Week 6 Sept 21st-25th

Dear families,

It has been an eventful week in K1!

This week we saw the beginning of the swimming unit in PE. The children love being in the pool with Mr. Hamilton, our aquatics director, and his assistants. They come back to the classroom with big smiles and lots of laughter. Mr Hamilton feels pretty strongly that if the children are well enough to come to school then they are able to join in with swimming. Swimming will continue until October 23rd.

On Monday we celebrated the International Day of Peace together as a Discovery and K1 community. We all gathered together in our lovely Arts Building and enjoyed a story read by the D/K1 teachers – “I am Peace,” by Susan Verde. After, Ms. Kris led the group in some calming yoga. When we returned to our classroom we looked at our UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 (promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies) poster and did a color, symbol and image thinking routine. I then had the children draw what makes them feel peaceful. 

On Thursday we celebrated our Moon Festival. It was such a treat to see all of K1 in their beautiful ao dais! The students enjoyed sharing their ao dais with their friends and watching the performances through a livestream. Our 5th grade students surprised us when they showed up as the dragon. Nga wanted to join the 5th graders and help make the dragon dance but Benjamin, Téa and I waited in my office until he left. Not everyone loves the dragon!


  • Making pizza during our cooking time
  • Gathering as a D/K1 group for International Day of Peace celebrations
  • Watching the dragon dance during our Moon Festival 
  • Painting traditional bamboo masks to celebrate the Moon Festival 
  • Ms. Nitasha came and read an Elephant and Piggie story to us
  • Mr. Neal and K1C  invited us to play with a sound machine as they explore ‘echoes’


  • Thursday October 1 Learning Conferences – No school for Students
  • October 12-18 October Break
  • November 13 UN Day

Have a restful weekend. Please enjoy this weeks photos here.

Warm regards,

Ms. Hien and Ms. Jacqui

Week 5 September 14th-18th

Dear K1A Parents,

Our first unit of inquiry under the transdisciplinary theme ‘Who we are,‘ will have the children exploring the central idea that: ‘Children know they belong and have a sense of connection to others and the environment.‘ We continue to look for opportunities to open the K1 classrooms and give the children agency to move from one room to another and to play with and make connections with many different friends and teachers. The children have started asking when we can play in K1B and K1C which is wonderful to hear.

We look forward to celebrating the International Day of Peace and the Moon Festival next week.  On Thursday we will have a Moon Festival assembly at the school.  Please send your children to school wearing an Ao Dai on Thursday.  Does your family celebrate the Moon Festival or another Mid Autumn Festival?  Please let us know if you have any photos, stories, crafts, songs or other information to share.

Below is the email you should have received from Ms. Clare regarding swimming.

Dear Families,

Next week our swimming unit begins and will run for 4 weeks, finishing on 23rd October. This will take place in PE lessons for all lower Elementary classes (Discovery, K1, K2, and Grade 1)

 When your child has PE, please send them to school with a named swimming bag, inside a towel, goggles, swimming costume, and a cap if you have a child with long hair. Please make sure all these items are named. 

Please see the swimming blog for detailed information about our swimming program and expectations. 

If you need to order any swimwear from our school shop:

A list of products sold at the shop is found here. Please either email Phuong: shop@unishanoi.org for the items you would like.

 If you have any questions about our upcoming swimming unit, please feel free to email me.

 Kind Regards,

Ms Clare


  • Téa turned 5. Our first birthday in K1A!
  • We celebrated Dot day by making digital dots on our i-pads
  • We made books-we are authors!
  • We explored emotions using loose parts
  • Made a number line with our paper lanterns
  • Played a drawing game and used our white boards to draw pictures of ourselves
  • Made mango smoothies during our cooking time
  • Painted salt dough mooncakes
  • Ms. Nitasha visited and read a story


  • Next week is week B
  • Monday September 21 International Day of Peace-Please wear blue or white on Monday
  • Monday September 21 Swimming Starts
  • Thursday September 24 Moon Festival
  • Thursday October 1 Learning Conferences-No school for Students
  • October 12-18 October Break

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy our weekly pictures.

