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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 03/11/2017

03 November 2017

Dear Parents

Still with the great memories, tastes, sounds and smells of International Day in our minds our first week back in school has been a fantastic start with great cause for celebration as Year 11 and 12 students are recognised for outstanding examination performances by Cambridge International Education. In this update I share insights into Geography Fieldwork and photography through a visually stunning collection in our latest House Competition. Do you know what CAS stands for? As our CAS projects are launched shortly I offer you a brief overview of the part that CAS plays in our IB programme and campus life. Our student wellbeing agenda continues to bring much more to students’ lives and I am pleased to tell you about our lunchtime socials

At BIS we often feel on top of the world with so many fantastic students to and exciting events and activities but this week there are students who literally are ‘on top of the world….’

Top of the World!

Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards 2017

We are so proud of all our students’ accomplishments and always enjoy celebrating their successes with them.

This week we were reminded of the tremendous Year 10 and 11 IGCSE exam performances last June as several of these students were awarded additional recognition from the Cambridge Exam board as ‘Outstanding Cambridge Learners’.

IGCSE High Scorers 17-3519.jpg

Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards are a series of awards issued by the examination board. They celebrate the academic achievements of students around the world who demonstrate exceptional performance in the Cambridge IGCSE exams.

It is a superb effort to be amongst those recognised as an Outstanding Cambridge Learner and so we are delighted that so many were presented with awards for the June 2017 exams.

Top Score in Country

Kim Ninh                       Art & Design

Daniel Kim                    Biology

Victoria Fethke            Combined Science

Khoa Bang Tran           Design & Technology

Juha Lee                         Economics

Ollie Clarke                    English

Jenny Lee                       First Language Korean

Jamie Ee                         English Literature

Jun Lim                            Physical Education

Abhishek Patki              Computer Science

Khoa Bang Tran            Computer Science

Marwin Keeratibunharn         Drama

Fieke Evers                       First Language Dutch


Top Score in the World

For two of our students the surprise was even bigger as they learned that they shared the highest score in an IGCSE globally, an incredible achievement. Our top of the world mathematicians actually share the top spot for the same subject

Emily Kim                          Maths

Rahul Sharma                 Maths

It is clear that in order for these high standards to be reached several complementary conditions are in place. Most importantly these include the dedication and perseverance of the student, high quality teaching and support from school and of course the ongoing and crucial support of parents. My thanks and warmest congratulations to all involved in setting the best of conditions for our Cambridge Outstanding Learners 2017.


IGCSE Geography

Learning outside the Classroom

The Geography Department firmly believe that learning outside of the classroom plays a fundamental role in allowing our students to build a deeper understanding and a stronger connection with the world around them. They also learn to appreciate the challenges and possibilities that may impact their lives and communities in the future. Find out more about the Year 10 Geography excursion to Mui Ne


Geography Photography Competition

The Geography Department held their annual photography competition earlier than usual this year in order to link up with the Nord Anglia Education Young Photographer of the Year contest.


Congratulations have to go out to all participants who all receive house points for their efforts. Given the standard of the photography the task of judging this year’s contest was incredibly challenging, and required some difficult decision making to select the final three entries for both the upper and lower school. Well done to all participants.

Names...will be on the blog see 1st place mentioned below.

Take a look at the photos

….and its link to our NAE Global Campus


Well done to the winners Lo Lo Pham, Lower School and Paul Tran,  Upper School (photo above) who will now be entered into the Nord Anglia Education Young Photographer of the Year competition.


Wellbeing weekly- Lunchtime Social

As part of our focus on inclusion, happiness, and making connections across our  school-community, our student leadership team has worked alongside the Senior Leadership Team to implement the new Lunchtime Social!


It is held in the Study Room every lunchtime throughout  the week, and was introduced as part of a campus-wide drive to improve well-being by providing more spaces for students to relax, have fun, and improve inter-year connections.

The Lunchtime Social is open every lunchtime, and features board-games, and fun activities throughout the week led by the well-being committee. This week we held an acoustic lounge which provided great entertainment in a relaxed atmosphere. Students across all year groups are welcome to bring their lunch along and join in as a great way to meet new friends and relax during breaks!


Y12 Community CAS Projects

We offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma here at BIS because we believe that it is an excellent programme which provides students with a broad range of skills that will equip them well for life and learning beyond school.

