Grade 9 ISA Testing

Dear G9 Parents,
Your child will be participating in the International Schools Assessment (ISA), a product of the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER), on February 13th and 14th, 2020. ISA is based on the reading, mathematical literacy and scientific literacy frameworks of the OECD’s Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA).
UNIS Hanoi has been using the paper form of the test for more than 10 years. Students from Grade 3 to Grade 9 will be tested in Reading, Mathematics, Narrative Writing and Expository Writing.
The school has chosen ISA because it is specifically designed for students in international schools of which instructional language is English. As ISA is not specific to a single curriculum, it provides non-cultural-bias questions that ensure the content is appropriate for students in international schools. Another advantage of ISA compared to other standardised tests is that ISA includes open-ended questions and writing tasks which better showcase students’ thinking process.
Regarding data analysis, the school uses ISA reports as a piece of data to inform students learning. Individual student results are input in the school’s Learning Analytics Collaborative (LAC), a platform for data management. Together with professional judgements and classroom records, standardised testing data is used in grade level meetings, department meetings, learning retreats and is frequently revisited for instructional adjustment and personalised learning purposes. ISA results provide breakdowns in specific knowledge areas as well as learning skills and allow the school to track progress over time. Moreover, ISA is a tool for the school to measure where they are on international benchmarks.
Being an Australian company, ACER is compliant with privacy and data law. Therefore, any school participating in ISA is required to inform parents about the privacy statement which could be found in the attachment.
Should you not hesitate to contact the school for further information.
Kind regards,
Scott Schaffner
High School Principal

Grade 10 Course Requests – Deadline on February 13

Grade 10 students are making continued progress towards formulating their course requests for next academic year. The HS Counsellors, Ms Brenda Manfredi and Mr Franko Ciffizari, have now held individual meetings with all Grade 10 students to discuss their pathway to university. The Grade 10 Mathematics teachers are in the process of making recommendations to students regarding the courses available next year based on evidence of learning.

Grade 10 students have until Thursday 13 February to decide on their course requests for next academic year which they will submit by completing a Google form during Homebase on that day. Students are encouraged to reach out to UNIS Hanoi Teachers, Grade 12 Students, their HS Counsellors, and the DP Coordinator if they have questions.

DP Economics Internal Assessment is a Great Chance to Practice Peer Editing

This past week, DP Year 1 Economics classes continued our preparation for the IA on Microeconomics. At the start of the week, Mr. Mirza came into class to talk to us about his personal notes and tips for writing the IA. He also handed us sample IAs from his previous students for use and reference. We were able to have a better idea of what we need to do, so thank you Mr. Mirza!

In the next few classes, we took a sample IA and reviewed it. After discussion, we came to realize the value and importance of peer feedback. In someone’s own work, their explanations, analysis and evaluations would be perfectly understandable to them. However, through someone else’s eyes there could be mistakes or areas of confusion which stand out more.

This is why honest, constructive feedback from peers is extremely beneficial even before we share our drafts with our teachers in order to prevent a paper going to the IB that does not meet the right standards – leading to the whole grade having repercussions from a marking error. By looking at an example, we developed a deeper understanding for what the IA should and should not look like, but we also noticed good things that we will apply to our own papers.

To conclude the week, we discussed our IA topics and got feedback from classmates. The class chose articles from all over the world, with topics from minimum wage, to price caps on airfare, to the taxation of cigarettes. We are very excited to continue our exploration in the following week where hopefully we will be able to have rough drafts ready for feedback.

TOK Knowledge Seminars are about the Knowledge

The ToK year 1 classes are deep in preparation for our next round Knowledge Seminars starting on 14 January and running in each ToK class until Tet.

Our goal is to better understand each Area of Knowledge by using the TOK Knowledge Framework and Knowledge Questions within a subject area that we take as at the Higher Level or that we are sincerely interested in.

We have been exploring our subject areas and the production of knowledge in these subject areas in order to answer the following question (that was actually very close to a previous year’s ToK Essay title):

“What is the role of disagreement between experts in the production of knowledge in your area of knowledge (subject area) of focus?”

