This small all-through school offers the choice of a bilingual education for Vietnamese students, or an international programme that includes IGCSEs and A Levels.
Horizon International Bilingual School is a school of two halves – one offering a bilingual programme in Vietnamese and English, and the other delivering an international programme in English that works towards IGCSEs and A Levels. Located in central Hanoi, this all-through day and boarding school appeals to both local and expat families. And, while the two programmes are taught in isolation, the students do come together for occasions such as sporting events, meal times, and school productions.
There are a few bilingual international schools in Vietnam, but HIBS is very proud to say that it was the first. Established in HCMC in 2005 (where it currently offers a bilingual programme only), the school opened its Hanoi campus in 2007. It’s a truly global school with a total student population of around 500 children across the two campuses, representing more than 20 nationalities, and an international mix of teaching staff.
There’s a dual approach to education at HIBS, and the two programmes are designed and taught separately. The bilingual programme teaches the Vietnamese National Curriculum set by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), and works towards local exams in Grade 12. All teachers are bilingual and all students learn to speak English as an additional language.
The international programme is based on the National Curriculum for England and the UK’s Cambridge curriculum, and works towards IGCSEs and A Levels. In a typically British-style education, students from nursery through to Year 13 study the core subjects as well as specialist teaching, taking subjects including science, art and design, music, geography, history, ICT, and PE.
HIBS has a strong reading programme that includes library time, silent reading, and mentorship sessions with junior and senior students. All students are enrolled in a character programme that focuses on values such as responsibility, respect, honesty, empathy, and fairness.
The school says,
“The programme is integrated into all subjects as well as the school in general… Teaching is more than information; it is about shaping a character.”
There’s a 1:1 iPad and laptop programme at the school, and the use of technology such as Google Apps for Education to develop learners who are, “effective communicators, problem solvers, critical thinkers and collaborators”. Beyond the classroom, HIBS runs a programme of extra-curricular activities, although the website does not provide any detailed information.
The Hanoi campus is located in the expat-friendly Tay Ho neighbourhood. While HIBS may not have the glitzy facilities of some schools, it does have everything students need for a solid education – well-equipped classrooms, science labs, music rooms, art rooms, a multi-purpose hall, play areas, and a canteen. The school also has boarding facilities in the form of students’ dorms.
Admission and fees
This is a non-selective school, but the admissions process does include an English entrance exam and cognitive ability test. Tuition fees for the international programme at the Hanoi campus are among the most affordable in Vietnam – VND 236,000,000 for the primary years, VND 253,000,000 for Years 7 – 11, and VND 268,500,000 for Years 12 – 13.
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