6 November 2017.

Dear PTA and Parents,

I am writing to you to share some information regarding school staffing, MRISA and some other information. In regards to school staffing there have been some recent changes. Mr James Kaunhoven – Grade 2 – arrived back to us for the start of the second quarter on October 16 having been in USA on personal leave for the first quarter. Grade 2 parents will be aware that Ms. Meryn Rainey took this class for the first quarter and since October 16 has returned to her primary position within the Elementary Student Support Department (EAL). We thank Ms. Meryn very much for stepping in to give Grade 2 a good start to this school year. Within the Secondary School we started the year without a Secondary School PE teacher as the person I appointed back in the 2016-2017 school year pulled out two weeks before the School was due to open in August 2017. This position was filled temporarily by Mr. Joe Loseni, husband of Ms. Vani Veikoso in the Student Support Department. Mr. Joe has done a great job in this role for us for which we are very thankful. But is was dependent on the employment of a suitably  fully trained and qualified secondary PE teacher. Recruiting staff at this time of year is always difficult as most are already committed to other school contracts. However we have settled on appointing a Mr. Joseph Grande who will start at H.I.S at the start of the Second Semester from January 8, 2018. Mr. Joseph is a bi-lingual Spanish national who is currently teaching at the Ostrava International School in the Czech Republic. During the first semester Mr. Leo Dyar resigned due to personal reasons and his timetable was picked up by existing staff and with the help from Mr. Vladislav Pyagay husband of Mr. Katy Black the Head of the Languages B Department. Mr. Vladislav, or Mr. Vlad as he is known by, is from Uzbekistan (M.A in Economics and Diploma in Teaching). Mr. Vlad has also been appointed to the position of Director of the IT Technology Support Department.

We are now recruiting for the next academic year along with most other International Schools. A small number of staff will probably be moving in June 2018, end of the current academic year. I can inform you that Ms. Kelsey Lewis (Principal of the Elementary School) and Mr. Sean Gibb (Principal of the Secondary School will be leaving H.I.S in June/ July 2018. Needing to fill the two key posts of school section Principals has been keeping me busy. I wanted to aim to have these two posts filled as quickly as possible in the interests of maintaining school stability and ensuring that the transition in key leadership positions from June will be smooth.

I can inform you that we have appointed Ms. Angela Meikle as the Elementary Principal from August 2018. Ms. Angela is an American, a highly qualified and experience administrator and PYP curriculum expert. She is often called upon to lead PYP workshops and carry out PYP authorization visits to international conferences and other International Schools worldwide. Currently she is the PYP Coordinator at UNIS-Hanoi. We have also appointed Mr. Matthew Buxton as the Secondary Principal from August 2018. Mr. Matthew is British and again an experience administrator having held positions in UK, at H. I.S 2011-2014, Bali, Indonesia and Kampala, Uganda. He has been an IB Diploma Coordinator for six years in his last three schools including H.I.S. He has also held the position of Acting and Assistant Principal in past posts. Mr. Matthews area of teaching is in the Humanities especially History both at Diploma and MYP levels.

I are now working on appointments for the other positions available. Ms. Ali Waugh and myself will attend the Search Associates Teacher Recruitment Conference to be held in Melbourne, Australia during the first week of January. We are also registered for the Search Associates Recruitment Conference to be held in London at the end of January. In the past we have always recruited quality staff from such recruitment conferences. Sometimes we recruit outside of such Conferences and also recruit suitable candidates from the local Hanoi area. I will keep you fully informed on appointments that will be made in due time. I will keep you informed on further staff appointments as they come up.

MRISA – You will see attached to the end of my letter a more detailed letter we, some of the Directors’ of MRISA Schools, have prepared for distribution to all parents and staff of MRISA Schools. The issue briefly is that the original charter that establish MRISA back in the 1990’s made it clear that home hosting of students taking part in MRISA events and tournaments is a vital part of the MRISA experience. The alternative is that all such students must stay in a hotel. MRISA has become split over this issue. Some MRISA Schools are actually owned by and managed by large corporations of world International Schools such as Cognita and Nord Anglia.  Both Cognita and Nord Anglia organizations have now forbidden any of their owned schools to home host any students visiting for any sporting or cultural activity. So three of the MRISA schools cannot homestay students any longer because they are either owned by Cognita or Nord Anglia. As homestay is seen by other MRIS schools as essential and a condition of membership to MRISA, non-homestay schools will be forced to leave the MRISA organization from August 2018. Such schools include ISHCMC (Ho Chi Minh City), NISC (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) and ISE (Thailand). Those schools remaining in MRISA will be SSIS (Ho Chi Minh City), ISPP (Cambodia), VIS (Laos), UNIS (Hanoi) and H.I.S .  This will change the nature of MRISA as we know it and three new schools in the region will need to be allowed to enter MRISA to make up the eight schools we need.  As the non-homestay ruling for those three school takes effect this year 2017-2018, all events at ISHCMC, NISC and ISE will mean all students and staff will need it stay in hotels which will increase the cost paid for events to those schools so be prepared for this.


