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Principal Weekly Update 16/12/16 from Mr Mark Sayer

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Another term at the British Vietnamese International School, Hanoi has come and gone with alarming speed. The children have be en extremely busy and engaged this term. 

Soft or hard skills?

We have achieved a lot this term.  Just cataloguing the events that have taken place, the school is busy and active on behalf of your children.  Their sense of engagement is palpable as they engage in developing the critical thinking skills necessary for life.  We do indeed bring education to life.  It is ultimately what will make the difference in the future workplace as they learn to think laterally, expansively and deeply.  I have recently written about homework, what we call independent study, and 15 minutes, for example, of dedicated thought time is worth more than an hour of mundane activity that may serve only as a child minder, keeping them busy but not engaging the mind. 

Activities

The Secondary students had their wonderful Sports’ Day, full of competitive enthusiasm and drive.  It was superbly organised and the staff of Mr Wild, Ms Smith and the PE Teaching assistants are to be congratulated, along with all staff who helped on the day.

Dramatic productions at various key stages have filled the final week, from the excellent Secondary production to the Early Years and KS1 performances.  They are full of colour and zest, and increasingly provide the students with the skills they need to thrive.  Andrew Fitzmaurice, the CEO of Nord Anglia Education, writes powerfully about an Arts education in which drama and music prevail.  You can read it here

Catering

We have given children a voice too.  The recent questionnaire regarding catering in both sections highlighted some important opinions and we have held meetings with both catering companies to help them refine their practice.  Variety of menu offerings is an important area for immediate attention but in Years 5 and 6, 75% of students declared the food to be attractively present and tasty with 81% saying the food was nutritious.  In Years 7-12, the figures were a bit more varied but 78% stated the food was nutritious.  We continue to look at variety of menu options with plans for both student council and parent participation in seeing what we do at school.  Students all need to know that they are able to go for more if they wish, so long as they eat what they take.  We will continue to run termly catering surveys for students as it is very important to us to get the feedback from those who are served by the catering companies.
Parents Survey

It is also worth parents bearing in mind that Nord Anglia Education have always been interested in hearing back from parents on their views of the school.  With that in mind I would like to mention that the 2017 Parent Survey will be launched around Tet time to suit busy families.  More in due course on this, but please do respond. Your opinion matters.

Forthcoming events

Term will begin on Wednesday 4th January 2017 for all students.  Tet Fair this year is set for Sunday 15th January.  All will remember the worst winter for 40 years in Hanoi, and we will be making a decision closer to the time as to whether we will have it in or outside, depending on the conditions.  Secondary students taking examinations in the summer will have mock exams in January and this is an excellent opportunity to build on the outstanding performance in our first set of results last year.

Final comments

I have mentioned many times that a school is only really a rain shelter when the children and staff are not here.  It is people that make up a school, and great people that make up a great school.

I am very proud of our students, for all they have achieved this term.  I am proud of our staff who have worked so hard, both in and outside of the classroom to bring your children a vibrant, enriching and life enhancing educational experience.  I am very grateful to all of our parents for their continuing support.  I am sure you will join with me in thanking the staff for their huge contribution in the lives of our young people.

I wish you a very happy and enjoyable holiday together

Mr. Mark Sayer - Principal

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