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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 18/10/2019

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

Dear Parents,


There are some times when our BIS Ho Chi Minh Community takes your breath away. International Day 2019 was without question one of those days. 



A day marked by students, teachers, support staff and parents all coming together to celebrate their our own cultural identity and embrace that of others in a spirit of mutual respect and fun.


International Day is one of the great BIS traditions but in true BIS style we always innovate and this year was no different. 


The day began with a first at our Parade of Nations as our Indian parent group wowed us with a stunning cultural dance. A huge thank you to Shweta and her team. The Flag parade was once again a stunning occasion and this year we were accompanied by live music from our year 10 students.





The sounds, smells, tastes, laughter and dancing filled the building as our parents and teacher country groups came together to put on our wonderful Country Rooms.  It was great to see parents, students and staff enjoying the activities (and of course the food!) that the parent and teacher groups had worked so hard to provide. As part of our Wellbeing Curriculum, we asked parents and students group to reflect on what their cultural identity means to them - it was fascinating to see such thoughtful responses and we look forward to sharing these with the school community.


The morning also included our amazing STEAM activity, a pop up Global City, led by Mr Dyer and the STEAM team of teachers, saw  our students come together to build some amazing cardboard structures representing buildings from around the world. A huge thanks to Luke, the STEAM team and our maintenance and support staff for such a great activity. Check out the time lapse of the event below.


After creating connections through building together, our students then made further connections and demonstrated their international knowledge in our International Day House Quiz set by our resident Quizmaster, Mr Gamwell. A huge thanks to Mr Gamwell and our enthusiastic Heads of House for running this part of the day.


The afternoon saw a return of our Fashion and Culture Shows and this year the standard was higher than ever. We were treated to a feast of performance by students from across the campus with a huge range of costumes and acts from the traditional to the modern. It was great that so many of our parents were able to watch the event via live broadcast and received the thanks from our students for such a wonderful day. Thanks to the students who worked so hard in preparation for the event and the teachers who organised the show- what a great job!


Here are some quotes from across the community on International Day:

“A wonderful experience to be united with all the different nations” ChaeRim 9H


“It’s a great opportunity to represent ourselves and our identity and see the differences, and the similarities, between the different countries” The Kyzekova family, Slovakia


“Exciting, I enjoy being all together, parents and students” Kim JeongMee


“I really like people looking different in their national clothes because we can’t always distinguish between nations in our uniforms. During international day I feel so proud of my country” SooHyeon 12N


“A wonderful celebration of our differences that brings us closer together” Sian Davies, English teacher 


Thank you to everyone who helped bring International Day together, it really does show what a vibrant, positive and connected community we are. 


Overview of the week’s activities

Year 9 Music Composition

BIS_Year 9 Music Composition


This term Year 9 have been learning how to write their own songs in music lessons. In groups, they started off with lyric writing and then worked on their verse and chorus sections before putting their whole songs together and finally rehearsing the piece in preparation for assessment. Each group then performed their pieces to the rest of their class and the best songs were picked to perform at a lunch time concert in the auditorium and narrowed down to 3. Well done to Ainsley, Rosie, Ariel, Chae Won and Laura from 9C who were the overall winners of the competition and to all the other groups who performed at the concert!

Mrs Emma Husband, Assistant Head of Music.


Sustainable Printing Competition - Prizewinner Announcement


BIS_Sustainable Printing Competition - Prizewinner Announcement


The final results of the eagerly awaited Sustainable Printing Competition are in, with Saigon House sweeping 1st, 2nd and 3rd place!


1st  Tram Anh 9N - Saigon

2nd Brenda Phua 9I – Saigon 

3rd Thai Anh Hoang 7I – Saigon 


Tram Anh captured the essence of our drive to reduce our consumption of paper in a beautifully designed and thought-provoking poster. We now look forward to this design appearing next to all of our printing stations on the Secondary Campus as a daily reminder of how we can all live, learn and work more sustainably.

Weekly Wellbeing - BIS HCMC

The Wellbeing Curriculum So Far


Weekly Wellbeing at BIS HCMC


There is clear evidence that building good relationships - with family, friends and our wider community - is positive for our wellbeing.