Key events and dates coming up. Monday November 6 and Tuesday November 7 will be non-teaching days as all staff, teaching and non-teaching as H.I.S must undertake a two day professional development workshop on Child Protection. This is compulsory now for maintaining our accreditation with CIS and NEASC. So we have no choice although we also see this as essential to the continued safety and wellbeing of all our students. The workshop will be held at H.I.S and is to be led by a world expert in this field coming to Hanoi specifically for this workshop. Two MRISA sports events will take place also this week with students leaving on Thursday November 9-12: Senior Volleyball at Vientiane International School and Junior Basketball at SSIS – Saigon South International School. The Grade 5 Camp will take place over Monday November 13 and Tuesday November 14. There will be this quarter’s late start morning on Thursday November 16. We are all well into planning for this year’s International Day which will be held at H.I.S on Friday November 24.

On Tuesday December 5 Dr. Cho from Korea will be at H.I.S for the day for various individual and group discussions including students and staff regarding Korean students in International Schools. He will be talking to Korean parents who wish to attend in the auditorium from 8am to 9.30am – all are invited. The theme of his talk will be ‘The Challenges of being an Expatriate Korean Parent’.

There will be two performances of the Elementary Drama production at H.I.S on Wednesday December 6. School will close at 11am for the Winter Break on Wednesday December 13 with end of Semester One reports being issued to students just before we close.

I will be away from School leading a CIS Accreditation Team visit of Dushanbe International School, Tajikistan, between November 28 and December 10. You might have noticed at times during this semester a number of staff have been away on conferences and professional development workshops at various times. These events are essential for ensuring all our staff maintain and build on their skills and knowledge in the most up-to-date practice and developments in international education which has a direct positive impact on our students learning and general education. H.I.S is committed to supporting such professional development with a generous budget.

This does not cover all the things we are doing but I am sure you can see we are working very hard for the benefit of the school, its students and families.

Yours most sincerely,

Terry Hamilton





MRISA Board statement for MRISA school communities


At the MRISA Annual Planning Meeting (APM) in May 2017, three of the MRISA schools, International School Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC), Northbridge International School (NISC) and International School of the Eastern Seaboard (ISE), announced that they had decided they could no longer participate in the homestay aspect of MRISA. The reason given for this change was their concerns related to child protection issues.

The 8 MRISA schools decided at that time that the 2017/18 school year would feature a hybrid system of homestay hosting and hotel hosting whereby ISHCMC, NISC and ISE would use only hotels when they traveled to MRISA events in other cities and that they would require hotel stays for visiting athletes when they hosted a tournament.

It was agreed that the MRISA heads would meet in September of this year to further discuss the future of the MRISA homestay program and specifically whether the homestay aspect of MRISA was an essential aspect of the MRISA experience for students. Prior to the discussion, a survey of international schools was conducted to get feedback from other schools regarding how students were hosted when they traveled for interschool competitions and events. The results of the survey were inconclusive but showed that both systems are used by schools internationally. It was significant that the Council of International Schools (CIS), who have done much work recently on child protection, did not think there was any more risk of child protection issues in homestays or hotels. It was stated by Chris Gould, Dennis Larkin, and Tim Gerrish, all consultants in the field of Child Protection, that if an organization values home stays as part the ethos of the organization, then it is important to insure that it is doing all it can to mitigate the risks. Child protection issues, in their view, do not have to be a reason to abandon home stays.