Perhaps the most important part of our preparation was actually discussing the production of knowledge and the role of experts directly with our subject area teachers.

We’ve been reaching out to our teachers to find out different real life examples of disagreement between experts in film, physics, history, economics, theater and any other subject you can think of.

Please join us and be part of our discussions (each one lasts about 12-13 minutes) in B5 G20, G21 and G29 starting on 14 January.

Written by Chloe Chee

Financial Tools Debate in Grade 12 Business Management

To start off this fabulous decade, the Grade 12 Business Management class  began with an ecstatic debate on the financial tools of business. Split into groups, they research and created an infographic in preparation for the impending discussion. In contrast to previous infographics, this activity was in preparation for the final exams as it pushed them to more profound understanding to defend their arguments.

During the debate, opposing teams presented their infographics in 5-minute intervals and a Q&A section was taken place to further examine each team’s understanding of their respective tools. After each round, they’ve gotten closer and closer in selecting the most informative poster and presentation, which will be decided by their fellow critical colleagues. Despite the competitive nature of this debate, each round ended with a cordial handshake and all students left with a plethora of knowledge.

Join us in B5-G29 next week on Monday at 13:05 – 14:10 and Wednesday at 8:10 – 9:10 for an outstanding final debate!

Written by Li Hui Yip

Discussing Human Rights in Global Politics and Society

In our Global Politics and Societies class, we explore key topics and concepts, such as power, sovereignty, legitimacy, etc. Our current unit is human rights, in particular, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1948.

Before the winter break, each student investigated one human rights article of their choice in-depth and presented it to their classmates in a GIFA presentation. These articles included the Right to seek asylum (article 14), the Presumption of Innocence and International Crimes (article 11), the Right to freedom of opinion and expression and 27 others. In these presentations, a number of interesting discussions came to life and great knowledge was shared between the class comrades. 

In addition to the GIFA presentation, the students created a fact sheet about their human rights article, which contained information about the rights genealogy, key concepts that are at stake and the case study. 

This week the students of the Global Politics and Societies class had the opportunity to give their class comrades feedback for their factsheet. As a class, we went over some student’s factsheets together and discussed its strengths and possible improvements. 

Another highlight in this week’s Global Politics class was the visit from Mr. A’s father, who came to visit his son from America for a few weeks. The students had the opportunity to hear about his experiences about missile attack drills throughout his time as a student. This led to a discussion about the United States-Vietnam War and the current conflict between the United States and Iran. 

Please feel free to pop into one of our lessons anytime at B5-G29 to experience one of our political discussions in person!

Written by Josefine Schmitz

First Step to DP Economics Internal Assessment

This week, we split up into partners and continued to have a discussion about the expectations and valuable information about the Internal Assessment. An Internal Assessment in economics enables students to demonstrate the application of their knowledge and understanding of economic theory to real-world situations. Students are required to produce a portfolio of three commentaries based on articles from published news medias. 

Before selecting an article for our first Internal Assessment, we had an opportunity to answer a series of questions on expectation of Internal Assessment and we asked each other to check whether we know and understand these expectations. After the activity, we realized what areas of Internal Assessment expectations we need to know better and the benefit of going over the expectations and requirements prior to deciding our topics. 

Some articles and concepts some of us have selected for Internal Assessment topics are supply and demand and government interventions(taxes, subsidies, maximum price, minimum price) and externalities, concepts we have covered in class. 

Written by Jinha Hwang

Cross Country Christmas

Shortly before the Winter Break, fourteen members of the the UNIS Hanoi Cross Country team competed in the Concordia Christmas Around the World 5km race. There was a wonderfully festive spirit on the day, highlighted by the Elfin shirts provided for each runner. As well as getting into the Christmas spirit, our runners delivered terrific results.

