Library book check-out system continues to be popular

Students are still getting the chance to get their hands on their favourite reads thanks to a creative delivery service implemented by the School’s library department. 

Since the beginning of distance learning, our librarians have been giving students the chance to select books virtually and collect them from the School gate or have them delivered straight to their front door!

“It’s been crazy busy here” revealed Monica Mayer, the ES librarian. “We pack up at least 50 books a day for students in Elementary School and Middle School. We’re delighted our families love the service.”

Together with her colleague, Kate Hodgson, the librarians continue to work closely with home base teachers and English teachers to recommend great reads for children of all ages and abilities. What’s more, the duo keep the online library full with the latest releases, including free art books from the Guggenheim Museum in New York. 

One happy parent said of the service, “Our boys were so happy and excited to receive books at the gate. It really helps to add this into their routine and get them excited to read new books.”

Library Borrowing During School Closure

Instructions for Students: 

  • Return your books to the library book return box located just inside Gate 1. 
  • Return your books Monday to Friday between 8am – 4pm.
  • Books must be returned in a named bag. 
  • Browse DESTINY, our online library catalogue, to look for great books to read.
  • Fill in the Book Borrowing form for your Division. You can download the form for ECC, Elementary and MS/HS  and print it out. There will be additional forms available at the table near the return box. You can also check our catalogue online to see specific titles and if they are currently ‘in’. Link to our online catalogue is https://tinyurl.com/vbh67rb
  • Place the form inside your bag with the books you are returning.
  • Place your book bag inside the return box at Gate 1.

Librarians will collect those books and process all new book requests. New books will then be ready for students/parents to collect from Gate 1 between 9:00am – 11:00am on the following day. A delivery service is also available on request. 

All books can then be returned during normal library times when we all return to school. Students should not be concerned if they have books in lockers at school. They can return them when school returns to normal. 

For further information please email either eslibrarian@unishanoi.org or mshslibrarian@unishanoi.org

 

From the Board of Directors

Dear UNIS Hanoi Families,

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank our Head of School, Jane McGee and her team for their clear and compassionate leadership in this time of uncertainty. The Board is supportive of the way in which the administrative team has managed proactively the COVID-19 crisis, limiting the impact of campus closure on your children’s learning and demonstrating the ability to respond, adapt and provide robust learning programmes for our children.

We would also like to thank all of you, for your patience, support and understanding as the faculty have created Distance Learning programmes, and for helping your children to continue their learning in these unusual times.

It has been an exhausting and frustrating time for our community as the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded globally, with fast-changing realities, fears for safety and often confusing and contradictory information from social media and the press.

Since Tet, the Board has worked closely with Jane and the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Kamal Malhotra, to navigate through different stakeholder requirements including the government’s cautious and directive messages, while protecting UNIS reputation and long-term sustainability. We are grateful to Mr Malhotra and the diplomatic community for their support and advocacy regarding reopening international school campuses when Vietnam was without new cases of COVID-19. The permission that was given for international schools to open was strictly conditional and with the outbreak of new cases in Hanoi, we will be following direction from the Hanoi Municipal People’s Committee once more.

Based on the difficulty for us as a School to predict the future of COVID-19 in our community and the possible impact on the future of UNIS Hanoi, the Board of Directors is meeting regularly to assess the situation and plan accordingly.

TUITION & FEES
UNIS Hanoi’s programme of distance learning is providing a core academic programme for student learning. The School is ensuring that curriculum requirements for the successful transition of students to their next grade level will be met. This will support students returning to UNIS Hanoi next year and those transitioning to new locations. Proof of continuity of education and complete school records are a common requirement for student enrollment. End of year report cards and transcripts will indicate that students have met both the condition of continuity of education and achievement of the curricular expectations through our distance learning programme.

The School’s Faculty, Staff and Administration have been working full-time to ensure the best possible service during this situation. The majority of tuition fees in the School’s not-for-profit model pay teacher, staff and administration salaries and therefore the School is under contractual obligations for the full financial year which ends on July 31, 2020.

