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Mr Carl Mincher - Weekly Update: 11/03/16

13 March 2016

Dear Parents,

In addition to our students learning in the classroom, this week has been defined by wonderful music, the fun and comedy of Red Nose Day and a great deal of entrepreneurial activity beyond the classroom. I hope you enjoy this update which begins with a mention of one of the year's highlights ...

Our Spring Concert - ‘A Spring Serenade’

 AP2 Spring Serenade6 AP2 Spring Serenade7

Our Spring Serenade had been eagerly anticipated and the audience on Wednesday were not disappointed. The high standard and variety made for a very memorable evening of music. All of our ensembles played wonderfully delighting the audience to music from Ellington to Pachelbel, Paramore and many more. The concert finale involving all ensembles and choir was a moving performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Thanks to all the students for working so hard and putting on such a fabulous performance. Read more at Mr Alexander’s post here.

AP2 Spring Serenade2

Parent Satisfaction Survey 2016

By now you will have received the Parent Satisfaction Survey 2016. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our school and your feedback is vital to this process. Our annual parent satisfaction survey helps us better understand how we are performing in key areas - what we are doing well and opportunities for improvement, so that we can continue to provide the best possible educational experience to your child.

Thank you to those parents who have already completed this survey.  Since Tuesday we have had an impressive 19% response rate.  We are very keen to garner feedback from all our parents as it will make a real difference to how we run the school and plan for the future.  The online survey will only take fifteen minutes and is self-explanatory.  Your answers will be treated in the strictest of confidence.  We look forward to your participation.

Saigon Enterprise Challenge

Year 12 students have been hard at work promoting their business ideas as part of the Saigon Enterprise Challenge. Amongst the 6 BIS business groups competing ‘May’ delighted students this week with their captivating and relaxing room scents diffusers of Lavender, Jasmine and Sandalwood at a lunchtime sales promotion. 100% of profits from this group go to Quan Com 2000, a non profit organization in HCMC which provides meals to the poor. This group have also expanded their market city wide and have secured sales at several city events in recent weeks.


The groups are already well into their marketing and sales with fellow students but also to wider city market, some even securing international sales of their products! The culmination of this project is a competitive event to be held at AP2 on April 27th at BIS where all teams will be assessed on their enterprise and entrepreneurial skills by a panel of expert judges.

Whilst catching up with the group Draw String Theory (a team of physicists perhaps?) they shared their notable successes designing and selling their popular bags; hundreds of units already sold to a range of customers and their efforts haven’t stopped there!

DrawString Theory.JPG

 Along with other teams across the city they look forward to the final presentation at the end of competition on April 27th at AP2 when a panel of expert judges will evaluate their business plans and financial performances.

Family Information Sheet

You will have already received a hard copy of the Family Information Sheet this week. Once per year we send this home in order for parents to check for any errors, changes or omissions, so that we can be confident that our records are accurate and up to date.

May I request that you check the form carefully and that all changes are annotated on the sheet. Please return the sheet to your child’s tutor by Friday 25th March. All sheets, even those that are entirely correct, should be signed and returned by the above deadline. Thank you in advance for your assistance in this important matter.

To be the best teachers we must be great learners too...

One of our  priorities is to ensure that all our teachers are able to benefit from ongoing training and professional development so that our students continue to experience the best possible learning using the best up-to-date methods.

So, what are our teachers doing this week?

Our Geography Department were joined by fellow geography teachers from around Asia to collaboratively develop their  expertise by sharing the best geography teaching methods from around the region. Through workshops and fieldwork they shared and practiced innovative teaching and learning ideas that will further enhance our students’ experience of the Geography curriculum.

  Exploring teaching and learning strategies using the ‘BIS Mega-Map’


Earlier in the week AP2 also hosted a ‘Teachmeet’ event for teachers from AP1, AP2, TX and BVIS. TeachMeet is an informal and voluntary event where teachers get together to share teaching and learning ideas that have already had a great impact in their classrooms. This is a form of professional development that has become really popular over the last few years in many countries, especially in the UK.

