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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 15/05/2020

Carl Mincher
Carl Mincher (10 posts) Head Teacher, Secondary Campus View Profile

Dear Parents,

As we end our second week with our students back in school each day has brought a returning sense of normal, even if it is a so-called ‘new normal’. The young mind’s desire to learn is indomitable; the joy and reward they feel in learning is tangible and once more resident in our classrooms. It is also encouraging that attendance day by day is brilliant too with near 100% of children (in country) attending face to face in school.


Students often wonder what life might be like after BIS or as an undergraduate in a university and there is nothing better than hearing first hand about this from our alumni. This week we were overjoyed to welcome back four alumni to share their post BIS experiences with students. 


This time of year normally (‘old norm’) includes parents joining us for the annual college and university guidance presentations - under the new normal these have started up again but with a twist that has brought us additional benefits, more below.


As we move forward into next week we enter our next phase of response to social distancing requirements and infection control in line with the government decrees. You will have received my update letter in the week, these were also shared directly in a student briefing with your child along with our extended school day timings. The extended day has been introduced to give students the opportunity to consolidate their learning after the period of closure with an extra hour of school at the end of the day.


Of course all parts of school life are different in some way but students are responding so well to these new conditions and I am so proud of their adaptability and determination in making school work well for them right now.



Measures will remain in place for sometime to come and you can be assured that the health and safety of all in our community remains our number one priority.



Reminding us of the important place and impact the arts have in our lives at BIS this week we have celebrated a huge success achieved by one of our Year 9 students, Hannah, in the NAE Visual Arts competition. 

Also very exciting, we are looking forward with great anticipation to next week’s IB Visual Arts Exhibition (by invitation) curated by our Year 13 VA students. In the Performing Arts we have been thrilled to be filming student monologues this week and as a community engaging in ‘Musical May’. 


Overview of the week’s activities

Reminder: Extended School Day


From Monday 18th May we will be extending the school day to include a Period 9 which will mean school ends 1 hour later than normal.

This extra lesson will include all of a students timetabled lessons one at a time on rotation through our normal timetable.

These lessons will take place Monday to Thursday.


7.55 - 8.10

Periods 1 & 2

8.15 - 9.30

Periods 3 & 4

9.35 - 10.50


10.50 - 11.10

Periods 5 & 6

11.15 - 12.30


12.30 - 1.20

Periods 7 & 8

1.25 - 2.40

Period 9

2.50 - 3.40


Whilst the additional lesson 9 will end at 3:40pm instead of 2:40pm we will also be continuing our staggered exit for Years 9 and 10 (10minute delay to 3:50pm).


College & University Guidance: Webinar Series for Students and Families


On Thursday our College and University Guidance team held the first in a series of webinars for students and their families to inform regarding the process and support for our students applying to universities globally.  If you missed it, no problem, you can still watch An introduction to Applying to Global Universities - Essentials for Students and Families to learn more.


The webinar series will continue with the following sessions each Thursday and invitations will be sent the week before for registration purposes. 

Feedback from parents has been overwhelmingly positive about the very informative content and also the ease of access, including for working parents.


Please do join us for this exciting innovation to our provision continuing:


21st May Using The Bridge U Platform - and How U Can Too

28th May North American Applications - What You Need to Know

4th June Applying to the UK and Hong Kong - Conditional Offers

11th June Other Destinations - Australia, Mainland Europe, Korea

18th June End of Year 12 Checkpoint - What Can We Do Over the Summer?

How to Become a Doctor: a Step by Step Guide


BIS_How to Become a Doctor: a Step by Step Guide


The decision to embark on a medical career is not one that should be taken lightly. Medical school typically takes much longer to complete than other undergraduate degrees and is followed by years of post-graduate and specialist training. Despite this, medicine remains one of the most popular career choices for many BIS HCMC students.


Dr Simon Finnigan, Senior College and University Guidance Counsellor, shares how the CUG team here at BIS HCMC supports our students to follow their dream to become a doctor.


