Happy Holidays!


Please email us with some information…How long was your child at birth?

This week we have been looking at how tall we are and thinking about some of the ways we have grown and changed since we were babies. We would like to compare their current height and their birth length. Please send this information by Monday 15th October. 


As we reach the October break, Ms Laura and I have been reflecting on the enormous growth we have seen in these first few weeks. It is wonderful to see how they have developed individually but perhaps even more rewarding is the development in their relationships and social skills. I have listened in to countless conversations this week and noticed how they listen to each other and ask questions. I have seen multiple situations where they have noticed someone needs help and have reached out to support without prompting. They play collaboratively and demonstrate interest in what others are doing. Of course, they are continuing to learn and grow in these areas and we have some work to do, but I am incredibly proud of every member of our little community and the progress they have made. You can see some more photos of the week HERE.


Thank you all for attending the parent conferences, it was great to chat about these most important people! During my conversations, sleep was a common topic. One of the vital roles of sleep is to help us solidify and consolidate memories. As we go about our day, our brains take in an incredible amount of information. Rather than being directly logged and recorded, however, these facts and experiences first need to be processed and stored; and many of these steps happen while we sleep. Overnight, bits and pieces of information are transferred from more tentative, short-term memory to stronger, long-term memory—a process called “consolidation.” Researchers have also shown that after people sleep, they tend to retain information and perform better on memory tasks. Our bodies all require long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesise hormones. Our counselor, Ms Kris has asked me to share the following information.

How much sleep do we really  need?

As is turns out it varies at different stages of our lives. The National Sleep Foundation (USA) has updated their sleep duration recommendations. Have a look at the chart and compare the actual amount of sleep you and your family members are getting per night and the recommendations.

As we are settling into the rhythms and routines of the school year it’s important to remember that having enough rest is one key ingredient to being ready for the day. The National Sleep Foundation has the following recommendations for preschool and Elementary school age children.


  • Maintain a regular and consistent sleep schedule
  • Follow-through with a bedtime routine every night
  • The child should have the same sleeping environment every night.It should be cool, quiet and dark and without a TV
  • Watch for difficulty breathing, unusual nighttime awakenings, chronic sleep problems, and behavioural problems during the day.

School Age Children

  • Introduce healthy sleep habits, disease prevention and health promotion
  • Continue to emphasise the need for a regular and consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine
  • The child’s bedroom should be conducive to sleep: dark, cool and quiet. TV’s and computers should be off and out of the bedroom
  • Set limits
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Watch for signs of chronic difficulty sleeping, loud snoring, difficulty breathing, unusual nighttime awakenings and frequent daytime sleepiness.

In addition to a good night’s sleep there are other things that we can do to help our children be ready for school. Other healthy habits to foster are starting the day with a healthy breakfast, eating healthy throughout the day, regular exercise, and limiting screen time. Remember that you are a role model for your children and they want to imitate the behaviours they see from you.

Please contact Kris Bezzerides (D-G2 Counselor) with questions kbezzerides@unishanoi.org.


Information About Childrens Sleep for Parent and Teachers(n.d.). Retrieved from www.sleepforkids.org.

Top 10 Tips to Help Children Develop Healthy Habits, (June 2, 2014). Retrieved from www.heart.org.

Recommended Sleep Chart (n.d.). Retrieved from www.sleepfoundation.org 

Have a wonderful holiday, I look forward to seeing you after the break

Global Goals Week


Global Goals Week is an annual week of action, awareness and accountability for the Sustainable Development Goals (also known as the STGs or Global Goals) It is a collective effort of governments, individuals, businesses and international organisations designed to build momentum to achieve the Global Goals and ensure no one is left behind. At UNIS, all grade levels have been recognising this week in a range of ways. In Discovery we have focused on Goals 12 and 16. At the heart of these goals is responsibility, kindness and fairness. This are big ideas for us throughout the Discovery year.


One way we are learning to be responsible for our consumption is by taking care of resources so that we create less waste. For example, the children are learning to treat books with care, put lids on pens, use paper only as needed and serve themselves only the food they can eat.


Discovery students are learning to resolve conflicts respectfully and play fairly. Goal 16 also connects nicely to the PYP Learner Profile, ‘Principled’. This week, we read the book, ‘Stick and Stone’, a book about friendship, supporting others and standing up for what is right. The children acted out social scenarios using a stick, a stone and a pine cone (the characters in the story). This helps to externalise difficult situations and practise the vocabulary that is useful in respectful play.

