11 March, 2022

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 11/03/2022

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 11/03/2022 - mr-sean-oneill-weekly-update-11-03-2022
Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 11/03/2022 Courage, creativity and compassion are the attributes we need from our leaders of today and in the future that our young people will inhabit.

Courage, creativity and compassion are the attributes we need from our leaders of today and in the future that our young people will inhabit.

Through developing leadership in small ways, over time, through experiencing the feeling of making a small difference in a small way, young people can grow to tackle the big things required of them.

In this week’s update and in the weeks ahead, I will share a flavour of some of the small ways our young leaders work at BIS. Through leading in our school community and within our local community networks, through the arts, science, and sport - across the curriculum and beyond - our students not only develop their leadership, but improve our school community.

We have learned more than ever over the last two years that leadership is not about a title or position, it is about the willingness to contribute ideas, time and energy to effect change for good.  We want all our young people to feel they have this agency and so I thank you, our BIS parents, for supporting the many opportunities for involvement in school life our students benefit from. Without participation in different arenas, leadership cannot develop. Leadership cannot be learned from a book, it has to be experienced and we are committed to giving our students different experiences through their curricular and co-curricular lives, but also through special events and activities that shape our school life.

Our Year 13 students are now in the last four weeks of their school lives. They are, along with students in Year 11, immersed in preparation for the summer examinations, milestones in their education that will open doors to opportunities on a global scale. As well as accessing these opportunities, we want our students to leave BIS with the courage, compassion and creativity to make a difference when they move on to their next chapter.  I hope you will join me in congratulating our student leaders on their achievements and I hope you enjoy reading about a little of their work in this week’s update.

We will end this term by celebrating our BIS community with two special events, our IB Visual Arts Exhibition and our adapted International Day 2022.  Our students working alongside our teachers, support staff and our parent body will show leadership, creativity and cultural understanding on this wonderful day that expresses our values.  Thank you for your ongoing support.

My best wishes for a restful weekend ahead,

Sean O’Neill

BIS HCMC Students Top Young Musician of the Year Awards

The results from the 2022 Nord Anglia Young Musician of the Year Competition have just been announced and BIS students have once again achieved great success.

This year the competition was even bigger than before with:

  • 7,960 minutes or 5.5 days of musical performances
  • 1,370 Students
  • 64 Schools
  • 27 Judges
  • 17 Categories

Congratulations to all BIS HCMC students who entered and many congratulations to the following award winners.

Classical Ensemble Category age 15-19 - 1st place to DongGue Year 13, YiHyeon Year 10 and Jason Year 12

Bowed Strings category age 11-14  - 1st place to Caitlin Chua Year 9

Bowed Strings Category age 15-19 - Special Mention for YiHyeon Year 10

Classical Woodwind Category age 15-19 - 1st place to DongGue Year 13

Popular Woodwind category age 12 - 14 - Special Mention for WonJun Jung Year 8

Meet our new Student Heads of House

Heads of House

It was our pleasure to award our year 12 Heads of House with their new House badges today. The House system at BIS is a way to build connection and camaraderie across our year groups in a spirit of fun and friendly rivalry. Our Student Heads of House, lead their Houses in each activity, promoting engagement and connection among students across the school.

Head of house 2

Congratulations to our Heads of House for 2022-23

  • Hue: Rosie and Andrew
  • Hanoi: Adele and Khoa
  • Dalat: York and Adit
  • Saigon: Dieu Linh and Hieu

Who will be lifting the coveted House trophy this year?

Students thank our Staff team International Women’s Day

International Womens Day

Year 12 student, Kathy, coordinated a new initiative to thank the Vietnamese staff who keep our school clean. This team has had an important role to play in keeping our school safe during the pandemic and Kathy thought that it would be a nice gesture for the students of the school to show their appreciation. Kathy noticed that most of the female staff tied their hair up and so she joined forces with Minh Vy (Year 13) and the Upcycling Club to make each of them a scrunchie.

International Womens Day 2

Thank you cards were printed and taken to forms across all year groups for them to write a personal note of thanks on the back. The presentation to the team was made in the Sixth Form Common Room on International Women’s Day so a red rose was added to the gift for the female members of the team. The Sixth Form students applauded the team who were, by this stage, full of smiles.

GIN Conference 2022

Photo 1_ GIN Opening Ceremony

It was our pleasure to host the Global Issues Network (GIN) Saigon Conference 2022 for the second time on 18th - 20th of February. Our GIN Council with 50+ members, alongside our supervisor's, worked extremely hard despite the pandemic situation to organise this conference with 250+ participants from 15+ international schools in Vietnam and Turkey.

