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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 23/11/2018

Sean O
Sean O'Neill (58 posts) Head Teacher, Secondary Campus View Profile

Dear Parents,

I often tell people I have the best job in the world but this week, somehow it got even better!

The events of the week past that brought so many of us together, parents, teachers and students and some very exciting visitors have once again reminded us what a very special place BIS HCMC is.

On Monday we welcomed speakers and guests from all over the world, united in their passion for sharing ideas that spark debate and conversation at TEDx Youth @BISHCMC.

TEDx events are all about spreading good ideas by speakers with something important to say and Charlotte Jaquemin, one of our student speakers, summed the experience up very well, saying of the chance to speak "We have a voice, which as a powerful tool, I believe we should take advantage of and use with purpose”. She certainly left a lasting impression on the audience with her thought provoking talk around belonging and Third Culture Kids.

Speakers this year included students teachers and event culminated with the privilege of welcoming award-winning film producer Lord David Puttnam to the stage. Lord Puttnam is the chair of the NAE Education Advisory Board. It was of huge interest to hear from him that after an 18-year hiatus from film production, he is now returning to the silver screen with a focus on climate change. Lord Puttnam delivered an outstanding commentary on man’s use of resources, our actions to change for the better and how action is what “makes a nation great”.

Could the week get any better?

Well, our pride and sense of community as one school could not have been stronger as we gathered together once more, on Tuesday, at the Early Years Campus for the official opening by Lord Puttnam. Our warmest congratulations to the Early Years and Infant team for a truly wonderful event. The very positive comments made by Lord Puttnam as he opened the campus will be a great source of inspiration and pride for the EY team (and us all!) as they continue to build a truly fantastic environment for our youngest students to thrive in.

Naturally, the best schools understand that students empowered with a strong voice in their own education learn best and also engage more positively in their community. So, to follow on from last year’s #KidsTakeOver on World Children’s Day this year (Tuesday) under the theme of Student Voice we brought together representatives from our Secondary, Junior and EY&I Student Councils, including our newly formed Year 2 Mini-Council  to celebrate Student Voice initiatives and make sure that children are aware of the impact that they have in our school. This was complemented by activities throughout the week including assemblies on Student Voice and lessons on the Secondary Campus exploring the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Nothing brings people together like good food and so when the wonderful PTG invited the teaching team to lunch for Teacher Appreciation Day (also on Tuesday) it was always going to be a memorable event…the International Buffet provided was a real treat and on behalf of all teachers and teaching assistants I want to say a huge thank you..we loved it!

The soundtrack to the week has been influenced by the iconic Great British sound of The Beatles as we prepared and rehearsed for this year’s Winter Concert (Wednesday). The quality of music and atmosphere created was just stunning and a credit to the Music Team lead by Ian Alexander and our student musicians who played and sang their hearts out. The finale of Hey Jude will be a lasting memory for all that joined us I’m sure.

The FOBISIA Team departed earlier in the week and already making us proud at the ‘Friendly Games’ in Phuket in competition in Phuket…watch this space for a full report on how our students fared but if you can’t wait stay in touch with all the action at https://twitter.com/BISHCMC_PE

Go BIS – we’re right behind you and so proud of what you’ve achieved already!

Tea with Lord Puttnam

When one of our students invited Lord Puttnam to join a discussion about his environmental work she didn’t truly expect him to agree but on Wednesday afternoon that’s exactly what happened.

Enjoy the reflections of some of those who joined the discussion over afternoon tea...

Lord Puttnam’s life lessons and dedication to be a part of the solution, which he was eager to share with us, was incredibly inspiring. Through the conversation with him, I realized that it is with this passion and effort that a single person has the power to accomplish a great deal in their lifetime. The experience also taught me that sometimes, you really should just chase someone down the elevator to invite them for tea. Charlotte Jacquemin

I thought today's discussion with Lord Puttnam was so inspiring– the way he spoke about passion I found especially inspiring. As an IB student, there are times where I get anxious about my future, where I fear that my  'path to success' won't be such an easy one. To hear him speak about resilience and remaining calm in the face of adversity was reassuring and will definitely be something I will carry with me from now on. Also, I thought his answer to my question on education as well as Ratul's question was very unconventional yet insightful. His suggestion of proposing some sort of collaboration between us and the local community in order to educate was particularly significant to me, especially considering how detached we actually are from our local community when we try to assist in conserving the environment. Vy Nguyen

For a 17 year old, to be able to have a discussion with a person who is as celebrated and environmentally prudent as Lord David Puttnam was truly an eye-opening experience. His passion for education and environmentalism sparked an inspiration for young students like myself. I will never forget that moment when he shook my hand on the TEDx stage and said to me with sincerity: "You're an entrepreneur, it's up to you to solve the (environmental) problem now." Minh Phung

"Change is not a microscopic thing, it is macroscopic. You may not see it now, but later when you zoom out, it's there. It's about making sure the changes you put in place today remain tomorrow, it's about achieving sustainability in whatever you do." Ana Samudio

Overview of the week’s activities

TEDx Youth@BISHCMC: On the Road

On Monday this week our the whole top floor of the building became a Vietnamese street as BIS HCMC played host to the global initiative of TEDx conferences. Drawing from the theme of “On the road”, our speakers took the BIS community by the hand and led them through a winding path of Technology, Education and Discovery.

