When SDGs meet Dystopia

To align with our UNIS Hanoi goal of integrating the Sustainable Development Goals within the learning experience of students. To complement UNIS SDG Week, Grade 7 students have launched into an integrated Language and Literature A and Visual Arts project. The project is titled SDG and Dystopia.

Students have chosen an SDG that they are most passionate about and have created an imagined worst-case scenario where this goal has definitely not been achieved.

Through developing setting, character and narrative structure for this imagined world, students will write the opening chapter of their very own dystopian narrative. Employing their Visual Arts skills students have drawn their setting and are beginning to develop mythical creatures to further embellish and bring their imagined world to life.

By the end of Quarter 1 Grade 7 students will publish their opening chapter of very own dystopian narrative that can serve as a warning of what can happen if we do not collectively work to achieve the SDGs. Hopefully, the dystopian narratives and printed illustrations will also serve as an inspiration for each of us to continue to strive to achieve positive outcomes in each of the SDGs. 

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

Presentation on North Korea

On Thursday, September 24, Ms Sitara Syed, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Viet Nam, presented to the Grade 8 Individuals and Societies students.

Ms Sitara Syed, whose children are attending UNIS Hanoi, is a recent arrival to Viet Nam with her family, but comes from a long association with the UN. In her more than 15 years with the UN she has served in a variety of roles for the UNDP and since 2014 was Coordination and Liaison Specialist in UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific in New York.

Ms Syed shared her observations on North Korea, where she spent two months as UN delegate in the summer of 2019. Her observations were an excellent and enriching addition to our current unit of study, Citizenship and Protest.

Mad Science Club in the Middle School

Middle School students have been hanging out in the Science lab@ lunch from 11:05-12:00, exploring the world of Chemistry.

Our spectacular demonstrations, hands-on activities, and real world chats make learning about science fun for kids! So far we’ve have created mini fireworks, sugar fireballs and this week they have set bubbles alight. Safety first, of course; everyone still has their eyebrows!

Our interactive, 50 minute sessions are themed around particular areas of science and include such topics as rocketry, magnets, polymers, and even the science of toys. Students decide!

If you are in MS or have a child in MS, encourage them to check it out. They can come any time, dip in or dip out and learn more about real life science through experiments.
Every Thursday 11:05am-12pm.







Before you go, here are a couple of chemistry jokes for the weekend:

A small piece of sodium that lived in a test tube fell in love with a Bunsen burner. “Oh Bunsen, my flame,” the sodium pined. “I melt whenever I see you,” The Bunsen burner replied, “It’s just a phase you’re going through.

  Q: What do you call a clown who’s in jail?
  A: A silicon.

  Q: Why can’t you trust atoms?
  A: They make up everything!

If you need more info or have questions, contact fmcauley@unishanoi.org in Middle School Science

Middle School Parent Session – Friday, September 20

Dear Middle School Parents,

We are excited to invite you to the first Middle School Parent Information Session of 2019/20 on Friday 20 September. We will be discussing not only the first month of school and MS Trips, but also highlight our divisional focus on Student Success. Jennifer Coleman, our MS Learning Support Teacher and Student Intervention Team Lead will be on hand, as well as, our new MS Counsellors, Ms. Sandra Flores and Mr. Anwer Kamal. Please come!

The parent sessions are a result of listening to your feedback about busy times on campus and aim to incorporate “mini-sessions” that will include programme information, upcoming event highlights, and open Q&A.

Please note that while all sessions throughout the year will be held in B7’s Community Room, the times do vary between morning and noon during the year. Grab a coffee or snack from the canteen and come join us. We look forward to sharing with you about our UNIS Hanoi Middle School!


Marc, JJ, and the MS Team

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

Build a family in Middle School!






Dear Middle School,

Calling on parents interested in getting more involved as Middle School Grade Level Parents:

  • play a key role in maintaining open and positive communication between families and the school
  • help build a friendly atmosphere in your grade level
  • welcome families who arrive mid-year

Click here for more information

I am happy to introduce myself as the MS representative on the SCO Executive for this school year.
I have a son, Cody in grade 6, and my daughter Caitlin is in Grade 9. My wife, Sharon is with a International NGO and this is our 4th year in Hanoi.
Please feel free to contact me in relation to SCO and middle school matters of a social/community context.I will try to help as best I can, or at least direct you to someone who may.
The SCO Executive is looking for grade level parents to help with aspects of the school year. This includes UN Day, making contact with new families that come in, and having the opportunity to speak with with middle school leadership in relation to the middle school and UNIS.
If you have an interest please contact me.
Grade levels 6, 7 and 8.
Kind regards and will be following for future events.
Garry Riechert
Middle School representative
School Community Organisation
Posted in MS

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.

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.