From the Elementary School Principal

Dear Families,

Together we have made it! Since Monday February 3, you have partnered with us to transform our school programme into a School of Distance Learning.  You have upskilled yourself in all kinds of technology and ensured that your children have remained connected with us, with one another, and have continued learning. We are in awe of your collective courage, tenacity, creativity and commitment, and the way that you have constantly shown up for each other, for us and your children. You have lived our core VALUE of COMMUNITY, every single day.

Take a bow, please, this has been no easy feat.

Also, thank you so much to the more than 100 families who responded to our survey. We are reviewing every comment, suggestion and criticism. Please know that your feedback will ensure we are well equipped to continue providing distance learning for your children.

We would like to share with you some of the wonderful comments we have received and thank all of you who have taken the time today to thank our teachers.

  • We are very grateful for the amazing efforts of the whole ES team in making this work.
  • I highly appreciate all the efforts the school and the teachers are making. This is hard for everyone. Hopefully it will be over soon.
  • We are just very appreciative of the care, humor, kindness, attention to detail, responsive support and smiles that our kids teachers have demonstrated over the past 8 weeks. They are superstars that deserve commendations for their dedication to our children and their learning and wellness.
  • We are so grateful for this great distance learning program!
  • All in all the school is doing a phenomenal job with this and everything is deeply appreciated. Sending thanks to you all.
  • It is admirable how the faculty transformed the PYP into a high quality distance learning program. I am aware that the IB has strong foundations in interpersonal learning, so this challenge was obviously embraced to the largest extent possible. During the past two months, this program has provided us some sort of normalcy and above all a healthy rhythm to get through the days and weeks. My children lost their motivation for DL not once, and for this we cannot thank UNIS enough.

Thank you! Please do unplug and take advantage of this coming week to enjoy a family holiday.

Yours sincerely
Megan Brazil

Art Lessons Become a Family Affair!

Moms and Dads, brothers and sisters are no longer sitting on the sidelines watching their Elementary family members have all the fun in Art lessons! Now families are joining in on the lessons and producing art for the teacher to see and grade too!

Elementary School Art Teachers, Emma Hamilton and Vicki Wilson-Jiwatram have received a number of art pieces, created not only by their students, but parents and siblings as well!

Emma says it’s been ‘so beautiful’ to see the family engagement. She added, “I regularly receive emails from families telling me they’ve really enjoyed the tasks set for their child.

I do think one of the major benefits of this distance learning experience is that the whole family gets involved in the curriculum more practically” commented one Grade 1 parent. “I thoroughly enjoy the slides alongside my children.

One student expressed his delight at being able to draw with his ‘big sis’, even though he missed sitting in the classroom with his teachers and friends. Another big sister revealed how helping her little sister complete her work has improved her skills as an artist. 

A large collection of artwork made by families has been amassed. Here’s a snapshot…

K2 Online Market

Throughout the last 8 weeks in their Unit of Inquiry, K2 has been learning about how we organize ourselves and provide goods and services to our communities. The unit ended with  a K2 Market Day…. which this year was created virtually on the UNIS Hanoi K2 Market Website. 

Across the course of the unit students surveyed their community to evaluate their wants and needs and worked with specialist teachers, homeroom teachers and their parents to create goods to meet the needs of their community.  

The K2 students let their creativity shine through creating ribbon wands, shakers, cards, bookmarks and more which were showcased and sold on the UNIS Hanoi K2 Market Website. All proceeds from our goods will be donated to Blossom House here in Vietnam.

A big thank you to Ms Nikki and Mr Neal who got the website together and the K2 teachers and specialist teachers and of course parents who supported the K2 children throughout the designing and making process. 

Distance Learning at UNIS Hanoi – Our Blended Approach

Dear Elementary School Families,

As we conclude Week 6 of our Distance Learning programme, we have noticed higher levels of engagement and participation by our Elementary Students.

We have been very careful to ensure that the concept of “Distance Learning” has not been confused with “Online Learning” and to emphasise that we do not want our students to be in front of screens all day every day.

