Poetry and Hope

Grade 7 Language and Literature students have engaged in a Text Production where they have communicated their experiences in 2020 through either satire or a medium of their choice.
Grade 7 student, Oskar Vermiere, decided to write a poem that not captured the experiences of 2020 thus far, but to also offer hope and perspective:


By Oskar F. Vermeire

It was a world of waste and wonder

Of poverty and plenty.

The people came up with companies 

To trade across the land

But they got bigger than they ever planned

We noticed families stopped talking

That doesn’t mean they never spoke

And they threw away everything that broke.

And every day the skies grew thicker

Until you couldn’t see the stars

We filled the ocean with plastic

We polluted the world with no care

Until there was no world to spare

But then in 2020 when a new virus came

Everyone thought that the end was near

The media was demented

When it was time to give nobody seemed to care

While we all were locked up people

Our feelings were brushed off

And people started to notice

That it was also their fear

They remembered how to smile

They remembered how to laugh

And it seemed that people started to care

People started to say thank you

A lot more than before

And so when we found the cure

And were allowed to go outside

We all preferred the life we had found

Rather than the life we left behind

And I think to myself

Why did it take a virus to bring people back together?

Sometimes you need to get sick

To start feeling better.

From the Middle School Principal

Hello Middle School Parents, 

Thank you so very much for your support of our campus regulations and for continuing to remind your students about them.  In addition, please help us to help your Middle School student by reminding them to keep cool and drink plenty of water during these hot days of early summer.

There is so much happening both on campus and virtually!  Your students have done a great job getting back into the flow of face-to-face learning.  As you may know, all MYP courses at UNIS Hanoi are year long courses, this means that teachers consider evidence from Semester 1 and 2 when making judgments on end-of-year criterion grades.  At the end of the school year, each MYP subject determines students’ final criterion grades and these are then calculated into a final grade from 1-7 using the published MYP grade boundaries. Take a look at the grade boundaries and the additional information on our MYP site.

UNIS Hanoi Middle School Teachers recognise the challenges that were associated with distance learning and award criterion grades based on what students have done, and not on what they haven’t done. 

Mark your calendars for the upcoming G08 Middle School Virtual Promotion on June 5th at 1:30PM and the Middle School Virtual Leavers Premier on June 9th at 9:00AM.  Both of these events will “go live” at these times and be recorded for viewing!

Thank you for your support,

Marc, JJ and the MS Team




Virtual Spring Celebration Announcement

On behalf of the MYP musicians from our G6-10 Band, Choir and Orchestra programmes, we are excited to share with you the creative work they have been busy producing this quarter. Throughout the distance learning journey and beyond, the students have been busy both creating and interpreting  expressive compositions that we cannot wait to share via a Virtual Spring Celebration! Your music student will receive a google form over the next 24 hours that they will use to add their final video recordings to the playlist.

Our Virtual Spring Celebration will go live on June 3rd.

Stay tuned for more information in next week’s Tin Tuc announcement! 

Posted in MS

From the Middle School Principal

Hello Middle School!

We’re back on campus!  We can’t begin to tell you how fantastic it has been to see students back on our campus and in our classes this week.  Truly a great feeling to see them all again.  We’ve had excellent attendance with only 35 absences in MS today, 24 of which are outside of Hanoi.  For those students, our teachers will continue to work with them via our Distance Learning Program.  In addition, our students and teachers have been wonderful in dealing with the necessary government restrictions.  Distancing, masks, and frequent hand washing have all been accepted as the new norm.  Thank you for supporting these requirements with your messaging at home and use your MS student to help “guide” younger siblings as the Elementary School prepares to come back next week.

In order to get some “first week back” feedback, we have surveyed all MS and HS students, parents, and faculty.  We will be looking at the challenges reported as the data continues to come in and making adjustments as allowed.  Look to see any possible adjustments next week.  For now, we wanted to share some of the survey highlights about being back on campus.

