Distance Learning Offers Insight into Life after High School for Grade 12s

Grade 12 students have been letting their teachers know that the distance learning experience has inadvertently prepared them for life after High School. 

Students such as Emma Héloïse Dufour-Nogueira say that the past two months of learning from home has been a ‘nice simulation for university’. She added, “After we graduate from High School, everything will be left up to us and so this was really insightful for me. This period has given us an opportunity to figure out how we want to study.”

Emma, who joined UNIS Hanoi in Grade 11, is one of 76 students currently in the final year of the IB Diploma programme. With fantastic offers from her top choice universities already under her belt, Emma says she’s more excited than ever to start the next chapter of her life. And it’s all thanks to UNIS Hanoi. She explains, “I got into film because of UNIS Hanoi. When I first came to the School I was going to take Visual Arts, but then I saw there was a film course on offer and two years later, here I am – accepted onto a film production course at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia!”

Emma says her teachers have been fully supportive of her and she’s grown to further appreciate the relationship she has with them. “You can still ask teachers anything and as a result, I feel even more in control” Emma revealed. 

Emma’s mother, Sophie Dufour agreed. She said, “I’m not worried for my daughter anymore. It’s become clear that Emma’s found a method that works for her, which is wonderful. Normally, it’s during the first year of university that a student would expect to struggle and learn how they’re supposed to study at that level. But Emma’s already experienced this and I think that’s amazing. It’s a blessing that we were here in Hanoi, just so she could attend UNIS Hanoi.”

Explore the Theatre Digitally!

Students of all ages can watch some of the world’s finest productions online thanks to UNIS Hanoi’s Digital Theatre Plus subscription. 

This exclusive resource is a great way for students to get a dose of culture and arts into their distance learning schedule. Not only can students choose from performances of plays by William Shakespeare, Andrew Bovell and Yusra Warsama, they can also read study guides and theatrical explorations. 

Kristen Twynam-Perkins, the School’s MYP dance, drama and IB Diploma Theatre teacher said it was important to engage with arts during these exceptional times. She added, “This site gives us all an opportunity to still enjoy the arts. There are a number of excellent productions on this site. It’s great for the serious theatre students as well as budding new creatives who are looking for inspiration. There’s literally something for everyone!

For the login information please contact Kristen by email at ktwynamperkins@unishanoi.org

First Scholar Begins his Career

UNIS Hanoi’s very first scholar, Nam Nguyen has successfully joined the world of work after graduating from university this Summer.

The 24 year-old from Hanoi has gained employment as a Software Engineer at Microsoft, where he’s been tasked to devise new coding languages. Working as part of an innovative team from Microsoft’s mega office in Washington State, USA, Nam’s new career is a remarkable feat for the son of a motorbike taxi driver who could never have imagined a life outside of Hanoi.

Nam joined UNIS Hanoi in 2013 and graduated from the School in 2016 with a perfect score (45/45) in the IB Diploma. His high school success resulted in a full scholarship to William’s College in the United States of America where he majored in computer science.

Reflecting on his journey, Nam says he’s thankful to UNIS Hanoi for transforming his life. He added, “By accepting the offer to study at UNIS Hanoi, I had the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and really break through limits that were imposed upon me just because of my family’s financial background. The programme has helped me go further than I ever would have imagined.”

Although he works in the USA, Nam makes sure to return to his beloved Vietnam every single year – to see his parents and to mentor the 14 UNIS Hanoi scholars that have followed in his footsteps.

UNIS Hanoi has invited bright and talented teens from low income backgrounds in Hanoi to apply for a scholarship to study at the School from next academic year – 20/21. Nam urges students who qualify to apply, saying the sacrifice of friendships and familiar environments is well worth it. He concluded, “It’s really about the trade off. I’m convinced the rewards and benefits you get by studying at UNIS Hanoi is worth the trade off.

To learn more about the scholarship programme and how a teen can apply, please visit www.unishanoi.org/scholarship

How the Spiral Curriculum Helps Minimize Gaps in Learning

COVID-19 presented teachers at UNIS Hanoi with an unplanned challenge – how to continue teaching students remotely. As much as possible, teachers have redesigned their lessons from classroom-based to online. Since February, more than 1000 distance learning lessons have been delivered to students across all three divisions. 

Now that the closures have lingered into the third week, it’s only natural for parents to wonder if the distance learning their child is undertaking is enough. Here we answer parents’ biggest concern: 

“How do I know my child won’t have learning gaps?”

