Monday, 11 November 2013

BIS International Day 2013

International Day took place on Friday 18th October to celebrate the 52 nationalities we have represented here at BIS.  The Parade of Nations started with student representatives bearing their respective country’s flag and banner onto the stage and greeting the audience in their native language.  This was followed by an inspiring introduction from the Head Teacher:

‘Today is a celebration, a celebration of the words at the top of our mission statement.  A chance to think about what global citizenship means.  Responsible stewardship of the planet is very important, and looking around the room it seems that the planet is in good hands.  You’ve got everything going for you. Find out a bit about each country in each classroom and ask questions.  Curiosity is the next step towards understanding the stories behind flags, costumes, food and language.  Communication is a key and this is a real chance to communicate, which often starts with just one word.’
‘Hello’, ‘Xin Chao’, ‘Bonjour’, ‘Ola’, and many more greetings from around the world.

All smiles at International Day BIS 2013
All smiles on International Day!
Walking around the classrooms which had been transformed into countries was a fascinating experience.  By asking each country representative the question what do they love about their country, we learned about amazing places to visit, traditional tasty foods and their unique customs.  An inspiring theme throughout was that everyone was proud of their country’s diversity and welcoming nature.

What do you love about your country?


Sri Lanka: ‘An island with all climate conditions; hot, cold, windy, stormy, dry and wet!  The people are very friendly; there is amazing scenery, wildlife and ancient ruins to explore.’

Philippines: ‘There are wonderful people in the Philippines, world class beaches, wonderful music and Christmas is very special.’

Korea: ‘We love the four seasons, the tradition, the food – particularly Dakganjeong, and Teju island is a beautiful place.’

Australia room at International Day BIS 2013
A very sunny welcome for visitors to the Australian room at International Day
Australia: ‘We love the fact that Australians are very laid back, down to earth and patriotic.  The sports, in particular football and rugby, are great here and people are very passionate about them; the amazing beaches, spectacular Sydney for the culture and entertainment and Melbourne for the food!’

South Africa: ‘There are many different cultures here, wonderful wildlife, beaches, oceans and mountains.  Cape Town and the game reserves are key destinations to visit.’

Poland: ‘The seasons, we didn’t think we would, but we miss the snow in winter! The Lake District is great for sailing, and we’re proud of our classical music heritage.  Pierogi dumplings (meat, cabbage, cheese, mushrooms) are recommended traditional food to try!’

Poland, Czech Republic and Lithuania room at International Day BIS 2013
Parents hosting International Day in the Czech Republic, Poland and Lithuania room
Lithuania: ‘Many people here are very good at basketball and are of Olympic standard!  Lithuania is still an unspoilt country, friendly and welcoming with great natural beauty in the lakes and rivers.’

Canada: ‘Canada embraces diversity, making people from all over the world welcome to enjoy the rocky mountains, fresh air and Nanaimo bars.’

Canadian room at International Day BIS 2013
The Canadian room at International Day
Italy: ‘We love everything about Italy – the food, the people, the history.  A particularly lovely place to visit is San Gimignano in Tuscany.’

Czech Republic: ‘The landscapes here are wonderful.  We are also proud of our scientists and good culture.  A favourite time is Christmas time when we eat special fish and presents are brought during the night of 24th December each year by the Jesus child.’

New Zealand: ‘New Zealanders love clean, fresh, open spaces.  We love the natural beauty, beaches and mountains, sun, snow and the sea.  New Zealanders love to live a laid-back, low-key, Kiwi lifestyle but are passionate about our sport!’

Malaysian room at International Day BIS 2013
Teachers getting into the spirit of International Day in the Malaysian room
Malaysia: ‘"Malaysia truly Asia" !!!! What a great way to experience Asian culture from just visiting one country.’

India: ‘What we love about India is its rich culture with so many wonderful festivals.  India is colourful and filled with song and dance.’

Germany: ‘Even though we’ve been here for nineteen years Germany is our home, where diversity is present from the Alps to the sea.’

Switzerland: ‘Almost everything, although we particularly love Tichino which is a fun place.'

Singapore: ‘The food and the people, the young and vibrant atmosphere and the fact that as all young men serve in the military for two years. There is a strong sense of unity across the country.'

Singapore room at International Day BIS 2013
Highlighting national military service in the Singapore room at International Day
Thailand: ‘We’re famous for our food, we love the culture, the history, sea, sand and the fact that people love visiting – we have over 50 million visitors a year and half of those are returning visitors!'

United Kingdom: ‘UK culture has pervaded the entire world.  We’re a small nation but a great nation and we’ve had a particular influence on popular music which we’re really proud of.  We love the green, rolling hills, the beautiful coastlines and the fascinating history.’

