FAQs

When was Renaissance Founded?

We were established in 2007 and were officially opened by His Royal Highness the Duke of York in Sept 2008. We have a good track record and our long term future is excellent.

Why Should I Send My Child to Your School?

  • Renaissance is a family school. Every child and every parent is important to us. We respect ourselves and each other. Education at Renaissance is built upon the recognition that every child and young person is unique.
  • We support each other and celebrate our successes – big and small – as a community. We are proud that Renaissance is our school.
  • At Renaissance, we are committed to the belief that all our students should enjoy education so that they want to learn throughout their lives. It is our aim for all of them to be happy at school and to achieve their full potential, make progress and develop specialised skills and understanding.
  • Small class sizes – we believe smaller than any other major International schools in HCMC. A recent CIS report noted our excellent student- teacher ratio.
  • We work in partnership with our parents.
  • All our teachers have British curriculum experience. We have dedicated and caring teachers – a fact highlighted by the 95% positive response in our recent Parents’ Satisfaction Survey.
  • We have state-of-the-art facilities expected of a leading International school including a full size swimming pool, gym, all-weather pitch and multimedia theatre.
  • We are an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, fully accredited by the Council of International Schools and an approved center for University of Cambridge. We offer the International Primary Curriculum and are the only member in Vietnam of Round Square – a prestigious organisation of schools from all over the world. After graduating from Renaissance students have gained entry to the best universities in the world.

What is Special About a Renaissance Student?

Our goal is for our students to achieve the highest academic standards while, at the same time, developing important life skills – concern and compassion for others, the willingness to accept responsibility, and concern and tenacity in pursuit of the truth.
A Renaissance student will develop the self- awareness, skills, knowledge and attitudes to make a positive difference to the world in which they live.

What is Round Square?

Renaissance is a proud member of Round Square, a world-wide association of schools which share a commitment beyond academic excellence, to personal development and responsibility.
*For more information: www.roundsquare.org

Who is The Head of School? Where is He from?

Our Head of School is Mr Peter Gittins. Mr Peter has been involved in international education for over thirty years as both a teacher and school leader. An Australian citizen, Peter originally trained as a teacher of History and English and worked as a teacher in Papua New Guinea and Nepal before commencing his school leadership in the capacity as the Founding Principal of the International (Grammar) School, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. There followed an interim Headship in Australia, the Headship of the Overseas School of Colombo, Sri Lanka for five years and the Headship of the International School Hamburg, Germany for six years.

Immediately prior to joining Renaissance International School, Peter worked for the Council of International Schools advising schools in the areas of accreditation and improvement. He has consulted widely on effective school governance and has also presented workshops and featured as a speaker at numerous IB and at Regional Teacher Conferences.

Peter has a strong background in curriculum, school design and construction and is passionate about community service having been involved in significant and now self-supporting projects in Sri Lanka and Hamburg.

I Believe Your Admissions Procedure is Different to the Other International Schools?

Yes, it is and we’re very proud of this! When you apply to join Renaissance, we examine each child’s potential and look how we can help them grow and succeed. At Renaissance, when we interview your child for admission, our first consideration is to determine how he/ she will benefit from being at our school, not how the school will benefit from your child. This approach has many great advantages for our children that other schools cannot match – for example in Primary, on average, a Renaissance student learns in 9 months what it takes a child in the UK 12 months to do.

I Am New to HCMC…Can You Help?

Our Admissions and Administration Departments provide help, advice and support for our school community of over 29 different nationalities and serve as a Public Relations Point for all parents. We provide help and advice to families on all matters relating to Renaissance and life in Ho Chi Minh City. In addition to academic issues we are always happy to provide advice, help and support to make living in Vietnam easier and enjoyable.
* Contact our Admissions Team: 028 3773 3171 extension 120/121/122 or admissions@renaissance.edu.vn.
* Please visit our official website for more information: www.renaissance.edu.vn

Do You Have a Parent Teacher Association (PTA)?

We have a vibrant and active Parent Teacher Association (PTA) which meets regularly and works to support our school. The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Mission: Support our children and school activities by embracing diversity to build a strong Renaissance Community.

How Can Parents Support?

Parents are welcome in our school. In addition to the parent participation ideas outlined below the school has established Vietnamese and Korean Parent Groups that meet on a regular basic to offer support and advice to the administration. Having parents support school functions like a class assembly is great to see!

Parents can help in their child’s class for ‘one- off’ events or on-going projects such as the Class Topic. If you want to help, please contact the class teacher. Remember, however, that parent helpers in the class should not discuss the children or teachers with other parents/ teachers as this would breach our code of confidentiality. Parents may also help in the library. Please contact the librarian to talk to her about how you can help.

Having parent helpers in for activities means that we can ultilise expertise for specific projects and it ensures that we have extra pairs of eyes on events such as field trips. If you would like to help in the class, with a project or on a field trip, simply contact the class teacher.

