The return of all our school trips marks the end of the first half of this term and it gives me a chance to reflect on all that has been achieved at the start of this school year.
We welcomed a large number of new students to the school in August, and the priority has been to enable all of our students to settle in, feel comfortable and welcome, and to give them the confidence to push themselves in all areas of school life.
The trips week has come at the perfect time, allowing opportunities to get to know each other in a different way, and to take the learning outside of the classroom. In order to enable the students to feel like they are part of our community so quickly we have to work very hard, and I am so grateful to all of ourstaff, and our existing students for all of their efforts.
We have launched the student parliament to try and give the students a real and authentic voice in the school. We have had a new and collaborative translation project - with the whole school working together across year groups to translate a book. We have had a great start to the sporting year with many training sessions and matches against other international schools in Hanoi. We have had a terrific Book Week and, recently, Bilingual Week, again with lots of varied and exciting opportunities for students to work together and get involved. We have introduced STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) across the school and particularly within Science. We have also had rehearsals for the production, “Little Shop of Horrors” - and incredible prop-making (you will need to come to see the show to understand what I mean!), and ‘Live Lunch’ music performances.
But sometimes it is the regular things that really demonstrate what we are about and what we are trying to achieve. As I have regularly gone into lessons over the last 6 weeks, I have seen teachers who understand the individual students in front of them, give them opportunities to develop their subject-specific English and Vietnamese, and challenge them all to do the very best they can with imaginative and well-planned activities. More often than not, students work in different groups, pairs and individually within a range of tasks.
So it has been a very busy half term, and we have achieved, collectively, a great number of things. As the students return from all over Vietnam and Tanzania, I hope they have enjoyed their wider learning experience of the trips, can reflect on what they have learned and think about the challenges they had to overcome, the people that they worked with, and the friendships made.
I hope you all have a good week in the half term holiday and I look forward to seeing you all again after the break.