There was a robust discussion at the September meeting when, with the help of an external objective facilitator, many possible scenarios were considered in order to keep the organization together with all 8 members. It was decided that a final meeting would take place with the MRISA school heads at the EARCOS conference at the end of October to resolve the issue. At that meeting, MRISA heads of school decided that homestays are an important part of being a MRISA schools and that the MRISA by-laws would not be changed. The heads also reaffirmed their commitment to ensure that homestays have the highest level of risk mitigation possible.


MRISA Core Activities are those activities which define the minimum expected commitment of MRISA Schools. Attendance and participation in the Core Activities includes commitment to all aspects of the Activity, including hosting, travel, promotion and financial support.

As a result of this decision, the following schools have decided to no longer participate in MRISA, effective June 1, 2018:

A         International School of Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC)

B          Northbridge International School Cambodia (NISC)

The MRISA Board will now consider next steps for school year 2018/19. These plans will be finalized in the Spring Annual Planning Meeting scheduled for 24 April 2018 at the International School of Phnom Penh.

Please be assured that the MRISA school heads appreciate that this does mean a change in the membership of MRISA for the 2018-2019 school year but in the interests of maintaining a robust and meaningful organization , a smooth transition in all aspects is proactively being addressed.


November 2017.


Start of Year Letter – August 2017

23 August 2017

Dear Parents and HIS Community,

Welcome to the start of the new academic year 2017-2018. We have had a smooth start to the school year and new students and families have been quickly taken into our H.I.S ‘family’. Looking at the calendar of events for Semester One we have many events that we will keep you well informed about in advance as these come about. Immediately this month we have the first meeting of the PTA to which all parents are invited on Thursday August 31 in the school auditorium.

Shortly the CCP programme will start and full notification will be coming out on that. The cycle of MRISA events will also be starting soon. These programmers provide a range of activities and opportunities available to our students, in addition to their academic studies.

I would like to introduce you to new staff who have joined H.I.S this year. This is a basic introduction and you will be have more to do with them as the year progresses. Ms. Kelsey Lewis is our new Principal of the Elementary School. She is a Canadian and comes with a strong background in the IB PYP often leading PYP related workshops. She has taught in Spain, Beijing, Germany and Canada. Ms. Sue Hunter the IB MYP Coordinator and teacher of Art and Design is also Canadian and has taught in the International School Dhaka, Bangladesh, Ho Chi Minh City, Kiev in the Ukraine and Osaka, Japan. She is an MYP workshop leader, a teacher of Art and Design to IB Diploma for which she is also an IB Diploma Art and Design examiner. Mr. Dean Rainey Head of the Expressive and Performing Arts Department and teacher of Music is a New Zealander. He has taught in New Zealand and Saudi Arabia. He comes with his wife Ms. Meryn Rainey who has joined our Elementary EAL Department and is also a New Zealander. Mr. Christopher Botha PE Department and teacher of Elementary and some lower Secondary PE is South African and has taught in South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam. He will also be responsible for our Secondary CCP programme and the HAC and MRISA sports programmes. Ms. Peggy Morton Head of the Math’s Department, teacher of Math’s and TOK is from the USA and has taught in the USA, Egypt and Bahrain. She is also a Diploma Math’s examiner. Mr. Dan Atkinson Teacher of Math’s is from the UK and has coming to us from the UK having also taught in China. Ms. Erin Rocha Elementary Grade 3 Teacher is from the USA and has taught in the USA and Shanghai, China. Mr. Joe Day is already well known to us and will be doing more teaching with us in English A and Design and Technology. Joe is from the USA. Ms. Jemima Khalli is also known to us and will be taking on some English Language B classes. She is British and has taught in Vietnam, South Africa and U.K. Ms. Duong Thuy Bach part time Art and Design is from Vietnam and has taught in Vietnam and USA. Ms. Thi Hong Hanh Do part time French is from Vietnam and has qualifications from Vietnam and France. I had employed a new Head of PE who would also have taught within the secondary PE programme but he resigned a few weeks before the start of the school without having arrived in Vietnam which was very unhelpful. However with the support of Mr. Christopher Botha, appointed Head of the P.E. Department, and Mr. Joe Loseni we have that programme well supported. I would also like to make you aware that Mr. James Kaunhoven and his wife had a baby son born a few weeks ago. Mr. James is the teacher of Elementary Grade 2.Unfortunately there have been medical complication with the child and they have needed to go to the USA for specialist support. At this stage we expect Mr. James to return to H.I.S. in October. In the meanwhile Ms. Meryn Rainey has taken over that class, herself being a fully experienced and qualified grade teacher. When Mr. James returns she will return to the EAL Department. In the meanwhile we are putting into place additional EAL support staffing. I am sure the whole community will give all our new staff a warm welcome to HIS for the start of this academic year.