The selected theme was “Serene War”. “Serene War” was selected with the intention of recognising the current war we are facing against global issues in the 21st century. The theme acknowledges our history, in which we have achieved a non-bloodshed peace in most parts of the globe. Yet, it also recognises the ongoing conflicts and tension in the current societies we live in, and our ongoing desire for an equal and just world that we've yet to accomplish. Therefore, having "Serene War" as our theme serves as a question to all of us: How are we going to achieve our universal goal of making the world a better place? How are we going to achieve this together? And how can we achieve "serene" without the "war"?

Photo 3_ GANG sessions

The main activity throughout the conference was the GANG (Global Action Network Groups) sessions. Each of the 18 GANGs represent 18 different global issues ranging from environmental issues, such as climate change, to social issues, such as wealth inequality. Participants were divided into their interested GANG to research and produce educational materials called GANG Outcomes to raise awareness for their topic and learn more about it. The GANG Outcomes range from creative Tiktok videos on humanitarian crises to creative websites on water pollution.

Photo 4_ Kisum Chan

Throughout the three days, it was also our pleasure to have Kisum Chan as a panel speaker where he shared his experiences on taking initiatives in high school and starting his social enterprise - Rice Inc.

We also had the appearance of NGOs, such as The Blue Dragon Foundation, and student-led clubs, such as Green Network Saigon, responsible for organising workshop sessions to provide educational opportunities around major social and environmental issues.

We hope this special experience will inspire participants to be brave and take actions to make a difference in their respective communities!

BIS GIN Council

Black History Month Acoustic Lounge on YouTube

Listen again to the wonderful speeches and musical performances from our Black History Month Acoustic Lounge.


Year 12 Students lead Wellbeing Classes

Sharing our experience and insight to help others  is a well established pillar of our Wellbeing Curriculum. Our Year 12 students have this week volunteered to lead wellbeing classes for Year 11 students.

The sessions were hugely well received.

Y12 Wellbeing 1

Here are York, Matthew and Khoa presenting to 11B on the subject of Opportunity and Participation. Well done and thank you.

Y12 Wellbeing 2


School Photographs 2022 - 14th to 23rd March

School Photographs 2022  14th to 23rd March

Secondary Campus school photos will take place next week. Full details have been sent to parents by email.

Secondary Campus - Monday 14th to Wednesday 23rd March

In addition to Individual and Form Group photos which will take place during school time, it will be possible to book an appointment for Sibling Photos after school hours.  Please check your emails for more information.

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.

College & University Guidance Virtual Visits 2022

careers and university guidance

This week saw the continuation of our country focussed University Webinar Series with a look at Studying in the Netherlands which is a popular destination for BIS students.

After the spring break we will have single universities leading each webinar (we have some big names signed up already - more details to follow) but for this term we have been focusing on country specific webinars. If you missed the first three events you can still view the recordings here for: Australia , the UK and the Netherlands.

Sign-up links for the remaining webinars this term are given below. Next week we have webinar focussed on Singapore, followed by Canada and the US. We also have a subject specific webinar led by a professor of Computer Science from the University of Southampton.

Further details on all of these Webinars can also be found in the usual place at our Spring 2022 University Webinars page here.

  • March 22nd 2022 – 3.30pm – 4.30pm:  A Super Computer at your desk – A presentation from the University of Southampton. – Please sign up for this at this link.

We hope to see you at one or more of these events.

IB Visual Arts Exhibition 2022 - 29th to 31st March

IB Visual Arts Exhibition 2022  29th to 31st March

Join us for our 2022 International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) Visual Arts Exhibition. Featuring stunning final year work from our 6 IBDP students.

This exhibition will be hosted at Ngo Art Gallery, Q2 Terrace, 21 Vo Truong Toan, Thu Duc City, and will be open to the public from March 29th until March 31st, between 8am and 6pm. Entrance is free.

For more details click here.

Event Details

  • Date: 29th to 31st March
  • Time: between 8am and 6pm
  • Location: Ngo Art Gallery, Q2 Terrace, 21 Vo Truong Toan Street, Thu Duc City

International Day 2022 - Thursday 31st March

Int Week 2022

Planning for International Day on Thursday 31st March is well underway and we encourage any parent who would like to support, assist or take part to contact the school via our Secondary Receptionist, Katie Walsh or sc@bisvietnam.com to find out more.

Event details

  • Date:  Thursday 31st March
  • Time: All day event
  • Location: Secondary Campus

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

Saigon Children's Charity Cycle Adventure

Saigon Childrens Charity Cycle Adventure

  • Monday 14th March to Wednesday 23rd March: Secondary Campus School Photos 2022, Secondary Campus MPR
  • Thursday 31st March: International Day 2022, Secondary Campus, Secondary
  • Tuesday 29th to Thursday 31st March:  IB Visual Arts Exhibition ‘22, Ngo Art Gallery, Q2 Terrace, 8am to 6pm, all welcome.

Have a wonderful weekend,


Sean O’Neill
Head Teacher, Secondary Campus