Message from the Middle School Principal

Hello Middle School Parents!

It’s hard to believe that Monday brings June 1!  There has been such great learning and student interaction since our return to campus. The energy has been wonderful to be part of. We have been putting together several year end events and would like to share some details with you about them.

Coming on June 5, we will “go live” with our Grade 8 Promotion Ceremony. This has been a work in progress with students, staff, mentors, and our tech department all lending a hand. The virtual launch will take place at 13:30 via email to all G08 parents and students. It will be followed up in the TinTuc later that afternoon. Please do take the time to celebrate with our Grade 8’s during this transitional time into High School.  Watch it with your G08 student and share the link with family and friends.  Enjoy!  Congratulations to our 2020 Grade 8’s and good luck in high school!

Also on June 3, we will be rolling out our Middle School Performing Arts Showcase.  This is an opportunity for parents and members of our MS community to see the products of the hard work students have done in Orchestra, Band, and Choir.  These products are individual videos in which students have chosen pieces that help them to express their learning and intentions. Please look for the link to go live and enjoy the show!

On the evening of June 5, from 5:00 – 8:00 we will be having a “End of Year Celebration” for all Middle School students. You will have received an email from our MS Office containing a permission to attend form. Please do complete the form. This evening has been well planned by our MS StuCo and will provide students with the opportunity to sing, dance, watch movies, play games, and enjoy each other’s company.  We will also have some food available for purchase with proceeds going to our MS Service groups. We’ve put all of the necessary measures in place to keep physically distant and comply with the restrictions while providing a great outlet for student fun!

Our MS mentor groups have been doing some filming on behalf of this year’s leavers.  We are compiling those pieces together in order to share these HomeBase memories with students and families. The video will be emailed out to all MS parents and students on June 9 at 9:00 and a link will be shared in that week’s TinTuc.

Lastly, as the semester comes to a close, we prepare for end of year grades and reports. All Middle School students will receive a full report on the four criteria in each class that result in the yearlong grade for the MYP course. In addition all students will receive comments based upon their successes before, during, and after Distance Learning. Should you have any questions or concerns relating to your students’ classes, please contact their teachers directly. Reports will be completed, proofed and published for you and your students on June 9. Please take a moment to review your student’s reports and to celebrate their accomplishments during this unique time in our educational history.

If you have any comments, please let us know!

As always, thank you for your support – 

Marc, JJ and the MS Team

Posted in MS

Band, Choir, Orchestra Students Asked to Share Recordings

In preparation for our online celebration next week, the Grade 6-10 band, choir and orchestra students have been busily sharing their video recordings through the google form that was emailed last week.

Please check with your student to make sure they have done this so that they can join in the celebration of all their hard work this quarter. Keep an eye out in your emails for the final link on Wednesday June 3. We are so excited to unveil the creative work of our students! 

New Site Designed to Help Students with French Acquisition

The French department has launched a brand new site that’s designed to help students consolidate their learning over the summer months.

On Le Français à UNIS Hanoi, students of all abilities will find opportunities to:

  • review and practice grammar
  • practice reading comprehension
  • practice listening comprehension
  • discover culture through quizzes, music videos and movie trailers.
Additionally, a suggested selection of books give advanced learners a great opportunity to further develop their language skills.
A google doc, available on the home page of the site, allows students to self assess the areas in which they feel they would benefit from practice. Students are encouraged to share the document with their teachers so that it can be reviewed after the summer.
This site will also be a great tool for next academic year, as students will be able to review certain points that are individual challenges for them. Therefore everyone’s learning will be more personalized.
Students should contact their French teacher if they have questions.
The  MSHS MFL team
Valdir Chagas, Christophe Denizot and Cynthia Frey

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 Parents, 

Thank you to the ~125 Middle and High School parents that responded to last week’s “First Week Back” survey.  We have gone through the responses and recommendations and would like to share some of the changes to restrictions that have impacted the student “climate” during this week’s classes.

Firstly, as suggested by many parents, students have been allowed to remove masks when in classrooms. Physical distancing must still apply and teachers and students are doing well to keep apart from each other. When moving around campus in between classes masks are still required.  

In classes, teachers have been focused on ensuring that the learning objectives covered while on Distance Learning have been reinforced and assessed. All Middle School students will receive reports containing criteria levels of achievement and grades for their year-long MYP courses. In addition, every student will receive comments on this end of year report. As always, if you have questions for your student’s teacher, please contact them directly.

We have been eating lunch in our HomeBase classrooms. Students have had the option of ordering from the canteen this week and the lunches are delivered to the rooms. After 25 minutes faculty and students are released to Wellness Opportunities.  This provides a structured 20 minutes of activity with mixed grade levels and social groups. Wellness Opportunities also occur during the afternoon break time. We have all really enjoyed this and thank the Co-curricular Team for their help in organizing.  Next week we will be using the iBlock for some other Wellness Opportunities and Inter House Competitions to provide exercise and fun!

The Summer ProgrammeSummer Programme – was also a topic of the survey.  Registration starts today!. Please do include a conversation this weekend with your children about the Passion Pursuits being offered in MS and how spending some time “at school” might fit nicely into summer vacation planning.

Our end of the year activities planning is in full swing. We are in the midst of our first virtual G05 Step-Up week and will be hosting a Grade 05 Parents Transition to Middle School Virtual Meeting next Friday, May 22nd at 9:30AM.  The virtual Middle School Performing Arts Showcase goes “live” on June 3rd and our Grade 08 Promotion will have live streamed components to be enjoyed on June 5th.  What a year it has been!

Thank you for your continued support –

Marc, JJ and the MS Team


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