Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
11 August, 2020

Meet Mrs Mary McAloon - Our new Head of Primary at BVIS

Meet Mrs Mary McAloon - Our new Head of Primary at BVIS - meet-mrs-mary-mcaloon--our-new-head-of-primary-at-bvis
Meet Mrs Mary McAloon - Our new Head of Primary at BVIS We are pleased to announce that Mrs Mary McAloon has recently joined as Head of Primary at BVIS HCMC starting from the 2020-2021 academic year. 

We are pleased to announce that Mrs Mary McAloon has recently joined as Head of Primary at BVIS HCMC starting from the 2020-2021 academic year. On the completion of her Master’s of Education in 2015, Mary chose to move to HCMC, Vietnam, where she took the role of Deputy Headteacher at our sister school, The British International School (BIS HCMC) earlier.  In this article, she shares with us about her experience within the field of education and her excitement for a new academic year ahead.

*Learn about Mrs Mary's biography here.

What is your philosophy in terms of education?

Providing the optimum environment for every student's success will be my key focus as Head of Primary. I am guided by my simple yet valuable philosophy of ‘a happy child, a happy learner’. I truly believe building a happy environment is paramount to success for all. Parents must feel welcome and comfortable to share their voice, learners must be confident to take risks in their learning and achieve, and staff must be enabled to develop and progress in their career.   

BVIS HCMC Cô Mary McAloon Trưởng Khối Tiểu Học

At the centre of my philosophy is ‘student voice’.  We must help our students find what inspires them and we must nurture and harness that interest, so every child is fulfilled. We must ensure that our students have aspirations and dreams, as it is these that drive student learning and secures high achievement.  Allowing students to experience breadth and depth in the curriculum will support every student to set high aspirations and develop perseverance which goes beyond what they may have once only imagined.  I am also an advocate for reflection, as students who naturally reflect on their learning and experiences will make excellent progress and meet their goals and aspirations. 

What do you enjoy most about working in a school? 

Schools are exciting places to be.  They say that by the time you leave your primary school years at the end of Year 6, you will have experienced 100 memorable moments to take away with you for life.  This to me is what makes working in a primary school so special.  Having worked in schools for over 20 years, I have had the great opportunity to observe many children experiencing these wonderful moments.  Each time this has happened, I have observed young children filled full of love for their learning, which makes it even more special for me.  How lucky I am to have so many reasons to enjoy my work in schools. 

In schools, there is always something interesting to learn, amazing to see or fantastic to celebrate.  Primary aged children show adults how life should be - fun, invigorating and full of challenges and measured risks.  All these together support a child’s growth and development.  There is never a day that goes by when working in a school that does not make me smile.  


What is your first impression of BVIS HCMC? 

I first visited BVIS HCMC in 2015.  As I return in 2020, I am filled with the same feeling of joy and excitement as I walk the corridors and see the students learning and achieving.  The BVIS HCMC community is extremely welcoming.  As I embark on my journey at BVIS HCMC, that welcoming feeling is something that we will continue to nurture and cherish.  Feeling part of the community brings about the important sense of belonging for all stakeholders, which is imperative to achieving both individual and collective goals.  The BVIS community is a supportive environment that embraces new ideas and innovations; this is clear as you observe the activities that are happening and the learning taking place across the school.   

What goals and expectations do you have for your teachers? 

The teaching profession is a vocation where you have passion and ambition to support others in progressing and developing to where they wish to be.  All our teachers at BVIS HCMC have been carefully selected to achieve just this. My goal is to support all members of our teaching team to continue to excel by having high expectations of themselves in their practice and high expectations of the students in their care.  Harry Truman once said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”  This defines my expectations for our teachers.  All teachers at BVIS HCMC offer excellent pedagogical knowledge and understanding, but there is always more to learn.  I expect our teachers to thrive on developing and learning through trialling new ideas showing creativity and innovation in their facilitation of learning.  My goal is for our teachers to inspire their students to keep learning and want to be the best they can be.  Through sharing creativity in this way, our teachers will be outstanding role models for our students at BVIS HCMC. 


What expectations do you have for your students? 

Ensuring the learning environment enables students to perform at their best is paramount to success.  The ethos that we will create will support students in being comfortable to share their thoughts, feelings and emotions.  With this, I expect our students to be open and honest about their learning, ask questions when they are unsure and to want to explore and experiment to always find out more.  I wish for our students to be inquisitive and curious individuals, always asking, What next? What if? and Why?  Holding a desire to know more and to find out how things work is imperative for our students and through the facilitation of great learning, a fantastic learning environment and outstanding role models within our teaching team, students will achieve their aspirations. 

As I explained previously, I believe it is paramount for all our students to be aspirational, to have goals and know how they will achieve these.  I expect our students to be reflective in their learning journey, adapting as necessary with the support of their teachers and parents to ensure they be the best they can be. 

Could you outline the role that parents should play in the school? 

As the new Head of Primary, a great proportion of my energy will be invested in our parents, supporting and providing appropriate guidance to continue to better the children’s international, bilingual experiences.  Lisa Harpin supports my view that parents are as equally important as the students within a school, with the statement, “engaging parents in their children’s education will ultimately lead to improved student achievement” (2011).  I find it interesting to note that two thirds of a child’s life when at primary school is spent at home with their parents.  Therefore, it is imperative for parents to know and understand how to support their child’s development academically, socially, emotionally and personally.  Parents play a vital role and I therefore urge all parents to be involved in school life, ask the teachers questions and support the school’s educational approach for your child.  Our doors are always open, we welcome parents to ask and confirm what is best for their children.  Working together promotes the best learning experiences for your children. 

Is there any special message you would like to send to BVIS HCMC community? 

I am thoroughly looking forward to working with this very special community and providing the best for our students.  Our school will continue to be the place where every student achieves and creates memorable experiences that they take with them from their primary years.  I pride myself on excellence and, within my new role as Head of Primary, I will ensure that our community is the best place for all – our students, our parents and our teachers. 

I wish every member of our BVIS HCMC community a healthy, happy and successful academic year ahead.  My door is always open, together we grow.