A Nord Anglia school, British International School Hanoi offers a very British education at primary and secondary levels, as well as a unique music programme, the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, and access to an online global learning community.
In addition to having many of the hallmarks of a British independent school, BIS Hanoi brings to Vietnam many of the features that education group Nord Anglia has become renowned for. As a member of the Nord Anglia family of school, BIS Hanoi works in collaboration with The Juilliard School to offer an outstanding music programme; it also offers access to online courses, global challenges and experiences available through Nord Anglia’s virtual global campus.
The Hanoi campus is part of the much larger BIS family of schools; in Ho Chi Minh City, BIS has the An Phu primary and secondary campuses in District 2, a primary campus in Tu Xuong, and it will open a new early years and junior campus in District 2 in January 2018. The BIS group also includes three British Vietnamese International Schools (BVIS) with campuses in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
BIS Hanoi takes students aged 18 months to 18 years through its pre-school, primary school and secondary school. The early years section follows the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for children aged 18 months to five years, which means you can expect a wide variety of fun, play-based activities, held both indoors and outdoors. The primary school combines the English National Curriculum and the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) for Years 1 through to 6.
Known for its creative and thematic approach to teaching, IPC focuses on developing individual strengths in these subject areas; for example, students will explore the impact of tourism following a residential trip to Hoi An. Nord Anglia schools are well-known for enhancing their British syllabus with the IPC, and this helps students to develop a global outlook and appreciate different cultures.
While the classroom teacher takes lessons in English, maths, science, geography, history, PSHE (Personal, Social Health and Economic Education), design technology, and digital literacy, there are specialist teachers for languages (French, Mandarin and Spanish) and PE (including swimming), as well as music, drama and art in Years 3-6.
The British-style of education continues in the first few years of secondary school, from Years 7 to 11. The curriculum includes English, maths, science, geography, history, PSHE (Personal, Social Health and Economic Education), design technology, digital literacy, languages (Thai, Mandarin, French and Spanish), PE, drama, music and art. Students take their IGCSEs in Year 11. Learning then switches to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in Years 12 and 13.
Technology is used across the curriculum and you’ll find students using PowerPoint presentations, Google docs and iPads in all subjects; there are interactive whiteboards in all classrooms and the school has a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programme from Year 5. An example of how students use iPads to film their peers diving in a swim lesson gives you an idea of how technology is used in creative ways at this school.
Focus on sport and the arts
One of BIS Hanoi’s distinguishing features is its collaboration with The Juilliard School, a renowned performing arts academy based in New York. Through the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Programme, the school puts its students in front of Juilliard’s performers and teaching artists at various workshops, masterclasses and performances. You really get a feel for the love of music at this school. The school’s music curriculum is based on a repertoire curated by Juilliard that is built around 12 categories of music, ranging from Bach and Mozart to Gershwin and John Williams.
The school’s website says,
“Through our music curriculum designed by The Juilliard School, every student can enjoy being an engaged listener, composer, interpreter and communicator. In addition, your child will be developing valuable skills that will pay dividends in all aspects of learning and prepare them for success in future life.”
In 2017, the school also launched an instrumental music programme in partnership with The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), which offers instrumental lessons to all students as an extra-curricular activity.
In terms of sporting action, students can take part in regular inter-house competitions and represent BIS in regular fixtures against other international schools, such as the FOBISIA primary, U13 and U15 games. PE lessons cover a broad range of traditional sports and physical activities, as well as some more unique offerings of karate, fencing, rock climbing, yoga, kick boxing, dance and golf.
A global campus
While BIS may have been founded 20 years ago to help fill the gap for expat education in Vietnam, it has evolved to become a truly international school. As a member of Nord Anglia’s global network of 55 schools, BIS is connected to students worldwide through the group’s impressive Global Campus. This virtual world links Nord Anglia’s 55,000 students and gives them access to online courses, global challenges and experiences that are run across the family of schools.
By logging on to the Global Campus website, students can enter competitions and sign up to expeditions. Through Global Campus Worldwide, all Nord Anglia schools offer a variety of summer programmes ranging from specialist camps for the performing arts or leadership to sports and language camps. They also encourage students to showcase their talent in Nord Anglia regional and global competitions such as sports tournaments, orchestra performances and science festivals.
The school’s website says,
“Our Global Campus extends your child's learning beyond the classroom and the school day. Your child can participate in a wide variety of activities designed by educational experts and teachers to broaden their knowledge and nurture transferable skills valuable in school, university and the workplace.”
While BIS manages to retain that ‘small school feeling’ on each of its campuses, it also manages to deliver something bigger than its presence in Vietnam. Students can feel part of a ‘global community’, and compete and collaborate with their international peers – something that standalone international schools simply cannot offer.
Beyond the classroom
The school community at BIS Hanoi is brought together through various student-led initiatives: every student is a member of one of four houses, students can be elected to various leadership positions, and there is a hands-on community service programme that focuses on people, animals and the environment.
BIS Hanoi organises an annual programme of compulsory expeditions, day trips and residential camps, as well as wide choice of extra-curricular activities from Year 1 – with clubs ranging from sport, music and drama through to community service and the environment. Throughout the year, children can sign up for the school's Saturday School. Students can also take part in all three levels of the popular Duke of Edinburgh's International Award.
Like other BID schools in Vietnam, BIS Hanoi has a strong academic record. In 2017, 87% students achieved 5 A*- C grades compared to the UK average of 66.3%. 47% of all IGCSE grades achieved by BIS Hanoi students were at the highest levels of A* or A.
The school’s first IB cohort achieved an average score of 32.3 and there was a 96% pass rate; this is above the global average of 29.78. The top mark was 44 points, just one short of full marks.
Read our full roundup of IB results in Vietnam here.
Located in the Long Bien district, BIS Hanoi has a modern campus with library, theatre, auditorium, indoor 25m swimming pool, sports hall and playing fields, as well as specialist suites for science, music, ICT, art and drama. The nursery school has a dedicated mini splash pool, sand pit, outside playground and indoor soft-play room.
Admission and fees
Tuition fees at BIS Hanoi are mid-range compared to other international schools, and they range from VND 435,000,000 for Year 1 up to VND 641,000,000 for Years 11-12.
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