What’s new in High School?

Parents and Nannies Bringing Lunch for Students

Parents and/or their designees (home support staff) are welcome to bring lunch for High School (HS) students prior to daily lunch periods. However, please note that the HS office will no longer be able to store these lunches for students. If parents wish to have lunches brought for students it should be dropped off at the student’s locker. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

HS Student Commons

Our HS students now have a brand new, modern student space to study and relax in. We are looking forward to enlisting students in creating guidelines for its use.

Scott Schaffner
High School Principal

Summer Shopping – Dress for Success in 2019-20

UNIS Hanoi is a diverse international school. As such, there are students and adults on campus representing many different religions and cultures. All members of our learning community must be respectful of cultural and religious customs and comfort levels.

A number of years ago, our students created the dress code which we communicate in our High School Handbook (p.20) and as you prepare for next year, please be sure to include your wardrobe choices.

For your reference, it is copied below:

Students should wear comfortable clothing and footwear. They should also dress neatly and respect the diversity of the UNIS Hanoi community. Clothes should not be torn, dirty or unkempt. Extremes in styles should be avoided. Revealing clothing cannot be worn. No cleavage or underwear can be exposed.

The following represent standards of dress:

    • Shorts should fit properly with a reasonable inseam. Underwear cannot be visible nor can any part of the buttocks.
    • Shirts that expose the stomach or are low cut should not be worn.
    • T-shirt slogans should be respectful. No drug, alcohol, tobacco or slogans containing sexual innuendos.
    • Caps and hats should not be worn inside classrooms.
    • Students and teachers who are unsure about the appropriateness of dress should refer to the Deputy Principal who will make a final determination.
    • During special events, (school socials, dances and special dress days) dress code regulations may be altered.
    • Students who dress inappropriately will be asked to change immediately.
    • Footwear must be worn at all times. No bare feet on campus.

Dress codes in High Schools are historic friction points. Common sense and cultural awareness will guide the UNIS Hanoi standard of dress. Students not willing to attend to common sense dress code standards will be asked to change clothing and parents will be notified. These guidelines will be reiterated with students at the start of the school year.

Please note: Flip flops (thongs) are not allowed in the Design Technology or Science labs.

(High School Handbook 2018-19, p. 20)



HS End-of-Year Reports

One of the High School goals this year has been to open the Veracross Gradebook and develop consistency in how teachers report evidence of learning to support student achievement.

As the school year draws to a close, High School teachers have been busy finalising grades for the End-of-Year reports. These will be published next week prior to the last day of school for students and will be available via the Veracross Parent Portal. If you have questions about a final grade please contact the teacher directly.

Our commitment:

The Veracross Gradebook fosters student learning by making the learning process more transparent and meaningful. Teacher use of the Veracross Gradebook aims to promote communication amongst all stakeholders by recording evidence of student learning. Growth-oriented teacher feedback promotes student reflection of the learning progress and the refocusing of learning goals.

HS Reporting and Evidence of Learning

 LEARNING BELIEFS   ⧫   The UNIS Hanoi High School believes:

  1. grades should be transparent and meaningful
  2. grades should never be a surprise for a student
  3. collaborative, performative, and audience-specific assessments can provide valuable evidence of student learning
  4. teachers can make professional judgements that are transparent for students, parents, and teachers by recording varied evidence of learning.

LEARNING PRACTICES  ⧫   The UNIS Hanoi High School:

  1. collects varied evidence of learning relative to IB grade descriptors, mark bands, and criteria
  2. offers students a range of methods for demonstrating their learning
  3. uses on-going teacher feedback, peer assessment, and self assessment to allow for students to own and use data to inform their learning choices
  4. issues report grades that reflect the latest and most consistent fit between all evidence of learning and IB grade descriptors, mark bands, and criteria (e.g. we do not average grades)
  5. strives for authenticity in assessments
  6. does not include prediction of future performance in our reporting.

ISA Results

In February, Grade 9 students completed the The International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) tests which are offered once a year for students in Grades 3-9. The ISA tests are standardised paper-and-pen tests that focus on Reading, Narrative Writing, Expository Writing and Mathematics. ISA test results will be available along with End-of-Year reports next week via the Veracross Parent Portal.

If you have questions about accessing the ISA test results please contact: Hoang Thanh Huong tlcofficer@unishanoi.org or for tech support relating to Veracross: Tran Ha Thu smsis@unishanoi.org

Timetable for 2019-20

Next year there will be some slight adjustments to the High School daily timetable to support access to the cafeteria and more appropriate lunch periods for all students. The main changes include High School students having a 35 minute Connections period after Block 1, a longer but earlier lunch period, and an afternoon break before the last period of the day.