Warm Regards,

Ms Jacqui and Ms. Hien·


Week 4 September 7-11

Dear K1 Families, 

It has been another busy week in K1A! For the last few weeks the children have been showing interest in rainbows and our pond in the small playground. They have noticed all the tadpoles swimming in the water.  This week we did observational drawings of rainbows and experimented with making our own rainbow. The children were able to catch a few tadpoles and we are hoping to see them change into frogs.  Please make sure to check out our weekly photos here.

Highlights of the week:

  • We saw some beautiful smiles on Photo day!
  • Ms. Hien’s birthday!
  • We did an experiment, we used glitter to represent dirt and germs. This gave kids a chance to see how dirt and “germs” respond to soap.
  • Baking delicious apple cinnamon cupcakes in the ECC kitchen
  • Making and decorating mooncakes in preparation for the Moon Festival
  • K1A got moving doing the Dragon Dance in Vietnamese class
  • Using water, mirrors and the sun to make a dancing rainbow
  • Our second virtual assembly-Dot Day
  • Learning to use a new material called plastilina


  • Next Tuesday September 15th is International Dot Day! A day inspired by The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. Please encourage your child to wear dots to school on 
  • Please remember to bring a hat to school for our outdoor playtime. 
  • K1’s swimming unit will start September 21st. 

Upcoming Calendar Dates to make note of: 

  • September 24: Moon Festival 9:25am-everyone is encouraged to wear Ao Dais and traditional Vietnamese
  • September 25: Parent Coffee Morning with Admin
  • October 1: Parent Teacher Conferences

We hope you have a lovely weekend!

Warm regards, 

Ms. Jacqui and Ms. Hien

Week 3 August 31-September 4

Dear families,

It has been another eventful week in K1A! We have all settled into routines nicely and are deepening our relationships with each other and our spaces. We’ve been having lots of wonderful open classroom time and enjoying our morning snack outside with all of K1. It has been a delight to watch friendships blossom between the classes as we build a sense of community in K1. We will be saying “see you later” rather than good-bye to our friend Niko, who is returning to Japan to visit her grandmother.  We are already looking forward to welcoming her back to K1A. For those of you that are new to UNIS you will have received an email invite to sign up to your child’s Seesaw account. If you experience any trouble please contact Neal Clark our Technology and Innovation coach at wclark@unishanoi.org.

Highlights of the week:

  • Baking delicious passionfruit cookies in the ECC kitchen
  • Visiting the 10 new baby ducks in HS Science
  • Looking closely at rainbows
  • Exploring wire with rocks and sticks
  • The K1A maker space officially opened and what a success. We need your boxes and recyclables!


  • School picture day is Wednesday, September 9th.
  • Please remember to bring a hat to school for our outdoor playtime.
  • Our swim unit is fast approaching and you will be receiving more information from our aquatics director, Mr. Hamiliton

Have a lovely weekend together and enjoy our week of thinking and learning here.

Best regards,

Ms. Jacqui & Ms. Hien

Week of August 24th-28th

Dear K1 Parents,

We continue to have a lovely start to the K1 year.  It has been such a pleasure getting to know your children better this week.  The children seemed to feel very comfortable at school and enjoyed playing with each other.  The block, kitchen, water and playdough areas were particularly busy this week.  The children are learning to get themselves ready for snack, outdoor play and lunch.  Washing hands, wearing masks and getting hats and water bottles for outdoor play are all the students’ responsibilities and they have taken on these tasks very quickly.  We are also learning to greet each other with smiles and a pleasant “good morning” to start the day.

Please help your children prepare for the school day by ensuring they have hats, full water bottles, and two snacks each day.  Just a reminder that PE uniforms and sports shoes should be worn to school on Mondays and Fridays.