Do You Have a School Nurse?

For minor accidents, our school nurse will take care of your child. In rare cases, if necessary, the nurse will arrange for a child to be taken to the nearby hospital. Of course, parents will be contacted and updated.

Can My Child Bring any Medicines to School?

Students are not allowed to carry medication amongst personal belongings. Medicines must be given to the school nurse, with a note from the parent or guardian. Medications need to be in the original pharmacy container and marked with the student’s name, name of drug, dosage and instructions. The nurse will contact you if clarification is needed.

When are Children Considered Contagious and Must Be Kept at Home?

A child with communicable disease MUST be kept at home. Children are considered contagious during the following periods:
1. Chicken pox: 6 days from onset of rash
*Symptoms: pocks or blisters have scabs and are found on parts of body that are usually covered by clothing.
2. German Measles (Rubella): 7 days or until symptoms disappear
*Symptoms: brief red rash, enlarged glands in neck.
3. Mumps: 9 days or until swelling disappears
* Symptoms: fever, swelling and tenderness of glands at angle of jaw.
4. Infectious Hepatitis: 14 days from onset of clinical disease and at least 7 days from onset of symptoms.
*Symptoms: headaches, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting usually fever, Skin and eyes may or may not turn yellow.
5. Infectious Mononucleosis: Variable but usually 3-6 weeks.
*Symptoms: fever, sore throat, malaise, swollen glands in neck.
6. Scarlet Fever or Strep throat: 7 days from onset if untreated or 48 hours after antibiotics.
*Symptoms: sore throat, fever, vomiting, fine rash later for scarlet fever (not on face).
7. Conjunctivitis (pink eye): The child SHOULD NOT attend school until treatment is effective. It is highly infectious and should be treated right away.
* Symptoms: itching of the eyes, watering, redness, and discharge from eyes.
8. Cough: When a child has a bad cough (a cold) or other common but highly contagious illness, parents are asked to keep the child home so that the illness is not spread to other children.
9. Head lice: if a child is found to have head lice or nits, the parents will be contacted immediately and the child will be sent home. The whole class will be checked for head lice. Once any affected children have been treated at home they may return to school.
The school should be notified immediately if your child has contracted or been in contact with any infectious disease.

What Will the Students Have for Lunch? Is Lunch Included in the School Fee?

The students have a choice between Vietnamese, Korean, Asian and Western dishes. A vegetarian option is also available each day. Younger children have options for the parents to choose. Older children have a set menu or à la carte. A menu is provided each month. Parents have the option of paying for their child’s lunch or sending a packed lunch from home.

School provides free healthy snacks in the morning and afternoon for Early Years and Primary.

Our cafeteria is enclosed and air-conditioned. Payments are made via a smart card which you can ‘top-up’.

How Will You Help My Child Stay Healthy?

At Renaissance, we are keen to promote a Healthy Lifestyle and our approach to providing opportunities for children to exercise is reflected in this:

  • Children have access to outdoor playgrounds with slides, play equipment and a sand pit.
  • We have an Astroturf football field where students take part in various sports and activities.
  • There is a shallow swimming pool for Preschool students and a 25 meters swimming pool for older and more confident students.
  • We have a large indoor gymnasium (fully air conditioned) where students could play many different sports including basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and football.

In addition, students may go ‘off-site’ for tennis, golf and football (soccer).

Who Are The ‘Renaissance Lions’?

The Renaissance Lions are our school sports teams. We have a very good competitive record and participate regularly at school level against teams across HCMC in all age categories.

Do You Have Field Trips, Residential or Educational Visits? Are Such Visits Included in the Tuition Fees?

Yes, we do. They are a key feature of our curriculum. For older children they are an essential element as they develop their university application. We build such activities around the Round Square approach which promotes six IDEALS of learning: Internationalism, Democracy, Environment,Adventure, Leadership and Service. These are incorporated into the curriculum throughout all Round Square schools.

It is common practice in schools for such costs to be in addition to schools fees. However, we always work hard to make such activities are affordable for our families.

What Non-academic Activities Are Offered in Your School?

There are various non-academic activities offered in school such as the International Day, Sports Day, and Inter-house activities, Cross Country Runs, Inter-School Sports Competitions, School Plays and School Productions. Many curriculum options lessons are also offered after school from 2.30-3.30 pm. and new activities are introduced each term. The majority of our activities are free. Examples of clubs we’ve offered include football, hockey, water polo, basketball, French, Vietnamese Culture, Spanish, Chinese club, ‘I ROBO’ robotic club, arts and crafts, music, choir, orchestra, Model United Nations (MUN) and school productions.

What Are The Arrangements for Collecting My Child from School?