Global Campus Visual Arts Competition

BIS_Global Campus Visual Arts Competition


Congratulations to Year 9 student Hannah who was one of 14 students chosen by UNICEF in the annual Nord Anglia Education Global Campus Visual Arts Competition, where students were asked to share their interpretations of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  You can see more of the other entries to the competition here or read more about the entries provided by some of our enthusiastic BIS HCMC Visual Arts students during virtual school earlier in the year.


Musical May continues with Live Lunches


It has been wonderful to have our students back in school this week and to hear them making music together again in our classrooms.


We would like to take this opportunity to remind you once again about our BIS ‘Musical May’ website. On this site, you can hear fantastic performances from both our students and staff members, take part in creative challenges and even watch musicals from the comfort of your own home. So please do take a look.


Please click here to access the Musical May website or listen to some of our talented students and staff during these Live Lunch performances.   This week’s performances are from Secondary student Anya Year 9, Primary students Hannah and Amaya Year 6 and staff member Ms Huong.


Community Service Update - Crisis Relief Food Hampers



The children from Friends For Street Children Association (FFSC) centres have built close relationships with the students from the British International School HCMC over the past five years, joining them each week to participate in various club activities on campus.


Mrs Tracey Brownrigg shares a message from the children and their families after ‘Friends’, our Community Services team and our Parent Teacher Group joined forces to deliver some food hampers over the last month.

Year 13 Pre-University Programme

BIS_Year 13 Pre-University Programme


Our Year 13 students have been enjoying the range of additional activities put in place to support their transition to University.


Highlights of the week have included talks and presentations from staff that deepen thinking and broaden minds. Dr Finnigan’s and Mr Rispins talks have ignited student appreciation of this style of learning.


One student reported:

"Dr Finnigan is amazing. He is the best public speaker I think I've ever listened to.  He gave this lecture on the Beatles and how they have sung about politics and religion and women's rights and so much more.  My whole class was blown away.  I never thought I would listen to the Beatles for an hour but he made it so interesting.  I know it's something I will use again and talk about at Uni...

...and then today he had a talk about using technology in the workplace and that was really interesting too.  Honestly, he speaks so well and he's so engaging.  I'm loving all he is doing"

I was so impressed by the passion with which this student spoke I felt I had to share it with you all...

Also in the programme this week...

BIS_Alumni 2020


It was a delight to welcome back four BIS alumni this week; Charlotte, Navin, Tim and Toby returned to share their recent experiences since graduating from BIS. 

Charlotte has a reputation for deeply thoughtful public speaking and didn’t disappoint with her TED-style  talk on 'Third Culture Kids'. She then offered advice about a gap year for those considering this option at the moment. Following this Toby , Tim, Navin each spoke of their experiences of transition to universities across the globe including the idea of Culture Shock. 

Our Year 13 students seized the opportunity to ask questions about best preparation, along with academics, social challenges and much more. This was so obviously a valuable chance for students to get a glimpse of what life ahead may bring in readiness for their own transition. We look forward to continuing to build on these important links.

BIS_Year 13 Pre University



Be involved

Launch of Global Campus Xtra


Global Campus 2020


Our Global Campus platform has never been as important as it is right now with all of our 66 Nord Anglia Education schools around the world moving to virtual learning. The Global Campus connects 64,000 students worldwide through collaborations and competitions enabling them to share the learning that they are undertaking and their unique experiences.


Ms Lauren Binnington, Assistant Head Teacher and Global Campus Leader, explains more about Global Campus Xtra.


Dates for your Diary

News & Events

Monday 18th & Tuesday 19th May IBDP Visual Arts Exhibition, Secondary Campus, invitation only.

Thursday 21st May Using The Bridge U Platform - and How U Can Too, CUG Webinar

Thursday 28th May North American Applications - What You Need to Know, CUG Webinar


Have a wonderful weekend,

Kind regards,


Carl Mincher

Head Teacher

Secondary Campus