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Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 28/08/2020

Sean O’Neill
Sean O’Neill (13 posts) Head Teacher, Secondary Campus View Profile

Dear Parents, 

At BIS, we believe that a school is the sum of the relationships within it. It has been great this week to witness the forging of new relationships and connections across the Campus -  as students and teachers establish the routines and partnerships that will guide us for the year ahead. These partnerships, along with the firm, strong and positive relationships with you, our parent body, are what define BIS and indeed equip us to respond to the challenges of this recent period, and look ahead so confidently. 

I am delighted this week to be able to share some ways in which you, as parents can be involved in supporting your child’s learning and shaping the educational provision on our campus - as well as updates from across many areas of school life. We have challenged the students to “Be Involved” this year - you’ll see from this week’s update they are certainly taking that message to heart. 


Welcome from our Head Students


A central part of our mission is to develop all our students not just as learners, but also as leaders. Hear from our Head Student team as they embark on their leadership of the student body for  the year ahead.


Student Journal


One key way you can stay connected to your child’s learning and school life is through their Student Journal. This year’s new student journal has been designed to not only keep students organised and aware of the key information that shapes school life, but also for them to reflect on each school week and plan for the period ahead. I’d like to point you in the direction of some new features for 2020:


Wellbeing There are many ideas and activities throughout the journal to support your child’s wellbeing. We encourage our students to use these as a  basis for conversation with you at home. 


Student Values The principles and expectations, written by students for students, guide our community and underpin what we do on a daily basis in school.

What to do If? You can find answers to all those questions that can arise throughout the course of a school day. You’ll find that the answer to most questions is “ask the student centre”. Our team of guidance specialist are there to support our students in any way to 

We have already received some wonderful feedback from our students on the new look journal:

“One of the best things at the beginning of a school year is to receive my Student Journal. This year's journal is beautifully designed as always. There are so many excellent features and creative elements that allow students to explore and expand their ideas. Not only that it helps me be more organized and track my progress in school, it also provides me with personal space to write my thoughts and feelings. The more I write in my journal, the more I understand about the purpose of journaling, that is to improve my note taking skill and form many good habits which I never knew are possible.”

Phuong 10S 

Much time, thought and care has gone into the new journal and will contribute to even stronger links between school and home for our students. 

Please sign your child’s journal each week and use it as a basis for a regular learning conversation. 


Overview of the week’s activities

Spotlight on Year 7


Our youngest students have made an impressive start to the school year. Mr Jonathan McLoughlin, Head of Year 7 shares his insights on the first week of their Secondary journey:

Wednesday marked the end of the first week of the 2020-2021 academic year. It was an important milestone for our Year 7 students who had their first year group assembly and completed their first week in Secondary School. Throughout their time at Secondary School there will be many other milestones, however, much of this will depend on your son or daughters willingness to conquer fear and take the opportunities available to them. The theme of our first assembly was ‘Opportunities’.

This week, the Co-Curricular Activities sign up via CHQ was a great opportunity. CCAs provide an enormous array of activities for students to participate in, but our youngest students can feel a little nervous about signing up. Perhaps they feel they are too small or not old enough or just need a little more time. The key message from our assembly was to be brave and to take these opportunities in both hands. Mr Chandler and 7B decided they would do just that and undertook some team building skiing on the basketball court during form time. Yes skiing in Vietnam and on a basketball court! They took the opportunity to work collaboratively  and communicate with their new classmates to ‘ski’ across the court, backwards and sideways.

Mr McLoughlin

This week every lunchtime and after school, the Secondary music teachers have had the privilege to listen to over 100 students auditioning for the Orchestra and Chamber Choir. As music teachers, we understand how nerve-wracking these auditions are and so would like to congratulate all the students on having the confidence to play to us.  Students from Year 7 to 13 signed up to audition and all the performances have been fantastic.

It has been a very difficult decision to fill the limited number of places available for each CCA group. We encourage all students to keep practising and sign up for any of the other Music CCA’s we have to offer, even if they do not get a place in the CCA they auditioned for to gain further ensemble experience.

Thanks again to all students

Ian Alexander, Director of Music


Parent Webinar: How should we report to you on your child’s progress?



