Guidelines for Formal Assessments

Dear High School Parents,

The High School has introduced guidelines to be followed whenever a formal assessment is given in class. All High School student were sent the email below.  Please read it and discuss it with your daughter/son.

If you’d like to learn more about why students are academically dishonest, you can read more here – and be sure to take the quiz at the end!

Email to students:

Dear HS students,

In an effort to provide clarity for both students and teachers, we have created guidelines to be followed when there is a “formal assessment” or a test in class. 

Much of the document comes from the IB, which follows very similar standards for IB exams which take place at the end of grade 12.

Please feel free to ask questions with your teachers, mentor, counsellor, and/or administration about this. It is important that HS students are clear about the rules surrounding academic dishonesty.  

Bottom line: if you are feeling stressed, falling behind, and/or under pressure due to grades & feel a temptation to cheat, speak to your teacher, mentor or counsellor. Don’t do it.

Scott Schaffner
High School Principal

Supporting the SDGs in Language Acquisition

During the grade 10 1st unit of Advanced French under the theme of “Media and Society”, we explored how “Social & Individual bias can be changed through the creative use of media”.

To do so, we learned how advertising campaigns are made, investigated persuasion and other language features that help us convey messages and convince people. The final product of this unit was a publicity campaign for a SDG of student’s choice.

The results were of excellent quality and deserve being shown.

Here are some of the students’ thoughts and works about the importance of doing this kind of project:

“…these type of projects are important to do in french class because while it helps us expand our french vocabulary it also informs us about real life current events that is happening in our generation. It helps us because these are real life problems and we will be able to discuss it in french”

“this is an important project because it is a fun way for us to learn about the SDGs, and raise awareness about them. We are able to apply our French skills to something that matters in the world around us so that we can make a difference”


And what they’ve learned:

“I was able to develop my skills and practice using language to persuade an audience. I carried out methods that we learned to create an advertisement and also describe one afterwards.”

“I learned new vocabulary words and sentence structures. I also learned about the general attitude toward my topic in the francophone world.”

“I learned about the SDG quality education. I inquired into how this SDG is relevant in francophone countries in Africa. I learned that many children around the world do not have access to a quality education, and I learned many factors as to why, especially in Africa. This project educated me a lot about education related issues, and it also helped me see how I can spread the word and make a difference.”

Parent Teacher Conferences – 22 and 23 November

Dear High School Parents,

Following up with the opening of the Veracross Gradebook recently, we will be holding Parent Teacher Conferences on 22 and 23 November.

This is a great opportunity for you as parents to meet with subject area teachers for a 10-minute session to discuss his/her progress in the subjects as well as to ask any questions about your child’s experience at school. Please note, students are requested to attend conferences because we believe it is important for students to be able to demonstrate their accomplishments and learning. With the exception of some grade 12 Higher Level IB classes, no students have classes on these days.

If you are unable to make it to school on these days, please feel free to email teachers directly to set up a day and time for you to meet with them should you so desire. In fact, parents are welcome to email teachers and/or to meet with teachers at any time to discuss a student’s learning progress.

Conference registration dates online through Veracross:

  • Conference registration and sign-ups opened on November 13 and is closing on November 18.
  • Instructions to register for conferences:  Online instructions including written and video instructions.  Please use this link .

Conference dates:

  • Conferences will be held on Thursday, 22 November and Friday, 23 November from 10:00 – 18:00.
  • Conferences with Principal and Deputy Principal: book via High School office 024 7300 4500 ext. 8500

Conferences with Counsellors: book via Counselling office 024 7300 4500 ext. 8513 or email directly to your child’s Counsellor as follow:

If you experience any difficulty booking conferences or need login information please contact the High School office on 024 7300 4500 ext. 8500.

Please enjoy your conferences!

Scott Schaffner
High School Principal

Get Your Curiosity Burning with The Flame

The Flame, UNIS Hanoi’s student-led High School student newspaper, has just published several new articles which can be read online at please bookmark this page!

In addition to the website, a new print edition has been delivered to student and teacher subscribers, with extra print copies available for the public placed in central high school student locations such as the library and the DP Lounge. The wider school community is encouraged to read The Flame online.

The mission of The Flame is to produce high-quality, relevant, and engaging journalism for high school students and the wider community. A dedicated group of student editors, writers and designers devote time outside of class to creating new content for the paper regularly, led this year by chief editors and Grade 12 students Annika Moore and Jina Park.

The Flame was started in 2012 as a student-led co-curricular activity. After operating for six years as an online-only newspaper, The Flame published its first print edition in June 2018 to complement the online website. The Flame will continue to regularly publish student-produced writing and multimedia content in print and online formats. Articles are added to The Flame website every 2-3 weeks, and the print edition will be published once during each academic quarter.

