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Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 11/12/2020

Sean O’Neill
Sean O’Neill (20 posts) Head Teacher, Secondary Campus View Profile

Dear Parents, 

The last full week of term has certainly been one to remember. Whether in the classroom, on-stage or on the sports field our students  once again demonstrated the values of BIS, giving their all and working together to achieve great things. 



Athletic prowess, team-work and a real spirit of fun reverberated around Thao Dien on Wednesday. In a BIS first, our Annual House Sports Day was an Olympic Style Multi- Sports Event. As well as our classic Athletics meet,  we held simultaneous Basketball, Table-Tennis, T-Ball, Volleyball and Swimming Competitions. In each competition, BIS students gave their all to gain points of their House. A spirit of friendly rivalry and togetherness made this a hugely enjoyable occasion for the whole Secondary Campus. 

There were some notable achievements with no less than 4 school Athletics records being broken.  My congratulations goes to James Kim in 9B for smashing the U14 Long Jump record with a prodigious leap and to Daniel Juelsbaek in 13 who broke the Shot Put, Long Jump and in an incredibly tense Finale- the High Jump as well. A superb achievement. 

The day rounded off with the traditional relay and Tug-of-war events which this year saw teachers and support staff join our students which raised the roof. 

My thanks go to all the students staff for making this a great event, but in particular  to Mr Alistair Thom who organized the whole event with such skill.

On behalf of the whole campus I would like to also say a special thank you to the cleaners, guards and maintenance staff who worked tirelessly to make the event happen. 

The results of the Sports day will be announced in our Final Assembly on Tuesday - which House will come out of top?


  • BIS_Sports Day 1
  • BIS_Sports Day 2
  • BIS_Sports Day 2
  • BIS_Sports Day 4
  • BIS_Sports Day 6
  • BIS_Sports Day 11
  • BIS_Sports Day 7
  • BIS_Sports Day 8
  • BIS_Sports Day 9
  • BIS_Sports Day 10
  • BIS_Sports Day 13
  • BIS_Sports Day 14
  • BIS_Sports Day 15
  • BIS_Sports Day 16
  • BIS_Sports Day 17
  • BIS_Sports Day 18

Christmas Carols and Readings


Christmas is all about friends and family  coming together, and so it was wonderful that students, teachers and support staff were able to enjoy an eclectic range of Christmas Carols and Readings together in our Secondary Auditorium yesterday afternoon.  This time of year we feel the distance from our home countries and so it was great to be able to share such an enjoyable experience with our BIS HCMC family - either in person or via livestream. Please click on the link below to watch again- I’m sure you'll agree our students and teachers really did bring the spirit of Christmas to BIS. 


School of Rock: End of term Showcase


Just when we thought the music could not get any better this week.  Today saw our School of Rock Musicians blow an audience of students and teachers away with their end of term lunchtime gig. 

Expeditions / Week Without Walls Update

Further to my communication to you regarding the cancellation of this year’s residential expeditions, I would like to thank you, our parent community for the overwhelming support you have expressed since Monday’s communication. Whilst of course disappointing, we can be so proud of how we as a community have responded to the challenges presented throughout this last year as we work together to bring the best education for our students. 

Our accounts team is working hard to process the refunds as quickly as possible.  I thank you for your patience and support. 


January 11-15th 2021


I am delighted that we have been able to adjust our planning and so can share with you the revised outline for the week of 11th-15th January. The revised programme reflects the different stages of their educational journey that each year group is at. Years 7 to 9 students will undertake a unique and bespoke programme of activities as part of their Week Without Walls. This is an extension of our co-curricular programme, and is delivered by BIS teachers and external providers.  Our older students will focus on their academic IGCSE and IBDP pathways during this week. Should conditions change this gives the potential of adding enrichment activities to their schedules in the future without losing curriculum time. 

Overview of the week

Year 7-9 Week Without Walls. Please see letter from Ms Binnington here.