Distance Learning in our Elementary School can most aptly be described as a blended approach of on-screen, off-screen, live lessons and independent learning time.  The graphic presented here provides an overview of each of the key components of our Distance Learning programme.

Over the next two weeks as we head towards Spring Break we hope to maintain high levels of engagement as we look to gather as much evidence of student learning as we can.  Teachers have been providing feedback on students’ work each week, in order to help improve students’ learning and to help our students know what their next steps are.  Please continue to encourage your children to participate in as much of the Distance Learning as possible, and to share their work with their teachers.

Megan Brazil

Elementary School Prinicipal

Grades 4 and 5 Music Concert – March 12

Dear Grades 4 and 5 Parents, 

The Grades 4 and 5 Music Concert is on Thursday, March 12th at 9:00. The students are excited to share with their parents and the UNIS Hanoi community some of the wonderful music that they have been creating in their classes. 

On the morning of the concert, please send your child to their homeroom class as normal wearing their concert clothes (please bring a change of clothes for after the concert). Following student drop off, parents may proceed to the Centre for the Arts foyer where tea and coffee will be provided. Doors will open for seating in the theatre at 8:50. 

Concert Attire for Grade 5 Students:

  • Formal black dress pants or black leggings 
  • No skirts please (students will be playing instruments sitting on the ground cross-legged) 
  • White UNIS concert shirts (that can be purchased at the school shop in the Sports Centre) 
  • Black shoes (no markings, please)
  • Black socks

Concert Attire for Grade 4 Students:

  • Formal black dress pants or black leggings 
  • No skirts please (students will be playing instruments sitting on the ground cross-legged) 
  • Blue UNIS concert shirts (that can be purchased at the school shop in the Sports Centre) 
  • Black shoes (no markings, please)
  • Black socks

Concert Duration:  9:00 – 10:30

Dress Rehearsal: 

We will have a full Dress Rehearsal on Tuesday, March 10th. We request that your child comes to school wearing their concert clothes and brings a change of clothes to change into following the dress rehearsal. Concert clothes will be sent back home on Tuesday and should be worn to school again on Thursday, March 12th for the Parent Concert.

We look forward to seeing you at the concert. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you so much for your support.

Warm regards, 

The ES Music Team

Tết is just around the corner!

Tết or VIETNAMESE NEW YEAR marks the biggest and most significant festival in Vietnamese culture. It is an occasion for the Vietnamese people to show their respect to their parents, ancestors as well as welcoming the New Year with the entire family members. According to the Lunar Calendar, 2020 New Year’s Day falls on Saturday, January 25th. This year is the year of the RAT.

During this week, all students from ECC up to Grade 5 in Vietnamese class have been so busy making Banh Chung – Vietnamese sticky rice cake for Tet. It is a wonderful learning experience for our UNIS Hanoi students to explore the tradition of the host country.

At UNIS Hanoi, the Elementary students will have Tết assemblies on Thursday, January 23rd in the theatre. The assemblies are hosted by Grades 1, 3 and 5 students who attend Vietnamese classes.

Two performances are scheduled as bellows:

  • Performance 1 for Grade 2,3,4,5: From 8.30 – 9.20
  • Performance 2 for Grade 1,  ECC and parents: From 9.25a – 10.15

Parents are kindly invited to the second assembly to join us for this special event. Everybody is encouraged to wear “Áo dài” on the day to welcome TET. 


Grade 4 Market Day

Date: Tuesday 14 January
Time: 10:45-12:00

Grade 4 students are inquiring into “How We Organise Ourselves” by learning how much market forces can affect the value of goods and services. They have discovered that determining the price of a product is a complicated matter. To make this a realistic experience the Grade 4 students have created businesses.

 All the profits earned will be used for taking action towards Children’s Rights! 

On Tuesday 14 January they will sell their products and services to an excited band of consumers, namely the students of Grades K2, 1, 2, 3 and 5. 

The Grade 4 business owners are asking students to bring in a maximum of 100,000 VND to spend at the Grade 4 Market Day. The prices range from 10,000 VND to 50,000 VND. 