In addition there have been some other changes relating to existing staff. Ms. Vicki Gardner the Middle School student support coordinator will, in additional, be teaching Drama within the Expressive and Performing Arts Department. Ms. Vani Veikoso will continue as our IB PYP Coordinator and will also be Head of the Elementary EAL Team. Ms. Ceri Abbott will be coordinating the Grade 11 and 12 Extended Essays and Mr. Jeffrey Araula will coordinate the MYP Personal projects.

Over the year we will be hosting again a number of visits by universities and their admissions staff who come to introduce their universities to our older students. This opportunity for them to see our school and meet our students and their families is a great starting point in the admissions to the university and colleges process.

During the previous year we gained our IB MYP authorization so now we are one of only four schools in Vietnam authorized to teach all three IB programmes – PYP, MYP and Diploma. This year will be the last year students will take the Cambridge IGCSE examinations as the IB MYP and the Cambridge IGCSE’s do not match together.

Over the summer holiday period much effort and investment went into getting the school building and site ready to start the new school yea. Key achievements were the full modernization of the two science laboratories and the remodeling of the library-media centre. The canteen area was also refurbished.

Please note that next year all student information and reporting will be available on Managebac. Please contact the school Main office if you cannot access Managebac next school year. To further improve the school main office service to students, parents and staff we will be increasing the staffing in that office from three to four.

Student safety and welfare is always a major concern of us at H.I.S. In the interests of this please do not send you child/ children to school before 7.30am in the morning. Some students are arriving at 7am and until 7.30am we have no teacher supervision at school and so your children are not in a safe environment. The same goes for after school. Unless your child is enrolled in a CCP after school supervised activity they cannot stay at school and must go home. This we will be enforcing strongly in the interests of safety and protection.

Last night Tuesday August 22 was a very successful and well attended teacher-parent social evening where we could introduce parents to staff and mix socially to get to know each other better. It was also an opportunity to visit the school and in particular to see where we have improved facilities.

I wish you all the best for this year and please remember we are all here at H.I.S to help and support the education of all our children.

Yours most sincerely,

Terry Hamilton





24 February 2017.

Dear Parents and HIS Community,

Firstly I would like to say an enormous well done and thank you to the Vietnamese department at H.I.S.  Just before TET, a group of teachers and support staff organised ELementary and Secondary activities and performances to celebrate TET.  


We have now settled back into routine after the Winter break and the Tet holiday. Things have been busy with the MRISA Arts Festival hosted this year by Vientiane International School, Laos and the MRISA Senior basketball tournament hosted by Saigon South International School in Ho Chi Minh City. In both events our student participants did very well and both were excellent opportunities for all to interact with like International Schools in our region.  We took all the annual school photographs over February 14th and 15th. Many of these will be required for the Yearbook.

Can I inform you that over the 20th Anniversary Day of H.I.S. back on November 11, the raffle event raised 66,500,000 VND. We have used 50,000,000 VND to renovate the flooring in the yard.  We used a small part to give a prize to the class that sold the most tickets which was Ms. Pushpa’s Grade 4 and the rest we will hold over to further renovate and upgrade the play area between now and the Summer. Thank you all for your support for that part of our celebration. I would also like to inform you that air purifiers have been installed in all the Elementary School rooms and offices as phase 1 of this initiative, and in phase 2 will be so installed in the Secondary School and other school business offices.


I would like to update you on staffing changes to take effect for the new academic year from August 2017. This time of year is when we do our recruitment and it has been both busy and productive. It is natural in an International School that each year some of our colleagues do leave for all sorts of very valid reasons. For the past years the level of such turn-over has been low for a school of our size.  At the end of this academic year in June we sadly say goodbye to Ms. Lisa Hughes (Elementary Principal) and Mr. Adam Lee (Head of the PE Department) – they and their family are moving to Oberoi International School in Mumbai, India. Ms. Amy Hansen (Head of the Arts Department and teacher of Art and Design) will be moving to Bonn International School, Germany. Ms. Rosa Carbajal (Secondary School Maths teacher) will be moving to an International School in Bali, Indonesia. Ms. Cara Glintmeyer (Head of the Maths Department) will be returning to New Zealand. Mr. Andy Smith (PE teacher and CCP Secondary Coordinator) and Ms. Yana Bondarenko (Elementary EAL Teacher), who were married in December, will be moving to the International school in Luanda, Angola. Mr. Grant Chamberlain (teacher of Music) will be moving with his family probably to Sweden. Mr. Daniel Suarez (IB MYP Coordinator and teacher of Secondary English Language A) and family are moving to an Dwight School in Seoul, Korea. Mr. Christophe Haroune (teacher of Art and French) will be leaving us.

