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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 13/09/2019

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


Dear Parents

Pablo Picasso said “Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not?” 


Whether through the written or spoken word, by music or movement, this week’s events and activities have focussed our minds on the influence and power of well developed communication skills.


The quote inspired great thought and reflection as our Year 13 students embarked on a new and challenging phase of their Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course with the release of the May 2020 essay titles.  


They are asked to explore and write an essay on the title above with reference to two areas of knowledge.

I encourage you to find out a little more about this core element of the IB and how it develops our students’ thinking skills for life from Mr Dan Gamwell, Head of Theory of Knowledge about the Theory of Knowledge Essay.


Overview of the week’s activities

Sixth Form Debate

Use soft words and hard arguments - English Proverb



The debate season begins once more for Year 12 and 13 students, opened by the energetic staff debate last Friday.  Debating is an opportunity to collaborate in teams whilst standing up for the truth when discussions may be promoting falsehoods or inaccuracies. The value of debate for Sixth Form students is held in its ability to challenge students to use effective communication skills to critically evaluate a statement’s meaning and implications in modern times.

LAMDA Awards celebrated


At BIS students are encouraged to pursue their interests and to engage in a healthy range of activities beyond the classroom.  It is important for all our students to be given the opportunity to develop and explore the things that they are passionate about. 

Last year 68 BIS students were entered for international examinations with the London Academy for Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA). 


Find out more from Mrs Cat Molloy, Head of Drama about our 2019 LAMDA Results.



After celebrating these successes we listened to a wonderful musical composition from Rodrigo Balbuena which we would like to share with you here.

ABRSM High Scorers Concert

BIS_ABRSM High Scorers Concert


Last Saturday we were delighted to host the 2019 ABRSM High Scorers' Concert where the top scorers from the ABRSM June practical examinations showcased their outstanding musical talents. 


Congratulations to all the participants on a what was a fantastic show!

Some beautiful photos of the evening can be found here.

Monash University Visit

Monash University Visit BIS HCMC



On Tuesday BIS hosted a stimulating workshop aimed at students hoping to major in Business.


Find out more about the workshop, led by Associate Professor Colin Jevons, a world-leading academic who is Course Director of the Bachelor of Business Degree at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


Year 7 Open Morning 

BIS_Year 7 Open Day


On Wednesday morning this week, we were delighted to welcome Year 7 parents to the first of our Open Mornings. These mornings are a combination of information sharing and the opportunity to experience first-hand teaching and learning by visiting lessons.

BIS_Year 7 Open Day 2


After presentations by Mr McLoughlin on transition and Mr Alexander on our new, bespoke Wellbeing curriculum, parents independently toured the campus to visit classrooms where their sons and daughters were learning, to see how and in what ways the curriculum is being delivered to students. 

BIS_Y7 Open Day 3

Following this, we reconvened in the auditorium for Mrs Brownrigg to brief parents about the Year 7 expedition to Madagui; the Senior Leadership team were also on hand to respond to any questions about life on the Secondary Campus. Finally, tutors met with parents to make face-to-face contact and discuss how their sons and daughters are settling into Year 7.


As a school, we place huge value on the partnerships that we have with the community: the relationship that we have with parents is an integral aspect of how we support our students socially, emotionally and academically. We have further Open Mornings planned for this term, Years 10 and 11 next Tuesday, focusing on both wellbeing and curriculum; we very much hope that you will be able to join us so that we can continue to work together to provide the best experience for our young people.

Being Human: Wellbeing Curriculum

Wellbeing Curriculum BIS HCMC


‘We are all one of a kind and special in our own way. We have things we like and dislike about ourselves and to thrive and flourish we need to accept that is who we are.’


The above quote brought the first Wellbeing lesson of the week to a close as our Year 10 students explored the theme of “Being Human.” 


Find out more from these students and more as they explored this weeks wellbeing topic, Being Human.


Establishing a Culture of Collaboration and Connection

Safeguarding Training 2019


Here at the British International School HCMC, we know that to maintain a high quality in all aspects of our work with young people, we need to ensure we commit to up-to-date, high quality professional learning.


In no area do we adhere to this principle more firmly than Child Protection and Safeguarding. We were therefore delighted this week that over 30 of our senior leaders and colleagues with responsibility for student wellbeing from across our 3 campuses participated in Level 3 Safeguarding training led by specialists from the UK.


FOBISIA Advanced Music Festival 2019


BIS_FOBISIA Music Festival


Next weekend, BIS is very excited to be hosting the FOBISIA Advanced Choral and Orchestral Festival.


From Friday morning, the school will host 170 musicians challenging themselves with some wonderful, but extremely difficult music.  Works by Rutter, Bernstein, Borodin, Mozart, Verdi and L’Estrange will be rehearsed by the students either in Orchestra or Choir. The students will work with a team of tutors and teachers in sectional rehearsals in preparing the music and will be working with experienced professional conductors.


The weekend will culminate in a final concert Sunday afternoon at 14.30.  All are welcome to attend and entrance is free, so come and hear the results of this intensive musical weekend.  


Be involved

Secondary PTG Update 


BIS PTG Cooking Class


Check in to find out the most recent and up and coming adventures of our Secondary Campus parents by reading this week’s Secondary PTG Update.