At this time, the School is reviewing a series of scenarios of both the short term financial implications and the possible longer term impact of COVID-19. We understand that there are likely financial impacts on our families as well. The leadership team is closely monitoring Q4 withdrawals and potential enrollment for 2020-21, while also exploring all options for reducing the current budget variable costs, future budget fixed and variable costs and implications to utilize our insurance options. As a Board, we firmly believe we are in the midst of the current crisis and any decision at this time with respect to our tuition structure would be premature.

Finally, the Board of Directors is aware of a number of our families in isolation or quarantine. Our core value of community has never been more relevant. This value has always been this community’s strength and we are guided by our United Nations Principles for peaceful solutions, friendly relations among children and adults of different nationalities, cooperation and respect. We must work to support our most vulnerable community members with empathy and humanity.
Thank you for your continued support, patience and understanding in these most difficult times.

Yours sincerely,
Amie Pollack, PhD
Chair of the UNIS Hanoi Board of Directors

Leading to Inspire – UNIS Hanoi’s Women Bosses

With International Women’s Day on Sunday, the Leadership Team at the United Nations International School of Hanoi (UNIS Hanoi) is calling for schools and industries to follow in their footsteps and ensure equal gender representation on their Leadership Teams. 

At UNIS Hanoi, both the Head of School, Jane Mc Gee and the Board Chair, Dr Amie Pollack are women. Jane is part of a leadership team that’s over 50 percent women, serving alongside a Board that sees women occupying seven of the nine available positions. 

What may be considered groundbreaking to others in the education sector is seen as a natural evolution for a United Nations school long committed to Sustainable Development Goal number 5 – Gender Equality. The School believes this is a dynamic that better represents the world. Megan Brazil, UNIS Hanoi’s Elementary School Principal said, “Women make up 50 percent of the world’s population, it only stands to reason that we should be well represented in leadership positions.”

Megan’s colleague, Emma Silva, Director of Advancement agrees and goes further to state that strong representation of women in leadership roles at the School is ‘essential to every child’s learning’. A former journalist and broadcast executive, Emma explained, “Diversity doesn’t just make for strong decision making with multiple perspectives, it also ensures that our young people grow up with what we model at our School as the ‘norm’. This is essential while they construct their view of the world, of what is possible and imagine their place in it.”

However, the School’s clear commitment to gender equality remains an outlier in the field of education. “Having so many women leaders makes our school fairly unique” admits Nitasha Crishna, Deputy Principal of the Lower Elementary School. “In the four elementary schools I have worked in before, there would be the odd one or two women in leadership roles. At UNIS Hanoi, we’re in an enviable position.”  

Nitasha’s previous experiences mirror the experiences of her fellow female colleagues. TK Ostrom, UNIS Hanoi’s Director of Enrolment Management and Marketing and a former executive at the Bank of America, says, “There are more women working in schools mainly because it’s an environment that attracts nurturers, and women tend to be nurturers. However, and this is particularly true for international schools, men tend to take the seats at the table.”

A look at the hard data from the Council of International Schools (CIS) supports this view. According to their figures, only 27 percent of CIS member schools are headed up by women, the numbers pitifully lower among schools considered to be ‘top tier’. 

UNIS Hanoi’s Head of School Jane McGee has worked in the international schools field for more than 25 years. She reveals that in that stretch of time, although she’s been ‘incredibly privileged to work with a number of women leaders’, she’s only worked for one female Head of School. The multicultural global society we are a part of, she says, is reason enough to amplify the mix and ensure UNIS Hanoi has the best people – men and women. Though Jane concedes there are personal biases and work-life balance complexities to overcome for women more so than men. 

Add to the challenge for many, is the recruitment process itself, which Glenda Baker, UNIS Hanoi’s High School Deputy Principal believes in some ways could favour men. She explained “I have often wondered if we see more men in key leadership positions in international schools because the hiring and application process that schools typically follow plays more to some people’s strengths than others – gender aside. For example, I think a person has to have a pretty robust ego to go through the hiring process which includes ‘tests’ of leadership and several rounds of public vetting that schools follow when looking for a new head. There are lots of women (and men) who have the skills, capacity, and desire to take on leadership roles but may need a little support to overcome a lack of confidence.”

