From the MS Counsellors…

Your MS Counsellors, Paula Wilcox, Kirk Jackson and Susan Renaud would like to say “goodbye”!

Kirk is heading back to the UK to continue his counselling career and Paula will remain in Hanoi but will dedicate her time to her new baby girl. Paula and Kirk have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the fantastic UNIS community these past two years and have been so grateful for the opportunity to support UNIS families and be a part of a wonderful team of dedicated professionals. Susan Renaud has been with us for a little while, but her impact on the MS has been immense. She is heading to Bangkok and has loved her short but valuable experience with our UNIS community.

Middle School Celebrations

Grade 8 Parents!

Please join us on Friday, June 7th at 1:30PM in the Center for the Arts for Grade 8 Promotion. The Grade 8 Promotion Ceremony is a celebration of the transition of UNIS Hanoi students from the Middle School to the High School. Parents are invited to witness this important moment in their child’s lives. Those relatives that cannot make it to campus on that day may watch the event via live stream.

Congratulations to students and parents!

Posted in MS

Middle School Teachers Leaving in 2019

Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. – Kofi Annan

This is the time of year when our entire community is in transition.  Members of our school community are either leaving, entering a new place, or being left behind. Transition impacts us all.  

Many of our teachers are also in transition.  We are grateful to the following educators who have put their hearts and souls into creating exceptional learning experiences for our students, and have contributed to our school values of Learning, Community and Responsibility.  

  • Donna Bracewell (10 years of service) – Moving to Kenya
  • Maurice Humphries (7 years of service) – Taking a sabbatical year
  • Paul Swanson (6 years of service) – Moving to Singapore
  • Medeha Zahid (6 years of service) – Moving to Lebanon
  • Lori Key (5 years of service) – Moving to Korea
  • Deborah Wells-Clinton (5 years of service)- Moving to Hanoi International School
  • Heidi Pullen (4 years of service) – Moving to Singapore
  • Joan Hargrave (3 years of service) – RETIRING after 42 years in education! Moving to Malaysia
  • Kirk Jackson (2 years of service) – Moving to UK
  • Paula Wilcox (2 years of service) – Going to be a full-time mother
  • Nicholas Valldejuli (1 year of service) – Moving to Czech Republic
  • Milene Magre (1 year of service)- Moving to UNIS Hanoi Elementary School French
  • Susan Renaud (6 months of service)- Moving to Thailand

These teachers have all been part of the fabric of our Middle School.  They have contributed to the incredible educational process with your students and for that, we are forever grateful.  Please make sure to join me and the other “stayers” in wishing them well as they move on to new adventures in life.




Posted in MS

Knowing More Than Your Teen: Healthy Choices


Middle School counsellors invite you to the last in our series of ‘Parenting Talks’:

What do you know about smoking, vaping, cannabis and the options on the street here in Hanoi? Come and hear and share in the research and ideas for talking to your teen about what they know and think.

“Adolescents Pushing Boundaries & Making Decisions Without Thinking About Consequences”
When: Friday, May 31 @ 8:00 – 9:00 am
Where: Community Room B7 104

As a community we strive to work in partnership with families for the most effective learning in both academic and social/emotional areas. Teen years can be challenging for students and parents alike.

In the classroom and through School programmes, our counsellors and PE team discuss healthy choices and peer pressure. We also have a bi-annual programme with Freedom from Chemical Dependency which we are hoping to extend next year. But this is an issue which extends beyond School and we would appreciate the opportunity to discuss strategies and information that will be helpful for all families.

Pushing boundaries, doing new and exciting (and possibly dangerous) things. This is adolescence and a part of your child’s efforts to assert their not-quite-adult independence. Since your teen is not always as good as they think they are at making decisions about things that have real consequences, their willingness to take risks and make impulsive choices is concerning for the adults in their world.

