ES Coffee Morning: Supporting Students in Transition

Dear Parents,

We look forward to welcoming you to our final Elementary School Coffee Morning of the year on supporting students in transition, tomorrow, May 25th.

Transitions happen at the end of every year.  We are all somewhere in the cycle of arriving, leaving or being left behind. Our Elementary Counselors will help you to understand more about the transition cycle and how best to support your child, regardless of what stage of the cycle they are in.

This session is relevant for parents of all elementary school students – those who are arriving, leaving, or being left behind.  We look forward to seeing you in the Community Room, B7, at 8.30am.

Warm regards,

Megan Brazil
Elementary School Principal

Save the date! Transitions coffee morning for G5 parents

Come join the extended G5 team as we share important information relating to the current unit of inquiry, Who we are, relating to transition and changes.

The topics covered in the coffee morning will include:

  • how we discuss and approach teaching puberty in G5
  • the G5 – G6 transition program from Elementary to Middle School
  • social emotional changes and transitions to be expected at this developmental stage
  • how the Counselor, Nurse and ICT specialist work in partnership throughout the unit
  • ways in which you can support at home

Mark your calendars for Friday, May 11th from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the Community Room, B7. We hope to see you there! 

Parent Coffee Morning: Supporting your child in their musical journey

Dear Parents,

Please join us for a special coffee morning/learning event on Friday April 20th where music teacher, Sally Oxenberry, will lead an informative and interactive session on music education.  Sally’s professional research over the past couple of years has focused on the impact of music on the brain and learning.

We hope you’ll be able to join us for a morning of research, fun and music making.

Megan Brazil
Elementary School Principal

Supporting Your Child’s Literacy Development – ES Parent Coffee Morning

Dear Parents,

You are warmly invited to this month’s ES Parent Coffee Morning, hosted by English Language Coordinator, Angela Brienza, who will be sharing information on the topic, “Supporting your child’s literacy development at home.”  The session is suitable for parents of Elementary students of all ages and grade levels.

We are currently gathering data on the reading habits of families in our Elementary School and hope to share the results with you soon.  Please take a couple of minutes to complete the following reading survey.

Venue:  We look forward to seeing you in the Library “Nook” this Friday March 23rd, at 8.30am.


Megan Brazil
Elementary School Principal

What Does Writing Look Like in the Elementary School?

Over the past three years, we have partnered with a literacy expert and consultant, Stephen Graham. Within the Elementary School, he has supported our professional growth and development specifically in the teaching of writing. This week, we have had the privilege of another visit to extend our understanding and support student learning. Teachers have engaged by observing modeled lessons, deconstructing best practice of teaching writing to students and attending professional development sessions related to grammar and inquiry-based writing led by Stephen. During his visit this year for the first time he led a session for parents and they were active learners in a session outlining the Explicitly Teaching Writing programme.
What do we know now about the best practice about writing?

Reading more has a partial impact on becoming a better writer, however we also must explicitly teach the elements of text types for writing. It is important to know: What do good writers do? How can we emulate this ourselves as writers? What is most important model in writing to support students? What literary elements are most essential for students within various text types?

At UNIS, how does our writing programme work?

As a student moves through the Elementary school, they are exposed and taught nine different text types, or genres within three bands of writing: persuasive, informative and imaginative. Text types are taught within a meaningful and authentic context, often within units of inquiry, with grammar and writing features embedded within the explicit teaching of a text type. For example, within an information report, a student may be learning about technical vocabulary, simple and compound sentences and present tense. All text types contain clear success criteria which students and teachers use throughout the writing process.

At UNIS Hanoi we have a clear scope and sequence of which text types are taught within each year level and in all grades students write one text type from the persuasive, informative and imaginative category.

If you want someone to be a good writer, I should be able to verbalize to you exactly what makes a good procedure, narrative, exposition….etc – not tell you to go ‘make it better’. We are able to do this now with Explicitly Teaching Writing”. -Stephen Graham
If you would like to know more about our writing programme, please don’t hesitate to be in contact with your homeroom teacher, PYP coordinator,
Angela Meikle or Elementary Literacy coordinator, Angela Brienza.

Parent workshop with Visiting Literacy Expert, Stephen Graham

In the Elementary School, we will be hosting a literacy expert and consultant, Stephen Graham February 28-March 1. This will be Stephen’s third visit to UNIS working with the Elementary staff and supporting our professional growth in literacy, specifically in the area of writing. A link to Stephen’s biography can be found here.

Join us Thursday, March 1 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the classroom of 5A, Elementary school, building B6 room G16 for an interactive parent workshop where Stephen will share details about the writing program we use within the elementary, Explicitly Teaching Writing. 

This is Stephen’s first time leading a parent workshop at UNIS, and we hope to see many of you there!

PYP Exhibition parent coffee morning

Please join us the entire Grade 5 team for an informative session all about the Grade 5 PYP Exhibition.

When: Friday 2nd March
Time: 8:15-8:45 a.m.
Location: ECC gym
Your children will begin tuning in to the Exhibition upon returning from Tet holidays. Please mark your calendars now for the important event – April 24th and 26th. On both days students will be sharing their learning during the school day in the foyer of the Centre for the Arts. On the evening of April 26th at 6 p.m. students will be sharing their work with families and the learning community within Hanoi.
If you would like to learn more or discover different strategies to support your child throughout the Exhibition, then we look forward to seeing you at this meeting!

Connecting to our ES community!

At UNIS Hanoi, two of our three core values are learning and community. As a learning community in the Elementary School, we believe in the vital partnership with parents to support the success of our students by promoting understanding of our Primary Years Programme (PYP). To ensure there is deep understanding, delivering workshops in languages other than English is a commitment we hold. Recently, we hosted An Introduction to the PYP for the Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese community groups with a fully translated slideshow and live translation during the event. Additional resources such as the programme of inquiry, home learning policy and more were also translated for each event.

Multilingualism and the promotion of a mother tongue is a non-negotiable aspect of all IB programmes. Students must take an additional language and teachers must provide opportunities within classes for the consideration of mother tongue. In collaboration with the Advancement office, cultural liaisons, and the PYP coordinator, workshops were developed to support all members of our UNIS Hanoi community in understanding integral elements of their child’s experience at an IB school.

If you were unable to attend or would like access to the resources from the recent workshops, they are available below. Thoughts and feedback are being sought by all community groups as to next steps in continuing to strengthen our parent workshop series within the Elementary School.

How can I find out more about the IB and PYP in resources translated into Vietnamese, Korean or Japanese?




Speak with your school’s PYP coordinator,

Visit the IB website at

A parent’s guide to blogs and e-portfolios

Dear Elementary Families,

Please join us this Friday November 24th as our Tech Coordinator, Michelle Mathias, facilitates an interactive session with parents on understanding the blogs and digital portfolios that are used throughout the Elementary school as  key student learning and communication tools.

We’ll get started in the Community Room at 8.30am. We look forward to seeing you there.


Megan Brazil
Elementary Principal