BackSponsored Listings » Education » Unlocking Potential from a Young Age: The Advantages of Enrolling Children in International Education at BIS HCMC

The path to becoming a lifelong learner begins early.

A child’s educational foundation helps determine their future success and social trajectory. The British International School Ho Chi Minh City (BIS HCMC) provides a holistic curriculum for children that begins when they are toddlers to give them the brightest future possible.

“Our youngest children play to learn - and learn to play, through our carefully balanced Early Years Foundation Programme” described Dee Grimshaw, Head of Early Years and Infant Campus. BIS HCMC believes that this approach alongside social support sets the foundations for successful future learning, developing confidence and independence.

“One of our first priorities is for children to learn how to identify their emotions and how to regulate them appropriately,” explained Sarah Curran, BIS’s Deputy Head of the Early Years and Infant Campus. The first sessions provided for the youngest students, in Early Years Foundation Stage 1 (F1) may sound simple, but that is why they are so essential. Students aged 2-3 in F1 learn to recognize how they are feeling and cultivate healthy responses to these emotions. They also participate in games and activities that develop their basic motor skills that will eventually allow them to hold a paintbrush, navigate a keyboard and kick a football. All important skills that will empower them to explore their passions in the future.

In addition to providing fantastic first steps in emotional, intellectual and social development, BIS’s earliest learners are introduced to core values and outlooks that will guide them throughout their future education and life, including integrity, respect, inquiry, care, perseverance and resilience.

In year 3 students transition to the Junior campus where they build on the important foundations they gained at the Early Years and Infant Campus. “Our children are encouraged to become more confident and independent and develop the critical thinking skills that are so essential in today’s global society” describes Ian Battersby, Head of Junior Campus. Students are offered a variety of opportunities for growth and leadership. They can become community ambassadors, who assist community partners, young interpreters who support our new students to settle in to school life, house captains who motivate their teams in a multitude of competitions and leaders on the student council.

From Year 1 Primary students enjoy a blend of the English National Curriculum combined with the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). This unique curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, curiosity and the pursuit of one’s passions, balancing a structured framework of traditional subjects with inquiry-led learning experiences that incorporate local culture and global perspectives.

Teachers are of course a key ingredient to a successful education and Grimshaw describes how BIS’s teachers are crucial: “Our caring and committed teachers really get to know our students’ interests and personalities. They know how to spark curiosity, creativity and imagination and create unique learning experiences around each individual child’s passions.”

While BIS has 3 campuses, the long-tenured staff members consistently work across and between the campuses and have developed a dedicated transition program which helps students transition smoothly into the Secondary campus in year 7. It’s not just teachers who work across campuses though. Year 8 students serve as transition ambassadors for the incoming year 7s. Year 10 students coach Year 2 students for physical education classes and older pupils serve as mentors in co-curricular activities such as music and sports.

Meanwhile, the integrated school is able to share resources that may typically not be available at smaller institutions. Therefore, dedicated language, learning support specialists, school counselors and wellbeing specialists are available for students and parents at all levels. There is even a trained therapy and wellbeing dog that joins wellbeing lessons and supports all students across the school.

 A number of school-wide collaborations as part of BIS’s Nord Anglia Education affiliation further enrich students’ education at all levels. For example, visiting musicians from New York’s famed Juilliard School lead special programs for teachers and students. The school’s collaborations with UNICEF and MIT provide further opportunities for BIS’s students. The academic career of Caitlin, a current Year 11 student, reveals the potential impact of the collaborations. She joined BIS at the Foundation Stage 1 level when she was only two years old. As a UNICEF ambassador, Caitlin recently joined the NAE-UNICEF Summit in New York with delegates from around the world. The young advocates worked together to come up with innovative solutions to global challenges. Caitlin also recently attended a Model United National conference in Seoul and was awarded a diploma for the Cello from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. She is also an avid swimmer, as part of BIS’s swim team the Barracudas. Caitlin noted: “Within BIS, I’ve had the opportunity to pursue my passion for music, and I’ve been able to make a positive impact through my involvement in various sustainability initiatives.”

But Caitlin is not an anomaly, Jane a recent graduate who achieved a perfect IBDP score of 45 points and started with BIS in Year 1 received an ASEAN scholarship to study accountancy at the National University of Singapore, a top 10 university globally. But BIS focuses on more than just academics and encourages each individual to follow their own path in life. Susu, a student who joined BIS in Foundation Stage 3, graduated last year and is now attending The New School, in New York, one of the most prestigious art and design schools in the world. While another recent graduate, Hope, who joined in Foundation stage 3 is now studying nursing at the University of York. BIS is proud to share the stories of students who joined at a young age and thus had the confidence to explore their passions and become advocates for what they believe in.

Deciding if and when to enroll your child in international school is a big decision. Many families assume education standards matter most in later years. However, the results of BIS’s world-class commitment to foundational skills and perspectives when students are at their most impressionable underscores why there is no such thing as “too early.” The impact of a holistic and mindful environment and structured, progressive curriculum supported by enrichment from upper-level resources will benefit the youngest learners for the rest of their lives.

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+84 (0) 28 3744 4551

BIS HCMC, Junior Campus, 225 Nguyen Van Huong Street, Thu Duc City, HCMC



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