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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 11/10/2019

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

Dear parents,


After another exceptionally active week in our classrooms and beyond I would like to share some of the highlights of our sport, music, mathematics, dance and wellbeing events with you in this week’s newsletter. As ever, this glimpse of campus life is just that…a glimpse… and so it has been a pleasure to have so many parents join us on campus again during this week to see for themselves how we go about making school life both rewarding and full of opportunities to achieve.


A highpoint of the week for many, younger and older, was the visit of the renowned UK Singing Leader, Lin Marsh, who joined us to run a series of choral singing workshops with our parents, staff and the Junior Choir.My thanks to the music team for arranging this.


This week we also launch our annual Geography Photography Competition inspired by our close collaboration with UNICEF. This year, we have connected the competition theme with the 30th Anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). 


Our friends at UNICEF are looking for great photographs that they can use to help people learn about the UNCRC, which means that there’s a chance our entries will be exhibited globally!


As we approach the final week of this half term we are incredibly excited about our preparations for International Day 2019, an opportunity to focus in on our community’s wonderful diversity and what it means to live and learn in such a rich cultural environment. We look forward to our parents, students and staff coming together to celebrate this rich diversity in a day of culture, community and fun. This year we are also pleased to announce that International Day will be Plastic Free as part of our pledge to achieve Zero Single-Use Plastics at BIS by 2020. 


Please make sure to scroll to the end of this newsletter for details on how you can be involved or join in with the celebrations next Friday.


Overview of the week’s activities

Battle of the Bands


On Thursday the 2019 Battle of the Bands took place in the usual charged atmosphere of friendly rivalry between our many talented bands. The standard was higher than ever as bands from year 7 to year 13 competed to be this year’s champions.  We also had exciting performances from the Junior and Senior School of Rock.  

Eventually, after some serious deliberation, the competition was won by Red Beans – all in Year 11. Their performance of Breakeven and Youngblood had some great harmonies and huge energy. 

Well done to all the competing bands . You were all fantastic.

Message from Mr Ian Alexander, Director of Music




KS5 Open Day




A group of Year 12 & 13 parents were met by a tricky time management task when they attended the Sixth Form Open Morning on Thursday. The focus of the opening session was to explore the challenges of being an IB student. 

These busy young people require support from both the school and home so discussion revolved around how we can all work together to maximise the support given. Parental engagement is key at this stage, and the strategies of how parents can follow their children’s journey through the IB was explored. 

Parents then had the opportunity to sit in some IB lessons before regrouping in the Curve. Year 12 parents were given information about the Core aspect of the IB which was expertly delivered by some current Year 13 students. Dr Finnigan explained how the University Guidance Team is personalising the approach to the guidance being given with bespoke help accessible in BridgeU, and country specific sessions being delivered to the students throughout the process. Year 13 parents were led through the remaining months of the IB course which, of course, includes both mock and actual examinations followed by the Graduation in May 2020. All attendees, whether parents or staff, left this event confident that we can successfully work as a team and with some practical ideas as to how they can engage best with their child’s learning at this time. 




Introducing the Juilliard Dance Programme


Julliard dance



To launch our dance curriculum at the British International School HCMC a selection of our teachers attended the South East Asia and Middle East Region Music and Dance Professional Development Training in Hanoi alongside 20 other dance, drama and physical education teachers.


You can find out more about the Juilliard Dance programme, the recent development training with some thoughts shared by Secondary Drama Teacher, Keigan Page.

Saigon Senior Logic Competition 2019



Last weekend three BIS teams, each consisting of 4 very passionate Mathematics students attended the Senior Saigon Logic Competition 2019 held at ISHCMC Secondary Campus.


Yoonsu Jang, BIS student provides this update from the Saigon Senior Logic Competition 2019.


Saigon South International School Relays


ssis relays



On Saturday 28th September, BIS Barracudas participated in the Saigon South International School swim meet.  Ms Emily McClelland, Head of Aquatics provides a brief summary of the team’s success in the Saigon South International School Relays.


Holiday Sports Camps

BIS_Holiday Sports Camps


This October Half Term BIS will once again be hosting a series of Sports Camps run by our excellent BIS teachers and coaches. This will include sports such as Multi Skills, TBall, Basketball, Volleyball, Football and Swimming, taking place on the Junior and Secondary campuses.

