This Week in Discovery A, September 25th

What a fabulous and fun-filled week in Discovery. We celebrated Peace and the Moon Festival all the while continuing our investigation on families. We also had swimming for the first time this school year and became authors. Wow, what amazing students we have in Discovery. 

Paint Moon Cakes

Last week during cooking, we made salt dough moon cakes. This week, we painted our moon cakes. The students loved making them and painting them. They were so excited to bring them home to share with you. We also put them in our kitchen area at school. 

International Day of Peace

On Monday, we had a wonderful day celebrating the International Day of Peace. All of the students from Discovery and K1, went into the Center for the Arts foyer and met as a big group. We talked about what it means to be peaceful and all of the teachers took turns reading the book I am Peace by Peter Reynolds. Ms Kris, our elementary counselor, came and did some mindfulness yoga with us and we ended with a big silent cheer. The students loved being together and celebrating our special day. Thank you for helping your child wear blue and white.

Moon Festival & Assembly

The Moon festival, also known as Mid-Autumn Festival or Têt Trung Thu, is an annual holiday in Vietnam and many Asian countries. Children eat moon cakes, celebrate the fall harvest and take part in lion dance parades. At school, we made lanterns, made and painted salt dough moon cakes and made all of the shapes of the moon from a sliver to a full moon. We were able to watch the Vietnamese students in Grade 2 and 4 perform in a special Moon Festival assembly while dressed in our beautiful Ao Dais. The assembly was followed by Grade 5 students performing the lion dance for us. We ended the day by eating a special moon cake…yummy!


What a successful first week of swimming. The students were so brave getting into the water and trying different swim techniques by our amazing PE staff, led by Ms Clare. The loved splashing in the water, attempting to put their heads underwater and playing some games with all of the teachers. Well done, Discovery!!!

Book Making

This week we started bookmaking in our classes. The students love listening to stories and have started becoming authors themselves with their very own books. After they make a book, the students present it to the class and we celebrate their writings and drawings. We look forward to sharing more details of the books and our student authors with you on Seesaw. 

What is Book Making?

  • It is project-based learning
  • It is child-centered; children are able to follow their own interests in making books
  • Since art is a child’s “language”, they can focus on composing stories through illustrations and/or symbolic writing
  • Children know that books are a real form of published writing; a single piece of paper is not. -Ray and Glover, Already Ready, 2008

Behavior in Discovery

Here are some details regarding expected behavior in Discovery.  As we know, our students are developing their personal, social and emotional skills.  At times, our students will have a conflict or not want to follow classroom directions.  Occasionally, a student will exhibit a behavior that breaks our classroom agreements, such as ‘gentle hands’, ‘being kind’, ‘being responsible’ or ‘being safe’. When this happens, we offer a child three opportunities to make a ‘good choice’.  If the student refuses to apologize or follow directions it is sometimes necessary to use another option in order for the student to reflect on his/her behavior.  We want to be consistent in Discovery and will be using the term ‘thinking chair’ to reinforce positive behavior.  This is by no means a new concept and we are sure some of you have a ‘thinking step’ or ‘take a break chair’ at home.  If you have any questions regarding the ‘thinking chair’ please let me know.  


October 1 Learning Conferences, No School

October 12-18 October Break, No School

Here is the link for the school calendar if you need it.  You can download the latest version of the calendar here.

Please share these photos with your child over the weekend.  You will be amazed by what they can tell you.

With kind regards.

This Week in Discovery A, September 18th

This week the children enjoyed ‘Dot Day’ by making dots, finding dots, cutting dots, listening to stories and songs all about dots and eating a few dots too.  It was truly dot-tastic!  Thank you for sending the children into school wearing dots this added to the excitement in Discovery.  We also continued to talk about our families and investigated our friends’ families too.


If you have not yet joined our class Seesaw account please let me know so that I can send you another invitation.  Seesaw is a great way for you to connect with our class activities and also to communicate directly with your child about their learning.


  • Being dot detectives and searching for dots in the playground
  • Working on fine motor skills, cutting dots and threading beads that looked like dots
  • Exploring a dot provocation
  • Fruit printing – making dots
  • Continuing to explore our families
  • Making salt dough mooncakes

Important Dates 

September 21stSwimming starts – children need the following:-

  • towel 
  • goggles 
  • flip-flops/slides to walk to the pool
  • swimmers 
  • Cap (if your child has long hair)
  •  Please send these items in a labeled swim bag 

Please see the swimming blog for detailed information about our swimming program and expectations.  If you need to order any swimwear from our school shop.  A list of products sold at the shop is found here. Please email Phuong: for the items you would like.

