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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 18/05/2018

18 May 2018

Combined PTG Annual General Meeting

On Thursday representatives from the parent groups of all three campuses gathered together at the Junior Campus to share the exciting news of this year’s PTG achievements and developments

While the focus of the event was on the whole a celebration of the many successes from each campus, there was also important recognition of the commitment provided by each of our wonderful PTG committee members.  

One School

A key theme that came from each of the campus presentations is how the parent teacher committees have grown and developed further each year, how campus relationships continue to grow and develop and how each committee has succeeded again this year in moving our parent relationships and community connections forward.

Each Parent Teacher Group representative provided a summary of events and community activities as well as a financial summary for the year.  Please see the full PTG AGM presentations here.

On behalf of the Secondary community I would like to say a particular thank you to our core group who have taken a fresh and innovative approach to our regular calendar events with great success this year. Our Community partners, parents teachers and of course students have benefitted so much from their contribution to the school during year and we are so grateful. So, to Christine, Shweta, Gus, Anu, Odyl, Mel, Arie, Mai and Rob ….a huge thank you from all of us!


Included in the morning was a presentation from one of our key Primary PTG initiatives - One More Reused.  The project is now three years old and it was great to hear how the project is progressing from modest beginnings to it’s current scale with a wide range of innovative products being crafted from recycled uniform items.  

As we move to expand our uniform recycling initiative to the Secondary Campus and beyond, it was a timely reminder of how one small action from each of us can make a big difference. Please take the time to see their presentation and if you can, join in.

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito”Dalai Lama

At the PTG Flea Market 2018 on Saturday 3rd June, we have a stall for the return, swap or purchase of secondhand BIS school uniforms.

Shoestring Science

Last week I shared with you the Shoestring Science project as our Year 9 rehearsed with Year 5 BIS students ready for the big day. Well, the big day took place this week was the culmination of the project, when we were visited by Year 6 age students from Tran Quoc Toan school.

Year 9 students had to plan and teach an educational science lesson to their visiting students, but with a catch; the lesson and resources had to cost less than VND 120k (approximately 5 USD) to put together.

Matt Lambert, our Head of Science shared his initial reflections on the day:

Wow! The Year 9 students were fantastic ambassadors for the school.  The level of science and understanding and explanations were superb this year and a huge step forward.

I chatted to the TQT students (with their bags of Ooblek) and they were buzzing with excitement and explanations about everything from evolution, to gravity, to … well, how the human digestive system makes it’s waste.

The lesson plans and resources were all shared with the school so that they could continue to use the resources in the future.

This project has been made possible by a very successful collaboration between the Science teachers and the Community team. A big thank you to Clover Sharman and Matt Lambert and the Science Department and of course to our Year 9 scientists who taught the 50 experiments that the TQT students enjoyed whilst in the science labs.

Junior Saigon Logic Competition 2018

Last Saturday we were delighted to host the Junior Saigon Logic Competition. As we expand the leadership opportunities that students can grow and develop through the entire event was organised and run by our Year 12 Student Maths Leaders. They carried out the organisational task professionally and with a keen eye on the detail but also made sure it was great fun for all the participating students from across the city, well done Maths Leaders!

Thank you to Year 12 Maths Leader, Victoria Fethke and team for coordinating the event.  Find out from Mr Ben Sillitoe how the Junior Saigon Logic Competition went.

Where to from here?

As we approach the end of the 2017/18 academic year here at BIS HCMC, we are looking ahead to what the future holds for our outgoing Year 13 IB Diploma students.

Student - athlete Jeremie commits to the University of Michigan

Jeremie has been a student at BIS since 2012 and his swimming successes have often been a part of these newsletters. In his time at BIS we have watched him flourish into the exceptional swimmer that he is today. He has over 100 medals to his name and is a member of the Vietnamese National Swimming Team but soon he will start a new phase of his student-athlete journey in the USA as part of the University of Michigan men's swimming and diving team. Let's find out more...

Along with all of the Class of 2018 we will miss Jeremie as he moves on to the University of Michigan but we know that we can look forward to hearing of further successes both in the pool and academically. Good luck Jeremie!

Binh Tho School Life Skills Lessons

BIS HCMC have had the pleasure of working with Binh Tho School for the past 5 years. Binh Tho children visit us throughout the year and take part in a number of different activities with our students from F3 to Secondary.  As our relationship has developed we have learned more about Binh Tho and their students and this year, we were happy to support their programme to offer Life Skills Lessons. Find out more from Ms Clover Sharman, Community Services Coordinator, about Binh Tho Life Skills Lessons.