PTG Social Evening - Thursday 19th September


PTG Social Evening | BIS HCMC


The BIS Parent Teacher Group invites you to the first social evening of the year.  Held at The Flying Pig Saigon, this is a fun evening to catch up with friends, meet new parents and teachers and celebrate being a part of the wonderful BIS community.


Parents and teachers from all three campuses are welcome.


Event Details

Date: Thursday 19th September 2019

Time: from 7.00pm

Place: Flying Pig Saigon, 97 Xuan Thuy, Thao Dien

Tickets: 350,000vnd/pax to include 3 drinks and canapes


See you there! Invite your BIS friends via the Facebook event PTG Social Evening.


International Day 2019 Planning Meeting- Wednesday 19th September

Secondary International Day 18 (13)


The Secondary Campus International Day is on Friday 18th October 2019.  With only 6 weeks to go and lots to prepare, we know that many of you are already thinking about what your Country will share this year.


There will be an International Day planning meeting on Wednesday 18th September at 8.30am to help prepare for the day. 


Everyone is invited and we hope to see as many parents as possible at this first meeting, bring your friends, bring your ideas and bring your questions.  


We will share a brief outline of the plans for this year’s exciting event and we want to hear from you about your ideas and plans so that we can prepare yet another incredible BIS International Day.


World Clean Up Day 2019 - Saturday 21st September

World clean up


We're hosting our second annual World CleanUp Day Event on Saturday 21st September  between 8.45 and 11.30am and we'd love for you to join us. At BIS we believe in Thinking Global and Acting Local,  and cleaning up our area of Thao Dien is just one small pledge that we have made as part of the CleanUp Vietnam initiative. If everyone in our community takes part then just think of what can be achieved!


Not only will you be doing your bit towards cleaning up our planet you'll also gain House Points for participation which count towards the House Points total for the year. In fact, the more family members and friends you bring along, the more points you'll receive.


Event details: 

Date: Saturday 21st September 2019 

Venue: Early Years Campus, 

Group Photo: 7.30am – On the start line!! 

Race Starts: 8.00am 


Invite family and friends using the BIS HCMC Facebook event World Clean Up Day 2019.


There will also be other activities taking place, including a rubbish sort and plastic cleaning, and eco-friendly items and refreshments for sale. We'll be collecting plastic separately to use in our plastic shredder as part of our Precious Plastic project; find out more by following this link

The clean-up will be managed in small teams with a staged leaving time:

-          Group A will meet by 8.45am to leave at 9.00am

-          Group B will meet at 9.15am to leave at 9.30am

-          Group C will meet at 9.45am to leave at 10am

Please be on time for the Group you select as there will be a safety briefing before you leave.


Please note: we have a small number of clean-up kits available to borrow, however we strongly recommend that you bring your own gloves (gardening style, not plastic or rubber) and tongs for picking up the rubbish.


Children from our Primary Campuses must be accompanied by an adult. Though we have a number of BIS staff attending the event they will be taking part in the event themselves.


Please sign up using this form. If you are signing up as a family or group then please only complete one form and add all of the names in the relevant question in section.


We look forward to seeing you on the 21st!


BBGV Fun Run 2019 - Sunday 29th September




BIS will once again sponsor the BBGV Annual Fun Run for Charity. This event is a 4km fun run to raise money for local charities in Vietnam. 

Event details: 

Date: Sunday 29th September 2019 

Venue: Tan Trao, Phu My Hung, Tan Phu Ward, District 7, HCMC BIS 

Group Photo: 7.30am – On the start line!! 

Race Starts: 8.00am 

Registration: As BIS is a Diamond Sponsor, registration is free for up to 1000 BIS participants!

Registration will commence on Monday 9th September 2019 at 8.00am. Visit your campus Cashier and collect your participation bib. 


BIS Event T-shirts: Please wear the BIS Event T-shirt - see image below. These are available at each campus at a subsidised cost of VND150,000. Participants are encouraged to wear their t-shirts so that we can spot you in the crowd!



Invite family and friends via the BIS HCMC Facebook event BBGV Fun Run 2019

Dates for your Diary

News & Events

Tuesday 17th September: Year 10 & 11 (KS4) Open Morning, Secondary Campus Auditorium, 8.15 to 11.00am

Wednesday 18th September : International Day Country Representatives Meeting 8.30 to 9.30am

Wednesday 18th September: Year 9 Options Evening, Secondary Campus Auditorium, 6.30 to 8.30pm

Thursday 19th September: PTG Social Evening, Flying Pig Saigon, 97 Xuan Thuy, all BIS parents welcome.

Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd September: FOBISIA Advanced Music Festival, BIS Hosting at Secondary Campus

Saturday 21st September: World Clean Up Day 2019, Early Years & Infant Campus, 8.45 to 11.30am

Monday 23rd September: Year 8 Open Morning, Secondary Campus Auditorium, 8.15 to 11.00am

Tuesday 24th September: Parent Workshop- What Can Drama Do for You?, Secondary Campus, 5.00 to 6.30pm

Thursday 26th September: Year 11 Options Evening, Secondary Campus Auditorium, 6.30 to 8.30pm

Saturday 28th September: Saigon International University Fair, SSIS in District 7, 3.30 to 5.30pm

Sunday 29th September: BBGV Fun Run 2019, Phu My Hung, District 7, 7.00 to 10.00am



Have a wonderful weekend,

Kind regards,


Carl Mincher


Head Teacher

Secondary Campus