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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 04/10/2019

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

Dear Parents


“Engagement is a little different to involvement.” This is how our Head of Sixth Form, Jane Hall, started her presentation on Thursday morning when describing our ongoing developments in supporting our parent partnership. 


She went on to use academic studies, and of course, what we instinctively know as educators and as parents; on parent engagement, she added, “It's all about taking learning out of the classroom and keeping it going at home.


Quoting academic studies such as Harris and Goodall, 2007, she went on to say “International research shows that parents who are actively engaged in their child’s learning can give them an extra two to three years worth of schooling on top of their classroom experience.” 


The calendar so far this year has been full of opportunities to be involved and get engaged and in the Headteacher’s Coffee morning this week we were delighted to celebrate just how enthusiastically parents have joined with us in this so far this year. 


Following a very successful Drama workshop recently our English Department briefed us on the programme of study followed by BIS Secondary students in English to help parents engage in those evening conversations about the day at school. More of these workshops will follow soon from our Maths team and in term 2, Science. I encourage as many of you as possible to join us for these events.



Whilst engagement is our shared aim, being involved also gives us the strong sense of community we enjoy here at BIS and adds much to the identity our students develop as those belonging to something so strong. We strive for both. Please take time to scroll down to the ‘Be Involved’ area below so you don’t miss out on the many exciting events just ahead in our calendar.

I hope you enjoy this week’s newsletter.


Overview of the week’s activities

BBGV Charity Fun Run 2019


BBGV Fun Run 2019 - British International School HCMC


This year it was fantastic to see more of the now famous BIS HCMC union jack t-shirts in amongst the crowds at the BBGV Charity Fun Run 2019. For us, it is not only about contributing to such worthy causes, but also about bringing together the school community outside of the classroom and in the context of the wider community. 


Find out more about the purpose of the BBGV Fun Run and  take a look at some of the photos from the day here.


What is ‘Nam Runs Nam’?


Ms Naomi Skinner (Nam) has been a primary school teacher for 13 years, spending the last 4 years teaching here at the British International School Ho Chi Minh City. 


Ms Naomi is now starting a new chapter as she takes on an incredible challenge: running the length of Vietnam to raise essential funds for charities across the country.  We want to help spread the word about this so let's find out more about Ms Naomi's epic adventure from Naomi herself...


“Nam Runs Nam is a charity project linked to BIS and BVIS community partners in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. 

I will be attempting to run 2200km starting this Sunday 6th October, solo and unsupported, from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. 

I am raising funds for Vietnamese education and healthcare as well as reuniting trafficked women and children with their families. 

I aim to run a half marathon, 5 days a week, over the course of 6 months. Along the way, I will pass through tiny rural communities, beautiful beaches as well as bustling towns and cities.” 

Ms Naomi, BIS HCMC


If you would like to find out more or support Ms Naomi’s run for charity, read Nam Runs Nam.


Open School - Year 9 Open Morning


BIS_Open School - Year 9 Open Morning



Thank you to the Year 9 parents who joined us earlier this week for the Open Morning. Mr McDevitt, the Head of Year, shared information on the exciting year ahead but also the way we guide these students through the challenges they face; academic, social and emotional. We discussed the ways in which we, as home and school, can work together in an effective partnership to support them through. Mr Alexander continued this focus by outlining the approach taken when creating and teaching the new BIS Wellbeing curriculum, designed to help our students thrive and flourish. 

Parents were then invited to tour the school to see and experience teaching and learning in action, before being joined by a representative from Camps International who provided information about the Year 9 expedition to Borneo which will take place later in the year.


Our parental engagement events will continue with the Key Stage 5 Open Morning on Thursday 10th October; subject-specific Curriculum Workshops will also take place later in the term, English this week, Maths and Sciencewill follow, and we very much hope that you will join us to further engage with and support your child’s learning.


Weekly Wellbeing - BIS HCMC


‘Bystander’ or ‘Upstander’ - which one are you?

Weekly Wellbeing BIS HCMC



On Tuesday, Mr Robbie Alexander  spoke at the Year 9 Parents Open morning and yet again I was delighted to see the positive reaction as he talked through the philosophy underpinning our new Wellbeing Curriculum.

Our Year 8 students are continuing their lessons on anti-bullying strategies this week and Mr Alexander shares some of the ideas coming through from these and other year groups in this week’s Wellbeing update.  ‘Bystander’ or ‘Upstander’ - which one are you?

Weekly Wellbeing - BIS HCMC

Autism Awareness Week - 7th to 11th October


Next week is Autism Awareness Week, a time to reflect and better comprehend the significance of this more widely recognised ‘condition’ for people with Autism and those around them.


In preparation for this awareness raising week, an Autism Awareness Presentation was shared with our students by our Learning Support team. A number of thought provoking activities have been prepared for the week ahead to build our students’ understanding and appreciation of any possible friends, family, colleagues and community with Autism.


We look forward to hearing more from Mr Ian Young, Head of Learning Support about how they are received in our next newsletter.


Saigon International Schools Network: Student Conference: ‘Learning to Lead’ 


Saigon International Schools Network



Last month, some of our Year 11 and Year 13 students attended the inaugural Saigon International Schools Network (SISN) student leadership conference, entitled ‘Learning to Lead’.


Find out from some of our budding leaders how this outstanding opportunity has built their skills in learning to lead.


Building House Spirit - House Captain Training 


House Captain Training-9



This week the house captains had the opportunity to develop their leadership skills by taking part in the first House Captain Training Morning.


This event brought together the Sixth Form Heads of House and the house captains from the lower school into a collaborative and supportive working environment where students could help advance the house system within BIS. 

In addition to this, we also had the pleasure of being accompanied by the Year 6 House Captains who joined us for the training morning to ensure the leadership of our Houses brings the most school spirit to House activities in the year ahead.


Be involved

PTG Update


PTG Book Club - British International School HCMC


Our Parent Teacher Group have been working hard over the past few weeks to organise some new and exciting events for both teachers and parents to enjoy. Find out more about the new book club, cooking workshops and flower arrangement classes as well as more details about how to be a part of International Day in this post by the Secondary PTG.


Parents Choral Workshop with Lin Marsh - Monday 7th October

BIS_Parents Choral Workshop with Lin Marsh - Monday 7th October



Battle of the Bands - Thursday 10th October

BIS_Battle of the Bands - Thursday 10th October



The auditions are done and the bands are busily rehearsing to prepare for the Battle of the Bands.  There is loads of talent on hand so come along and get down to some great live music from our Secondary students.


Event Details

Date: Thursday 10th October

Time: 7.00 to 9.00pm

Location: Secondary Campus Auditorium

Tickets: free, available at Secondary Campus Reception and Student Centre


Everyone welcome


Invite family and friends via our Facebook event Battle of the Bands.


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 7th to Friday 11th October: Autism Awareness Week

Thursday 10th October: KS5 Open Morning & PTG Lunch, Auditorium, Secondary Campus, 8.30am to 11.00am

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