Summer Math for Families

Dear UNIS Families,

Summer is a great time continue thinking mathematically. Here are two great blog posts with activities you can do over the summer Summer Activities for Kids and Math Apps. In addition, here is a free online summer course for students entering grades 2-6. Please follow the instructions on the flyer below to register.

Kind regards,

Elizabeth Murray
D-5 Extension and Enrichment Coach

Elementary School Moving Up Morning

June 7th, 2019

Dear Elementary Families,

Today we celebrated Moving Up Morning in the Elementary School!  Your children found out their new class groupings for next year and spent time bonding with their new classmates with their new teacher in their new classroom. For students who will be having a new, incoming teacher next year, introductions were made by new faculty members via slideshow presentations, videos and Skype calls and special visits that were organised especially for today’s Moving Up Morning.  Everyone got to meet their new teacher!

Class groupings for next year have now been set – our teachers, administrators and counselors have spent a great deal of time over the last month carefully considering groupings for next year.  Here at UNIS Hanoi, we mix the children’s groupings every year as they pass from one grade level to the next. In such a transient population, this enables us to continuously ensure each class is a well-balanced group with a mix of gender, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, learning styles and differences.  The mixing of class groups also helps establish a grade level identity and community as well as individual homeroom communities. Children are able to develop and maintain a broader range of friendships across the whole age group. It also helps new children integrate more quickly as the class they enter is newly formed rather than being a group that has been together for several years.

Today you will have received an email from our Elementary Secretaries, containing the class list for your child and a letter from the teacher who worked with your child’s class during the transition session – in most cases their new teacher for next year, or in the case of incoming teachers, an experienced UNIS teacher who led the class through the same activities as the other classes and told them all about what it will be like to be in the next grade level to build excitement and anticipation for a great year to come. Your children will be able to share some information about them, with you.

As parents, we ask that you join with us in helping your child deal successfully with the upcoming changes of classes, teachers and grade levels.  Here are a few suggestions of things that you can do to support your child with the transition:

  • Recall the excitement of today’s Moving Up Morning – what was the best part of the Moving Up Experience? What is your child most looking forward to in the next year?  
  • Get your children excited about the changes that the next year will bring – changes in play areas, new classroom, new routines, will they finally get their own school laptop to use, what exciting field trips are on offer in their new grade?  Share your own stories about things that you loved about new school beginnings.
  • Facilitate your child’s positive relationship with their new teacher.  Connections are important! Speak about your child’s new teacher and class with excitement and enthusiasm.  Encourage your child to write a letter or make a card for their new teacher for the first day of school, or to share a favourite book that the teacher might be able to read to the class.  
  • Keep your new child’s class list somewhere visible in your home so that they become familiar with the names of their new classmates.  
  • If your child is anxious about all of the changes, calm them by emphasising all of the elements of school life that will stay the same – cafeteria, library, play areas, seeing friends at recess, staying connected to old friends with play dates etc.  Not everything about the new year is new!

Thank you for helping to make the end of this year, and the beginning of the next, a smooth and happy transition for your child.   

Warmly,

Megan Brazil
Elementary Principal

Invitation to the Elementary School Final Assembly

Dear Elementary Parents,

On Tuesday 11th June, our Elementary School students and faculty will gather together for our annual Farewell Assembly, an important event on our calendar.

You are most welcome to join us in the Sports Centre from 1.00 – 1.30pm as we celebrate and close out this academic year, and say farewell to our friends and teachers.  

If your child is leaving UNIS Hanoi at the close of the academic year they have received an Alumni t-shirt as part of our transition programme. If your child would like to wear this t-shirt to the Farewell Assembly they are warmly invited to do so (although we understand that some families may have already packed or shipped their shirts). During the assembly, leaving students will stand to be recognised and will be invited to participate in the singing of an end-of-year song from the front of the main stage.

With warm regards,

Megan Brazil
Elementary Principal

Teachers Leaving 2019

Our task, regarding creativity, is to help children climb their own mountains, as high as possible. No one can do more.

