It is important at the beginning of the year for the whole school community to understand what we are engaged in as we begin our third year of operations at the British Vietnamese International School. So, what is in a name?
That we are a school is a given. We educate, train and encourage our students, providing them with a rich experience and stimulating environment. But one may ask how do the ‘British’, the ‘Vietnamese’ and ‘International’ components of our name fit together?
Some may ask to what extent are we a fully international school? A good question. Whilst we may not be as multinational as some other schools in Hanoi, we now have added a second nationality to our student body, with a few Korean students joining us for the first time. And we have at our core a very international outlook. We follow closely the excellent International Primary Curriculum for Humanities in Primary and blend it with Vietnamese topics and content to help the children gain more of an understanding of their own country and culture within the wider global context. We also provide through the subject content an international understanding yet keeping a strong Vietnamese component throughout, celebrating the literature, music and culture of this great and diverse country. As students get older, our desire is that they will all eventually enrol successfully at quality universities overseas, leaving school at the end of A Levels, to continue their studies abroad. It is our desired aim for them all then to return to engage fully with Vietnamese culture, society and the workplace with the skills, knowledge and sensibilities that have been developed.
We pay very careful attention to the British National Curriculum as well as the Vietnamese Curriculum in areas of Maths, Humanities and Civic Education blending it with the Personal, Social, Health and Citizen Education from the UK. Are British and Vietnamese of equal worth? Most certainly. Our unique bilingual education system within Hanoi values the language and literature of both cultures just as highly. Reading, presentation skills, self-expression and language skills must be as proficient in both languages.
We have been fortunate enough to have worked closely as a schools’ group with Dr Peeter Mehisto of the Institute of Education in London and a world renowned educator. He conducted an audit of the bilingual provision in one of the schools within our group, and I will be using the newsletter to inform our parent body about the nature, benefits and intricacies of the bilingual education we offer. Rather than being dry and academic it is a fascinating area of education; our staff are engaged by it and work hard to deliver it.
We would be very happy to receive further enquiries about this as the term progresses. I and the Section Heads will be providing you with further information through blogs, newsletters, parent meetings and informal conversations to help all of our parent body appreciate the exciting opportunities ahead.
Mr Mark Sayer – Principal of BVIS Hanoi – Royal City Campus