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Mr. Carl Mincher – Weekly Update 4th December

04 December 2015

Dear Parents,

This update is yet another reminder of the wide range and variety of experiences our students participate in each week at AP2.

It is a great source of pride to witness the lengths that teachers and students go to in adding this richness to life and learning here.

In this update be sure to read of the preparations for our Christmas Concert Spectacular and the report on our fantastic Sports Day as well as exploring links to other recent Hub posts. I begin with a round-up of the community projects and their recent developments.

Community projects

Community projects remain very active and it has been turn of Loreto Team and Team Kontum to promote their projects and raise awareness for their cause. During a whole school assembly presented by Year 12 community project teams both teams impressed the school with their passion to raise awareness for their chosen causes. The Loreto Project also aims to support by collecting book donations to add to rural libraries.

Loreto Book Drop

The Kontum project our main goal is to raise awareness about the orphanages in that area of Vietnam. They created a poster and video campaign informing our students of the issues and problems the children of the Kontum orphanages face. On their campaign day they raised funds for the charity Poussiere de Vie which works with these children in order to offer them a better future. Link (Poussières de Vie is an independent, values-based non-profit, non-religious and non-political organization helping Vietnam's most needy children) This group will travel to Kontum  soon and so have been collecting messages of friendship from our students which we will be offered to the children during their visit.

Helmets for Kids

Tu Xuong and An Phu Primary students have once again been hearing from our Year 9 about the need to wear safety helmets when on mopeds and bicycles. The Helmets for Kids community project remains important as ever and these students along with the remainder of year 9 have been preparing persuasive safety messages for their peers and their families. The students involved seized the opportunity to practice their public presentation and speaking skills as well as delivering message they feel may be well received from peers.

[caption id="attachment_9681" align="aligncenter" width="410"]

Helmets for kids

Jae Won Jeon, Andrew Schaffer, Kimberley Jewell, Jacqueline Chan, Sanny Wu with Tu Xuong Year 6 students[/caption]

Theory of Knowledge: Visiting Academic

Roger Guy

Our students regularly benefit from visiting academics. Recently our sixth form students of Theory of Knowledge (TOK) were treated to the thinking of Professor Roger Guy, Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, US.

He began by providing some background of correctional policy in the U.S. and then examples of when research often misguides policy and practice, when practice and policy is not informed by research, and then shared a little of the research that he carried out as a model of how research can inform policy.

Why so interesting for students of TOK? The TOK requirement is central to the educational philosophy of the IB Diploma Programme. TOK is a thoughtful and purposeful inquiry into different ways of knowing, and into different kinds of knowledge, it is composed almost entirely of questions, the most central of these is "How do we know?" Through discussions of deep questions, students gain greater awareness of their personal and ideological assumptions, as well as developing an appreciation of the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives. It offers our students and their teachers the opportunity to reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and on areas of knowledge and to consider the role and nature of knowledge in their own culture, in the cultures of others and in the wider world.


As our students put it ‘Every November, men all across the world were once again united under the power of facial hair ‘ and raising awareness about cancer issues.

Once again our Children with Cancer club ran  Movember at BIS in order to raise awareness about cancer in Vietnam, as well as raise funds towards Thuy’s Dream, a charity that supports children with cancer in Vietnam.

Movember met its razor recently as students made bids to take part in this year’s  ‘shave-off’ (far safer and more dignified than its sounds!). Mr Crowley our Careers and University Guidance counsellor proved to have a very popular moustache and high bids added to what looks likely to be  Movember record.


Senior Saigon Maths Challenge (SMC)

BIS AP2 hosted a fiercely contested Saigon Senior Maths Challenge recently.

Twelve BIS sixth form mathematicians arrived at school on a Saturday morning wearing nervous, yet excited faces, to compete in the Senior Saigon Maths Competition 2015. Our 3 teams of competitive mathematicians were in determined form to take on the mathematical skills of teams from international schools across Saigon.