~ Loris Malaguzzi

This is the time of year when our entire community is in transition.  Members of our school community are either leaving, entering a new place, or being left behind. Transition impacts us all.  As a school, our teachers and counselors engage our students in conversations about managing transitions with resilience and positivity.

Many of our teachers are also in transition.  We are grateful to the following educators who have put their hearts and souls into creating meaningful learning experiences for our students, while contributing actively to our school values of Learning, Community and Responsibility.  We know that they have touched the lives of many students and their families during their time at UNIS Hanoi.

Michelle Matias (12 years of service) – Moving to South Africa
Amy Pitcairn (11 years of service) – Moving to Cambodia
Mindy Slaughter (11 years of service) – Travelling round the world
Cathie Matthews (8 years of service) – Moving to Australia
Jenny Hedrick (8 years of service) – Moving to Peru
Alexis Ramsey (8 years of service) – Moving to UNIS Hanoi Middle School Math
Corlia Kaunhoven (7 years of service) – Moving to Serbia
Melanie Taylor (6 years of service) – Moving to Thailand
Kristi McEwen (5 years of service) – Moving to Singapore
Sue Freeman (5 years of service) – Moving to Morocco
Deirbhile Ni Scolai (4 years of service) – Moving to Ireland
Ronke Bearzi (4 years of service) – Moving to France
Ania Russo (3 years of service) – Staying in Hanoi
Sara Larrington (2 years of service) – Moving to Germany
Christophe Denizot (2 years of service) – Moving to UNIS Hanoi Middle School French
Joan Hargrave (3 years of service) – RETIRING after 42 years in education! Moving to Malaysia

These teachers have all helped our students to ‘climb their own mountains’ and for that, we are incredibly grateful.  Please join me in wishing them well for their new adventures ahead as they continue to make a difference in the lives of children in other parts of the world.

Snack Sale Monday!

On Monday 13 May we will be having the Elementary School Snack Sale.
Please remember to send 10,000 to 20,000VND to school with your child purchase snacks.
 

Contributing classes are all Grade 1 homerooms + Grade 2d + K1a + K1b …THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR SNACK CONTRIBUTIONS.

What to Bring?

As a Nut and Allergy Aware campus we require all snacks to include a list of ingredients. When it is your turn to be a contributing class, we encourage that each family supports the ES Snack Sale by providing:

  • 10 individual homemade snacks (the value of each treat should be at least 10,000VND)
  • Try your very best to minimize single-use plastics
  • A labeled container/dish with your child’s class and name
  • On the morning of the snack sale, please deliver the snacks BEFORE 8.10am to the designated tables in the ECC or ES Courtyard

Please note, we will not sell any Choco-pies, chips, candies, pre-packaged cookies or chocolate bars. Drinks are not encouraged as snacks.

Witness the best part of it all…

The kids faces light up when they see all the snacks available for purchase, but they love it even more when they see their parents at school! So if you’re free for 1.5 hours on the morning of an ES Snack Sale come by, hang around and help sell the snack to the kids and be part of the action!

Healthy Snacks are Important Everyday!

Need Healthy Snack Ideas? Check out these yummy websites:

Jamie Oliver – Healthy Snacks
Lolly Jane – Healthy Fun Kids Snacks
Parenting.com – 32 Healthy Kids Snacks
Super Healthy Kids
BBC Good Food – Kids Snacks
Kidspot.com

Your Snack Sale Committee!

Seung Shin, Yuju, Hiromi and Naoko

ES Class Placement Survey 2019/20

Dear Elementary Parents,

Over the next 4 weeks, teams of teachers will be working on class placements for students for the 2019-2020 school year.

Here at UNIS Hanoi, we mix the children’s groupings every year as they pass from one grade level to the next. In such a transient population, this enables us to continuously ensure each class is a well-balanced group with a mix of gender, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, learning styles and differences. The mixing of class groups also helps establish a grade level identity and community as well as individual homeroom communities. Children are able to develop and maintain a broader range of friendships across the whole age group. It also helps new children integrate more quickly as the class they enter is newly formed rather than being a group that has been together for several years.