The Grade 4 team of teachers and students would like to thank you in advance for your kind support in. It is one of the highlights of the year for all involved. 

Any concerns or questions please feel free to contact: Christy Heitmiller ( OR any of the Grade 4 Teachers.

Elementary Open Classrooms – November 19

Dear Elementary Families,

We warmly invite you to our Elementary School Open Classrooms –  Tuesday November 19.

Your child’s homeroom teacher will soon be sharing a schedule with you, indicating which lessons are open for you to enter and observe.  

What are Open Classrooms?

Have you ever wondered what inquiry-based learning is like for your child? Here is your chance! Open Classrooms showcase learning in action. On the day, at selected times, our classrooms are open for you to observe lessons that put the philosophy and pedagogy of the Primary Years Programme into practice.    

Purpose of Open Classrooms 

Open Classrooms is for parents to get an insider’s view of what life is like inside the classrooms at UNIS.  By opening up our classroom doors we would like to give parents a glimpse of student-centered, constructivist teaching and learning in action. We aim to demonstrate our inquiry based teaching philosophy which is central to our identity as an IB school. 

How does it work?

  • Classrooms across all subject areas in the ES will be designated as ‘open house’ events for certain lessons – November 19, 2019.
  • A minimum of two lessons will be designated as ‘open’ in your child’s homeroom class
  • All specialist lessons will be designated as ‘open’ 
  • All ‘open’ lessons will be detailed on your child’s blog – communicated by their homeroom teacher
  • Parents may attend any of their child’s open lessons – both homeroom classes and specialist lessons. 
  • Parents may only visit open lessons in classes that their child attends.
  • Please be aware that not all lessons are designated as ‘open’.  Be sure to check the schedule on your child’s blog

What might I see?

All lessons are different, though you may expect to see:

  • Classes will be a reflection of our PYP programme.  What you will see will be a snapshot of our regular lessons, routines and activities.  Lessons that have a clear learning objective which has been explained to the students
  • A variety of lessons and subject areas open for parents to observe (and in some cases, you may be invited to participate). 
  • Lessons may showcase students demonstrating the Learner Profile
  • Lessons may involve students using a variety of transdisciplinary skills (thinking, research, problem solving, social and self-management skills)
  • Lessons that are based on students’ understanding of broad concepts, in addition to specific content (e.g. the concept of “form” in addition to the content of balanced gymnastics movements in PE). 

What is my responsibility as a visitor to an active learning environment? 

  • Silence and put away all mobile devices.
  • Please enter classrooms quietly and be on time. We recommend you stay for at least 20 minutes to see the flow of the lesson.  
  • Please be aware of not interrupting the flow of a lesson/your child’s learning.  
  • Interact with your children only when/if invited to do so.  Some classes will be ‘observe only’ while others may be more interactive.  

Other important reminders:  

  • Please leave younger siblings at home with a caregiver, so that you may give you full attention to your child’s class.
  • All parents must wear their UNIS Parent ID badge.
  • Photographing students is not permitted.
  • Parents must wear their Parent ID lanyards at all times.
  • Parents may purchase food from the CAFE only, but may not purchase lunches from the canteen (we are unable to cater for unknown numbers).  

We look forward to welcoming you on Tuesday, November 19th.    

Megan Brazil
Elementary Principal





Here’s how a sample schedule looks like:

Class 04B Homeroom                                                                       Teacher – Mr David

November 19 Location
Period 1
8.30 – 9.20
Period 2
9.25 – 10.15


B9 G104
Period 3
10.35 – 11.25

World Languages:  





B9 G104

B8 135

B9 114

Period 4
11.30 – 12.20

Physical Education

Sports Field
Period 5
13.10 – 14.00
Period 6
14.20 – 15.10
Art B10-115


Grades 4-5 Musical: Audition Information

This year, the Grades 4-5 musical will be Annie Jr., open to Grades 4 and 5 students only. Auditions will be from November 20-28 at lunch time in Mr. Brewster’s classroom (B9-G18). The production dates for Annie Jr. will be:

Friday, May 22 at 18.00

Saturday, May 23 at 18.00

Sunday, May 24 at 15.00

Sign up lists will be posted on the front door of the ES Office starting Wednesday, November 13. An email to request an audition time will not be accepted; students must sign up for a time on the sign up sheet itself. The last day to sign up for an audition slot will be Tuesday, November 19. Students will not be able to sign up for an audition time after Tuesday, November 19 at 4pm.

