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Mr Ian Battersby: Weekly Update 21/01/2022

Ian Battersby
Ian Battersby (112 posts) Head Teacher, Early Years and Infant Campus View Profile

The global pandemic has had an impact on everyone’s lives.  We have had to adjust to wearing facemasks, isolating in our homes, travel restrictions and, of course, online learning.  The children coming on site this week for their class visits is another step to the reopening of the campus and a return to a degree of normality.

We have been working with the Department of Education and Training (DOET) and the Ministry of Health to ensure the campus is as safe a place as we can make it when the children return after Tet.  In order to protect our school community there are a number of procedures that all parents need to know and follow.  Below, there is a long section written by Mr Chris and Ms Sarah, along with Mr Gareth Wills from the Secondary Campus, outlining what parents must do at home and what will happen in school.  Please take time to read this carefully.  As they say, it is everyone’s responsibility to help keep the community safe.

The practical response to dealing with Covid is only one aspect of our preparations.  We are aware of the impact that isolating at home for 8 months will have had on some children’s mental health, so Ms Sarah, our learning support leader, and Ms Saskia, our school counsellor, have written some guidance on how you can support your child as they prepare to return. Again, I urge you to take some time to read this and act on their advice with your children.

It’s OK to feel worried about going back to school


Your child might be excited and eager to get back to face-to-face learning and seeing their teachers and friends. They might also feel uncertain, worried or anxious about catching up on learning, fitting back into friendship groups and coping with a school routine.

It is NORMAL for your child to experience some of these feelings:

Sadness, anger, needing reassurance, changes in sleep or appetite, having a stomach ache. They may have difficulty falling asleep the night before school, or be slow to get ready in the morning.


On returning to school they:

  • may be very tired
  • overwhelmed by the noise
  • overwhelmed by the number of people around them
  • they have to learn to socialise face-to face again
  • they may have less movement breaks
  • have to focus for longer periods of time
  • have to climb stairs
  • pack and carry a school bag


So, how can you help your child?
  • Even if you have worries too - be confident, enthusiastic and calm about your child going back to school. This sends your child the positive message that they’ll cope and have fun when they get back into the school routine.
  • Tune in and listen to your child’s feelings about returning to school, and let them know that their feelings are OK. For example, ‘It’s OK that your brother is excited and you’re nervous’. Tell them what you do to calm down when you are nervous
  • Let your child know it’s OK to feel nervous or uncertain about returning to school, but reassure them that they’ll get through it. For example, ‘It’s OK to feel unsettled – it’s another big change’, ‘A lot of kids will be feeling the same as you’ or ‘The teachers will tell you what to do’. Together find one positive about being at school.
  • Help your child reconnect with their classmates. For example, you could organise a playdate  before the first day back, or practise lunchtime conversations.


  • Getting used to noise and crowds can help prevent them becoming overwhelmed when returning to school. Use the Tet holiday to spend time with wider groups of family or friends, visit supermarkets and parks.
  • Give your child some control. For example, let them choose a new pencil case or decide what they want to do after school.
  • If your child has become used to being alone  more often, that is Ok. Encourage them to bring a book or some colouring in their school bag, so that they can read quietly at breaktime, if they need a rest.
  • Ask your child’s class teacher where your child can go when they need to be quiet.


  • Plan some exercise for each day to help with stairs and PE.
  • If they are feeling anxious the day before school, do something fun with them- watch a movie, bake a cake, practice yoga, read a book, play football.


  • Remember it will take time for your child to readjust to being back at school and that is OK- they may need breaks, feel tired, or need to be alone.


(Thank you to NHS Scotland, NHS Sheffield and The Australian Parenting Network for some of these resources)

Ms Sarah, Primary Learning Support Leader and Ms Saskia, School Counsellor


Copy of 271281212_1144929712712183_8113528217486954506_n

At BIS we have a strong commitment to our teachers’ continued professional learning, as well as research and evidence from our own school impacting on the way we do things in BIS. We’re proud of our Nord Anglia Education partnership with King's College London, one of the top universities in the world.  Each year, teachers can apply for a place to study on the Masters in Education programme.