  • Playing with our friends in K1B and K1 C during open classroom time
  • Our first assembly on zoom and listening to the story “We don’t eat our Classmates”by Ryan T Higgins.
  • Our first evacuation drill-the ECC did the best out of the whole school!
  • Visiting our Vietnamese classrooms for the first time
  • Talking to Taisuke in Japan


  • No School- Wednesday September 2nd in celebration of Vietnamese National Day
  • Hats must be worn during outdoor play
  • Please send in or email family photos if you haven’t done so already
  • Fill out the K1A intake questionnaire here
  • September 1 ES New Parent Coffee 9am
  • September 21 International Day of Peace
  • September 24 Moon Festival 9:25am
  • October 1 Parent Teacher Conferences

Your child will have come home with a ribbon in their backpack. Please make sure to return it next week with a wish/hope for your child. (See slide)

Here are photos from our week together.  I hope you find some time to look at them together with your child. Have a wonderful weekend!

Our First Week in K1A

What a wonderful week we have had together at school!  Your children have shown bravery as they were risk takers coming back to school, resilience as they adapt to social distancing and masks and cooperation as they make new friends and get to know their classmates and teachers! 

SO awesome!  

Here are a few photos of our first week together. I would encourage you to look through the photos together with your child and see if they can tell you about all the fun we had this week!

Our first Unit of Inquiry is all about Who We Are.  Please remember to email a family photo for us to display in our classroom. We will be asking the children to share who lives at their house and tell us a little bit of information about them.

Articulation and Language screenings

UNIS’ speech-language pathologist, Brian Walker, will begin the start of year speech and language screenings next week. This is a very quick look at your child’s ability to say sounds clearly, describe some things with short sentences and follow some simple directions.   If you child has some challenges, Brian will reach out to you in a few weeks.  

If your child is in the distance learning or bridge program, Brian will screen your child when they return to campus.

If Brian worked with your child last year in K1, he/she will also be screened with therapy resuming by the end of September. 

~A gentle reminder to complete your K1 Intake google survey if you haven’t already done so. For those of you who requested a 1:1 call I promise to send you some times shortly. I am moving into my new apartment on Saturday and I am eager to finally stop living out of a suitcase!

On Thursday, August 27th we will be offering a Virtual Back to School Night. More details coming soon.

School lunch is free for D/K1 students but you must remember to preorder.

Today we would like to introduce our specialist and support teachers that your children will come into contact with over the year. 

Enjoy your weekend!

Love, Ms. Hien and Ms. Jacqui

Ms Kris – School Counselor 

Hello families! This is my third year at UNIS where I work with students, teachers and families in Discovery to Grade 3. I love coming into the classroom to teach lessons about feelings, getting along, calmness and solving problems. I am always here to help children and their families as they navigate growing up. I look forward to seeing all students in person or on Zoom throughout the year.


Ms Emma – Art ehamilton@unishanoi.org

Greetings. This is my 5th year here at UNIS where I teach art from Discovery to Grade 2. Ms. Trang is our art teaching assistant and your children will also meet her during art lessons.

Art is my passion both at school and at home, where I will often be found in my studio (well garage) creating and making. I am originally from the UK where I taught for several years before teaching in Malawi, Dubai and now Vietnam. The UNIS Early Year’s art curriculum is structured to deepen your child’s interest and passion for making and creating as well as develop their artistic skills and knowledge. I am very excited about the year ahead and am really looking forward to seeing the new and innovative creations I know your children will be making.

I am always available for any questions or queries and I look forward to reconnecting with my students from last year as well as meeting all the new students and families.

Ms Liz – Music ewolden@unishanoi.org

 I am originally from the United States and have worked in schools in Egypt, Myanmar, India, UAE and now am in my second year at UNIS working in the ECC. Music is a language that all children can access and enjoy and I look forward to singing, saying, moving and playing with your children this year! In my free time I enjoy playing the piano and spending time with my beautiful cat, Chipsy.


Ms. Dung- Vietnamese tkdung@unishanoi.org

Xin chào. My name is Dung and I come from Vietnam. UNIS has held a very special place in my heart as I have been teaching Vietnamese at UNIS for quite a long time. The Vietnamese program at ECC is designed to help students to explore different aspects of Vietnamese culture and to build up appreciation and respect for the host country culture and language.  In my free time I enjoy reading books and spending time with my family and friends.  I am very excited about the year ahead and I am looking forward to meeting all the new and returning students and families.