For the auditions, students will be required to sing a song of their choice (without background music) that preferably shows their dramatic side. We may also ask them to read a couple of lines from the script of Annie Jr. The audition should take around 5 minutes and the students will perform in small groups of 3-4 students at a time in front of Ms. Noor (who will be Skyped in) and Mr. Brewster. Students will be asked to sing on their own, but will line-read in groups of 3-4. Please encourage your child to come well-prepared for the auditions, knowing what they will sing. A paper copy of a specific scene from the Annie Jr. script will be available with the sign up sheet for students to practice reading the lines before hand.

Auditions will be during the 12:20-1:10 lunch block (November 20-22, and then again from the November 25-27). If your child wishes to audition, please tell them to think carefully on which day they can audition; then they must sign up and arrive on time on their particular day. They can eat their lunch either after or before their audition time.

All students who are interested in auditioning for Annie Jr. MUST attend a mandatory dance audition from 12:25-13:10 on Thursday, November 28 (in the theatre), which will be led by our choreographer, Molly Moore. Students will be divided into two groups for this audition. The first group will dance, while the other group eats lunch and then the students will switch. Students who miss this audition will automatically not be cast in the production.

Rehearsals for Annie Jr. will be a big commitment. They will be every Monday from 15:40-16:40 (singing and blocking), Wednesday from 14:40-15:40 (choreography) and Friday from 15:40-16:40 (singing and blocking) starting from January 6 to May 22 while school is in session. There will also be some weekend rehearsals (on either Saturday or Sunday depending on theater availability) as we approach the production. Students must be able to make all rehearsals after school when committing to the production. Our first rehearsal will be Monday, January 6, 2020 (the first day back after Winter Break).

Please note: we will be accepting a maximum of 50 students in this production. Therefore, it is likely that not all students who audition will be accepted into the production. Please remind your child to come to their audition well-prepared, knowing what they want to sing. We understand that they will be nervous, and this is a natural part of the audition process, but please tell them just to try their best.

We look forward to the upcoming auditions!!

Moon Festival – Tết Trung Thu

“TẾT TRUNG THU” is one of the most important festivals in Vietnam. It is a traditional celebration for children and is celebrated on August 15, according to the lunar calendar.

The celebration of “Tết Trung Thu” is a highlight of the Vietnamese programme which helps students and the school community to learn more about the host country culture.

At UNIS Hanoi, our grade 2, grade 4 and grade 5 students who attend the Vietnamese class are going to host two assemblies in the school theater as bellow:

  • Assembly 1: On Thursday, September 12 at 8.30-9.20 for G2-5 students
  • Assembly 2: On Thursday, September 12 at 9.25-10.15 for ECC-G1 students and parents.

After the assemblies, the students are going to join different Moon Festival toy workshops. There will be “Tết Trung Thu” party at snack time.

Teachers and students are encouraged to wear “Áo Dài” – The Vietnamese traditional dress on the day. You can buy a readymade “Áo Dài” in many shops around the old quarter of Hanoi such as Hàng Gai, Hàng Đào and Lương Văn Can streets.

Greetings from the ES Student Success Team!

Student Success Team (SST) 

The SST is committed to ensuring students are included, appropriately challenged and experience success at UNIS Hanoi. Various support systems and structures are in place to provide success for all UNIS Hanoi students and the SST uniquely contribute to the growth and development of all students in the Elementary School.

We work closely with students, teachers, and parents in order to assist students who need additional academic, emotional or social support. 


