Great Ways to Support your MS/HS Child in their Distance Learning

Structure their Day: 

  • In the evening  (lessons are posted after 3:00 pm for the following day) or when your child wakes up, check their Veracross calendar with them and make a to-do list. 
  • Set time limits for each class.
  • Plan breaks.
  • Calender their synchronous tutorials for English, Math, I & S, Science, and Foreign Language. 

Check-in with them:

  • If you work, take a break and video call and check on their progress.
  • Spend a few minutes in the evening discussing the next steps for bigger tasks.
  • Ask when their next meeting is with their homebase mentor.

Organize Study Buddies:

  • Get your child to invite a friend over to study together at the kitchen table.
  • Form study a group with regular hours. 
  • Be their study buddy, do some of your own work next to them while they work.

Get Help:

  • Watch teachers’ screencasts from their lesson plans. 
  • If your child is struggling or has a question encourage them to email the teacher or message them on their school Gmail chat.


  • Make sure they have healthy options for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
  • Give them opportunities to spend some time outside.
  • Encourage time for exercise.

Online resources from your library!


Did you know we have thousands of fabulous reference materials, current newspaper articles, periodicals, videos, and more available to families?

Check out the database listings HERE. Students know the usernames and passwords for access.


UNIS Hanoi library provides access to 25 digital online magazines for parents and students. Click HERE for information about how to register and access the magazines.

Happy reading.

Kate Hodgson
MSHS Teacher Librarian

Teachers Learn Ways to Design Concept-Based Curriculums

As part of plans to further develop concept-based curriculums to UNIS Hanoi, Middle and High School teachers spent their professional development time last week evaluating how students learn. 

In collaboration with Michelle Kuhn, a concept based curriculum specialist, teachers were asked to consider why they want students to know key facts or why students should be able to perfect a particular skill. According to experts of the concept-based curriculum approach, learning should be more than memorizing facts, figures and dates; learning should encompass big ideas. These ideas say experts, lead to ‘broader and cross-curricular’ learning. 

Throughout last week, workshops were held subject by subject, enabling subject teachers from Grade 6 to 10 a chance to review what each grade level delivers and how they could further align their units to ensure the student experience was seamless across the Middle Years Programme (MYP). IB Diploma teachers also met with Michelle and focussed on making sure topics taught in the IB Diploma aligned with the MYP while also being useful in real life scenarios.  

Learn more about concept based learning here:

Closing the Distance through Face-to-Face Contact

Making personal contact with students by scheduling conference calls has provided opportunities for engagement, feedback and personal connections this week. On Monday, the MSHS Grade level mentors set a goal to reach out to each one of their mentees this week. One teacher shared that her conference calls with her students have felt very special, “I got to tell them that I’m missing them at school and we had a chance to talk one-on-one like we don’t usually have time for”. A Grade 10 student during their video call told one mentor, “I love the online learning week because it’s fun using video to chat with my teachers–and I get to wake up later! I enjoy the challenge of working my schedule on my own”.

Some of the things that MSHS students are saying about distance learning :
  • “I think Distance Learning has been developed well.” – Grade 7 Student
  • “Being able to wake up later but still get work done.” – Grade 9 Student
  • “Freedom to make your own schedule throughout the day” – Grade 11 Student
  • “I can be flexible with the amount of time I spend on each assignment” – Grade 12
  • “The ability to manage our own time/do whatever work we want in any order.” – Grade 8
  • “Seeing the teachers even if I’m not in school.” – Grade 11 Student



Update from the Middle School and High School Counselling Departments

Counselling Services have continued during our Distance Learning time period in both the Middle and High School via digital communication (email, google chat and google hangouts). Counsellors have helped guide students this week who may be experiencing anxiety and confusion as well as continuing to support the ongoing university application process in Grade 12. The Counsellors remain committed to supporting our students throughout the Distance Learning time period. If parents feel that their child could benefit from a counselling session via one of the digital communication avenues, please contact your child’s school counsellor directly via email.

UPDATE – The March SAT has NOT been cancelled at this time – we will inform our community with any updates as we receive them from the College Board.

MS Parent Session – February 7

Chúc bạn luôn: Đong cho đầy hạnh phúc – Gói cho trọn lộc tài
Giữ cho mãi an khang – Thắt cho chặt phú quý!

Greetings and Happy New Year from UNIS Hanoi Middle School!

We are writing to invite you, as Middle School Parents, to our next Parent Session on Friday, February 7th at 9.00 in the Community Room of B7.  There will be two main topics during this session as well as a time for open forum questions.  

The first we will focus on “The adolescent brain.” The discussion will revolve around key changes that occur in the brain as students enter the pre-teen/ teen years of Middle School and practical strategies for how parents can navigate these changes. This section will be facilitated by our MS counsellors Ms. Sandra Flores and Mr. Anwer Kamal.

Following that, find out more about the MS Math Programme and our three-pronged approach that includes Skills, Conceptual Understandings, and Differentiation. Get a glimpse of what the second semester offers your student and how home support can deeply benefit achievement and understanding. Ms. Alexis Ramsey, MS Math Curriculum Lead, will be on hand to guide this discussion.

We look forward to seeing you there and, as always, thank you for your support – 

Marc, JJ and the MS Team

Semester 1 Progress Reports and ISA Testing

Hello from the “Middle”!

Semester 1 Progress Reports

We have completed the first semester of the 19/20 school year! You will be able to view a second report on the academic progress that your child is making here at UNIS Hanoi Middle School on Thursday January, 23rd.

The Semester 1 report will show progress criteria levels in each course. Criteria levels in MYP courses range from 1-8 and there are four criteria in each MYP course. These levels have been arrived at by multiple pieces of formative and summative assessment evidence and represent the progress made by your student during this first half of the 19/20 school year.

Comments are not a regular part of this semester 1 report. Students receive regular feedback in their classes including comments designed to help them improve performance on future assessments.

Parents can continue to view this “live” feedback in the UNIS Hanoi Middle School open Veracross Gradebooks. You will be able to see posted assessment calendars, view teacher feedback, track assignment completion, and see levels of achievement on completed assessments. Clarity on student progress and parent ability to assist their students are goals for the Middle School. If you have any comments, feedback, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher directly.

ISA Testing

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.
Thank you for your support –
Marc, JJ, and the MS Team

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 Middle School Team

Hello from the “Middle”! – 

We are so appreciative of our UNIS Hanoi Middle School students!

Looking back on the first part of this school year we can reflect on the many events that have led to their growth socially, academically, and physically.  We have dealt with deadlines, assessments, and relationships. We have seen empathy, grit, and friendship.  

We are all ready for a break! 

Sometimes holidays can be stressful.  Students, parents and families are out of their regular routines, friends aren’t close by, and we may be spending a lot of “quality time” with our teenagers.  

Whether you’re travelling or staying home in Hanoi we wanted to share these tips to keep in mind over the next few weeks.

  1. Pick your battles – It is a holiday!  Allow a little room for loosening the norm.
  2. Set clear expectations (though slightly adjusted) – These should include rules around screen time (phones/TV/video games) and bed times.  
  3. Read a book!  Holidays are made for reading.  Read to each other and talk about what you’re reading.  Students should not have homework from UNIS Hanoi classes over the break, but are highly encouraged to read every day.
  4. Enjoy the time together and with family.  They do grow up so quickly!

From all of us here at UNIS Hanoi Middle School, have a wonderful winter break!  

We look forward to seeing our middle school back in session in 2020!

Marc, JJ, and the MS Team

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