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Secondary campus launches Transition Team to welcome new students

"Students in international schools are characterized by life-trajectories that take them through a sequence of locations and cultural situations." Pearce, 2011

Transition Team BIS HCMC

Every year BIS HCMC welcomes new students from around the globe to join our diverse international community made up of over 50 nationalities.

Moving to a new country can be a daunting experience for any person. It is therefore extremely important to us that new students experience a positive start to their life at the British International School, Ho Chi Minh City.

This year, a group of our secondary students, along with the support of Mr Pugh, Ms Webb, Ms Ho and Ms McWilliam designed their own system for the new students who joined us in Term 2. Their aim was to improve every new student’s welcome by creating a smooth transition into the BIS community.

Secondary transition team BIS HCMC
It was wonderful to see the group of students work so effectively together towards such an important cause. It has been an opportunity for them to develop their leadership skills and build another network of friends whilst ensuring that the new students are supported in their transition to BIS. Mr Pugh, Business and Economics Teacher

The students were asked to submit a proposal as to why they should be chosen for the Transition Team programme.  12 students were selected from across the lower secondary school: Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9. Following their training, these 12 students developed the transition programme to be implemented for the new students joining the school.

The programme included:

  • A student-led school campus tour
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Talks about what do in HCMC and Vietnam
  • How to check out books from the library
  • IT workshop
  • Arts and crafts tour
  • Quizzes and games

Our students demonstrated fantastic collaborative work, putting together a great programme of events in a short space of time. Mr Pugh was highly impressed with their teamwork and professional approach: “It was wonderful to see the group of students work so effectively together towards such an important cause.  It has been an opportunity for them to develop their leadership skills and build another network of friends whilst ensuring that the new students are supported in their transition to BIS.”

Lilo Heran Balbuena, one of the Year 9 students involved in the Transition Team programme describes what she learned during this process: “It was great to learn about people’s emotional intelligence and use the information to plan the activities to make the new starters’ move to BIS as easy as possible.  It was really great working with students from other year groups because we helped each other consider the different ages of the new students when planning the tasks.  We also developed our own friendship groups.”

This initiative not only supports the transition of new students but provides a valuable opportunity for existing students to develop their leadership skills.  The long term aim is for this to become a student run process, whereby the existing student Transition Team will train new students in this role, developing their leadership skills further.

We’re excited to see this new programme progress as the Transition Team welcomes more students for the start of the 2019/20 academic year.

Caroline Moore, Secondary Admissions Manager

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