning and I am excited to see what this next year brings for all of our students across the primary campuses.  Ken Robinson’s talk is hyperlinked above, if you haven’t already, find a comfy chair, grab a cuppa, take 20 minutes and watch it – it’s well worth it.

Year 5 Mission to Mars

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Last week our Year 5 students joined the race to space! They endured a tough day of astronaut training at our Junior Campus, but did they exhibit the physical strength, stamina and mental agility required to complete the challenges? Find out more in this post from Ms Jude Handscombe Year 5 Leader.

What is Primary PE all about at BIS?

PE lesson PE, Mr G would argue is the favourite lesson of the week for all students. Find out what PE is all about for our students across primary here at BIS, and how we approach it in this post by Mr Simon Grimshaw, PE Leader.

New Teacher Profiles

We would like to welcome all of our new staff to the school. Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing our primary staff to you. We start with Ms Kirstie in Year 4 and Ms Anna our new Music Leader.

A chat with Ms Kirstie Stockley, Year 4 Teacher

Kirstie Sockley

What are the first 3 things that you think of when I say Vietnam?
  1. Delicious food!
  2. A very friendly city and people
  3. Motorbikes!
What are your first impressions of BIS?

Since even before I arrived in Vietnam, the BIS community has been so supportive of me and my husband in our move, especially during such an unusual time. We have been welcomed by the Leadership Team, as well as other teachers, and received many warm wishes from the amazing parent community here at BIS – what more could a new member of staff ask for! Secondly, I am also delighted to be immersed in such an international community and am thoroughly enjoying getting to know the wonderful children in my class and learning about their unique and exciting cultures from them. I love to see their smiles every day and feel lucky that I have the opportunity to continue on their learning journey with them.

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

Since arriving, I have been exploring the city and meeting lots of wonderful new people from all over the world. As a vegetarian, I was excited to learn about vegetarian food here in Vietnam so I have been on a food and culture tour through various districts around the city, discovering secret culinary treasures. It was also my very first time on the back of a bike!

I think it is important, for myself and for the children I teach, to be a lifelong learner and to challenge myself to try new experiences; so I have been to my first Gaelic football training and am using technology to try and learn some Vietnamese phrases too.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of coming to Vietnam?
  1. First and foremost, do it! It is such a vibrant city with lots of activity and energy, and there is so much to explore.
  2. Speak to as many people as you can. Vietnamese people are incredibly friendly, kind and welcoming; there is a fantastic international community to learn from too.
  3. Don’t be afraid to try new experiences! Many aspects of the way of living here may be quite different to those in your home country and this might seem quite daunting; however, Vietnam offers a fantastic way of life so try as many different kinds of food as you can, embrace the fantastic people and culture and stay open minded to the wonderful experiences that the country has to offer.

A chat with Ms Anna Hogan – Music Leader

Anna music

I’m delighted to have arrived in Vietnam and have been overwhelmed by the sense of community at BIS and the kindness and welcome extended to my daughters and myself.

I feel very lucky to have joined a truly thriving department and performing arts team.  It has been a real pleasure to meet my classes and witness the overriding enjoyment of singing together. I believe in the importance of singing not only for the joy and health benefits it can bring but also for the powerful impact it can have upon learning.  The enthusiasm and true engagement of BIS students whilst exploring the world of music in the classroom, in addition to the number of students taking instrumental lessons and wishing to participate in the range of musical activities offered is impressive.

Outside of school we have thoroughly enjoyed the Bánh mì and can’t quite believe how much coffee everyone drinks! We are looking forward to making more connections with our community and exploring this amazing country.

Parents’ Information Evening - Updated information

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you about our ‘Parents’ Information Evening’ for the Junior Campus which will begin at 5pm on Wednesday 9th September.

In a change to what we normally do, we will pre-record the presentation from the leadership team and this will be played in the classrooms at the beginning of the evening instead of a large gathering in the gym.

  • 5pm - 5.15pm - All parents complete a health and declaration form in the playground. Attached to the email with this weekly update is a copy of a form if you would like to fill it in, in advance.
  • 5.15pm - Go to your child’s classroom where there will be an introductory video from our leadership team, followed by a short presentation about what we are wanting to achieve as a school. 
  • 5.30pm - Remain in your child’s classroom. There will be year group specific presentations and a chance, if you have not done so already, to meet your child’s class teacher.  
  • 6.10pm - If you have children in more than one year group, the class presentations will be repeated.

Please make attending this event a priority! Important information will be shared by your child’s class teacher, and you will have a much greater understanding of how you can support your child’s education over the course of the year. In order to ensure we maintain social distancing, if possible, we recommend one parent per child  in each presentation. If you have 2 or more children, we recommend each parent going to one presentation each. 

Parent Teacher Student Conferences (PTSCs)

The first few weeks at school are very much about settling into new classes and routines.  General information will be shared at the Parents’ Information Evening, but there will be an opportunity to have a one-to-one meeting with your child’s class teacher in a few weeks’ time. Please make a note in your diary that the pastoral PTSCs will be taking place on Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th September.  A letter with more details has been sent to you today.

Co-Curricular Activity (Clubs)


Today you will receive email confirmation of your child’s clubs for this term and details on how to pay for ‘paid clubs’. There are 3 options in terms of payment, (1)online payments which can be done as soon as you receive confirmation today of your child’s clubs, (2) cash payments and (3) credit card payment which need to be done in person. (Vietnam issued cards only).

As we are limited to how many parents we can have on site, we will set up payments for Monday 7th, Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th September inside Gate A in the mornings from 8.15am until 9.30am and in the afternoons from 1pm – Any other time is strictly by appointment only.   Thank you for your understanding.

Health and Safety

Child Protection

COVID Precautions

We have been delighted with all of our students responding so well to all the COVID precautions put in place and we thank you the parents for your continued support. 

Please click here to read an important update from Mr Chris with regards to what is expected from our BIS Community in terms of COVID Prevention.

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 Update

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

Our Primary PTG group have been busy behind the scenes and are already setting up activities off site and virtually. Click on this link to access this week’s post from them.  

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

09/9/20 –Parent information Evening Junior Campus 5pm – 6.30pm

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…

Homework begins in earnest this week. Please can we ask you to support your children where necessary and ensure you are reading with them every day.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Deirdre Grimshaw, Headteacher of Junior Campus