Emma says perception and language heighten the barriers faced by women in the workplace. She shared, “Our choice of words speak volumes and often illustrate deep seated prejudice. Strong men are described as ‘change agents’ that ‘revolutionise’ programmes and institutions, whereas women taking on similar roles can be seen as ‘strident’ or ‘single-minded’ with a touch of ‘bulldozer’ added to the mix of labels! Collaboration, perspective-seeking and compromise are often seen as weak, indecisive and lacking the very masculine ‘steel’ that is needed for tough decisions. Though, maybe a little less steel and a bit more flexibility is exactly what the world needs right now.”

Misty Shipley, UNIS Hanoi’s Director of Finance and Operations heads up a team of more than 150 people, made up mostly of men not used to a woman occupying what to some, is considered a ‘man’s role’. She says she’s faced both age discrimination and gender discrimination during her career but she’s thankful she now works in an environment that values her skills and experience foremost. “At UNIS Hanoi, we’ve always hired the best people for the job; it so happens that many of those people are women” she stated.

At the Board Level

Dr Amie Pollack stepped into the Board Chair role in 2018, after serving on the Board as a member for three consecutive years. She says traditionally there are more women on educational boards compared to corporate boards because women tend to be more involved in education. However, men still hold the majority of board seats. She added, “The percentage of women on our Board is unusually high, and this is good for the School, as there is evidence that a diverse Board, offering different perspectives and approaches to leadership makes better decisions.”

In the academic year 2016-2017, Amie chaired the Head of School Search Taskforce, which facilitated efforts that led to the appointment of Jane as UNIS Hanoi’s Head of School. Amie shared, “When we launched our search for a new Head of School, we made it clear to our recruitment consultants that we wanted to see qualified women candidates. This was important to us not only because it aligns with our values as a United Nations school, it’s also important because otherwise you’re only looking at 50 percent of the applicant pool, which means you’re missing out on qualified leaders.”

Turning desire into reality, Amie confessed, proved challenging at times as the number of women applying for key leadership roles is still incredibly low. However, she revealed, “In our experience, the women candidates we did have were excellent.”

To challenge the status quo, TK believes that women in positions of seniority have a responsibility to mentor women with potential and ‘groom them to take over’. And as someone with responsibility for recruitment, Megan is dedicated to doing her part in building a diverse team. She revealed,”Gender representation is an important element of my team’s recruitment strategy, and something we frequently keep in mind.”

Still much work to be done

Glenda believes the existence of groups such as the Diversity Collaborative which aim to ensure more qualified educators from under-represented groups are considered for leadership roles is encouraging. Joining such a community, she says, helps build a wider understanding of some of the challenges people face in education leadership. Nitasha, who finds she’s often the only woman of colour at the top, says there’s still much work to be done. She explained, “If you’re a woman striving for a leadership role, especially in a well regarded and sought after school, you start out pitted against a demographic of white men. For many women applying, that is still a pretty hard barrier to overcome.” 

Forging a future that’s equal

Megan added, “If we truly wish to see the UN’s fifth Sustainable Development Goal realised, men and women must ensure we champion and encourage girls to find and use their voices from an early age, so that they become strong women who are willing and able to lead.”

Jane Mc Gee is confident that with passion, everything is possible and schools are the perfect environment to make a real impact. She said, “International schools can take a strong stand in ensuring diversity and gender balance are not just embraced and celebrated but are no longer considered unusual or something to even mention. There is the dream… and schools are our best shot at future fixing!”

Re-Enrol Your Child Today!

The deadline for re-enrolment has been extended to March 16, 2020.

Dear UNIS Hanoi Families,

We hope your family plans to return for the 2020-2021 school year; however, if you have plans to depart, please notify us through the online re-enrolment process AND by completing the “Withdrawal Form” on your Parent Portal.

In addition, we are excited to share with you the new features to the online re-enrolment process.

Passport & Visa Update: There is now a link for you to scan and
send the updated valid copies of both legal documents and
update the details and expiration dates for use for the co-
curricular trips, which will be reviewed by the Activities office
and shared with parents prior to the upcoming trip.

Bus Service Annual Registration: There is now a new online form that goes directly to the Transport Office to register annually for your child/ren.

Please note that we’ve extended the re-enrolment period to March 16 to allow more time for families to complete the process.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for any questions by coming to the Admissions Office in B7 on the second floor or by email
admissions@unishanoi.org or telephone 0247 300 4508.

