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BIS Early Years and Infant Campus Grand Opening

Mr Anthony Rowlands: Weekly Update 23/11/2018

Anthony Rowlands
Anthony Rowlands (31 posts) Principal View Profile

In all my years in education, I do not believe I have experienced a week quite like the one that has just passed at BIS HCMC and I am going to start by offering you two quotations:

“This is, without any doubt, and I say this to all the young people here, this is the finest teaching and learning environment I have ever experienced at early years in my life and I’ve been around the world many, many times. I have never, ever come across anything as exciting and as remarkable, so you’re all getting the most fantastic opportunity to start your lives in a wonderful environment.”

“the best school event of this nature that I have ever attended”

The above quotes were both spoken this week and relate directly to the British International School HCMC. The first quote was made by Lord David Puttnam, the world renowned film producer who devotes so much of his time nowadays to education and environmental issues. He said these words in his address just before officially opening our Early Years and Infant Campus last Tuesday (20th November). As our guest of honour, and prior to the opening ceremony, he had  toured the campus with other distinguished guests and was, as he stated, incredibly impressed with the learning  environment we have created at the EY&IC.



The second quote was by Andrew Fitzmaurice, Nord Anglia’s CEO, when he spoke about the BIS TEDx event held in the Secondary Theatre last Monday (19th November). He gave a talk at our event along with Lord Puttnam, Andy Puttock (NAE Education Director), Simon Finnigan (BIS Teacher), Claire Easter (BIS Teacher), Charlotte Jacquemin  (BIS Student) and Minh Phuong (BIS Student). It was a wonderful event held in front of a large audience and we were expertly  guided through the events by our MC Ana Samudio (BIS Student). My sincere congratulations to An Gulinck and her TEDx Co-Curricular Activity team of staff and students for organising this very special event.

On Wednesday, Lord Puttnam took the time to have coffee with a group of our students at the Park Hyatt to discuss environmental issues and how this younger generation can influence matters to make the world a better place than it currently is. The students were accompanied by Lauren Binnington who works very hard for the school on these issues. The six students were Ana Samudio, Charlotte Jacquemin, Minh Phuong, Ashley Lee, Vy Nguyen and Ratul Mangal and it was a pleasure to meet with them in my office after their meeting with Lord Puttnam, to discuss the topics they addressed.

  • Lunch with Lord Puttnam | BIS HCMC
  • Sixth Form Lunch with Lord Puttnam
  • Lunch with Lord Puttnam | BIS HCMC
  • Lunch with Lord Puttnam | BIS HCMC

As if those two events weren’t enough, there was more to come. On Wednesday evening, we were treated in the Secondary Auditorium to one of the best school concerts I have ever experienced. The Secondary Winter Concert  used ‘The Beatles’ as a theme and we were treated to 90 minutes of outstanding ‘Fab Four’ music from our students, staff and parents. I, along with everyone else, left the auditorium buzzing after such wonderful music and  an amazing ‘Hey Jude’  finale. Many thanks to Ian Alexander and his team for producing such an outstanding concert.

BIS HCMC Secondary Winter Concert

Sport was also high on the agenda this week with the Primary Sports Days taking place on the school field. They were very enjoyable events where our children had an energetic and very positive experience watched by many enthusiastic parents. As ever, our PE staff work incredibly hard to make sure our students enjoy and improve their health by participating in our sport programmes and I am very grateful to all of them.

Our swim team also participated, with great success, in the SISAC City Swimming Championships held on Tuesday. Congratulations to our swimmers and to Emily McClelland and her coaching team for the development of our swimming programme. Additionally, we are watching with interest, as the BIS U15 Team are currently competing in the FOBISIA Games in Phuket Thailand and we will be reporting on this next week.

Follow their progress on Twitter @BISHCMC_PE

It was also a pleasure for me to welcome delegates to our Early Years and Infant Campus this morning where they are participating in a FOBISIA JAWS (Jobs Alike Workshop). The JAWS has been  jointly organised by BIS HCMC and BIS Hanoi within the theme of ‘Early Years Education’ and we have over 40 teachers attending from 17 FOBISIA schools. Thank you to Sarah Curran (BIS HCMC) and Cat Passmore (BIS Hanoi) for arranging this very valuable event for our teachers.

Finally, I was very pleased to host a group of students in my office after they had participated in a Science Day at Saigon South International School last Saturday. They were in competition measuring the height and distance  that a rocket they had designed could travel after launch. I had a very interesting discussion with them regarding their achievements. The students were SeungMin Oh, Jina Jeon, Timothy Ng, Rahul Sharma, Cedric Chua, Yuen Yin Leung, Sanny Wu, Serena Huang.

  • Saigon Secondary Science Competition | BIS HCMC
  • Saigon Secondary Science Competition | BIS HCMC

So what a week we have experienced here at BIS HCMC and I will always look back at it as a very proud Principal indeed.

I do you hope that you all have a wonderful weekend.

Anthony Rowlands, Principal