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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 20/09/2019

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

The human story is one centred on our ability to share ideas, knowledge and experiences between individuals and groups. 


Establishing connections is what has allowed us to reach beyond the limitations of our own experiences, forging connections through language and culture has enabled us to fast track evolutionary change -  it is what makes us human.


Our BIS community is at its core a collective endeavour. It is the power of the connections between us that makes the BIS community so special and strengthening our  connections has been a common feature of this week across the Secondary Campus. 


This week, it has been wonderful to see us further build connections between our students, teachers and parents at our Year 10 & 11 Open Morning and our IGCSE Options Evening. New connections have also been forged between our students and their peers from across Asia as they immerse themselves in a shared musical experience as we host the FOBISIA  Advanced Music Festival and the strong connections within our parent community have been illustrated at the enthusiastic International Day Parent Planning Meeting and at the successful PTG Social Evening.


Furthermore, the importance of connections between our local action and global issues have been highlighted at the launch of our  ‘Tree Neutral School’ Campaign and in our Thao Dien Clean Up Day Event being held on Saturday. Throughout this week, our students have also been reflecting on how they can build positive connections and relationships in our Peace One Day and our ongoing Wellbeing Curriculum.


It is my pleasure to share with you further details of each of these events as well as ways in which you can be involved as we work together to build the connections that make our school community thrive.


Have a wonderful weekend,

Sean O’Neill Deputy Headteacher


Overview of the week’s activities

The IGCSE Journey - KS4 Open Morning and Year 9 Options Evening


IGCSE Options Evening - BIS HCMC


There are a myriad of ways in which we support our students at BIS, both academically and pastorally, and this week we have been firmly focused on IGCSE and Key Stage 4.   


On Tuesday, we were delighted to welcome parents of our Year 10 and Year 11 students in to school to our Key Stage 4 Open Morning. Following on from this, on Wednesday evening we welcomed almost 100 families to the Secondary Campus to begin the IGCSE Options process for Year 9 students. 


Mrs Amy Murphy, Deputy Head - Curriculum and Learning, shares more about both events directed at our students on their IGCSE journey.

Tree Neutral School 

Tree neutral campus - BIS Secondary


Only when the last tree is cut down, the last fish caught, the last stream poisoned, will be realize we cannot eat money”


Whoever first coined these wise words would have made for a very welcome guest speaker here at BIS this week. The recent plight of the Amazon has reminded us all of the need for a sustainable approach to how we lead our lives – the BIS community is no exception to this.


This week saw the launch of our Tree Neutral School initiative guided by Mr Lee Falconer, Assistant Head Teacher, regarding the launch of our this week.

Peace One Day

PTG Whole School Social Night 


On Thursday night we had the wonderful occasion of the first PTG Social Night for the year, with parents from across the whole BIS Community joining together for some food and light conversation, to catch up with old friends and make new ones.  


A big thank you to Angela and Maureen for organising the event at the Flying Pig Saigon, with Maggie and the team. A great job was done by all of the ticket sellers across all three campuses, who worked together to encourage a wide variety of parents to this very special evening.  Thank you to everyone and congratulations to the PTG volunteers on a successful event.  

Discovering Positive Education - Weekly Wellbeing

Weekly Wellbeing - BIS HCMC


This week Robbie Alexander, Head of Middle Secondary (Pastoral and Wellbeing) shares with us some of the behind the scenes training and development involved in building the high quality Wellbeing curriculum for our students.  Discovering Positive Education.

University Guidance - IB Options

University Guidance - BIS HCMC


The primary focus of the College and University Guidance Team at BIS HCMC is our Sixth Form students. However, the process of helping students focus their thoughts about life after BIS begins lower down the school and is an important part of our role. Sessions that deal with decision-making and an introduction to Higher Education and potential career pathways are introduced across Key Stage 3, through Wellbeing classes and assemblies


Read more from Senior College & University and Guidance Counsellor, Dr Simon Finnigan, about the work that our University and Guidance team does with our younger students as they consider their IB Options.

BIS Student Ambassadors join NAE-UNICEF Student Summit 2019 


BIS Student Ambassadors join NAE-UNICEF Student Summit 2019


Each summer students from across Nord Anglia’s 61 schools join the NAE-UNICEF Student Summit at the UN’s headquarters in New York City.  This year, two students representing the British International School Ho Chi Minh City, Nina Pham and Eugene Chang, joined 87 students to discuss the important work being done to achieve the SDGs in their schools.

Excitingly, BIS Alumna Tara Subba also popped in for a visit to impart her knowledge. Tara cites MUN at BIS HCMC as a motivating factor in the career she has chosen to pursue.

Find out more about this life changing opportunity for Nina and Eugene, read about how our students engage with the Global Goals at the Annual NAE-UNICEF Summit.


Be involved

International Day 2019 - Friday 18th October


Secondary International Day 18 (13)


It is just 4 weeks to go until the biggest day in the Secondary Campus Calendar- International Day. 

Planning is already well under way with country groups bringing their enthusiasm and creativity to what will be the best International Day yet!

If you would like to be involved, join a team to represent your country, of find out more please feel free to contact Katie Walsh, Reception and Parent Liaison at

We will be sharing more over the next few weeks about this year’s International Day, including an exciting STEAM & Sustainability Activity  - the Cultural Cardboard City Collaboration- creating a ‘Pop Up’ city in a single day!

To help us prepare for this we would like to collect your used cardboard. Please bring to the Cardboard Collection Point on the Undercroft at the Secondary Campus. Your help is much appreciated!



World Clean Up Day 2019 - Saturday 21st September

World clean up


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. 

We're hosting our second annual World CleanUp Day Event on Saturday 21st September  between 8.45 and 11.30am and excited to see a number of families have already signed up.

Event details: 

Date: Saturday 21st September 2019 

Venue: Early Years Campus, 

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.

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:  

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!


FOBISIA Advanced Music Festival 2019 Concert - Sunday 22nd September 

BIS_FOBISIA Music Festival


BIS is very excited to be hosting the FOBISIA Advanced Choral and Orchestral Festival.   The weekend will culminate in a final concert Sunday afternoon. All are welcome to attend and entrance is free, so come and hear the results of this intensive musical weekend.  


Concert details

Date: Sunday 22nd October

Time: 2.30pm

Location: Secondary Campus Auditorium


BBGV Fun Run 2019 - Sunday 29th September

BBGV_LCD screen-01


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!




Dates for your Diary

News & Events

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 18th October : International Day

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