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Secondary Library

Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 31/08/18

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

"Our job seemed so obvious then, to hold on and steady them, to let go and stand back when the time was right and watch nervously … waiting for the inevitable stumble and fall... then being there to pick them up brush down their knees and start them off on their way again."


Learning to Walk

At yesterday evening’s parent event Head of Sixth Form, Jane Hall, reminded of times long past, but seemingly only yesterday, when as parents we helped our children learn how to walk.

Now they face complex maths, sophisticated language, analysis of complicated coding or source material rather than learning to walk. As our Year 12 students now embark on their latest learning adventure, the International Baccalaureate, perhaps the parenting job is not so dissimilar?

The opportunity to discuss the part we each play, at home and at school, to understand when the right time is to be there holding on and when it is best to let go and yes even watch them stumble along the way was the purpose of yesterday evening’s presentations ‘Life in the Sixth Form’.

It is through our partnership we create the best conditions for our children to grow and flourish; to be happy and confident in their studies and ultimately successful in school and life. These have been the themes of our Parent Information evenings this week and continue into next week with the first of this terms Open Days. Each parent event and open day this term will have a similar purpose – to offer you the means to be involved with your child’s school life from a position of knowledge and understanding so please look out for the events ahead and join us when you can.

BIS HCMC students shine thanks to stellar IGCSE results

We are thrilled to announce that 100% of our BIS HCMC students achieved 5 or more A*-C passes in their IGCSEs (International GCSE).  Once again our results have exceeded the UK average for IGCSEs with 68.4% of all grades achieved by our students achieved at an A* or A which stands at over three times the UK 2018 average of 20.5%.   

It is wonderful to be beginning the year on such a positive note and after such a strong demonstration of their capacity, we wish these students our newest IB cohort all the best for the coming two years as they embark on their IOB journey.  Read more about these Stellar IGCSE Results.

Welcome to the BIS Learning Skills Challenge!

This week our new STEAM Co-ordinator, James Chandler, introduces the BIS learning skills challenge…

Treasure Hunts, Escape Rooms, Crystal Mazes, Puzzles, Riddles the list goes on.

What do these activities have in common? They are all fantastic fun while at the same time a great opportunity to create exciting learning for its players.

Based on these and over the course of the year we will create similar exciting and engaging learning experiences that will enable the whole BIS HCMC community to learn together and have a lot of fun too.

To find out more and try your first challenge follow this link.

Our Community of Lifelong Learners

Learning from a teacher who has stopped learning is like drinking from a stagnant pond.  

Just over a week ago, a whole different level of learning was taking place in some of our newly renovated learning spaces with all of our staff, old and new, brushing up on their skills and knowledge in preparation for another BIS year.

Lee Falconer, Assistant Head Teacher, shares some insights from a week spent with our academic team, a Community of Lifelong Learners.

Be Involved...

World Clean Up Day 2018- Saturday 15th September

Join us on 15th September to celebrate international World Clean Up Day by helping us to clean the streets of Thao Dien!

This event will be the third and largest clean-up organised by the BIS HCMC Global Goals Club, in partnership with Clean Up Vietnam, an NGO based in Ho Chi Minh City.

By taking part in International World Clean Up Day you will be joining millions of people worldwide to clean up the world in just one day.

Register your interest at the BIS HCMC Facebook event World Clean Up Day - Thao Dien and watch out for the sign up details coming soon.

Latest news from the Secondary PTG

As we start 2018-2019 school year at BIS Ho Chi Minh City, the PTG would like to extend a warm welcome to all new and returning families. To find out more about our role here at BIS and to get a taste of just a handful of the activities we get involved in around campus, please click here.

“It was wonderful to find so many new families at the Orientation Day, joining us this year as a part of the BIS community. We had a great turn out at the Coffee Morning held at the fabulously refurbished Secondary Campus cafeteria. The PTG bus tour for new parents was fun with 24 people on the bus. We spotted more than 200 key spots during our course around Thao Dien in District 2 up to District 1. We had a short walk in District 1 to get a feel of the local landscape. Some of the key places covered during the trip were the hospitals, shopping malls, eateries and art galleries. Our lunch at popular local Vietnamese restaurant Quan Bui was scrumptious. Thanks to our driver Mr. Dat for a very pleasant and safe tour. Not forgetting the BIS team for lending us the bus for this trip!”

The PTG are grateful to all who volunteered to be the country reps and waiting to hear from any other parent who would like to join us as their country rep too. Please contact the PTG at bisptgap2@gmail.com for any queries or if you are keen to lend a helping hand. Stay tuned!

Shweta Mangal, Secondary PTG Communication Committee Representative

ABRSM High Scorers’ Concert 2018 - Saturday 8th September

On Saturday 8th September, BIS HCMC will be proudly hosting the 8th Annual ABRSM High Scorers’ Concert in the Secondary Campus auditorium. This concert serves as a showcase for the top performing students from the June ABRSM practical instrumental exam session.

Interested?  Tickets can be purchased at the Secondary Campus Reception for 100,000 vnd for adults.  Entry is free for children.

Share with your friends at the Facebook Event: ABRSM High Scorers’ Concert 2018.  

PTG Social Evening- Thursday 20th September

Our combined campus PTGs would like to invite everyone to out first PTG Social Evening for the year.  It is a great opportunity for the whole BIS community to gather and catch up with old friends or meet new.  There will be more information in next week’s Update. I look forward to seeing you there.

Click here for full event details.

BBGV Family Fun Run 2018- Sunday 30th September

Save the date for this year’s BBGV Family Fun Run.  We have had a big turn out from BIS parents and staff in the past and we hope this year is as big as ever.

Click here to find out more.

Dates for your Diary...

  • Wednesday 5th September:  YEAR 7 PARENT open day (inc. Expeditions), Secondary Campus Auditorium, 8.15am to 11.00am Year 7 Parents
  • Saturday 8th September: ABRSM High Scorers’ Concert, Secondary Campus Auditorium, 6.30pm All Welcome
  • Saturday 8th September:  Saigon Senior Logic Competition, 8.00am to 1.00pm
  • Monday 10th September:  Y11&Y13 INVITATIONAL PTSC, Secondary Campus Auditorium,  Parents by invitation
  • Wednesday 12th September:   Year 8 PARENT OPEN DAY (inc Expeditions), Secondary Campus Auditorium, 8.15am to 11.00am Year 8 Parents
  • Saturday 15th September: World Clean Up Day, Clean Up Thao Dien, Secondary Campus, from 8.30am  All Welcome
  • Thursday 20th September: PTG Social Evening, Flying Pig Saigon, 7.00pm to late All Parents and Teachers Welcome
  • Sunday 30th September:  BBGV Family Fun Run, Phu My Hung, D7


PTG Country Representatives for 2018-2019


We are looking for parents from a number of countries who will be willing to welcome our new families, share information and help with International Day or similar activities.  If you would like to be the parent representative for your country, you can sign up here.

Get involved in our design competitionPTG Design Competition

The PTG Parents t-shirt design competition is still happening.  Show us your creative side or get the kids involved.

Click here to download the T-shirt design template and get creative.


I wish you the best for an enjoyable and relaxing long weekend ahead,

Kind regards,

Carl Mincher Head Teacher, Secondary Campus