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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 20/10/2017

20 October 2017

Dear Parents

At the heart of international-mindedness is a frame of mind; a curiosity about the world, an openness towards things new and unknown, and an appreciation of the complexity of our world and our relationships with each other. Today was International Day 2017 and as parents, teachers and students we celebrated all that makes us different, our nations’ languages, customs, food, folklore and more. We joined together to share our curiosity in the differences and discovered once again that actually there is more that we have in common that binds us together

International Day

Today began with the traditional Parade of Nations reminding us of the richness and diversity of our wonderful multicultural BIS community. The pride shared in each of our nations’ was the start of our conversations about food, music, dance, art, traditions and much more.


After so much design and preparation the country representatives and their teams created such imaginative nation rooms to explore. A record number of parents joined us this year and provided a truly amazing experience for students to enjoy.

My thanks to all of you who played a part in bringing the event together and helping to create such a memorable day.

We have added a few photos to an International Day 2017 gallery, enjoy.


Inter-House History Quiz

Last Friday student representatives from each of our House teams pitted their wits against each other on a range of topics from the BIS History curriculum. Avid student historians joined together to share their knowledge and make new friends in House teams made up of all ages.  

Many thanks to our team of student History ambassadors who organised this popular Inter-House History Quiz with the support of their History teachers.

To learn which team was the victor see the History Quiz blog here


The Importance of Physical Health - Weekly Wellbeing

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“A clear distinction is often made between ‘mind’ and ‘body’. But when considering mental health and physical health, the two should not be thought of as separate.’ - mentalhealth.org.uk

This week our Student Wellbeing Committee have developed activities that focus on the importance of Physical Health in our overall health and wellbeing picture.

To read more about the wellbeing benefits of physical activity for your children see our Wellbeing Weekly story


Celebrating World Food Day

According to the United Nations, 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year whilst almost 1 billion people go undernourished and another 1 billion hungry.

Our Events Committee have therefore organised a number of activities to spread awareness of Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 12 ( 2; to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 and Goal 12; to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns by 2030) provide a reflection of the recent Hungry for Peace Week and remind students and staff of BIS’s commitment to the UNICEF Global Goals.

For more about the history  and significance of the event internationally, please read #WorldFoodDay

Secrets of an A* IGCSE Student - Ana

Studying for IGCSEs will have its tough periods for most 14-16 year olds. To manage any pressures and reach their potential, we encourage students to establish effective study habits from the outset. We recently reached out to Ana Samudio who, thanks to some careful planning and efficient study techniques achieved top grades in her IGCSEs this Summer. Here, she kindly offers her top tips on how to be successful in this internationally-recognised programme of study.

For Ana’s suggestions for success, read her advice here


FOBISIA Music Teachers’ Conference 2017

BIS HCMC is proud to be a FOBISIA school. One of the benefits of this affiliation is the regular opportunities for teachers to develop their specialist practice. The 2017 FOBISIA music teachers’ conference  recently took place where music teachers from BIS HCMC and many other international schools met to share good practice and develop their musical expertise. Mr Jon, Ms Beth and Mr Alexander enjoyed many worthwhile workshops and training sessions whilst also being able to network with other music teachers from across the region. They have returned to Ho Chi Minh with many new ideas to enhance the music curriculum at BIS HCMC.


Community Service at An Phu Secondary Campus

This week we highlight our partnership with Thien Phuoc Foster Home.

Many of you will have heard of or have even been to Thien Phuoc Foster Home. Thien Phuoc was established in 2001 and cares for children with disabilities, some of whom have been orphaned. This residential centre provides healthcare, rehabilitation and education for children with Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome and all within a nurturing and loving home environment.

The staff at Thien Phuoc work extremely hard to care for the children that live there.  Thien Phuoc also value the support of specialist and non-specialist volunteers who provide the children with extra love and care.

At Thien Phuoc they make sure to celebrate big events such as Tet, Christmas and Moon Festival which brings joy and laughter into the children’s lives. The home is managed by Sister Kim who devotes her life to the children – she is an inspiration!

