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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 18/01/2019

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

Dear Parents,

I am guessing that many of you are welcoming exhausted children home this weekend.

Whilst for some the exhaustion will be physical from testing treks, cycling, caving or ziplining, for others it will be due to deep thinking and concentration following the tests of an academic kind. Whilst our year 7, 8,10 and 12 students have been out on expedition, Year 11 and 13 have persevered through a demanding week of practise examinations that will give them valuable feedback on which to base their final period of study leading up to their final exams in term 3. Well done to you all.

Those that travelled away to expeditions in Vietnam and overseas have returned with their own stories of challenge beyond their comfort zone and the comradery that comes from shared adventures.

Mr Falconer accompanied Year 12 students as they turned young adventurers to explore the Tu Lan cave system;

Spirits were high throughout, he said,  as students and staff trekked, climbed and swam over 3 days of exciting exploring. Students were excellent ambassadors for the school and worked well together to overcome the challenges of tough but outstanding expedition. The tasty food was avidly eaten by all each evening before a good night's sleep with the sounds (and sometimes sights!) of the jungle in the background. Many said it was their best school expedition yet and were sad to leave!

We will share more of these stories with you in the coming days and weeks.

Week Without Walls

This year we’ve done things a little bit differently and our Year 9s remained in school for our Week Without Walls, a week of no formal lessons with students engaging in activities that extend their learning beyond the ‘walls’ of the usual curriculum and classroom environment.

Each of the activities has challenged them to work with others they may not usually have the chance to, allowing them to become more open-minded and collaborative in the process.

This has been within the year group, across the Primary campuses, and with children from our community partners. Our teachers rose to the challenge to create activities where students have worked together to solve problems and extended their Science know-how through the CSI activity, used design thinking in the BIS Boat Regatta, raised awareness of the issues of sustainability through the plastic installation and Money for Old Rope challenges, and gotten to grips with the history of Ho Chi Minh City in the Amazing Race – and this is only half of the activities that were on offer!


Student leadership at the Junior Campus


‘Crime Scene Investigators’


We have been so impressed with our Year 9s this week as they have thrown themselves into each challenge with enthusiasm, perseverance, and maturity which has made the week hugely enjoyable for everyone involved. We’re looking forward to seeing their newly developed skills put into action back in classrooms next week.

Yoga and mindfulness


Overview of the week’s activities

While we are very much looking forward to sharing more from our Expeditions week and very successful Week Without Walls with full blogs in the coming weeks, I just wanted to share a few photos with you now.

Week Without Walls-Juilliard Drama


Week Without Walls- Year 9- Mindfulness

Expeditions Week- Year 7- Madagui



Expeditions Week- Year 10- Les Martinet Ski Expedition



BIS HCMC students named top scorers in IGCSE examinations

During our end of term assembly in December, we enjoyed celebrating the success of some of our students whose IGCSE results have been recognised by the Cambridge Assessment board.  With fifteen of our students receiving recognition as Outstanding Cambridge Learners the applause and support from their peers was thunderous.

The Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards celebrate the success of learners taking Cambridge examinations in over 40 countries around the world. Cambridge places learners at the centre of their international education programmes and qualifications which are inspired by the best in educational thinking.
With 3 awards for High Achievement going to Isaure Echivard (First Language French), Ines De Almeida (First Language Portuguese) and Cheng Ting-Chih (Foreign Language Spanish), the remaining 12 students received the ‘Top in Country’ award, referring to the learners who gained the highest standard mark in Vietnam for a single subject.

I felt surprise and accomplishment knowing that I did well in my favourite subject. I was so overjoyed that my heart wanted to exploded.Aina Solis

Read more about the full list of BIS HCMC Students named top scorers in IGCSE Examinations.

Congratulations to all of  our Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award winners and thank you to our parents, staff and community who have supported them in achieving their goals.

Service Learning: English Advertising Campaign for Community Partners

Successful service learning can be seen when an individual is able to bring the skills they have in support of a project or partner to make a positive difference in our community.  To this end, we are continually working to embed service learning even more fully into the BIS curriculum.

Nesta Lanyon Jones, Secondary Community Co-ordinator, explains more about the Year 8 English assignment to create an advertising campaign for our community partners:

There was a double benefit of this as our students learnt about advertising whilst also spreading awareness about their chosen partner.’

It’s a great example of service learning which is interwoven with the formal curriculum.


Full STEAM ahead

This week some of our Early Years students took advantage of the opportunity to develop their STEAM thinking and making skills in the Design Labs with Mr Chandler our STEAM Co-ordinator.

It was great to see the creative problem solving already evident in our youngest students who thoroughly enjoyed their thinking and making opportunity.


Juilliard Curriculum Specialist Jessica Meyer Visits BIS

On 21st January we are excited to welcome Juilliard Music Curriculum Specialist and violist Jessica Meyer to the British International School, Ho Chi Minh City.  

Find out more about Jessica Meyer’s skills and experience, and her much anticipated visit here.

