10 June, 2022

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 10/06/2022

Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 10/06/2022 - mr-sean-oneill-weekly-update-10-06-2022
Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 10/06/2022 Dear Parents and Students, It is my great pleasure to share this update of a week filled with energy and enthusiasm as we welcomed parents and new students to join in a flavour of life at the Secondary Campus.

Dear Parents and Students,

It is my great pleasure to share this update of a week filled with energy and enthusiasm as we welcomed parents and new students to join in a flavour of life at the Secondary Campus.

Wednesday saw us welcome Year 6 students and students new to BIS for their Year 7 Transition Day.  They were challenged to engage in new activities in new surroundings - to forge new connections. It was wonderful to see everyone participate with such gusto and support each other so warmly throughout the day. This positive attitude, and the connections made, will undoubtedly provide a great platform for them to make a successful start to their Secondary journeys in August.  Well done Year 6!  As well as our students, our Y6 parents are also making a transition to the Secondary Campus community. This began with our Parent Transition Evening held this week. My huge thanks to all parents who attended as we begin our partnership which is so important to the success of all our Secondary students.

This week also saw the return of a firm favourite of the Secondary Calendar- the “BIS Night of the Arts”, where our community had the opportunity to tour our specialist Music, Drama, Art and Design Technology spaces to see learning in action. The buzz created as students demonstrated their learning to such a receptive audience was lovely to witness - and reminded me just how good it is to get back to holding the many events that make BIS special.  There are many opportunities for you to engage in the BIS community before the end of term with our PTG Pre-Loved Fair on Saturday and both our Theatrical and Musical Performances next week. BIS life is certainly getting back in full swing!

I am so grateful to the Parent Teacher Group members who work so tirelessly and with such passion to bring our events to life, and so it was wonderful to be able to recognise their contribution and friendship in the PTG AGM yesterday evening. We can look ahead with great optimism to a rich and rewarding programme of events and activities next year. Look out for further details.

Lastly, I would like to close by offering huge congratulations to our Year 11 students who today completed their final Cambridge IGCSE examination. The IGCSE examinations are the culmination of a two year programme and take place over a 7 week period, so these are very much a marathon rather than a sprint. All of our Year 11 students have shown an exemplary approach to their examinations and great support to each other.  Well done Year 11 - I hope you enjoy a well earned rest in the weeks ahead.

I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events, until then, my best wishes for the weekend ahead.

Sean O’Neill

Head of Secondary

Year 11s complete their Cambridge IGCSE Examinations

Y11 finished exams 4

The Year 11 students finally finished their IGCSE exams this week; the exams began at the end of April, so it’s been a mammoth undertaking for everyone involved. I have been so impressed at the way the year group approached the exams. The IGCSE course hasn’t been an easy one for them over the last two years, with all the uncertainties that came with Covid and not being in school at times; however, overall, our students just got on with the important task of learning. This resilience has been evident over the last seven weeks too. With the exams out of the way, hopefully a restful and long summer awaits everyone now, before the next adventure begins, be that at BIS or elsewhere. Congratulations Y11!

Owen McDevitt, Head of Year 11.

Year 6 Transition Day


This Wednesday saw the Year 6 students make the short journey over the campus bridge to experience their first full day on the Secondary campus. It was fantastic to see the group’s enthusiasm and excitement as they explored their new campus spaces and enjoyed a range of lessons with new Secondary teachers.

Students started their day in their new forms and were given some clear targets and challenges by Mr. Sean O’Neill who encouraged Year 6s to ‘get involved’ and to make new friends during the day. ‘Transition Day’ also provided new BIS students with an opportunity to meet their new form peers and to explore a completely new campus. I would like to take this opportunity to formally welcome any new families who are joining BIS this year and hope that Wednesday’s experiences helped to reassure and gently welcome new students to the school.

During the afternoon, Year 6s moved over to the Sports’ Field where they completed a Tug of War competition and worked in their forms through a series of team bonding exercises. I was immensely proud of their grit, determination and eagerness to involve themselves in these challenges at the end of an already long day.

To close the day, we welcomed Year 6 parents to the Secondary Theatre for a parent information evening. The session was delivered by our Secondary leadership team and discussed the practicalities of moving to Secondary school alongside some discussions about the academic and wellbeing ethos of BIS.

Thank you all for your continued support of Year 6 during this transition, we are very much looking forward to welcoming Year 7 in August and sincerely hope this week’s transition day helped to build a foundation of confidence, assurance, and familiarity.

Best wishes,

Ioan Morgan, Head of Year 7.