Scott Schaffner
High School Principal

Model United Nations For Change

The annual Security Council Conference is always a very anticipated event on the UNIS MUN March school calendar, and this year was no exception. Over 110 well prepared delegates from grades 8 -12 turned up smartly dressed in their formal best to hotly debate this year’s highly relevant issue, ‘Climate Change as a Threat to Our Society’.

Photo: Jacob Gee

We were very fortunate to have our High School Vice Principal, Glenda Baker, to open up the conference. She gave a very real example of how in Hanoi, we are the recipients of a polluted environment that daily impacts our health and longevity, and that we have an individual and collective responsibility to ensure that take positive action to reverse this devastating trend.

With this potent message in mind, all of the delegates passionately debated each of their arguments with the positive intention of ensuring that the future of our planet would be in safe hands. Each clause was debated individually to create a resolution by consensus within each group.

It was a very smoothly run event thanks to the hard work of the Admin team, our photographer Jacob, the wise and patient Chairs and the behind-the-scenes organisation of Ms. Giang in the Activities office. Our gratitude also to the Executive Committee who worked extremely hard to ensure that the evening would be a success. Many thanks for helping make this evening one to remember.

Sandra Schneiderman
Co-Director UNIS MUN



The conference was a culmination of hours of hard work and training, with delegates meeting every Thursday for 2 hours in order to familiarise themselves with the MUN format, and learn how to come up with practical and workable resolutions to debate in front of other delegates.

Some delegates were new to the MUN debate, and worked especially hard to seek advice, and assistance in writing the many policy statements, resolutions and opening speeches required to participate. Over the past two months, they had the opportunity to debate with more experienced delegates all in preparation for the October Simulation.

Delegates investigated the approaching “point of no return”, and were reminded, throughout the conference, of the serious necessity to make changes not only because of our responsibility in being a UN school, but also because of our position as young students who will experience the consequences of our inaction. Their research emphasised the need for our delegates to discuss these issues in order to be the future change makers of tomorrow.

For 3 hours, the conference rooms were filled with intense and passionate debate. Delegates fervently fought for their resolutions to be adopted by the rest of the council, discussed several solutions to an abrupt crisis, and furthered their understanding of international relations, diplomacy, and the formal workings of the UN. All the while, the Admin staff-  lead  by Giang Thu Pham, worked around the clock, passing notes, printing documents, and attending to the needs of each council.

“It was great seeing a bunch of 8th-12th graders talk about global topics in such a passionate way”, remarked Minh Quan Do, one of the student officers of the conference, “It truly is so gratifying to see our hard work pay off, and watch the delegates flourish as a result of meticulous planning.”

The atmosphere remained diplomatic and professional, true to the spirit of the UN, and the dedication of our delegates. After a long night, the conference concluded with the delegates receiving their well deserved certificates.A few special recognition superlative certificates were also given out for standout delegates.

It doesn’t end here however. The MUN Leadership team, and participating delegates are now set to prepare for another conference, UNISMUN XI , with over 350 delegates attending from schools in the local Hanoi community and the East-Asian Area. The skills  delegates have acquired during this conference will now be put towards preparation for this conference in March.

MUN Leadership Team 2018-19


Amani Parvathaneni and Bao Chau
Members of the MUN  Leadership team.

Hanoi Science Debate about Controversial Scientific Innovations

On 27 October, the Hanoi Science Debate 2018 took place. Four local schools and UNIS Hanoi participated in the event that consists of a jeopardy quiz and debates about controversial scientific innovations. During the jeopardy quiz, all participants were fully engaged and excited to quickly solve unfamiliar biology, physics, chemistry, and miscellaneous questions! We were proud to see the UNIS Hanoi team win first place for this quiz.

Then started the main event of the day: debates! Groups were informed of whether they are negative or affirmative on the spot, and so had to be able to quickly plan persuasive points to make. Both UNIS Hanoi teams (Team 1 and 2) tried their best, and had good results. The final standing was as follows: first place team was UNIS 1, second place team was Concordia 2, and two teams Concordia 1 and SIS 1 were at third place.

The Hanoi Science Debate Leadership Team (Jina Park, Yeon Su Park, Uyen Trinh, Gia Han Le, and Joonwon Choi) have put effort in preparing and successfully hosting the event.

Thank you to all who have helped to make this event a good one!

Jina Park

Luka’s Lessons

Recently, UNIS Hanoi warmly welcomed the wonderful Australian Slam Poet, Luka Lesson. Luka is a ‘conscious hip-hop artist’, who won the famous Australian Poetry Slam in 2011, and since then has been publishing poetry albums, and travelling around the world; not only performing, but actively working with and inspiring youth to express themselves through the power of poetry.