Ms Clare – PE calbertson@unishanoi.org

Kia Ora everyone! I am Clare Albertson and this is my 6th year teaching PE at UNIS Hanoi. I started my teaching career in my home country, New Zealand as a Kindergarten homeroom teacher, then moved to PE when I joined the International School of London before coming to UNIS. In my spare time I love exploring and hanging out with my 2 boys, reading, cooking and of course playing Sport! The ECC PE program is based around the philosophy of a Love for Movement. Myself and Mr Quang have a lot of exciting things in store for this year and we are really looking forward to moving through it together! Please reach out if you have any questions now, or throughout the year. 

Mr C – Information Technology Coach wclark@unishanoi.org

Hi everybody!  Big C here!!  I CANNOT WAIT to get this year started!  We have so many wonderful opportunities to create with technology at UNIS Hanoi! But maybe I should back up a bit…

My name is William Clark (also known as “Big C”).  This is my 2nd year as the ES Technology Coach at UNIS Hanoi, a role I truly love with all my heart!  I have been a technology coach for the last 8 years.  Prior to coming to Hanoi, I worked at an IB school in Dubai, GEMS World Academy.  Before becoming a technology coach, I was a Grade 5 teacher for 3 years and a Grade 4 teacher for 1 year.  I was also an English teacher  in South Korea for 3 years.

My passion is technology, more specifically…what can be created with technology.  Whether we are in the classroom or in our ES Makerspace, creativity with technology is certain at UNIS Hanoi and I feel so lucky and blessed to be a part of it all!


Ms Monica – Librarian eslibrarian@unishanoi.org

I am Monica Mayer and this is my third year at UNIS, Hanoi. I have been involved in Education for more than 30 years mainly in the fields of Literacy and Boys’ Education. I have worked previously in Australia, Indonesia and Singapore before coming to Vietnam.

In my spare time I love to go bushwalking along as many tracks as I can find, usually with my youngest son, Will who loves the outdoors as much as me. I also really enjoy yoga and of course exploring Vietnamese culture whenever I get a chance. I have two grown up sons – Michael and Will and my husband teaches Grade 4 at UNIS. 

At UNIS, I look after the Library and thoroughly enjoy our elementary students and families visiting and borrowing each week. The Library always seems to me to be the heart of any school and I welcome every family to come and visit us and browse our beautiful collection of books. There is always something for everyone!


Mr Brian – Speech and Language Teacher  bwalker@unishanoi.org

I am Brian Walker, and this is my second year at UNIS. I have been a speech-language pathologist for 25 years.  Vietnam is the fifth country I have lived and worked in outside of my home country of the United States. 

 I had a great summer traveling through Vietnam and gaining a greater appreciation for the Vietnamese people, their diverse culture and language.

Returning students will already know me from being in their classrooms and seeing me on the playground during recess.  I had fun seeing everyone back on campus this week!


A Busy Week

Dear All,

For students who will be returning to UNIS in the fall they had a wonderful morning exploring a K2 classroom and spending time learning about what K2 is like for next year. Our leaving students had a series of activities together with all of the leavers across the elementary school. Both groups were given the time and space to think about the transitions coming their way.

When we returned to our K1 A classroom Noah K asked, “Ms. Kris will you miss us after next Wednesday?” My answer was a resounding, “YES!” K1 A is a wonderful group of students who have shown resilience, kindness and togetherness throughout the year and in our five weeks together at the end. This is due to your wonderful children and the love and care that Ms. Charla gave to the students during her time in K1A. And of course a big thanks to Ms. Nhung who has supported the children through all of the changes this year. We are a class filled with gratitude.


  • Exploring with water and shaving cream
  • Learning about length through our names
  • Assembly on zoom and playing Kahoot with the entire elementary school.
  • Visiting K2 and finding out what life after K1 might be like.


  • Last day of school.  Next Wednesday at pick up at 12:00 – lunch will not be provided.
  • If you have any overdue library books please return them.

Here are some photos from the week, including some fine motor fun.  I hope you find some time over the weekend to enjoy with your child. This will be the final Friday blog post from K1A.