To date the following appointments have been made from August 2017: Mr. Daniel Atkinson from the UK as a secondary Maths teacher, Ms. Peggy Morton from USA as Head of the Maths Department and teacher of secondary Maths, Ms. Kelsey Lewis from Canada as the Principal of the Elementary School, Mr. Dean Rainey from New Zealand as Head of the Arts Department and teacher of Music, Mrs. Meryn Rainey, also from New Zealand, as a teacher of Elementary EAL, Mr. Christopher Botha from South Africa as a teacher of PE, Mr. Michael Lady from USA as Head of the PE Department and teacher of PE, Ms. Sue Hunter from Canada as IB MYP Coordinator and teacher of senior Art and Design and Ms. Duong Thuy Bach as a part time teacher of Art. All of the new staff come with international experience and you will have more information and background on them when they arrive in August.   

On our recommendation the Board has agreed that the Cambridge IGCSE’s are to be phased out. Next year’s Grade 10 will be the last year for IGCSE’s. The reasoning behind this recommendation has been taken in close discussion with the pedagogical leadership team.

The number of candidates taking IGCSE exams has been falling over the past few years and we now find ourselves in the situation that we will be falling below the IGCSE threshold of minimum number of exam entries which incurs ‘fine’ payments to Cambridge currently in the order of $8,862. This certainly will be the case for next year’s Grade 10 but we are committed to taking them through the exams. Certainly the ending of IGCSE Japanese and the rising number of families who opt out of taking the exams has not helped, and there is a question over IGCSE ICT being available in the future. The ‘marriage’ between the IGCSE and the MYP has also been made difficult for the following reasons:

  • One is content based (IGCSE), while the other (IB MYP) is concept/ skill based
  • Students would be assessed under two different systems
  • There is a lack of exemplars/ success stories of schools who have successfully married the two together

Benefits we have considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Reinforcing the importance of the IB  MYP, and it’s full implementation at HIS
  • Allowing teachers to focus on quality implementation of just one programme
  • In certain subject areas, allowing wider flexibility to tailor Grade 9 and 10 programmes to better fit the transition to the Diploma programme requirements.
  • Allowing students to deeply commit to the IB Philosophy of learning.

For the future, the H.I.S curriculum will be soundly based on the three IB programmes: PYP, MYP and Diploma. As a part of this process we will be having an MYP authorization visit between 22nd and 24th of March by two IB nominated practioners.


Ms. Ali Waugh, our senior careers and university placement coordinator, has been supporting senior students in their decisions and application. We have had visits from a wide selection of overseas university recruitment offers and many of our students have received excellent university placement offers. We keep all information updated for the community on the site; university placements.


We were all shocked recently by the sudden and tragic death of the partner of our ELS Coordinator, Ms. Laura Gray. The support she and her family have received from the school and the school community over the past weeks has been overwhelming and heartfelt and Ms Laura and family would like to pass on their sincere thanks to the HIS community.


Some dates for your diaries:

March 2nd and 5th HIS MRISA team will visit NISC, Phnom Penh for the Junior Football, Senior Football will be on March 30th to April 2nd in ISE, Thailand.  Book week will take place between March 6th and 10th.   The performance for our annual Elementary Production, ‘Aladdin Trouble’ will begin the week of March 27th -March 30th.  There will be two evening performances on Tuesday 28th and Thursday 30th March, 6:30-7:30.


Please note that we will close for Spring Break on Friday March 31st at the end of the school day and reopen Monday April 10th.  The annual Arts Festival will be held on Friday 14th April, this will be planned by our Arts Department and more information about this event will follow shortly.  The HIS Spring Carnival will take on Friday 21st April and is currently being planned by the PTA and some of our secondary students .