United States: ‘The diversity of America - it’s a melting pot of all nationalities.’

Indonesia: ‘Everything except for the traffic! We love the culture, diversity and the people.  Amazing places include Bali and Sumatra.’

Ireland Room at International Day
Irish hospitality at International Day
Ireland: ‘There is a sense of cultural unity in Ireland, a rich heritage and beautiful surroundings.  We love the warmth of the people, and the positive welcome the Irish people receive around the world.’

Japan: ‘The food, the four seasons and the nature - that’s what we miss.  We recommend visiting Kyoto and Tokyo in particular, where there is amazing seafood and great skiing!'

Traditional Japanese dress at International Day BIS 2013
Showcasing traditional Japanese dress 'Yukatas' at International Day
China:With thousands of years of history, China is not only full of culture and traditions, but the difference in urban and rural life has led to a variety of scenery and cuisine.’ 

Hong Kong:  ‘Hong Kong   is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, it is a thriving and cosmopolitan city. From its earliest days as a British colony, Hong Kong served as a centre of international trade. Now, it has become an important gateway to the world’s largest market.’

Taiwan:Not only is the famous Taipei 101 located in Taiwan, but with four seasons, local delicacies (bubble tea, Chinese omelette) and diverse ethnic minorities, Taiwan is the place to visit!’

Netherlands:The seasons, family and the food.  There are the most beautiful places as well; we love the woods and cycling around the countryside.  Every province has its own speciality; in the North the fields of tulips are captivating.'

Belgium :We love the people, our wonderful fashion designers, chocolate and the delicious beers.  French fries originate from Belgium on the French border so we’re proud of those, we recommend Bruges as the most beautiful place to visit, as well as Brussels and Antwerp.'

Ecuador:The colours of the flag are yellow for the diversity in the country, blue for the sky and the sea, and red for the blood of those who fought for independence.  Ecuador really demonstrates the true 'colours' and life of nature. You can have breakfast on the beautiful beaches of the coast, eat lunch on the icy mountains of the high lands and consume dinner surrounded by life in the jungle! In Ecuador it will be hard not be able to have a unique experience full of excitement, relaxation, and culture, and remember "Ecuador ama la vida"'

Venezuela:   ‘Baseball is the most popular sport in the country.’

Mexico:Mexico introduced chocolate, corn, and chilies to the world.’

Russia: ‘We love Russia for its rich history and great victories, for its natural diversity, its fossil fuels, and for the strength of Russian people's character.’

Happy Faces at International Day BIS 2013
Happy faces at International Day
Vietnam: ‘Vietnamese calligraphy always makes a strong impression on foreigners. A great selection of food has been displayed and tasted. Our themes are always changed every season of International events and this year was called "Kites in the childhood" translated " Cánh diều tuổi thơ". We love VIETNAM’

Spain: ‘Spain is such a diverse country; with its white villages and flamenco in the south to the luscious green landscape in the north. The people love life to the full and use every opportunity to get together and celebrate with Spanish food such as tapas, paella and wine….’

International Day Culture Show BIS 2013
Wonderful traditional dances at the International Day culture show!
International Day Culture Show BIS 2013
Impressive modern dance performances at International Day!

The early afternoon was dedicated to a wonderful display of student talent, from singing and dancing to martial arts.  Performances included a song from the Philippines, a great dance routine from an eclectic group ‘The Beast’, an amazing rhythmic and acrobatic performance from dancers in traditional Vietnamese dress and an Indonesian dance with lavish traditional costumes.  We also had entertaining dance routines from Russia, Korea, Malaysia, India, Pakistan and a very professional hip hop performance.  The show finished with an incredible Taekwondo display!

International Day Culture Show BIS 2013
A breathtaking Taekwondo display at International Day
The day drew to a close with a wonderful fashion show exhibiting a wide range of traditional costumes and styles right through to modern day dress, reflecting our internationalism. Thank you to all of the parents, teachers and students who put a great deal of effort into what was the best International Day yet!

We are very proud that BIS is made up of students from so many fascinating nations, and we wanted to share with you what makes those nationalities special.