Food Deliveries

Photo from: https://english.vietnamnet.vn

Restaurant Deliveries

Beginning at the start of the next school year, students will no longer be allowed to order food deliveries to campus. Mr. Schaffner made it a priority to work with the student Senate to address concerns related to food deliveries throughout the school year. Unfortunately we have not been able to resolve the concerns around students having food delivered to campus.

The main concerns are as follows:

  1. As a UN school, and in consideration of our commitment to the SDGs, the amount of waste and plastic that gets delivered to campus on a daily basis goes against who we are and the ideals we stand for
  2. Numerous times this year, students have interrupted classroom learning while ordering food during class, as well as leaving class to pick up deliveries
  3. The burden that food deliveries place on our security guards is unreasonable and presents a serious safety concern. Our guards have been forced to deal with an enormous amount of distraction while trying to do their job, which is to ensure that visitors entering or leaving campus are documented in order to ensure student and campus safety and security.

Lunch drop-off by nannies, drivers and/or parents

New guidelines for dropping lunches off for your child will be communicated on our return in August. We will ensure the process is aligned with our child safeguarding guidelines and food hygiene.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we continue to strive to improve the UNIS High School!

Knowing more than your teen: Healthy Choices

High School counsellors invite you to the last in our series of ‘Parenting Talks’:

What do you know about smoking, vaping, cannabis and the options on the street here in Hanoi? Come and hear and share in the research and ideas for talking to your teen about what they know and think.

“Adolescents Pushing Boundaries & Making Decisions Without Thinking About Consequences”
When: Friday, May 31 @ 8:00 – 9:00 am
Where: Community Room B7 104 

As a community we strive to work in partnership with families for the most effective learning in both academic and social/emotional areas. Teen years can be challenging for students and parents alike.

In the classroom and through School programmes, our counsellors and PE team discuss healthy choices and peer pressure. We also have a bi-annual programme with Freedom from Chemical Dependency which we are hoping to extend next year. But this is an issue which extends beyond School and we would appreciate the opportunity to discuss strategies and information that will be helpful for all families.

Pushing boundaries, doing new and exciting (and possibly dangerous) things. This is adolescence and a part of your child’s efforts to assert their not-quite-adult independence. Since your teen is not always as good as they think they are at making decisions about things that have real consequences, their willingness to take risks and make impulsive choices is concerning for the adults in their world.

Whether accessing parents’ beverage cupboards, purchasing vape devices or experimenting with cannabis edibles, sound, mature judgement is rarely involved. Given the local availability, illegality and long lasting negative health aspect of vaping, cannabis and excessive alcohol consumption for teens and their developing brains and lungs, conversations with your adolescent are extremely important.  Popular now among adolescents are vape devices (aka – E-cigarettes) with reports indicating that 2.1 million middle and high school students have been users. (childmind.org) The draw is that they are compact (easily appearing to be a pen or a flash drive, so easy to hide) and come in a wide variety of ‘appealing’ flavors.  These flavors easily mask the reality that vape pens are nicotine delivery devices at much higher levels than cigarettes, including carcinogenic compounds.  The marketing of vape devices is very effective at leading adolescents to believe that they cause not harm, and because of the sleek designs they are a ‘must have’ for teens who enjoy being on the cutting edge of new trends.

Effective conversations with teenagers can be hard work… but it is essential and in this last of our ‘Parenting Talks’ we hope to give you some strategies on framing the conversations and some resources to help guide your discussions.

We hope the resources below will be a helpful start and we will be sharing more at Friday’s coffee morning. It is always useful for our planning if you can let us know if you plan to attend: RSVP form

Articles that might help:  ChildMind Institute

  “How to Talk to Your Teen About Substance Use”

  “Teen Vaping: What You Need to Know”

High School Awards

Today we will celebrate our students’ work. Awards ceremonies can make it seem as if recognition belongs to a few but awesome is a group effort. Every act of courage and kindness deserves recognition. Thank you for another great year of drama performances, music, art, teamwork, countless acts of kindness, laughter, helping others and the list goes on. Awards are a time-honored tradition where we try to capture a year of contributions, a year of countless rehearsals, acts of courage, creativity, and learning from others. A year of building relationships and friendships, of helping others find their way and making UNIS Hanoi and the world a better place.