High School Girls
Moeka Gaman – 1st
Gaby Chanen – 3rd

High School Boys
Iestyn Rusinow – 1st
Jan Krubner – 3rd

Middle School Girls
Harune Masuda – 2nd
Lily Piggott – 3rd

Middle School Boys
Endric Lotsch – 1st (and 2nd in all age groups)
Graham Abrams – 2nd
Jakub Trent – 3rd

After our Winter hiatus, the Cross Country programme will be starting up again at the end of February. New runners are welcome. If you’re interested, please contact Mr Piggott or Mrs Gibbons.

From the High School Counsellors

Dear UNIS Parents & Community,

Wishing everyone a relaxing break!

Acceptances and offers to universities are beginning to trickle in and we expect more in the coming days and weeks. We will keep you updated in January!

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!
University Acceptances as of December 12

McMaster University

University of Utrecht 2

United Kingdom:
King’s College London
Newcastle University 2
University of Bristol
University of Durham
University of Glasgow
University of Leeds
University of Manchester
University of York

United States:
Northeastern University


Grade 12 update

All students with a January 1, 2020 deadline should send out applications next week or as soon as they hear from their ED university (US only)

We require a minimum of two working weeks for processing applications. This means that if you send your application materials to a university- the counseling office will need two working weeks to send out documentation after they are sent out.

Netherlands – Deadlines are quickly approaching for some universities in the Netherlands. Students should be meeting/communicating with their counsellor. We are here to support you in the process

Counsellors: Franko Cifizzari & Brenda Manfredi

Grade 11 update

Students are working on a university research process related to the country or countries they are considering in the counselling classes.

Counsellors: Franko Cifizzari & Brenda Manfredi

Grade 10 update

  • Students are in the midst of the Course Request process for Grades 11 and 12- appointments have been scheduled. Please check with your child to see when they have been scheduled and please come if you are able.
  • Any student considering Oxbridge or medicine/vet degree in UK should see their counsellor.

Counsellors: Franko Cifizzari & Brenda Manfredi

Grade 9 update

Please keep your child’s counsellor updated if you are concerned about their emotional or academic progress.

Counsellor: Anwer Kamal



The ACT’s/SAT’s can only be taken by Grade 11 & 12 UNIS Hanoi students. Please see below for more information including testing dates for 2019-2020.

PSAT Results arrive in early December.

SAT – Important:
College Board has taken extra security measure in test taker fraud. If a student receives an email from the College Board to complete a survey or questionnaire, please do NOT ignore the email. It must be completed. Failure to do the survey would result in the student being removed from the test center roster and forbidden to take the exam that they have registered for.

Please note that this is a random selection process, and students do not need to panic if they do not get an email. We would like to remind students to check their junk inbox in case the College Board emails get delivered there by accident. Any questions, please see your counsellor!

International testing dates for the SAT are in October, December, March, and May. SAT Subject Tests will be available in October, November, December, May, and June. Students cannot sit the SAT and SAT Subject Tests on the same day. If you have any questions, please see your counsellor.

SAT test dates for 2019-2020 are:

SAT Test Dates

  • March 14, 2020
  • May 2, 2020
Registration Deadline Date

  • Feb 14, 2020
  • April 3, 2020

SAT Subject Test Dates:    

  • May 2, 2020
  • June 6, 2020
Registration Deadline Date

  • April 3, 2020
  • N/A

** Please note that language tests with the listening component can only be taken on the November date.

The College Board website is

ACT Test dates 2019-2020 are:

ACT Test Date:

  • April 4, 2020
  • June 13, 2020
Registration Deadline Date

  • February 28, 2020
  • May 8, 2020



Please check the calendars for the most up to date list of visitors.

Grade 10 Individuals and Societies classes are #StandUp4HumanRights

Grade 10 students have spent the past two months studying human rights and trying to gain a better understanding of each of the rights that are guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This week in class they had a mini Human Rights museum. Student groups researched a group that was vulnerable to human rights abuses, explored how we all could stand up for human rights. The presentations were in conjunction with the United Nations Human Rights Day on December 10. Topics included looking at child brides, the war in Syria, LGBTQ+ issues, gun violence, capital punishment and many more.