BIS standards creating global citizens for Vietnam

August 28, 2023 | 11:48
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British International School Ho Chi Minh City is striving to push its students towards being true citizens of the world. Louise Bishop, the school’s director of Admissions and Marketing, talked to VIR’s Kim Hanh about the school’s inside philosophy to offer the best global education and training solutions for students in Vietnam.

How does an education at the British International School Ho Chi Minh City (BIS) become a stepping stone towards Vietnamese students becoming global citizens?

BIS standards creating global citizens for Vietnam
Louise Bishop, the school’s director of Admissions and Marketing

As part of the Nord Anglia Education Family, BIS is the largest international school in Vietnam, with 2,400 students from 55+ nationalities. We are a diverse and multicultural school that fosters a sense of community and international-mindedness.

All of our students, including our large body of Vietnamese students, connect and collaborate with students from around the world on our global campus platform. Through our collaborations with international organisations, UNICEF, and our use of the UN Sustainable Development Goals which are interwoven in our curriculum, our students have the opportunity to discuss, debate, and create innovative solutions to global problems.

On service expeditions in Cambodia and the Philippines, our secondary students work with local communities, assisting in the building of local schools, as well as participating in environmental cleanups.

The students also connect with communities in some of the most remote regions of the world, through the FOBISIA (Federation of British International Schools in Asia) Race for Good competitions. In one recent competition, our students met virtually with a family in Haiti and developed a business plan for the family to create soap using goat’s milk. The students had a limited budget to spend to buy resources for the family, so they were able to implement the plan.

The family now make and sell homemade goat’s milk soap at the local market, which has had a huge impact on their financial income. It’s through initiatives like these that our students develop a more profound understanding of the world, local communities, and cultures, becoming global citizens who aim to make the world a more peaceful and sustainable place.

What are the advantages of BIS’s education programme and curriculum to support high results and student success internationally?

From early foundation stages through to sixth form, the students follow a carefully considered blend of English and international curricula. This includes IGCSEs and the IBDP programme, which set the standard for global education and provide pathways to outstanding higher education across the world.

Our IGCSE programme, which students’ study between age 14-16, offers them the chance to personalise their learning journey, as well as giving students the opportunity to develop their exam skills. Following IGCSE, students will then continue to IBDP, developing their critical thinking and reasoning skills.

This pathway is extremely successful for our students, who consistently achieve results way above the UK, Vietnam, and global averages, opening doors to the best universities in the world. Hundreds of our Vietnamese students have graduated and gone on to study at top universities world-wide, including in the US, UK, and Australia.

In 2022, seven students were awarded top Vietnam awards from Cambridge, of which two Vietnamese students took the title for art and design (fourth in the world) and physics.

Our class of 2023 achieved an average IBDP score of 36.7, compared to the global average of 30.2, with three students achieving a perfect score of 45 points. This graduating class has received offers from the top universities worldwide, including Oxford, Stanford, and Imperial College London.

To achieve this outstanding education, we recruit the very best British and international teachers. Compassionate and committed, energetic and enthusiastic, the carefully selected teaching team has a proven track record of delivering truly transformative learning experiences.

This is not only in the traditional classroom. With hundreds of co-curricular activities and world-leading collaborations, every day is enriched by learning opportunities including sport, music, art and design, performing arts, community service, and expeditions across Vietnam and globally.

How do you value Vietnamese culture and language in an international school environment?

Whilst BIS is a British school, respect for Vietnamese culture is woven throughout. The blending of two cultures is perfectly represented across all three campuses that make up the entire school.

From primary school, all students study Vietnamese culture, whilst Vietnamese lessons are offered to both Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese students. We are incredibly thankful for our host country, and some of our biggest events at school include Lunar New Year, where students from around the world proudly dress up in ao dai and enjoy traditional lion dance performances.

From August 2024, we are very excited to be able to offer our Vietnamese students the opportunity to study Vietnamese as a first language for IGCSE. In the IBDP, Vietnamese students have the option of taking the bilingual course and studying Vietnamese literature.

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By Kim Hanh

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