  • In supporting access to inclusive, authentic, and challenging learning experiences;
  • Neuro diversity enriches our wider school community 
  • Students have and can learn through their strengths 
  • Equitable learning opportunities generate success 


ES Learning Support Team

Lindsey Tate
Lindsey Tate is the Learning Support teacher for grades Discovery to Grade 1. She is from the USA and has two children also attending UNIS. She enjoys being a lifelong learner and helping students find and utilize their strengths in and out of the school setting. Her email is:

Jennifer Szwarc
Jenn is the Learning Support  teacher for Grades 2 and 3. She is from San Diego, California and accompanied by her husband Micah Smith who is helping with Discovery to Grade 1 P.E. Jenn is already enjoying getting to know her students, their families and acclimating to the hot, humid weather in Hanoi. Her email is: 

Claire Harrison-Poole
Claire is from the UK, and she loves reading and getting together with friends to enjoy a crafternoon. She is inspired by nature and likes exploring the highlands and lowlands of her local environment. Claire Harrison-Poole is the Learning Support teacher for grade 4 and 5. Her email is:

Brian Walker
D-12 Speech Language Pathologist
Brian has been a speech-language pathologist for more than 20 years. Brian is originally from the United States. He enjoys cycling, hiking and traveling. Brian is happy to join UNIS Hanoi. His Email is:

Lee Cassidy
D-12 School Psychologist
Lee has been a school psychologist working with students ages 3-21 in various settings around the world for over 25 years. This is her third year at UNIS. She collaborates  with teachers, counselors and parents to support students’ academic and social-emotional health. Her email is:

Hoa Dang
Hoa has happily gained experience and connected with her students at UNIS Hanoi for over ten years. Enjoying the children’s smiles makes her content to come to work every day. Hoa also enjoys shopping and cooking for her family of 3 children.

Tra Dinh Thi
Tra comes from Vietnam. She’s now living happily with her husband and a five-year-old son in a peaceful town called Me Linh. She loves working and chatting with her students.

ES Counsellors

The UNIS Hanoi counselling team works with the community to promote and enhance the personal development, learning, and well-being of all students. We connect with practitioners in both local and global networks to comply with best practices and remain current in supporting the needs of the UNIS Hanoi community.

Counsellors deliver a developmentally appropriate guidance curriculum to all students. This proactive D-12 counselling curriculum follows the ISCA (International School Counseling Association) model, standards and competencies benchmarks.

As members of the Support Services Team, we collaborate with each Grade Level to facilitate student advocacy and pastoral care.

Counsellors endeavour to support families with transitions as they enter and exit our school community.   

In the Elementary School we:

  • Respond to and support students experiencing social, emotional, and/or behavioral concerns
  • Conduct individual or small group counselling to address identified social and emotional issues
  • Partner with parents and teachers, to foster developmentally-appropriate teaching and parenting practices
  • Develop and deploy supportive programmes tailored to our population (e.g. parent workshops)
  • Teach age-appropriate counselling lessons that address topics such as staying safe (child safeguarding), self-regulation, conflict resolution, and identity

Kris Bezzerides
D-Grade 2 School Counselling
Kris has been working with Elementary students for 20 years in various locations around the globe. This is her second year at UNIS Hanoi. She is here to support, students, families and teachers.

Dylan Meikle
Grades 3-5 School Counselling
Dylan is an experienced international educator and school counsellor from Australia. This is his fourth year at UNIS Hanoi. His areas of professional interest include wellness, physical learning environments and supporting all students to achieve their very best. 

Teaching Students about Personal Safety – Our Commitment to Child Safeguarding

During the 2018/2019 school year our ES Counselling Team, Ms Kris Bezzerides and Mr Dylan Meikle, have taught a series of lessons on body safety to all students from Discovery to Grade 5.

The series of lessons is entitled Being Body Smart, and a central goal of these sessions is to provide our children with knowledge and protective behaviours in regards to their body and their right to be safe. All Being Body Smart education is age-appropriate and non-threatening. Such education is designed to empower students and not to frighten them.