We look forward to sharing each of these talks once they are loaded onto the TEDx space, but in the meantime you can read more about being On The Road with TEDx Youth@BISHCMC and visit HCMC Street with these images

Formal Opening of BIS Early Years Campus

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.” – Lord David Puttnam

On Tuesday, we then celebrated as the Right Honourable Lord Puttnam of Queensgate Kt CBE officially opened our Early Years and Infant Campus in front of an audience of distinguished guests, staff, parents and students.

The Beatles ‘White Album’ Winter Concert 2018

This year our Christmas season began with with the Winter Concerta celebration of the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles ‘White Album’.  Of course the moment required some of us to consider where we were on that day in ‘68, yet it was also great to see the effect of ‘Beatlemania’ on a new generation.

Students conserve and rebuild coral reefs around Vietnam

Club CURE aims to conserve and rebuild coral reefs around Vietnam, as well as raise awareness about this issue more widely. The club has built two artificial reefs in Nha Trang Bay and Whale Island Bay, and carried out several awareness raising activities. These include a movie screening at The Hive Saigon and stalls at BIS' Christmas BISzaar and PTG Flea Market. To involve more people, the club was started as a co-curricular activity (CCA) at BIS and currently has 15 members. To raise awareness about this issue in local communities and with younger people particularly. The club members felt that they should reach out to local schools in Ho Chi Minh City to further educate them about the issues in.

MIT Encourages our Students to be Inspired by Nature

As part of the recent inaugural NAE Steam Festival at Northbridge International School in Phnom Penh, students from BIS worked in teams with students from around the region to create their own animal inspired superhero.  Sue Nhan in 9H was the driving force behind the very popular mask created for the very popular ‘cockroach boy’ hero, with Ellie Kim and Yu Jeong Choi working tirelessly to create their own pangolin armour.

To find out more about the Super Natural MIT Challenge put to all Nord Anglia Education students from MIT’s Professor Anette ‘Peko’ Hosoi, the Robosnail and Furry Wetsuit inventor.

BIS Learning Challenge - Week 11

Mr Chandler, DT Teacher and STEAM Challenge innovator found inspiration from this week’s events just in time for the weekend.  Still want more? How about having a go at the BIS Learning Challenge for Week 11 here.


It’s been a busy first day for our U15 FOBISIA 2018, with PBs, great team efforts and more than a few new school records being set.  All the best for the football and basketball contests over the weekend.

You can follow the action on our Social Wall here.

U19 Girls Basketball vs SSIS - Match Report

Team member Saebom Park shares the details of the first U19 Girls basketball match of the season.

Be involved


This year's KS3 production of Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman is a hybrid genre of play including classic Greek tragedy, comedy and drama.
Event Details
Date: 4th and 5th of December 2018
Time: To be confirmed
Location: Theatre, Secondary Campus
Tickets: Tickets are 50,000vnd and can be purchased from the Secondary Campus Reception.

PTG Christmas BISzaar 2018- Saturday 8th December

Preparations are well underway for the Christmas BISzaar which will include music, stalls, food and entertainment, raffles and activities.  It is a great way for the whole family to get together and support our community partners.

Event Details
Date: Saturday 8th December 2018

Time: 9am - 1pm

Location: BIS Secondary Campus, 246 Nguyen Van Huong, District 2

Raffle tickets are on sale this week at BIS events, from the Secondary Campus Reception and at both Junior and Early Years Campuses during drop off and pick up times. Register your interest in the Christmas BISzaar 2018 Facebook event to stay up to date with the latest prizes.

Thank you for your support.

Dates for your Diary

Thursday 22nd to Monday 26th November:  U15 FOBISIA Games, Phuket, Thailand

Saturday 24th November: Intermediate Saigon Maths Competition, 8am to 1pm

Tuesday 27th November: Year 7 Vietnamese Trip, 9.30am to 11.30am

Wednesday 28th November: Year 12 Geography, ESS and Biology Con Dao Expedition Parents Information Evening, 5.30pm to 6pm

Thursday 29th November: Year 9 Expeditions Parent evening, 6pm-6.45pm

Thursday 29th November: Philippines, Chiang Rai Expeditions Parent evening, 6pm-6.45pm
Thursday 29th November: Cambodia Expeditions Parent evening, 6.30pm

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December: Year 10 & 12 IA Practice Expedition,

Tuesday 4th & Wednesday 5th December: KS3 Production- Metamorphoses, Secondary Campus Auditorium, 6pm

Saturday 8th December: Christmas BISzaar 18, BIS Secondary Campus, 9am to 1pm

Monday 10th December: Thien Phuoc Christmas Party, 14.50pm to 17.30pm, Thien Phuoc

Thursday 13th December: Mai Tam Christmas Party, 3.00pm to 4.00pm

Have a wonderful weekend and don’t forget to check the weather forecast before travelling out on Sunday.


Kind regards,

Carl Mincher

Head Teacher, Secondary Campus