Whether accessing parents’ beverage cupboards, purchasing vape devices or experimenting with cannabis edibles, sound, mature judgement is rarely involved. Given the local availability, illegality and long lasting negative health aspect of vaping, cannabis and excessive alcohol consumption for teens and their developing brains and lungs, conversations with your adolescent are extremely important.  Popular now among adolescents are vape devices (aka – E-cigarettes) with reports indicating that 2.1 million middle and high school students have been users. ( The draw is that they are compact (easily appearing to be a pen or a flash drive, so easy to hide) and come in a wide variety of ‘appealing’ flavors.  These flavors easily mask the reality that vape pens are nicotine delivery devices at much higher levels than cigarettes, including carcinogenic compounds.  The marketing of vape devices is very effective at leading adolescents to believe that they cause not harm, and because of the sleek designs they are a ‘must have’ for teens who enjoy being on the cutting edge of new trends.

Effective conversations with teenagers can be hard work… but it is essential and in this last of our ‘Parenting Talks’ we hope to give you some strategies on framing the conversations and some resources to help guide your discussions.

We hope the resources below will be a helpful start and we will be sharing more at Friday’s coffee morning. It is always useful for our planning if you can let us know if you plan to attend: RSVP form

Articles that might help:  ChildMind Institute

  “How to Talk to Your Teen About Substance Use”

  “Teen Vaping: What You Need to Know”


Art Collaboration between Hanoi and New York City

Sharing artwork creates a dialogue about who you are and where you are from: An Art Collaboration between Hanoi and New York City

Early this school year Grade 8 artists created small Artist Trading Cards that were inspired by our city, Hanoi. These cards were used to inspire larger compositions and were sent to Grade 8 students at UNIS New York. In exchange, grade 8 artists in New York sent us mixed media linoleum print portraits. Grade 8 students on both sides of the world enjoyed considering the media and composition and reading what the artist wrote about the art piece.  Some students have become art pen pals via email correspondence.

Students are now working on an artwork in response to the artwork received. Here are some pictures of our UNIS Hanoi students creating art in response to the UNIS New York art. Students are working with a variety of media from painting, printing to ceramic tiles.

And some work in progress from New York:

Science Olympiad

The Group 4 Project is a collaborative science event that took place on the afternoon of Mon 13 and on Tue 14 May. Grade 11 students will worked together to host a Science Olympiad for students in Grade 6.

The concept of the Science Olympiad was spawned as a means of fulfilling both the requirements of the IB Diploma programme and enthusing our middles schoolers with a thirst and passion for science. The primary objective for all involved is FUN!

The Grade 11 diploma students spent about a day preparing for the 2 hour event, scouring their minds for creative ways to convey scientific concepts to their younger peers. The Olympiad itself consists of a series of unique events that Grade 6 students circulate on a mission to gain house points and all the while developing their curiosity and fascination of science. For Grade 6, the event culminates in raucous cheers as the winners are announced. For the Grade 11s, they reflect upon the event – whilst they all agree the experience was indeed fun, they also concur they are utterly exhausted and that “teaching is hard work”!

“As a student taking two science courses, it was a very collaborative and meaningful experience working with students with having different capability. Not only this group 4 project helped me to understand ‘international’ aspect of the IB curriculum, it also helped me to learn and explore a subject in many different aspects.”Hyo Rim
” Group 4 project was a unique project where we could design our own experiments and carry them out. I was able to create an experiment that investigates the chemistry behind creating ice cream in a bag. Group 4 project was not only a chance to pursue a fun, innovative science experiment that I desired but also to work together with different students and find a common interest.”  – Da Yu


Join us for a day full of exciting activities! Come connect, share ideas and learn how Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math come together to form STEAM!!

Who: UNIS Ha Noi MSHS students, staff and families

What: Showcase of STEAM-related work and ideas to celebrate and share

Activities include:

  • 9.00 – 9.30 Opening talk with local STEAM entrepreneur guest speakers
  • 9:30 – 12.00 Variety of STEAM demonstrations and challenges run at booths by MSHS students and staff (Picnic lunch provided)
  • 12.00 – 13.00 Underwater robot obstacle course challenge in pool; Prize raffles and closing slideshow

Where: UNIS Hanoi (B8B & pool)

When: 18 May, 9 AM – 1 PM

Cost: 100k entrance fee for lunch and activities

RSVP: Formal invite will be sent out by 12 Apr, RSVP by 26 Apr

What if I want to present an activity at a booth? Students and staff interested in presenting at STEAMfest should fill out this form.

