Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022 - Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022
Mr Sean O Neill
Secondary Campus Headteacher
25 October, 2022

Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update - 14th October 2022

Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022 - Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022

Dear Parents and Students.

Over the years, our BIS International Day has been the occasion when the wonderful diversity and energy of our multicultural, international community is most clearly expressed. In typical BIS fashion, our students, parents and teachers came together today to make sure International Day 2022 was the biggest, boldest, most creative and colourful yet!

From the flavours of the Food Festival, the pride of our first ever Flag Parade around the whole campus, the myriad cultural workshops to our International Fashion Show, the colour and vibrancy has been absolutely stunning. The finale of the day - the Culture Show - was also a real spectacle. The quality and the diversity of performances was simply incredible, and there will certainly be many that live long in the memory. It has become a BIS tradition that our Year 13 students, for whom this is their last International Day, entertain the school in dance - it has to be said this year’s was without doubt the most spectacular Year 13 dance we have seen in many years! My congratulations to all our performers throughout the day.

I hope you enjoy viewing our photos of this unforgettable event. A special thank you to all our parent volunteers who have given their time, hard work and enthusiasm, and our BIS Support Staff too, who work so hard behind the scenes to make everything possible.

Also included in this week’s update, a review of our inspirational inaugural BIS SPACE week, the hugely successful Parent Partnership Workshop held yesterday, recent performing and visual arts’ events, and a look ahead to the rest of the term.

I look forward to welcoming everyone back to school on Monday 24th October.

My best wishes to you and your families for a wonderful holiday.

Sean O’Neill, Head of Secondary

International Day



IB Literature & Performance Show

Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022 - Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022

This past Tuesday at lunchtime, BIS was thrilled to see the 1st set of original Transformations from the IB Literature & Performance class. As a part of their studies and seeing how literature and performance work together to create meaning students were tasked with transforming a non-dramatic text into an original performance. We were treated to 3 original productions based off the short stories from Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Refugees. These performances not only encompassed the human nature of existence but also highlighted the difficulties many refugees continue to face long after they leave their homes. We wish the Lit & Performance students the best of luck as they move into the next part of their coursework and complete their orals based on the work they created.

Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022 - Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022

Keigan Page, Drama Teacher


Parent Partnership Workshop – “Thinking about Thinking” 13th October

Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022 - Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022

We were delighted to welcome parents for the 4th workshop in our Parent Partnership programme, focused on Supporting your Child’s Study at Home. Further developing the home-school partnership, we discussed how strategies used in the Wellbeing programme and lessons can be reinforced at home.

In this session, we looked at two of the highest-rated interventions that support learning: metacognition and interleaving. While building a challenging origami butterfly, we consciously identified the barriers to our learning, set focused targets and repeated the process following our reflections. By focusing on their thought processes, students can learn to identify challenges and develop strategies to overcome them.

These strategies alone are only part of the solution - good learners are effective problem solvers and know when to apply each approach. Interleaving topics, instead of studying in blocks, can encourage students to compare and contrast strategies, developing their problem-solving skills and confidence.

The approaches, questions and strategies that parents can use at home will help to continue to encourage students to be versatile in the use and application of their learning. If you would like to see the presentation slides, you can do so here.


The Parent Partnership programme will continue in November with a Science seminar on November 3rd and a workshop to help in the understanding of the BIS curriculum on November 24th. We look forward to using these opportunities to further strengthen the home-school partnership.

Lyn Stanley and Matthew Lambert, Assistant Headteachers - Teaching & Learning

Art Gallery visit



Friday saw the welcome return of our IGCSE and IB students’ Art Gallery visits into D1 and D7. It has been too long since we have been able to engage with other artwork ‘in the flesh’, and no wealth of internet imagery and even library books can compare to the connection we experience when standing close to the original painting or sculpture! Fortunately this year we were able to show our students a diverse range of historically significant and contemporary approaches at four different venues across town.