A typical series of lessons might look like:

  • “My Body Belongs to Me” – being aware of and taking care of my body

  • “Safe Touch” – understanding personal boundaries and how to keep yourself safe.  These lessons have also focused on having ‘trusted adults’ – a list of known and agreed upon adults who are trusted to keep your child safe.

  • “Safe People” – students have been understanding how to keep themselves safe when they feel uncomfortable, and will have learned strategies for maximizing personal safety.

A key message to all students is: If you feel uncomfortable with a touch you say NO, you GO and you TELL a trusted adult.

Additional resources for parents and children can be found at – an excellent site with many resources and ideas for parents.

Parents should also know that we have a wide range of books in our Social/Emotional Learning collection (SEL) in the school library. Subjects include stranger awareness, personal safety, safe touch /unsafe touch, puberty, reproduction and personal hygiene. Please come visit our Library to browse and borrow, ask the library staff or counsellors to show you this section of resources.

As always, we thank you for your continued support as we create strong parent-school partnerships to educate our children.


Kris and Dylan

Note: In the UNIS Hanoi Elementary School the scientific names for body parts are explicitly taught within the planned structure of the lessons. We encourage parents to use correct terminology with their children from a young age, because experts have determined that this helps de-stigmatize these parts of the body and help children to communicate accurately and with clarity about themselves. This contributes to the protection of children because they are more likely to be able to enact the protective behaviors taught during the Being Body Smart lessons with confidence, or speak clearly and precisely to trusted adults about any issues that may occur.

Seussical Jr. Photo Special

Our Grades 4-5 Musical production of Seussical Jr. was a huge success! Students delighted audiences last week with their singing, dancing and superb acting skills.

Students have worked on this production for five straight months and their hard work clearly paid off. It was a fabulous production. Bravo to a mega-talented cast and backstage crew.

Thank you to all who made this production possible!

Enjoy the photos special from the show!

Discovery and Kindergarten 1 Music Concert and Art Exhibition

Dear Discovery and Kindergarten 1 Parents,

The Discovery and Kindergarten 1 Music Concert and Art open morning will be held on Thursday, 30 May 30 at 9am. The students are excited to showcase their work in the Arts for the UNIS Hanoi Community! The Art open morning will begin immediately following the concert.

Please note the following information regarding the performance:

  • Students will come to school at the regular time on Thursday, May 30th, and will be brought to the Center for the Arts by their homeroom teacher.
  • Coffee and tea will be served for parents in the Center for the Arts Foyer at 8:30am and the music concert will begin promptly at 9am.

Concert Attire for Discovery and Kindergarten 1 students:

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 has previously been 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 Hanoi performing arts shirt would be easier to procure than formal concert wear and students would be able to wear it for other school events and purposes. These shirts can be worn by students for multiple purposes, and over multiple school years.

Grade level Shirt Pants
Grades D & K1 UNIS Hanoi performing arts shirt – royal blue Long black trousers, leggings or tracksuit pants.

Please label your child’s clothes and send them in a labeled bag to school by Wednesday, May 22nd as they will be used in dress rehearsals and at the concert.

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 blue shirt (preferably with a collar).

Concert Duration:  9am-10am

Please note that following this event, the art exhibition will take place in the Center for the Arts Foyer. This is an opportunity for you to enjoy and discuss your child’s artwork as well as create art together.

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday morning. Thank you so much for your support.

Kind regards,

The Arts Team

Welcome to Middle School Info Session for Grade 5 Parents

Dear Grade 5 Parents,

You are invited to come hear about our Middle School Transition Programme and the student experience at UNIS Hanoi Middle School.


By the end of this evening, parents will:


  • Grade 6 Daily Schedule & 10 Day Cycle
  • Middle School Homebase & Service Programmes
  • Key components of the Middle School Programme

Be able to:

  • Communicate with their child about Middle School challenges & excitement
  • Connect with our Grade 6 Team and Each Other for MS support
  • Find information about Grade 6 through online resources and email contacts


  • Confident in supporting their children through the ES-MS transition
  • A sense of belonging to the Middle School Community
For any questions please contact MS Principal Marc Vermeire and the MS Office at
Posted in G05