After what has been an extremely difficult year across all four corners of our globe, BIS HCMC ensured one constant in our lives brightened our corner of Ho Chi Minh City, International Week 2021! Our promise is to always deliver an event that is bigger and better than the previous, and this year we delivered in spades!
Our deepest gratitude goes out to each member of our community for all that they did to ensure we were able to deliver the best event ever; from the students, teachers and teaching assistants here on both campuses, to the wonderful array of communities who staffed and stocked the incredible Global Cafe last Tuesday and Wednesday, to finally the PTG, and in particular Lily and Gayatri for all of their incredible support. The spotlight falls directly on Lily after this event, as she has been front and centre of the Global Cafe for the past ten years. Without her, this particular favourite of International Week would not have grown to be the best cafe in the world, and it truly is a crowd favourite each year! This is Lily’s final ‘official’ event as the last of her children will have moved to Secondary by the time of the next event, but I am hopeful we will see her around for many years yet! Twenty six wonderful nations took part in the latest version, and we thank all of them for their enthusiasm in trying times. See you all next year!
Opening Ceremony, Junior Campus
The week on the Junior Campus started with an incredible opening ceremony, with four parent groups offering their support by providing our students with amazing performances. From a colourful dance representing fresh rain in the plains of India, to Latin America and a wonderful Salsa experience, to East Asia and the Province of Sichuan in China with a face-changing opera performer, and finally an incredible contemporary dance from Korea. Each performance had the crowd wishing for more!
Not much more can be said about the Global Cafe experience. This gets bigger and better each year, and 2021 was no different. So much work goes into this event, and our parent community begin preparing for this months in advance. There must come a time when this cannot get better, yet we clearly haven't reached that point yet! Without doubt, Global Cafe is a real highlight for everyone and we thank from the bottom of our stomachs our parent community graciously for all their time and efforts.
The learning focus for International Week, driven through our International Primary Curriculum (IPC) unit, is always a fabulous opportunity for our students to research countries and cultures they would not usually know much of. This then culminates with classes swapping over to learn all about each others’ chosen countries. From Jamaica and Tanzania up in Year 6, down to Ireland and Greece in some of our Year 3 classes; as well as another 28 nations in between! The students spend the week prior to the event researching the peoples, cultures and traditions of some of the most colourful nations around the globe, and then present to each other what they have learnt. We all know a little more about the world after this aspect of International Week!
Parade of Nations
Another of the many highlights of the week, the ‘Parade of Nations’ allows us a moment in the sun, where we can be proud of who we are and where we come from! We are all Global Citizens, but for this day, we are the 45 nations which make up the student body across the Junior Campus! These two events are always full of colour and excitement. This year we had eight dance groups, and welcomed for the first time Canada and Malaysia to the stage. Each group represented their nation proudly! Usually, these events are seen in person by more than 300 parents at each parade, but this year we had to parade behind closed doors. That didn’t mean we could not welcome our parents into the event though, as we went live around the world through the power of YouTube, and our thanks go out to the marketing team here at BIS HCMC for facilitating the live stream. More than 300 people tuned in to watch live, and many more have viewed the link at a later time. They are still available, so have a look if you haven’t yet done so!
Another event has passed, but already we are looking forward to International Week 2022, and what we really hope will be ‘A New World Awaiting’! Thank you to everyone, once more, for helping to create the biggest and best International Week ever! Best wishes to you all for the upcoming Tet break, and continue to dream big in preparation for the next event! From one of our staff after this year’s event: ‘As a new staff member, I was blown away each day by the incredible events, organisation and provision for the children. It was such an exciting community celebration of the cultures here and I feel very grateful to have been a part of it.’ Echoes my thoughts exactly!
Chris McKelvie, Deputy Headteacher