20 June, 2020

Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 19/06/2020

Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 19/06/2020 - mr-carl-mincher-weekly-update-19-06-2020
Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 19/06/2020 Dear Parents, The tempo of life on campus has remained high this week with an exciting array of lessons and activities. Of particular note is the IB Group 4 project for Year 12 students which I share more about below.

Dear Parents,

The tempo of life on campus has remained high this week with an exciting array of lessons and activities. Of particular note is the IB Group 4 project for Year 12 students which I share more about below.

I am also very happy to share just some of the photos from our Graduation celebrations last Friday.  There were many moments captured that I am sure parents and students will want to remember and share themselves.  

As we approach the end of term it is also a time when we start to say our farewells to staff and students who are moving on. In this newsletter I share our thanks to this year’s leaving teachers.  




IBDP Group 4 Project 2020



Using helium balloons to make a model house float like that in the Pixar movie Up?

Using electromagnetism to create a Harry Potter wand to perform the Wingardium Leviosa spell?

Thursday June 18th saw the Year 12 IB DP students embark on their Group 4 project, an element of the IB Diploma Programme that provides students with the opportunity to problem solve within cross-disciplinary teams.

The theme for this year's project was “Science in Hollywood” if you hadn’t already guessed.

Ms Lyn Stanley, Head of Science, shares more about how our IBDP students approached IB Diploma Group 4 Project 2020.


Year 9 Assembly



It was a pleasure to join Mr McDevitt and students in our socially distanced Y9 assembly this week where we reflected briefly on the academic year, the importance of internet safety, being kind to one another and the principles of integrity, respect and care from our Aide Memoire.

We are looking forward to next week’s Prize Giving ceremonies for all year groups to round off the year with a celebration of all our students' successes and achievements. 

Intermediate Biology Olympiad 2020


Y10 Bio Olympiad 1

Congratulations to our Year 10 and Year 12 Biologists who took part in the Intermediate Biology Olympiad, which is organised by the UK Biology Competitions Committee and administered by the Royal Society of Biology.

Danielle Fountain, Head of Biology, shares more about the Intermediate Biology Olympiad 2020.


Global Campus - Minecraft Worlds


Global Xtra including Expeditions Xtra are a variety of extra-curricular projects developed by our Global Campus teams across the world to continue to provide adventures and challenges for students throughout school closures and across borders.

At BIS HCMC, over 50 students have joined the Global Campus Expeditions Xtra Minecraft Challenge.  Some students have contributed perhaps a lunchtime, while some contributed many hours, but all worked together to produce a world with detail and charm.

In early June a select few spoke to our NAE Expeditions team in Oxford, England to present their world. After a nervous weeks waiting, they were very excited to find out they had collected the following awards:


Tanzania world was voted Best Overall

Swiss world was voted Most Realistic

The Swiss build team were given a special award for teamwork


On the day the results were announced, there were cries of ‘Champions of the world’!   Today we are happy to share the video tours of the BIS HCMC Tanzania World and Swiss World.

Well done to all involved and Mr Astbury for his support and encouragement of the students throughout the project.


A Swim Meet - the Ultimate Timer Test



On Wednesday 17 June the BIS Staff assisted the Aquatics Team to run a swim meet to test our fantastic new electronic timing system. The system improves the efficiency and raises the professionalism of the swimming meets we hold at BIS HCMC. 

We are grateful to all staff volunteers who gave their time to the Aquatics team so that we can test and prepare the system ready for student swim meets in the new academic year. 

Congratulations to all for their performances but particularly Ms. Yasmin Anderson who was the overall best performer at our swim meet.




Uncle Simon's Stories' by Owen McDevitt



Last week, our youngest students at the Early Years and Infant Campus were treated to a live reading by the author of children's picture book 'Uncle Simon’s Stories' - who just happens to be a BIS Secondary Campus teacher!

Owen McDevitt shares a little about his inspiration for the book and how he went about publishing it here.


How to Become an Engineer: Step-by-Step Guide



Dream about studying Engineering with the world’s best? Learn how an education at the British International School HCMC will enable you to shape the career you’ve dreamed of.

Mr Paul Rispin, College and University Guidance Counsellor, shares his advice on how to become an engineer with this step by step guide.


College and University Guidance Webinars


The final University Guidance Weekly Webinar of this academic year - End of Year 12 Checkpoint – What Can We Do Over the Summer?  - took place on Thursday 18th June at 3pm.

Mr. Rispin and Dr. Finnigan provided an overview of what students and families can be doing over the summer vacation in terms of preparing for the application season that begins next term. 

In addition to their insights they shared a range of valuable resources that will assist and support students and families with the ongoing tasks over the summer. There were welcome contributions from some of our recently graduated Year 13 students too who offered some valuable advice from recent first-hand experience. 

