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.

CIS Accreditation to International School Tianjin


I have just returned to Hanoi and HIS have spent last week , 11-18 April, leading another CIS (Council of International Schools)/ WASC (Western Association of School s and Colleges –US) accreditation assessment visit to the International School of Tianjin, China. This visit also included seven members of the IB organization whose job was to re-authorize the teaching of the PYP, MYP and Diploma programmes. So it was quite a complex operation but at the end of a very busy and successful week a lengthy report was produced that will go to the school in time with outcomes upon which they can build their future strategic planning. It was a great school of about 450 students, very international, and similar its’ organization to our own. I had a great team drawn from schools and organizations as far away as Australia, Italy and US along with other International Schools in Asia.


CIS Accreditation in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

This is the second such CIS team visit I have led this year, the other being to St. Michael’s Collegiate School in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, in November, 2014 – the oldest girls’ school in Tasmania founded in 1892. It again was a great school to visit and again had an outstanding team.

st michaels