29 October, 2021

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 29/10/2021

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 29/10/2021 - mr-sean-oneill-weekly-update-29-10-2021
Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 29/10/2021 This week has certainly been one where we feel confidence in the progress we are making as a community towards a return to normal life.

Dear Parents, 


This week has certainly been one where we feel confidence in the progress we are making as  a community towards a return to normal life. 

My thanks to parents, students and BIS staff for the way we have all responded so swiftly and effectively to the much anticipated vaccination programme organised by the Department of Education and Training. Please see further details below.

We are also delighted that our Campus Facilities Development Projects are progressing well and are very close to completion. I am so looking forward to sharing more details of the ways in which we have developed our campus spaces to increase connections within and beyond the curriculum to promote learning and wellbeing. 

Please also find in this week’s update a flavour of the rich school life that continues as our students return to virtual learning this half term. You will also find opportunities for parents to be involved in a range of activities  - from our Art Department's Big Draw, to supporting our Community Partners, viewing  this week’s Parent Webinar on Digital Safety, or enjoying our second Virtual Acoustic Lounge on YouTube featuring our incredible student musicians. 

As our city continues to slowly open up, I hope you enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable weekend with your families. 

Sean O’Neill

Student Vaccination Update


After two days of the vaccination programme for 12-17 year olds in HCMC, we have had over 200 students from Years 10-13 successfully vaccinated. The programme will continue in the coming days to include younger secondary students agreed 12 and above. Please keep an eye out for communication from school and SMS from DOET with details of your child’s appointment, remaining mindful that we may need to be patient as the DOET process continues.  Please find here the message from Mr Rowlands yesterday which includes an FAQ in relation to student vaccinations.

After this first round of vaccinations have been completed, we will send out another vaccination survey next week to all parents to gain an up to date picture of the vaccination status of students on the Secondary Campus. This  will enable students who did not receive a vaccination yet to be registered for future vaccination. Your support in completing this survey is crucial to us returning to face-to-face learning on Campus as soon as possible. 

From Today’s Acoustic Lounge


Begin your weekend with some tunes from performers in today’s virtual Acoustic Lounge.  

👉Go to bit.ly/BIS_VirtualAcousticLounge_Oct21 to watch.

Parent Webinar - Digital Safety



This week, we were delighted to host a parent workshop on Digital Safety. Hosted by Mr Jon Taylor of Besafe-online.co.uk, it was a brilliant insight for parents into how we need to be actively involved in our children’s digital lives and work with them to help them understand the benefits but also the dangers of navigating the digital world.  If you missed the workshop, you can access a recording here. 

Digital Workshop for parents

We will be sharing the materials from the webinar in due course with parents also. A link to his website if you would like to read more is https://www.besafe-online.co.uk/

The Big Draw week

Next week sees the return of our annual Big Draw activities for our secondary students. Here is a link to a fascinating Ted Talk which considers how the process of drawing helps us all think.

Amongst the many activities planned to promote learning through drawing will be a house competition to make an unusual drawing tool at home. See above for more details for how you can join in as parents too.

The Luv Project - CAS


COVID-19 has caused our world to turn upside down as we all struggle to find some sense of normalcy. Unfortunately, many young children in our community here in Ho Chi Minh City have been the most impacted by the pandemic, with low-income families struggling financially to support their most basic needs such as food, shelter, and education. 

In response to these challenges, we at BIS HCMC have founded The Luv Project Vietnam — a Year 12 student-run, community-based initiative which aims at supporting vulnerable children across Ho Chi Minh City through fundraising, awareness campaigns, and educational programs. 

To this end, we have decided to support the international NGO Planète Enfants & Développement (PE&D) to host a fundraiser for their emergency fund collection. These funds will be used to provide the families of vulnerable children under 6 years old with both financial aid and monthly food packages to help them pay for their rent, education, and other basic necessities. All beneficiaries are also of PE&D’s Early Childhood Development Program, which aims at providing a safe and supportive environment for the development of young children in low income families in Ho Chi Minh City 

Every donation of VND 600,000 could provide food for a vulnerable child’s family for a month, and a donation of VND 3 million could help a child’s family afford their rent for at least the next two months in these trying times.

To facilitate donations in the current context, we have created a platform to share details and updates about the project and allow you to access   PE&D’s dedicated donation page. By visiting the Donate Now page on our website, you will find all the relevant information which you can use to participate in this fundraising effort.

Any donation, no matter the size, will be greatly appreciated and we are truly grateful for your support. Should you choose to donate, you will receive a letter of gratitude to acknowledge your valuable contribution and kindness during these difficult times. Furthermore, for more information about our organization please feel free to contact us through our website or our Instagram page (@theluvprojectvn)!

Thank you for your time. 

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention” - Oscar Wilde. 


Year 10 and 11 Digital Safety Workshop


This week, during their Wellbeing lessons, our Year 10 and 11 students had the opportunity to listen to a guest speaker Mr Jon Taylor, formerly of the UK Metropolitan Police Force specialising in Safeguarding and Online safety. Topics covered in his talk included: Social Media, Gaming, Gaming Communities, Direct Messaging, and Inappropriate Online behaviour. He spoke with the students about staying safe online, alerting them to the extent to which their choices with technology are being tracked, stored, and are potentially searchable by others in the future. 

Mr Taylor raised the idea of students being in control of their own online brand:

  • What would come up if a prospective University did a google search of their name? 

  • Is it reflective of the image they want the world to see? 

  • Why not follow possible future destinations on Twitter?

  • Can you create a blog celebrating personal and academic successes? 

We can take control of our digital footprint.

Kind regards,

Thomas Thurston

Head of Student Wellbeing (Key Stage 3 & 4) - Teacher of Drama


PTG Virtual Coffee Catch-Up - Thursday 4th November


The Secondary PTG invites parents to a PTG Virtual Coffee Catch Up on Thursday 4th November at 3pm.

CAS Project and Community Partners… Do you know what these are? 

Here is your chance to find out more.  

Parents connecting with other parents from different year groups is a great way to learn what your kids are up to at school or what they can look forward to in future years.

Registration details have been sent via email.  

Thursday 4th November: Secondary PTG Virtual Coffee Catch Up, online event at 3pm, registration details via email.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Kind regards,


Sean O’Neill, Head Teacher Secondary Campus