25 February, 2022

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 25/02/2022

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 25/02/2022 - mr-sean-oneill-weekly-update-25-02-2022
Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 25/02/2022 Dear Parents, This week I have had the pleasure of speaking to every student in Years 7-12. We reflected on how special it is to come to school each day and how perhaps we all took for granted the privilege of being able to learn together in classrooms, labs and workshops - sports fields, drama and music rooms and enjoy each other ’s company at break and lunch. We focussed on some key ways to thrive in the weeks and months ahead to squeeze every drop of opportunity out of school life whilst showing respect and care for all in our community, in how we approach our learning, our use of campus spaces and in our relationships with others.

Dear Parents, 

This week I have had the pleasure of speaking to every student in Years 7-12.  We reflected on how  special it is to come to school each day and how perhaps we all took for granted the privilege of being able  to learn together in classrooms, labs and workshops -  sports fields, drama and music rooms and enjoy each other ’s company at break and lunch. We focussed on some key ways to thrive in the weeks and months ahead to squeeze every drop of opportunity out of school life whilst showing respect and care for all in our community, in how we approach our learning, our use of campus spaces and in our relationships with others.

The basic principles that will guide each student to thrive for the rest of this academic year span these 3 key areas of our BIS student values that apply to all students of any age and dare I say to all of us to at any stage of life - be kind, open and inclusive to those around you, try your best and take care in all you do and seize opportunities that come your way. 

As we continue to work through this stage of the pandemic together, we can be guided by these principles to achieve our shared goal of enabling our students to receive learning experiences that lead to great outcomes, whilst recognising that community transmission is a feature of life that we need to live with for the period ahead, and putting sensible measures in place.

In the weeks ahead we will welcome our remaining overseas students back to campus and move forward from our period of virtual learning. I have included below in this week’s update links to our most recent Education and Covid Updates which we will follow for the period ahead based on guidance from the Vietnamese authorities.

We will continue to update you if guidance changes, in the meantime my thanks for your role in monitoring your child’s health and keeping us informed of any changes in circumstances at home, just as we will keep in close contact with you.  Together we can have confidence that we are creating the conditions  for our students to enjoy learning together in school through the period ahead. As always if you have any queries please do not hesitate to get in touch with myself or any member of our team.

My best wishes to you all for the weekend ahead.

Sean O’Neill

Education Update

I am sure you will agree that one of the things we have learned from this period is that despite our successes with virtual learning, there is no substitute for the rich learning experience that takes place in classrooms. Now schools are open to all students,  we are committing our teachers’ focus to providing the highest quality teaching and learning in our classrooms with students enjoying all the benefits that brings, whilst providing  high quality asynchronous learning for those students temporarily unable to be in school at this time.

All parents and students received a letter today with an update on our Educational Provision from March 1st. To read the letter click here.

Covid Update

From the start of the Pandemic in February 2020, we have maintained consistent Community Health measures on Campus following  5K principles also adding environmental controls such as regular deep cleaning and hygiene controls. We have also of course adapted to the changing transmission picture and new decrees that are issued by the Vietnamese authorities.

To keep you up to date please find below a summary overview of the up to date guidance issued this week.


BIS HCMC Students host Global Issues Network Conference

Conf 1

Our students remain committed to engaging in dialogue to share ideas and perspectives to tackle the challenges we face today. Over the last weekend, BIS HCMC hosted this year's virtual GIN conference, attended by over 200 students from all round HCMC. Students got together to listen to thought provoking presentations and to discuss and address Global Issues such as Children's Rights and Sustainability. What is even more impressive is that the conference was fully organised by a group of students from BIS! Look out for further updates from our student leaders in next week’s update.

IGCSE & IBDP Options Update


At this  stage of the academic year, the important process of shaping our students’ IGCSE and IBDP Pathways for next year reaches an important juncture. All year 9 Options are now in and we are designing the timetable to ensure all of our students achieve their first choice options.

Year 11 are finalising their IBDP options which will be submitted next week and we will start calibrating the timetables to meet their request.

I have really enjoyed the 1-1 conversations with students to discuss the best pathways for them in liaison with the College & University Guidance team. I have been so impressed with the thoughtful approach they have adopted to this important process. I look forward to updating Year 9 and Year 11 parents in due course.

Lee Falconer,  Deputy Headteacher, Curriculum & Learning.

School Photos 2022


Pretaportrait 2

We are pleased to advise that school photos will take place for all BIS campuses in March.  The photos will be taken by Pret a Portrait who we worked with in 2019 and you can find more information about their company here.

The full details for the school photos sessions are still being finalised and will be provided through campus communications.  Please check your emails- and Seesaw for Primary parents- in the weeks prior to your child’s photo week.

The tentative dates for School Photos are as follows

  • Junior Campus - Monday 7th to Friday 11th March - TBC
  • Secondary Campus - Monday 14th to Wednesday 23rd March - TBC
  • Early Years Campus - Friday 25th March to Thursday 31st March - TBC

In addition to Individual and Form Group photos which will take place during school time, the details for sibling photos will be sent via your campus communication system.  For the Secondary Campus this will include emails for parents and bulletin notices and Form time messages for students.

A reminder about the school’s uniform policy now that we are back on campus

  • How we present ourselves  is an important way in which we show respect for each other and the learning that takes place in our school
  • The uniform is a means of showing our identity and pride in our school to the wider community as well as being practical school wear.
  • All children from Year 7 upwards are expected to wear the school uniform every day.
  • Students should wear sensible black leather shoes and black belts for boys.
  • In addition to this, all children should wear either: white, black or grey ankle high socks.