Because we value parent input about your child, you are invited to provide information to the school that might help us with the class placement process.

Final decisions about class placement of students are the responsibility of UNIS Hanoi. Changes are not permitted.

Please note that UNIS Hanoi employs only highly qualified and experienced teachers, therefore requests for students to be placed with specific teachers will not considered.

Please complete the survey by clicking HERE.

With kind thanks,

Megan Brazil
ES Principal

ES Student-led Conferences for Grades Discovery – Grade 4, Friday, April 19

Dear Parents,

It is with great pleasure that I write to you with more detail about our ES Student-Led Conferences that take place on Friday 19th April, 2019 (10:00-18:00).

There will be no regular school for Discovery – Grade 4 students on Friday 19th April while conferences are in process (as advertised in the UNIS Calendar).  Regular classes will resume on Monday 22nd April.

We invite you to sign up for a conference with your child via Veracross – from Wednesday 10th April – Tuesday 16th April. You will be asked to sign up for a 30-40 minute session in your child’s homeroom. Please allow another 30-40 minutes to visit specialist classrooms with your child. Visits to specialists will be on a drop-in basis and can be done either before or after the homeroom time. This is not a time for a parent-teacher conference, which you are welcome to schedule with your child’s teacher at any other time.

Available conference times are:

10.00am – 10.40am
11.00am – 11.40am
12.00pm – 12.40pm
1.30pm – 2.10pm
2.30pm – 3.10pm
3.30pm – 4.10pm
4.30pm – 5.10pm
5.20pm – 6.00pm

Student Led Conferences have been used for many decades and their efficacy for promoting optimal student outcomes has been well documented over time.  At UNIS Hanoi, we believe that children are in charge of their learning and we give them many opportunities to know that they are capable and that they can influence what happens to them.If you have never participated in a Student Led Conference you might be asking, “What is this all about?” Or “Why are children being included in conferences?” You might even be wondering when you are going to get a chance to “really talk” with the teacher about your child. We, too, have asked these questions and have spent a great deal of time researching and discussing the benefits to ensure that our teaching and learning is at the forefront of current educational theory and practice.

Conference structure:

  • Homeroom class (30-40 minutes) – Students will bring you into the classroom, give you a tour, involve you in a demonstration/ practical activity and will show you through their portfolio and/or a range of work samples.
  • Specialist classes (30-40 minutes) – students will have the opportunity to share work samples and demonstrate their skills in a variety of specialist areas.

Students’ digital portfolios are not intended to be collections of ‘perfect’ work – they are a record of a student’s learning journey – and might include first drafts, final drafts and personal reflections which aid the learning process.

During each conference time slot there will be up to 4 families in the classroom, creating a relaxed environment and giving you time to engage in some activities with your child. Each child and his/her parents will have conversations going on around them, but will still have enough privacy to conduct a personal conference.  Conferences may be conducted in English or in the child’s home language – whichever is best for both students and parents.

During conferences children and parents discuss all aspects of the learning together with openness and transparency so that children continue to feel empowered and responsible for their behavior and learning.

Your child will greatly appreciate your full attention and support during this conference.  For this reason, please do not bring younger siblings to conferences. We ask that school aged siblings wait in designated areas outside the classrooms, and that your own child care arrangements are made for young children and infants.

We look forward to your participation in these conferences with your child.

Kind regards,

Megan Brazil
Elementary School Principal

ES Student-led Conferences for Grades Discovery – Grade 4, Friday, April 19

Dear Parents,

It is with great pleasure that I write to you with more detail about our ES Student-Led Conferences that take place on Friday 19th April, 2019.

There will be no regular school for Discovery – Grade 4 students on Friday 19th April while conferences are in process (as advertised in the UNIS Calendar).  Regular classes will resume on Monday 22nd April.

We invite you to sign up for a conference with your child via Veracross – from Wednesday 10th April – Tuesday 16th April. You will be asked to sign up for a 30-40 minute session in your child’s homeroom. Please allow another 30-40 minutes to visit specialist classrooms with your child. Visits to specialists will be on a drop-in basis and can be done either before or after the homeroom time. This is not a time for a parent-teacher conference, which you are welcome to schedule with your child’s teacher at any other time.