As the half-term draws to a close and we look forward to a (hopefully) relaxing holiday, it provides us with a great opportunity to draw breath and celebrate the successful launch of our Wellbeing Curriculum.


Weekly Wellbeing - BIS HCMC

Autism Awareness Week 2019


Autism Awareness Week 2019 |  BIS HCMC


Last week was Autism Awareness Week 2019 and our Learning Support team arranged events and activities to give us all a better understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Students learned about the positive traits and also challenges faced by those with Autism. In an attempt to demonstrate an impact of ASD,  the student events committee created a virtual reality experience to model the sensory overload. This particualr experience has prompted a great deal of ongoing student discussion around ASD.

My thanks to the Learning Support team for arranging this thought provoking week of events.

Sports Update - Volleyball Highlights 


Here are the highlights from this week’s U19b Boys Volleyball BIS vs ISHCMC, enjoy.


Be involved

Secondary PTG Update

BIS_PTG Flowers


PTG Committee Representative, Shweta Mangal, shares an update of some of the fun activities for parents that have been organised by our Secondary PTG committee.  


We are also excited to share that the Novelicious Book Club is well underway, with regular meetings scheduled for every second Tuesday of the month.  The First Book has been selected, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak and will be discussed at future meetings.  If you wish to join please email our book club coordinator Huma Jaudat at huma.jaudat@gmail.com


You can also sign up for some of the upcoming events and activities, read more in the latest Secondary PTG Update.


Desford Colliery Brass Band Concert - Friday 1st November


Desford Colliery Brass Band Concert - Friday 1st November



The Desford Colliery Brass Band has performed all over the world, recorded award winning albums and continues to be at the forefront of British music making.


Don't miss the fantastic opportunity to see this ensemble LIVE in concert featuring our KS3 and community choir at the British International School Ho Chi Minh City on Friday 1st November 2019. The concert will start promptly at 4:30pm in the Secondary Campus Auditorium.


Event Details

Date: Friday 1st November

Time: 4.30pm 

Location: Secondary Auditorium

Everyone welcome. No tickets required.


Poppy Appeal 2019

BIS_Poppy Appeal 2019



The Royal British Legion created the Poppy Appeal to help those returning from the First World War. A Century on from that conflict, we’re still helping today’s Service men and women, veterans and their families, whether coping with bereavement, living with a disability, or finding employment. Without your help, none of this would be possible.


So please join us in showing that we REMEMBER on the 11th of November by purchasing a Poppy or Poppy stationery.


Available at Reception from Monday 28th October until 8th November 2019.


Employment opportunities at BIS Secondary Campus

Examination Invigilators Needed


BIS HCMC are looking to recruit to expand our current team of exam invigilators. We are looking for reliable and confident people to assist throughout our busy examination periods of January and May/June each year. 

Your role will include invigilation at IGCSE and IB level during both internal and external examinations. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Preparing the examination venue prior to examinations in accordance with regulations;

  • Distribution of scripts and strict supervision of students during examinations.

We are looking for:

  • Team players and people who are flexible in their approach.

You do not require experience as full training will be provided, and the position is on a casual basis with days/hours being variable depending on examination demands. You will, however, need to meet our safer recruitment policy by providing an up-to-date police check and completing our online safeguarding training.

If you are interested and would like further information about how to become an invigilator, please contact Abbie Astbury (Examinations Officer) on abbie.astbury@bisvietnam.com

Dates for your Diary

News & Events

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

Wednesday 30th October: Year 9 Parent Teacher Student Conferences, Secondary Auditorium, 3.30 to 6.30pm

Thursday 31st October: TEDx Youth, student only event, further information after the event.

Friday 1st November: The Desford Colliery Band, Secondary Auditorium, from 4.30pm

Saturday 2nd to Monday 4th November: Year 11 Geography Expedition to Mui Ne


Have a wonderful, relaxing half term holiday. After our return to school on Monday 28th October I look forward to us all enjoying yet more fantastic learning opportunities and exciting events in the half term ahead.

Kind regards,


Carl Mincher


Head Teacher

Secondary Campus