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Principal Weekly Update 21/04/2017 from Mr Mark Sayer

21 April 2017

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It is a real treat for me to share in this way in the lives of the students here. How lovely it is to see the school open for the new term.  The students are on tremendous form – so glad to be back at school amongst friends with the academic and extra-curricular challenges and opportunities a new term offers. I have had so many positive interactions with the students this week.

On the first day of the new term, we welcomed Marilyn George, the Vice President of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), to the school.   WASC will be one half of the visiting team at our school in November along with representatives of the Council of International Schools (CIS), when they both come to visit our school over a whole week in November 2017.  Next week, we welcome Jane Larsson, the Executive Director of CIS, to gain further understanding about our school.  Both ladies are highly experienced educators and strategists in the field of international education and both are very excited by the unique model of education we have here at the British Vietnamese International School.  Jane Larsson will also attend our Open Morning for Prospective Parents on Tuesday 25th April and speak briefly to those present about CIS and its role in the development of schools and their educational offerings to students.  This is another excellent opportunity for our school community to hear impartially about our collaboration with our accreditation partners.

During the course of Marilyn George’s visit, she was able to share her lunch time with some Year 6 students.  Her observations mirrored those that I have long made concerning the English levels and confidence that our students display.  My own lunchtimes this week with Year 5 and Year 3 students confirmed that too as I witnessed first-hand the tremendous growth and strides made by our students.  The conversations ranged from holidays to cooking to literary genres and idiom.  It was indeed humbling to see this phenomenal growth across a broad cross-section of topics and students.  There were bright eyes, chattering tongues and lots of laughter.  It is a real treat for me to share in this way in the lives of the students here.

Next week, we see the start of the International GCSE and AS examinations.  Early indications are for similar success to last year, building on the excellent teaching from dedicated, committed professionals, intent on enhancing the enjoyment of learning and a wealth of opportunity for young people derived from high academic success.   We look forward to being able to report and celebrate this success together when we publish results in August.  It is noticeable to me last year how few international schools in Hanoi publicly declare their academic results.  We do not think this is the right approach and we are proud of all that our students and teachers achieve together.  We wish all our examinee students all the best of luck and know that they will use their remaining time and the support they receive wisely.

I would also like to pay tribute, as Nick Lee has in his article, to the outstanding success of the U14 Volleyball team and in general to the success of the sporting teams across the year groups.  Not only are wide cross-sections of the students representing the school– from KS2 to KS5 – but it is also clear that are seeing great improvements in enjoyment, success and fitness levels.  Again, I reiterate my thanks to all of the staff in the PE department and to the students who are actively participating.  Thank you and congratulations.

Next week too, we welcome Paul Murphy, the Julliard Curriculum Specialist and a high performing trumpeter, to school once again.  On this occasion, Paul offers an important opportunity for parents to witness first-hand and interactively the value of the creative curriculum which is having such a positive impact on the enjoyment and performance of music.  I do encourage as many of our parents as possible to come and hear what the students are being exposed to through this Juilliard programme.  The Performing Arts Programme at school is extremely vibrant with regular musical and theatrical performance, from Early Years to Year 12 involved.   I have great pleasure in announcing too that the British Vietnamese International School will be in the first wave of Nord Anglia Schools implementing the Juilliard Dance programme in the new academic year.  More information on this will be forthcoming later.

As you can see, the first week has given us plenty to do, and that is how we like it.  We enjoy the busy and challenging environment created for our students, and the confidence and success that such opportunities provide for them.  We are safe in the knowledge that this matters to you too as parents, as you show that keen interest and involvement in the development of your children.

And in closing a very special welcome to the 21 new students who started this term and to their wider families.

I wish you all a very happy weekend.

Mr. Mark Sayer - Principal