Mr Terry Hamilton

Letter about our exam results

26 August 2016

Dear Parents and H.I.S Community,

Below is the basic information on our recent Cambridge IGCSE and IB Diploma results.




We were very pleased with our Grade 12 results from the May 2016 examination period. Of the 14 diploma students enrolled for the examination, 12 passed the Diploma. The passing mark to gain a diploma is 24 points out of a maximum of 45 points. From the 12 students who passed the examination the average points scored was 34 and our highest grade was 44. In almost all of the subjects the HIS results were above the World-wide average grade. All our Grade 12 students got placement in a College or University programme for future study with some gaining places at top world colleges and universities.


There were quite a range of grades for last years Grade 10 who took this examination last May-June. It was pleasing to see a number of A* and A grades and a pleasing percentage of students gained grades in the A* to D range. Remember that the grades can range from A* to G. The IGCSE curriculum and experience at taking the IGCSE examination gives students a good grounding on moving up to the IB Diploma programme in Grades 11 and 12.

Yours sincerely,

Terry Hamilton




Logo (Small)

1 June 2016

Dear Parents and HIS Community,

We are now in our last two weeks before the school closes another academic year on Friday June 10 at around 11am. Reflecting back on the year it seems to have gone very fast and has been as usual very busy with many highlights. We have continued to fully participate in all MRISA events and have in fact had our most successful MRISA year for as long as I can remember – Sporting, the Arts, M.U.N (Model United Nations) and student Leadership.  Hosting the MRISA Junior football competition was a challenge successfully managed by Mr. Adam Lee. A special thank you to all families who hosted visiting students who came to this MRISA event. The Elementary Production produced by Ms. Laura Gray and all Elementary staff was a great hit for the community. Our CCP programme continued to thrive under the leadership of Mr. Andy Smith. Reflecting on the above and the range of activities and opportunities available to our students, in addition to their academic studies, our mission at H.I.S is to develop the whole student in all aspects and participation in extra-curricular events and school without walls as reflected in the camps week programme, work experience week and other opportunities is a major part of this. It is also that time of year when thanks go out to all the individuals and groups who have supported the schools activities. The very active PTA must be praised for its energetic support throughout the year.

Over the year we have hosted a number of visits by universities and their admissions staff who have come and introduce their universities to our older students. This opportunity for them to see our school and meet our students and their families is a great starting point in the admissions to university and colleges process.

During the year we had our IBPYP Evaluation visit and a very complimentary and pleasing report from that visit has been received by us. There are some helpful suggestions for us to develop PYP further and these will be built into the Elementary School Development Plan for 2016-2017. In the 2016-2017 we will have a similar visit for the IBMYP Evaluation.

On Monday May 23 we had the MRISA AGM at UNIS all heads and athletic directors from the member schools got together to map out the events for 2016-2017 and discuss issues to do with the MRISA Charter and By-Laws. The meeting was a success and the MRISA programme for next year is agreed and in place.

The Grade 12 Graduation in the Lotte Hotel on Friday 27 May was a tasteful event and we thank Nico Vromant, amongst other things, Chair of the PTA, for being our Guest speaker. Blue Dragon has been a major fundraising focus for H.I.S this year and through the efforts of the PTA and other school fund raising activities we are able to present Blue Dragon with the sum of approximately $5,000USD.

Over the summer holiday period much effort and investment will be put into getting the school building and site ready to start the new school year in August. We have a number of development plans ready and I am looking forward to seeing the results when we come back in August.

At this time of year we say goodbye to some students and staff who will be leaving HIS. The staff leaving will be Mr. David Miles (Head of the Secondary School and teacher of Mathematics) who is moving to Malta; Mr. Steve Stander (Head of the Language B Department and English B teacher) who is moving to an International School in Beijing, China; Ms. Georgie Brice (Elementary Grade Teacher) who is moving with her husband, Mr. Steve Stander, to Beijing, China; Ms. Annie Fitzgerald (Elementary Grade Teacher) who is moving back to New York to take up a year of further university studies; Mr Ben Alderton (Elementary Grade Teacher) who is moving to the International School of Warsaw, Poland; Mr. Neil Johnstone (PYP Coordinator and Elementary Grade Teacher) who is moving back to Scotland; Ms. Jessica Ingram (Elementary SEN and EAL) who is going to Australia for further university studies; Ms. Cathy Huey (Secondary Middle School Counsellor, SEN support) who is moving to Shanghai, China and Ms. Sun Young Yang (Part time Korean teacher) who is returning to Korea with her family.  It is quite normal in International Schools to see an annual turn-over of staff and we thank each and every one of the leaving staff for all they have done at HIS and wish them all well. For those students and families leaving H.I.S. I also thank you for your support and students leaving, do not forget you will always be a part of H.I.S.

