From the High School Principals

Dear High School Community,

Scott hosted another HS Let’s Chat on Tuesday via Zoom with High School parents. It was great to see familiar faces again, and to have the opportunity to discuss issues and ideas that will support our community as we prepare for the summer and start thinking about the next school year. 

A New President Elect

As we mentioned last week, the High School held annual elections last week. Congratulations goes to Long Tran who has been elected by the student body as the next HS Senate President after some strong debating during our Zoom Assembly. Thanks also goes to Jeremy Smith and Harrison Wallace for sharing their ideas and responding to questions and answers during the debate. 

Long will guide the Senate into the new school year with a priority of building, fostering and continuing to grow relationships between the HS Senate and HS students, administration and teachers. In particular, as UNIS Hanoi shifts towards a combined secondary school division model next year, it will be important to work closely with our new Secondary School Principal, deputy principals and the Middle School Student Council. 

High School Awards

Each year the faculty nominates students at each grade level to be recognised for two types of awards–the UNIS Award and Grade Level Service Award. Congratulations for all who were recognised today during our Friday assembly.

The UNIS Award 

Is given to two students (at each grade level) who embody the ideas contained in the UNIS Hanoi Mission statement and the UN principles.

“Our mission is to encourage students to be independent, lifelong learners who strive for excellence and become responsible stewards of our global society and natural environment, achieved within a supportive community that values diversity and through a program reflecting the ideals and principles of the United Nations.”

The United Nations principles as applied to the school are to:

  • Promote peaceful solutions to problems.
  • Develop friendly relations among children and adults of different nationalities.
  • Promote cooperation in problem solving in economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian matters.
  • Encourage respect for fundamental freedoms and equality for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.

The UNIS Service Award

Awarded to students that have excelled in Service Learning by going above and beyond minimum expectations and shown a consistently high level of commitment and leadership towards their service group. The student also took the lead with a specific event or project and showed persistence in making it happen.

The full list of all the award recipients can be viewed here.

 

Virtual Spring Celebration Announcement

On behalf of the MYP musicians from our G6-10 Band, Choir and Orchestra programmes, we are excited to share with you the creative work they have been busy producing this quarter. Throughout the distance learning journey and beyond, the students have been busy both creating and interpreting  expressive compositions that we cannot wait to share via a Virtual Spring Celebration! Your music student will receive a google form over the next 24 hours that they will use to add their final video recordings to the playlist.

Our Virtual Spring Celebration will go live on June 3rd.

Stay tuned for more information in next week’s Tin Tuc announcement! 

Personal Project – The Journey Begins for Grade 9 Students

At this time of year the Grade 9 students begin their introduction to the Grade 10 Personal Project. In the final weeks of school a series of workshops and a special Bootcamp help launch students into this year long journey that is the culmination of their learning in the Middle Years Programme. 

Last week Grade 9 students had their first workshop which included a special panel discussion from current Grade 10s talking about the highs and lows, the lesson learned along with some very practical advice about how to get started with a personal project. A second panel of current Grade 11s provided further advice and some important messages about how their experience in the Personal Project have prepared them for various aspects of their IB courses. Some highlights from them included “make sure you choose something you are really interested in”; “you will learn to be more self organized and to manage long term projects”; and “it’s great if you can connect your goal to something you are also involved in like your service learning interests”. 

The PP Coordinator, Mr Loynes, has been planning a number of informative workshops with special guests coming up in the final weeks of school which will include a Bootcamp on June 8 to give Grade 9s time to meet with their Supervisors.  

IB Diploma Economics Class Learns about the Phillips Curve

This week in Mr. Anagnost’s DP1 Economics class, we learned about the Phillips curve. The Phillips curve is a concept that states that there is an inverse relationship between the rate of inflation and the rate of unemployment. We evaluated the concept of the Phillips curve and whether there was indeed a relationship between inflation and unemployment. Students looked through the different lenses of Neo-classical and Keynesian, and assessed different concepts such as demand-pull and cost-push while drawing some real life examples of stagflation to further evaluate the concept.

Erica and Yuki evaluating the relationship between the rate of inflation and rate of unemployment.

Students split into three different groups to discuss ideas, analysis, and evaluation of the Phillips curve and whether the relationship was coincidental, correlational, or causal. The majority of our class agreed that there was a correlational relationship that is also conditional.

Rosan and Navya drawing the long-run Phillips curve and using a Keynesian approach to evaluate the relationship between the rate of inflation and rate of unemployment.

Students used a variety of graphs to help explain their reasoning behind their decisions and delved deeper into the issue by looking at real life situations supporting and going against the Phillips curve.

Jinha, Thao and Thu An researching on Phillips Curve

Before work on the poster began, the groups planned which graphs they would include in order to tell their story. Some looked from the monetarist perspective, others looked through the Neo-Keynesian lens.

Suhyun, Minju, and Stella designing the layout of their poster.

This project enabled students to consider the short-run, medium-run, and long-run effects on the stakeholders involved: the government, suppliers, and consumers. They were also able to look at the relationship between inflation and unemployment through multiple economic schools of thought. A lot of the stories they were telling involved other fundamental concepts from our unit, such as economic growth, income inequality, and the business cycle.

