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Exceptional Teaching Award

28 December 2016

Lauren Binnington is our Head of Sixth Form. One of her main responsibilities is to help students maintain a healthy balance as they go through the challenging IB Diploma Programme, in preparation for University and a life beyond school.

  • Lauren Stanford-5628

In truth, Ms Binnington’s role demands far more than her job description prescribes, and her commitment to the students goes far beyond what is expected, but don’t take our word for it…

Hikaru Hotta was Head Boy at British International School HCMC, during the 2015-16 academic year, and is now studying at Stanford University after scoring a perfect 45 points (out of 45) in his IBDP. Months after graduating from BIS HCMC, he nominated Ms Binnington for the Stanford University Award for Exceptional Teaching:

“Ms. Lauren Binnington worked closely with me while I was Head Boy of BIS HCMC. She supported the development of the head student team and helped many ideas come to fruition. Moreover, she approached me countless times before I asked for help when I faced traumatic events and a substantial workload in term one of Year 13. Always one of the last people to leave school, she went out of her way to motivate her students. With deep appreciation, I owe my high school success to her.”  Hikaru Hotta, Stanford Class of 2020

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In response to her nomination, Ms Binnington said:

“When the announcement was made that Hikaru had nominated me for this award I was first pleasantly shocked, and then somewhat overwhelmed. There are so many dedicated and passionate teachers at BIS HCMC who worked closely with Hikaru during his time here, fuelling his love of biological sciences, developing his leadership skills, and also supporting him pastorally. As Head of Sixth Form my role is to support students holistically, providing advice on time management and organisation, creating opportunities for students to develop life skills beyond the classroom, ensuring that they are well-supported across their subjects and helping them to maintain a balance as they go through the IB Diploma.

This award is particularly important to me because it tells me that it is not only the academic guidance that students receive that is remembered beyond school; the pastoral support that we give really does make a difference to the lives of the students that we work with.

I had the pleasure of being Hikaru’s Head of Year when he first joined the school in Year 10, and then again when he joined the Sixth Form. He is a thoughtful young man who demonstrates outstanding academic ability (a 45 point score!) as well as a keen interest in the natural world and working with others. Hikaru was well known and well respected around the school, and it was primarily in his role as head boy (as well as providing pastoral support) that I was able to work with him the most. His enthusiasm for marine life and scuba diving also made our annual trip to Puerto Galera in the Philippines truly memorable. Myself and the rest of my colleagues are incredibly proud of what he and other BIS HCMC Alumni have achieved both in their time in school and since leaving us to attend some of the best universities in the world. Personally reflecting on the award, to have been honoured by Hikaru, and by Stanford University, is truly inspiring.” Lauren Binnington, Head of Sixth Form


The very nature of Hikaru’s nomination, and the spirit in which it has been received, clearly illustrates the dedication, commitment and innovative methods that showcases our teachers as leaders in education. It is why we say with confidence that the education on offer at British International School HCMC, is amongst the very best available anywhere in the world.

Congratulations to Ms Binnington on an extremely well deserved achievement, and to Hikaru for continuing to be the thoughtful and ambitious young man that we know him to be.

Lucy Glynn, Online Marketing Officer