We have new staff arriving in August and I will give you their names and some brief background information here. You will be introduced to them in August. Mr. Sean Gibb (Head of Secondary School) is a New Zealander coming to us from the International School of Stavanger, Norway – his teaching area is in the Humanities: Ms. Tekia Timmons from USA will be teaching Secondary Mathematics and Design and is currently at St. Paul’s American School Hanoi: Ms. Kathy Black is from New Zealand and currently at Tashkent International School, Uzbekistan – she will he Head of Language B Department and teacher of English B: Ms. Vicki Gardner is from the UK and currently at an International School in Sweden – she will be the Middle School Counsellor, and a Secondary school teacher of English B and Theory of Knowledge in addition to giving support to students requiring some form of special educational support: Ms.Keiko Shofu is from Japan and currently at the American School of Tegucigalpa, Honduras – she will be a teacher within the Elementary School and some Middle School in Special Educational Needs and English as an Alternative Language: Ms. Vani Veikoso is from Fiji and currently at The KAUST School in Saudi Arabia – she is the new PYP Coordinator and teacher of Grade 5 – Ms. Vani was on our staff over 12 years ago: Mr. Adam Hayton is from Australia and currently at the British International School of Moscow, Russia – he will be a Grade 4 teacher: Mr. James Kaunhoven is from the UK and is well known to us all as he is based in Hanoi and has filled in substitute teaching needs in the past – he now comes onto our staff as a full time grade teacher for Grade 2:

Ms. Rebecca Weitzel from USA currently at the Al-Bayan Bilingual School in Kuwait and will be the new Pre-KG and KG teacher as Ms. Katrina Garcia, the current Pre-KG and KG teacher, moves to Grade 1 next year. I am sure the whole community will give all our new staff a warm welcome to HIS in August 2016.

We will wait for the IB Diploma results in July and the IGCSE exam results in August and I wish everyone the best of luck for those results.

Please note the basic 2016-2017 calendar for the School posted on our website. Any changes from this year’s calendar are driven either from where National Holidays occur or for school needs. At this time please note the following events that come as we start our new school year on Monday August 8: Friday August 5 a welcome to new families both Elementary and Secondary between 9 and 9.30am in the school auditorium: Friday August 12 will be the first meeting of the PTA between 7 and 8pm in the school auditorium – all are invited: Tuesday August 16 will be a full open evening from 5.30pm for parents only to look over the school. This is followed by a parent-teacher social reception from 6.30pm in the school auditorium. This is a good opportunity to tour the school itself and to be introduced to new staff. For new parents, all staff will be new to you.

Next November will make the ending of the current H.I.S.20 year Joint Ventureship between the Centre for Education Technology and the International School Development Inc. An MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) has been agreed to renew the 20 year Joint Ventureship from November 2016. We will also be planning to mark the occasion of the school’s 20 year ‘birthday’ to be held in November.

I thank you all again for a great year and wish you safe travels’ and a well deserved summer break.

Yours most sincerely,


Terry Hamilton




24 February 2016.

Dear Parents and HIS Community,

I do hope you all had a good Tet break and now we have a very busy time through March and April. For the Secondary School we have a number of MRISA events including the Junior Football which we will host between 10 – 13 March. Thank you so much to all the parents and others who have offered to host the visiting teams. Preparations for this event are well under way. March and April are important preparation months for Grades 10 and 12 before they go to external examinations in May – Cambridge IGCSE and IB Diploma. It is important for these students not to miss school during this preparation time. The last day for classes for these two grades only will be Friday April 15. In April we will have a PYP evaluation visit 11-13 April. We also have the annual through school Arts and Music Festival on April 6.

Grade 12 students continue to make their university and college applications and some of our students have already received some offers for next year. All such information Ms. Ali will keep you all well informed.

It is natural in an International School that some staff will leave HIS at the end of the school year. January is one of the busy times for recruitment of new staff for August 2016. Ms. Tra and I attended recruitment conferences in London and Boston in January and I can report that we have seven new staff who will be joining HIS in August. At a later date I will give you more information on our new staff.