Available conference times for Grade 1 classes are:

08:00am – 08:40am
09:00am – 09:40am
10.00am – 10.40am
11.00am – 11.40am
12.00pm – 12.40pm

1.20pm – 2.00pm
2.20pm – 3.00pm
3.20pm – 4.00pm

Student Led Conferences have been used for many decades and their efficacy for promoting optimal student outcomes has been well documented over time.  At UNIS Hanoi, we believe that children are in charge of their learning and we give them many opportunities to know that they are capable and that they can influence what happens to them.If you have never participated in a Student Led Conference you might be asking, “What is this all about?” Or “Why are children being included in conferences?” You might even be wondering when you are going to get a chance to “really talk” with the teacher about your child. We, too, have asked these questions and have spent a great deal of time researching and discussing the benefits to ensure that our teaching and learning is at the forefront of current educational theory and practice.

Conference structure:

  • Homeroom class (30-40 minutes) – Students will bring you into the classroom, give you a tour, involve you in a demonstration/ practical activity and will show you through their portfolio and/or a range of work samples.
  • Specialist classes (30-40 minutes) – students will have the opportunity to share work samples and demonstrate their skills in a variety of specialist areas.

Students’ digital portfolios are not intended to be collections of ‘perfect’ work – they are a record of a student’s learning journey – and might include first drafts, final drafts and personal reflections which aid the learning process.

During each conference time slot there will be up to 4 families in the classroom, creating a relaxed environment and giving you time to engage in some activities with your child. Each child and his/her parents will have conversations going on around them, but will still have enough privacy to conduct a personal conference.  Conferences may be conducted in English or in the child’s home language – whichever is best for both students and parents.

During conferences children and parents discuss all aspects of the learning together with openness and transparency so that children continue to feel empowered and responsible for their behavior and learning.

Your child will greatly appreciate your full attention and support during this conference.  For this reason, please do not bring younger siblings to conferences. We ask that school aged siblings wait in designated areas outside the classrooms, and that your own child care arrangements are made for young children and infants.

We look forward to your participation in these conferences with your child.

Kind regards,

Megan Brazil
Elementary School Principal
Posted in G01

PYP Exhibition (PYPX) work day for your Grade 5 student, Friday, 19 April

Dear Grade 5 Parents,

As a friendly and important reminder, please note that Friday 19th of April is a PYP Exhibition (PYPX) work day for your Grade 5 student.

On April 19th, in place of Student Led Conferences, Grade 5 would instead like to invite you to an open day to view your child in action as they prepare for their PYP Exhibition.

This is a PYP Exhibition work day/open day for Grade 5 Students only (8:10am – 3.20pm).  Transportation, snack and lunch will be as per normal school day.

As this is an Open Day, you will not sign up for a conference time. You are invited to engage with your child’s Exhibition group and join in. Your child will take time away from their PYPX preparations to answer any questions you may have related to their process, explore other areas of their learning and share what they have accomplished.

We look forward to seeing you on this day.

Sincerely,

Megan Brazil
on behalf of the Grade 5 Team

Posted in G05

Parent Workshop: Spelling and Vocabulary Development

A Workshop, focused on spelling and vocabulary development, led by Fiona Hamilton and sponsored by the SCO, Wednesday, March 13, 6:00 – 7:30 pm in the Community Room (B7-104)

Would you like tips on ways you can help support your children’s spelling skills at home? Would you also like ideas about practical ways you can boost their vocabulary?

Join Fiona Hamilton as she shares strategies and suggestions you can immediately put into practice at home.

In this interactive session, we will explore the following concepts:

Writing:

  • Spelling: What do you do when your child asks “How do I spell…?”

Reading:

  • Decoding; What do you do when your child can’t read a word.
  • Comprehension: How to guide them in understanding the meaning of an unknown word they might be able to read

Vocabulary:

  • Boosting your child’s growing vocabulary skills

Critical thinking and developing learner agency:

  • Involving your child in the process – not just telling them.

