Friday, 14 December 2012

From The Head Teacher

Reflections on the longest term – December 2012
As we come to the close of this, the longest of school terms, we are over 40% of the way through the school year.  For year 11 and 13 students, they are 50% through to the time when they go on study leave and start their final exams.

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 Dreams
At 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)
Richard Dyer
Head Teacher


Cyber safety and Digital Citizenship talks for parents


Terry Fox Run-Thank you letter


Winter Concert


The BIS Thien Phuoc Christmas Party 2012

Thank you to all those who were involved in this year’s BIS community Christmas party. The children of the foster home were really excited to welcome all 62 of us! AP1 Year 1 students created personalised presents for each child given out by staff, students and volunteers of BIS. The AP1 and AP2 PTGs provided party food and drink which was relished in between playing with all the new toys! Everyone enjoyed performances from the barbershop choir and joined in with a huge, jolly, Christmas sing-a-long to round off the afternoon of fun!

Emma Jane Morris
Community Service Projects Manager


Year 10 – International Life Skills - Mai Tam Christmas Party

On Tuesday 11th December the Year 10s welcomed 50 children from the Mai Tam House of Hope for children affected by HIV or AIDS.

Mai Tam was a great experience for all of us. It was special and meaningful for the kids and us. We all put a lot of effort into making the party packs and organising the activities. There was face painting, musical chairs, food, pass the parcel and basketball. All the children really wanted to do was run around and play with us. There was a band, which was performed by some of the students, which played Christmas carols to get us into the mood of the holidays.

It was a tremendous sight to see all the smiles on their faces. We all had a great time bonding with the children even though it wasn’t for very long. Can’t wait to do it again!!

Jenny and Gabby Year 10


Bangkok Swimming Competition: 7th – 9th December

Term 1 culminated with the annual Bangkok Swimming Competition which took place last weekend, hosted by Bangkok Patana School.

BIS took 57 students in total; 14 from TX, 27 from AP1 and 16 from AP2. Our swimmers performed really well against all of the other teams and finished the first day in 3rd place (Long Course Event) and 4th on the final day (short course event). There were many PB’s broken and some outstanding results.



Individual Awards – Bangkok Swimming December 2012

A special mention must go to the 3 swimmers below for their exceptional swimming over the weekend.

For Long Course (50m pool)
· Aged 11 - 12 Boys - Individual Scores : Jeremie Luong 1st 114 pts

·  Aged 11 - 12 Boys - Individual Scores : Jun Won Hwang 2nd 108 pts

· Aged 11 - 12 Girls - Individual Scores : Angela Villamil 2nd 105 pts

For Short Course (25m pool)
· Aged 11 - 12 Girls - Individual Scores : Angela Villamil 1st 55 pts

· Aged 11 - 12 Boys - Individual Scores : Jun Won Hwang 1st 56 pts

· Aged 11 - 12 Boys - Individual Scores : Jeremie Luong 2nd 51 pts

 Combined Scores
· Aged 11 - 12 Boys - Individual Scores : Jeremie Luong 1st 165 pts

· Aged 11 - 12 Boys - Individual Scores : Jun Won Hwang 2nd 164 pts

· Aged 11 - 12 Girls - Individual Scores : Angela Villamil 1st 160 pts