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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 16/03/2018

16 March 2018

Dear Parents,

I have to admit to writing this week’s newsletter with the James Bond theme tune, Big Band sounds and angelic choir tones ringing in my ears. The musical treat that I and many of you were able to enjoy last night in our Auditorium has stayed with me today - good music has that lasting effect.

Of course music has played an important part of every human culture both past and present but it seems as though people around the world respond to music in a universal way - it certainly seems that we all enjoy foot tapping if last night is anything to go by! We all recognise music that feels good and lifts our mood.

The evidence from studies in neuroscience suggests that music activates every known part of the brain and that listening to and playing music can improve your thinking, your happiness, your health and even productivity at all stages of life. It’s no wonder we all felt a positive uplift following a wonderfully crafted Spring Concert last night and it should be no wonder that we place such value on the appreciation of music and learning through music at BIS.

The Sounds of Spring

Each year our music team exercise their creativity and reinvent themselves with something different, something new and last night’s Spring Concert was a spectacular up-beat event in which our students truly excelled themselves with a programme which included a wide range of music from various genres, all of which were so impressively performed with a sense of balance and style.

Our Director of Music, Ian Alexander, said of the evening,
‘The audience were treated to our first ‘pop’ orchestra where the Junior and Senior School of Rock performed together with both our String and Chamber orchestras, creating a luscious sound with the classic ‘Staying Alive’ and Elbow’s ‘One Day Like This’.  As always, the bright and rhythmic sound of the Concert Band stood out with their exciting performance of ‘Crush’ and the film scores from the James Bond franchise which the Chamber Orchestra executed beautifully.
Congratulations to all the students involved in this event. The Music Department are very proud of you!’

Every year when we hold our Spring Concert, we have to face the sad realisation that we will be losing many of our fantastic Year 13 musicians.

This is the final BIS concert for these students before they begin their IB study leave, and this year is especially hard as we are losing many students who have been at BIS for a long time, some as long as 15 years! They are an inspiration for our younger students and are such positive role models with their dedication and quality of their playing.

The enormous impact these students have had on Music at BIS is difficult to put into words. The Big Band has grown in size and quality from their hard work over the years, and this has inspired many of our younger students to get into jazz and be willing to try out improvisation.

A special thanks also goes to one of these students, Celine, for setting up the Music Mentoring programme. This has been a highly successful scheme designed to support our younger students with their practice and to enhance learning with older and more experienced students. This scheme will her legacy and continue to evolve over the years to provide our students with invaluable experiences both as students and mentors.

We will miss these students more than they know, and we hope that they will continue to enjoy their music whatever their future endeavours.


International Pi Day 2018

On Wednesday the Student Maths Leaders held a Pi digit memory competition during lunchtime in celebration of International Pi Day 2018. Well done to Minwook who took first place memorizing an amazing 108 digits!!

All entrants who memorised 20+ digits were  rewarded with a piece of pie! #PiDay2018


Medals Galore for our SEAMC Mathematicians

This week saw the return of our Year 9, 10 and senior students after competing in the 2018 South East Asian Mathematics Competition (SEAMC).

Schools from throughout the region were invited and throughout the competition were encouraged to share a spirit of communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and cultural competence.

Our mathematicians returned with a swag of medals, along with some Golden Tickets. YoonYoung Choi brings us all the highlights from four days of effort at SEAMC.

Congratulations to all our SEAMC students on a great trip.

Can you spot any students who appeared in both articles so far?

Classroom to Countryside - IB Geography

An integral part of the Geography curriculum is building a strong understanding of the relationships between people and their environment.  Often the best way to demonstrate this is through hands on experience as seen for our IB Geography Field Trip to Dalat.

Mr Elliot shares more about the trip here.

FOBISIA Secondary Maths Competition- Shanghai

Years 7 and 8 mathematicians recently headed for Shanghai to represent BIS HCMC at the FOBISIA Secondary Mathematics Competition 2018. Aarush Yendamuri brings us the highlights from the 2 day trip…

Well done to the team who performed admirably throughout the competition and returned with good memories from their trip together.