The Weekly Sports Round-Up

With students away on trips this week or involved in Mock Examinations, there have been no SISAC matches for BIS students. Next week, however, is a full schedule of SISAC Championships across all age groups.  Please remember that parents are welcome to attend any of these sporting fixtures and events in support of your children and their team.

SISAC Championships Week Monday 21st January to Friday 25th January.

Monday 21st January: U14 Table Tennis SISAC City Championship, 11:15am to 6.00pm at the Singapore International School

Monday 21st January: U19 Badminton SISAC City Championship, 11:15am to 6.00pm at the Australian International School

Tuesday 22nd January: U14b Football Boys SISAC City Championship, 11:15am to 6.00pm at the American International School

Tuesday 22nd January: U14c Football Boys SISAC City Championship, 11:15am to 6.00pm at the European International School

Tuesday 22nd January: U14c Football Girls SISAC City Championship, 11:15am to 6.00pm at Renaissance International School Saigon

Tuesday 22nd January: U19a Basketball Girls SISAC City Championship, 11:15am to 6.00pm at the International School of HCMC

Tuesday 22nd January: U19a Basketball Boys SISAC City Championship, 11:15am to 6.00pm at the American International School

Wednesday 23rd January: U14b Football Girls SISAC City Championship, 11:15am to 6.00pm at the British International School HCMC (Home)

Thursday 24th January: U14a Football Girls SISAC City Championship, 11:15am to 6.00pm at Saigon South International School

Thursday 24th January: U14a Football Boys SISAC City Championship, 11:15am to 6.00pm at the American International School

Thursday 24th January: U19a Basketball Boys SISAC City Championship, 11:15am to 6.00pm at the British Vietnamese International School

Be involved

Secondary PTG Update

Welcome back to everyone and a hearty ‘Welcome to BIS’ to all of our new families.  Thank you for joining in with some of our early PTG social activities, including the Welcome Back coffee morning and the Newcomers Bus Tour.  We look forward to seeing you at many more PTG events in years to come.

For more news from  the PTG check out the most recent PTG Weekly Update.

Tet Collection 2019 - Long Life Milk for our community Partners

With only days left of our 2019 Tet collection, please help us make the Year of the Pig extra special for the children of our community partners by donating:

  • New stationery and Vietnamese/English children's books

(Early Years and Infant Campus)

  • Packaged and sealed rice (Junior Campus)

  • UHT milk (Secondary Campus)

We have extended the Secondary Campus collection until January 30th to include all students who have been on expeditions this week.

#TetCollection #BISHCMC #YearOfThePig#BISCommunity

Secondary Campus Photos Week- Monday 21st to Friday 25th January

We are pleased to advise that we have chosen to partner with the leading international school photography company, Pret-a-Portrait, to take our individual and group photographs for this academic year. Further information about Pret-a-Portrait, can be found by visiting their website, here.

An email has been sent home recently outlining the schedule and including details for booking your sibling photo session.  While some sessions are closed, there are still some spaces available.

Book your sibling photo session here.  

Upcycling Club- Sorting Saturday 26th January

Please sign up to help the Secondary Uniform Upcycling Club prepare all of our collected old uniforms in preparation for their next upcycling project.  The uniforms will need to be separated, sorted and counted, with an expert team to show you how.

Date: 26th January 2019

Time: 9.00am to 3.00pm (shorter times available)

Location: Secondary Campus Auditorium

To Register...

To register please click on the following link!

Sign Up here: Sorting Saturday - 26th January

Happy sorting!!

Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard Programmes Now Open!


It’s extremely important to us that we offer outstanding opportunities to students across the year, including the summer break. We are delighted to announce that applications are open for the Nord Anglia Summer Performing Arts Programmes with The Juilliard School. Reserve your spot for an exclusive opportunity to learn and work alongside artist faculty from a world-class performing arts school. Choose from our flagship programme in Geneva, our Voice programme in Florida or our Strings programme in Shanghai.

Find out more: Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard Global


Dates for your Diary

Saturday 19th January: Intermediate Saigon Logic Competition, 8am to 1pm

Saturday 19th to Monday 21st January: Mekong Delta Honours Band

Monday 21st January: Juilliard Curriculum Specialist Jessica Meyers, BIS Secondary Campus, all day

Monday 21st to Friday 25th January: School Photos Week, Secondary Campus

Thursday 24th January: Mai Tam Tet Party, Secondary Auditorium, 3pm to 4pm

Saturday 26th January: Uniform Upcycling Sorting Saturday, Secondary Auditorium, 9am to 3pm

Thursday 31st January to Tuesday 12th February: School Closed - Tet Holiday

Wednesday 13th February: Year 13 Parent Teacher Student Conferences, Secondary Auditorium,  3.30pm to 6.30pm

Have a wonderful weekend, many of us reunited as families after the week’s residential expeditions.


Kind regards,


Carl Mincher

Head Teacher

Secondary Campus