03 December, 2021

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 03/12/2021

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 03/12/2021 - mr-sean-oneill-weekly-update-03-12-2021
Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 03/12/2021 Dear Parents, As we reach the end of this week, we can finally be confident that we have reached the beginning of the end of this period of Virtual learning...

Dear Parents,

As we reach the end of this week, we can finally be confident that we have reached the beginning of the end of this period of Virtual learning.

As a school community, I know we are delighted that we will soon welcome our Year 11 and Year 13 students back to learning on campus , with the plan for our other year groups to join them in the period after the Christmas break.  Throughout this period of the pandemic, we have worked together as a community to respond to changing circumstances, and it is in this same spirit that we will manage our school community’s transition back to learning safely on campus.

We will hold a Parent Webinar on Wednesday 8th December at 4:15pm for all Secondary parents in which we will share information on how we will manage each element of the return to campus - community health, teaching and learning, and our students’ pastoral transition. You have all received an invitation to the webinar and you can also register following the link below. I look forward to connecting with you online and working together closely in the days and weeks ahead to shape our students’ transition .

Although we are reaching the end of a busy and demanding  term, our students have retained their characteristic focus on learning,  within and beyond the virtual classroom. See in this week’s update  some examples of the tremendous service learning and sustainability projects our students have been engaged with as part of our continuing Virtual CCA programme. Their commitment and enthusiasm never ceases to amaze me.

Lastly, as we approach the six month anniversary of the passing of Emily McLelland -  teacher, colleague and friend, it is a fitting time to come together to remember Emily. This Sunday 5th December at 8.30am, we will hold a Memorial for Emily. We invite our parent and student community to join us virtually to celebrate Emily’s life. Please see further details below.

My best wishes to you all for a restful weekend,

Sean O’Neill

Parent webinar: Supporting our Students’ Return to Campus

BIS HCMC Webinar BackgroundsTitle Brushstroke

Ahead of the return to face-to-face learning for our students in the coming weeks, we would like to invite all Secondary parents to a webinar, ‘Supporting our Students’ Return to Campus’ on Wednesday 8th December at 4:15pm.

The webinar will include information and practical guidance on our COVID 19 Measures and Protocols, as well as how we will support the academic and pastoral transition of our students as they return to face-to-face learning.

There will be an opportunity for a Q&A at the end of the webinar, but we would also like to give you the opportunity to raise any questions you may have in advance, so we can tailor the session to you.

- To register for the Webinar click here

- To submit a question click here

We look forward to seeing you there.

Returning to Campus: Advice from our Wellbeing Team


As we approach the end of the term, preparations are underway for our first groups of students to return to school.  Vaccination efforts have been continuing at a pace across the city and the country at large.  We are now preparing to welcome students back on campus in the very near future.  With this in mind, we begin preparing our community to make the transition to face to face learning.

We realise that with such a prolonged absence from school, transitioning back into face to face learning may not be as simple as it seems.  Mr Wills, Secondary Deputy Head Teacher shares some advice from our Wellbeing team and counsellors about how we can help our students prepare for their return to campus.

Uniform Collection - Catch-Up and Size Swap

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Our uniform collection has been a huge success and it has been great to see our Year 8-13 students on campus as they get ready to return.   By Monday afternoon all year groups including our Year 7s will have had an opportunity to collect uniforms.

  • If you still need to collect uniform for your child….

If you have missed the opportunity to order uniforms for your child in the first round, please follow this link and complete it by Friday 3rd December. The Uniform Shop team will use this information to prepare packs ready for collection day.

Your packs will be prepared ready for collection on Tuesday 7th December.

Please check your emails for more details about the correct time.

  • If you need to change the size of uniform for your child...

After trying on uniform at home, you may need to swap sizes for a better fit. Families will be able to swap uniform items on Wednesday 8th December in the auditorium by appointment only.

Please make an appointment using the Sign-Up Genius link here; all appointments are 15 minutes long. Please only arrive 3-5 minutes before your appointment. You should enter the campus via Gate A and proceed to the auditorium where you will be able to  make your uniform swap. Please ensure that the uniforms you are returning still have the tags intact.


Over the last 6 weeks a team of Year 12 and Year 13 students have been working together on the FOBISIA Race4Good.This race is a youth leadership programme that brings together schools in a competition to uplift a community in Nepal through innovative, empathetic, and sustainable action planning. Eleven students navigated forming a team online and communicating effectively to produce business plans and presentations to showcase their ideas to improve the lives of a family in Nepal. They were given a problem brief and they asked important questions of the community members in order to reach a final solution.