BIS Night of the Arts

1 Night of th art

This week we were so pleased to once again be able to open our classrooms to the community as part of our Night of The Arts event. Students and parents and members of the community were able to see and participate in the amazing experiences that our students have in Music, Drama, Art and Design Technology. It was a really fun night for all involved, and it was wonderful to be able to have our parents and community back with us in school. Thank you to all the teachers and students who made this event possible.

Cat Molloy, Director of Performing Arts.

PTG AGM: A Celebration of the Year

On Thursday evening this week, it was such a pleasure to gather together to show our appreciation for the work of the PTG members from all three BIS campuses at our Whole School PTG AGM.

The purpose of the BIS Parent Teacher Group is to build connections. Connections within the BIS Community of students, parents and teachers; and between the BIS Community and local partners. Connections that are characterised by positive, healthy relationships and embody the school’s mission of global citizens learning together with respect, integrity and care.

Throughout the challenges of recent times, this has been vital in ensuring our BIS community remains connected to each other and to what makes BIS special.

Our Chairperson, Mel Rowe gave a summary of activities throughout the year and a presentation of accounts- including how funds raised in BIS events support the vital work of our community partners.  As well as presenting our PTG executive with a token of our appreciation, we were also able to pay a special recognition to our PTG member of over a decade- LG - who has contributed so much to BIS and who as parent of a graduating year 13 student now moves to a “BIS Parent Alumni”.

My thanks once again to everyone who has contributed through the PTG this year in such a spirit of friendship. All parents are welcome to be involved in the PTG in whatever way you can. Please get in touch with Mel Rowe  at melanierowe1201@gmail.com for further details.  We look forward to a great year ahead.

BIS HCMC Graduation Highlights Video

It is my great pleasure to share with you highlights and memories of a very special day- the BIS HCMC Graduation 2022.  Please see below video to a short highlights video of the ceremony.

I am sure you will agree this captures beautifully what was a wonderful celebration of an exceptional group of young people. We wish them all the very best in the next chapter of their journeys.

BIS musicians shine in FOBISIA MUSIC event

This term, our students took part in the advanced FOBISIA online orchestra.

We rehearsed and recorded the really difficult Stravinsky piece ‘Finale from the Firebird Suite’  (arranged by Ms Jacombs) throughout term 2 during lunchtimes and then recorded our performance at the beginning of term 3. 

BIS Primary Silent Art Auction

It is with pleasure that we invite you to participate in the BIS Primary Silent Art Auction featuring a unique collection of pieces created by our very talented primary students! 

Please click here to enter the gallery where you will be able to virtually browse through some remarkable art and to easily submit a bid for any pieces which may catch your eye.

All proceeds will be donated to our community partners, Free The Bears and Laws For Paws who have engaged with our students, relentlessly raising awareness of the plight of domestic and wild animals in Vietnam.

The auction will close on Sunday 19th June after which, you will be notified should your bid have been successful.

Thank you for supporting our community partners and for taking the time to encourage our budding young artists through your investment in their work.

Tracey Brownrigg, Co-Curricular Coordinator and Community Service Project Manager.

PTG Preloved Fair 2022 - Saturday 11th June

PreLoved Fair 202201  Update

Don’t forget to come and hunt for a bargain at the Pre-Loved Fair this Saturday being held in the Auditorium at Secondary Campus. Doors open at 9am.

There will be loads of second hand items, a BIS uniform swap, student stalls and coffee and ice cream to keep you going.

The Fair is open to all BIS Community members across all three campuses including all students, families and staff.

See you there. 

Event Details:

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

A whole school BIS Community event.

Showtime - A Visit to London's Musical Theatre Land

Showtime_Poster FATicket

Showtime is a concert review of classic tunes from the world of musical theatre, performed by a group of very talented singers and accompanied by the Concert Band and Orchestra.  Shows featured include Dear Evan Hansen, The Sound of Music and Chicago among others.

From Friday 10th June, tickets will be on general release to the BIS community and can be collected from Secondary Reception.

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday 16th June
  • Time: 7.00pm
  • Location:  Secondary Auditorium
  • Tickets: available at Secondary Reception

We look forward to seeing you there on the 16th June at 7pm.

Ian Alexander, Director of Music.

Green Network Saigon: Home Recycling Competition

We are Green Network Saigon, an environmental framework aimed at coordinating sustainability action between schools, NGOs and businesses towards sustainability here in HCMC and beyond.