Questions? Contact Angela Brienza at abrienza@unishanoi.org

About Fiona Hamilton…

Fiona Hamilton has worked internationally for 26 years after beginning her career in Australia. In addition to 13 years of administrative experience, she has also had the opportunity to teach Grades 1 through 5, write some children’s books, be a learning support specialist, and coach teachers in literacy strategies. Fiona holds an MEd (administration) and an MEd (literacy) as well as Literacy Coaching certification. She has studied with Real Spelling and regularly co-presents with Pete Bowers of WordWorks. Her broad experience in a number of roles allows her the perspective of the classroom teacher, support specialist and administrator when collaborating to make decisions about the best approaches to assist all students to be successful. Throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, Fiona has been working with a group of UNIS teachers to deepen their understanding of the teaching and learning of English orthography.

Elementary School Concerts – Performance Attire

Dear Elementary Families

In the coming weeks, we look forward to celebrating the learning of our students in The Arts.  Students and teachers are busy preparing for some spectacular visual art exhibitions and music concerts.  

In response to parent feedback over the last few years, we have created a UNIS Hanoi performing arts polo shirt – available in the school store.  This is a polo shirt that will have our students looking smart and uniform on stage and saves families having to look for formal concert wear which have previously challenging for parents to find in Hanoi.

In addition to concerts, these shirts may be worn to school on any day that the students have music classes – in the same way that PE kit is worn on PE days.  It was felt that a UNIS performing arts shirt would be easier to procure than formal concert wear and students would be able to wear for other school events and purposes.  As students transition into middle school, performing arts shirts will also be required for arts events. These shirts can be worn by students for multiple purposes, and over multiple school years.

Performance Requirements:

Grade level Shirt Pants Shoes
Grades 2 & 3

UNIS Hanoi performing arts shirt – royal blue

Long black trousers, leggings or track suit pants.

 

 

 

Long black trousers, leggings or track suit pants.

Black leather shoes, black trainers/sneakers or black socks

 

 

 

Black leather shoes, black trainers/sneakers or black socks

Grades 4 & 5

UNIS Hanoi performing arts shirt – white

To have our students looking fabulous on stage, we ask that all students dress in appropriate performance attire.  Parents are strongly encouraged to purchase UNIS Hanoi performing arts shirts from the school store. In the case that this is not possible, students may perform in a plain white (G4/5) or blue (G2/3) shirt (preferably with a collar).  

Thank you for your continued support of our Arts programmes at UNIS Hanoi.

Kind regards,

Megan Brazil
Elementary Principal

Elementary School Semester 1 Academic Reports Available on Veracross next Tuesday, 29 January

Dear Elementary Families
 
We are pleased to inform you that from Tuesday 29th January, Semester 1 Reports will be ready for viewing and downloading from Veracross, our school’s information management system at 3.30pm.  Please use your regular Veracross login information to access your child’s report.
 
As a Primary Years Programme (PYP) school, our goal is to provide parents with comprehensive feedback on the learning process across all subject areas.  At UNIS Hanoi, our teachers use a wide variety of assessment tools and observations to collect data on students’ knowledge, conceptual understanding, skills and attitudes in order to create a holistic picture of a students’ performance over time.  
 
As always, a written report is one component of a larger system of reporting student progress to parents, which also includes Parent-Teacher Conferences, Open Classrooms, Student-led Conferences and portfolios. 
For students who receive language instruction in their Home Language (Mother-tongue), these reports will be sent to you as a separate document via email from the Elementary Office.  
 
We look forward to seeing you in school on Wednesday 30 January for Parent-Teacher Conferences.  
 
With kind thanks,
Megan Brazil,
Elementary School Principal

UNIS Hanoi Blue Dragon WALKATHON

We hope you are getting excited to come together and support the Blue Dragon Foundation on
Friday, February 1st
 at 1:15 pm

Blue Dragon is an organization that supports young people in crisis throughout Vietnam. This organization works to help children living on the streets of Hanoi, children with disabilities, children from very poor families, and victims of human trafficking. Blue Dragon’s dedicated staff aid over 1,500 of the most vulnerable girls and boys in Vietnam.