Congratulations to the following students on their achievements:

Musician of the Year Award – Irma Hogberg
Awarded to a student who has shown an extensive commitment to Music in the co-curricular programme 

Thespian of the Year Award Elena McCullough
Awarded to a student who has shown an extensive commitment to Drama in the co-curricular programme

 Commitment to the Arts Award Chinh Trung Mai
Awarded to a student who has shown a commitment to the Arts in at least 2 areas of the Co-curricular Arts Programme 

 Excellence in the Arts Award –  Mikaela Fenn
Awarded to a student who excels in at least 2 areas of the Co-curricular Arts Programme — Music, Drama, Dance, Visual Art 

Awarded to students that have excelled in Service Learning by going above and beyond minimum expectations, showing a consistently high level of commitment and leadership towards their service group, as well as, taking the lead with a specific project persisting through challenges to make it happen.

Grade 9 Service Awards

Iestyn Rusinow
Minh van der Wielen
Binh Huong Vu

Grade 10 Service Awards

Jachym Jarkulisch
Elena McCullough
Serena Mohanty
Kiet Nguyen
Gai Ogaswara
Harrison Wallace

 Grade 11 Service Awards

Yu Jin Cho
Flora Hamilton
Bohemond Iskandar
Chinh Mai
Minh Quan Neefjes
Co May Nguyen
Ha Nguyen
Sian Rusinow
Bailey Shelley
Sophie-Marie Schroeder
Hai Vu
Da Yu

 Grade 12 Service Awards

Bea Campilan
Minh Quan Do
Mikaela Fenn
Madeline Guihot
Phuong Le
Annika Moore
Giang Nguyen
Linnea Niklasson
Ngan Phung
Hana Takeuchi
Eliza Thu Ti
Uyen Trinh
Marcelle-Marie Villars
Hayeong Yun

This award is presented to two students, in each HS Grade, who have embodied the ideas contained in the UNIS Hanoi Mission statement.

“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 programme 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.

 Grade 9 UNIS Hanoi Award

Binh Huong Vu
Jeongha Kim

Grade 10 UNIS Hanoi Award

Gai Ogasawara
Serena Mohanty

 Grade 11 UNIS Hanoi Award

Chinh Trung Mai
Ha Viet Nguyen

 East Asia Regional Council of Schools Global Citizen Award – Minh Quan Neefjes
This student has an open mind, is well-informed, aware and empathetic, concerned and caring for others, encourages a sense of community and is strongly committed to engagement and action to make our world a better place.


Graduation Day is coming!

Friday morning saw the final IB exam for 2019 conclude, and the High School is now turning our attention to help prepare for a fabulous Grade 12 Graduation celebration.

On 31 May students in Grade 9 to 11 will have a special schedule for Grades 9 to 11. Classes will conclude at 12:00 with lunch available from 12:00 – 12:30. All Grade 11 students are expected to attend the Graduation ceremony. Students in Grades 9 and 10 are not required to attend Graduation this year, although we know siblings and many friends of our Grade 12s in other grades will want to come. Earlier this week, the Grade 9 and 10s were sent the survey where they could indicate if they will stay for the Graduation ceremony which will start at 1:00 pm in the Sports Center. Buses will leave UNIS Hanoi at 3:00 pm after the celebration.

High School Compressed Schedule on 31 May



8:10 – 8:55

H Block

9:00 – 9:45

J Block

9:45 – 9:55

Short Break

10:00 – 10:45

F Block

10:50 – 11:35

G Block

11:45 –                      Buses Leave for G9-10s

11:40 – 12:30

LUNCH for Grade 11

and any G9-10 students staying for Graduation

Science Olympiad

The Group 4 Project is a collaborative science event that took place on the afternoon of Mon 13 and on Tue 14 May. Grade 11 students will worked together to host a Science Olympiad for students in Grade 6.

The concept of the Science Olympiad was spawned as a means of fulfilling both the requirements of the IB Diploma programme and enthusing our middles schoolers with a thirst and passion for science. The primary objective for all involved is FUN!

The Grade 11 diploma students spent about a day preparing for the 2 hour event, scouring their minds for creative ways to convey scientific concepts to their younger peers. The Olympiad itself consists of a series of unique events that Grade 6 students circulate on a mission to gain house points and all the while developing their curiosity and fascination of science. For Grade 6, the event culminates in raucous cheers as the winners are announced. For the Grade 11s, they reflect upon the event – whilst they all agree the experience was indeed fun, they also concur they are utterly exhausted and that “teaching is hard work”!

“As a student taking two science courses, it was a very collaborative and meaningful experience working with students with having different capability. Not only this group 4 project helped me to understand ‘international’ aspect of the IB curriculum, it also helped me to learn and explore a subject in many different aspects.”Hyo Rim
” Group 4 project was a unique project where we could design our own experiments and carry them out. I was able to create an experiment that investigates the chemistry behind creating ice cream in a bag. Group 4 project was not only a chance to pursue a fun, innovative science experiment that I desired but also to work together with different students and find a common interest.”  – Da Yu