International Day Culture Show BIS 2013

International Day Culture Show BIS 2013

International Day Culture Show BIS 2013

International Day Culture Show BIS 2013


International Day Fashion Show BIS 2013

International Day Fashion Show BIS 2013

International Day Fashion Show BIS 2013

International Day Fashion Show BIS 2013

International Day Fashion Show BIS 2013

International Day Fashion Show BIS 2013

International Day Fashion Show BIS 2013
International Day Fashion Show BIS 2013

International Day Fashion Show BIS 2013

Claire Hunter-Smith
Online Marketing Officer

Friday, 4 October 2013

From the Head Teacher

Road Safety—Your Help is Needed

As the traffic continues to increase around the AP1/AP2 turn along Nguyen Van Huong in the mornings, our guards are working hard to ensure that your children are as safe as they can be when they arrive at school.  Two guards at Gate A are on duty to help cyclists and pedestrians arrive and to assist those being dropped off by car.  One additional guard is posted at the gate to ensure that only students and authorised people come onto campus at this busy time.

The guards’ job is made very difficult by having to deal, in addition, with those crossing the road underneath the footbridge.  For this reason, we expect all pedestrians arriving at the AP1 side of the road to use the footbridge.  This will ease the congestion at Gate A and allow the guards to spend time assisting those arriving at the AP2 side of the road.

The following section is from Page 15 of the Parent Handbook:
Students who arrive by car can be dropped off and collected at Secondary Gates A or C, or at Gate C on the AP1 primary campus. Traffic outside school becomes congested at the beginning and the end of the school day. Extreme caution should be exercised at all times.  Students are not allowed to walk across the road unless supervised during an evacuation.  The footbridge must always be used.

Your cooperation with these measures is appreciated.






Richard Dyer
Head Teacher
Secondary


Great IB Challenge 2013

From: Christine Donald
Sent: 03 October 2013
To: Shaun Williams - CEO & Principal; Richard Dyer - APS HOC

Subject: BIS at Strathclyde University

Dear Mr Williams and Mr Dyer,

I am writing – somewhat belatedly- to say how much we enjoyed the visit of Max Rudert and Karvin Dassanayake earlier this summer. We ran a challenge in IB schools internationally and this team from BIS won against some fierce competition.
Max and Karvin were delightful guests: their behaviour was exemplary; they participated with enthusiasm in all the activities and they interacted well with staff and students.  They are certainly a great credit to your school.

Again thanks to BIS  for participating in the Great IB Challenge!

With very kind regards

Christine Donald
International Recruitment Advisor
Faculty of Engineering
Royal College Building
204 George Street
Glasgow G1 1XW


Dragons’ Den 2013

This year we held the fifth annual BIS Dragons’ Den competition. Four teams of Y10 entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to the Dragons in the hope of securing an investment to finance their business start-up. After a number of excellent presentations and much deliberation, the Dragons chose to invest in Xany, crowning them the winners of the Dragons’ Den 2013. Congratulations to Jasmine Haniah, Sevina Lee, Alexine Yap and Vincent Kwok who impressed the judges not only with their creative product, but also a realistic business plan that promised an attractive return on investment. A huge well done to all the teams that took part in the competition. 


Michael Sherry
Business Studies Teacher



Inspire and Aspire - A Lower Secondary Project

Friday 27th September saw all Year 7 and 8 students take part in a new Lower Secondary Project called ‘Inspire and Aspire’. The aim of the project is to encourage the students within the Lower Secondary section of the school, to spend time together and to enable the Year 8 students to develop their leadership skills and share their knowledge with Year 7.

The theme of the session was International Day and Year 8 played the experts well, answering questions and telling stories about one of the favourite days in the school calendar. Year 7 are certainly looking forward to what is to come.

It was wonderful to see so many staff and students working together and the session summed up the caring nature of the Lower Secondary team. Thanks to everyone involved.

The next ‘Inspire and Aspire’ session will be on Friday 9th November.

Anne – Marie Astley
Head of Lower Secondary



IB Vietnamese Literature Trip

Last weekend, Year 12 and Year 13 IB Vietnamese students joined forces for a 2-day trip to the beautiful city of Quy Nhon in Central Vietnam. The trip combined the study of Literature and History with some community service.  Upon arriving in Quy Nhon we were whisked off to visit the memorial house of Xuan Dieu - one of the most renowned Vietnamese poets of the Twentieth Century.

We then had the opportunity to interact and discuss poetry with Mr HO TUAN NGHIEM MINH – MA in Literature and Ms Ho Thi Xuan Huong – a famous actress who specialises in the poems of Xuan Dieu. These sessions enabled us to gain some interesting key ideas which will surely help us with our IOCs.
On behalf of BIS students, Le Scarlet (year 13)and Anh Nguyen (Year 12) shared their deep thoughts about poems “ Xuan Khong Mua” and “ Tho Duyen” written by Xuan Dieu . They did this brilliantly and received high praise.