Curriculum at UNIS Hanoi follows a ‘spiral’ design. This means that learning is spread out over time and opportunities exist in between learning new concepts so that students can consolidate their understandings, practice and improve. Following this revision and practice period, new and more complex/difficult content is added. In a spiral curriculum, concepts are visited many times throughout a year, and across multiple grade levels. This means that concepts are revisited again and again at a steadily increasing level of difficulty throughout the course of an academic year. 

During the month of February, much of what is being provided via Distance Education is material that most students are already familiar with. They have been given the opportunity to practice and refine existing skills – very little new content has been added.  When the students resume school, there are opportunities within the school timetable for teachers to assess each child’s progress and consider revisiting previous tasks if needed, before moving on to new content.  

“A Spiral Curriculum allows us as educators to spiral back down and build the knowledge” said UNIS Hanoi’s Head of School, Jane McGee. She added, “Also, during this time off campus, students are still learning, teachers are still teaching and assessing students where possible.”

Any student or parent who has concerns regarding their child should contact their child’s teacher directly or their counsellor. 

MSHS Arts Exhibition – Check it out!

Quench your imagination at the Semester 1 MSHS Arts Exhibition in B10 from 13 January to 6 February 2020. Scan the QR codes with your smart phone to get more details about the artworks.

Grade 6 : Wild Vietnam

In the first semester, grade 6 has been learning and working on the endangered species of Vietnam. After coming back from the Grade 6 Trip to Cuc Phuong National Park and Endangered Primate Rescue Center (EPRC), students created images to spread awareness to protect turtles, primates, and pangolins. Students created images using both their own drawings and digital media.

 Grade 7 : Mythical Creature Prints 

Grade 7 artists have chosen one of their Mythical Creature Prints to exhibit. Each student planned, carved and printed an edition of ten prints using careful planning to layer colors one by one. These mythical creatures came from various cultural contexts exploring their role in explaining the unexplainable. Looking to history, folklore, and literature to inspire new interpretations of mythical beasts. Throughout this unit, students developed drawing techniques and skills that would enhance their print designs. Every print is accompanied by a written narrative which shares creative details and stories of their mythical creatures.

 Grade 8 : Development of personal style allows artists to communicate a unique perspective.

What is style? What makes a style unique? To what extent can an artist develop a personal style?

Grade 8 artists are exhibiting an artwork that is the result of investigation and inquiry that has taken place in art class since August.  For the first part of the school year, these artists explored drawing strategies and media. They investigated artists and how style is used to communicate perspectives. Students used this information to develop a personal project, with personalized success criteria and artistic intentions.

 Grade 9 : The great art mash-up 

In this exhibition, you will see new artworks made from old works. This style of work is called appropriation, which is art making technique that many artists used to question of comment on the visual qualities, ideas and meaning associated with the orignal work. Grade 9 students explored how ‘artists create new images by appropriating and reworking existing artworks” (statement of inquiry). Students generated a range of thought-provoking works that raise awareness about a range of significant issues important to grade 9 students.

 Grade 10 : Looking in  

In this exhibition, you will see a series of stunning self-portraits created by grade 10 students who looked carefully at themselves and considered ‘how identity can be expressed in unexpected ways.’ ( Statement of Inquiry) . Students began by looking at Johari’s window that generated some great discussion about how they see themselfves and how others might perceive them. This discussion enabled students to generate a range of  idea for artworks that took unusual and innovative approaches that were rich in personal symbolism but also communicate with a wider audience.

Haruka’s Teaspoon of Change

Haruka, a 7th grader, took the initiative on her own to knit and sell items at the Winter Fair. She raised over 2 million VND for Blue Dragon.

Haruka approached Ms Kimberly Yash and Mr Colin Campbell to get things in motion, but it was 100% her idea, planning, time, and empathy that led to this great result. Her products were so popular that she had to take orders, and now has some loyal customers!

Leading by example and proving that you can make a difference on your own, Haruka has truly showed the learner profile of caring and is being the change we want to see in the world.

Exploring Cuisine with Nothando

Explore the Chinese influence in Vietnamese cuisine with Nothando through her 2nd episode.

This is Nothando’s Grade 10 personal project. Started at the end of last school year, Nothando aims to explore how Vietnamese food reflects the country’s history as well as how chefs show personal expression through food. During her personal project journey, she will bring the audience interesting findings about both history and cuisine.

