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Mr Carl Mincher: Weekly Update 05/06/2020

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

Overview of the week’s activities

Dear Parents,



There are some very important routines taking place at the moment to ensure that we are fully prepared to leap forward into the next academic year with energy and enthusiasm.  

One of these routines is appointing those who will take on the roles of Head Students. This week, with the selections complete, it was a privilege to spend some time with both our outgoing and incoming Head Students as they took part in a customary handover meeting.

I would like to say a huge thank you to Christine, Cedric, Vy and Eunice for their efforts during this challenging year. As a team they have been outstanding models of the values and attributes we cherish so dearly at BIS but mostly their care and respect for their peers, teachers and our wider community. They move on with our very best wishes and good luck for the next exciting chapter in their lives as they prepare for universities across the globe.

Congratulations now to our new Head Student team: Min Ho Kim, Holly Van Zwanenberg, Maika Pederson and Ashley Lee. Each has already contributed so much to the BIS community during their time in school including several leadership positions between them. Their articulation of what it means to be a BIS student and particularly a student leader has left us in no doubt that they will be a force for so much good and further positive developments during their time in office. We are very much looking forward to working with them in new roles.


Rens and Isaiah - The Haircut 

2 years ago, Rens and Isaiah set out on a mission to grow their hair and donate it to charity. Their mission was a great with the Year 7 friends recently handing over their locks to their chosen charities.

Rens donated his hair to a Dutch company that helps people who have lost their hair due to illness and Isaiah donated to Mạng Lưới Ung Thư Vú Việt Nam - Breast Cancer Network Vietnam (BCNV) whose aim is to build social support for local Vietnamese patients in their fight against cancer.

Rens and Isaiah are a perfect example of the kind, caring, compassionate and respectful students we are so fortunate to have within our BIS community.

You both have my admiration and appreciation as models of these values to your peers and our community more widely.


Secondary PTG Update  - June 2020

BIS_PTG update


With all that has been happening, our PTG team has been busy creating new ways to keep strong connections between our parents. The Virtual school period didn’t stop our PTG meetings either! 

Find out about all what the team has been up to over the last months with the latest PTG Update from Shweta Mangal, PTG Communications Representative.

For those of you joining the Head Teachers Coffee morning next week there will be an opportunity to hear from the PTG and reflect on the year’s achievements.


Thank You to our Frontline & Essential Workers


BIS_Frontline Thank you 1


At a time when frontline essential staff have rightly received huge support and appreciation around the world our students made their own gesture of gratitude today to our own essential workers as well as those in our wider community. These are the people that have made sure our environment is both healthy and safe giving us the confidence to continue our learning together on campus.

Students presented our cleaning, maintenance and guard teams with cards bearing thoughtful messages of thanks and appreciation on behalf of all in the school community.

These teams have been working extremely hard throughout the period of Virtual School as well as since our return. My thanks to the whole team!

BIS_Frontline Thank you 2




A beautiful mural was also created as a collaboration between Junior and Secondary students.  Located at the International Walkway on the Junior Campus, it is an International  ‘Cảm ơn’ to the many frontline workers across the globe that have supported our international community. 

Co-ordinated by Ms Tracey Brownrigg, it truly is a wonderful way to honour and thank the many that have worked, and continue to work tirelessly in the fight against Covid 19. 

Well done to all involved!


Breath, Focus and Weight - Puppets brought to life



The Performing Arts team at BIS are always looking to develop and improve, and having new teachers with us this year means new ideas, techniques and knowledge for us and for our students. The Drama department has been really excited that Mr Thurston has shared his enthusiasm for puppetry creating a brand new learning experience and a new way into theatre and performance for our students. 

This week students started on a puppetry journey, creating and manipulating paper puppets using resources and techniques from The National Theatre and the puppeteers Gyre and Gimble. All Year 9 students have created these large puppets and are now learning how to bring them to life looking at breath, focus and weight. It is amazing what you can create and achieve in such a short space of time!

It was clear that our students were learning broader skills through this too as they work in small teams and in unison to orchestrate the puppets movements and breathing. The skills of influencing an audience through their point of focus will also be useful in other areas of the curriculum.

Great work Year 9 and the Drama team!


IGCSE Music Recording



One of the great joys of my day is joining classes around the campus and today was no exception as Year 10 students of music offered a warm welcome as they performed and recorded their latest pieces. 