Questions, comments, or concerns? Email

Posted in MS

Welcome to High School Info Night for Grade 8 Parents

This is an information night for Grade 8 parents of students entering High School next year at UNIS Hanoi. We know that the transition from Middle to High can be both daunting and exciting for parents and students. Knowing more about some of the anticipated changes between Grade 8 and 9 can be helpful. This will be an opportunity for parents to meet the High School Admin team and learn more about High School courses, and information specific to Grade 9s.

When: Monday 27 May, 18:00 – 19:00
Location: B8b, Room 116

On the night you will get to meet:

HS Principal (Scott Schaffner) and HS Deputy Principal (Glenda Baker)

MYP Coordinator (Daniel Copper) and DP Coordinator (Elliott Cannell)

HS Counsellor (Brenda Manfredi) and Grade 9 Grade Level Leader (Lily Lui)

Posted in MS

Middle School Open Classrooms

Dear Middle School Parents,

We are excited to remind you about Middle School Open Classrooms on Wednesday (May 15 from 8:00 – 12:30) and Thursday (May 16 from 1:10 – 3:25).

We have made some adjustments based on parent feedback to our fall invitation, so please follow the instructions below in order to make the most of your visit to campus.

First, talking with your student, form a visit plan. Maybe you want to come for a couple of classes in the morning or the following afternoon. Maybe you have a specific class that you want to engage in, or you want to see a few classes over the two days. The invitation is open for you to decide.

Then all you need to do is attend on Wednesday and/or Thursday! Middle School students start at 8:10 AM in their HomeBase and you are welcome to be part of that to begin your Wednesday visit. Connect with your child during the visit as they can help to guide you around campus.

We will also be offering a chance for MS parents to enjoy a break and connect with each other, counsellors and administrators.

Thank you for planning to attend! Please let us know if you have any questions.

Marc, JJ & The MS Team

Semester 2 MSHS Arts Exhibition

Quench your imagination at the Semester 2 MSHS Arts Exhibition in the Centre for the Arts Foyer from 6-17 May.

Grade 6 worked on sewing skills and soft sculptures of food inspired by the artists, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, who have turned everyday objects as public art. As a start, students learned and practiced a few different sewing techniques while making their own draw-string bag. Students have decorated it with different kinds of stitches and sewing on of buttons. Students have made soft sculptures of food, the first one to be given to the babies in the local orphanages. Students learned briefly about the significance of physical touch to the babies. The soft sculptures are our ways of somehow giving them comfort and physical touch they need.

Grade 7 investigated portraiture through the lens of personal identity.  Researching the works of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and African American artist Kehinde Wiley, students created two self portraits. One line continuous contour self portraits were created using the ProCreate app on iPad and then vectored in Adobe Illustrator for laser cutting. Pencil drawn portraits appropriated poses based on historical artworks. Both of these challenging tasks asked students to explore their personal identity and in turn learn more about the world around them.

Grade 8 artists have been focusing on a subject we can all agree on: food. In this exhibition, we collaborated with Donkey Bakery, using their donuts as live models for our introduction to ceramic sculpture. Artists then went on to design and sculpt a food-themed sculpture and created this sculpture in three forms: ceramic sculpture, miniature felt sculpture and as a felt painting. Also on display from Grade 8 artists are some collaborative digital paintings. Students spent time creating a collaborative drawing (working on one drawing together with a partner) and then individually digitally edited the drawing. When viewing these images see if you can recognise the location of the subject matter.

Grade 9 artist created vibrant still life painting utilising objects of personal significance in a domestic settings.

Grade 10 artists were asked to create an artwork that captures a sense of place. They created a painting of Hanoi in response to a field trip to the old quarter.