Please fill out this feedback form to help Nothando develop her project further.

UNIS Middle School Students Audition into AMIS Middle School Asia Honor Band

AMIS (Association for Music in International Schools) hosts honor band festivals in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa for international school students participating in Choir, Orchestra and Band.  At the Middle School level, students from international schools all over Asia are welcome to audition. Auditions are very competitive. In the past UNIS Hanoi students have auditioned, but not been selected.

This year, two grade 7 students from UNIS Hanoi, Jonatan and Anastasha auditioned and have been selected to the AMIS Asia Middle School Honor Band. This is a great accomplishment for them and also for the UNIS Hanoi Band programme.

They will be travelling to Shanghai American School – Puxi to represent UNIS Hanoi among top middle school musicians from 21 other schools. Each school’s selected students will prepare the same music on their own, and at the event students come together and rehearse as a large group under a guest conductor to prepare for the festival concert. Anastasha and Jonatan are both members of the G07/08 Band and the UNIS Concert Band.

A great congratulations to Anastasha and Jonatan!

Operation Healthy Heart Doing Small Changes

On Friday, November 15 some members of the service group Operation Healthy Heart (OHH) along with Ms Amie Pollack representing Heart Vietnam, visited the 6 year old Lo Van Quyen at the Hanoi Heart Hospital. 

Quyen was diagnosed with a ventricular septal defect in his heart in 2018. In May 2019, he was reconfirmed about his heart defect at a rural hospital in the Son La region and recommended to be admitted in a hospital for surgery as soon as possible because his life was threatened. 

Thanks to OHH and Heart Vietnam, the surgery could happen and was a success. Quyen was released from the hospital on Monday, November 18. Now, he will be able to have a fully happy life back in his village.

OHH group is formed by young inspiring members in different grades, committed to helping sick and vulnerable children and families.This service group started by the graduated Linnea Niklasson, obtains the funds to sponsor the medical interventions with fundraising in different schools events and the Art Auction starting on December 2 is one of them.

OHH goal at the beginning of the school year was to sponsor the heart or pulmonar surgeries of three kids and so far we save one life. 

We are very thankful for the support of the UNIS Hanoi community and we hope hope the community will keep supporting this group. OHH will keep working hard towards, the good health and well being of the most needed ones. 

Operation Healthy Heart (OHH)

Grade 5 Saving the Future

In support of the Global Climate Strikes taking place around the world today and as part of their SDGs in actions, Grade 5 students got together for a climate change protest which traveled throughout the school.

Watch the video below and see our students in action

Grade 10 Work Experience Programme – Can our Grade 10 students join your workplace for a week?

The goal of the Work Experience Programme is for students to develop a better understanding of the links between school and the skills students will need in their working life. This Work Experience will also give students a chance to meet working professionals to inquire about the daily tasks, responsibilities, working day structure, qualifications needed and to learn more about how they arrived at where they are today in their profession. We feel confident that students will enhance not only their communications and leadership skills, they will learn more about their own strengths and interests throughout this process. Work experience may also help students navigate future university and career decisions.
 
This year’s Work Experience Programme will take place June 3 – 7, the final full week of school. Work Experience is compulsory for all Grade 10 students and will function as the cumulation of their MYP learning journey. We are currently working towards developing a database of workplace options, however, if requested and approved, students can arrange their own work experience placement.
 
Please consider registering to host two or more students in June by completing this FORM by 3 May. We are reaching out to the UNIS Hanoi Community for your help in creating meaningful work experience placements.  Even if your workplace is not a match for students this year, we would still appreciate adding your company or organisation to our database of placement options for future years. We want to expand the options for our students as this programme grows.
 
Your support is VERY much appreciated!

Grade 10 Work Experience Program – Can our Grade 10 students join your workplace for a week?

The goal of the Work Experience Programme is for students to develop a better understanding of the links between school and the skills students will need in their working life. This Work Experience will also give students a chance to meet working professionals to inquire about the daily tasks, responsibilities, working day structure, qualifications needed and to learn more about how they arrived at where they are today in their profession. We feel confident that students will enhance not only their communications and leadership skills, they will learn more about their own strengths and interests throughout this process. Work experience may also help students navigate future university and career decisions.
 
This year’s Work Experience Programme will take place June 3 – 7, the final full week of school. Work Experience is compulsory for all Grade 10 students and will function as the cumulation of their MYP learning journey. We are currently working towards developing a database of workplace options, however, if requested and approved, students can arrange their own work experience placement.
 
