Reflections on the longest term – December 2012
So, although we are not near the end of a school year, we are coming to the end of a calendar year. It’s traditional in most cultures to take stock, reflect on successes and our failures, and start to look forward to the future. We are lucky here in Vietnam, as we get a chance to do that again at Tết Nguyên Đán. I’d like to make a start now, towards the end of the calendar year.
Olympic DreamsAt the start of this term, I talked to students about the Olympics and I challenged them to think about what they will have achieved by the time the next Olympic Games take place in 2016. Many will be enjoying life beyond school. Some will have plans for success within school. Students all have their own goals and their own individual ambitions. This term your children will have taken some small steps towards achieving some of those goals, they will have grown and developed and matured and, I hope, will have learned a great deal.
At the start of term, I also talked about four attributes that will help students on their way. These were support, optimism, loyalty, and a whole lot of things beginning with I: imagination, initiative, inventiveness, integrity.
I said that, just like in the Olympic Games:
1. if you support and encourage each other in all that you do;
2. if you are optimistic and positive and have a “can do” attitude;
3. if you are loyal to your friends, your school, your family, your country and culture;
4. if you act with integrity, and strive to cultivate imagination, show initiative, and be inventive;
if you work on those four things, you’ll have a successful four years, and stand a very good chance of being several steps closer to your dreams, whatever they may be.
How have students done so far? Only they can know, but it would be a worthwhile holiday discussion to have with your children. I encourage you to find the time.
How have we done as a school?I am confident that we have done very well indeed. It has been a challenging term, one in which several unexpected and unprecedented events tested individuals and our community in various ways. I have often said that BIS is one of the most friendly and supportive school communities I know. This term you have shown this to be true, more than ever. The support, encouragement and optimism that many of you have shown - parents, students, staff - the loyalty and positivity that you have demonstrated, these things make me proud and make me feel privileged. We have done very well and we finish the term strong and confident.
This term we have enjoyed the greatest number of students and the greatest number of students ever. We have enjoyed:
· Welcoming all of our new students and teachers
· Announcing our best examination results ever
· ABRSM High Scorers Concert
· Vietnamese trip to Hanoi
· IGCSE Geography Field Trip to Mui Ne
· Dragons’ Den Competition
· Battle of the Bands
· Numerous university visits
· International Day
· Inter-house football
· SEOMUN in Seoul
· U15 FOBISSEA Games in Shanghai
· Football 7s in Phuket
· We hosted the FOBISSEA Music Festival, and held a wonderful Winter Concert and Acoustic Lounge.
· We had Y10 HCMC Geography Field Trip
· We won the HCMC inter-school athletics
· Celebrated Teachers Day.
· Took part in the Terry Fox Run and the BBGV Fun Run.
· Held a talent contest
· Took part in Movember.
· Sent students to the Bangkok Patana Feeding Frenzy Swim meet and beat GIS, Alice Smith, UWCSEA and Tanglin!
On top of that extraordinary list, we attended countless inter-school sports events, ran dozens of after school clubs and activities.
The core of what we do happens in the classroom, of course, and we shouldn’t forget that. This term we ran 1815 single lessons each week. That’s the equivalent of over 900 double lessons a week and it adds up to around 27,200 lessons this term, or 13,600 doubles. I hope we’ve all learnt something!
So, as we come to the end of the term, you will recognise that there is a lot to celebrate and much to be proud of. Students should be proud of themselves and of what they’ve achieved. They have you, their parents to thank for providing them with the opportunities. I have my colleagues, the teachers, and support staff to thank for making all this possible.
On that note, I wish everyone in the BIS community a happy and peaceful holiday, and I look forward to welcoming you all back in 2013.
Key dates early in Term 2
Monday 7th January – Term starts
Thursday 10th January – PTG Newcomers’ Coffee Morning
Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th January – Cyber safety and Digital Citizenship talks for parents
Monday 21st January – Trips week (Year 7-10 & Year 12) and Y11 & 13 mock examinations (Years 11 & 13)