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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 22/05/2020

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

Dear Parents,

Adjustments to life and learning have touched us all in one way or another and the ongoing response of our students and their teachers has reminded me once again of the very special place BIS HCMC is. As we restarted sporting activities and reopened some social spaces this week under the second of our phases to easing restrictions a welcome sense of routine has returned. 

Students who have come to terms with change and loss of some pursuits have started to develop new opportunities to replace them. A notable example this week involved our UNICEF Ambassadors, SoYoung and Min Ho, whose plans to conference with their fellow ambassadors in New York this summer are on hold. They have joined with other NAE students as a ‘Voices of Youth’ along with Ms Lauren Binnington, Assistant Headteacher, who leads on our Global Campus engagement. I was moved by the optimism conveyed through the first of these blogs:

“However, for every cynical and pessimistic comment on the internet there is an incredible post and person who is trying to make our world better. Everyday we have people using the time that has been gifted to them during this pandemic to become more connected to themselves and the world as they learn...We are currently living through a major event for the future as this will be remembered and documented for generations to come. We are making history.”

I am pleased that our students count amongst these and proud of the BIS students we have the pleasure of working with who are definitely adopting this positive mindset towards their way of navigating these challenging times too. Look out for SoYoung and Min Ho’s blog very soon.

On a rollercoaster of emotions over the last few days our Year 13 students reminisced over their entire BIS journey as they celebrated their traditional costume day. As their year draws to a close we approach the final Graduation Ceremony which we are delighted can now take place giving parents, students and teachers the opportunity to mark this special time and achievement.

Traditionally, the Year 13 “dress up day” is a time of celebration and fun as we share our fond farewells - no different this year with vibrant costumes adding to an extraordinary atmosphere. Ms Jane Hall, Head of Sixth Form, delivered a moving and entertaining assembly that captured the spirit of the day and marked the importance of this remaining time with our students. The happiness of the year group having fun together was so evident. It was an unexpected opportunity for the school to offer our traditional appreciation and recognition at the close of an unprecedented year. 

​Class of 2020 Graduation Ceremony plans are now in full swing. We are currently looking to hold two identical ceremonies on Saturday June 13th at BIS HCMC. Please save the date. We will, of course, need to remain flexible due to the potential for changing restrictions, but we are hopeful to provide you all with concrete arrangements very soon.

Overview of the week’s activities

IBDP Art Exhibition 2020


BIS_IBDP Art Exhibition 2020

Previously planned as an online exhibition we were delighted this week as our wonderful IB Visual Arts students transformed our brand new Secondary Campus building into their very own gallery to exhibit their art. Using the new classrooms as their own blank canvas, they created a stunning showcase of IB Diploma Visual Arts pieces, each student curating their portfolio to share their paintings, photographs, sculptures and graphic illustrations.


BIS_IBDP Art Exhibition 2020 2

The IB Diploma Programme is a deeply involved journey for all of our students. The thoughts and passions expressed by our Visual Arts students in this exhibition, both for their art and for the world we live in, once again shows their dedication and also their capacity for caring about those around them.  It is a reminder that art is about much more than visual appeal.

We are truly overwhelmed by the creative talent of these young BIS artists.


All-Girls Virtual Puzzle Contest - May 29th to 31st


This week our Mathematics department are promoting an opportunity for our female students to take part in an international virtual puzzle contest.  

Led by inteGIRLS, a certified nonprofit organisation from Washington D.C., the competition will feature a set of puzzles that each team will have three days to solve. No puzzle experience is required!  

The mission for inteGIRLS is to spark community, teamwork, and a love for problem-solving among girls in order to close the wide gender gap in higher maths and competition maths participation. Their website is  for more information.  

This world’s first free-to-enter all-girls virtual puzzle contest will take place between May 29th and May 31st.  You can find rules, free puzzle practice, and the sign-up sheet on the website.  More information will be shared early next week, through Mathematics lessons and online.  


CUG: Webinar Series - Week 2



Our BIS College and University Guidance (CUG) Webinars continued this week with Dr Finnigan providing a tutorial on Using The Bridge U Platform - and How U Can Too.  You can watch the webinar here.

Very well received by parents of all ages this webinar series is drawing a great deal of interest.

The third University Guidance Weekly Webinar - North American Applications - What You Need to Know will take place on Thursday 28th  May at 3pm.

Joining us will be San Lee of the University of California (Davis Campus) and Sven Clarke of the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada. Both of these are common destinations for BIS students and we are looking forward to gaining some valuable insights in terms of applications to North America in general and some information relevant to those specific universities.

Whilst aimed at Year 11 and 12 students and their families all are welcome to join us.

To register for the event please use the following link: CUG Webinar 3


3 reasons the BIS IGCSE is right for your child



As an international school in Ho Chi Minh City, we are able to tailor and design our curriculum by cherry-picking tried and tested curriculums that best suit the needs of our learners. At BIS HCMC Secondary, we’ve chosen a bespoke blended pathway of the English National Curriculum (Years 7-9), the IGCSEs (Years 10-11) and the IB Diploma Programme (Years 12-13) which provides your child with the perfect springboard to advanced study.

To find out more about why we continue to think that this is the right choice for our students, read 3 reasons IGCSE is right for your child.


Musical May continues with Live Lunches


BIS_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.  

Be involved

Join us for the Community Quiz - Tuesday 26th May


BIS_Community Quiz

Bring your friends and family and join us for an online quiz hosted by Mr Gamwell in support of our Community Partners!

There will be prizes for the best team name and rounds will include Animals, Beasts and Myths and a picture round, amongst others.



Create a team of up to 6 players – you can take part physically together or by creating a social chat group to discuss your answers.

Sign-up using this link: BISCommunityQuiz 

You can make a voluntary 'Pledge to Play' which will be donated to our community partners. This will be collected at school next week!

Event Details: Community Quiz

Date: Tuesday 26th May

Time: 5pm

Location:  Online Quiz.  Register using the link above.


Dates for your Diary

News & Events

Tuesday 26th May: Community Quiz, register online.

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

Thursday 4th June: Applying to the UK and Hong Kong - Conditional Offers, CUG Webinar

Saturday 13th June: Graduation Ceremony Class of 2020


Have a wonderful weekend,

Kind regards,


Carl Mincher


Head Teacher

Secondary Campus