Grade 10 Sapa

Grade 10 had a wonderful trip to Sapa last week. There are three groups: Muong Hoa Valley Adventure, Camping Expedition, and Service, Art & Craft.

Muong Hoa Valley Adventure

19 students participated in the 2-day trekking option through the Muong Hoa Valley in Sapa on the Grade 10 Sapa Mountain Discovery expedition during Trip Week.  Students walked over 15km each day, carrying everything they needed for this time in their packs. The terrain was challenging, with many steep ascents and descents along the way. The hard work was well worth the effort, with spectacular views over the valley for most of the trekking. Observing the many rice terraces and the local people going about their daily business was also a great experience. Mr. Seo, our local Vietnamese guide, and Kym from the Learning Project were our tour guides over the 2 days in perfect weather, and we thank them for leading us and organising our accommodation in local homestays along the way. Students also had the opportunity at the end of each day to be involved in workshops run by locals in the art of making batik fabric and weaving. It was fantastic to see all of our students rise to the challenge of this trip, supporting each other when things became difficult, and making stronger friendships with one another as a result of our time away.

Camping Expedition

24 students participated in the Camping Expedition. We hiked about 15 kilometers to the campsite Utopia with heavy backpacks, which carries tents, pods, food, clothes, extra pairs of shoes, etc. The hike was challenging but the breathtaking view from the campsite was rewarding. We also cooked food and set up the tent by ourselves. In the evening, we sat around and campfire and chatted about everything. It was a lovely time!

Service, Art, and Craft

There were two Service groups on this year’s trip and they worked with two ethnic minority primary schools in Sapa area. One group repainted the front of a local school in the village of Sa Seng and the other ran an art and craft workshop with classes of students at Sin Chai School. Teachers were particularly impressed with the attitude and effort demonstrated by students in both service groups.

UNESCO World Heritage Field Trip

This week students taking the UNESCO World Heritage Course attended a field trip to one of the most accessible World Heritage sites to our campus – the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. Expert guide Linda Mazur accompanied the group who have been learning about the UNESCO criteria through case studies of sites located in Vietnam. One of the goals of the course is to think critically about how sustainable development practices are impacting UNESCO sites in Vietnam and around the world, and how we can help preserve places of universal value.

Here’s what students had to say about their visit:

“I overall enjoyed the field trip to the Citadel. The most interesting part for me was that Vietnam can remove some of the architecture on the site, for example, the French building that they want to remove. Another interesting thing I learned was that a World Heritage Sites can become a non-Heritage site if it becomes too damaged.” (Hari Jang, G9)

“What I found most interesting about the visit on Wednesday was the underground bunker where the army would go during the American war to communicate (kind of like a radio station) with all the other parts of the country. I thought that it was quite interesting to hear about how the French changed a lot of the Citadel. I think that it is crazy how they found so many pieces of art (sculpture) in such great condition!” (Eva Lecourtois-Lafleur, G10)

Grade 12 Artists Look Locally At Art

Friday 6 September the G12 Visual Arts students took some time off-campus to visit the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum and the Manzi Galley.

The focus of the National Fine Arts Museum was to examine works from Vietnamese artists To Ngoc Van and Tran Van Can. Both of these artists have been the topic of critical investigation for two G12 artists, Annie and Tuan Minh, and these students had the opportunity to discuss the history and significance with their classmates.

Students also visited both Manzi galleries. The current exhibition, In Situ, is an exhibition of 6 artists, which was interesting for G12 artists to consider as they begin to prepare for their G12 exhibition (March 2020).

Who made my clothes? – The Fashion Revolution

Who made my clothes? was the theme of a grade 9 design trip to the Vietnam Fashion Revolution Exhibition at the Vietnam Women’s Museum. The exhibition highlights the working conditions and resources utilized to produce clothing. Joining the global movement, this show is Vietnam’s contribution to Fashion Revolution Week. We were lucky enough to be welcomed by one of the country coordinators, who spoke with students about fast fashion and its greater implications on our world. 

This trip is a launch into Grade 9’s final unit of the year considering SDGs 8 & 12.

“Fashion Revolution Week is our #whomademyclothes campaign in April, which falls on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1138 people and injured many more on 24 April 2013. That is the day Fashion Revolution was born. During this week, brands and producers are encouraged to respond with the hashtag #imadeyourclothes and to demonstrate transparency in their supply chain.” –

Grade 9 Media class and Grade 11 DP Art also made the trip to the Vietnamese Women’s Museum to learn about Fashion Revolution. The art class explored the space and watched the films created by designers who care about the impact that the fashion industry has on our planet. The exhibition is on view until 28 April.