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.

Enjoy the Performing Arts Virtual Showcase!

Students in MYP Band, Orchestra and Choir pulled together a Performing Arts Showcase that can now be viewed online.

Individual student performances have been uploaded onto Youtube and showcased on a googlesite. Grade level playlists exist so that viewers can easily find a student’s piece.

The assignment set were as follows:

Grad 6 Band and Orchestra – This group of students was tasked to play a composition that they have written themselves.

Grades 6-8 Choir, Grades 7 & 8 Band and Grade 7 & 8 Orchestra – This group of students was tasked to work with the same melody and adapt expressive markings to fit their interpretation of a theme.

Grades 9 & 10 Band, Choir & Orchestra – This group of students was tasked to play compositions they created through exploring specific compositional devices and genres.

Click here to enjoy their outstanding work!

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




From the Middle School Principal

What a fantastic time of year for positive celebrations. The Grade 5 students and their culminating PYPx, the G10 students and their MYP capstone Personal Projects, and Elementary, Middle and High School Parent Student Teacher Conferences to recognize the learning that has taken place throughout the year.  Having these positive “handholds” is very necessary during these uncertain times.  We look forward to providing our Middle School community with more of these “usual” events as we head towards the end of the school year.  In this edition, please find articles about Middle School Mathematics, a Top Ten Distance Learning Guide for Parents, and an article from our StuCO on their lunchtime cooking courses.  Thank you for your support.

Enabling Success in Mathematics during Distance Learning

Mathematics is a subject that draws attention in every school and at any time.  With the celebration of Math Week in the Middle and High Schools, we thought it would be a good time to share how our MS Math team is working to enable success in MS Mathematics.  Please take a moment to review the slideshow linked below.  If you have questions or comments, please reach out to your child’s math teacher.  

MS Principal, Marc Vermiere added, “Thanks to the Math Team for their continued efforts on behalf of our students and for putting together this comprehensive guide.”

Click here to access the slideshow.



MYP Assessment – Determining End of Year Grades during Distance Learning

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- see table below under Additional Information.

Covid-19 school closure has changed our approach to assessment in Semester 2.  Firstly, the IB has officially made some adjustments to their assessment requirements by reducing the number of times each criterion is required to be assessed. This means that UNIS Hanoi MYP Teachers have redesigned their unit assessments, from summatively (end of unit of study, culminating assessment task) to smaller, more frequent tasks that systemically target the no more than two criterion per task. 

Students’ will receive end of year grades which will be determined by evidence recorded from Semester 1, which supplements the collection of real and specific evidence of each criteria during distance learning in Semester 2.

The upcoming Parent, student, teacher conferences in the middle and high schools are  a great opportunity to discuss how your child is engaging with distance learning and identify any criteria that requires further evidence.

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

Additional Information regarding MYP assessment

Labelling system for task types in Veracross

Distance Learning = Asynchronous and synchronous tasks and lessons 

Evidence of Learning = Criteria assigned evidence of learning assignment/task for the gradebook. 

An overview of MYP subject criteria

Criterion A – Knowledge and Understanding / analysing 

Criterion B – Investigating / developing ideas / organising

Criterion C – Communicating / applying / performing

Criterion D – Thinking / evaluating / reflecting

MYP Grade Boundaries

Final Grade Sum of Criterion Grades
1 0 -5
2 6-9
3 10-14
4 15-18
5 19-23
6 24-27
7 28-32


Applause Campaign

We have completed two months of Distance Learning and have much to celebrate!  In “the middle” we are starting an Applause Campaign. This division-wide effort is aimed at providing continued feedback for students (and parents) through using the applause feature in Veracross.  Applauses have been designed for teachers to use and range from continuing to complement students that are 100% engaged, commending students that are exhibiting high-quality efforts in helping others, and reinforcing positive behaviors seen in students that are working to get caught up.

Keep up the fantastic work, and check your inbox for applause from your student’s teachers and mentor.  Parents, this applause is for you and your work throughout our Distance Learning journey… Thank you!

Marc Vermeire

Graphic credit:
3 great ideas for the National Thank You Month – Good Job, Pal!
“3 Great Ideas For The National Thank You Month – Good Job, Pal!”. Good Job, Pal!, 2019, https://goodjobpal.com/3-great-ideas-for-national-thank-you-month/. Accessed 26 Mar 2020.

Posted in MYP

MYP Students Recognised for Exhibiting IB Learner Profile Attributes

More than 30 students across grades 6 -10 have been recognized by their teachers for exhibiting the IB Learner Profile attributes of care, open-mindedness, and risk-taking among others. 

Eversince the Distance Learning programmes began, teachers have been left in awe of students’ resilience and personal development. The award scheme was initiated to give teachers the opportunity to congratulate students who have grown from the Distance Learning experience in ways they might not have expected. 

UNIS Hanoi’s MYP Coordinator, Daniel Cooper said, “Our teachers aren’t only tuned into how students are meeting learning outcomes and managing work; they are also able to observe how students are growing as independent learners, tackling new experiences and solving problems. These past months have given teachers an opportunity to see students demonstrate the Learner Profile attributes.”

Unable to present the awards in person, the School has been mailing the certificates to the homes of nominated students. 

We hope by posting the certificates to students, we can all feel more connected”, Daniel explained. 

The IB Learner Profiles are:

MYP Parent Info Session

On Friday September 27, an MYP Parent session was held in the community room. It focused on how the MYP fits into the IB continuum in the way students are taught, assessed and with the skills that are developed. The connections between the PYP’s transdisciplinary themes and the Global Contexts of the MYP were explored and how they are used as entry points to real world inquires.  

We also looked at how the MYP can be viewed through the progression of the command terms and Approaches to Learning skills (ATL skills). We identified the command terms that are introduced to students in Grade 6, 8 and 10 and discovered how they grow in complexity throughout a student’s time in the MYP.  We took a closer look at this by focusing on the ATL skill of Communication to get a deeper understanding of the 24 sub communication skills that are taught throughout the MYP.  Thinking about how parents can help at home, we also looked at selected ATL skills that support inquiry-based learning and discussed ways that parents can engage their children in learning.

To finish our time together we explained how tasks and assignments are assessed through achievement level descriptors in the MYP and how end of year grades are determined by teachers.

If you missed this session, here’s the link to the presentation.

We would like to offer more specific workshops to assist in parents understanding of the MYP, if you have a particular aspect of the MYP that you would like to examine, please get in touch. 

Daniel Cooper

MYP Parent Information Session – September 27

Before MS Open Classrooms begin at 12pm on September 27, please join us to learn more about the MYP and how it is taught here at UNIS Hanoi.

We will cover the following topics in this one-hour session:

  • What are the aims of the MYP?
  • What do Inquiry-based, concept-driven and global contexts mean?
  • The IB continuum: How do the PYP, MYP, and DP fit together
  • How can parents help at home?
  • How are students assessed in the MYP?

Daniel Cooper
MYP Coordinator