Middle School Back to School Night

We very much look forward to seeing you for Back to School Night this Tuesday evening, 27 August, from 18:00 – 20:30.

This evening will provide an opportunity for you to run through your student’s schedule, to meet their teachers, and to find out more about each of their classes.

As we continue to work towards our goal of sustainability, we ask that you find your child’s schedule on Veracross and use that to guide you on Back to School Night. We will not be printing schedules for all students. Below are the documents that will help to guide you through this process:

  • How to View My Child(ren)’s Schedule on Veracross
  • How to Save Veracross to My Mobile Phone
  • The schedule for Back to School Night (8 min/class with 5 min passing times).

The evening will begin in your student’s HomeBase room and the flow of classes will be a Day 1 and 2, classes A-J.

Please note if there is a an Academic Prep or Counselling lesson on your student’s schedule any of these blocks, please attend the class associated with it. (i.e. If on Day 1 Block B the schedule says go to Counselling, and students have Design Block B, then go to Design.  You can find the locations and room numbers on your student’s schedule.)

Also, MS Physical and Health Education (PHE) teachers will be in Health Rooms (upstairs in the Sports Centre – B4):

  • Mr. Gibbons B4-101,
  • Mrs. Thompson in B4-102
  • Mr. Ostrom B4-104

Your students have also been given the plan for Back to School Night and are being encouraged to talk about their class schedule with you for clarity. During HomeBase this week, students will have time to ask their mentors any questions they may have regarding the Back-to-School Night schedule.

Lastly, there will be tech help desks set up from 17:30 onwards on Tuesday night to help you with all of your tech concerns (calendar, passwords, Haiku, Veracross, etc).

Thank you for working with us towards advancing our school’s commitment to the use of Veracross to improve home-school communication.

We are excited to have you on campus next Tuesday evening, 27 August.

Thanks for your support,

The MS Staff, JJ and Marc

Meet our new Middle School Teachers

MS Counsellor: Mohommad Anwer Kamal

Anwer is from India and was previously working as a Middle School Counsellor in China. Prior to working in China, Anwer worked at Woodstock International School in India. He has his Master’s in School Counselling from Colorado, USA, and also has a Master’s in Social Work and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Delhi, India. Anwer’s wife, Shannon, is working at UNIS Hanoi in Elementary PE.

MS MYP English: Laura England

Laura has been teaching Language and Literature and Digital Design over the past 8 years at GSLC in Darwin, Australia. Her experience includes working as MYP Coordinator, Projects Coordinator and Head of Arts, Design, and Language Acquisition. She has co-authored the Hodder Education Skills for Success MYP Personal and Community Project books. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts, a Graduate Diploma of Education, and has commenced a Master of Education focusing on literacy and language development. Laura is from New Zealand.

MS MYP Individuals and Societies: Fady Tabbara

Fady is Canadian of Lebanese descent. Before teaching, he worked in television and radio in Toronto as a writer and producer. He has been teaching in international schools for 18 years and has worked in South Korea, Bangladesh, and Ghana. He started his teaching career in Elementary School and moved to Middle School Humanities in 2008. Fady has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a diploma in Radio and Television Broadcasting, and a Master’s in Education. 

MS MYP Math/Science: Barbara Neocleous

Barbara comes from Cyprus and has been living abroad for the last 20 years. She has been teaching Physics, Maths and Science since 2007 and has had roles as Head of Science and CAS Coordinator. Barbara has worked in The Netherlands, India, England and for the last five years, in Basel, Switzerland, where she taught Physics and Wellbeing. She has a BSc in Physics and an MSc in Mathematics & Science Education. Barbara’s partner is Harry (ES Teacher).

MS/HS Counsellor: Sandra Flores

Sandra has been teaching and counseling for 10 years in the United States, Myanmar, and Japan. Sandra is originally from the border region between the United States and Mexico: El Paso, Texas. Before going into school counselling, Sandra taught English Language Arts and advisory where her interest in counselling stemmed from. Before arriving in Vietnam, Sandra worked as a whole school counsellor for grades K-8 at Tokyo International School. Sandra has a Masters of Arts in Teaching and a Counselling Certification. She joins UNIS Hanoi with her husband Jonathan (MS/HS Tech Coach).

MS/HS Technology & Innovation Coach: Jonathan Ray Gomez

Jon’s life has centered around education in a variety of ways over the past nine years. Formally an English teacher from the USA, Jon has spent the preceding five years honing his areas of expertise and experience as a Design Teacher and Technology Coach. He most recently resumed said roles at Seisen International School. Jon has a Bachelor’s in English, and a Master’s in Instructional Technologies. He joins UNIS Hanoi with his wife Sandra (MS/HS Counsellor).

MS Science and Language A: Lianne Lapalme

Lianne is a Canadian who has been teaching internationally for the last 14 years. She has taught in South Korea, Guatemala, Egypt, and the U.A.E. Most recently, she was the Head of the Middle School Science Department at Dubai American Academy. She has a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Education. She is  accompanied by her husband, Joseph Christie (HS Science Teacher) and their daughter.