September 21st– (International Day of Peace) – children to please wear white or blue for school.  We shall be having a special event on Monday to celebrate this day.

September 24th Moon Festival-all students wear Ao Dai to school

October 1st Learning Conferences (via Zoom) No School

Please enjoy these photographs of our week in Discovery with your child over the weekend.  You will be amazed by what they can tell you.



With kind regards

This Week in Discovery A, September 11th

This Week’s Highlights

  • Visiting the baby ducklings in the science lab
  • Selecting seeds and natural objects to decorate our family frames with
  • Reading books and singing songs
  • Making Fruit Kebabs in Cooking Class
  • Photo Day (an email will be sent to you in 1 month to select your photograph package & we will have a makeup photo day if needed for your child)
  • Making homes out of family blocks and legos. Our block families have been a huge hit.  The initial provocation created so much excitement for the children, finding Mummy and Daddy, brothers and sisters, counting and putting everybody together.  These connections are so important for our young learners and we value the community that Discovery A is already forming.

Here are some photos of our week in Discovery A. We hope that you enjoy them. 


International Dot Day

On Tuesday, September 15th we will be celebrating International Dot Day. We encourage all students to wear clothes with dots or polka dots on them. We will be doing lots of activities centered around dots. Here is a video of the book ‘The Dot’ by Peter Reynolds that inspired this special day. Your child will love watching this with you. 


Moon Festival at UNIS

On September 24th, we will be celebrating the Moon Festival at UNIS. We will start our day with an assembly and continue celebrating our home and host country of Vietnam with various art and craft activities. We encourage all students to wear an Ao Dai (traditional Vietnamese costume) to school. We will take lots of photos of their special costumes. Here is a photo from previous years of ALL students wearing Ao Dais. 



The students are coming home with a Seesaw invitation for you and your family. Please follow the instructions on the invitation. Your child already has a post on Seesaw for you to see. You are always welcome to comment on your child’s post (using the voice recorder comment section is the best way to make comments and please make the comments in your mother tongue).



Ribbons – Please can you return your ribbon for our hopes and dream wheel.  If you need a new ribbon please do not hesitate to ask for one.  We have started to weave them and the students are so excited to see your hopes and dreams for them.

September 15th International Dot Day-wear dot clothes to school

September 21st Swimming starts

September 24th Moon Festival-all students wear Ao Dai to school

October 1st Learning Conferences (via Zoom) No School

This Week in Discovery A, September 4th

The shorter week flew by.  We have been continuing to build relationships within the class and also talking about our classroom agreements which include ‘gentle hands’ and ‘walking feet’.

This week we concentrated on drawing and painting our families, counting the number of people in our family, drawing pictures for our friends and building homes for animals. 

DoHa’s Birthday

Today we celebrated DoHa’s Birthday. We were so excited to help him celebrate turning 4 years old. We sang Happy Birthday to DoHa in English, Korean and Vietnamese. It was such a fun day for all of us. Thank you to DoHa’s parents for the yummy cupcakes. We all LOVED them.



In math this week, we looked at our family photos and started to count who is in our family. We used rocks, shapes, numbers, people shapes and gems to count. Exposing students to numbers in various forms introduces them to counting one by one which is one of the first steps to numeracy at this age.


We have been continuing to talk about families. We looked at our family photo and drew our family members with a black marker. When we were finished, we used watercolors to paint our drawings. The students took a lot of time to draw and paint their family. The concentration and fine motor skills are amazing.


At one of our stations this week, we set up a mailbox for friends to write or draw pictures for a friend in class. The students loved working on a special surprise for a friend. The students that got a picture were so excited to see what was inside the mailbox.


In UOI, we read stories about families and homes. We also listened to some new songs about family. The students built homes out of legos and kapla blocks. They built tall, short, wide and long homes with each other. The students were cooperating and taking turns while building.



Please look for an upcoming email with your Seesaw code to access Seesaw. These will be sent to you early next week. We are very excited to share with you some of the projects the students are doing in class.