Equipped with sketchbooks, pencils and camera, our excited art students from year 11 through to year 13 boarded the three buses and set off to discover what is new in the Saigon art scene. From the aesthetically familiar and beautiful Vietnamese painting and lacquer  styles of the last century on display at Lotus gallery, through to the more conceptually challenging ideas of  the“Illuminated Curiosities” exhibition at Nguyen Art Foundation, our students relished this opportunity to discover new inspiration for both their technical and conceptual development as young artists. Sketchbooks brimming with notes and studies, a fabulous day was had by all!

Janet Williams, Head of Art

Be Involved

PTG Social Night - Wednesday 2nd November

Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022 - Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022

PTG Social Nights are an event for BIS community members from all three campuses to gather to meet new friends and catch-up with old ones.  Come and join us at Baba's Kitchen, Thao Dien for an evening of food, fun and maybe a little fundraising for our community partners once again.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday 2nd November
  • Time: 7 to 9pm
  • Venue: Baba’s Kitchen, 35 Le Van Mien Street, Thao Dien
  • Tickets: 400,000vnd
  • Tickets will be available from Friday next week at the Secondary Campus and other campus locations after the half term break, stay tuned.

Community Choir Rehearsals

Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022 - Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022


The community choir is open to all adult members of the BIS community who enjoy singing.

Rehearsals will take place on Thursday mornings 7.00am - 7.40am in the Secondary Theatre OR Friday afternoons in the Junior Campus multi-purpose room 13.15-14.15.

All are welcome, whatever your singing level.

Parents should register attendance in advance on this link.

Community Workshop - Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation

Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022 - Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022


  • Tuesday 25th October 2022
  • 09:00am - 10:00am
  • BIS Secondary Theatre - 6th Floor

We are delighted to invite you to join us for a presentation by Ms Kim Miller (BDCF Schools and Partnership Coordinator) who will be sharing more about the life-changing work that Blue Dragon Children's Foundation are involved in and how they are tackling issues such as human trafficking, child labour, modern slavery, the cycle of poverty, migration, homelessness, gender inequality, and environment justice impacting children across Vietnam.

BIS has a close partnership with Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, who, since being established in 2005, have rescued hundreds of young women from forced marriage and brothels as well as transformed the lives of thousands of street kids and children in crisis. They have built homes, reunited runaways with their families, sent children back to school and training as well as provided shelters to girls and boys all the while, advocating for significant legal reform in Vietnam.

We look forward to seeing you for what promises to be a meaningful and informative session!

Please CLICK HERE to register your attendance.

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

College and University Guidance

Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022 - Mr Sean O Neill Weekly Update 14th October 2022

This week has been very much focused on Canada which remains one of the most popular destinations for BIS students. Following hosting another successful mini fair with 5 Canadian universities, we were delighted to have a separate visit from The University of Toronto. This was the leading university for our class of 2022 with no fewer than six 2022 graduates attending, including one student who gained the prestigious Lester B Pearson Scholarship. I would also like to remind students interested in Canada that there is a large Canadian University Fair at the GEM centre in District 1 this Sunday (October 16th), details of how to sign up are on this link.

Paul Rispin, Senior College and University Guidance Counsellor

Parent Partnership Calendar


Dates for your diary...

  • Sunday 16th October: Canadian Education Fair 2022 in HCMC - GEM Centre, D.1, 9.00am-1.00pm
  • Monday 24th October: Term 1 Resumes
  • Tuesday 25th October: Community Workshop - Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, Secondary Theatre, 09:00am - 10:00am
  • Wednesday 2nd November - PTG Social Night, Baba’s Kitchen, 7.00pm
  • Thursday 3rd November: Parent Partnership Workshop " Science Seminar Series - ‘Exploring Science together’", Secondary Theatre, 6.00pm
  • Tuesday 8th November: Winter Concert, Secondary Auditorium, 7.00pm-9.00pm

    Have a lovely half term break,

    Kind regards,

    Sean O’Neill

    Head Teacher, Secondary Campus