You now have the sponsorship form to support your child as they walk to raise money to help other children in Vietnam. Please use the sponsorship form and send in your donations after the Walkathon. Cash donations can be submitted to your homeroom teacher OR donations can be made directly to Blue Dragon via their website. Students are welcome to invite friends and family abroad to support this worthy organization.

Donate to Blue Dragon

If donations are made directly on the Blue Dragon website, please write “UNIS Walkathon” in the message section (so donations can be tracked). Example:

Elementary School Parent-Teacher Conferences – Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Dear Elementary Families,

You are warmly invited to attend our second Parent Teacher Conferences of the year, being held on Wednesday, 30 January, 2019.

Please note that there will be no school on this day for your children as teachers will be conducting individual parent conferences all day. Families starting school in January 2019 do not need to sign up for the conferences.

Parent Teacher Conferences are a time for teachers to share information on your child’s progress during the first semester and what goals your child and his/her teacher(s) have set for their learning.

As we know, the importance of a strong home-school relationship is a strong factor in students’ academic success. Our intention is to establish a strong partnership with all families and for us to better understand the unique gifts, talents, and needs of each of our students. Please make it your priority to attend as we firmly believe these conversations will benefit each and every child.

Parents may schedule appointments of 15 minutes for homeroom teachers, EAL and Learning Support teachers; and 5 minutes for other specialist teachers – PE, Visual Arts, Music, World Languages and Library (this is due to the high numbers of students that they teach).

In the case of Counseling, no appointments are necessary.  Our Counseling offices are open all day for drop in appointments.

Should you not be available for an appointment on conference day, parents are most welcome  to make an alternative arrangement before or after school on another day.

The following teachers will not be available for conferences due to absence:

  • Nikki Carey (P.E)
  • Nicole Moodie (Grade 4 – EAL)

Appointment scheduling will be done through Veracross, our student information management system. The bookings will open on Tuesday 22 January at 8.00am and close on Monday 28 January at 9.00am.  Please be sure to print or save a copy of your interview schedule for your convenience. Link to sign up: https://portals.veracross.com/unishanoi

We look forward to seeing you at our Parent Teacher Conferences as we work together to make this year as successful as possible for your child.

Warmly,
Megan Brazil
Elementary Principal

ES Walk-a-thon, Friday, 1 February 2019

Dear Parents and Students,

The Walk-a-thon is an annual Elementary School fundraising event, at UNIS Hanoi, in support of the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation.

The Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation is a charity that works with children in crisis in Vietnam. Blue Dragon kids are street kids, children with disabilities, children from rural families living in extreme poverty, and victims of human trafficking and slavery. Blue Dragon’s aim is to rescue kids from danger, reunite them with their families when they can, and provide all the services needed for recovery and growth.

For more information go to: http://www.bluedragon.org/

The Walk-a-thon is an afternoon when all of the ES joins in a walk/run of laps around the sports field. Students are encouraged to collect sponsorship for their participation.
Last year the UNIS Elementary School raised close to $20,000!

There are two methods of sponsorship.

Flat Donation

  • Sponsors can donate a specific amount of money regardless of the number of laps you complete (e.g. $10 or 200,000 VND)
Amount per lap

  • Sponsors can pledge a certain amount of money for each lap (e.g. 10,000 VND per lap or $2 per lap)
    Please note that students will probably complete between 7 and 15 laps.
  • A sponsorship form will be sent home with your child.
  • Return the sponsorship form to your child’s class teacher by January 24.
  • The teacher will write the number of laps completed at the end of the day.
  • Donations can be brought to school after the Walkathon.
  • Donations can be collected in US Dollars or in Vietnamese Dong.
  • The final due date for donations is Friday, 22 February.

Many thanks,

Kristen McAuliffe                                   Ronke Bearzi
kmcauliffe@unishanoi.org                       ibearzi@unishanoi.org

on behalf of the Blue Dragon Walk-a-Champions                                                     

Help make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children!