  • DoHa’s Birthday
  • Making mango smoothies during cooking
  • Drawing our families and then painting them
  • Making homes out of legos and wooden blocks
  • Writing letters to friends and drawing pictures for them


Ribbons – Please can you return your ribbon for our hopes and dream wheel.  If you need a new ribbon please do not hesitate to ask. We have plenty more for you. 

Photo Day – Wednesday 9th September.  Please have your child dress in photo ready clothes. 

Swimming – will start the week beginning Monday 21st September.  It will be for a period of 3 weeks.  More details to follow.  


This Week in Discovery A, August 28th

We had another wonderful week in Discovery. The students are really getting to know each other and are starting to learn each other’s names. They have continued to explore the many provocations in our classroom and on the playground. Here are some photos of our week. 

Back to School Night

Thank you to so many parents who attended our Back to School Night. It was so nice meeting you again and talking about your children. It is my pleasure and honor to be a part of your child’s growth and development this school year. As mentioned, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. 

UOI: Who We Are

During our first Unit of Inquiry: Who We Are, we have been learning about our families. During our morning meeting, the students had the opportunity to introduce us to his/her family. The students showed us their family photos and told us who is in their family. Some of the students also shared what they were doing in their photos. The students practiced their communication and presentation skills. We will be learning more about each of our families by creating graphs of our family members, looking at similarities and differences and also drawing family and self-portraits.

Ms Nitasha comes to Read

This week we had Ms Nitasha come and read us a special story to us. We love Piggie and Gerald books by Mo Willems and this one was a great one all about elephants not knowing how to dance. Thank you, Ms Nitasha for coming in and reading to us. We loved it!





Classroom Agreements

As an Elementary school, we believe teaching all students to be kind, safe and responsible with each other, with teachers and with our materials. 

This week we introduced some classroom agreements with our students. We talked about how it is important to use walking feet in our classroom, to be kind and caring to each other (gentle hands), to listen to our teachers and friends, to share with our friends and to take turns. We will continue to learn more about these agreements in the next few weeks.









This week we continued our cooking class and made fresh fruit ice lollies. The students loved making the lollies and worked hard together, chopping fruit for themselves and squeezing fresh orange juice to hold the fruit together. We think that they loved eating them most of all.

Vietnamese Class

Each week Ms Dung comes to our class and teaches us Vietnamese. It is so wonderful for us to learn the language of our home and host country. The students really enjoy learning about Vietnam and hearing words in Vietnamese.






  • September 1 ES New Family Virtual Welcome Coffee 9-10am
  • September 2 No School Vietnamese Independence Day
  • If you have a nanny or housekeeper or driver that will consistently pick up your child, please register him/her with UNIS at to create a UNIS ID badge
  • Please remember to return your ribbon, with your ‘hopes and dreams’ for your child written on it.  Please add your child’s name to the ribbon too.  Thank you.
  • Sleep things have been returned today please be sure to send clean bedding back to school on Monday.  This is something that we do not keep spares of. 


Welcome to Discovery A

Welcome to Discovery A 

It has been a super week in Discovery.  So many firsts for your children.  Our little friends waved goodbye at the bus and school gate and embraced new routines and challenges daily as they began their thinking and learning journey at UNIS.  

The children have settled remarkably quickly and it is hard to imagine that day 1 was only 5 days ago.  The children are getting to know each other, their teachers and exploring new environments with great enthusiasm.  Here are some photographs of our week, please take time to look at these pictures with your child over the weekend.  You will be amazed at what they can tell you!

Unit of Inquiry

Our first Unit of Inquiry is ‘Who We Are’.   If you have not already done so please could you email a family photo so that we can display it in our classroom?  We will be asking the children to share who lives at their house and tell us more about themselves over the next weeks.

Specialist Intorducations

Today we would like to introduce our specialist and support teachers that your children will come into contact with over the year. 

Ms Kris – School Counselor 

Hello families! This is my third year at UNIS where I work with students, teachers and families in Discovery to Grade 3. I love coming into the classroom to teach lessons about feelings, getting along, calmness and solving problems. I am always here to help children and their families as they navigate growing up. I look forward to seeing all students in person or on Zoom throughout the year.

