17 December, 2021

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 17/12/2021

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 17/12/2021 - mr-sean-oneill-weekly-update-17-12-2021
Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 17/12/2021 Dear Parents, As we reach the end of term, I would like to extend a huge congratulations to each and every BIS student for their perseverance throughout this term and a heartfelt thank you for your support.

Dear Parents,

As we reach the end of term, I would like to extend a huge congratulations to each and every BIS student for their perseverance throughout this term and a heartfelt thank you for your support.

As we look back we can take great pride in how we have navigated the last months together. We have taken some significant steps in recent days in welcoming students back to campus - these steps, and the strength of our community can give us all optimism for the period ahead.

My very best wishes to you all for a wonderful holiday season together with your families. I look forward to seeing you in 2022.

Sean O’Neill

Happy holidays

Year 11 and 13 Student’ Return to Campus

The long awaited return to campus of our year 11 and 13 students has brought life and vitality back to the Secondary Campus.

Seeing students interact in person with their friends and teachers has brought back that belief that a school is the sum of the relationships within it.

It was lovely to see our students back learning in specialist learning spaces across the curriculum and enjoying our new social facilities.

I am thankful for the confidence that was shown by parents and students in returning to campus, with a wonderful 95% student attendance throughout the week.  I look forward to welcoming the remaining year groups back to school in the new year.

Please see below posts showing our first week back on campus.

Return to Campus: IB Biologists back in the Lab

“After months of online learning, Year 13 biologists took full advantage of being back in the lab by conducting an experiment to extract the DNA from kiwi fruit. This was not just a lesson in Biology but also in how to start working collaboratively again, designating jobs whilst maintaining 5K protocols. It was clear that whilst they were used to working independently, our fabulous scientists are also adaptable enough to remember how to be part of a team. The result was not only strings of extracted DNA but also a group of students with smiling eyes, laughter and a sense of achievement.”

Bee Smith, Biology Teacher.

End of term assembly

As is BIS tradition, we ended the term with a wonderful Christmas assembly in which we celebrated the many achievements of our students across all areas of school life and shared an update on the end of term standings for the coveted House trophy. I can share that Saigon are currently in 1st place but there is much still to play for with many events in Term 2.

The assembly also featured 2 musical pieces to end the term with Christmas cheer.

Lois Year 9

John Year 7

Farewells to students leaving this term

There are many wonderful things about being part of an international school community. One of the hardest things is saying goodbye to friends

While the end of term is a celebration, it is also always tinged with sadness as we say farewell to our friends for whom today is the last day at BIS.

This year it is made especially hard to say farewell to our leaving students- as we are not able to say goodbye in person - but if we have learned one thing from the pandemic it is that friendships know no borders - so wherever you are in the world - the friends you have made BIS will stay with you.

To all of our leaving students, thank you for the contribution you have made to our school. You have all helped to make BIS special. We all owe you a debt of gratitude, please stay in touch, come back to see us, you will always have a warm welcome waiting for you.

Plans for next term


Plans for next term 2021

With the successful return of Year 11 and Year 13 students this week, following the successful vaccination programme, we remain optimistic about the return to school of students in other year groups in the new year.

We can all be confident that our Health & Safety measures in school are robust and we have the team at BIS to ensure the learning and wellbeing of our students is supported as we transition back to face-to-face learning.

We will continue to liaise with the Department of Education in the coming weeks and will communicate any updates with you.

We will hold information sessions on Campus in the first week of Term 2, beginning with Year 7 Parents on Thursday 6th and Friday 7th January. You will receive invitations in due course.


The Power of Visualisation:

Our Advice, Support & Counselling Team support our Y13 students Mock Preparation


During this week's Wellbeing session the ASC team ran a workshop focusing on how our students can prepare themselves mentally for their upcoming exams. The session focused on the ways in which Visualisation and Mindfulness can be a powerful tool in overcoming exam anxiety and enable them to achieve their potential in times of pressure.

Saskia Dodds-Smith, Whole School Counsellor

2022-23 ‘Life in Vietnam’ Calendar - Available Now

BIS HCMC Life In Vietnam Desk Calendar 202223_Update

We are proud to launch a limited edition calendar which brings together a selection of studies created by our Year 10 and Y11 students over recent years, as part of their Life in Vietnam Unit for IGCSE Art and Design. The work is based on the students’ own observations and photography from our Thao Dien photo walks and most are A4 size or smaller. 

All proceeds from the calendar sales will be donated to our local Community Partners, who are an integral part of ‘Life in Vietnam’ for us as a school community.

For just VND 100,000 per calendar, you will be contributing to the support of children whom we value and care for as part of the BIS family.

Click here to place your order.

Tet Gift Collection 2022 - December 13th to January 7th

TET Collection 2022 v2SC 002

The Vietnamese Lunar New Year, Tet (a colloquial term shortened for Tết Nguyên Đán), showcases the country’s traditional values and rich culture. The grandly celebrated holiday extends beyond a week which offers time for families to unite. Last year, donations from the BIS community supporting our ‘Tet Box Collection’ enabled more than 1,500 children from our community partners to experience a more joyful Tet holiday.

According to Unicef, more than 170,000 children are without parental care, destitute, or abandoned. This year, with the hopes of bettering the lives of these children, BIS will continue to hold the annual ‘Tet Gift Collection’. The project aims to provide 1,389 disadvantaged children, and their families, a fulfilling Tet celebration by providing them with basic necessities. These families are from eight of our community partners including: Binh Tho School, Anh Minh School, Thien Phuoc Foster Home, Binh Anh School, Ky Quang Pagoda, Go Vap Orphanage, Mai Tam House of Hope, and Mai Am Boys Shelter.

How to make your donation?

In essence, each campus is assigned to a category of basic necessities requested by our community partners. If you are interested in making a donation, please drop off the following items at their corresponding drop-off locations. We are not able to achieve this goal without your support, and we would greatly appreciate your consideration of our project. Each and every one of your contributions will help protect the smiles of these vulnerable children.

The drop-off details:

  1. Gate A of Early Years campus: colouring pencils, pens, pencils, notebooks
  2. Gate A of Primary campus: soap, toothbrushes, toothpastes, hand sanitizers, shampoo, women’s hygiene products
  3. Gate A and/or Auditorium of Secondary campus: instant noodles, fish sauce, condensed milk, oil, rice, and sugar


                                                                                                                          Kelly Tran and Susu Le,

                                                                                              On behalf of the Year 12 BIS Community Committee

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.


Operation Smile are committed to long term medical care and have established year-round treatment centres as well as implementing educational programmes to address the stigma associated with this condition.  They also provide medical training to local doctors and contribute medical equipment and supplies where needed.

Your purchase will contribute to this important and life changing work.

There are two different sets of cards with the themes of Freedom and Happiness.

  • Freedom: 01 pack has 10 envelopes, price: VND 35,000/pack
  • Happiness: 01 pack has 08 envelopes, price: VND 30,000/pack

Payment can be made either via bank transfer or cash on delivery.

To place your order please either click here to access the “Operation Smile Vietnam” fan page or, contact them on their Zalo Hotline at 090 211 0550

Shipment of the cards will be from the 22nd December 2021.


  • Friday 17th December:          End of Term 1, 11:35am
  • Wednesday 5th January:      First Day of Term 2
  • Thursday 6th-Friday 7th  January: Year 7 Parent Information Sessions. More details to follow.

Have a wonderful and relaxing holidays.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2022,


Sean O’Neill

Head Teacher, Secondary Campus