Outside of class time, we also had individual meetings to discuss our Microeconomics IA, as well as our recent policy paper. These meetings allowed us as students to have more insight into our progress in class, and be able to recognize fundamental takeaways that we can use to improve. These meetings will still be continuing throughout the next few weeks giving enough time for students to really evaluate their skills and hopefully apply them in future projects. 

Message from the High School Principals

Hello High School Community,

On Tuesday we had a parent meeting with High School parents. A few questions came up and you can find the questions and answers on this document. There will be a HS Parent meeting each Tuesday, please join at 13:00. You can join the meeting on Zoom by clicking on this link

Highlights this week include our second student-led virtual assembly–this week those running for Senate broadcasted their speeches out to Homebase groups and took Q&A via Zoom.

On Thursday the Grade 12 Theatre students proudly launched their special showcase of their work for our community. Be sure to read the article about that event and take a look at their performance.

We had a fabulous turn out of the Class of 2020 for their in-person Post High School Transition Course held on Wednesday and Friday. Led by our counseling team and the Grade 12 mentors, students have been exploring big ideas including what makes a happy life, and how to take the necessary steps to be ready for the next chapter of their lives.

Finally, please take some time as a family to look over the Summer Programme which has been posted in Tin Tuc this week. There are some great offerings to explore as your family begins making your summer plans. 

 Glenda & Scott

 

The Truth About DP Theatre

The truth about DP theatre is that it is a challenging programme because it forces you to think very creatively. It is very collaborative with a lot of time spent working with a small group of people who kind of become like your family. Because of this you don’t want to mess up and you do want to make sure that you pull your weight. DP Theatre might seem easier than other art courses however that’s not true–it takes a lot of effort, time and commitment to create performances especially when you’re working with people that you care about.  – Kevin Zhou

 DP Theatre is a course that explores all aspects of Theatre and gives the students the chance to experience many different roles including director, designer and actor. Over the last two years the students have worked together on a number of collaborative performances where they have developed their theatre skills. In addition to this, the course allows students to develop empathetic understanding, creative problem solving and their communication skills. 

This year’s seniors have worked hard on curating a special Showcase Performance for the community to celebrate their hard work. This past week the Performance went live. As Baily Shelley explained, “The Grade 12 theater production is a short piece culminating what we have learned through the two year course. It was a fun piece that showed how we worked as partners and how we worked on our own.” 

The presentation is a recognition of the learning that has occurred in each performer over the last two years with scenes from Almost Maine, by John Cariani. Each scene explores the theme of love lost or love found, whether that is a broken marriage, best friends hanging out or someone who has returned ‘home’ to answer a long ago asked question.  

DP theater was a new challenge for me. I had never taken drama class before but with the structure of the program set up for all levels, I quickly learnt and felt comfortable in the class. Overall, the class allowed me to be creative and was a space where I could express myself through different and new forms.  – Flora Hamilton

The DP Theatre program encapsulates my passion and dedication towards the subject. Prior to the program, I always had an interest in Theatre. However, through the program, I was truly able to learn, excel and demonstrate the skills and knowledge I had acquired. Our final Theatre performance showcases this exact idea, with everyone coming together to create a final piece. I would like to thank everyone who has been part of this wonderful journey.  – Richard Dang

We are very proud of our G12 DP Performers – Bailey Shelley, Richard Dang, Flora Hamilton, Kevin Zhou. Minh Quan Neefjes also makes a special guest appearance in the footage.

Here is the link to the video: https://www.wevideo.com/view/1701213880 

 

G11 Extended Essay and Senior Project Work Morning

Grade 11 students spend Monday May 11 off schedule working on the research for the Extended Essay or their Senior Project. The EE/SP starts in Grade 11 and is completed in Grade 12 as a mandatory component for graduation from UNIS Hanoi.  

Students spent the morning on their own individual research as well as conferencing with their supervisors. 

Some comments from the students included:

Having time to work specifically for the EE was good because I could just focus on one thing and finish what I need to finish.”

“I was able to talk to my subject teachers which was very helpful, and I had a time dedicated for EE research that helped a lot as well.”

“I loved the atmosphere of the room. It was quiet and led me to ONLY focus on EE. Also, I loved that I could get individual comments on my EE.”

“Having a scheduled block of time to meet with my supervisor and then immediately work on my EE was helpful as I could implement the ideas from our discussion easily. I also appreciated getting a break from regular classes so that I could focus on my EE and get my thoughts and ideas in order in preparation for the deadlines next week.”

 

UEF Economists Back on Board

After a long journey of distance learning, the UEF members have finally reunited! Today, the members of the UEF gathered around to discuss how countries are responding to COVID-19. Members were to read an article called “Coronavirus weekly: where are countries finding the money to mitigate economic catastrophe?” published by The Conversation. This article happened to tie into the unit the UEF members are currently learning about. 