Competition started with an intense individual round followed by a passback round, where trust was key, as the answer for one teammate’s question becomes a parameter for another teammate’s question. The competition concluded with the mathematically-and-physically challenging relay round.  Mathematicians sprinting around the room, as they attempted to solve challenging maths problems, an activity considered by many as mentally enduring rather than physically enduring.

Senior Maths Challenge

Each of our teams demonstrated excellent mathematical and team working ability during the competition. It is of great credit to their hard work, and that of their teachers, that BIS Team 1 were crowned overall champions and were closely followed in second place by BIS 2, an excellent outcome. BIS 3 also performed well with a credible 11th place in the 19 team competition.

Senior Maths Challenge Winners

For these students SMC 2015 was their final school representation in a long line of maths competition and so this was a particularly welcome outcome. Congratulations to all three teams for their hard work and dedication in reaching this high standard.

The teams were:

BIS Team 1: David Kim, Tina Kim, Susie Choi and Hikaru Hotta.

BIS Team:2 Josh Chang, Steve Ko, Joon Seung Lee and Sae Jin Kim

BIS Team 3: Mary Yeh, Jisoo Chang, Rui Lim and Yu Ri Song


We have been pleased to provide Year 11 and 12 parents with reports electronically in during the last two weeks. The feedback from this pilot has been overwhelmingly positive and we will now be providing all reports in this e- format into the future. You will receive instructions for accessing your reports immediately prior to the publication date which can all be found in the Parent Handbook.

Inter House Sports Day 2015

On Wednesday the whole school gathered at the Thong Nhat Stadium for our annual Inter House sports day. Our students proudly wearing their house colours cheering on their fellow house athletes was a fantastic sight to behold.  Participation was high as all students competed for their house this year. 

Inter House Athletics

We witnessed excellent performances from students of all ages. So many students beat their own personal bests and several school records fell during the day following outstanding effort and of course hard training in preparation for the event.  A full report of the results and house scores will follow soon on the hub.

Hue at Sports Day

Our Heads of House played their part in rousing the team spirit throughout the day adding much to the atmosphere of friendly competition. Each was supported by student House Captains who enthusiastically led their students to track and field events. Notably, Mr Church sought great advantage through his ‘Hanoi Tannoy’. Mr Sillitoe roused the Hue athletes with a rousing speech at the opening of the competition as did Mr McGraw with his call to action for Dalat House. Miss Webb led Saigon House through chants and cheers and was never to be seen without the house flag and waving proudly. 

Hanoi Rhinos, Hue Cheetahs, Saigon Wolves and the Dalat Dragons

My thanks to the many support teams including the First Aiders led by Nurse Sharyn and of course to the PE team led by Mr Husband for making the day such a huge success.

Recently posted on the Hub:

B.I.S.S.P.A.C.E with video of the BIS Learning Skills Launch


BIS weather station with fascinating HCMC video


Term 2 ECA Sign up

It’s that time in the term when we look forward to Term 2 and start thinking about ECA selection.

Dates for your diary.

Christmas Concert

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of our annual whole school inter-campus music concert, to be held on Thursday 10th December in the Ben Thanh Theatre, 6 Mac Dinh Chi Street, D1, starting at 6.30pm.

It promises to be a wonderfully festive evening featuring performances from all choirs and instrumental groups across the whole school and a huge Christmas finale.

[caption id="attachment_9698" align="aligncenter" width="398"]

Christmas Concert

Orchestra rehearsal for ‘A Seasonal Spectacular’.[/caption]

Wednesday 9th December: CEM Parents Information Evening

       Year 12 Parent Workshop 6:30 – 8:00pm

Thursday 10th December: Christmas Concert ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – A Seasonal Spectacular’

Friday 11th December : Term 1 ECAs Finish

Sunday 13th December: Community Football Tournament (at AP1)

Friday 18th December :  Final Assembly, Term 1 Ends (11:30am)

Monday 21st December –  Friday 8th January:  School closed

Thank you once again for taking the time to read this update.

Carl Mincher

Head Teacher

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