27 May, 2022

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 27/05/2022

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 27/05/2022 - mr-sean-oneill-weekly-update-27-05-2022
Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 27/05/2022 Dear Parents and Students, Sharing our passions, sharing our learning and sharing our successes are indelible features of the BIS HCMC learning community.

Dear Parents and Students,

Sharing our passions, sharing  our learning and sharing our successes are indelible features of the  BIS HCMC learning community.

Throughout this last week on the Secondary Campus, we have seen so many examples of students sharing their learning with others to inform, educate and inspire. It has been so good to welcome Year 2 children to work with our Year 8 Computing Students, Year 4 students to our Year 8 Science Fair and for Year 7 students to host their Year 6 peers, who will soon be making the exciting transition to Secondary, at our Orientation Morning. 

We are also always keen to learn from experts in different disciplines from beyond BIS, and this week saw visiting author Ruth Eastham  with our Year 7 English students, Juilliard Musician, Eryn Wight, guide a Parent Workshop and Dr Mary Chambers, from the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in HCMC, join our Year 8 Science Fair.

As I saw Year 6 students excitedly exploring the Secondary Campus at their Orientation Morning, I was struck by the similarity in their collective excitement and that of our Year 13, Class of 2022, at their Graduation Ceremony at the Park Hyatt last weekend, as they celebrated before heading  off to their next exciting chapters around the world.  For each Year Group, these moments of transition are about looking back at what they have achieved, feeling gratitude for the people that have helped them along the way and looking forward with confidence, guided by their friends, family and teachers.

It was particularly special to be joined at the Year 13 Graduation by a number of BIS Alumni who have now completed their Bachelors or Masters Degrees at universities across the globe. They all spoke so fondly of their BIS memories and all remarked that it seemed like only yesterday they were taking the steps from Primary to Secondary, through to their graduation. The simple message that came through in speeches and conversations on the day was that our school lives are over in a flash, so it is important we take every opportunity to enjoy all the opportunities along the way.

I am delighted that, as we head towards the last four weeks of the school year, it is packed full of such opportunities to share our learning and come together -  for our Year 7-9 students in Week Without Walls next week, for our parents in the upcoming evening Parent Workshop hosted by our Counselling Team next Thursday , as well as the ‘Night of the Arts’ and ‘Night of the Musicals’ events and ‘Pre-Loved Fair in the coming weeks.  It really does promise to be a full and rich end to the BIS year. 

I hope you enjoy hearing about these events and more in today’s update.

My best wishes to you all for a restful weekend.

Sean O’Neill

Head of Secondary

BIS HCMC Class of 2022 graduate in style

The 2022 Graduation, held last Saturday was a wonderful occasion at which students, parents, family and friends joined together to celebrate and recognise the significant achievement of our Class of 2022.

Here are just a small selection of photos of a memorable occasion made all the more special by the circumstances of our students’ unique IBDP journey. My thanks to everyone who contributed to this moving event and once again - to the Class of 2022 - farewell, good luck and thank you.

Year 8 Scientists inspire all at the Science Fair

Building a community of learners who can think and communicate as Scientists is a key tenet of education at BIS.  This week, our Year 8 students worked independently in groups to design, implement and analyse a Science  Fair Project based on their interests. Students presented their results and reflections on the project to other year groups from Year 3-Year 12, including external scientists who judged their science projects! The students practised their collaboration, independence, communication and critical thinking skills and produced some excellent projects which they are very proud of. The science department were very impressed by their professionalism and enthusiasm during the fair. Winners to be announced in the next Year 8 assembly!

Sarin Leigh, Physics Teacher

Year 7 - English Visiting Author

1 Y7 assembly

Year 7 had the chance to meet and work with a published author in online workshops for English this week. Ruth Eastham is a UK writer who has published five novels aimed at young adults, and her work melds historical factual events with edgy and exciting fiction to appeal to young readers. Her workshops involved students bringing descriptive writing about a ‘memory object’ which they had prepared in class, then Ruth showed them how they could develop this into a longer story, with engaging characters and emotions. She was impressed with the creativity and imagination of the Y7 work that students read to her, and she is keen to read and give feedback  on some of their longer work when they have a chance to write more. We look forward to a face-to-face visit with Ruth in the near future!

Andy Bligh, Assistant Head of English

Coding the Future - our Year 2 Visit Secondary Computing

It was unclear who was more excited the Year 8 or the 2 students for the annual Scratch game visit. As part of the Year  Computing curriculum, students have to create an education game aimed at Year 2 students using the Scratch language. It was great to have 8 Year 2 classes visit to play, test and review the games. A lot of games have a retro theme with built in questions and puzzles to test the Year 2’s controls and knowledge.  The Year 2 students seemed to really enjoy the visit and playing the games and it was commented on by the Year 2 teachers how mature and welcoming the Year 8 students were. I'm already looking forward to next year and this successful campus collaboration at BIS.