Thank you for supporting the idea of ‘Nude Food’ – food that does not come in any packaging. Here are just a few examples of the nude food snacks we have seen in Discovery:


We celebrated another birthday in Discovery A. Rishabh is the first to turn 4 years old.

And finally, here are a few more PHOTOS OF OUR WEEK.

Have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing you all on Monday for Parent Teacher Conferences. (No school for students)



Moon Festival, Peace Day and more…


This week we celebrated the Moon Festival at UNIS. It was wonderful to see almost all the children in their beautiful Ao Dai’s. As part of the celebration, they painted masks, enjoyed a special snack, went to see the Moon Festival assembly and even made their own moon cakes. Moon Festival Photos HERE


We value responsibility and independence. We give the role of ‘Class Helper’ to one child each day. The role helps them to build confidence being in front of the class and speaking audibly to the group. They sing the morning song, share the schedule of daily activities and lead the line when we go to specialist lessons. As the year progresses, the role will develop and change. Helper photos HERE


Today was the International Day of Peace. It is a great way to start our reflective thinking ready for next week which will be Global Goals week. What does peace day mean to a three year old? We used the story, ‘Stick and Stone’ as a starting point to talk about friendship and kindness in our classroom setting. We will share more next week!


We have a large number of DA students who don’t have a sun hat at school, about half of the class are currently borrowing a hat each day. We would be grateful if you could send a hat from home every day. Thank you!


24th-28th September: Global Goals week

28th September (and every day if you can!): ‘Nude Food Day’ click for more information

1st Oct: Parent Teacher Conferences (No school for students)

6th Oct – 14th Oct inclusive: Autumn Break – No School

Making their mark


The children are showing an increased interest in drawing and making marks. We show our value of their work by inviting them to share it with others. This also gives them an opportunity to practice oral skills. Mark making is the start on your child’s journey towards writing, it includes all kinds of scribbles, lines, dots and shapes and can be made using a variety of tools and materials. It helps to develop creativity and imagination as well as supporting physical development. It is important at this early stage to accept and encourage rather than correct them. Their positive attitude towards this type of work is crucial to their success and their ability to fearlessly have a go. Mark Making Photos HERE


As the children begin to feel increasingly confident in the Discovery space, they are learning to communicate and connect. During the school day a child may experience a range of emotions and have interactions with others that both excite and challenge them. They are learning to control physical impulses and develop the vocabulary required to express their feelings to peers and teachers. It has been wonderful to see their connections grow. Developing these important social and communication skills is a large part of our work in Discovery and they continue to impact their learning throughout their education and beyond.  Connections photos HERE


17th Sept: Snack Sale – send in 20,000vnd with your child

20th Sept: Moon Festival – send your child in an ao dai

1st Oct: Parent Teacher Conferences (No school for students)

6th Oct – 14th Oct inclusive: Autumn Break – No School

Assembly, bikes, ducklings and more!


Thank you for attending our Back to School Night. It was wonderful to see you all. We would like to share the presentation with you so that you can follow any of the links mentioned. It may also be useful for those of you who were unable to attend. Of course it does not contain what was verbally shared, so feel free to forward us your questions if you would like to know more.  Back to School Night Presentation

One important message that was shared was regarding drop off from next week. Children will stay outside the classroom when they arrive at school and play in the playground until the bell goes. Please be sure to pass your child over to one of us when you drop them off in the playground, this will ensure we know who is here.


On Thursday Discovery students went to their first D-G1 assembly in the theatre. Their impressive audience behaviour was noted by Ms Megan and others and our four youngest students bravely went up on stage to celebrate their birthdays!


As the children settle in we begin to widen their environment. This week we spent some time on the big playground, explored new areas and rode on the bikes. This experience created new opportunities for connections between students, cooperation, negotiation and sharing.


The high school students have been incubating some ducks eggs and five days ago some of them hatched. They learned to eat worms just yesterday. So the Discovery children went even further afield and walked over to the other side of UNIS. They got to stroke, observe and feed the ducks. We will go to visit them again next Friday to see how they have grown. While we were there, the children fed the fish and wandered through ‘the jungle’!