Although our team did not reach the final of the challenge, they won the first round of the competition with their plan, to purchase piglets and build a shelter for them, and extend the maize farm that the family already owned. You can see the BIS HCMC team’s plan in action on the video above.

Well done to everyone involved; we are so proud of how you developed resilience and teamwork and worked together in a challenging online environment.

"I was hesitant on whether I should join this competition as I wasn't aware of the benefits & workloads, etc. especially as I am going through the IB curriculum, but the moment that we started the competition, I knew I made the right decision. Not only did I improve myself as a person by demonstrating leadership as one of the coordinators, communicating with my team and asking them to be more involved, but most importantly we worked together in winning 1 mid-race challenge and 1 main challenge, having our plans being actually implemented in Nepal. This is a lifetime experience which I will not forget and although we didn't win the whole thing, I genuinely hope for the best and that our plan will be long-lasting."

Fang Chu Yueh (York) - 12I

“This Race4Good challenge was a very valuable, lifetime experience where I had the opportunity to work with my team members as a BIS representative for uplifting the quality of life of small communities in Nepal. I am very appreciative of how we had this opportunity despite the hard situation of the pandemic.

Being one of the team coordinators really helped me to strengthen my learning skills, especially communication and collaboration skills, as I had the responsibility in making sure that our team continuously made progress. Although we didn't make it to the finals, we as a team feel as accomplished as winning the finals as one of our plans was implemented and impacted other’s lives.”

Bella Shin - 12N

Global Goal of the Month:

Each month the Global Goals Club will share information on one of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals for you to read and perhaps discuss as a family. We're keen to help more people understand the SDGs and know what we are working towards as a planet by 2030.

Operation Smile


With Tết (Vietnamese New Year) just around the corner, we are delighted to invite you to support one of the school’s long standing community partners, Operation Smile, by purchasing a set of beautifully designed ‘lucky money’ envelopes.  

Operation Smile transform children’s lives by performing free cleft lip and palate surgery on children from low income families in Vietnam as well as globally.  When left untreated, this condition can result in difficulties with eating, breathing and speaking, in addition to which, they also often need to deal with social issues such as not being accepted by their peers and communities.

For more information, please click here.

BritCham Fun Run 2021

Emily McClelland Teacher, Friend, colleague


As we approach the 6 month anniversary of Emily’s passing, it is a fitting time to come together to remember Emily. 

This Sunday 5th December at 8.30am, we will hold a Memorial for Emily.   We invite our parent community to join us virtually to celebrate Emily’s life.

Please join us by clicking on the link below.

Emily’s Memorial, Sunday 5th December, 8.30am VN Time

We hope many of you will be able to join us virtually on Sunday.

Virtual University Visit - University of Oxford

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Thursday December 9th – 3pm-4pm - University of Oxford - Follow this link to register for this event  

We have the absolute pleasure of welcoming Mr James Brown from the University of Oxford to hold a webinar for our NAE student community in Vietnam. As the university doesn’t really need an introduction, it will be exciting to hear about its college system and the idea of Best Fit. This will be the perfect opportunity to ask questions specifically relating to Oxford.

Thursday December 16th 3pm-4pm ‘A Supercomputer on your Desk’  Presented by the University of Southampton. - Follow this link to register for this event   

A Supercomputer on your Desk 

If you are interested in studying Computer Science or a related subject such as AI, Software Engineering or Data Science in the UK or in any country then this talk should be of great interest to you. 

In this talk Professor Mark Zwolinski will look at the history of high-performance computing and show how programmable hardware offers a way to speed up computing, even on desktop computers or laptops.

We will also be joined by BISHCMC alumnus Daniel Battersby, a current second year Computer Science student at Southampton University.Have a wonderful weekend,

Primary Admissions Officer: Position Available


We are currently looking for an enthusiastic, friendly and engaging individual, with excellent fluency in English, to join our Admissions Team as a Primary Admissions Officer. The key responsibilities of the position will be the co-ordination and administration of all tasks and activities related to the admission and enrolment of students to our BIS Primary Campuses.  You will work closely with the Campus Head Teachers and academic staff as well as all other members of our Admission and Marketing teams.  You will act as an ambassador for the school and our community, enhancing and building our reputation both locally and globally. You will work across our school community to embed a sense of community, pride and belonging.

The closing date for this position is 15th December 2021, however we may fill the position sooner depending on the candidate.

Please find a link to the job description and application form below:

Primary Admissions Office

Have a wonderful weekend,


Sean O’Neill
Head Teacher, Secondary Campus