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Mr Sean O'Neill: Weekly Update 17/06/2022

Sean O’Neill
Sean O’Neill (75 posts) Head Teacher, Secondary Campus View Profile

This week on the Secondary Campus we have seen the sheer joy of performance and connection through music, drama and literature in a series of stunning events. As we reach the climax of such a unique year, it is so wonderful that our students can share their learning and their spirit with parents, teachers and fellow students in so many ways.

I hope you enjoy these highlights and our reflections on the past week.

A BIS Night at the Musicals

This week we were so proud and excited that our first ever ‘Night at the Musicals’ premiered to a live audience of BIS students, parents and teachers. There were 85 amazingly talented and dedicated musicians and performers involved in creating a memorable night of high emotion, hilarity and joy. The students performed from classics like ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘Annie’ through to contemporary pieces from ‘Beetlejuice’ and ‘Six’. It was an opportunity for us at BIS to come together again in person, to share our love of the arts, and our commitment to allowing students to thrive and grow. The students were amazing and worked so hard to create this wonderful event in a few short weeks. We cannot wait to see them take to the stage again next year in our fantastic Musicals after a summer of rest.

Cat Molloy Director of Performing Arts

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  • Group  photo - Showtime 2022

IB Theatre Students deliver mesmerising performance

As the 1st year of the IB DP program comes to a close, the DP Theatre class were able to bring together their learning in a performance of the play 100. 100 centres around 4 people who have died and find themselves in a void, where with the assistance of a Guide must select one memory from their life to relive for the rest of eternity. The characters had to reflect on the lives they lived and what was truly important to them in order to secure a memory to take with them for the rest of time. Presented in the round and with a minimal set, the audience were given the opportunity to get up close and personal with the action and spy on the events of their afterlife. In addition to performing the roles, the DP Theatre students were tasked with taking on roles of director and designer. Each student was asked to visualize and pitch ideas for how scenes would be portrayed while ensuring that the overall vision of the piece stayed intact. Now with 100 coming to a close, along with the 1st year of their studies the students will begin to complete their coursework, starting with the Director's Notebook where they will take the skills developed from this performance and envision a full length play and how it may come together to create meaning. Bravo to the DP Theatre class for a lovely return to live theatre at BIS.

Keigan Paige- Drama teacher

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Year 9 students inspire at the Carnegie Exhibition

Today, Friday 17th June, sees the end of the Year 9 BIS Carnegie Medal Shadowing Scheme. Every pupil in Year 9 has had the opportunity to read eight books shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal - known also as ‘The Oscars’ of young adult fiction. During this term pupils have been reading, reviewing and discussing the books and their reviews have gone live on the Carnegie website - along with other reading groups around the world. To celebrate the project Year 9 pupils have hosted a special Carnegie Medal Exhibition in The Curve, showcasing their creative responses to the books. Pupils have produced podcasts, book trailers, artwork, raps, animation and much more. They have acted as guides to Year 8, who today were also invited to learn about the Shadowing Scheme and the shortlisted books - as they will become the new Lotus Readers of BIS next year when we will run this fantastic project again.

Sam Mackenzie- English teacher

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Key Stage 3 Band Programme Finale

The BIS Music curriculum is based on a simple principle- that every student should experience the pleasure and struggle of learning to play music and the joy of playing that music together with others. That is why we established our band programme which runs through Years 7-9.

Today I had the pleasure of listening to all 160 students in year 9 performing together- the joy and pride in that shared experience was palpable. Well done year 9s!

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IB Spanish Café Literario (Literary Café)

Spanish B HL students took part in the first Café Literario in the book “No One Writes to the Colonel” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

We discussed themes, character, style, symbology and the social criticism within the novel, based on the literary text studied in the first year of IB- HL. We invited some of our Spanish-speaking teachers who also read the book and discussed their perspectives in Spanish.

This activity represents a wonderful opportunity to discuss literature in an academic environment and to communicate using Spanish in an authentic context.  The level of language demonstrated by the students, and the depth of analysis carried out, has been very impressive.

"Life is the best thing that's ever been invented."

― Gabriel García Márquez, No One Writes to the Colonel

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Global Goals Workshops with Secondary

Global goals

Year 2 were fortunate to have the first workshop of a new collaboration with Secondary’s Global Goals committee. BIS have had a real push this year on learning about the Global Goals, a set of aims set by the United Nations for every country to help to make our world a better place. The Secondary students first came to observe and support our Year 2s to observe how they learn a month ago, and they returned this week to lead on learning.

The workshops focused on six Global Goals and the students learned that they could be categorised into social and environmental goals. They played games to develop their understanding of the goals and then used Art to express what they thought their perfect world would look like, with all of the goals met. Finally, the students compared their artwork with the world we live in and looked at how they could help the planet in their daily lives and the future.

