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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 19/01/2018

19 January 2018

Dear Parents,

Whilst the Year 7 to 10 and 12 students are away on their expeditions the atmosphere on the secondary campus has been very different this week.  No classes at study, no sport on the field, no splashing from the pool, melodies from the music department have been paused as have of course the sounds of joy and laughter as students move around the campus.

We have been enjoying the updates from Madagui, Dalat, Thac Ba, Hong Kong, the Phillipines, Tu Lan Caves, Chiang Rai and Kontum throughout the week and can already see the great adventures our students have enjoyed; I can’t wait to hear more from our students as they return home.

While the majority of our students have been challenging themselves off campus our Year 11 and Year 13 students were facing a different type of challenge here at BIS as they completed a week of mock examinations.  

Revision and preparation began in earnest some time ago and, as usual, our students have done both us and themselves proud: they have been well organised, punctual and have adhered to the expectations of conduct in the examination room.  This week is the perfect opportunity for students to familiarise themselves with examination protocol, as well as experience sitting the various papers in their subjects and gaining a firmer understanding of how to manage their time under some pressure.

I know that our students will be keen to find out their exam grades but what is more important than the grade at this stage is the feedback that our students will get from their teachers: where they have performed well, where things may not quite have gone according to plan, and what they can do to improve.  Teachers will be working closely with students in the coming weeks to support them in various ways so that they are ready and confident for the summer examinations.

While the cat’s away the mice will play...Our Year 11 and 13 may not have noticed that in our Science labs and Design Technology labs we have had excited visitors this week. It has been a delight to welcome Year 3 and 5 students who have been taking the opportunity to develop their skills in these areas with our specialist teachers. More of this below but first to our Welcome back...

Expeditions 2018

As we wait for the last of our students to return home this evening from their residential expeditions, I am sure that many of you have spent time over the last week perusing photos of your child or children taking on new challenges in some beautiful locations in and near Vietnam.

Your child will bring back some unique memories from this week, but we also hope that they have found an opportunity to find reward and success in something that may have seemed a challenge at first.

From the Year 12 students who have completed their PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course to the Year 9 rock climbing for the first time, we are seeing BIS students extend themselves with confidence and perseverance.

In case you missed some of the highlights, you can see all of the Trips blogs here.

A warm welcome back to all our students. I look forward to hearing their adventurous tales over the coming week.

David Wall, Nord Anglia Education’s Head of Expeditions, talks more about the intention of expeditionary learning for NAE students here.


Wellbeing weekly- Reflection and Feedback

For our Year 11 & Year 13 students sitting Mock IGCSE and IB exams. this week is perhaps a little more similar to our expeditions than it may appear on the surface.  Any type of exam situation can create its own type of challenge and will certainly require resilience and perseverance. It is all about perspective.

While all of the effort has been made in the lead up to this week to prepare students, at a certain point, students must go it alone.  

I hope that our Year 11 and 13 students have been able to draw on their experiences from previous years and remember that it is possible to achieve the success that they seek with the right focus and effort.

We all look forward now to a period of calm reflection and positive feedback that will support preparations for the summer.

A huge well done to you all !


Science and Design teams welcome Primary students

Learning continues at the secondary campus this week as it was the perfect opportunity for some of our younger students to experience a little of learning at secondary with some hands on lessons in the science labs and DT classrooms.

For our secondary teachers who remained on campus, this was a great opportunity to teach the very enthusiastic and curious minds of our primary students

Find out more about the Year 3 visit to the Design and Technology makerspace.


...and the Year 5 visit to the science labs


Term 2 Clubs begin on Monday 22nd January

A reminder that Term 2 Clubs start on Monday 22nd January and finish on Sunday 8th April.  For final confirmation of clubs choices for your child please check your emails or CHQ after 12.00pm on Sunday.

For more information check out the Term 2 Clubs booklet


Secondary School Photographs - 25th January to 1st February

An email has been sent to all families this week to advise the schedule for class, individual and group photos at the An Phu Secondary Campus.

Please check the details for your child to support a smooth process.  

If you would like a sibling photo for your children, please email the Receptionist, katie.walsh@bisvietnam.com,  at An Phu Secondary to schedule an appointment.  Sibling photos will be from 3.00pm to 4.00pm most afternoons from 25th January to 1st February (not 30th January).
Perhaps, this might also be an appropriate time to check whether your child has all of their required uniform in suitable condition, whether they have grown over the holidays or whether they may need to make a visit to the Student Centre to collect some items from lost property.


Tet Shoebox appeal 2018

A reminder that with your support, we hope to provide shoeboxes to as many of our community partners as possible.

Please stop by the Reception office to collect a giftbox label and some instructions on how to create the perfect Tet Shoebox.  


IGCSE & IB Music Recitals - 7th & 8th February


Interested? Save the date in your Facebook events calendar.


PE and Sports Updates

For up to date information on sporting fixtures for Term 2 and match reports you can go to the PE and Sports page on our website.


Upcoming University Visits

1st February - The George Washington University, 12.30 - 13.20, 6th Form

6th February - EU Business School, 10:50 - 11:15, 6th Form
27th February - University of Toronto, 12.30 - 13.20, 6th Form
8th March - University of British Columbia, 12.30 - 13.20, Study Room
19th March - UK Universities mini fair, after school, 6th Form and Study Room

For further information please feel free to contact our University and Guidance Counsellors


Newcomers Bus Tour- Monday 22nd January

If you are new to HCMC please do join the PTG for a fun morning around part of D2 and part of D1 followed by a light lunch.  The tour will take place on Monday 22nd January, meeting at 8.15 am outside the Junior Campus office.  The trip is free however, we ask that you cover the cost of your lunch.  To reserve a place on the bus please email – bisvnptgap1@gmail.com.  Hope to see you!


And Finally………


Stay in touch with all of our social media posts by accessing our Social Wall  .

To get your photo on the wall, just use #bishcmc.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend, full of relaxation for our Year 11 and 13 families and with the joy of homecomings for so many of us.


Upcoming events

Saturday 20 January - Sunday 21 January: Mekong Wind Band Festival at SSIS

Monday 22nd January: Newcomers Bus Tour, meeting at 8.15 am outside the Junior Campus office

Thursday 25th January - 1st February: School Photographs, Study Room (125)

Thursday 25 January: SISAC U19 Basketball vs SSIS (Home) 4.00 to 6.00pm

Thursday 25 January: SISAC U14 Boys Football vs TAS (Away) 4.00 to 6.00pm

Saturday 27January: SISAC U14 & U19 Athletics @ SSIS 7.00am to 6.00pm


Kind regards,


Carl Mincher

Head Teacher

Secondary Campus