David Knaggs - Head of Computing

FOBISIA Social Science Essay Success


A huge well done to Marya in year 12  who successfully came second in FOBISIA’s annual Social Science Essay Competition. This year’s topic was ‘The corona generation? Evaluate how Covid-19 may change the lives of young people’. Marya placed second despite there being over 50 submissions in the 16-18 category from some of the best students from around the world. Congratulations Marya!

To see the full results, click here:

Edward Cascarino - Head of Psychology

Year 6 students visit Secondary for Orientation Morning

This week, we invited our Year 6 students in for an Orientation Morning which provided them with opportunities to tour the campus with our current Year 7s, a workshop on managing changes, and a question and answer session with some of our Year 12 wellbeing committee. The morning was a fantastic warm up for the Year 6 transition day coming up on the 8th of June. It served as a great opportunity for students to familiarise themselves with some secondary teachers, to engage with transition and to ease some of the worries they may have about August.

Ioan Morgan, Head of Year 7

Parents in tune at Juilliard Music Workshop

On Thursday 26th Erin Wight, our Juilliard link led a secondary parents workshop.  She outlined the Juilliard approach to the Performing Arts and how it works here at BIS.  This was followed by an opportunity for the visiting parents to take part in a music lesson.

As a group, we experimented with vocal sounds and then created a scenario which we then set to music using our voices. Finally Erin performed the ideas on her viola.

The session finished with 9MSV band, choir and string groups performing for our audience.

Thanks to everyone who attended.

Parenting Partnership Workshop: Difficult Conversations - Thursday 2nd June

Parent workshop

In this practical workshop our Advice, Support and Counselling team will share strategies for managing challenging conversations at home, and address some of the worries parents can have around how to initiate them.  There will be an opportunity to ask our team any questions you have around supporting positive dialogue with your teenage children.

As limited spaces are available, please complete the form below to confirm your attendance.

We look forward to welcoming you to this event.

Event Detail

BIS Night of the Arts: Wednesday 8th June

1 Night of th art

Event Details:

  • Date: Wednesday 8th June 2022
  • Time: 5.00pm - 7.00pm
  • Location: Secondary Campus

PTG Preloved Fair 2022- Saturday 11th June

PTG preloved fair

Consider participating in our Pre Loved Fair on Saturday 11th June.  There are a couple of ways to join.

You can purchase a table and sell all your second hand goods, or come along as a customer and pick up a bargain.  The Fair is open to BIS Community members only including all students, families and staff.

By now you will have received our email with the details so please check your inbox.

If you have any questions please WhatsApp Melanie Rowe, PTG on +84 93 802 9513 or email melanierowe1201@gmail.com.

If you would like to book a table please email the Secondary Campus Receptionist – Katie Walsh katie.walsh@bisvietnam.com.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday 11th June
  • Time: 9.00am to 12.00pm
  • Location: Secondary Campus Auditorium

A BIS Community event

College & University Guidance Virtual Visits 2022

careers and university guidance

We are delighted to announce that the University of Oxford have agreed to deliver another webinar for students and parents in our community. They join the University of Cambridge, as well as UPenn, Brown and the University of Chicago in a star studded end to our webinar program for this term. For anyone that missed our webinar this week with Imperial College, London the recording can be viewed here.

 Final four webinars for this academic year:

  • Monday June 6th 7.30pm - 8.30pm  Virtual Visit: The University of Pennsylvania (QS global ranking 13) and Brown University (QS global ranking 49).  Please sign up for this event at this link.
  • Thursday June 9th  2022. 3.30pm - 4.30pm  Virtual University Visit: The University of Cambridge (QS global ranking 3). Please sign up for this event at this link.
  •  Thursday June 16th 2022. 3.30pm – 4.30pm Virtual University Visit: The University of Oxford (QS global ranking 2). Please join this event at this link.
  • Monday June 20th 7.30pm - 8.30pm Virtual University Visit: The University of Chicago (QS global ranking 10). Please sign up for this event at this link.

We hope to see you at the above events.

  • Monday 30th May to Friday 3rd June: Week Without Walls (inc. Sports Days)
  • Thursday 2nd June: Holding Difficult Conversations with your children: A Practical Workshop led by our Advice, Support and Counselling team, Secondary Campus Auditorium, 6:30pm
  • Monday 6th June: The University of Pennsylvania (QS 13) and Brown University (QS 49).  – Virtual University Visit, sign up here, 7.30pm - 8.30pm
  • Wednesday 8th June: Y6 Parent Transition Evening, 5pm-6pm - Secondary Campus Theatre.
  • Wednesday 8th June: Night of The Arts, 5pm-7pm - Secondary Campus Theatre.
  • Thursday 9th June:  The University of Cambridge (QS 3). Virtual University Visit, sign up here. 3.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Thursday 9th June: PTG AGM- 5:30pm Early Years & Infant Campus
  • Saturday 11th June: PTG Preloved Fair 2022, Secondary Auditorium, BIS Community event, 9am-12pm.
  • Tuesday 14th & Wednesday 15th June: Year 12 IBDP Studio Production, 3.30pm-6.00pm, Secondary Campus

Have a wonderful weekend,

Kind regards,

Sean O’Neill

Head Teacher, Secondary Campus