On 22 October, Luca introduced himself in the theatre to all of HS, and parents who wished to come, with a series of slam poems. He then throughout the week practiced poetry workshops with some of the HS English classes. The workshops consisted of fill in the blank stanzas based on different subjects per class. The use of the fill in the blank style allowed us to be creative in our poetry without the hassle of creating an entire poem from scratch. He then helped build the confidence of students by making them perform their poem, no matter how good or bad they perceived it to be. He first made everyone walk around the room, saying it to themselves, and then he’d put someone on the spot, and everyone presented splendidly!

On Friday, the last day of Luca’s UNIS stay – a poetry slam was held after school for anyone who wanted to perform their poems, whether it be a personal one, or the one created during workshops! It was a great crowd, with some powerful poems presented!

This inspired a new tradition of an Annual Poetry Slam. The next one will be held in a couple months and is open to any and all who wish to share a song, poem, or thought.

When Luka came to visit, his sense of the world and perspective motivated many passionate students to keep writing poetry. Luka’s open personality allowed for a positive and safe space for students to be creative and use their voice to express themselves through their writing. It was overall an incredible and cherished experience.

By Alicia Knight and Solene Shelly

High School Dives into Digital Citizenship

This past week the Grade 9 and 10 students have been diving into different topics regarding Digital Citizenship. The Grade 9 students are investigating online safety, privacy and security: learning how to secure their passwords, avoid malicious websites, and make responsible decisions in terms of what they post online. The Grade 10 students are looking at academic honesty, particularly with regards to the Personal Project. They are examining the topic of “Fair Use” and how to use both images and music responsibly.

This ‘deep dive’ will continue through next week, and again next spring semester. We have heard positive feedback so far, and look forward to refining it further for next time. If you are interested in learning more about Digital Citizenship or about the lessons that students are doing, take a look at the Digital Citizenship page of Tech Connect.

The High School Veracross Gradebook is now Open!!!

Dear High School Parents,

The High School at UNIS Hanoi values effective feedback and its impact on student growth toward learning goals. This school year, teachers have been documenting feedback for assignments and assessments on Veracross to give you the opportunity to observe your child’s progress. When you look at the Veracross Gradebook, please keep in mind that scores (or “grades”) are one indicator of learning, but teacher feedback and student self-assessment can be much richer sources of information. We encourage you to sit with you daughter and/or son to review the evidence of learning recorded in the Veracross Gradebook to date.

All High School students and parents now have access to the Veracross Gradebook. We will continue to keep this Gradebook open throughout the year so parents and students can monitor learning progress. Last year teacher-leaders, students, and parents collaboratively created a “why” statement about the Veracross Gradebook:

“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 feedback promotes student reflection of the learning process and the refocusing of learning goals.”

Please read the instructions on how to access your daughter and/or son’s evidence of learning to date here. You can also click on the link provided on the Parent Portal:

Should you have questions, please direct them as follows:

  • Questions about the academic content in a class should be directed to teachers. Please note that Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for November 22 and 23.
  • Questions about accessing Veracross or technical issues should be directed to our Head of Technology, Ed Gilbreath:
  • Any other questions about Veracross Gradebook should be sent to the HS office:

We appreciate your interest in your daughter and/or son’s educational growth. Have a great weekend!

Scott Schaffner
High School Principal

Parent Series: Applying the MYP

All grade 6 – 10 parents are invited to attend the Middle Years Programme (MYP) parent session- part 2 focusing on ‘Applying the MYP’. The session will begin at 8.30 in the Community Room (B7). Please register here
Applying the MYP is a hands-on workshop where parents will be engaged in activities to acquire a deeper understanding of how the MYP works in practice!
  1. How do students engage with assessment rubrics?
  2. Example of developing conceptual understanding.
  3. The explicit teaching of ATL skills
  4. Spend a short time in 2 different MYP classrooms then debrief what we see.

If you were unable to attend the part 1 session – ‘What is the MYP’ – which gives you basic understanding of the MYP concepts, please make sure to register for the next one coming up on January 22. The part 2 – Appyling the MYP will also be repeated on January 29.

What is the MYP (Jan 22) Is a lecture based talk designed to give you basic understanding of the MYP concepts and language surround our curriculum.

  1. What is conceptual learning / understanding?
  2. What is the purpose of the statement of inquiry and inquiry questions?
  3. What does learning in context mean? – (global contexts)
  4. Assessment in the MYP – How does criterion based assessment work?
  5. formative and summative assessment
  6. Approaches to Learning Skills (ATLs)
 Questions? Contact MYP Coordinator, Daniel Cooper: