BIS Graduation Ceremony Class of 2020
Our Year 13 students celebrated their graduation yesterday and we are delighted that they were able to do so in the great style they deserve. Graduating students with family and friends came together to celebrate their successes and achievements at the Park Hyatt, Saigon. Reflecting current needs around social distancing we held two ceremonies both of which were filled with an array of emotions; great excitement for what lies ahead for our graduating Class of 2020, tinged with some sadness as we said our fond farewells.
We were delighted that joining our celebrations was Her Majesty's Consul General, Ho Chi Minh City, Mr Ian Gibbons who offered our students sage advice for the future and insight from the perspective of an ‘IB parent’ himself. My thanks to Ian Gibbons for giving so generously of his time in both our ceremonies to present our students with the graduation certificates and awards.
Our sincere congratulations go to all the graduates, their families and the staff that have taught, supported, guided and nurtured these students along the way, a job well done all, a fitting celebration and a great send off for the Graduating Class of 2020.
We will share more of the day through a gallery of images in the next newsletter.
Head Teacher’s Coffee Morning
I was delighted this week that we were able to hold our first Headteachers Coffee Morning in a long while. The theme for the morning was Looking Back and Moving Forward and we included a number of speakers discussing what we have learned over recent months and intend to take with us as we move forward in our planning and preparations for the future. The speakers included, Anthony Rowlands, Principal, members of the Secondary Senior Leadership Team including myself, Sean O’Neill and Lee Falconer, Dr Simon Finnigan, from our College and University Guidance team and a quick refresher session on the Parent Portal from iSAMS Manager, Steve Porter.
Head Students new and old also attended the morning with the incoming team - Holly van Zwanenberg, Maika Pederson, Ashley Lee and Min Ho Kim - making their first appearance in their new roles and introducing themselves to parents, whilst Cedric and Eunice joined the team for our discussion of student learning experiences during the closure of the school and virtual learning. Here is an introduction from our Head Students for 2020-2021.
Included in the meeting our current PTG Chairperson, Melanie Rowe, took some time to outline some of the many events and successes for the year and to share an update of the financial incomings and outgoings to Community Partners. Whilst we have not been able to schedule an AGM for the PTG in the way that we normally would at this time of the year, we hope to be able to organise one early in the new academic year.
An outline of the presentations can be found here.
University and Guidance Webinar Series
The College and University Guidance seminars continue and this week we heard from Admissions advisors for Sydney, Utrecht and Singapore discussing the pros and pros of considering their institutions for university education.
There will be one more session on Thursday 18th June. If you would like to listen to previous presentations from our CUG team or to register for the upcoming session, visit the CUG Weekly Webinar Series.
Year 6 Transition Day
On Wednesday, we welcomed our Year 6 students across the bridge for their ‘Transition Day’ and they enthusiastically took part in a variety of the interesting lessons such as DT, Art and ICT which will become their daily schedule from August. Assisted by the current Year 7 students, there was high excitement as they got a taste of secondary school.
Thank you to Mr Mc Loughlin, Head of Year 7 and Ms Debs for your preparation along with the Year 6 teachers and our Secondary staff who helped to make the day a success. Click on this link to view a video of their time at secondary with an introduction from Mr McLoughlin and input from Mr Sean O’Neil, who will be our new Head of Secondary Campus from August 2020.
Whilst the Transition Day helps to alleviate some of the uncertainty for students around what their new routine might be, we are aware that this change in environment can create some challenges. In his role as Head of Year 7, Mr McLoughlin has spent some time investigating ways to smooth the journey and would like to share his top tips for helping your child transition from primary to secondary school.
BIS Host First SENIA Meeting in HCMC
Continued engagement in our own professional learning is at the heart of a great school. We also recognise that learning and planning the learning of our students collaboratively with fellow professionals and specialists can be the best way to do this. This past Friday, BIS hosted the very first SENIA (Special Education Needs in Asia) meeting in Ho Chi Minh City. In all, eight schools were represented from across the city to discuss advocacy and awareness of SEN (Special Education Needs) in Ho Chi Minh City.
Find out more from Mr Ian Young, Head of Learning Support, about the role of SENIA and the focus for this first SENIA Meeting in Ho Chi Minh City.
Black Lives Matter
We know that to fix a problem, we must first understand it and this begins with education. As a school we embrace our responsibility to do more, to listen more, and to act in meaningful ways.
One of the benefits of being an international school is that we have the flexibility to adapt our curriculum based on the needs and interests of our students at any given time. Over the past week, we have heard student conversations around campus on the Black Lives Matter movement so we decided to bring this important conversation into the classroom.
At the Secondary Campus, a team including teachers from our Science, History and Geography Departments have provided discussion guides for Form Tutor time presentation and also offered support to lead these discussions in any of the form groups.
When developing this week's Wellbeing lesson on ‘Describing feelings’, Mr Alexander never envisaged it being delivered against the backdrop of the current global situation. Emotions and feelings across the world have been heightened in recent weeks and months and this week's lesson provided an opportunity for students in Year 7 to 11 to express their personal thoughts and views.
Read more from Mr John Redmond about leading his class in this week’s lesson, Describing Feelings.
Expeditions Xtra - Minecraft Challenge
Last month we introduced you to Expeditions Xtra where our Global Campus and Expeditions teams here at the British International School HCMC joined forces to bring activities that would encourage students to explore, learn, question and build connections with the wider world, all from their own home or school. One of these activities was the Minecraft Challenge!
Nord Anglia Virtual Young Musician of the Year
With so many events cancelled across all schools due to the COVID Pandemic, NAE launched the Virtual Musician of the Year. We were delighted to learn this week that three of our students did extremely well. Kunho Jang from Year 6 was awarded 2nd place in the 10 – 14 age group whilst Dolly Nguyen, Year 6 and Chae Rim Lee, Year 9 were given special mention.
You can find out more and listen to their virtual performances by reading this article by Ms Beth Bown, Performing Arts Leader.