Teachers study online in weekly seminars, engage by reading research articles and text books on issues relating to international education, form a network with teachers from other Nord Anglia schools around the globe to share best practice and write assignments. The programme culminates in a 12,000 research-based dissertation. For the last two years, Covid-19 has impacted on the ability to travel to London to celebrate and take part in graduation ceremonies, so this weekend the ‘students’ hosted a graduation celebration for the Classes of 2020 and 2021.

We’re proud of their commitment to learning, to them as role models for adults continuing to learn and to see research carried out in our own school to benefit teaching, learning and our school community. Well done students!

VinaCapital Foundation's Heartbeat Vietnam Program


We are a group of Year 12 students, and we would like to introduce you to our IBDP CAS Project in collaboration with VinaCapital Foundation's Heartbeat Vietnam program.

Since 2006, Heartbeat Vietnam has funded life-saving heart surgeries for more than 8,900 children, providing them with pre-treatment and post-operative care which includes nutritional support, travel fees, health check-ups, as well as scholarships to help them remain in school.

In Vietnam alone, approximately 16,000 children are born with congenital heart defects every year, ranging from milder conditions to more serious ones which prove to be fatal. Without surgery or intervention, these children will have a poor quality of life along with inadequate mental and physical development.

We hope to raise awareness about this problem in Vietnam and collectively raise money to help Heartbeat Vietnam save the lives of more children with these conditions in this country. For every 28 million VND, or 1200 USD, Heartbeat Vietnam will be able to provide a life-saving heart operation for a child.

We will be taking donations via bank transfer using the following details:

Beneficiary's name: The VinaCapital Foundation

Beneficiary's account number: 007 100 478 0103 (VND)

Bank name: Vietcombank - HCMC Branch

Bank address: 8 Nguyen Hue St., Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Swift code: BFTVVNVX007

Transfer Note: Heartbeat BIS - [Name] - [Phone number]

Donations of any amount would be greatly appreciated and will help us achieve our goal: to save the life of at least one child.

We would like to invite you to visit our recently launched Instagram page (@heartbeatbishcmc) to find out more about this project.

 Thank you for your support.

Sean Sia 12C

Parent Satisfaction Survey

Your feedback is so essential for whole school matters.  Our strategic plan is not fixed; one thing the pandemic has taught us is the importance of agility in school leadership.  We have had to adjust our priorities according to the current circumstances. Moving forward, we need your feedback to help us to adjust our priorities for the ‘new normal’.

Please take a moment to complete the survey as we work together to make BIS an even better place for our children to learn.

Here is the link:

2021- 2022 Parent Satisfaction Survey


Dates for Your Diary...

Dates for Your Diary

27/01 - 13/02/22             Tet Holiday

14/02/22                          Term 2.2 Begins

01/03/22                              Book Day at BIS

24/03/22 - 30/03/22        EY&I School photos

Term Dates 2022-2023

Term Dates 21-22



Health and Safety

Welcome Back!

We are so excited that we will soon be able to welcome our Primary students back to BIS HCMC, and we are certain you will share our enthusiasm. Contained in this message are some expectations we have before the return to school in order to keep our community safe, but also some guidance on how to keep your family as safe as possible outside of school. There will be a ‘Parent Back to School Webinar’ at 11am on Friday 11th February 2022 - details to be shared closer to the event.

Return to school timeline:

Further guidance will come from the Principal’s Office.


Keeping our Campuses safe:

When we return, a community approach to risk reduction is vital. Research tells us that no single preventative method is enough, and instead we look at a Swiss cheese model where multiple layers greatly reduce transmission.