During distance learning, each wrote a policy paper to address the issues of economic growth, unemployment, and income distribution. These are core topics of Macroeconomics and options to explore further in the upcoming Internal Assessment write-up. By discussing the article with each other, members expanded their understanding off of each other and applied it to an ongoing issue. With their economic hats on, they evaluated the implications of mentioned policies as well as suggested alternative policies to promote economic recovery. 

From this discussion, members extracted similar takeaways that exposed weak spots in the economic system. Trends show that remote working is more feasible for jobs in the higher income bracket. This means that social distancing puts most pressure on the lower-income individuals who cannot continue working effectively in the labour force as their work requires more physical interactions. Hence, they may be unable to sustain a stable means of pay.

Since consumption is believed to be what drives an economy, economic recovery may depend on consumer confidence disproportionally to other determinants of aggregate demand. Consequently, many demand-side economies are choosing to adopt expansionary fiscal policies to directly encourage expenditure this way. In other words, governments are funding for consumers to increase aggregate demand. However, this comes at costs which differ in the short, medium, and long-term.

Ultimately, members identified with the responsibility of policy-makers to address each affected stakeholder in the economy. Now we invite you to take on the role of a policy maker too. 

What would you do? Which policy should be implemented to uplift an economy from recession and to what extent? 

By Phuong Thao Do and Seung-won (Rosan) Kim

Grade 11 Students Complete Group 4 Project

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, all of our Grade 11 students participated in the Group 4 Project.  This is a compulsory component of the IB DP, and its aim is to give students the opportunity to collaborate in teams with members representing the different Group 4 science disciplines – Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Systems and Societies, and Physics.

The Grade 11 teams had to research and present to groups of Grade 6 students on a topic that Grade 6 students had previously nominated in a survey that was of interest to them.  The ideas and questions that the Grade 6 students came up with were aligned to the SDGs:

For the first time ever, we also had 2 Grade 11 teams participating from afar! 8 Grade 11 students from Australia, USA, Taiwan, Singapore, UK, Italy, South Korea and Japan managed very different time zones to create presentations which were then shard with G6 students via Zoom.

Grade 11 students commented that they enjoyed working with the G6 students and their curiosity about the topics they were presenting.  G11s also remarked how much they enjoyed being able to choose the topic they presented as it allowed them to work with their friends to research an area of science they were interested in but had not had time to investigate in more depth.

The Grade 6 students enjoyed the interactive presentations and the chance to learn in more depth about some of the bigger questions in science, and the moral issues that went alongside many of the questions.

Thanks to the HS Science Team who organised and facilitated the smooth running of the Group 4 Project, and congratulations to all of the Grade 11 Students who put in a lot of effort to provide interesting and engaging presentations for our Grade 6 students.­­

 

From the High School Principal

Dear HS parents,

As you may know, I left Hanoi with my family to return to our home in Poland for personal reasons. As it looks increasingly unlikely that I will be able to return to Hanoi, Glenda Baker will be Acting Principal for the remainder of the school year. I am still working on Hanoi time, and remain committed to the school through the end of the year; I am just an email away!

I had a wonderful conversation with members of the High School School Community Organization (SCO) this week. It was clear that the topic of rebuilding our community is something that should be a priority moving forward.

A request from the SCO was that I try to ensure clear communication with HS parents. As a result, I will be hosting a weekly “Let’s Chat” for HS parents. I will host these conversations on Tuesdays at 1:00 pm Hanoi time and the first one will be next week, 12 May. All HS parents are welcome to join and ask whatever questions you may have. The link for the meetings is here.

Feedback to Parents from Teachers

It has been very nice to hear positive feedback from parents, and when I shared some of it with the HS faculty, it was very warmly received. In fact, teachers asked me to share some feedback with YOU, our parents:

“I would like parents to know that teachers recognize and appreciate them taking on a much larger role in the partnership formed by Parents-Student-Teacher which is critical to student success.”  

“I appreciate their encouragement of their children to continue to be engaged.” 

“I appreciate them rising to the challenge of trying to help their kid understand Trigonometry or Mitosis or War or another concept. I appreciate their patience to let teachers have the time to figure out and improve.”

“I realize that learning is not always smooth or straightforward, and we appreciate them helping their child navigate assignments, supporting them when they are frustrated, and giving them positive feedback.” 

“In many ways, they took on a bigger role of the teacher and mentor to their child or children, which speaking from my own struggles to teach my own children, as a professional educator, is very complicated and challenging.” 

Leadership Transitions

Another topic that came up during my conversation with the SCO was the transition process for the incoming Secondary School Principal, Jeff Leppard, as well as the two incoming Deputy Principals. I hope you are happy to hear that the entire leadership team at UNIS Hanoi has had multiple meetings with the incoming Secondary School leadership team about a wide variety of topics. Principals, Deputy Principals, the Head of School, the Director of Finance and Operations, the Director of Enrollment Management and Marketing, and the Director of Activities have all met with the incoming leadership team. Additionally, Marc Vermeire (Middle School Principal) and I have met with Jeff Leppard – both together and independently – and will continue to do so through the end of the year. I am extremely pleased with the way these conversations have gone, and I know that the Secondary School will be better than ever in the 2020-2021 school year!

I hope your daughter/son has had a nice return to campus this week!

Scott