In cooperation with BIS sustainability clubs EcoCoin and CleanUpD2, we are pleased to announce our Home Recycling House Competition happening from the 13-17 June, during which we will host a stall in the Building 3 (behind PJs Coffee) at break and lunchtime. You will have the opportunity to donate empty milk cartons (tetrapack), which will be weighed up and added to the total tally for your house. To participate, please make an account on our React App (instructions to sign up are here), where you can track the mass of milk cartons you have donated. Instructions on how to fold your milk cartons can be found using this link.

Following the events, the milk cartons will be going to our partner Lagom Vietnam, who will be recycling them into a wide range of products (e.g. flower pots, flashcards, shoe trees, etc).

Not only will you gain house points for participation, we offer further rewards for large donations, which is not limited to notebooks, tote string bags, hats and T-shirts (alongside special restaurant discounts). In the end, the house that donates the most milk cartons (in kgs) will win.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact:

Duc: nhuynh@bisvietnam.com 

Philip: pvuu@bisvietnam.com 

Srishty: spatnaik@bisvietnam.com 

Thank you and we hope that you participate in the inaugural Home Recycling Competition.

From the GNS team.

Please click on the following links for more information:

Home Recycling competition

Green Network Saigon

College & University Guidance Virtual Visits 2022

careers and university guidance

In the last week we have had webinars from two Ivy League institutions: The University of Pennsylvania and Brown University.  - A recording of this event can now be viewed here. and we have also had a webinar from The University of Cambridge. A recording of this even can now be viewed here. 

The last two webinars we have this term are from equally prestigious universities and can be signed up for at the links below:

Once again we will be playing host to the University of Oxford who will be talking exclusively to our group of British International Schools  here in Vietnam. James Brown, who is the Head of International Admissions at the Admissions and Outreach office at the University of Oxford will be giving his advice to potential applicants for 2023 and beyond. With record numbers of applications it is more important than ever for students to apply to university strategically. Most courses at Oxford require an entrance exam as well as an interview so he will touch on both of these areas as well as giving an overview of the collegiate system. James will be happy to answer any of your questions.

The University of Chicago is a world-renowned centre of excellence for both undergraduate and post-graduate teaching and research with many of the world’s leading researchers across a huge number of fields. One notable recent example was the unveiling of the first images of the black hole at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy. Stunning images that were only possible due the University of Chicago-affiliated South Pole Telescope. The university is a thriving hub for leading edge academics and welcomes hundreds of high achieving international undergraduate students every year. We are delighted to welcome Domenic Lamberti from UoC to present to our Nord Anglia group of four British International Schools in Vietnam.

School Photograph Orders 2022 - Earlybird Deadline is 20th June

pret portrait 1

pret portrait 1

School photos are now available to view online and emails have been sent to all families of students who were in attendance for school photo days. 

Pret a Portrait is offering a 25% discount for all orders placed before Monday 20th June. Please contact sc@bisvietnam.com for more information.

Summer Sports Offerings from our External CCA Providers

Dear parents and BIS Sports Stars.

Unfortunately, the annual action packed BIS Summer Sports School will not go ahead this year due to construction work on each campus. However, so that all of our sports enthusiasts can stay fit, healthy and skilled over the summer break, BIS will be advertising Summer Camps in our local area. These are all run by our trusted 3rd Party External Sports Providers who you know and love from our paid CCA programme.

Please click this Summer Camps 22 link to see information regarding these weekly Summer Camps throughout the holiday period. Please note that all booking, payment and communication should be done directly with the 3rd Party External Sport Provider. BIS will take no responsibility for the camps, we are simply promoting the excellent activities that will be happening in An Phu this summer.

I hope many of our children take up the offer of these camps, learn new skills and make new friends along the way.

I hope all of our BIS families have a well deserved break over the summer and I look forward to seeing you again next year for some competitive sport in HCMC and beyond!

Phil Husband, Director of Sport.

  • 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
  • Thursday June 16th  2022:  Virtual University Visit: The University of Oxford, 3.30pm-4.30pm. Please use this teams link to join the meeting.

  • Thursday 16th June: Showtime: A Visit to London’s Musical Theatreland, Auditorium, 7pm
  • Friday 17th June: Y10 Geography Fieldwork, Thao Dien
  • Monday 20th June: Y10 &12 Invitational PTSC, 3.00pm-6.00pm
  • Monday June 20th: Virtual University Visit: The University of Chicago,  7.30pm-8.30pm . Please sign up for this event at this link.

  • Thursday 23rd June: Prize Giving Ceremonies
  • Friday 24th: Term ends at 11.30am

Have a wonderful weekend,

Kind regards,


Sean O’Neill

Head Teacher, Secondary Campus