Visiting Campus

Parents can only visit the campus with a confirmed appointment from a member of staff. Without a confirmed appointment you will not be able to proceed and will be asked to return on another day. On either Campus, you will need to enter through Gate A and sign in. At this stage, the duty guard will ask you to show your PC Covid App or a copy of your double vaccination certificates. Please have these ready.

Keeping safe when out and about:

Please ensure you are following the guidance of the Ministry of Health 5K. In short, these are:


  1. Wear a mask - Ensure a mask is worn whenever you are in contact with members outside your immediate family.
  2. Disinfect hands often - especially after returning from trips outside your household.
  3. Do not gather
  4. Keep your distance - >2m outdoors and >1m indoors
  5. Declare Health

ministry health poster_FINALSymptoms of Covid-19:      

12If you or your child have any symptoms indicated on the cart, please do not send your child to school; seek medical assistance if required.

It is recommended that you keep a number of Rapid Antigen Test kits at home, so that easy monitoring of symptoms is possible. We also suggest that regular testing is conducted regardless of symptoms due to the common asymptomatic nature of young children if the Covid virus is present.

How symptoms typically present:


It is the role of all in our community to ensure we are reducing the possibility of transmission whilst on campuses, so please ensure you notify your Campus office/reception immediately if a positive test is returned.

Early Years and Infant Campus: Ms Palm Dabassawinee.W@bisvietnam.com

Junior Campus: Ms Ngoc n.le@bisvietnam.com

Returning to School:

Prior to returning to school, all students will be expected to produce a negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) result, as well as a full Health Declaration which will be emailed to all parents leading up to re-opening. It is vital that the RAT is completed effectively, and that results can be confirmed. For guidance on how to conduct a RAT, please carefully watch the following video using the FlowFlex RAT kits we use at BIS HCMC. All kits follow similar instructions, but please read included instructions carefully before use.

Video guidance: https://youtu.be/9ShFIzJtaT8




Students/Staff returning to school from overseas

The expectations for those returning to Vietnam from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Immigration have changed considerably since 2021. To provide a clearer understanding of what the expectation is for those families returning to HCMC from overseas, the following table has been created by the school. The current expectations are:



Double Vaccinated

Unvaccinated (including 1 Vaccine)

Arrival in Vietnam




Days 1-3

Days 1-7


Day 3

Days 3 and  7

Negative result returned

Day 4

Day 8

Return to school

Day 5

Day 9

A Positive Case at Home:

If you or a family member living in the same household has a covid positive case, you should not be coming on campus until the family member who tested positive has received a negative PCR result. It is vital that the School is notified immediately upon receiving a positive result so that contact tracing is possible. If in the case a positive result is returned, please inform your Campus Reception through the emails above. Before returning to Campus, inform the school of your negative PCR result and ensure  your child returns a negative Rapid Antigen Test. Again, it is vital you inform school immediately of a positive case in your family.

Looking forward to seeing you all VERY soon!

Uniform Shop

For parents who wish to exchange uniforms next week at the uniform shop (in the EY&I Canteen), please ensure that you have the Covid PC App on your phone so you can show the guards your green QR code upon entry to the campus.  Masks must be worn at all times and we ask that you adhere to the guidelines laid out at school.   A reminder, uniforms must still have the tags on if you want to exchange.

 You can sign up for a time to visit the uniform shop by clicking on this link:

 Uniform Shop Appointment Sign Up


And Finally…

Tet 2022 Banner

The Lunar New Year is almost upon us.  We look forward to the upcoming celebrations, and although we cannot have a Tet Fair in the Sports Hall, Ms Thanh and her team of teaching assistants have done a wonderful job in preparing the Tet bags for everyone.  Our virtual ‘Tet Fair’ will take place on Monday 24th January so we hope that the children will enjoy discovering what is in their lucky red bags.

On Wednesday 26th January we will have Tet assembly online, so we encourage everyone to dress in their ao dai for the day. 

I hope you have a lovely weekend,

Ian Battersby