Spotlight on Learning - Learning is like riding a bike...

Einstein’s theory of riding a bike is as logical as E = mc2, stop moving and you will fall off. We feel the same about learning.  Read more from Lee Falconer here


SISAC U19 Girls Football Results

The U19 Footballers were in action again this week against SSIS

The results:

Girls U19a team v SSIS 2-2

Girls U19b team v SSIS 1-0

Boys U19a team v SSIS 2-1
I would also like to share a highlights video from last week’s U19a Girls Match.  See the match report from captain, Lhasa, and highlights...

Once again our teams played with great spirit and character - well done to all players and coaches.

UK Universities to visit for a mini-exhibition

Our University Guidance team are excited to share the latest university visits beginning with a mini-exhibition from some UK Universities on Monday 19th March, in the Sixth Form Common Room after school 14.45-17.00.

There will also be an opportunity to learn more about writing an effective UCAS personal statement for UK university applications during a workshop with University of Southampton and Loughborough University which will be held in the Study Room at the beginning of the fair.

This is an excellent opportunity for our students and their parents considering studying in the UK and the universities are listed above.

This will be followed by visits from

  • University of Oregon: 20th March during break

  • Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality: 20th March during lunch

  • NYU Abu Dhabi: 22nd March during lunch

All visits will be in the Sixth Form Common Room.

For more information read about our University Visits Programme 2018.

NAE STEAM week at MIT 2018

This year 4 of our students will have the opportunity of a life time – the chance to travel to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the world’s leading universities and collaborate with students from 25 other schools in STEAM Activities. Congratulations to Anya Chakarabarty and David Nguyen from Year 7 who will be joining Naomi Tran and Matheo Luong from Year 6 along with other NAE innovators in the US.  Find out how they were chosen.

Making a difference with UNICEF and NAE

I am happy to share that BIS students are again offered the exciting opportunity to participate in the UN’s High Level Political Forum on sustainable development in New York in July 2018. This opportunity is exclusive to NAE students. The application process begins now.  

The selected students will become ‘NAE Ambassadors’ and will have the chance to influence politicians, demonstrating the action our schools are taking to tackle the United Nations Global Goals for sustainable development, which is the focus of our 2018 Global Challenge.

Read more from last year’s Ambassadors, Lisa Hagens and Rosa Heuveling Van Beek, and find out how to apply.


Coffee and Cake Fundraiser- Thursday 12th April

After the success of last year’s PTG Coffee and Cake morning we are pleased to inform you that the event will be taking place once again on Thursday 12th April at the Early Years and Infant Campus in aid of Thuy’s Dreams. Register your interest in the Coffee and Cake  Fundraiser.

  • Thursday 12th April

  • 8:30 – 10:30 am

  • Early Years and Infant Campus Gym

BIS Primary Spring Fair- Sunday 25th March

Sign up to the BIS Spring Fair event on our Facebook page and get updates about this years event.  Entry tickets and raffle tickets are available at the Reception.


Into the Woods production- tickets on sale soon

Sign up to the Facebook event Into the Woods for further details.

Tickets go on general sale from Thursday 22nd March.


Family Information Sheets

Next week each child will receive ‘Family Information Sheets’ that will need to be completed and returned to school. It is extremely important that we have up to date and accurate information for each student in case of an emergency. The sheets will be accompanied by a letter with more detail as to why we need the sheets and what needs to be included. Please do look out for this during next week.

Upcoming Events

Friday 16th to Sunday 18th March:  Global Issues Network Conference, Canadian International School

Sunday 25th March: Spring Fair 2018 at Early Years and Infant Campus from 10am to 2pm

Wednesday 4th April: Whole School PTG Social Evening - Boathouse Restaurant, 6:30pm

Wednesday 21st March:  SISAC Primary and Secondary Meet, SSIS, all day.


I wish you all a wonderful and relaxing weekend,


Kind regards,


Carl Mincher


Head Teacher

Secondary Campus