12 November, 2021

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 12/11/2021

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 12/11/2021 - mr-sean-oneill-weekly-update-12-11-2021
Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 12/11/2021 This week, we held our Annual Remembrance events where we, as a school community, pause, reflect and remember those who have fought in conflicts around the world - who sacrificed themselves to achieve and protect peace...

Dear Parents, 

This week, we held our Annual Remembrance events where we, as a school community, pause, reflect and remember those who have fought in conflicts around the world - who sacrificed themselves to achieve and protect peace...

This marks an important moment in our year as it asks us all to step outside of our own immediate daily lives, to place our own concerns in a wider context and, in doing so, gain a deeper perspective. Our History department invited the whole school community to consider the principles of Remembrance - remembering  the sacrifices of the past to gain hope for a better future, and the importance of recognising those who are making sacrifices in the present to keep us all safe everyday. We were reminded  that these principles are universal and unite people of all cultures and backgrounds. As is tradition, our Remembrance Assembly ended with the Last Post and a one minute silence.  I invite all parents to watch our Remembrance Assembly presentation shared in this week’s update. My thanks to Mr Higson, Mrs Lowry and Ms Griffin for such an inspiring and thought provoking event.

The determination for a hopeful future was found in another activity this week as BIS Ambassador, Nini Pham (Year 12), interviewed Lord David Puttnam as part of a UNICEF podcast series to mark UNICEF’s 75th birthday.  Lord Puttnam is an Oscar winning film director, social activist and philanthropist, and it was truly inspiring to listen to Nini and Lord Puttnam engage in discussion on the challenges of our time, ranging from the Climate Crisis, Big Tech to Social Justice.  It was striking that although Nini and Lord Puttnam may be separated by 60 years in age they have the same passion to achieve positive change in the world. We look forward to sharing the podcast with you soon. 

As a school community, we are now making plans for our return to learning on Campus, and are mindful that this transition has many facets. We are at  an important moment in this journey as our Campus Facilities projects reach completion and our teachers return to working from campus. We’ll be contacting families early next week with details on how we will manage some practical next steps, including student uniform collection, as we transition back to learning from Campus. Our Welfare & Guidance Team will also be working with students over the coming weeks to support them to be ready to return to school. 

Lastly, I would like to invite all Secondary parents to attend a Parent Webinar next Thursday 18th November. The webinar will be led by Mrs Murphy,  Deputy Head Curriculum &  Learning, who will share principles and approaches that inform assessment at BIS.  Please see further details below including how you can sign up for the event. I look forward to seeing you there. 

With my best wishes to you all for the weekend ahead.

Sean O’Neill 

Remembrance Day 2021

Thursday 11th November marked an important date in our school calendar: Remembrance Day.

On this contemplative and thoughtful occasion for our school community, students watched our Remembrance Assembly, with readings from Mr Higson and Mrs Lowry on the ‘Principles of Remembrance’ and ‘What brings us together’.

Moreover, in order to encourage the wonderful creativity our of students, we have launched two secondary-wide competitions: the Remembrance Visual Arts Competition and Poetry and Short Story Competition

Students are invited to submit a piece of art or writing chosen on one of the themes: remembering, the spirit of endurance and resilience. These need not be about any particular conflict or war but can be a more general reflection on the chosen theme. The deadline for submissions in both competitions is Sunday 28th November.

 Full details are contained in the posters below.

 Every secondary student is very welcome to take part. Thank you to our incredible artists and writers!


Rememberance competition_Poetry and Story01

An Update on The Big Draw 2021

The Big Draw 2021

The Big Draw has been going for two weeks and we have already received many responses from subject teachers and from students all over HCMC.  Here are just a few updates from some to the activities so far.

For SEAD (Stop Everything And Draw):

From languages to History and Psychology, take a look at how our students have utilized drawing to enhance their learning across the curriculum this week.

For the Art Postcard Activity:

Big Draw Postcards

During Art lessons this week students took a break from the regular curriculum and were invited to participate in The Big Draw. In previous years we strive to create a collaborative piece that all students can contribute to. So this year, students were asked to create a postcard to be sent to school, which will be displayed as one large collaborative piece. We want to emulate the community aspect of school and that we are together in spirit when we can’t yet be together at school. 

It has been very exciting for us at school to receive these postcards each day. Here are the postcards we have received so far from our year 7-9’s. 

Students still have time to send their postcards into school. The deadline for them to be sent is 15/11.  

For Accordion books examples:

Results of the Big Draw 2021 House Competition 

The results are in for The Big Draw 2021 House Competition and we received some very creative examples of home made drawing tools.  Here are all of our House winners and runners up with examples of their tools and some great demonstrations of how they work.

Congratulations to the winners and great effort for everyone who took part.  We look forward to celebrating your success and seeing your work in person soon.

Janet Williams
Head of Art

Community Service - Luv Project

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We would like to thank the BIS school community for your generous contributions to the Luv Project so far. We have managed to raise over 75 million VND to provide food packages and basic sanitary products for 186 different families with vulnerable children under 6 across Ho Chi Minh City. This would not have been possible without your support!