Theresa told me a little about the lesson, “At least twice in a month we invite the audio team to record our music pieces for our IGCSE Music Performance course. Despite our nerves around wanting to perform well today, the feeling of being fully immersed in each others' harmonies and melodies calms our minds and always gets us feeling energised for the day ahead. From exciting tunes from the movie Pulp Fiction all the way to Adele, we learn so much from listening to our peers' performances, knowing that all of our hard practice during our Virtual school has turned out so well!”

The standard of today’s music was exceptional and the mutual support for one another impressive. Congratulations to these students and their teacher Mrs Husband.


Virtual Fieldtrip preparation


BIS_Virtual trip


Our IBDP Biology and Environmental System and Societies students have been preparing for their upcoming expedition to Con Dao during which they will collect data for their Internal Assessments.  The specialist team from EcoFieldTrips (EFT), our partners who usually join us to guide our students in Con Dao, are unable to enter Vietnam at this time but this does not stop us here at BIS!  

In preparation for fieldwork in Con Dao, planned for August, the EFT staff have delivered lessons via Google Meets to our students introducing the ecosystems. Individual meetings student to develop their research questions.  With support from BIS Biology and ESS teachers, all students will arrive in Con Dao with a clear idea of what data to collect and how to do it.  

This has been so successful it is being considered for a model for future expeditions, one of the many new discoveries we have made out of the Virtual school experience.  We strongly believe that this would not have been possible without the skills the students and teachers have honed during their time in Virtual School and we are very proud of the flexibility and adaptability of our students in embracing this novel approach.


BIS HCMC Summer Camp 2020


BIS_Summer camp


The British International School HCMC are delighted to announce a special super-sized Summer Holiday Camp with a wide range of activities for our students to enjoy over the summer holidays.

Instructions on how to register and the full list of activities can be found by reading BIS HCMC Summer Camp 2020.

Weekly Wellbeing at Christmas

Wellbeing Monopoly Reflections

Wellbeing Monopoly


During their  Wellbeing lessons , students recently designed and created a Wellbeing version of the famous board game Monopoly which had to feature positive properties, emotions and actions that can be applied to real life. The game was great fun for students who really absorbed themselves in  it.

This week, teachers and students reflected on the ‘Wellbeing Monopoly’ they participated in and considered how this simple creative task contributed to a sense of teamwork within the class.

Mr Robbie Alexander, Head of Middle Secondary (Pastoral and Wellbeing) shares the results in Wellbeing Monopoly Reflections.  As a keen Monopoly fan I’m looking forward to the opportunity of playing one of these Wellbeing Monopoly games soon!

Weekly Wellbeing - BIS HCMC

Be involved

Head Teachers Coffee Morning and PTG Catch-up - Wednesday 10th June


BIS_Secondary HT coffee morning


Reflecting back and looking forward: a session presented by Mr Carl Mincher and Mr Sean O’Neill along with the Secondary PTG Executive Committee.


Event Details

Date: Wednesday 10th June 

Time: 10:00am to 11.30am

Location: Secondary Campus Auditorium

In order to maintain social distancing guidelines, sadly there will be a limited number of places available, a warm invitation and sign up details will follow early next week.


PTG Women’s Wellness Morning - Thursday 11th June

BIS_PTG Wellness


The Secondary PTG would like to invite you to join a Women’s Wellness Morning – a women’s gathering for health, yoga, mindfulness, breathing and a delicious vegetarian lunch.  The instructors will be Suzanne from Jiva Yoga Saigon and Poonam from Aveda who supported our recent online workshops.  Lunch will be provided by Crazy Coriander.


Event Details: Women’s Wellness Morning

Date: Thursday 11th June

Time: 10.00am to 1pm

Venue: Yoga Vietnam, 50 Ngo Quang Huy, Thao Dien Vietnam

Registration: 500,000vnd please pay at the Secondary Campus Reception before Friday 5th June 2020.


Moving on Workshop


For our families leaving BIS.  An opportunity to hear from our School Leadership Team, Counsellors and Admissions to support your move on  from BIS. 


Event Details: Moving on Workshop

Date: Tuesday 16th June

Time: 8.15am

Venue: Black Box Theatre (MPR), Junior Campus

Registration: To register please email


Dates for your Diary

Wednesday 10th June Y6/Y7 Transition Day, Year 6 students

Wednesday 10th June Headteacher’s Coffee Morning, 10am to 11.30am, Secondary parents

Thursday 11th June PTG Women’s Wellness Morning, Yoga Saigon Thao Dien

Tuesday 16th June Moving On Workshop, Junior Campus Black Box Theatre, BIS families

Friday 12th June      Graduation Ceremony Class of 2020, Parents of Year 13 students 


Have a wonderful weekend,

Kind regards,


Carl Mincher


Head Teacher

Secondary Campus