Over 60 teachers gathered this week to share one another's great teaching ideas - there were some exciting 'tried and tested' methods that I am sure will feature across the school's lessons in the coming weeks.


FOBISIA short story competition - deadline approaching.

The FOBISIA short story competition has already taken off. It is a great opportunity to let creativity and imagination reach for the skies, and write the story that you have always wanted to! This years theme, if you didn't know, is ‘Flight’.

FOBISIA Short Story Competition

Originality is highly encouraged – be bold, different and innovative! This year BIS will be judging the competition for all FOBISIA schools.

Make sure your child's entry is in by Friday 18th March so that internal judging can take place before the final closing date. Good luck to all of our budding authors!

Rube Goldberg update….

We are still in testing phase of our machines but our Rube Goldberg Global Challenge  is starting to become a reality this week! Many of our young engineers are playing their part in designing and experimenting with the strangest of household and unwanted items around the school. Students from all campuses are collaborating well to make our ambitious plans a reality.

More household items and creative ideas are more than welcome....

Visit our Facebook page to see a snippet of the progress being made, but we don't want to give too much away, it is a competition after all!

Comic Relief -  ‘Red Nose Day’

events comm.png

Our events committee have planned and delivered on an entertaining and memorable week of comedy whilst supporting a great cause that culminated in Comic Relief Day on Friday.

As with many aspects of what we do as a school the basis is a UK event but with an International twist. The funds we have collected, almost 32 million VND, will go to support the Bin Loi Social Centre, a project supported by one of our Community ECAs, Project Impact.


The week of comedy included voting in our best tutor group joke, Killer Karaoke (teacher ‘sing-offs’) and the whole school smiley face ‘memorable moment’. See our school Facebook page for more.


Red noses became  symbol of our school's collective collaboration and support to the street children of Binh Loi Social Centre.

Teachers faced each other, singing their favorite songs - from 80s Pop to Chinese Folk songs whilst  also facing "special challenges" set by the sixth form team. Truly an unforgettable lunchtime!  Thanks to ​Mr. O'Neill, Mr. Astley, Mr Crowley, Mrs.Tang-Hales, Mr. Luke, Ms. Jackson, Ms. Tingey, Ms. Liu, Mr. Li, Mr. Roman, and Ms. Tiemann for their harmonies and courage!

Good Luck to our U13 FOBISIA Games Team!

BIS students will be attending the U13 FOBISIA Games in Hong Kong this week, they have been training very hard for the event with their teachers and coaches. We wish them the very best for a successful competition!


A look ahead to …

Sleep Awareness Week

Sleep is essential to feeling refreshed and rested, and is an indispensable part of a healthy lifestyle and of course for the best learning. So from Monday 28th March our Sixth Form students are leading our Sleep Awareness Week. Their aim is to raise awareness of the health benefits of sleep, provide ways of improving student sleeping habits and to explain the importance of sleep to student’s safety, learning, and wellbeing.

During the week sleep awareness will become part of ILS lessons, school assemblies and a variety of extra-curricular activities including  Meditation and Mindfulness Sessions using the skills our sixth formers learned from Clive Leach who trained students in coaching and mental toughness earlier this year. On the Wednesday lunchtime the sixth form events team have planned ‘Activity X’ which remains a top secret part of the weeks schedule.

More details to follow as the week approaches.

And finally…………


Are you a fluent English speaker and do you hold a recognised qualification in Counselling? Do you have a desire to join our BIS team?

If you are interested in our part time Primary Counsellor position, please read more here


Club Update:

GreenR Club Update

Coding Club Update

Study Support Club

Thao Dien Disabled School Update

Growing Minds Community Club


Thank you once again for taking the time to read this week's update,

Carl Mincher

Head Teacher

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