Please print a copy of the appropriate letter(s) previously sent out via email and hand in at the cashier of your school, along with full payment, before Wednesday 16 October.

See the list of activities here.


Weekly Wellbeing - BIS HCMC

Developing Positive Relationships


Weekly Wellbeing - BIS HCMC


Mr Robbie Alexander, Head of Middle Secondary (Pastoral & Wellbeing) shares, in this week’s Wellbeing update, the skills practised by students across all year groups to enable them to build a broad range of positive relationships.


Weekly Wellbeing - BIS HCMC


Be involved

PTG Book Club Meeting - Tuesday 15th October




We are excited to announce the first meeting for our PTG Book Club.  Come and join Huma and some of our other avid readers on Tuesday to decide how your next reading adventure will begin.


Event: Details

Date: Tuesday 15th October

Time: 11am

Location: The Curve, Secondary Campus


To find out more about Huma and some of the other great events that have been happening through our PTG team, here is the most recent Secondary PTG Update.  

The team are currently busy preparing for our International Celebrations and will bring us a new more news soon.  In the meantime, we would like to share a couple of photos from this week’s PTG activities.


BIS_PTG Flowers


Flower arranging this week in the Study Room with Yumi.


BIS_PTG JC Cooking


Mississippi to Mekong cooking adventures in the Junior Campus Food Technology room with Seamus from Junior Chef.


It has been great to see so many of you here.


International Day 2019 - Friday 18th October


BIS_International Day_Plastic Free


We are incredibly excited that next week we will be celebrating International Day 2019.  We look forward to our wonderful parents, students and staff coming together to celebrate the rich diversity of our community in a day of  culture, community and fun. 


As we plan our exciting activities, we are this year aiming for a plastic free event, so students will be asked to bring their own container, cup and cutlery to enjoy the celebration. In keeping with our sustainable theme, our STEAM activity will see our Sports Hall transformed into an incredible Pop Up Global City made from recycled cardboard with each student from Year 7 to Year 13 contributing.


If you think that you would like to get together with a few other parents from your home country to build the Gyeongbokgung Palace, Taj Mahal, or Eiffel Tower in advance of the day then we would love to help! On Tuesday the 15th and Wednesday the 16th of October we will be opening the doors of the Design Technology rooms for parents who would like to be a part from 3pm until 5:30 both evenings. Please contact our STEAM Co-ordinator at luke.dyer@bisvetnam.com to get involved. 


Culture Show Broadcast


We want to thank all the Country Groups for their hard work in making International Day 2019 the best yet. If you are unable to be involved in the Morning events but would like to be join in later, all parents are invited to join the Country Representatives for a live screening of the Culture Show and Fashion show in the Secondary Campus from 12:45-2:30pm. We are also delighted that this year we will be extending the invitation to parents of Year 6 Parents. We look forward to seeing you there.


Event Details

Date: Friday 18th October

Time: 7.30 to 2.30pm

Location:  Secondary Campus


The Big Draw 2019: Drawn to Life


The Big Draw Festival


The October Big Draw Festival is an annual celebration of the power of drawing with hundreds of schools from all over the world taking part including the students here at the British International School HCMC.


There are many events taking place across the month, with a new activity each day, including The Great Doodle Mural and the Great Teacher’s Drawing Challenge.  


To find out more, read The Big Draw 2019.


Geography Photography Competition 2019-20


BIS HCMC Geography Photography Competition 2019


Welcome to the launch of the 2019-20 Geography Photography Competition inspired by our collaboration with UNICEF. This year, we have connected the competition theme with the 30th Anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). 


Our friends at UNICEF are looking for great photographs that they can use to help people learn about the UNCRC, which means that there’s a chance your entry will be exhibited globally!


Read about the Geography Photography Competition 2019 to find out more.


Dates for your Diary

News & Events

Monday 14th October: Year 7 PTSC, Auditorium, Secondary Campus, 3.30pm to 6.30pm

Friday 18th October : International Day, Secondary Campus

Monday 21st to Friday 25th October: Half Term Holiday



Have a wonderful weekend,

Kind regards,


Carl Mincher


Head Teacher

Secondary Campus