Warm regards,
The Office of Admission

Our Alumni

The second scholar to graduate from UNIS Hanoi is today one step closer to achieving her childhood dream of becoming a doctor, after she was awarded a place at an exclusive medical school.

Phuong Ly, a member of the Class of 2016, had one vision when she applied for a scholarship at UNIS Hanoi – to one day become a doctor of international standards in order to improve the lives of people in Vietnam. Her recent admission to the world-renowned Medical School for International Health in Israel is a remarkable accomplishment for a young girl who, once upon a time, could not have imagined a life beyond Hanoi.

Ambitious and determined, Phuong is firmly on the path to becoming a public health doctor. Now a fourth year student at LaFayette College in the USA, Phuong confesses the journey has been long and arduous but added, “One thing that brings me back to my goal despite the many exams and hurdles, is the thought that if I don’t do this then who will? What I’m striving for won’t only benefit me, it will benefit others.”

The programme Phuong will be joining in the Summer requires her to relocate to Be’er Sheva in Israel. She’ll study there for three years, with an opportunity to gain experience in a developing country such as India, before heading back to the USA for her fourth and final year of medical school.

Although Phuong has been awarded a scholarship to support this next step, she still needs to raise $50,000 this year. If you’d like to learn more, please contact UNIS Hanoi’s Alumni Office at alumni@unishanoi.org.

Every week we feature a short profile or an activity from our global alumni community in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to over 50% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

UNIS Hanoi’s Distance Learning Lessons Go Global

As COVID-19 continues to impact countries around the world, schools that have been closed as a precautionary measure are reaching out to Hanoi’s leading international school to find out how to implement high-quality distance learning programmes.

The United Nations International School of Hanoi (UNIS Hanoi) closed its campus to students from the start of February after authorities in Vietnam directed all schools to shut in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.

Four weeks on, teachers continue to deliver the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme virtually. Utilizing a range of technologies and platforms, teachers have delivered more than 3,000 lessons in a variety of formats to students aged between three and 18 years.

Imaginative puppet shows, indoor sports challenges, interactive games, and screencasts are some of the activities that have replaced classroom teaching. The school has amassed so much original online learning material, there’s a mini-Oscars playlist of the best videos!

Programme creativity attracts attention

UNIS Hanoi’s rapid response to the unexpected circumstances has resulted in requests for support from other schools in Vietnam and farther afield.

Nguyen Thi Thu Huong, who has worked at UNIS Hanoi for a decade, paid a visit to a local public primary school last week to show their teachers how to conduct distance learning successfully.

We have a longstanding relationship with the Dong Ngac B School. Since the closures, they have found it difficult to manage online teaching and learning,” she said.

They weren’t very confident about using platforms such as Zoom or Google Hangouts and they didn’t know how to make it effective for their big classroom sizes, so I offered to give them two training sessions.

After one week, they say their confidence in working with technology has grown.

Ngo Thi Bich Hang, principal of the Dong Ngac B School, said she is grateful to UNIS Hanoi, specifically to Huong, for the assistance.

We’ve been collaborating with UNIS Hanoi for many years. Our children learn to swim at the school and learn alongside their students from time to time,” Hang said.

We’ve also joined their teaching conferences, so it was natural for me to call on them for help. Miss Huong’s workshops were very beneficial to us as educators and to our students and we’re looking forward to learning more from UNIS Hanoi soon.

More workshops to follow

The teachers of Dong Ngac B will be invited to join educators from other local schools in Vietnam to learn more about ‘edu-tech’ at the upcoming Vietnam Tech Conference, hosted by UNIS Hanoi.

Scheduled to take place on April 25-26, the conference will include sessions in Vietnamese about distance learning.

The event is part of UNIS Hanoi’s commitment to serving UNESCO’s goals to help grow education capacity in Vietnam.

We value UNIS Hanoi as leaders in this new field of education delivery for the majority of educators in Vietnam and their proactive collaboration with local schools to provide a conduit for best practice,” Michael Croft, UNESCO representative to Vietnam, praised UNIS Hanoi’s efforts.

Their outreach promotes intercultural dialogue so essential to tolerance and respect with our students becoming role models in times of tension.