As a team, we have made the collective decision to keep this fundraiser open for several more weeks. If you have yet to make a donation or would like to contribute further, now is a great time to get involved! This month, PE&D will be setting up an emergency fund, of which any contributions made will go towards paying the rent, education, electricity, as well as other necessities for the families of the children we support in these dire times.

To donate, please visit PE&D’s dedicated donation page. Alternatively, 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.

We are also proud to announce our participation in the BIS community donation box, located outside the Junior Campus Guard House (Gate A, 225 Nguyen Van Huong Street). If you happen to be in Thao Dien, feel free to visit the campus and make a cash donation to help support these vulnerable children in any way possible.

As always, 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.

For more information about our organization please feel free to contact us through our website or our Instagram page (@theluvprojectvn)!

Community pic 1

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Adit Jacob, Sidhant Dhawan, Cody Burke, York Fang, Geon Hee Kim, Henry Pham, Peter Kang

Parent Webinar: Assessment & Feedback at BIS

BIS HCMC Webinar BackgroundsTitle Brushstroke

Assessment and feedback are cornerstones of effective teaching and learning; students knowing and understanding where they are in their learning, as well as how they can move forward, are vital for academic progress and attainment. As such, assessment has been a perennial area of focus in education and, indeed, for us here at BIS. 

We are delighted to invite you to join us for a webinar next Thursday 18th November at 4.15pm where Mr Lambert and Mrs Murphy will share thoughts and approaches on what assessment is (and isn’t!); how, when and why we use assessment; feedback; and how these can support learning. Please click on the link below to register for the event.  We hope you can join us and look forward to seeing you, virtually, then.

Event Details

Date: Thursday 18th November
Time: 4.15pm 
Register: for the webinar here

Virtual University Visits from Hong Kong and Scotland

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The University Guidance webinars continue next week with virtual university visits from the University of Hong Kong and several universities in Scotland, The University of Edinburgh, The University of Glasgow, The University of St Andrew's and The University of Dundee.  You will find further details and registration links below. The University Guidance webinars continue next week with virtual university visits from the University of Hong Kong and several universities in Scotland, The University of Edinburgh, The University of Glasgow, The University of St Andrew's and The University of Dundee.  You will find further details and registration links below.

Tuesday November 16th 3.15pm “Study in Hong Kong”  The University of Hong Kong -  Follow this link to register for this event  

In this “Study in Hong Kong” session, Ying from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) will cover the study opportunities in Hong Kong and everything else you need to know about the latest HKU admissions requirements and application procedures 

Thursday Nov 18th 3pm-4pm - Study in Scotland  - Follow this link to register for this event    

We are delighted to announce that four of the most prestigious universities in Scotland have agreed to deliver this webinar together to our students here in Vietnam. Representatives from the International Admissions teams at The University of Edinburgh, The University of Glasgow, The University of St Andrew's and The University of Dundee will talk about the fantastic opportunities available for international students coming to study in Scotland. As well as short presentations from each university you will have an opportunity to ask questions to any of our guests.


Getting Screen Time Balance 

With so much of our lives being lived out online due to the pandemic, it can be difficult to know how much screen-time is positive for our children, and how much is too much. Recent research - for example - has identified a huge number of benefits of online gaming such as time spent socialising with peers, developing literacy, communication and problem solving skills, and relaxation. With the addictive nature of some of these games however, how can we make sure to implement healthy boundaries? 

Screen time can offer children opportunities to learn and develop new skills at a touch of a button but like anything, too much of it can have a negative effect on their wellbeing. As children get older and more independent online, finding the right balance for your family can be challenging but the key is to think about it early on and set some clear boundaries around their online use.

We have found some really great resources that will help you to get the balance right for your child. Click on the links that will direct you to guide relevant for the age of your child.

Top tips to support children 11-14 (Key Stage 3)


Top tips to support children 14+ (Key Stage 4)

(Content taken from https://www.internetmatters.org/)

Zara Pugh
Student Support & Counselling


WellbeingBE YOU


Novelicious Book Club - Thursday 2nd December

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How is your reading going?

We thought we would give you a little bit of notice before our next catch-up so that if you haven’t had the chance to read the selected book.

  • A Place for Us, Fatima Farheen Mirza 

.. there is still some time for you to find a copy and read with us.  We’d love you to join us.

Event Details

Date: Thursday 2nd December
Time: 9.30am
Register to join the  Zoom Meeting here

NAE Virtual Young Musician of The Year 2022

VMotY22 Poster  online

The NAE Virtual Young Musician of the Year competition has been launched last week.  Check the Global Campus site for information about categories and ages and start to prepare your video performances.

Speak to your Music teacher if you need any help or have any questions or help uploading your performances.  

  • Monday 15th November:       The Big Draw - Create a Postcard, deliver to Secondary Campus Art Department.
  • Tuesday 16th November:      ‘Study in Hong Kong’, CUG virtual university visit, 3.15pm, online
  • Thursday 18th November:    Study in Scotland, CUG virtual university visit, 3pm to 4pm, online
  • Thursday 18th November:     Parent Partnership Webinar: Assessment & Feedback: Values and Approaches at BIS HCMC, 4:15pm, online


Have a wonderful weekend,

Sean O’Neill
Head Teacher, Secondary Campus