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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 13/01/17

13 January 2017

Dear Parents,

There has been much excitement in the air this week as the students in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 & 12 look forward to their annual school trips which take place next week. Mock IGCSE exams and Mock IB exams began this week for the Year 11 and 13 students. There have been lots of exciting things happening around the campus this week.

Year 7 Science Experiment

Year 7 Science BIS HCMC

Year 7 are currently learning about camouflage.  They have designed an experiment to see which colour "worms" are more likely to be eaten by birds when left out overnight.  Each group cooked spaghetti in a variety of food dyes to make them different colours and then chose a location around school to put their "worms".  This experiment encourages the students to use their critical thinking skills to identify all the variables that need to be controlled in order to make it a fair test as well as their collaborative skills to work as a team to complete the practical experiment.


BIS HCMC Alumni Event


On the evening of Friday 6 January, we hosted our first ever alumni event. We welcomed former students from as far back as our graduating class of 2012.  It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces, and even better to see them as 'friends'. One student described the reunion perfectly: "Teachers at BIS HCMC are different to any other school - none of my friends from uni understand why I stay in touch with my teachers; they don't do it. They would understand it if they saw this." We look forward to hosting another Alumni event before the summer.


BIS HCMC Community Service Shortlisted for Award

Y3 and Thien Phuoc Foster Home

We are very excited that our Community Service initiatives have been shortlisted for the British International Schools Award, primarily for our work with Thien Phuoc Foster Home for Disabled Children with whom we have partnered with since 2007. Clover Sharman, our Community Services Manager, will be attending the award ceremony in London later this month and we hope to be sharing good news with you shortly. While we would be delighted if we won, we are honoured to have been shortlisted, and thrilled that with the support of our PTG and parents, we have been able to do so much for Thien Phuoc’s staff and residents over the years.


IB / IGCSE Performance Showcase Concert

IB / IGCSE Performance Showcase Concert BIS HCMC

On 7th and 8th February we will host  our annual IB and IGCSE performance showcase. In this concert our talented IB and IGCSE musicians will play and record the performances that will go towards their final coursework. The IB students will each perform a 20 minute recital and IGCSE students will play either a solo performance or an ensemble performance.

Year 13 students performing this year include Mylan on electric guitar, Lan Anh and Nghi on voice and Amy on piano. The IGCSE performances include a wide variety of instruments and musical styles. The concerts will happen over 2 nights with different students each night and promise to be a real showcase of musical talent in BIS. Parents are very welcome to attend the event.


Student Music Performance Mentoring Programme

Student Music Performance Mentoring Programme BIS HCMC

During September last year Celine Nguyen a Year 12 Student, founded the Music Performance Mentoring Program. The program sees older students working with students from the Primary Campuses and the lower Secondary Campus to help them become more creative performers. The older students also assist in preparing younger students to sit the ABRSM music exams. Celine share with us feedback from students who have been participating in the program and provides details of who to contact if you would like your child to participate in this program.

VAMOS A LEER - Spanish Reading


In December we received some exciting new Spanish fiction books in the library. This week some of the students in our Spanish language classes have been taking some time out of the lesson to discover the delights of reading in Spanish.


FOBISIA Games Trials

FOBISIA Games Trials

Nearly one hundred Year 7 and 8 students have been putting all their effort and determination into showcasing their sporting skills to obtain a place on the U13 FOBISIA squad, which will represent the school in the A Group Red Games to be held at Alice Smith School (KL) in March 2017.
It was wonderful to see so many students pushing themselves, and one another, to succeed, with the majority of students putting themselves forward for all four sports and completing the gruelling Multi Stage Fitness Test early on Friday morning. It will be a very tough selection process for the PE team and students will be informed of their selection in due course. We will be running a dedicated training programme leading up to the games against the very best sporting schools of the region.

Our sincere thanks go to all of the students who took part in the trials. The standard was incredibly high and the PE department were very impressed with the student’s attitude to the trials. Deposits will need to be paid by parents on or before Tuesday 24 October.

Mai Tam Tet party

Mai Tam Tet party BIS HCMC

Yesterday our Year 10 students celebrated Tet with the children from the Mai Tam Shelter, one of the school’s community service initiatives. The children had a wonderful time and were very excited to particpate in everything the Year 10 student’s had planned for the party.


Parent Teacher Group Events



Lost Property 

Our Secondary Parent Teacher Group has once again been very busy this week. They started the week by hosting the Welcome Back Coffee for new and existing parents and this was quickly followed by running the lost property display, which is one of the ways we attempt to match students up with their lost items.


This was followed by the Bus Tour for new parents to the school which helps new parents to find their way around the city and highlights landmarks, possible shopping venues and an orientation of District 1 & 2. It also provides a valuable way for new parents to meet each other.


This morning saw our first PTG meeting of the year, which all parents are welcome to attend. I was able to again express my thanks to the PTG for the outstanding job they did with the BIS Christmas BISzaar and the fundraising for our community service projects which stems from that. I also gave parents an overview of new initiatives taking place at school and feedback on some of the previous topics raised by the PTG. We are in the process of trialling some changes to our girl’s uniforms which we hope to implement for the start of the new school year, again following input from PTG members. The work of the PTG is invaluable on so many fronts and I am very grateful to Lori Roman, Maaike Evers, Ella Martin,  April Miller and their volunteers for their time and hard work.


A new PTG committee will be formed in April and we are looking for parents who would be interested in standing for positions on the committee. If you would like to put your name forward, or chat to any members of the PTG regarding what is involved in the position, please send an e-mail to bisptgap2@gmail.com


Tết Collection

TET Collection BIS HCMC

Our Tết collection runs from 9 January to 13 February. Please help us make Tết 2017 extra special for the children of nine of our community partners by donating high quality items such as stationery, toys, rice and noodles to our collection. Items can be donated at the Community Services Office in room 113 on the first floor of the new building.


Dates for the Diary

Monday 16th - Friday 20th January: Year 7-10 & 12 Trips Week / Year 11 & 13 Mock Exams

Wednesday 25th January - Friday 3rd February: Tet holiday, school closed

Monday 6th February: Term 2 ECAs Start

Monday 6th February, 6pm: University Information Evening - UK applications

Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th February: IB/IGCSE Performance Showcase Concert

Thursday 9th February, 6pm: University Information Evening - US applications


My best wishes to you all for a peaceful weekend.


Kind regards,

Carl Mincher, Headteacher at An Phu Secondary