Students said:

  • We’re back to school (yay!!) and it’s really good being back in class with the teachers and everyone on campus! Being back on campus also means that the lockdown is over, therefore makes me much less stressed about everything!
  • Seeing other human beings
  • About being able to socialize with teachers and catching up with work ( keeping distance) and also meeting most of my friends ( also keeping distance)
  • The best part of being back to campus is I can meet my friends, teachers and I can easily get help from my teachers when I need more than staying at home
  • The best part of being on campus this week is to meet my friends after 3 months and also the chance to get stuff done at school rather than have homework.
  • The best part is being able to socialize with our friends on a regular basis, even if some forms of social interactions have been restricted. Furthermore, something else that is good is that we are given the opportunity to converse more with our teachers about problems and issues that we are having.
  • The fact that I am AT school

Faculty said: 

  • Seeing students, I prefer teaching face-face rather than on online, seeing colleagues, less screen time
  • Having the students back in the classroom. Being able to engage with them in person and begin to rebuild lost relationships
  • Interaction with students, a feeling of normality.
  • celebrating the successes of students and welcoming them back. Also seeing some students that were less engaged in distance learning being really engaged in class.

Parents said:

  • Back to a structured daily routine and social interaction.
  • Reconnecting with peers and teachers, reassuring he is on top of things. Being an assigned buddy to new students made him proud.
  • I no longer have to monitor his daily life from time to time and he can go to school having face to face learning
  • My daughter was excited to come back to speak with her friends. – the conference interface was great and provided as rich discussions as face to face meetings which let her know what she needed to focus on before coming back to campus.
  • That they are back to a regular schedule, and that they are socializing

Again, thanks to those that have submitted and if you haven’t already please take a moment to complete the survey that was emailed to you.  Your feedback is important!

Providing feedback through the School Community Organization is one way to be a positive and involved part of our school.  We want to thank the members of the Middle School SCO for meeting this past week to discuss how we reconnect and finish this year well with an eye on the 2020-21 school year.

One topic of conversation with the SCO was the transition process to a Secondary School model and the incoming Secondary School Principal, Jeff Leppard, as well as the two incoming Deputy Principals. Our entire MS and HS leadership team at UNIS Hanoi has had multiple meetings with the incoming Secondary School leadership team about a wide variety of topics. Principals, Deputy Principals, the Head of School, the Director of Finance and Operations, the Director of Enrollment Management and Marketing, and the Director of Activities have all met with the incoming leadership team. Additionally, both Scott Schaffner (the High School Principal) and I have met with Jeff Leppard – both together and independently – and will continue to do so through the end of the year. We are extremely pleased with the way these conversations have gone, and believe that the Secondary School will have a positive start to next year and beyond.

Thank you for your ongoing support of UNIS Hanoi Middle School!

Marc, JJ and the MS Team

Posted in MS

EAL Students Write Poetry in English

Students who come from homes where the opportunity to speak English throughout the day is limited, have compiled a beautiful collection of poetry – both in English and their mother-tongue!

The collection, named Shelter in Place, was produced during the past twelve weeks of Distance Learning as part of their poetry unit. Some of the students who produced the work speak English as their third language!

They are very proud of their poetry. So are we!

To view all the pieces, please click here.

Grade 6 Students Invent Live-Action Systems Games

A group of Grade 6 SDG Guardians and Service Leaders have become inventors! During Distance Learning, they came together to play-test and prepare a virtual version of live-action systems thinking games to share with other students so they can learn about systems around us. The “Triangles Game” is a fun and interactive game that students played earlier in the year. They used the game to visualize complex systems and learn how to look for things such as delays, important causal relationships, and places to intervene within a system. 

These students also worked on a game that was totally new to them called “Living Loops”. In a 30-minute session, they play-tested the game and modified the “mechanics” for playing – then they came up with possible topics to use for playing the game for different age groups including sharing toys, stress, and economics! 

Middle School Science Teacher and SDG Guardian, Kate Dore, expressed her pride for the students. She said, “These kids are absolute champs! This is some pretty sophisticated systems thinking and analysis. It’s very cool that they are using their expertise and knowledge to develop resources for other youth!” 

Their work has been shared with UNIS Hanoi teachers, and they have already received positive responses back. In one of the messages back to students, Grade 5 Teacher, Nathan Smith, applauded their keen thinking skills: “I’ve played the triangle game, so I get how cool it is that you created a virtual way to explore the concept. Your exploration seems like the kind of critical thinking and programming that might allow us to someday create a cure for COVID19. Great work! The stuff of legends.” 