Australian cuisine at BIS Secondary!

All the way from the land of unique exotic flora and fauna the tantalising Chicken Parma, Aussie burger and more came to the BIS Underground this week offering students a memorable Australian experience. The Aussie menu was a popular choice and we saw the food being polished off with demand for more.

The Aussie mums brought with them an enthusiasm that was infectious. The bright Green & Gold decorations representing the sporty culture; pictures of Koalas, Kangaroos; the vivid blue Australian flag and a banner of Melbourne Cricket Ground adorning the walls created a mini Australia in the canteen.

Walking out of the canteen it was clear to see we had many happy and satisfied teenagers who carried with them memories of another cuisine experience in this series of World Cuisine weeks arranged by the PTG in partnership with The Caterers.

We’re now all looking forward to Italian week coming soon!

A View from the Bridge- Tuesday 22nd & Wednesday 23rd May- tickets on sale now

This year’s literary production is the much loved Arthur Miller play, A View From the Bridge, we are looking forward to some excellent performances from our budding Year 9 and 10 actors.  

The event details

  • When: Tuesday 22nd & Wednesday 23rd May at 5.30pm
  • Where: BIS Secondary Campus Theatre, Sixth Floor

  • Tickets are 50,000 vnd at the Secondary Reception

All parents and students are welcome to join us - I look forward to seeing you there.

PTG Flea Market- Sunday 3rd June

It’s once again time for the PTG Flea Market 2018..  If you are relocating or just wanting to have a summer clear out, now is the time to register for a table.  In true flea market style we will be hoping for lots of pre-loved treasures on sale as ever.

To book a stall (or two) visit the Secondary Reception to buy your ticket. The cost is 200,000vnd per stall.  

For queries please contact the PTG at

Uniform Swap at the Flea Market

At the Flea Market on Saturday 3rd June, we have a stall for the return, swap or purchase of second hand BIS school uniforms.

There will be more information in next week’s update.

To find out more about the philosophy behind a uniform swap or buying second-hand, read more from One More Reused.

BIS Night of the Arts 2018- Wednesday 6th June

The BIS Night of the Arts will be returning in just two weeks time.  Come and join us on Wednesday 6th June from 6.30pm as our Design, Visual and Performing Arts Departments open their doors to show us a sample of what has been happening in their classrooms for the last year. This event was a great success last year and parents who joined us enjoyed the opportunity to visit classrooms and drama studios and music rooms to see how our students learn in the Arts. Please try to join us this year - there is a great deal that is new and different to see and enjoy.

The event details

  • When: Wednesday 6th June 2018 from 6.30pm
  • Where: BIS Secondary Campus, Design, Visual and Performing Arts Departments

We look forward to seeing you there.

A reminder...

Safeguarding at school

– it’s everyone’s responsibility

If, during your visit to school, you have any reason to be concerned about the safety of a young person, please contact the Designated Safeguarding Person.

Please note that CCTV cameras are in operation at all times across the campus.

Managing our Traffic Together

Your driver may already have one of these in the car…

This week, we have started to distribute our newly updated Driver’s Code of Conduct to all those who drive to school both at drop off and pick up times.

With key information in both English and Vietnamese, we aim to further educate our drivers to make better choices when they enter the areas around our school campuses and within the Thao Dien area as a whole.

Please take time to talk to you drivers about the this and ensure that it is visible in your car at all times. This will serve as a reminder about our expectations for all drivers when they are bringing our children to school in the morning and picking them up at the end of the day.


Upcoming Events

Tuesday 22nd & Wednesday 23rd May: A View From the Bridge Literary Production
Wednesday 23rd May: SISAC U14 Volleyball City Championships, Boys @ ISHCMC, Girls @ SSIS 4.00pm to 6.00pm
Saturday 26th May:  IB Graduation Day, Park Hyatt. Year 13 parents
Sunday 3rd June:  PTG Flea Market, Secondary Campus Auditorium, 9am to 12 noon. All welcome

Wednesday 6th June: BIS Night of the Arts, Secondary Campus. All welcome.

Saturday 9th June: BIS Aquathlon


Have a wonderful weekend,

Kind regards,


Carl Mincher

Head Teacher

Secondary Campus