These times of challenge have led to some great innovations at BIS with a focus on High Quality Learning. One of these are our BIS Parent Webinars. These have provided a great means for us to stay connected and maintain a dialogue between our teaching team and you, our parent community on various aspects of school life. I am very excited that my Senior Leadership Colleagues, Lee Falconer and Matthew Lambert, Assistant Headteachers (Teaching & Learning) will be hosting a Parent Webinar on Wednesday 9th September at 4:15pm where they will be sharing some ideas on how we can evolve our Student Reports, and asking you for your input. 

All Parents are welcome to attend. 

To sign up click here


Meet the New teachers


Our ‘Class of 2020’ New teachers are an exceptional group of educators who are already making an impact here at BIS HCMC. Click here to read more details and see if you can spot any familiar faces!


University Guidance Webi-Meetings


Our College & University Guidance Team have hit the ground running this year and have already conducted 75 Zoom Meetings with our Year 13 students and their parents. These meetings form a really important moment in our students’ journey to university as the team hone each student’s pathway and application. 

Look out for news next week of our Class of 2020 University Destinations.


Health & Safety; Is everyone’s responsibility


To ensure the Health & Safety of our community please be reminded:

  • Secondary students must use the bridge to cross the road at Gate A

  • The crossing between the Junior and Secondary Campus is closed at drop and pick up times


Covid-19 Reminders



Celebrating Fantastic IGCSE Results 2020

BIS_IGCSE results poster


We are incredibly proud of the IGCSE results awarded to our Year 11 students this year.  Once again the knowledge and skills of our students have been recognised with impressive academic results, and we would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to each of our Year 11 students.

Find out more about our fantastic IGCSE results here.



Dinner Table Discussions - Weekly Wellbeing

I look forward to sending out the next set of Wellbeing ‘Dinner Table Discussions’ next week - please keep an eye on our Instagram and Facebook page for key notices and the questions will be emailed to you on Monday morning. I hope it leads to many interesting debates around the kitchen table!

As ever, I hope you are having an opportunity to discuss the Wellbeing curriculum with your son or daughter and gain a greater understanding of the work they are doing during lessons and in Tutor Time. Should you have any feedback, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Mr Alexander

Head of Middle Secondary (Pastoral & Wellbeing)





Be involved

Plastic Diet Challenge with ReThink Plastic Vietnam


Following the success of last November’s Plastic Diet Challenge and Clean Up event, we are once again teaming up with ReThink Plastic Vietnam to take part in Plastic Awareness Month. At BIS we are committed to reducing our use of single-use plastic, with a goal to completely eliminate single-use plastic by the end of 2020. We have already made an impact by removing plastic from our uniform, removing plastic from the food outlets, and encouraging students to use reusable water bottles, however there is always more that we can do. This has never been more important than now, when globally we are seeing an increase in single-use items being thrown away.

To help us in our goal we are challenging all students and families to join the Plastic Diet Challenge which aims to reduce the amount of plastic used by individuals over the month. Starting next week, students and teachers will receive a baseline questionnaire to measure how much plastic they currently use. Then, each week they will receive Tips and Tricks on how to reduce their plastic consumption. By the end of the month we’re hoping that everyone will have completed their plastic diet!

This challenge is also a House competition, with Hanoi House being the ‘biggest reducers’ last year. I’m hoping that the other Houses can step up to the challenge and help to do their bit to help environmental issues.

We will also be organising our annual clean-up of Thao Dien for World CleanUp Day on Saturday 19th September. Watch out for more details to come from our CleanUp D2 Student-Led Club.


Secondary PTG


The purpose of the BIS Parent Teacher Group is to build connections.  Connections within the BIS Community of students, parents and teachers; and between the BIS Community and local partners.  Connections that are characterised by positive, healthy relationships and embody the school’s mission of global citizens learning together with respect, integrity and care.

The PTG achieve this through executing two principal functions:

  • Parental Engagement

  • Community Building

The PTG are beginning their preparations for this year. Look out for updates in the coming weeks.

Dates for your Diary

News & Events

We are currently reshaping our parent events programme for this term in light of restrictions.  We will be writing next week with dates and details of our Information and Options Events for each year group. We’ll look forward to seeing you there.


Wednesday 2nd September Public Holiday, no school

Wednesday 2nd to 16th September Plastic diet challenge, community event

Wednesday 9th September Parent Webinar: Reporting Student Progress, online from 4.15pm, BIS parents

Monday 14th September Secondary Co-curricular Activities start, Secondary Campus


Have a wonderful weekend,

Kind regards,


Sean O’Neill


Head Teacher

Secondary Campus