Please consider registering to host two or more students in June by completing this FORM by 3 May. We are reaching out to the UNIS Hanoi Community for your help in creating meaningful work experience placements.  Even if your workplace is not a match for students this year, we would still appreciate adding your company or organisation to our database of placement options for future years. We want to expand the options for our students as this programme grows.
 
Your support is VERY much appreciated!

#SustainableUNISHanoi

What’s happening?

Do you know that UNIS Hanoi has community gardens across three school divisions? Do you know that the vegetables grow in our gardens are 100% organic?

What are we doing about it? 

Have you ever asked yourself what it takes to bring vegetables and grains to your dining table?

UNIS Hanoi, Sustainable UNIS Hanoi, Sustainability Committee, Green UNIS Hanoi

A group of HS students has devoted 3 hours per week to learn about sustainable gardening. The students started this project from the beginning of the school year as part of their Service learning activity. By cultivating this piece of land from scratch, the group has learnt that gardening and organic gardening, in particular, is an ongoing process and requires huge efforts to make it happen.

Even though it is truly rewarding to see the plants sprout and grow, there are a lot of work needs to be done on a regular basis including turning the dirt, sowing, watering and weeding until the harvest days.

What can YOU do to help?

Appreciate the food that you eat every day.

Reduce food waste.

#SustainableUNISHanoi

The Solution for Plastic Ocean Problem? – Expert Visit at UNIS Hanoi

Dr Sandra Whitehouse is a Doctor of Philosophy, a Marine Biologist and a senior policy advisor with Ocean Conservancy. While she was here in Vietnam talking to different Government bodies about ocean plastics and marine debris, both in the oceans and river systems, she found time to visit with a group of grade five and six UNIS Hanoi students.

Dr Whitehouse made it clear that the problem of plastic entering the world’s oceans is something that can be fixed in 10 to 15 years. She also explained that the issues of plastic and other debris aren’t simple ones. For example, she is often asked why people don’t get rid of plastic water bottles and go back to glass bottles. “The simple answer, in most cases, is the cost of the ‘carbon footprint’ on the climate and a more comprehensive solution to the problems are recycling and reusing.

Dr Whitehouse explained that Ocean Conservancy and corporate companies are actively looking for ways to reduce waste that is environmentally damaging, through an initiative called the ‘Trash Free Seas Alliance’. Working closely with large corporate companies such as Coca Cola, DOW, WWF, Walmart and AMCOR, to name a few, to bring about change in production and strengthen their responsibility for product disposal, is a high priority.

Another subject in Dr Whitehouse’s presentation was Government spending. The amount of money spent by Governments to support waste management systems is minute compared to money spent on other areas such as schools, water and sanitation, and infrastructure.  

Students had the opportunity to ask Dr Whitehouse questions.

Where is all this plastic coming from?

There are two major sources of ocean plastic. 20 percent is actually still coming from sea-based human activities, direct dumping of plastic in garbage off of boats, fishing gear that’s either been lost or improperly discarded, or from containers spilled into the ocean. But what we also know is that 80 percent of plastic is originating from the land from human activities there, and, in that case, it’s from a number of different sources. We now know that the 50 percent of the leakage of plastic into the ocean is currently coming from five rapidly developing countries in Asia and Southeast Asia, and those are China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

According to Dr Whitehouse, about 66 percent of wildlife is impacted by marine debris either by damaging digestive tracts, poisoning, or entanglement, and about 8 million metric tons of plastic is getting into the ocean every day; 80 percent coming from land-based activities. Much of the problem is caused by direct dumping due to the lack of waste facilities. So while some countries are producing more plastic, 99 percent ends up in landfills, whereas developing countries such as Indonesia and China don’t have the proper facilities and necessary management.

What is the solution?

“There isn’t one single solution,” Dr Whitehouse said, explaining that there’s a process and some countries struggle with one specific aspect or another, whether that’s collecting the trash or providing a landfill for dumping. “They’ll need to be tailored for each country.” Dr Whitehouse explained that the Ocean Conservancy is working to solve plastic production and disposal issues from the home, to waste management systems such as landfills.

Dr Whitehouse reminded students that part of solving this worldwide problem was in their hands too. By continuing to be well informed about these issues, spreading awareness and educating others. “You are our future and without you, we don’t have a chance to fix these problems”.