How to play

The Virtual Triangle Game

When playing this as a live-action game, everyone stands in a circle, chooses two people secretly, then when the game starts they try to make an equilateral triangle with themselves and the two people they chose. This creates a dynamic living system that is always moving, and that can be used to understand all types of natural systems from food webs to stress and student life. For the virtual game, we used a digital platform called JAMBOARD so we could visualize movement and relationships within a system both from within the system and from an “overview” perspective. 

The Living Loops Game

This is a fun game for understanding feedback loops within systems. By playing this game, students can see how information flows through a system and how relationships between individual parts of the system influence its sustainability.

From the Middle School Principal

Hello Middle School Parents,

Just a quick note for a short week. Thank you all that participated in this year’s Parent Student Teacher Conferences from a distance!  We’ve had fantastic participation and feedback from parents, students and teachers about how smoothly these meetings went.  Really great celebrations of learning, positive discussions around Distance Learning, and supportive goal-setting here in Quarter 4. Please know that we are here to support you and your students, and while conferences wrap up tomorrow, you can reach out at any time to set virtual appointments.  

Enjoy the Vietnamese Victory Day and International Labor Day Holidays!

Thank you for your support,

Marc, JJ and the MS Team

Posted in MS

Re-Opening Expectations for Students

Hello Students and Parents,

As we look forward to potentially reopening campus soon, we want to remind everyone of some of the expectations for coming onto campus.  Here is a helpful infographic and a quick video to draw your attention to the main points.  The faculty and staff can’t wait to have you back on campus.  Hope to see you soon!

Posted in MS

G7 Invites Parents to Online Self Expression Exhibit

Throughout Quarter 3 of Distance Learning Grade 7 Language and Literature students have explored the following four literary contexts:

  • Cultural 
  • Social
  • Historical
  • Ideological.

In addition to analyzing these four literary contexts in literature, students have explored how these contexts influence their personal lives and shape their sense of identity. 

All Grade 7’s have taken risks and explored various text types with the support of mentor texts to inspire and guide their process. 

Folio pieces are diverse and have provided the Grade 7’s with an opportunity to focus on developing as writers and visual communicators, and to practice using a variety of new literary devices.

Please click on this link to access the Grade 7 Self-expression Folios.

On the opening page for each class, you will see a Padlet linked in. Grade 7’s would love to hear your comments and answer any questions you may have about their work. 

Please take your time to enjoy and appreciate their folio pieces.

Spanish Classes Connect with Chula

In the Unit Image and Identity for the Spanish Intermediate Low – Phase 2 class, the students analyze and reflect on the Global Context of Identity and Relationships focusing on how the clothes we choose to wear represent our identity. This connects to the key and related concept of communication and message as students explore how we express, or communicate, our identity through the messages we send. One way we send messages of identity is through the clothes we wear.

In the learning journey, Diego Cortizas and Laura Fontan from Chula fashion, played an important role. They opened the doors of their studio and shop so we could interview them before the lockdown. In the interview, they explained how Chula designs the clothing and how they portray the identity of different cultures and countries through different fabrics, colors, patterns and elements in the clothes. The interview was conducted in Spanish. The students were not just exposed to the language as a vehicle of understanding the message of Diego, they also learned how a professional designer thinks and works to design the clothes making real-world connections to the vocabulary students learned in the unit as well as strong connections to the global context and key and related concepts.

The students really enjoyed the activity related to the interview. The interview helped them see that fashion designers create clothing to communicate a message of identity, and in Chula’s case, to express the intersection of different cultures inspired by the relationships encountered when living abroad. It was very useful for them in the final assignment of the unit. As a final task, the students designed a T-shirt and did an oral presentation describing the design like the colors, the fabric, size, style, etc. They also described the elements of identity that represent them included in the design presenting the message communicated by their own clothes.


We are very thankful for the kindness and collaboration of CHULA as a part of the UNIS community in the learning process of our Spanish students.


Alvaro Graña & Aitor Rey