Librarian/Media Specialist: Catherine Hodgson

Originally from Australia, Kate has over 30 years experience in classroom teaching and school libraries. Prior to coming to UNIS Hanoi, she worked at Jakarta Intercultural School, Indonesia, (20 years) and Seoul International School, South Korea (2 years) as well as several schools in Australia. Her husband Murray is currently in administration for a mining corporation in Indonesia. Australia is her homeland where her two grown sons, lovely daughter-in-law and gorgeous grand-daughter now  reside.

Director of Enrolment and Marketing Management: Teri K. Ostrom 

T.K. began her career in the corporate industries advancing the mission and helping these organisations understand customer service including telling a story about their vision. Since leaving the corporate sector, she has spent 15 years in Admission/Advancement with schools in the United States, China, and Guatemala. She has also provided her expertise as a consultant with international schools throughout the world. T.K. has a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation and is from the United States.

D-12 Speech and Language Pathologist: Brian Walker

Brian has been a speech-language pathologist, providing therapy to children and adults, for more than 20 years.  Before becoming a SLP, he taught English in Papua New Guinea and China.  Most recently, Brian was the SLP at the American School in Japan. He has spent the last year traveling and working in Europe.  Brian and his wife are originally from the United States. 

School Health Centre Coordinator: Joanne Connolly (Jo)

Jo has been working as a Registered Nurse for 14 years in New Zealand and Australia and for the past 4 years as part of the clinical education team within the private healthcare sector in Australia. Jo has a Bachelor’s Degree of Nursing from New Zealand. During the 90’s Jo was an expat child in Hanoi for 7 years, which is where her passion for nursing was born. Jo has 2 children. Jo and her husband are originally from New Zealand.

Athletic Trainer: Marc Voicechovski

Marc is a Certified Athletic Trainer, dealing with the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. Previously, Marc worked at the Delbarton School for 8 years and also worked for a physical therapy clinic, while serving as the Head Athletic Trainer for Mamaroneck High School. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training and a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Sciences. Marc, and his wife Cydny, are from New Jersey, USA.

Meet Our New Middle School Counsellor

Hello UNIS Hanoi Middle School!

I am delighted to have begun my time covering for cover for Ms. Paula Wilcox for the second half of the academic year as a middle school counsellor.  Returning to my educational roots in middle school is most exciting, and with the welcoming help from Mr. Kirk Jackson, and the entire Middle School team, I look forward to being a part of the UNIS Hanoi school community.  

I have most recently come from the International School of Dakar, where I covered a HS counselling maternity leave.  Prior to that I worked at the International School of Kuala Lumpur as a teacher and a high school counsellor. I have lived and worked in various parts of Asia for over the past 25 years, so it is great to be ‘home’ again.

As a counsellor, I love that every day is different; no matter what I have on my agenda, it can all change based on the energy, interaction and needs of students. I enjoy the insights into people and reality that happens in counselling when working with students, their families and teachers. Through guidance lessons, roaming the corridors and drop in meetings, I look forward to meeting Middle School students and parents. Contact me at srenaud@unishanoi.org.

Susan Renaud

Raising Boys with Love – Parenting Talks with MSHS Counsellors

When it comes to parenting, do we need to treat our boys and girls differently? On what basis? What are our cultural perceptions and expectations of boys? What does research tells us?  What do our male students tell us they need? MSHS Counsellors will share practical information which can help support the holistic development from ‘boys to men’.

Parents to boys in middle and high school should attend this workshop if they …

  • Would like to share their concerns and/or strategies with other parents and the MSHS Counselling team.
  • Appreciate practical suggestions and information as to how they can support their child/children navigate through adolescence.

For questions, please contact the kjackson@unishanoi.org.

If you wish to attend, please complete the registration form.

Semester 1 MSHS Arts Exhibition – January 14-30

Come explore the amazing work done by our Grades 6-10 students during their Art classes in Semester 1.

This exhibition demonstrate different visual art techniques in a variety of different subjects. While the 6th graders created images using both their drawing and digital media from their Cuc Phuong field trip, grade 7 chose to look into history, folklore and literature to create Mythical Creature Prints. Grade 8 artists are excited with their Artist Trading Cards inspired by their lives in Hanoi that they created during the unit ‘It’s Not What you Draw, It’s How You Draw It’.  You will be blown away with Grade 9’s thought-provoking artworks as they created new images by appropriating and reworking existing artworks. And finally Grade 10 students will treat our eyes with a series of stunning self-portraits which are rich in personal symbolism but also communicate with a wider audience.

See you in the Centre for the Arts next week!

MYP Parent Information Sessions

Dear Parents of MYP students,

You are invited to attend our Semester two MYP information sessions. There are two different types of sessions which are designed to support our parents in developing a deeper understanding of the MYP here at UNIS Hanoi.  These are a repeat of sessions offered earlier in the year.