Year 10 and 12:  IGCSE & IBDP Curriculum Lessons

Year 11 and 13: Mock IGCSE & IBDP  examinations


Egg-static 7B:  An insight into DT

7B ‘eggs-pressed’ their ‘cr-egg-tive’ STEAM skills this week while taking on the ‘egg-citing’ challenge of – “Who can throw an egg the furthest without it breaking”. With ‘free ranging’ designs from strapping an egg to the top of a frisbee, wrapping it up in as many layers of tissues as possible to ‘nesting’ it tightly within a hardened ‘shell’ of a bottle they had all ‘egg-celled’ in their solutions to ‘crack’ this challenge.   

7B will now be looking forward to next terms ‘eggs-tra’ special challenge that will be even harder to ‘beat’ than this egg challenge. Sorry for all the egg-straordinarly bad puns.    


Mr Chandler, Design Technology Teacher

Spotlight Magazine 

Secondary Campus families, you will receive your copy of this term’s Spotlight magazine with highlights of a truly memorable Term 1 on Monday 14th December.

Be involved

PTG Christmas Raffle


A big thank you to everyone who contributed to the Christmas Raffle this year.  From ticket sellers and buyers to donors, deliverers, sorters and collectors.  Thank you for sharing a little bit of Christmas cheer.

All remaining uncollected prizes have been delivered this afternoon to the Secondary Campus.  If you have not yet collected your prize, please contact us to let us know how you would like to arrange it. or will put you in touch with the Secondary Reception team.


‘Christmas Wonderland’ Student Fair - Tuesday 15th December

This year the PTG was excitedly looking forward to welcoming BIS families to the annual PTG Christmas BISzaar and one of the areas of the BISzaar that has been growing since it began just a few years ago are the students’ Community and Enterprise stalls.

The students, who are involved in a wide variety of community clubs at the Secondary Campus enthusiastically take up this opportunity to spread awareness and raise funds for their chosen Community Partner through posters, sale items, bake sales and activities.

This year for the Christmas BISzaar we had more than 20 student Community and Enterprise stalls signed-up to participate and so the PTG were very happy to hear that these students will be able to hold their stalls and share community awareness through the student Christmas Wonderland on the last day of school.

We are delighted to showcase our students’ stalls, with a wide range of products that will benefit our community partners.  These students will also have a physical stall at the Christmas Wonderland on Tuesday to spread their message.  All funds raised go to support our community partnerships.

Perhaps you might find some treats in this online marketplace, created with the help of Mr Colin Astbury, one of our ICT Teachers, that will make the perfect Christmas gifts and encourage your children to visit the community stalls at the Christmas Wonderland on Tuesday.

Tet Gift Box Collection 2020


The Year of the Buffalo will be welcomed on the 12th February 2021, heralding one of the most significant holiday celebrations in Vietnam; the Vietnamese Lunar New Year!

The characteristics symbolised by the Buffalo/Ox are those of leadership, determination, hard work and dependability; all of which aptly reflected by the trait of “perseverance” in our school Aide Memoir and for which we strive. Likewise at that time, as we reflect on the past year and look with optimism to the future, we will continue to strive to act with integrity, to treat one another with respect and to care for our community.

The Tet Gift Box Collection 2020 continues here at Secondary and there will be a Tet Gift Box stall at the Christmas Wonderland event on Tuesday for any students who would still like to join in this opportunity to share this lovely Vietnamese custom with our Community Partners.

School Photos in January 2021

In the coming year we plan to carry out our annual school photography sessions for each campus in January.  Further details for each campus will be sent when we return from the Christmas break.

We are happy to advise that we will be partnering with Picture Day, a Hanoi based photography company, this year for school photos.  To find out more about Picture Day please follow the link here.

The Picture Day team will visit each campus on the following dates.

  • Junior Campus – 11-15/01/2021

  • Early Years & Infant Campus – 18-22/01/2021

  • Secondary Campus – 25-29/01/2021

Dates for your Diary

News & Events

Tuesday 15th December Last Day of Term 1, school ends at 11.30am 

Wednesday 6th January Term 2 begins

Monday 11th January to Friday 15th January Mock Examinations Week, Secondary Campus, Year 11 & Year 13 students

Monday 11th January to Friday 15th January Expeditions Week, Secondary Campus

Monday 25th to Friday 29th January Secondary Campus School Photos


Have a wonderful weekend,

Kind regards,

Sean O’Neill
Head Teacher, Secondary Campus