We will close for the Spring break on Friday 22 April and reopen Wednesday 4 May.

May I wish you all Chúc mừng năm mới!

Terry Hamilton


The Start of a New Year August 2015.

19 August 2015

Dear HIS Community,

We are now into our second week of the new academic year. It has been a smooth start and routines already have been well established. We have welcomed new students, families and staff to HIS. Last night we held our first open night for the community followed by a social hour with staff and parents. Already the calendar for the coming semester look quite full. Can I highlight some important dates coming up: Wednesday September 2 is Vietnam National Day and the school will be closed for that day, Wednesday September 9 the PTA will hold its first meeting at HIS – information will be coming out to you all regarding this meeting, Monday September 21 there will be a large USA universities fair at HIS between 8am and 10.30am. Over 50 universities will be represented. Tuesday September 22 will be the annual HIS Sports Day.

During the year we will be using this website to support communication between HIS and the community so regularly look at this site.

Wishing you all a successful year.


Terry Hamilton



During the weekend and Monday of May 23-25 I was in Vientiane at the MRISA AGM. The meeting went well although we had to farewell 4 MRISA school Heads who are leaving the region. So it seems we have our MRISA events organised for next year.


CIS logo

Over the years this latest visit must be the 18th such CIS accreditation visit I have led and no doubt CIS will ask me to lead more. HIS is fully accredited with CIS, along with NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges – US), and our active involvement in the accreditation team work in other schools demonstrates to CIS that HIS is a loyal and fully supportive member of CIS, the World’s largest association of International and internationally-minded schools. I encourage staff to attend CIS training workshops for inclusion on such accreditation visit. This year Ms. Georgie and Mr. Steve did such training and Mr. Steve has already recently taken up, and completed, an invitation to join such a team to an international school in Malaysia.


Art show

While I was away in China on CIS accreditation April 11-18, I missed some great school events but these dates for CIS were fixed over 9 months ago so it was just unfortunate for me to miss them. But I want to acknowledge what fine events they were. The annual HIS Arts and Music Festival held on 14 April was a huge success and congratulations to Ms. Amy, Ms. Ngoc, Mr. Grant Chamberlain and all the other staff and the students of course who contributed to this event. Ms. Sue Fleming, my wife, represented me that night and gave me a full report while I was in Tianjin.

Amy Hanson

Amy Hanson

Ms. Ngoc

Ms. Ngoc

Art Show 2
Then I missed the annual HIS Sports Day on Thursday April 16. Again reports to me showed what a great event that was and Mr. Adam, Mr. Andy, Mr. Dung and Mr. Long I want to congratulate along with all other staff and the students who supported and enjoyed the day.

Adam Lee

Adam Lee

Andy Smith

Andy Smith

What I did make was the MRISA Senior Football which HIS hosted over April 2 -5 and must congratulate Mr. Adam especially in all his hard work to make this an exciting and enjoyable event for all the MRISA teams who attended. I know many people helped in all sorts of ways and that is so much appreciated. I think Mr. Leo must be singled out as the coach of our great Senior Football Team who made us all proud.



Congratulation to the Senior Girls Football Team for winning the Plate under the expert coaching of Mr. Michael and Mr. Adam.

mrisa girls

I would like to thank all our hosting families for looking after our visitors. Without your support we could not have hosted this event.


My Grade 10 History Class

Now Grades 10 and 12 have left for study leave before taking their IGCSE and Diploma examinations starting for IGCSE next Tuesday April 28. I missed the farewell assembly on Friday April 17 but I wish my Grade 10 History and Grade 12 History all the best in the coming exams. Of course I wish all Grade 10 and 12 the very best over the exam period.

We now have our annual Grand Elementary Production which opens tonight Tuesday April 21 and will be performed over the next three days. All the Elementary teachers, leadership and teacher assistants have been preparing our elementary students for this important event. The role of Ms. Laura has been critical to putting this production on. She is the mainstay for all of us at this time and she is to be thanked so much for this.

Laura Gray

Laura Gray

It will be fully supported by the HIS community and I am sure you will all enjoy this event.
At this time I would also like to recognize the huge role our wonderful support staff make in so many ways, often quietly working in the background, to support all these events. Without their loyal and professional support I do not think our events would demonstrate the quality which they do.