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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 24/11/2017

24 November 2017

Dear Parents

The best schools understand that empowered students with a strong voice in their own education learn best and also engage more positively in their community. We began this week with a reflection of what BIS is all about, a celebration of the children of the world and what they can achieve together when engaging with some of the biggest and most challenging global questions about equity, equality and justice as part of the Nord Anglia contribution to UN World Children’s Day. The project was aptly titled ‘Kids Take Over’ and brought the community of 45000 NAE students together to raise their voice together as global citizens in support of children’s rights. I begin this week’s newsletter with this powerful act ...

Empowering students for World Children’s Day

How would our students plan to ensure gender equality if they were in charge?  See how this one issue was discussed within BIS and shared with other Nord Anglia schools on World Children’s Day, Monday 20th November.

In the spirit of the day Children ‘took over’ staff meetings, classrooms, boardrooms and focussed discussion on the themes of the day. Our students combined their well considered solutions with those of other students around the world.  Take a look at the conversation and you decide…


Juilliard Alumni Duo Visit BIS HCMC

of our collaboration with the Juilliard School in New York, we are fortunate to have artists visit us at BIS HCMC to inspire our students through high quality performance, masterclass sessions and engaging conversation about the power of music in  learning.

Today we were treated to a wonderful performance from Dr. Kimberly Patterson (cello) and Dr. Patrick Sutton (guitar)

At a lunchtime concert in the auditorium the Juilliard alumni introduced  themselves with an amazing concert which included a wide repertoire of pieces demonstrating just how great a partnership the cello and guitar can be. I know this surprised some of our audience.

The passion for their music was clear and beautiful music it was too, thoroughly enjoyed by the large and appreciative audience of students and staff. The quality of these two musicians was so clear and the choice of music was fascinating, including  a really exciting piece  of classical music with a rock twist to finish called Bulgarian Rock.  William Cho (Year 10) one of our own very talented cellists was so impressed by what he heard and commented that Kimberly made every note sound perfect.

Kimberly and Patrick held an inspirational workshop for our IGCSE and IB students to follow. Here they continued to demonstrate their musicianship with more playing but also addressed issues such as communication in chamber music, how to practice efficiently, the importance of movement in a performance as well as taking questions from the students. This proved to be a hugely engaging and illuminating session for students.

During an after school masterclass William, Ashley and Emily, three of our talented cellists had a chance to play a piece for Kimberly who was able to offer great feedback whilst Lois, Gabriel and Khoa performed on guitar for Patrick. What a tremendous opportunity for our students to learn from the best!


The school day starts at Breakfast

Our Wellbeing theme this week challenged students to focus on eating a healthy breakfast each morning in order to fuel themselves and their brains ready for the day of learning ahead.

We started with a collaborative breakfast between teachers and students during  assembly. Whilst the tone of the assembly was humorous, with students and teachers feeding one another using unfeasibly long spoons the message was a serious one - the average human brain weighs just 1.4kg, yet devours 20% of your daily energy and a nutritious breakfast will make learning all the easier.

This message and the activities are the focus of this week’s Spotlight on Learning Food for Thought from Lee Falconer, Assistant Headteacher.

Next week, to gauge how well students have taken on board the message, they have been asked to take a selfie each morning of themselves with their healthy breakfast.  I look forward to seeing the results and perhaps sharing a few with you next week.


Community and Service learning at APS….


Operation Smile Campaign Day

On Tuesday, we held the first of this year’s Year 12 CAS project campaign days. The Operation Smile group sold themed merchandise designed by their members throughout the day. This included water bottles, tote bags and wristbands. To raise additional funds, 5 teachers took part in their Smile Activity which tested their ability to keep a straight face – teachers who failed to do so were then sponged by many eager year 7, 8 and 9 students!

Not forgetting the aim of their CAS project, the group enthusiastically raised awareness of the important work of Operation Smile . Please take a look at their website to find out more.


Year 10 Community Project

This week Year 10 hosted a visited by Father John Toai from Mai Tam House of Hope who gave an inspiring talk about the work they do to support women and children who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Tutor groups in year 10 will start their community project next week preparing for their Christmas and TET parties for the children at Mai Tam. We look forward to hosting the first party on Thursday 7th December

More information about Mai Tam House of Hope can be found here

For an update of all our Community projects and how you, as a parent,  can support the efforts of our students and community partners read the Community Update


Next weekend at APS…..

Look out for our community clubs, projects and partners who will be present at the PTG Christmas BISzaar next Saturday (December 2nd).

Don’t forget to buy your raffle tickets in advance, there are some tremendous prizes to be had and our proceeds are used to support the work of our community partners.