More information please visit the Thien Phuoc Charity website


BIS and Thien Phuoc Foster Home

For the past 9 years, BIS and Thien Phuoc’s partnership has gone from strength to strength. Projects with Thien Phuoc were initiated as a way for students to increase their understanding of people with disabilities, as well as teaching them to not shy away from people who are different. Students at BIS have played an important role in enriching the lives of the children. We now have a number of different projects with Thien Phuoc at both Primary and Secondary campuses. Our Year 1 students host ‘play-dates’ across the whole year. At both the AP1 and AP2 campuses, we also run bi-weekly clubs to Thien Phuoc where students and dedicated staff visit the children and help out at the centre.

As with all our community projects, we want our students to focus on the time and energy they spend with partners. However, thanks to the PTG and school donations, BIS students are also able to support them with their wish lists. Last year the PTGs on all campuses joined together to buy a new physiotherapy bike to support with the children’s daily exercise.   

We truly value our partnership and look forward to another great year with Thien Phuoc!

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


SISAC Championships U19 Volleyball and U14 Basketball

On our first week back from break, life will continue it’s energetic pace for students with some of our keen athletes participating in SISAC Championship events on Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd November.  We are hosting the U19a Girls Volleyball Championships at BIS 1.00pm to 6.00pm. We would like to encourage all parents to come along and cheer on the team.  They can’t hear you from home.

For full details of the Championships for U19 Volleyball and U14 Basketball for both boys and girls, please go to the PE and Sports page

We are happy to share our steadily expanding Holiday programme

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Terry Fox Fun Run

A quick reminder that the annual Terry Fox Charity run will be held on Sunday 5th November.


Lest We Forget - Poppy Appeal 2017

The Royal British Legion set up the poppy appeal to help the soldiers and their families returning from the first world war. Now a century later, we still wear our poppies with pride to remember all of those who did not return from the battlefields.

From the first Monday back after the half term holiday until 11th November, poppies and Royal British legion items will be sold from the main office area of An Phu Secondary Campus. Stocks are limited so make sure you visit in plenty of time so you too can wear your poppy with pride.

Read more about this year’s appeal in this post by Ms Clover Sharman, Community Service Project Manager.

To find out more about how the appeal works and where all of the proceeds go take time to have a look at this link to the Royal British Legion. Within this site there is also a very interesting section that explores how the role of women in the Armed Forces has developed over the last 100 years.


Early Years Campus

During the next half term, our primary colleagues will continue to work together in partnership as they move towards the amalgamation of the An Phu Primary and Tu Xuong primary campuses in January.

A great deal of work has already taken place in order to carefully plan this exciting new phase in our school’s history. We are pleased to inform you that on a site visit this week, all of the building schedules are being met and that we are very excited at the prospect of what the Early Years and Infant Campus (EY&I) will offer our younger children and our school as a whole. Read more about the key features of our new Early Years and Infant Campus in this post by Mr Ian Battersby, Headteacher of Tu Xuong Primary Campus.


Education Advisory Board

We are very excited to announce our Education Advisory Board will be chaired by the world renowned film producer and educator Lord David Puttnam. His brilliant vision for Oscar award winning films will now carry over to the realm of education where he and Nord Anglia Education will work together to imagine an education for the 21st century. Learn more about the Education Advisory Board here.

Reflecting on the weekly updates since August I have been thrilled by the pace, variety and innovation in the learning lives of our students, much of which they have initiated and led for themselves. As such our students will benefit now from their half term break during which I hope you all enjoy some enjoyable and restful family time.

I very much look forward to welcoming students back for learning again on Monday 30th October.

Have a wonderful week ahead.


Upcoming Events

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

Monday 30th October: SISAC U19 Badminton @ AmIS

Wednesday 1st November: SISAC U14 Basketball - Boys @ ISHCMC / Girls @AmIS 11:30am to 6:00pm

Thursday 2nd November: SISAC U19 Volleyball - Boys @ ISHCMC / Girls @BIS 11:30am to 6:00pm

Sunday 5th November: Terry Fox Run, District 7

Sunday 5th November: SAIMUSE FESTIVAL HCMC, 3.00pm to 7.00pm

Tuesday 7th November: Year 12 studio production - APS Drama Studios 6.00pm to 7.00pm

Wednesday 8th to Sunday 12th November: Seoul Model United Nations Conference

Thursday 9th - Monday 13th November: FOBISIA Advanced Orchestral Festival Phuket


Carl Mincher Head of Secondary Campus