With kindest regards.

Ms. Kris and Ms. Nhung

Our Week

Dear Parents in K1A,

This week week has flown by and we have done a lot of learning and growing.

We dipped back into our “How the World Works” central idea this week as the class opened the JAFA store. This was complete with items handmade from play dough wrapped in bamboo to homemade money. They negotiated and worked as a team to create a splendid store.

We enjoyed Arts Week and creating alongside our distance learning friends and continued with some stand alone inquiries into water and clay. Working with clay is a good way to support fine motor development, a skill that supports writing and drawing.


  • The Grand Walk – celebrating our grade 12 students as they finish their schooling at UNIS
  • Opening the JAFA store in K1A
  • Singing, dancing and laughing
  • Creating art using line, empty space, shape and color
  • Crossing the midline and practicing hand clapping games
  • Discovering some consonant and vowel letter sounds
  • Practicing how to write our names with correct pencil grip and directionality


  • All library books are due back today May 29th
  • Next Friday is Moving Up Day where your child will visit K2 to see what they can see – individual teachers will not be assigned until August
  • Wednesday June 10th is the final day of school for students. The day finishes at 12:00. There will be no lunch on this day.

Show and Tell

Next week we will have a final week of show and tell. Please help your child choose 1 item to bring to school on their day. This is not mandatory.


Monday – Eunjae, Thomas, Anu

Tuesday – Faas, Mina, Ella

Wednesday – Noah K, Shao Ting, Mici

Thursday – Mayra, Fula, Nimo

Friday – Max and Noah T

We look forward to 8 more great days in K1A.

Please enjoy some photos from this week.

K1A Team

Settling In

Dear Families in K1A,

Seems funny to write that we are settling in, but it’s true. The children in K1A have done a great job this week of solidifying the new routines that we’ve established for the remainder of the year. With a few short weeks left until summer break they have rallied to the challenge of change. They have also done well with needing to spend hours inside as the heat index has risen.

This week we returned to our ‘How We Express Ourselves’ unit of inquiry. The children have created a story about a dragon called Sparky. This story will come to life in different ways next week in music and art class. Be on the look out for the original K1A story on Seesaw.

Highlights From The Week:

  • A short play on the small playground
  • Discovering tadpoles in the water and building on our knowledge of the life cycle of frogs
  • Painting our dragon head
  • Learning a few new songs: Fish Heads, There Was A Tree, Watermelon
  • Playing games to help develop our self regulation skills – see this article for more information
  • Laughing, playing and enjoying
  • Wellness Week – the PE Department has inspired us everyday


If you have chosen the school lunch option for your child please look through the menu with them as most of the children only want to eat the dessert and not the other options. We encourage healthy choices in K1 and are trying to help them eat balanced meals.

Enjoy some photos from our week here.

Enjoy a restful weekend.

Our Week Back on Campus!

Dear Families,

It’s been a busy week back in K1A. Your children have been resilient as they have adjusted to wearing masks, new routines, a changed classroom, not being able to mix with other classes  and having a new homeroom teacher. They have reconnected with friends and are fostering new friendships.

We have shared smiles (beneath the masks), stories, writing letters to our friends who are not here and a great deal of play. Please see some photos from the week here.

More highlights:

  • Resuming our specialist classes, Art, PE, Music and Vietnamese.
  • Pajama Day, Mr Josh coming in to read ‘My Dad’ and enjoying a cookie during our afternoon story session.
  • Designing our own viruses and monsters.
  • A zoom Assembly for friends far and near across our Elementary School.
  • Keeping track of how many books we have read using our read-o-meter.
  • Exploring new play spaces as we continue to remain separate from other classes

Thank you for sending in healthy snacks as the children are very hungry throughout the day. We are staying hydrated and washing hands often. Thank you for all of the practicing you have done at home.

As is to be expected many of the children are tired towards the end of the day. This is just a friendly reminder of the importance of getting your child to bed early. The recommended hours of sleep for a child aged 4 -5 is 10 – 11 hours of sleep. See this article for additional information.

We are looking forward to next week when the focus will be on Wellness supported with activities from the PE department.