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.”

UNIS Hanoi’s PHE Team Launches Wellness Site

The School’s Physical Health Education (PHE) team has launched a new Wellness resource site for the benefit of everyone in the UNIS Hanoi community. 

The Wellness Site can be accessed via libguides and is a one-stop-shop for videos, articles and websites relating to physical and mental wellness. 

Theron Tate, a Middle and High School PHE teacher said, “Since Distance Learning began, the physical health education team has had to think up new ways to ensure our students were still getting the recommended daily amount of exercise and maintaining their wellness. Now that we’re practicing social distancing, finding creative ways to maintain stay active has become even more important.”

The PHE team has included a number of fitness and general wellness resources that can be carried out indoors and by people of any age. “Although there’s a heavy focus on activities for our students we do encourage parents to use these resources too” said Theron. 

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, new resources will be added to the site. 

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

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/.