Meet the Teacher- Ms Rachel Lowry

Returning  to  us at BIS HCMC this year as Head of History is Ms Rachel Lowry who previously worked at An Phu Secondary Campus between 2009 and 2012.  In the meantime she has worked in a different regions of the world and this week she shared some thoughts with our interview team Ji Min Oh and Jamie Ee about settling back into HCMC.

What does Ms Lowry think of pineapple on pizza?



We have had a number of students working hard in Phuket this week with the U15 FOBISIA Athletics Tournament and the Phuket 7s Football Tournament.  Although our U15s have already returned the Phuket 7s is finishes on Saturday.


Phuket 7s Football Tournament

Our Phuket 7s Footballers arrived last night and have played their first day of games today.  It was a tough first day for our U13 teams with two draws and one loss for the boys and three losses for the girls, all very hard fought matches.  Good luck for tomorrow’s games teams.

To follow tomorrow’s action for all of our Phuket 7s teams see the updates on BIS HCMC PE Dept.


U15 FOBISIA Tournament in Phuket

This year the Fobisia Games took place in Phuket, Thailand and covered a range of sports including Football, Basketball, Swimming and Athletics. Each and every one of our students used their skills of perseverance, determination and ambition to bring home an unbelievable total of 5 out of a possible 6 trophies, 47 gold medals, 27 silver medals and 33 bronze medals as well as a host of memories and experiences that will last a lifetime. Here’s all the action straight from the Games…

For our U14 Girls Basketball from SISAC Champions to U15 Fobisia Runners Up- what a week


Swimming for Vietnam - Jeremie Luong

As Jeremie and Alois’ swimming journeys continue, we know that you will want to be updated.  In his most recent competition, the Southeast Asian Long Course Age Group Championships in Brunei, Jeremie just became the Southeast Asian Junior Champion for the 50m butterfly!

And it's not just Jeremie we need to congratulate as his brother Alois also competed in the Championships, improving his PB in the 50m backstroke. Many congratulations boys!

To learn more about Jeremie read about his success story ‘Swimming for Vietnam’


Winter Holiday Sports Camps

This year, our winter break (Mon 18 – Fri 22 Dec and Tue 2 – Sat 6 Jan) is action packed with football, basketball, mini tennis, skills factory and swimming on offer from providers such as Rising Stars Football Academy, FOX, SSA, Mr Vinh and Mr Chau.

We hope that you will take the opportunity to benefit from this high level of coaching and your child enjoys the fun and exciting environment created at BIS this winter break.

Please see the poster for details of times, prices and camps on offer.




Key Stage 3 Performance of Antigone

Our KS3 Production of Antigone is now only 3 days away!

There are limited seats remaining and from glimpses of rehearsals the show promises to be unmissable so make sure that you get your tickets soon to avoid disappointment. Find out more ...


And later Underneath the Christmas Tree

The annual Christmas performance combining students from Tu Xuong Primary, An Phu Primary and An Phu Secondary will take place at Ben Thanh Theatre on Thursday 7th December.  A limited number of tickets are still available at all campuses.

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Opportunity: Examination invigilators needed

We are currently looking to expand our team of invigilators by recruiting reliable and confident people to assist throughout our busy examination periods of January and May/June each year.  

This team supports the Examinations Officer and supervises examinations at IGCSE and IB level during both internal and external examinations.

Responsibilities include:

  • Preparing the examination venue prior to examinations in accordance with regulations

  • Distribution of scripts and supervision of students during examinations

Team work skills and flexibility are essential though no specific experience is required as full training will be provided.

The position is on a casual basis with days/hours being variable depending on examination demands.

For further information, please contact Tracey Brownrigg (Examinations Officer) at Tracey.Brownrigg@bisvietnam.com


Teacher's Day 2017

Vietnam Teacher's Day is a day we all look forward to here at BIS HCMC and is always a humbling experience.

On Monday our entire teaching team were treated by our wonderful parents to a lunch feast and messages of gratitude from both parents and students. This is a job we all love but the appreciation expressed is gratefully received.

On behalf of all of the teaching team we'd like to say a big thank you to our parents for making it such a special day and especially Christine Avril and her PTG team who made the arrangements.

A few photos of the luncheon can be found here.


Upcoming Events

Tuesday 28th & Wednesday 29th November: Key Stage 3 Show Antigone, 7pm. Tickets are 50,000VND and are available from Reception

Thursday 30th November: Year 8 Parent Teacher Student Conference, 4pm

Saturday 2nd December: Christmas BISzaar, 10am - 2pm

Thursday 7th December: Whole school concert 'Underneath the Christmas tree', 6.30pm, Ben Thanh Theatre

Sunday 10th December: Community Football Tournament - Open to Year 5, 6 & 7


Have a wonderful weekend,


Kind regards,

Carl Mincher

Head Teacher, Secondary Campus