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Student Support Blog

Protecting our Children from Online Predators

In a world dominated by social media, it is important that we take the time to educate our students on how they can keep themselves safe online.

The HIS homeroom curriculum is designed to give students an opportunity to find out about important issues that might not be covered in their normal classes.

Grade 6 homeroom teachers are currently teaching their homeroom class about how to stay safe online. Parents are encouraged to follow up with their child by setting up safety agreements at home.

For more information on how to keep your child safe, visit this website.

Inclusive Schools

As a part of the social emotional curriculum in PYP, grade 3 and 5 students have been talking about creating a community in which every student feels included. The students reflected on:

  • What it means to be inclusive
  • Why is it important?
  • How does it feel when you are not included?
  • Whose responsibility is inclusion?

The students then created role plays that showed how something as simple as how the way we sit and stand can include or exclude others.

The students understood that even small changes can make a big difference in building an inclusive community that cares for every student.

Grade 9 students learning about stress

In homeroom last week, grade 9 students welcomed a guest speaker as part of their unit on stress. Ms. Jennifer Marchand, a locally based psychologist, gave a presentation that answered questions that grade 9 students have on the subject of stress:

●What is stress and how do you know if you have it?

●What can you do to feel less stressed?

●What should I do if I can’t control my own stress levels?

The information in Ms. Marchand’s presentation may well prove useful as grade nine students begin their preparations for grade ten and the completion of the Personal Project.

Make a connection!

In this digital age, much has been written about the effect of technology and social media on teenage mental and physical health. Studies indicate that excessive use of technology, and social media in particular, can result in feelings of anxiety, depression and social isolation.

Technology does, however, have its place. The HIS ‘Responsible User’ agreement outlines that, “Responsible use of technology by students, with guidance from teaching staff, provides a secure and safe learning environment” and can, “ … enhance student learning experiences in profound ways.”

However, away from the classroom, many students struggle to find a healthy balance between connecting with others socially online as opposed to connecting with others in person and face to face. The co-curricular programme that HIS offers to all students is a great way for students to make new friends. With holistic education at the heart of the HIS mission statement, the co-curricular programme provides our students with opportunities to make personal connections and a framework to look up from their phones and develop meaningful relationships with others.

For details on this quarter’s CCP opportunities, please contact

Growing up!

Being a Secondary school student can be both scary and exciting, stressful and exhilarating; it is a time of great change in a young person’s life. Studies show that, done well, a student’s transition from Elementary to Secondary school can have a positive impact on academic success and well-being.

Just before the Tet break we began the transition process for grade 5 students at HIS. Representatives from the grade six homeroom visited the grade 5 students in order to answer initial questions that the younger students had regarding the move. We felt that grade 6 students may be in a better position to provide relevant, accurate and relatable answers to the burning questions that grade 5 students have generated.

Speaking about the chance to ask questions about the transition to Secondary, a grade five student said, “It was really helpful to hear their answers.”

As part of the transition programme at HIS, grade 5 students will be taken on a tour of Secondary, with an opportunity to meet some teachers and see some lessons in action. Students will enjoy a full transition day on Tuesday 5th June, when they get to spend an entire day experiencing what it will be like as a grade 6 student. Students will also be supported with special induction sessions that focus on areas such as MYP assessment and Managebac.

The link below contains several resources for parents in supporting their child in the transition process.

Grade five parents should please put a note in yourdiary for the parent information evening on June 5th where further information will be shared about how you can support your child through the Secondary school years.

Why Emotions Matter

Have you ever found yourself wondering why more and more schools are turning to mindfulness and investing in social and emotional education as a core part of the curriculum? The important role that emotions play in learning is even reflected in our school’s mission statement:

“We strive to develop the whole child as a life-long learner with a strong sense of self worth.”
Hanoi International School Mission Statement

We know that if a student’s emotions aren’t in balance, then their brains aren’t ready for new learning. The article below from Edutopia explores the lessons that we can learn from the Pixar film, ‘Inside Out’ (2015) on the effect of emotions on our perception and attention spans.

As an IB World School, we explicitly teach our students how to understand and regulate their emotions as well as how to communicate their emotions in an appropriate way. Throughout the PYP, MYP and DP, students discuss the emotional aspect of their identity in the social emotional curriculum as well as developing these self-management skills in all subjects, through the lens of ‘Approaches to Learning’ skills.