Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Online Start Ups

Vietnam is gaining a reputation as a place where entrepreneurship is valued as the following part of an article from the BBC explains.

Ngan Lee runs a technology forum. In a high rise rooftop bar she told me that Wi-Fi in Ho Chi Minh City is faster and cheaper than any other South East Asian city.
The whole of the city of Da Nang has free Wi-Fi - families even use it when they head out to the park.
It helps explain why more than 40 million of Vietnam's 90 million population are online.


Dream-plex in central Ho Chi Minh city is the kind of trendy, co-working space you'd find in California.

Dream-plex co-working space
Image captionDream-plex is part of the California-style vibe to parts of the city

A large open plan office with kitchen and games room where people can rent desk space and benefit from chatting to others who are dreaming big. The people I spoke to here had almost all been educated overseas or had recently arrived in the country.
They were all excited about the opportunities afforded by the hustle and fast pace of this city.
As one recent arrival told me about this ancient city: "Vietnam is a start-up". 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Holiday time

And we come to the end of another term.  For most of our students it will be a holiday, however for our year 11 and sixth form students it will be a time of revision.  Don't forget all the resources available on the resource page of this blog, including our departmental website.

So I'd like to wish all of our students a relaxing holiday.  Take some time to walk, relax and catch up with friends and family and come back to school refreshed and ready to take on next term's challenge.

Meanwhile, enjoy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sixth Form Exams

And our year 12 and year 13 ICT groups have sighed a huge sigh of relief.  Their practical Applied ICT exams are over.   All they have left is theory and everyone knows that the theory paper is easy :-)

So how did the exams go?  Two and a half hours of intense concentration, focus and applying all the hard gained knowledge.  At the end of the two and a half hours - laughter and chatting while exchanging methods used.  It was a unanimous agreement that "it wasn't too bad".  So the spreadsheets and databases can be put away for a little, for year 12 at least.  Year 13 are off to university where they will become really popular among all those students who discover they have to use a spreadsheet and can't do it because they stopped doing ICT at the age of 14.

And as a final goodbye, here is a photo of our intrepid year 13 who took on the Applied ICT challenge, persevered, learnt how to problem solve, think logically and work as an effective team.

They are almost at the end of their BIS Hanoi school journey, ready to embrace the next chapter of their academic lives.

The Computing & ICT department wish them all the best and one last push to ace the theory exam!!

Monday, March 21, 2016


Exam season is now in full swing in the ICT department. Today, our AS students completed the practical element of the AS Applied ICT course. This is weighted at 60% of their AS qualification and it's only March!

They've had to demonstrate their understanding of Database Management Systems, analyse complex data and then model it using a spreadsheet package. They've also had to apply their theoretical understanding in a practical setting. They've covered a lot of content in only 7 months - well done Y12!

I remember telling them only a few months ago they had lots of time and before we knew it the exam date had arrived - that was quick! This kicks off a series of exams in the department. On Wednesday we have the A2 practical exam which will be taken by our year 13 students. This exam will be followed by the IGCSE practical exams on the 26th and 28th April, to be taken by our Year 11 students. Again, this will be worth 60% of their qualification completed  before the official exam period begins.

So what can Year 11 do to prepare?

  • Give yourself enough time to study. There is no point in waiting 24 hours before the exam to begin revising. Start now!
  • Flashcards - little cards with questions/answers and topics are useful for some students
  • Eat healthily and drink plenty of fluids
  • Revisit past papers
  • Study with friends
  • Access useful ICT resources such as Teach-ICT, ICT Lounge and IGCSE ICT.info
  • Take regular breaks - this is much better than doing twenty minutes and then watching YouTube videos all evening - you know who you are :)  
  • Use the BIS ICT and Computing website - it's excellent, we promise (link here)
And to top all of this, we also have the BIS Hanoi internal examinations in term 3. 

Fun, fun, fun...

Mr. Toner

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Blast from the past

In term three our year 10 classes were given a project which was to write some software which would help young children to read.  The audience age group was 5 years old.  So naturally the year 10s invited the children from year 1 to come and test their software.  

The children from year 1 thoroughly enjoyed being "testers" for their older school mates.  And year 10 asked lots of penetrating questions to get to the heart of how they could improve their software.  

Mr Short, our Head of Secondary had heard about our budding software developers and came to see what was happening during the testing.  He was very impressed with the standard of software and the enthusiasm of all of our students.  Both year 1 and year 10.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

It has been a busy couple of weeks for students in the upper school.  After the mock exams in January, year 11 and years 12 and 13 are preparing for their real practical exams which happen in just a few weeks.

For year 12 their first exam is on March 21st and for year 13 their exam is on March 23rd.  On both of these days, the exams will take place in the morning.  

ICT practical exams demonstrate a student's problem solving ability and their technical knowledge. Although not allowed to talk in the exam, a student can use the help functions on the various programs that they are using.  So they are never just left by themselves.  

A practical exam uses the same techniques as a written exam.
Stay calm
Remember to breathe
If you make a mistake - don't panic.  You can always undo or delete and start again.
READ the question
Answer the actual question not the question that you would like to answer.

And finally - remember to revise and the impossible becomes possible when it's done.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The ICT & Computing department at BIS Hanoi

Welcome to the blog of the ICT and Computing Department at BIS Hanoi, a Nord Anglia School.

Our teachers
Mrs Vaughan

Mr Stephens Mr Toner

This post will be a "sticky" and will have all the links on it that you will need for your time at BIS Hanoi.