27 March, 2020

Mr Anthony Rowlands: Weekly Update 27/03/2020

Mr Anthony Rowlands: Weekly Update 27/03/2020 - mr-anthony-rowlands-weekly-update-27-03-2020
Mr Anthony Rowlands: Weekly Update 27/03/2020 Reflecting on a hard few weeks, Mr Anthony Rowlands talks about how BIS HCMC core values are impacting our close-knit community.

We have just faced a very difficult week in HCMC, as the Vietnamese authorities continued to work hard to fight against the spread of the virus that has brought the world to a standstill.  However, even under the most challenging circumstances, I am in awe at how our wonderful, close-knit community is responding to this crisis using our core values.

One particular instance of CARE was shown by a student and his family on learning that one of our teachers has been in lockdown at his apartment. The student was concerned and keen to bring things that the teacher may need during this difficult period. Such compassion by a family for one of our staff members shows our community at its absolute best.

PERSEVERANCE has been shown by one of our teachers who has been in quarantine, as a precaution along with everybody else on her flight, since she arrived back from the UK on Saturday 14th March. On arriving at Ton Son Nhat Airport, she was offered to either go to quarantine, Singapore, or back to the UK. She chose quarantine so that she could be here in Vietnam when school reopened. She has had two negative tests but still has to do the 14-day quarantine. This demonstrates real dedication and we hope to have her back in our midst in a few days’ time. 

We have seen ENQUIRY from our students throughout their virtual school experience and this week a student in Year 3, Archie, took the Rube Goldberg challenge to another level - BIS STEAM education thriving in the home environment.

This young man has set the bar extremely high with his Rube Goldberg challenge #BISHCMC #VirtualSchoolExperience, #VirtualSchool #NAEinspiredbyMIT @BISHCMC pic.twitter.com/ybXKuntO6j


As a community, we need to have great RESPECT for our Y11 and Y13 students who have shown such dedication throughout this uncertain period when they have been immensely challenged. They have continued to work hard, not knowing how things would turn out with regards to the examinations they were due to sit in May. As it turns out, both the IGCSE and IB examinations have been cancelled but the students will be rewarded for their hard work. I have a huge amount of admiration for these young adults as to how they have conducted themselves.

The INTEGRITY of the whole BIS community throughout this period has been outstanding. Parents, students and teachers have adapted to a different way of education through our virtual school. It was a complicated and challenging transition that none of us expected to undertake when we broke up for the Tet holiday on the 21st January. We have faced a great deal of adversity as a community since then but we have shown integrity throughout and that makes me very proud of us all.

We will REFLECT upon this period in years to come and will all recall the early part of 2020 as being one of those times that we will always remember where we were. There is no doubt this period will go down as a very significant event in human history. 

Bob Marley the great voice of reggae was someone who always used reflection in his music and died of cancer at a relatively young age and said:

“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice”


Let’s keep strong together as a community through this very challenging time.

Anthony Rowlands, Principal