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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 13/10/2017

13 October 2017

Dear Parents,

With only 10 days to go before International day we warmed up the Auditorium with last night’s Battle of the Bands capturing the spirit of the AP2 campus as groups of students of all ages and background collaborated through their shared love of music and performance to provide a fantastic evening of entertainment and so this is where I begin with this week’s update.

Battle of the Bands

This year, 7 student bands performed 2 songs each in the hope of impressing our team of critical judges. They were judged on their  musicality, their energy, accuracy, and their stage presence!

Congratulations to overall Champions for the second year running; Tone Deaf!

One of their chosen songs, Human, resonates well with our wellbeing agenda as it explores aspects of the human condition. The lyrics challenge us to take a step back from our own lives to take a look around at what's happening in other people's lives, to realize that many of our problems are relatively small. Through this we may come to realise that our problems may not really be problems at all.

One of our veteran BOTB groups, 13th Floor, with 3 years stage experience in the competition (and more as an AP1 band) were this year’s KS3 winner.  The band said ‘We were aiming to win this year and we knew that we needed to create a good interaction with the crowd….’ I can tell you they did a great job.  

This year’s winners also included 90° Fahrenheit for KS 4 & 5 with Tone Deaf taking the prize as the overall winner for the second year. Read more here ...

A huge thank you must go to the Music Department for making the event such a success and to the team of judges for taking on the very difficult task of deciding on the winning acts amongst such quality.


University visits


This week witnessed another busy time for our students in their university and college applications research. Following the Study UK exhibition attended by many of our students in District 1 on last Sunday, on Monday, BIS hosted the British Council Study UK University Roadshow, welcoming 21 universities from across the UK. The roadshow provided our students with an excellent opportunity to meet with the university representatives, helping to inform them about a range of degree study options.


On Thursday, we were delighted to welcome back to BIS representatives from The University of Manchester’s Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, subject areas of great interest to a number of our students who have made applications to this University.

Thanks to all parents who took the time to join us for these events with their sons and daughters. There are a number of forthcoming university visits to BIS throughout October and November that will be of interest to students and families.

On Sunday 15th October, the EduCanada University Fair will be held at the GEM Centre in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

This is a fantastic opportunity for any students who are considering Canada for their higher education to explore the options available to them.

Read more >> Canadian University Fair 2017


Spotlight on Learning

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Let’s Think in English

In the English Department this week, Michael Walsh an academic and teacher trainer returned from Kings College, London, to provide a second round of high level training for our English specialists.

I have previously shared how we continue to extend and deepen the expertise of our teachers and learning from the best is part of that approach. The Nord Anglia-Juilliard collaboration is another example of this approach in the Performing Arts.

This week’s event was a wonderful opportunity for teachers who have previously worked with Michael to further develop and refine their practice in this programme. Teachers new to BIS this year, to our primary and secondary campus were also able to benefit from this ensuring that their is impact for all our students’ learning.

For further details


Atramento Journalism Club

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Atramento Journalism (Thursday 14.50- 15.50) is a student-led club that allows our student journalists to express themselves outside the boundaries of a subject syllabus. The aim of the club’s journalistic pursuits is to strengthen the community as it connects people with different backgrounds and cultures by sharing different perspectives. Student journalist, Ngoc, says, “One of the most exciting aspects of our club is working to produce a variety of text types from different year groups such as poetry, book reviews, character analysis and argumentative writing” The  collections will be published electronically on their website in mid-December.  


Wellbeing weekly


This week we have been focussing on the importance of sleep for maintaining wellbeing.

Put simply sleep is food for the brain, there is overwhelming evidence supporting the fact that the most important way we remain healthy and be successful as learners is to ensure we get the high quality sleep we need.  

Our students have been reflecting on the extent to which they practice good sleep habits and have shared tips to keep the routines which will enable them to get the rest they need.

For some simple tips for good night’s sleep, click here


Community Service at An Phu Secondary Campus

This week we highlight our partnership with Ky Quang Pagoda.

Ky Quang Pagoda II is hidden in the backstreets of Go Vap District and provides a great deal to the surrounding community.  From its  large and decorative pagoda, to the services offered including a free herbal medicine clinic, school for over 100 under-privileged children in the community and an orphanage – for both disabled and able bodied children.

Many of these children have grown up at the pagoda and are now young adults.  Ky Quang provides them with the support to find a job and integrate into society.

Over time this orphanage has expanded and new buildings have been required.  

BIS and Ky Quang Pagoda in partnership

The partnership between BIS and Ky Quang Pagoda was initially set up to support them upgrading their facilities and BIS students helped to paint 10 of their classrooms. We  have continued to visit the pagoda once a term to spend time with the children. The sixth form Go Vap Committee work hard to organise these visits and the next one is scheduled for Saturday 25th November 2017.

As with all our community projects, we want our students to focus on the time and energy they spend with partners. Thanks to the PTG and school donations, BIS are able to support them with their wish lists. Through events such as the Christmas BISzaar, we have supported the purchase of sandals for the children at the pagoda. We have also provided rice, noodles and toy donations during Tet.

We truly value our partnership with Ky Quang and look forward to visiting them again soon!

To follow our regular Community Service updates please remember to view our Twitter page Community Projects@BIS_Community


Introducing our new Assistant Head Teacher Lee Falconer

We are delighted to welcome our new Assistant Head Teacher, Mr Lee Falconer to BIS HCMC.  Before making his way to Ho Chi Minh City Mr Falconer taught in the UK, Canada and Hong Kong with specific focus on raising standards of Teaching and Learning in Senior Schools.

I am sure you will join us in welcoming Mr Falconer to the BIS HCMC community. To help us all get to know him, Year 12 students, Jamie and Ji Min thought they would take the opportunity to ask him a few questions.

To find out more please read the Lee Falconer Interview

SISAC competitions continue

Our U14 Boys Basketball team have been in action since my last update as have our U19b Boys Volleyball.

For further details on these games and fixtures for next week, see our Match Reports


Whatever your plans, be they sporting, creative, relaxation with family or with friends, I wish you a wonderful weekend.


save the date

Sunday 15th October: EduCanada Fair at the GEM Centre from 9am to 4pm: an opportunity to meet around 100 Canadian institutions

Tuesday 17th October: U19a Volleyball vs SSIS (Home), 4pm  Supporters welcome at SSIS to cheer us on!
Tuesday 17th October: U19a Volleyball vs SSIS (Home), 4pm Supporters encouraged at BIS to cheer us on!

Thursday 19th October: Year 7 Vietnamese Museum Visit

Thursday 19th October: Young Musicians Final

Friday 20th October: International Day- only 10 days to go

Monday 23rd - Friday 27th October: Half term holiday - school closed


Carl Mincher - Head of Secondary Campus