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Ms Deirdre Grimshaw: Weekly Update 12/03/2021

Deirdre Grimshaw
Deirdre Grimshaw (104 posts) Head Teacher, Junior Campus View Profile

What makes a school? Children’s laughter, excited shouts in the playground, smiling faces in the classroom, busy chatter at desks, heads bent in concentration, teachers engaging with students. 

This has all been evident this week across the classes. In Year 6 the children have been exploring and writing their own ‘Tales of Fear’. Just hearing some of their ideas, sent shivers down my spine and I am looking forward to reading their final versions.  Our Year 5 students have been busy growing plants and it is certainly very green in their classrooms! Perhaps we have some budding gardeners in our midst.  In our International Primary Curriculum (IPC), the focus in Year 4 is on Explorers. Year 4 students have been studying early explorers, looking at maps and imagining what those first journeys must have been like.  Our Year 3 students have also been hard at work, building on their Talk for Write unit and writing their own Iron Man Challenge.  In addition, specialist teachers have also been engaging with wonderful lessons, T- Ball, creating adverts using Green screen, writing their own songs and performing them in Music and much, much more.

Dipping into classrooms, it is wonderful to see the amazing learning and teaching taking place. Please do log in to seesaw to see what your children have been up to and take some time this weekend to ask your children about their week at school.

Digital Citizenship Reminder from Mr Chris

After the year that we have had, us here at BIS HCMC Primary have been extremely proud of the way that the needs of our students have been met whilst online. The Virtual School Experience was very positive last month, and the responses we’ve had from our parent community were unanimously supportive. It was clear that we have adapted so incredibly well in these times of uncertainty and all of you, our school community, must be applauded for that. Well done!

What was made apparent, however, was the need for us to once again follow up on the expectations that our community have around the area of digital citizenship, and ensuring our students are staying safe online. With the increased usage of digital devices to access content, the threat to our online safety rises. It is the responsibility of all those in our community to pull together in this regard, and in my role as the safeguarding leader at the Junior Campus, I see this as a combined approach between home, school and our students. We always use the line, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, but in the digital world, this is particularly the case. One of the most basic of first steps that you can take as parents, is to be fully engaged in what is happening in the digital world your child visits; regardless of whether that is online learning, game playing, using social media or visiting websites. Have a rule in your household that all access to the internet is done in an area of your home that is open and easily observable. One of our biggest concerns is the use of technology behind closed doors, such as in a bedroom, where online behaviours cannot be easily seen. There should be no secrets within a family in this regard.

Another concern is the use of social media sites such as Facebook, TikTok and messaging apps such as Discord. It is wise to keep in mind that platforms such as these have a minimum age of 13 before children should be able to access legally, and that defining age is there for a reason. Before the full development of the frontal lobe of our brain (where it is believed that the decisions about what is right and what is wrong are made) occurs in late teenage years, young students often find it difficult to understand the full implications of their actions. This leads to poor decisions being made by younger children, even if the intention was not to cause hurt or harm. If you do allow your child to use such sites, it is always good practice to ensure you regularly monitor their use, and even have the condition that you must be a member of their friendship group on these platforms. A large percentage of the concerns that get passed to me are through the use of such sites. That does not mean you should ban or remove the use of these sites by your child, but more to be aware yourself and educate your loved ones on just how easy it is to misuse these. The following suggestions are shared with anyone that asks either myself or Mr Luke, who shares the Digital Citizenship responsibility with me:

  • Talk to your child about online safety, how he/she interacts online, and your expectations of his/her behaviour.
  • Regularly monitor what your child posts online, his/her offline behaviour, and his/her overall wellbeing.
  • Review security and privacy notices on Websites that your child frequents.
  • Encourage your child to report online threats to yourself, their teacher, Mr Luke and I, or another trusted adult.

This post is not to declare that the world online is necessarily dangerous, but more to point out the need to be constantly aware of our roles in the BIS HCMC community in keeping our children safe. The website, Common Sense Media, is a wonderful tool for parents and educators and I would like to draw your attention to it. It really is a wonderful tool!

If you have any questions please pass them my way on Christopher.mckelvie@bisvietnam.com and keep a look out for the upcoming date of our Virtual Workshop in early April for Parents where we will try to answer some of your questions and also provide more guidance in the areas you might need it.

FOBISIA Short Story Competition


In assembly today, we shared details of the FOBISIA Short Story competition winners. A brilliant standard of work and lots of entries, made the judges decision extremely difficult.  Find out more in this article by Mr John Lee.

Health and Safety

COVID Procedures at the Junior Campus

Key points to remember are:

  • If your child is sick with a cough, temperature or cold, please keep them off school. Please notify Ms Nhi  Nhi.Mai@bisvietnam.com  028 3744 4551 in the office and their class teacher of their absence.
  • Temperature checks on arrival. Students coming to school with a temperature above 37.8 degrees celsius will be checked twice more and if their temperature is still high, parents will be asked to take them home.
  • Masks must be worn at all times, except in classrooms.  All children should have their own mask and a spare, preferably labelled with their name. If you would prefer that your child continues to wear a mask in the classroom, we are very happy to accommodate this.
  • Year 3 and 4 Students to enter through Gate A
  • Year 5 and 6 Students to enter through Gate B
  • Bus children to enter via Gate C
  • All parents must wear a mask on site and will only be allowed to come on site at the end of the day to pick up children from the designated areas, (small field Year 3 - 5 and basketball court, Year 6). All parents should enter through Gate A and exit through Gate B.
  • Parents must have an appointment if they need to come on site at any other time.  Please email or call Ms Nhi. Nhi.Mai@bisvietnam.com  028 3744 4551

Term 2 Dates

15 – 19/3/21      FOBISIA Online Maths Competition

31/3/21               Bring your own IPad Webinar 4pm

18/3/21                Virtual Headteachers’ Coffee Morning

15/04/21              Science Day at Primary

16/04/21              Term 2 ends @ 11.50am

And Finally…

Next week we will have a Virtual Headteacher’s Coffee Morning. Taking place on Thursday 18th, at 9am, Mr Ian and myself will be online to update you on campus developments, school strategic planning and our recent parent survey.

If you would like to attend this virtual coffee morning, please click here.

We will email the link to the meeting the day before (Wednesday 17th March) so please sign up before then.

Have a safe and relaxing weekend,

Deirdre Grimshaw, Headteacher of the Junior Campus