Have a great weekend!




Buddies and Outdoor Play


The children met their Grade 2 buddies for the first time this week. I was pleased to see how relaxed they were about ‘big’ new comers entering our space. This readiness to take on change is another indicator that they have settled into our space and already have a sense of belonging and security. They will meet with their buddies every other week. This gives them a chance to build relationships with new people, share their environment and observe how older children use the same resources to play. It is a wonderful way for Discovery children to learn and we have had a very successful start. Here are a few PHOTOS OF BUDDY TIME.


Outdoor play is an important part of our programme in discovery. The children have been learning to work together outside, to use the space safely and to challenge their bodies. Here are a few PHOTOS OF OUTDOOR PLAY taken this week.

“The importance of play for children’s healthy development is grounded in a strong body of research.1, 2, 3 As a natural and compelling activity, play promotes cognitive, physical, social, and emotional wellbeing, offering the necessary conditions for children to thrive and learn. Through play, the child can experiment, solve problems, think creatively, cooperate with others, etc., gaining a deeper knowledge about his/herself and the world. From an early age, the possibility to experience several opportunities for unstructured play, in which the child can decide what to do, with whom and how, promotes positive self-esteem, autonomy, and confidence.”    Gabriella Bento (full article)

We celebrated another birthday! Last weekend, Joshua, now known to most of us as ‘JJ’, turned 3. This beautiful blue play dough cake was made without prompt by some of JJ’s new friends. Happy Birthday JJ!


I would like to take a moment to celebrate your support. We have had 100% of family photos sent in, 100% of baby photos, 100% of Discovery A families signed up on Seesaw and almost 100% of library books and library bags brought in on Friday. We greatly appreciate your efforts to support our programme.

SAVE THIS NUMBER: 02473004501

This is the direct line to our ECC secretary, Ms Phuong. If we need to contact you urgently, it is likely that the call will come from this number, so please save it to your phone so you know it is us trying to reach you. It is also the line you can use to send urgent messages to us.


3rd September: No School

6th September: Back to School Night 6-8pm

17th September: Snack Sale (send 20,000vnd)

20th September: Moon Festival (Please can children wear Ao Dai’s to school on this day.)

1st October: Parent Teacher Conferences, No school for students

A full week – Settling In


I am so proud of Discovery A. During our first full week they have been very busy. They have started specialist lessons which has involved going to the gym for PE, the library and the music room. The children met Ms Emma (Art) and Co Dung (Vietnamese) when they came to work in class with them. Each new experience is a challenge and they have done so well.


The class have been quick to start connecting with one another which I think comes across in the photos I have shared. I won’t generally share so many pictures, but in these early days you may wish to see for yourself how your child is settling in and interacting with others. PHOTOS HERE


Thank you for supporting us by sending in your family photos. The children love looking at them and are already using them to talk about their most special people to teachers and friends. They spontaneously grabbed their pictures to show Co Dung when she visited. This supports our little community to learn about one another and form connections.

We celebrated our first birthday of the year, Suzu turned 3 today! Thanks for the cupcakes Suzu!

Please do communicate with us if you have any questions. comments or concerns about school life, we love to hear from you. I hope your child gets plenty of sleep this weekend, I look forward to seeing them all again on Monday.


28th August: Student Photo Day

3rd September: No School

6th September: Back to School Night 6-8pm

20th September: Moon Festival (Please can children wear Ao Dai’s to school on this day.)

Our first days



We have had a wonderful three mornings in Discovery A. We are enjoying getting to know the personalities of these lovely young people as they open up to us and begin to feel confident in their new surroundings. The children have enjoyed exploring both inside and outside and engaging with the children and adults around them. They have taken ownership of the space and have already started moving furniture around to support their play! Here are some pictures of the children settling in to their new class.


Our first Unit of Inquiry is under the transdisciplinary theme, ‘Who We Are’ and includes exploring the ideas of growth and change. To help us get started with the unit, please email us:
  • a photo of your child as a baby
  • a family photo (including the family members who live in your house)


It’s early days but we love to have parent voices on our blog, so feel free to give us feedback and share your thoughts using the comment feature below throughout the year.
We start full days next week so please make sure your child gets plenty of sleep!
Have a great weekend,
Amy, Hien and Nhung