As a member of the Nord Anglia group, this all-through school in Hanoi delivers a bilingual curriculum that's enhanced with an international music programme and a host of online courses, challenges and experiences.
British Vietnamese International School, Hanoi delivers a well-rounded, bilingual British education, boosted by excellent global learning opportunities and a world-renowned music curriculum. Located in the urban district of Thanh Xuan, this all-through school provides a solid British curriculum in English and Vietnamese from pre-school to Year 13.
As well as having the hallmarks of a British independent school, BVIS Hanoi brings to Vietnam many of the features that global education group Nord Anglia has become renowned for. As a member of the Nord Anglia family of schools, it works in collaboration with The Juilliard School to offer an outstanding music programme; it offers access to online courses, global challenges, and experiences available through Nord Anglia’s virtual global campus; and it focuses on STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths – in and outside the classroom.
BVIS Hanoi has a sister campus in Ho Chi Minh City, BVIS HCMC. Both schools are part of Nord Anglia's much larger British International School group in Vietnam. British International School has an all-through campus in Hanoi, as well as an early years and infant campus for children up to Year 2, a primary campus, and a secondary campus, all of which are located in HCMC.
BVIS Hanoi is one of only a few bilingual schools in Vietnam. Learning follows the National Curriculum for England, and secondary students study for globally recognised IGCSEs and A Levels.
Here's a school that primacies to equip students "with firm English and Vietnamese language foundations, independent study skills and confidence" – and students are immersed in both English and Vietnamese from day one.
Teaching follows the Early Years Foundation Stage programme in both Vietnamese and English from pre-nursery to reception, where learning is “active, play-based and of a practical nature”. As well as focusing on communication literacy and language, physical development, and personal and social skills, learning at BVIS Hanoi centres on creative and innovative play-based activities, mathematics, and a philosophy that strongly develops a love for learning and higher order thinking. Children have access to creative and challenging indoor and outdoor learning spaces, with facilities including role play and water play areas, a soft play room, mini splash pool, outdoor playground, climbing wall, and sand pit.
At primary level, English teachers teach subjects in English such as literature, science, ICT, music, and PE, while Vietnamese teachers teach Vietnamese maths and literature. Teachers also follow the International Primary Curriculum or Lien Ket to teach the arts, history, and geography in both languages. 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 perspective and celebrate the differences and similarities across a varied range of nationalities and cultures.
By secondary school, students are expected to have "high English literacy levels in both English and Vietnamese", and teaching of IGCSE and A Level subjects is taught predominantly in English. BVIS Hanoi currently offers a decent choice of A Levels in art, biology, business studies, chemistry, economics, English literature, geography, history, maths, music, PE, and physics.
Technology is integrated across all aspects of the curriculum with a BYOD (bring your own device) scheme in Years 5 and 6. You’ll find students from Year 1 upwards proficient in coding and using their skills to integrate with the robotics programme. In addition, children use 3D modelling to design and create their own 3D creations, using 3D printers and laser cutting technology. Children use Google applications to help with collaboration in their work, and iPads are available for all children across all subject areas; there are interactive whiteboards in all classrooms.
While the main nationality at BVIS Hanoi is Vietnamese, the student body represents 13 different nationalities. Teacher student ratios range from 5:1 to 12:1.
Typical of good independent schools in the UK, BVIS Hanoi has an active house system, provides a wide range of educational visits and after-school activities, and recognises British culture in annual events such as a Poppy Appeal, carol concert, Christmas and spring fetes, pantomimes, and the option of fresh traditional British food together with local options in the school canteen.
The majority of teachers are recruited from the UK, with Vietnamese teachers teaching non-English lessons. There are whole-school specialist teachers for art, dance, PE, ICT, library, and languages. The principal and primary and secondary head teachers are all British-born. Mark Sayer, the school principal, has more than 13 years’ experience in education in the UK, including British public school Wellington College; BVIS Hanoi is his first international posting.
In line with UK schools, the academic year runs from August to June and has three terms.
Focus on sport and the arts
One of BVIS 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 terms of sporting action, students can take part in regular inter-house competitions and represent BVIS in regular fixtures against other international schools, such as the FOBISIA primary, U13, and U15 games. There are also match reports written by students on the school website. PE lessons cover a broad range of traditional sports and physical activities including athletics, swimming, tag rugby, dance, and rounders.
A global campus
While BVIS Hanoi may have been founded 20 years ago to help fill the gap for bilingual education in Vietnam, it has evolved to become a truly international school. As a member of Nord Anglia’s global network of 55 schools, BVIS Hanoi is connected to students worldwide through the group’s impressive Global Campus. This virtual world links each Nord Anglia school, spanning 25 countries worldwide, 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 BVIS manages to retain that ‘small school feeling’ on 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
As well as taking part in various community service initiatives, students, 'work' within the community as part of a programme that aims to "link students’ knowledge to practical tasks".
There are plenty of team-building activities on offer during the school’s outdoor residential trips, which run from Year 3 onwards. Field trips run from foundation stage through to Year 13, and primary and secondary students can compete in events overseas with other international schools through partnerships with FOBISIA and Nord Anglia. BVIS Hanoi also offers an extensive programme of extra-curricular activities from Year 1, with clubs ranging from sport, music, and drama through to community service, technology, arts, and environmental.
The school community at BVIS Hanoi is brought together through various student-led initiatives; every student is a member of one of four houses, and students can be elected to the school council, sport team captains, and house captains.
BVIS Hanoi has a stronger academic record for IGCSEs than its sister campus in HCMC, and one that outperforms the global average. In the 2018 results, 92% of its cohort of 42 students were graded at least 5 A* – C grades overall, which is a small increase from 88% in 2017. 46% of all grades were A* or A.
Its first A Level results show promise: 77% of students were graded A* – C grades overall, and 26% of all grades were A* or A, which matches the global average.
This all-through school is able to deliver a well-rounded education in a campus that’s well-equipped with some impressive facilities. Located on a purpose-built campus in the Royal City apartment, shopping, and entertainment complex, BVIS Hanoi has modern classrooms, two libraries, two auditoriums; two sports halls, a climbing wall, an indoor 25m swimming pool, and a playing field.
There are three separate blocks for each of the early years, primary, and secondary schools.
Admission and fees
Compared to Nord Anglia's British International Schools in Vietnam, annual tuition fees are considerably lower. 2018-19 fees range from VND 189,500,000 for nursery up to VND 345,100,000 for Year 1, VND 403,600,000 for Year 7, and VND 458,200,000 for Year 12.
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