Session 1 is on January 22, 18:30 – 19:30 in the Community Room (B7-104). This is a MYP Information evening with presentation and Q&A session. During the session, we will cover

  • What is the MYP?
  • How does my child learn?
  • How does grading work?
  • Key and related concepts, Assessment, Inquiry

Session 2 is on January 29, 08:30 – 10:00 in the Community Room (B7-104). Different from session 1, this second session is a MYP interactive workshop with example classroom activities following by a Q&A session. Parents will also have the possibility to walk around MYP classroom, learn more about Global Contexts, Atls skills, and the IB Learner Profiles.

Please register your attendance using this sign up form

For more information please contact:  Daniel Cooper at mypcoordinator@unishanoi.org

Posted in MYP

MYP i-Block Exploration Exhibition

Quench your imagination at the Quarter 1 MYP I-Block Exploration Exhibition. MSHS Exploratory Ceramics classes have explored working with clay, hand-building and glazing. Meanwhile, Grades 7 and 8 Exploratory Digital Photography have explored composition and digital editing using Adobe Photoshop. The MS Exploratory Animate! inquired into visually communicating a story through stop motion animation techniques.

Counselling Corner: What students have been focusing on?

As Middle School Counsellors we are so fortunate to work with such wonderful young people! UNIS Hanoi students are happy, respectful and engaged, but inevitably issues do sometimes arise as they learn to navigate adolescence and manage their peer relationships.

To support this process, Counselling lessons from Grade 6-8 have focused on positive social interactions, defining and managing bullying, as well as encouraging upstanding behavior. Please don’t hesitate to engage in conversations with your child about their social interactions at school. If you have any concerns, please contact us.

Grade 9 is beginning the 4 year post-high-school planning process with self-exploration and identifying their interests and priorities. Please take a look at your child’s ‘Digital Collage’. They have also focused on some of their Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills, such as self-management, communication and collaboration.

Our upcoming ‘Parenting Talk’ with the MS/HS counselors will take place on the 23rd November and the topic for this will be ‘Cyberbullying’. Our MS students have completed a survey, sharing their perspectives on Bullying at UNIS Hanoi and this will form the basis of the presentation. We hope you will be able to join us!

The MS Counsellors – Kirk Jackson & Paula Wilcox

Parent Series: Understanding the Middle Years Programme

All grade 6 – 10 parents are invited to attend the Middle Years Programme (MYP) parent session- part 2 focusing on ‘Applying the MYP’. The session will begin at 8.30 in the Community Room (B7). Please register here
Applying the MYP is a hands-on workshop where parents will be engaged in activities to acquire a deeper understanding of how the MYP works in practice!
  1. How do students engage with assessment rubrics?
  2. Example of developing conceptual understanding.
  3. The explicit teaching of ATL skills
  4. Spend a short time in 2 different MYP classrooms then debrief what we see.

If you were unable to attend the part 1 session – ‘What is the MYP’ – which gives you basic understanding of the MYP concepts, please make sure to register for the next one coming up on January 22. The part 2 – Appyling the MYP will also be repeated on January 29.

What is the MYP (Jan 22) Is a lecture based talk designed to give you basic understanding of the MYP concepts and language surround our curriculum.

  1. What is conceptual learning / understanding?
  2. What is the purpose of the statement of inquiry and inquiry questions?
  3. What does learning in context mean? – (global contexts)
  4. Assessment in the MYP – How does criterion based assessment work?
  5. formative and summative assessment
  6. Approaches to Learning Skills (ATLs)
 Questions? Contact MYP Coordinator, Daniel Cooper: mypcoordinator@unishanoi.org
Posted in MS

Understanding the Middle Years Programmes Curriculum – Parent Info Sessions

All grade 6 – 10 parents are invited to attend this 2-part parent series focusing on teaching parents about the Middle Years Programme. Please register here
What is the MYP (Oct 23 / Jan 22) Is a lecture based talk designed to give you basic understanding of the MYP concepts and language surround our curriculum.
  1. What is conceptual learning / understanding?
  2. What is the purpose of the statement of inquiry and inquiry questions?
  3. What does learning in context mean? – (global contexts)
  4. Assessment in the MYP – How does criterion based assessment work?
  5. formative and summative assessment
  6. Approaches to Learning Skills (ATLs)
Applying the MYP (Nov 6 / Jan 29)  is a hands-on workshop where parents will be engaged in activities to acquire a deeper understanding of how the MYP works in practice!
  1. How do students engage with assessment rubrics?
  2. Example of developing conceptual understanding.
  3. The explicit teaching of ATL skills
  4. Spend a short time in 2 different MYP classrooms then debrief what we see.
These sessions are created to build on each other and will also be repeated in semester 2 if you are unable to make these events (Jan 22 and Jan 29).
Questions? Contact MYP Coordinator, Daniel Cooper: mypcoordinator@unishanoi.org
Posted in MYP