After that, we went to visit the memorial house of Han Mac Tu - another celebrated Vietnamese poet - where he spent the remaining days of his life before passing away at the tender age of 28 due to leprosy.
The evening was devoted to service-related activities, which started with a visit to the Nguyen Nga Centre for people with disabilities. After purchasing crafts and goods handmade by those people, we watched a splendid musical performance by some of the blind members of the Centre. We then expended much energy at the SOS village, engaging in fun-filled activities with the beautiful children there and distributing gifts and sweets along the way.

The following morning, we began the day with a hearty buffet breakfast. En route to the Tay Son museum, we stopped briefly to walk, run up (and in some cases, tumble down) the scenic sand dunes. At the museum, we learnt about the short-lived but glorious career of Quang Trung Nguyen Hue, a national hero of Vietnam who was undefeated on the battlefield and about the Tay Son dynasty, a turbulent period in Vietnamese history. While we were there, we watched traditional Binh Dinh martial arts, performed with great athleticism and flexibility.

Being Vietnamese, naturally we took some time to eat delicious food, notably the Quy Nhon specialities, such as Banh Xeo Tom Nhay (hopping shrimp pancakes) and Chim Mia (the tiniest of birds cooked and eaten whole). It was an exhilarating trip with beautiful memories, made possible by the planning and energy of our Vietnamese teacher Mrs Mai Le.

Mai Nghia (Year 13)




BBGV Fun Run 29th September 2013

A remarkable 500 BIS students, parents and teachers participated in the 4km Fun Run, making this day an extremely ‘FUN’ event.  It was also the largest ever turn out of BIS participants for a BBGV Fun Run, evident from the size of our BIS Team Photo.  A great morning was had by all!  Pre-run we were motivated by the energy of the Cheer Teams. Post run, we were entertained by the Corazo’n Latino Band.  There was a great community atmosphere under the red and white striped tents, with balloons, a variety of food & drinks from vendors, fun games, and our very own BIS ‘FUN’ Photo Booth.  Everyone participated in some shape or form - some ran a highly competitive race, others took a leisurely stroll and many students used a variety of transportation devices such as bikes, scooters, rollerblades and skate boards.  It was great to see so many BIS participants at this event in our distinctive Union Jack inspired Event T-shirts.

We are also extremely proud of our students who once again featured in the awards categories of the Fun Run and who had the honour of receiving their medals from Lord Puttnam of Queensgate and Douglas Barnes, HM Consul General.

WELL DONE TO OUR BIS WINNERS:
Simon Arts, Year 13 – 2nd Overall Winner + 1st Teenager
Hanh Vu, Year 9 – 2nd Teenager
Jonathan Brownrigg, Year 5 – 1st Child

Next Community Run:  Terry Fox Run, Sunday 24th November.  More information will follow soon


Fiona Nichols
Marketing and Public Relations Manager



Community

Every Tuesday after school, the students of Books for the Blind all gather up and we come up with various interesting projects such as making audiobooks, tactile books to assist the students at Nhat Hong Blind Centre. However, last Tuesday was even more exciting than that, we got a chance to visit the centre and it was an unforgettable experience. The teachers at the centre talked to us about the mission of the centre and we gained a much better understanding about the lives of visually impaired people, in order to raise a social awareness for these children and how our assistance would make a difference in their lives. We were shown how to make Braille books and also some basic instructions how to make type-up books.

After that, we visited some of their classes and we were all amazed to see how those children can deal with the difficult Braille language and we all wished that we could spend more time with them, to interact with them more and to get to know each other better. However, there will be another visit from Nhat Hong Centre in November and we are all looking forward to seeing them again. 

Trinh Tran Vy 12S


Friday, 27 September 2013

ABRSM High Scorers’ Concert 2013

On Saturday 21st September BIS hosted the 3rd annual High Scorers’ Concert.  Twenty two of the top scoring students from our June practical exam session were invited to perform one of the pieces from their exam in front of a large and appreciative audience of family and friends.
The evening included several firsts: Nerida Evans, an external candidate, who was our first ever professional  performance diploma pass in HCMC, Ji Min Oh, our first oboe candidate and also Adya Rao whose  143 out of 150 was the highest mark yet awarded in our 5 years of hosting these exams.
The evening also featured wonderful performances from AP2 students Kim Jewell, Linh Dan and San San Pham on violin, Thanh Tran on clarinet and Celestine Koh, Megan Lee and Ji Soo Chung on piano.
Please check the Music Department website for more photos from early next week on https://sites.google.com/a/bisvietnam.net/bis-music/
If you would like to take an ABRSM exam on any instrument next year, please check the ABRSM website for information of syllabus requirements, dates and deadlines at www.abrsm.org/vn
Ian Alexander
Music Teacher and ABRSM Representative, HCMC