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Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 26/11/2021

Sean O’Neill
Sean O’Neill (57 posts) Head Teacher, Secondary Campus View Profile

This week, we have made significant strides in the journey to returning to school. In all we do, be it the vaccination process, virtual learning or the transition back to school - now and in the months ahead - we, the  BIS HCMC community approach what we do with care and in a spirit of positive partnership.

I have had so many conversations with parents, students and teachers this week that have brought home to me just how important that spirit it is, and how it underpins the relationships we have.

It was wonderful to welcome so many students back on campus for the first time in months for the start of our  uniform collection.  It was great to see students excitedly connecting with our staff, with each other and seeing our new campus facilities for the first time.  We are all so happy to be able to meet in person once again.

I would also like to extend a huge thank you for the Teachers’ Day gifts that were gratefully received by my colleagues this week.  It means so much to receive such warm appreciation - from all the teachers at BIS, thank you. 

In this week’s update, you will find further details of our vaccination and transition activities amongst more news of the ongoing rich fabric of school life that characterises BIS.

My best wishes to you all for a lovely weekend ahead.

Sean O’Neill

Vaccination Update:

This week saw us make a great step forward to becoming a fully vaccinated community as another 700 BIS students received the second Pfizer vaccine. We will work with the Department of Education to organise the vaccinations for the remaining 12-17 year old students in the coming days. This is a significant undertaking and our thanks to the Vietnamese authorities for their efforts in protecting us all.

I would also like to thank the BIS HCMC staff who have been tirelessly working to help smooth operations to the vaccination centres. I am very proud of our team. Lastly, thank you to BIS students and parents for your calmness, patience and positivity as we complete this process. We are now very close to being able to gain the confidence of a vaccinated community, ready to return to learning from school. Parents of those students in Year 7 who are not yet 12, please be assured a process for your children will arrive in due course.

Ready to Return: Uniform Collection gets underway

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It was wonderful this week  to welcome the first BIS students and families on campus for many many months, as our uniform collection got underway. A huge thanks to the BIS administration and TA teams who have worked to create such a smooth process. We look forward to welcoming each year group over the coming days.

Ready to Return:  Add a Library Book to Your Pack


Spotlight on Year 10 Scientists

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Diffusion is the movement of molecules from a region of its higher concentration to a region of its lower concentration down a concentration gradient as a result of their random movement (BBC Bitesize, n.d.)

This week, our Year 10 biologists took the lab to their kitchen to see how diffusion works. As they observed their tea bags and food colouring diffuse in glasses of hot and cold water, our Year 10 biologists were introduced into this seemingly simple yet massively important process. Beyond scents and colours, diffusion affects many aspects of how living organisms function from nutrients diffusing into our blood in the digestive system to water diffusing out of the pores in leaves to keep plants standing upright.

Christine Laddaran & Bee Smith

Teachers Day 2021: Message from the PTG

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On Tuesday during lunch members of our PTG came onsite to deliver a token of appreciation for Teachers’ Day on behalf of the parent community.  It was great to see some of our parents' and receive these gifts, thank you in return. 

Here is some of the message shared by the PTG with staff earlier in the week.


A very big THANK YOU to the teachers at BIS this Teachers Day.

On behalf of all parents we would like to express our sincere gratitude for the effort and time you have taken to engage our children under very challenging circumstances...

...We have chosen your handmade gift from Mekong Quilts, a social enterprise employing under-privileged women in Vietnam and Cambodia.

To finish off I would like to share a few teacher jokes with you to start the day off well.

  •  Why can’t you do a math’s test in the jungle?..........There are too many cheetahs!
  • Why did the teacher wear sunglasses?...........Because her students were so bright.
  •  What is a pirate’s favourite subject?................Arrrrrrt

Thanks again and take care

Secondary PTG

Term Dates 2022-23

We are pleased to share our term dates for the 2022-023 Academic Year.

Please follow the link here


Be involved

BritCham Fun Run 2021 - 1st - 5th December

Fun Run

The BritCham (formerly known as BBGV) Fun Run is back! It would be fantastic to see the BIS HCMC community join together once more in a sea of Red, White and Blue in the aim of raising awareness for some of our important school Community Partners.

You can read the activity and enrollment information for next week’s event in BritCham Fun Run 2021.

Event Details

Date: Wednesday 1st to Sunday 5th December

Location: virtual event

Register: use this link - BritCham Fun Run 2021 - Register

Virtual University Visit - Study in Canada

careers and university guidance

Thursday December 2nd 3pm – 4.30pm - Study in Canada - Mini fair - Follow this Link to Register for this event. 

Canada is a world leading destination for Higher Education. A presentation highlighting the advantages of studying in Canada will be followed by introductions from our 4 guest universities - Queen’s University. Lakehead University, York University and The University of Northern British Columbia. This will be followed by an opportunity for students and parents to move into ‘Break-out rooms’ in order to ask questions of each of the university representatives.

Thursday December 9th – 3pm-4pm - University of Oxford - Follow this link to register for this event  

We have the absolute pleasure of welcoming Mr James Brown from the University of Oxford to hold a webinar for our NAE student community in Vietnam. As the university doesn’t really need an introduction, it will be exciting to hear about its college system and the idea of Best Fit. This will be the perfect opportunity to ask questions specifically relating to Oxford.

Thursday December 16th 3pm-4pm ‘A Supercomputer on your Desk’  Presented by the University of Southampton. - Follow this link to register for this event   

A Supercomputer on your Desk 

If you are interested in studying Computer Science or a related subject such as AI, Software Engineering or Data Science in the UK or in any country then this talk should be of great interest to you. 

In this talk Professor Mark Zwolinski will look at the history of high-performance computing and show how programmable hardware offers a way to speed up computing, even on desktop computers or laptops.

We will also be joined by BISHCMC alumnus Daniel Battersby, a current second year Computer Science student at Southampton University.

Admissions Officer Vacancy at BIS

We are currently looking for an enthusiastic, friendly and engaging individual, with excellent fluency in English, to join our Admissions Team as a Primary Admissions Officer. The key responsibilities of the position will be the co-ordination and administration of all tasks and activities related to the admission and enrolment of students to our BIS Primary Campuses.  You will work closely with the Campus Head Teachers and academic staff as well as all other members of our Admission and Marketing teams.  You will act as an ambassador for the school and our community, enhancing and building our reputation both locally and globally. You will work across our school community to embed a sense of community, pride and belonging.

The closing date for this position is 15th December 2021, however we may fill the position sooner depending on the candidate.

Please find a link to the job description and application form below:

Primary Admissions Officer


Novelicious Book Club - Thursday 2nd December

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Hi, how is your reading going?

We thought we would give you a little bit of notice before our next catch-up so that if you haven’t had the chance to read the selected book.

  • A Place for Us, Fatima Farheen Mirza

.. there is still some time for you to find a copy and read with us.  We’d love you to join us.

Event Details

Date: Thursday 2nd December

Time: 9.30am

Register to join the  Zoom Meeting here

Dates for your Diary

Have a wonderful weekend,


Sean O’Neill
Head Teacher, Secondary Campus