Ms Emma – Art

Greetings. This is my 5th year here at UNIS where I teach art from Discovery to Grade 2. Ms. Trang is our art teaching assistant and your children will also meet her during art lessons. Art is my passion both at school and at home, where I will often be found in my studio (well garage) creating and making. I am originally from the UK where I taught for several years before teaching in Malawi, Dubai and now Vietnam. The UNIS Early Year’s art curriculum is structured to deepen your child’s interest and passion for making and creating as well as develop their artistic skills and knowledge. I am very excited about the year ahead and am really looking forward to seeing the new and innovative creations I know your children will be making.

Ms Liz – Music 


I am originally from the United States and have worked in schools in Egypt, Myanmar, India, UAE and now am in my second year at UNIS working in the ECC. Music is a language that all children can access and enjoy and I look forward to singing, saying, moving and playing with your children this year! In my free time I enjoy playing the piano and spending time with my beautiful cat, Chipsy.

Ms Clare – PE

Kia Ora everyone! I am Clare Albertson and this is my 6th year teaching PE at UNIS Hanoi. I started my teaching career in my home country, New Zealand as a Kindergarten homeroom teacher, then moved to PE when I joined the International School of London before coming to UNIS. In my spare time, I love exploring and hanging out with my 2 boys, reading, cooking and of course playing Sport! The ECC PE program is based around the philosophy of a Love for Movement. Myself and Mr Quang have a lot of exciting things in store for this year and we are really looking forward to moving through it together! Please reach out if you have any questions now, or throughout the year. I am always available for any questions or queries and I look forward to reconnecting with my students from last year as well as meeting all the new students and families.

Ms. Dung- Vietnamese

Xin chào. My name is Dung and I come from Vietnam. UNIS has held a very special place in my heart as I have been teaching Vietnamese at UNIS for quite a long time. The Vietnamese program at ECC is designed to help students to explore different aspects of Vietnamese culture and to build up appreciation and respect for the host country’s culture and language.  In my free time I enjoy reading books and spending time with my family and friends.  I am very excited about the year ahead and I am looking forward to meeting all the new and returning students and families.

Ms Monica – Librarian

I am Monica Mayer and this is my third year at UNIS, Hanoi. I have been involved in Education for more than 30 years mainly in the fields of Literacy and Boys’ Education. I have worked previously in Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore before coming to Vietnam. In my spare time I love to go bushwalking along as many tracks as I can find, usually, with my youngest son, Will who loves the outdoors as much as me. I also really enjoy yoga and of course exploring Vietnamese culture whenever I get a chance. I have two grown-up sons – Michael and Will and my husband teaches Grade 4 at UNIS. At UNIS, I look after the Library and thoroughly enjoy our elementary students and families visiting and borrowing each week. The Library always seems to me to be the heart of any school. There is always something for everyone!

Mr Brian – Speech and Language Teacher

I am Brian Walker, and this is my second year at UNIS. I have been a speech-language pathologist for 25 years.  Vietnam is the fifth country I have lived and worked in outside of my home country of the United States. I had a great summer traveling through Vietnam and gaining a greater appreciation for the Vietnamese people, their diverse culture and language. It is fun seeing all the students back on campus this week!


  • Please remember to pack healthy snacks for your child this might include veggies/fruit pieces, crackers, cheese, popcorn, pretzels for example. Please do not send chocolate milk, chocolate biscuits or candy.
  • Please remember to order lunch for your child online.  This cost is included in your Discovery fees.
  • Changes of clothes will be kept at school until your child needs them (wet or soiled clothes). If dirty clothes come home, please send in a new set of clean clothes. Thank you. 
  • Please remember to return your parent questionnaires. 
  • We will be sending blankets and pillows home every Friday starting from next week. 
  • Thursday, August 27th Back to School Night via Zoom (more information to come next week)
  • Wednesday 2nd September – school will be closed due to Vietnamese Independence Day, a public holiday. 

Please remember to contact me if you have any questions.  We are still in the settling in period and I understand that you might still have questions.


























We are so thrilled to welcome you and your child to Discovery A. The students have had a wonderful week exploring thier new classroom, playground, music room, PE gym and


started to get to know the routines of school


Part of being at an International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP) school, is reflecting on what the students like and what they are learning. As we begin our learning journey together, we asked the students some questions about school.

We asked them the following questions:

  • What do you like to do in school?
  • What is your favorite activity that you have done at school?
  • What do you like playing with at school?

Here are the responses from our students: