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Secondary School Updates (14 January 2022)

Weekly update from Head of Secondary


Dear Parents,

At Friday’s Assembly, students and teachers presented a dialogue around one of our school values: Respect.

I am reminded of how important kindness and respect are in helping young people grow and develop. When we respect others, we value them for who they truly are and give them the freedom to flourish. Respect is also about acknowledging everyone’s own unique journey and realising that everyone is doing the best with what they know and have. Educationally, at BIS Hanoi, we know that a personalised and caring approach leads to a sense of psychological safety that enables young people to try, learn, take risks, and grow. Respect is a powerful principle and a strong part of who we are as a learning community.  

This week you will see proud and exciting announcement regarding both university offers and Cambridge Outstanding Education Awards. Those Year 13 students who applied early to universities around the world are beginning to receive offers, all from top universities. Additionally, you will read about the tremendous achievements of students from last year’s Year 11 cohort. We hope you enjoy this week’s updates and Virtual Learning Showcase.  

Yours sincerely, 

Chris Newman 

Head of Secondary 

Key Dates
  • Thursday 6 January – Tuesday 18 January: Year 11 and 13 Trial Examinations 

  • Wednesday 26 January: Tet Assembly, 9 AM

  • Thursday 27 January - Friday 11 February: Tet Holiday 

  • Monday 14 February: School resumes after Tet Holiday 

Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards 

Three students from last year’s Year 11 cohort have received prestigious awards from Cambridge International Education to acknowledge their outstanding performance in the June 2021 Cambridge examination series. 

The Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards programme celebrates the success of learners taking Cambridge examinations in over 40 countries around the world. Cambridge places learners at the centre of their international education programmes and qualifications which are inspired by the best in educational thinking.

  • Cambridge Learner Awards 2021 BIS Hanoi
  • Cambridge Learner Awards 2021 BIS Hanoi
  • Cambridge Learner Awards 2021 BIS Hanoi

The following students received Top of the Country awards, indicating that they received the highest mark in Vietnam for their subjects: 

  • Bich Phuong Nguyen was awarded the prize for the highest mark in Vietnam for Cambridge IGCSE Art & Design 
  • Tue Nhi Nguyen was awarded the prize for the highest mark in Vietnam for Cambridge IGCSE Biology  
  • Hana Funayama was awarded the prize for the highest mark in Vietnam for IGCSE Music 
University Offers

I want to keep the school community updated on the fantastic university offers our Year 13 students are receiving. It is exciting to see so many offers already obtained by our early applicants. In total, 16 offers have been made, and over the next few months we are expecting a flurry of additional offers to come in now that the regular application round for the UK and USA is nearly over. Many more applications will be submitted to other countries up until July. 

Here are the universities that have already made offers to some of our students:

Year 13 University Offer BIS Hanoi

Stay tuned for updates on future university offers. 

Bernd Widemann 

University Guidance Counsellor 


This term sees a focus on writing skills throughout Key Stage 3 English. With this in mind, learners were tasked with some creative writing activities to rejuvenate their writing skills. Although the majority of learners’ work is done digitally via typing essays and stories, we felt it would be good practice to break out the pen and paper and work on our handwriting, pasting a photo of their work into their digital Notebooks. Year 7s were tasked with a creative writing activity titled; A Mid Winter’s Dream, which will link to their play for this term; A Mid Summer Night’s Dream. Year 9s were tasked with creating a message in a bottle as an introduction to their play this term; The Tempest. 

  • 220114 Secondary English
  • 220114 Secondary English BIS Hanoi

Mr Wayne Kassebaum  

Secondary English Teacher 


Before the Christmas holidays, Key Stage 3 students took part in a virtual science fair. Students could choose a topic from a booklet or come up with their own ideas. We were really impressed with the quality of work produced. Students were encouraged to share their work using Flipgrid so that the other members of their year group could see and comment. Topics presented ranged from the Doppler effect, how to make a home orchestra, TED talks on the Milky Way and on how people dream, making a home-made pH indicator and analysing the colour changes, does practice make perfect (with some very amusing and informative footage of students practicing skills) and how to make objects move.  

We hope that students enjoyed a chance to investigate something they are interested in and that they have learned more about communication of science.  

  • 220114 Secondary Science BIS Hanoi
  • 220114 Secondary Science BIS Hanoi


This week, our Year 8 Spanish students have been learning about different Spanish foods, so what better way to do this than to visit La Boqueria Market in Barcelona! Travel restrictions didn’t apply as our students visited the market using Virtual Reality on Nearpod. Our students were able to explore what it is really like in Barcelona and learn more about typical Spanish food and shopping experiences. We are excited for many more VR trips in our MFL lessons! 

220114 Secondary MFL BIS Hanoi

Ms Georgina Dorr 

Head of MFL 


Our Year 7 Geographers have been exploring misconceptions that exist about the African continent. They have been given the opportunity to use their research skills to explain the reasons why misconceptions such as “All Africans live in poverty”, “All Africans live in basic houses and have no access to technology”, “All African culture is the same” and “Africans only speak one language” are false. The high standard and informative work they have produced speaks volumes of their continuing education as global citizens. Well done! 

  • 220114 Secondary Geography BIS Hanoi
  • 220114 Secondary Geography BIS Hanoi

Mr Shaun O’Callaghan  

Humanities Leader 

Performing Arts – Young Musician of the Year    

Do you play an instrument or think you’re a good singer?

Every year Global Campus runs a competition searching for the best musicians Nord Anglia has to offer. Students from all 76 Nord Anglia schools that play instruments or sing are invited to take part and this year there is a teachers category too! In previous years we have had winners in the piano and string categories and we even had one of our beatboxers gain a special prize.

We would love for BIS Hanoi students to get involved again this year and Mr Scott will be battling against other teachers. Any student aged 7-19 can enter. There are many different categories to choose from – maybe you can enter more than once! 

NAE Young Musician of the Year poster

In order to take part please visit the Young Musician section on Global Campus and upload your entry before 25th January.

We are looking forward to seeing some BIS Hanoi students competing once again.  

Ms Rachael Howarth 

Head of Whole School Performing Arts  


Our Year 10 students are learning about the topic of caricatures through the work "Remembering the subsidy period" by Thanh Phong and Huu Khoa. Not only getting acquainted with the caricatures, but the students are also very excited to learn about the subsidy period - a short but very special period of Vietnamese society. They have prepared their presentations and interviewed people who had memories of this period.

220114 Secondary Vietnamese BIS Hanoi