You can now listen to the complete CUG Weekly Webinar Series in one place.


A Farewell Message to our Leaving Teachers


Each year we say our fond farewells to teachers who are moving on to new horizons. Those that are leaving this year have contributed so much to our students experiences as BIS teachers.







This year the number leaving us is fewer than is the norm which is of course good news for the school.

This group have collectively added so much to the exciting atmosphere at BIS; they have inspired great ambition in learning, added a richness and fun to their teaching and student learning, inspired students to aim for the world’s best universities. As form tutors and Head of Year they have been there to welcome students each morning with encouragement and a friendly ear, they have joined students in CCAs that have opened up new horizons to explore. They have been travelling companions on expeditions and adventures across Vietnam and the region, they have added melody and harmony to campus life, entertained us on stage, most of all they have crafted lessons that have excited our students, offered them challenge, feedback and support through which our students have learnt so much. So, they leave for destinations across several countries with our gratitude and very warmest wishes. Thank you all.


Discussing Emotions - Weekly Wellbeing

Other people can help if you talk to them...

What makes you worry? Your health? Your family? Friendships? World problems? 

Worry is a normal human reaction and like all emotions we experience, it is a valid one. It can be a positive emotion - it can stop us from becoming overconfident or lazy. Anxiety, an uncomfortable feeling of worry or fear, and an emotion everyone feels at times is our body telling us that a situation may be dangerous and motivates us to solve a problem.

Encouraging students to feel more comfortable and talk openly about emotions has been an ongoing focus of Wellbeing lessons over the past six weeks.  

Mr Robbie Alexander, Head of Middle Secondary - Pastoral and Wellbeing, shares some insights from this week’s lessons and how you can help your child develop their skills in discussing emotions.


OneMore Re-used - POP-UP shop at BIS Secondary reception



The OneMore Re-used team has been busy recently and have prepared some comfortable and reusable masks from BIS uniforms.  These light and flexible masks will be available for purchase from the Secondary Reception area from Monday.

Masks upcycled from collected uniforms :

  • 15 000VND

  • Single layer, light and comfortable

Available as of Monday 22nd of June 12pm onwards.

Students can purchase the mask directly at the reception, look for Ms. Katie or Ms. Nguyen.


The joy of summer reading is almost upon us!



Our Community Summer Book Sale will run from Monday 22nd June 2020 for the final week of school – all proceeds will go to the BIS Community Partners.

Students and Staff are invited to look through an exciting selection of pre-loved books which will be available for purchase on the ground floor of the BIS Secondary Campus next to Reception.

1 book  – VND  50,000

2 books – VND  80,000

3 books – VND 100,000

So join us at any time to fill up on your Summer reading stash!

We look forward to seeing you.

BIS Community Service Team


Monday 22nd June Year 7 Prizegiving Ceremony, Auditorium 2.45 to 3.35pm, Year 7 Students Only

Tuesday 23rd June Year 8 Prizegiving Ceremony, Auditorium 2.45 to 3.35pm, Year 8 Students Only

Wednesday 24th June Year 10 Prizegiving Ceremony, Auditorium 2.45 to 3.35pm, Year 10 Students Only

Thursday 25th June Year 11 Prizegiving Ceremony, Auditorium 11.00am to 12.30pm, Year 11 students only

Thursday 25th June Year 12 Prizegiving Ceremony, Auditorium 2.00 to 2.45pm, Year 12 Students Only

Thursday 25th June Year 9 Prizegiving Ceremony, Auditorium 2.45 to 3.35pm, Year 9 Students Only

Friday 26th June Last Day of School, finish at 2.40pm


A gentle reminder of the current Visitor Access arrangements…


Appointment required

In line with the recommendations from the HCMC MOH and MOET we have been advised to limit the number of visitors to the campus.  Only visitors with a pre-arranged appointment are to be allowed on site.

Photo ID 

In addition, all visitors will be asked to provide ID.  Please be aware that if you forget your school ID security card, you will be asked to leave your photographic ID with the security guards in exchange for a visitor’s pass.  Without this, you will be refused access to the site.

Gate Procedures 

Upon entry to Gate A, Gate B or Gate C, temperature checks will be undertaken using a handheld infrared thermometer.  In the interest of decreasing the spread of illnesses, should a temperature of 37.8˚C or above be displayed, the parent or visitor will be asked not to enter the site.  

In addition, all visitors will be asked to complete an up-to-date health declaration and sanitise hands. 

In summary, if you would like to visit the school for any reason, please

  • Contact us to make an appointment (sc@bisvietnam.com or the staff person you would like to meet)

  • Bring photo ID or BIS parent card

  • Allow a few minutes for the entrance process on arrival

Thank you for your understanding.


Have a wonderful weekend,

Kind regards,


Carl Mincher


Head Teacher

Secondary Campus