The children and staff loved the workshop experience and hopefully look forward to further collaboration opportunities to spread our passion and knowledge about the Global Goals!

Kirstie Stockley

Year 2 Teacher & IPC Leader

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Farewell to our Departing Teachers

Class of 2022

We are very proud of the stability of our teaching team at BIS which is a huge factor in the strong school culture and firm relationships that characterise BIS.  However, of course, teachers moving on to new chapters is an inevitable part of international school life.

As we approach the final week of the academic year, it is tinged with sadness as we say farewell and good luck to a special group of colleagues and friends who have each contributed so much to BIS, and for whom next week is their last as a BIS HCMC teacher.

The 13 teachers moving on from the Secondary Campus this term have a collective 80 years of BIS teaching between them. I know you will join me in thanking each and everyone of our departing teachers for the support, care and inspiration they have given our students and the dedication they have shown to the BIS community.

There will be many opportunities in the coming week for colleagues and students to honour our departing teachers' contributions and say some difficult goodbyes.

For now, our ‘Teacher Class of 2022’, from the whole BIS community. Farewell, good luck and thank you.

And as we always say-  keep in touch and #dontBIStrangers.



Be involved

Annual Prize Giving 2022

Prize Giving 2022-23 Programme

College & University Guidance Virtual Visits 2022

careers and university guidance

We will be hosting our final university webinar of the school year on Monday evening where we will host for the first time the University of Chicago (QS 2022 World Ranking 10). See details below. I would also like to point out that there will be an early evening webinar on Thursday 23rd June hosted by the IUMC (Irish Universities Medical Consortium) which should be of interest to all our prospective medics. This year we had several successful Medicine applications to these 4 outstanding Irish Universities.

The University of Chicago is a world-renowned centre of excellence for both undergraduate and post-graduate teaching and research with many of the world’s leading researchers across a huge number of fields. One notable recent example was the unveiling of the first images of the black hole at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy. Stunning images that were only possible due the University of Chicago-affiliated South Pole Telescope. The university is a thriving hub for leading edge academics and welcomes hundreds of high achieving international undergraduate students every year. We are delighted to welcome Domenic Lamberti from UoC to present to our Nord Anglia group of four British International Schools in Vietnam.

 Don't miss this unique opportunity to hear from professors who teach at the leading Medical Schools in Ireland. The IUMC consists of the 4 Top Medical and Dental Schools in Ireland, namely National University of Ireland Galway, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and University College Dublin. We are delighted to invite you to this event aimed at students who aspire to be Doctors. You will hear from professors who teach on the programme and learn more about the university, Medical School, application process, entry requirements, IUMC reduced tuition fees, and life in Ireland as an international student.

 We hope to see you at one or both of the above events.

School Photograph Orders 2022 - Earlybird Deadline is 20th June

Pret portrait

Pret portrait

School photos are now available to view online and emails have been sent to all families of students who were in attendance for school photo days. 

Earlybird discount ends Monday.

Pret a Portrait is offering a 25% discount for all orders placed before Monday 20th June.

Please contact sc@bisvietnam.com for a reminder of your child/ren’s Sitting ID or for more information.

Summer Sports Offerings from our External CCA Providers

Dear parents and BIS Sports Stars,

Unfortunately, the annual action packed BIS Summer Sports School will not go ahead this year due to construction work on each campus. However, so that all of our sports enthusiasts can stay fit, healthy and skilled over the summer break, BIS will be advertising Summer Camps in our local area. These are all run by our trusted 3rd Party External Sports Providers who you know and love from our paid CCA programme.

Please click this Summer Camps 22 link to see information regarding these weekly Summer Camps throughout the holiday period. Please note that all booking, payment and communication should be done directly with the 3rd Party External Sport Provider. BIS will take no responsibility for the camps, we are simply promoting the excellent activities that will be happening in An Phu this summer.

I hope many of our children take up the offer of these camps, learn new skills and make new friends along the way.

I hope all of our BIS families have a well deserved break over the summer and I look forward to seeing you again next year for some competitive sport in HCMC and beyond!

Phil Husband, Director of Sport

Dates for your Diary

  • Monday 20th June: Y10 &12 Invitational PTSC, 3.00pm-6.00pm
  • Monday June 20th: Virtual University Visit: The University of Chicago,  7.30pm-8.30pm. Please sign up for this event at this link.
  • Thursday 23rd June: Prize Giving Ceremonies, 11.30am (Y7,8,11) and 1.30pm (Y9,10,12), Auditorium
  • Friday 24th: Term ends at 11.30am

Have a wonderful weekend,

Kind regards,

Sean O’Neill

Head Teacher, Secondary Campus