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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 08/12/2017

09 December 2017

Dear Parents,

With the sounds of last nights Christmas Concert still ringing in my ears I am writing with such pride in our students and the many staff from across the school that made the event happen.

It is true that we are only a week away from the Christmas break but the pace of life at AP2 remains high with exciting music, sport, community and academic events yet to come.

I begin this weeks update with a reflection of the spectacular evening of musical performance we enjoyed last night…

Underneath the Christmas Tree- A Christmas Concert of outstanding quality

Each year the Christmas Concert holds something special to make you laugh, cry, sing or all three.

This year’s spectacular performance, Underneath the Christmas Tree, was no exception. From a captivating arrangement of the The Snow, by our Chamber Choir to the exhilarating performance of Christmas Eve in Sarajevo from the Chamber orchestra we enjoyed musical treats one after the other. One highlight of the evening was a heart wrenching Christmas-come-Farewell song from our TX students sharing their fond memories and also such positivity and hope for their next adventure.

The whole atmospheric event reminded us once more that it is nearly that time of the year and as sung in our finale,  Jolly Old Saint Nick is nearly here.

My thanks go to the BIS Music team for  preparing  our students so very well for their Christmas Spectacular.


Starry Night of Ambitious Bookworms

Our student library leaders are organizing a Student Reading Sleepover in the Library this evening that will give some of our avid readers a new opportunity to share their reading interests with like minded students.

The overnight event will include a range of activities including the exciting ‘Reader’s Hunt’, an escape room type activity as well as plenty of time to read new and favourite texts. Have fun Bookworms.

Look out for next week’s article to hear more.


TEDxYOUTH at BIS HCMC: Transformations

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.

A group of BIS HCMC students have have come together as one of our newest co-curricular activities to create and organise the TEDxYOUTH @BISHCMC event which will take place in March 2018 with the theme of Transformations. Take a look at the confirmed speakers so far at tedxyouthbishcmc


Spotlight on Learning - 5-Day Breakfast Selfie Challenge

The ‘5-day breakfast selfie challenge’ is complete, but I am sure that the healthy breakfast routine will continue. Many of the 86 entries to the competition showed a combination of creative flair for selfie-taking and good decision making for healthy breakfasts.

Congratulations to Theophile Oubrier in Year 7 who was the overall winner after submitting a fantastic entry with a clear understanding of what a healthy and nutritious breakfast should contain.

Looking for breakfast inspiration?  See some of our Breakfast Selfie entries here


Operation Smile Campaign – IBDP CAS Project

Zhen Yi Chew collaborated with fellow Year 12 students at BIS HCMC to help raise money and awareness of Operation Smile as part of his IB CAS Project.

Together, they planned and prepared for the Campaign Day at the end of November which involved hosting a range of activities and selling an array of products to both students and teachers. Find out more about how our students are helping change lives, one smile at a time.

If you are looking for a great stocking filler Christmas gift it is still possible to support the Operation Smile project through the purchase of a ‘Smile’ water bottle through our APS Reception.


Community Christmas BISzaar at BIS HCMC

In keeping with the spirit of the season, at our annual Christmas BISzaar on Saturday our focus was all around community and supporting those less fortunate than ourselves.

We celebrated the achievements of our BIS HCMC community with musical and dance performances from students on all campuses. We also celebrated the work we do in our wider community with over 21 stalls dedicated to building awareness around our Community Service partners and activities here at BIS. What a pleasure it was to welcome some of our community partners to join in the BISzaar and even perform on stage.

We appreciate the efforts all of our performers and participants, volunteers and staff, for creating such a special event.  In particular, thank you to those students who took part in the Community stands.  Please read the updates from our Students.

I would like to extend a special vote of thanks to Christine Avril and the PTG team who have generously invested so much time and energy in building so successfully on previous BISzaars. The potential for us to support partners is greatly improved as a result of their work and I know the funds raised will the support the work of our community partners significantly.


Meet the Teacher: Ms Archer

For this week's 'Meet the Teacher' our Year 12 students, Jamie and Ji Min speak to Head of Geography Department, Ms Archer.

Ms Archer joined BIS HCMC in August 2017 from Dulwich College Shanghai where she held the also post of Head of Geography.  Prior to this she taught Geography and Humanities in Munich, Budapest and the UK.  As the ‘Approaches to Teaching and Learning’ Coordinator at Munich International School in Germany, Gemma was also involved in developing and embedding learning skills across the curriculum. As she approaches the end of her first term at BIS HCMC, let’s find out how she’s settling in...


To round off the term, we have more inter-house competitions open to all students, some competitive and some not-so competitive, to start...


Inter-House Dodgeball Competition

This week we saw the Inter-House Dodgeball competition begin. This is always a hotly contested competition and this year was bigger and better than ever.

For more and the results, read the Dodgeball report


...and then next week...


Sports Day on Wednesday 13th December

Parents as supporters are welcome


Our students have been busy practising for the Secondary sports day next Wednesday 13th December.  A really great way to end the term, the competition takes place at Thong Nhat Stadium which includes a full running track and space for all events as well as room supporters and cheer squads to shout ….

All of our Houses come out in full force to participate on the day with bodies, minds and voices cheering on their House mates in Hanoi, Hue, Dalat and Saigon.  Look out for a full report on the dy next week.


Events for Term 2- Welcome and welcome back


Already looking forward to the new term in January, the PTG have advised the dates for the Newcomers coffee morning and bus tour below.  Everyone is welcome to attend and enjoy a light morning tea and the chance to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

  • Newcomers coffee morning - Thursday 11th January, 8.15 am APP Canteen

  • Newcomers bus tour - Monday 22nd January, 8.30 am, meeting APP Canteen  


Help the Traffic Flow in Thao Dien with Carpool Karaoke

In January 2018, we are excitedly looking forward to our brand new Early Years and Infant Campus opening its doors, joining together our whole school community in one District 2 setting.

Whilst this is an ideal location for the majority of our families and a superb opportunity for the BIS community to grow even stronger we are mindful of developing responsibly and with this in mind I would like to encourage you to read the update of the continued work we have been doing to improve the flow of traffic at peak times around the school.

Travelling together is  wonderful opportunity for our students to connect and prepare for the day ahead together or reflect on the day that has passed.  You can play your part through encouraging participation in our Carpool Karaoke Campaign.

Student interest in car pooling as a means to reduce congestion has grown significantly recently which is wonderful to see and hear. Can you encourage your child to be enjoy a part in this?

The key of course to this having a long term and significant impact is that we as parents play our part in enabling the growth in car pooling. Please consider small changes to your routines to help your child(ren)  play their part in reducing congestion by sharing the ride to school.


Job 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

Teamwork 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


Upcoming Events

Friday 8th to Monday 11th December:  Bangkok Feeding Frenzy Swimming Competition

Sunday 10th December 8.00am to 1.00pm: Community Football Tournament - BIS HCMC APP Small Field  Open to Year 5, 6 & 7
Monday 11th December 2.50pm to 5.30pm: Thien Phuoc Christmas Party

Tuesday 12th December 4.00pm to 6.00pm: SISAC U14a Football vs AIS (Away)

Wednesday 13th December 7.00am to 3.00pm: Inter House Athletics Day - Parents welcome to support in the stands.

Friday 15th December: Term 1 Last Day - School ends at 11.30am


I wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead,

Kind regards,


Carl Mincher,

Head Teacher, Secondary Campus.