At the heart of the IB programme is ‘CAS’ - the Community, Activity and Service element of the Diploma. All IB students take part in a CAS programme at BIS and so I would like to share some of the aims and features of the programme with you and also take a closer look at the CAS projects which have begun for Year 12 students this week.

CAS aims to develop students who purposefully reflect upon their experiences in life, to develop strategies for their own personal growth and to explore new possibilities, embrace new challenges and adapt to new roles in life. Our CAS programme is also designed to help students understand how they can be valued members of a local and global community with responsibilities towards each other and the environment.

CAS requires students to take part in a range of experiences and at least one project. Last year our Year 12 projects ranged from involvement in awareness raising around combatting the illegal wildlife trade in Asia, to reducing marine debris to supporting Newborns Vietnam and providing lasting improvements in the lives of street kids. All tremendously worthwhile and meaningful causes.

This year the CAS projects have started with student training in project aims and what makes for a great awareness campaign from the BIS Community Team.

Students have already committed to supporting their chosen community partners and this term there will be two campaign days which I will share with you in later updates, the remainder are scheduled throughout the year. Each CAS project group will present their community partners and campaign ideas to a panel composed of school senior team, PTG members and staff as an opportunity to practise the skills of making a compelling case for a worthwhile cause.

Look out for the Operation Smile team on November 21st as they launch their campaign day.


Poppy Appeal continues until Friday 10th November


The Poppy Appeal is the Royal British Legion’s biggest fundraising campaign held every year in November, the period of Remembrance.

Please stop by Reception at any of our campuses to donate.

International Day in photos


Next week we will be enjoying a thank you coffee morning with our dedicated Country room representatives who helped to coordinate our tremendously successful International Day 2017.  

Perhaps it all seems a little surreal now that life and school is back to normal, but rest assured, it all happened and we have added a few photos to the International Day Gallery to for you to enjoy the day all over again.


Spotlight on Learning- ‘Please sit down’

factory schools.jpg

In our spotlight on learning feature this week, Mr Lee Falconer reflects on how we have progressed from the concept of ‘factory model schools’ and how modern learning environments are defined more by the relationships and expectations of the learner than the physical environment.  Please, take a seat and read.


Meet the Teacher

MTT- Rob Alexander1.jpg

This week we would like to share a little more about our new Head of Year 10, Mr Robert Alexander.  Our intrepid reporters Ji Min and Jamie caught up with Mr Alexander to find out how his first few of months in HCMC have been so far.  

To hear more about Mr Alexanders thoughts on topics from education to pizza, read his interview.


Tickets are now available for Year 12 studio performance of 100

100 is a play that will make you question your life and the memories that you are creating. Would you know what your most significant memory was, if you were asked to decide? 100 will be presented by our Year 12 IB Drama students next week for two evening performances.  Limited availability due to the space and style of performance.

100 is a play that will make you question your life and the memories that you are creating. Would you know what your most significant memory was, if you were asked to decide? 100 will be presented by our Year 12 IB Drama students next week for two evening performances.  Limited availability due to the space and style of performance.


PTG Parents Lunch - Come and 'eat what your children eat'

Caterers BIStro.jpg

Our first PTG parent’s Lunch for this year will be a great opportunity for parents of students in all years to get together in our Auditorium.  Working with The Caterers, who provide snacks and lunches for our secondary students, the PTG have arranged an opportunity for you to try out the menus from the APS BIStro and the Underground cafeteria.  

PTG lunch invite final Nov 2017.png

Be sure to let us know you would like to attend by purchasing your ticket this week at the Secondary Reception.


Community Football Tournament- Sunday 10th December

The focus of our Community Football Tournament is different to other events in the sporting calendar as we look to balance the competitiveness on the pitch, with the welcoming and more social interaction off the pitch.


The main aim of the event is for students to connect with their local community and have fun!  As with all BIS sporting events, spectators and supporters are always welcome.

For further information and to find out how to register

Upcoming Events

Saturday 4th November: Senior Saigon Mathematics Competition 2017, at SSIS

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

Monday 13th November: Secondary PTG combined parent lunch - APS Auditorium 12.00 to 2.00pm


I wish you all a wonderful weekend.


Carl Mincher

Head Teacher

Secondary Campus