The Gift of Knowledge - Year 12 Wellbeing Mentoring Sessions

Year 12 Wellbeing Mentoring Sessions 1

During Year 12 Wellbeing lessons students have been preparing sessions to be delivered to a variety of year groups in the Secondary Campus. On Wednesday one Year 8 form was treated to a presentation on ‘The importance of baking as a life skill’, which included free homemade cookies.


On Thursday Duc spoke to his Year 12 peers about the importance of advocacy skills and Bella, Chloe and Ji Hee delivered a first aid session. In their session they instructed their classmates in how to perform CPR in time with the Bee Gee’s song, Staying Alive and taught them how to administer a potential lifesaving AED (Defibrillator).

I am looking forward to coming weeks to see what fantastic and interesting topics are presented.

Jonny McLoughlin

Head of Year 12

Exploring Ratios and Recipes in Year 8 Maths

Our Year 8 students enjoyed using their Mathematical skills to great effect this week, and we would like to recognize and celebrate the winners from the ratios and recipes activity we did during today’s Year 8 Mathematics lesson.

Recipe Ratios

The winners were

  • Amber
  • Boeing
  • Richard

Recipe Ratios 2

These students calculated very well to adapt the recipes and really made an effort to dig deeper, think critically and understand Ratios. We were very impressed by their skill of applying ratios in a real life context and rewarded them with the gift of making their own quick batch of Cookies and Cream Fudge in class.

Nadine Mneimne, Mathematics Teacher


College and University Guidance Webinar Series 2022:

careers and university guidance

On Thursday BIS hosted a very successful Virtual Australian University Fair with 17 universities represented including the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, Australia National University, The University of Queensland and the University of New South Wales. All 5 of these universities were ranked in the world to 50 (QS rankings 2022). In a break from our traditional ‘Webinar’ format, students were able to choose the breakout rooms to enter and were thus able to seek out advice from the representatives of the universities they wish to apply to. This was a valuable opportunity to have direct contact with each university. We hope to repeat a similar fair in person in future. Australia continues to be a global leader in Higher Education and so unsurprisingly continues to be one our most popular student destinations.  Watch again here

In the coming weeks we will be hosting webinars with a specific focus each week on a different country. These will cover the UK, Singapore, the Netherlands, Canada and the US. Details of the next two webinars and links to sign-up can be found below:

The UK is a world leader when it comes to Higher Education. This webinar will look at the huge range of opportunities available for those students interested in studying in the UK. Representatives from both Royal Holloway, University of London and the University of York and the University of Bath will give their expert advice to students and parents. There will be a workshop on “Making a Successful UK application” led by our expert guests. After the workshop each university will also give a brief presentation about the opportunities available at each of these very well regarded UK universities. Finally there will be a chance to put questions to our guests.

Did you know that there are over 2100 study programmes in Holland which are taught in English?

Oanh Trung of ‘Neso Vietnam*’ will be joined by at least two university representatives from universities situated in Holland. There will be an overview of studying at university in Holland then an introduction to two of the universities, followed by Questions and Answers.

*Neso Vietnam is the Dutch Education Support Office in Vietnam and is the official representative in Vietnam for all matters concerning Dutch Higher Education.

Country Representatives: Message from the PTG

PTG 2022

Did you know that over 50 nationalities are represented at BIS?

We already have country representatives for 7 of them and we want to sign up more countries in preparation for the event on Thursday 31st March.

International Day is not only a fabulous event for the students, but a wonderful day for  parents and carers to participate and share their home traditions, food and activities.

Speaking parent to parent…running an International Day booth or activity is what you (the parents) want to make it. Don’t be put off if you are new to Secondary, we can guide you.

If you are on your own or only have a couple of helpers, consider doing a short activity or a small food stall.

There are no small ideas.

If you would like to sign up as the representative for your country, please use the link below and register your name using Sign Up Genius.

Country Representative Link 2022

Melanie Rowe

Secondary PTG Chair

International Day Planning Meeting - Wednesday 2nd March

International Day Planning Meeting  Wednesday 2nd March

As we have recently welcomed our students back to our Secondary Campus, we are now able to look forward to experiencing some of the events that really shape what makes BIS, BIS. The first of those, arguably our students’ favourite event of the year, is International Day.

We are beginning our plans to hold International Day on Thursday 31st March and invite our Secondary parents to join the Secondary Campus International Day planning meeting on Wednesday 2nd March at 8.45am in the Auditorium. 

Event details

  • Date:  Wednesday 2nd March
  • Time: 8.45am
  • Location: Secondary Auditorium
  • Register here if you will be attending the meeting on Wednesday 2nd March.

If you would like to sign up as the representative for your country, please use the link below and register your name using this link - Country Representative Link 2022

  • Monday 28th February:         Term 2 Co-Curricular Activities begin
  • Wednesday 2nd March:        International Day 2022 Planning Meeting, Secondary Auditorium, 8.45am
  • Wednesday 2nd March:        Y11 Parent Teacher Student Conferences, online and by appointment only, see parent email, 3:00pm-6pm
  • Thursday 3rd March:             CUG Webinar: Studying in the UKPlease, 3.30pm-4.30pm 
  • Thursday 10th March:            CUG Webinar: Studying in HollandPlease, 3.30pm – 4.30pm
  • Monday 14th March:             Secondary Campus School Photos 2022, Secondary Campus MPR, details communicated by parent email.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Kind regards,


Sean O’Neill

Head Teacher, Secondary Campus