Helping schools prepare

Beyond Vietnam, schools in countries such as India, Japan, and Austria are also asking UNIS Hanoi for advice just in case the virus forces them to close, too.

This week, UNIS Hanoi’s Elementary School Principals Megan Brazil and Nitasha Chaudhuri shared distance learning best practices with the American School of Bombay, the American International School, Chennai, both in India, the Canadian Academy in Kobe, Japan, and Vienna International School in Austria.

Sharing best practices, especially in extenuating times like these, aligns with who we are as a learning community,” said UNIS Hanoi’s Head of School Jane McGee.

We strive to be an inspirational role model for a better world. That’s why we welcome such interactions with other educators.

UNIS Hanoi is one of only two UN schools in the world. Established more than 30 years ago, the school delivers the full IB programme to a student population of more than 1,100 with over 60 nationalities.

Registration for the Vietnam Tech Conference will open on March 1 and will be free of charge for educators from public schools: https://2020.vietnamtechconference.org/.

Re-enrol Your Child Today

Re-enrolment for 2020-2021 began on 6 January and will end soon. 

Dear UNIS Hanoi Families,

It’s that time of year that we inform you about the re-enrolment timeline for the upcoming school year. As we celebrate you and your family in the re-enrolment process, we also thank you for your ongoing investment in the UNIS Hanoi educational experience. We hope your family plans to return for the 2020-2021 school year; however, if you have plans to depart, please notify us through the online re-enrolment process AND by completing the “Withdrawal Form” on your Parent Portal.

In addition, we are excited to share with you the new features to the online re-enrolment process.

Passport & Visa Update: There is now a link for you to scan and
send the updated valid copies of both legal documents and
update the details and expiration dates for use for the co-
curricular trips, which will be reviewed by the Activities office
and shared with parents prior to the upcoming trip.

Bus Service Annual Registration: There is now a new online form that goes directly to the Transport Office to register annually for your child/ren.

Please note the re-enrolment period dates are earlier and began on 6 January and ends on 2 March 2020. More detailed information with the steps to re-enroll will be sent to you in the coming weeks. However, we wanted to make you aware of the new timeline and updates to the process.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for any questions by coming to the Admissions Office in B7 on the second floor or by email
admissions@unishanoi.org or telephone 0247 300 4508.

Warm regards,
The Office of Admission

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

This Year’s Spring Fair on hold

In light of continued campus closure to students and parents, the Spring Fair Committee has made the difficult decision to put on hold this year’s Spring Fair, which was due to take place on March 22nd.

We thank every single person who has worked tirelessly since the end of last year to put together what would have been a fantastic family fun day out for the entire community. We hope that there will be a suitable date in the coming months for us to hold a version of the event.

From the Head of School

Dear Families,

The Hanoi People’s Committee has announced an extended school closure until Sunday March 1. As we shared earlier this week, we were expecting this to be the case and therefore, are prepared to continue with our Distance Learning Programme.

Please make the most of the resources shared with our teams this week, watch the recordings of the parent sessions and of course, continue to ask questions if your child needs further support with the programme. 

Today our Principals met with faculty and staff to review feedback from students and the community. You will see some changes in our approach next week which takes this feedback into account.

As we move into next week we will continue to confirm with our community official information that we receive.

Enjoy your weekend. 

Jane McGee

Parent Meeting Series

Thank you to the parents that attended the meetings this week on campus. It was wonderful to see you sharing experiences and connecting with each other, and we hope that you found the sessions useful and informative.

We are also grateful to those of you that have shared your messages of support and appreciation for the efforts our faculty and staff have gone to providing support for your children with our distance learning programmes.

If you missed the meeting series, please watch them by clicking the links below:

Or download a copy of the slides that were shared at the meetings:

Please don’t hesitate to ask the teachers if you have any questions about the programme that your child will be working on this week.

Frequently Asked Questions About Distance Learning

We’d like to thank all parents who time out of their busy day to attend our parent sessions. We hope you found the interaction as useful as we did. We received a number of questions before, during and after the sessions, which will be responded to individually. In the meantime, here are Frequently Asked Questions and our answers: 

How do I know my child won’t have learning gaps during this time off campus?

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 learned are concepts that most students are already familiar with. 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.

How are students being assessed?

Our Distance Learning programme is designed to deliver the same content your child would have received if they were in the classroom. As much as possible, teachers have redesigned their lessons to suit online learning. Teachers, Learning Support Teams and Counsellors are checking in regularly (sometimes daily) and are aware of students’ progress. 

If your child is in Middle and High School, formative and summative assessments are still on the schedule. To check upcoming assignments parents can log into their Veracross parent portal, click on the ‘Assignments’ tab and view their child’s schedule. 

Will UNIS Hanoi open during Spring Break, on Saturdays or extend the school year?

We are making every effort to open our school as soon as possible. However if we are forced to remain close in March, we will continue to deliver distance learning. We believe that our distance learning programme has supported the continuity of learning and that “learning gaps” have been minimized during school closure. When school opens, teachers will ensure that children who have not met the  expected learning outcomes will have the time and support they need to meet these expectations. We have made some initial changes to the school calendar – our final professional development day and parent, teacher conference days will be regular school days and Wednesday dismissal time will be extended to the same dismissal time as rest of the week. We will continue to discuss this should school closure continue.

The work the teachers are sending is too much and we as parents are not teachers. What can you advise?

We understand the burden our current situation places on families, in particular parents who may feel as if they’ve suddenly had to become both parent and teacher to their child. Our teachers are looking to simplify instructions so that the onus isn’t on a parent to explain a task. Teachers will also recommend a time limit for each task. We also would like to remind all parents to do as little or as much as they believe they and their child can accomplish in a day. It’s okay to not do all the slides. For more guidance, please read our tips here. Also, please ask the teachers of your child for help.

What additional help is available for families who do not speak English as their first language?

In response to parent feedback, we have added to the Distance Learning slides, instructions and video with clear explanations for EAL students. Families have reported that this is the most effective way for our EAL students to understand instructions clearly. If parents are having trouble understanding the instructions, please contact your child’s homeroom teachers immediately.  

If campus remains closed until the end of March, what plans are in place to support Grades 11 and 12?

We understand concerns regarding Grade 11 and Grade 12. First and foremost, please rest assured we are making every effort to reopen the campus to students. Additionally, we have been delivering synchronous learning to our IB Diploma candidates and increased face-to-face time with each student. Please know that learning is still occurring and students are still required to complete tasks and submit assignments as requested. We are also finding alternative ways to bring teachers and Grade 11 and Grade 12 students together until campus reopens. 

As a School, we have reviewed the examinations timetable for Grade 11 and, in the unfortunate event we do remain closed until the end of March, we are able to reschedule mocks and examinations as these are decided by individual schools and not by the IBO. 

We are working closely with Grade 12 families to make alternative arrangements for mocks in the unfortunate event we will remain closed in March. Final Examinations for Grade 12 students begin on Thursday 30 April and we are confident campus will reopen by this time. Additionally, we continue to liaise with the IBO and college and university admissions teams around the globe to inform them of the extenuating circumstances our students find themselves in. 

We believe that our distance learning programme has supported the continuity of learning and that “learning gaps” have been minimized during school closure. When school opens, teachers will ensure that children who have not met the  expected learning outcomes will have the time and support they need to meet these expectations. We have made some initial changes to the school calendar – our final professional development day and parent, teacher conference days will be regular school days and  Wednesday dismissal time will be extended to the same dismissal time as rest of the week. We will continue to discuss this should school closure continue. 

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. 

Our Annual Report Data Drips Continued…

This week, we share the data from our School Community Organisation (SCO) as well as information about our Class of 2019 and our alumni community.

School Community Organisation

UNIS Hanoi is fortunate to have an army of parent volunteers who are passionate about the school community. In 2018-19, as many as 573 people volunteered in a formal manner, with many unsung heroes giving time and resources to make a positive impact. The School Leadership Team, faculty and staff thank all volunteers for their support. FIND OUT MORE

Alumni

In June last year, our Class of 2019 became the latest recruits to join our alumni network of almost 10,000 people. The 80 students were offered 200 admissions acceptances in higher education institutions across 15 countries around the globe. They now proudly belong to an alumni community that will one day serve the world in diverse ways. FIND OUT MORE