Only authorized people are allowed to collect your child and a school issued pick up ID card is required. The ID card should be displayed when on school premises. Please inform the school when there are any changes to your circumstances or if you are nominating someone else to collect your child. Some children will travel home by bus.

Do the Students Have to Wear a Uniform?

Yes, they have to wear a uniform. From August 2014 the student’s standard of dress will be recorded and appear in the child’s report.P.E (Physical Education) kit is required for P.E (Physical Education) lessons and sporting activities. You will be pleased to learn that 3 sets of uniform are issued free each year. Students are required to wear closed-toe black footwear/ shoes. The Head of School will be the final arbiter in matters relating to uniform.

How Many Students Are There in One Class?

There will be a maximum number of 18 students in one class for Early Years and a maximum number of 22 students for Primary. In Secondary we are maintaining a staff: student ratio of better than 1 to 9 – an enviable achievement. We believe we offer a better student: teacher ratio than any of the other major international schools.

Do You Have Teaching Assistants?

Yes, there is at least one teaching assistant (TA) per class in Early Years and Primary. In Secondary TAs perform a number of roles from class support to resource preparation. All TAs are qualified and speak Vietnamese and English.

How Can I Monitor My Child’s Progress at School?

All students receive Progress Reports three times a year. We have a parent portal Edmodo, which is a means for parents to be able to log-in and regularly monitor their child’s progress. In addition, there are planned Teacher-Child-Parent evenings to discuss progress and teachers allocate regular times each week to parent meetings.
Communication Books and Diaries are also means of informal communication between home and school.
We have in-house tracking systems in place to follow a student’s progress from the moment they arrive at
Renaissance. This is carefully monitored to ensure that development is continuous and any issues are detected
early to allow for immediate consultation with parents and students.
The Head of School also has an open-door policy and parents can always make appointment to meet with him. Please also visit the school’s website and our Facebook page to check for the latest news and events, and visit our YouTube page to see most recent videos. Should you have any questions, please contact our friendly Admissions team who speak English, Vietnamese and Korean.

Do You Have a Bus Service? How Much? Where Are the Pickup Points? Is There Anyone Accompanying the Children In the Bus?

Renaissance offers a safe, reliable cost-effective bus service. There are several customised routes covering the city, with a free service operating from Tao Dan and District 2. All buses have seatbelts, qualified and experienced drivers and an assistant. Please ask our Admissions Team or Receptionist for more information on the bus routes available, and on our bus service fees.

Does the School Cater for Different Nationalities?

At this time, we have 29 nationalities represented at our school.

What Are the School Hours?

Students should arrive at school before 7.50am. Lessons are from 8 am until 3.30 pm. Please note some students may voluntarily be involved in activities after 3.30 pm such as school team events and twilight activities.

Do We Still Have PLC?

It is recognised that all children require support at some stage. Such support is usually met within the classroom environment. For some children additional support will be provided by members of our Personalised Learning Centre (PLC). As an inclusive school we will accept children with moderate learning difficulties if we are able to meet the individual child’s needs. Each case is assessed and a decision made based upon the child’s individual and unique circumstance.

Are Students Charged for Borrowing Library Book?

Our school operates a computerised book circulation and retrieval system. All children have access to the library, borrowing books for extended sessions. The library is open during normal school hours.

There are no charges for borrowing library books. However, loss of or excessive damage to a book will incur a ‘replacement’ charge. This is calculated at the cost of the book plus 30% post and packaging. If the book is later found at home, then the money is returned. The teachers organise class libraries of suitable books for topics or general reading. As we feel that this is an important part of a child’s personal development, the responsibility for these books is given to the children. Although there is a checkout system for these books within the class, it is based very much on the honour system and s less tightly controlled than library borrowing. It does not happen often, but sometimes such books with no identifinable borrower go missing or are damaged. So please keep our precious books out of reach of any baby siblings with crayons or pets with a taste for paper!

I Want the Best Curriculum Possible for My Child

We offer an International British curriculum. Renaissance is an International British School providing an education that has similar characteristics to an education in an independent school in the UK. The British character of the school is embodied in its ethos, curriculum, teaching, and care for students and students’ achievements.

The British educational system has a long tradition of excellence and a global reputation. Many parents all over the world make a conscious decision and prefer to send their children to British schools instead of local or other international schools.

Our school promotes a vibrant and creative curriculum, designed to inspire achievement at all levels – Early Years, Primary and Secondary. It is based upon the National Curriculum for England and enhanced by additional elements drawn from the IPC, IGCSE and IB Diploma programme.

Working in partnership, students, parents and teachers will help inspire and develop in our young people a love for learning and the ability to celebrate, respect and appreciate diversity. A balanced, child-centred renaissance approach enables them to explore the creativity possible within both the arts and sciences.

What Advantages Does Your Curriculum Offer?

You will find in many quality schools that the British National Curriculum together with IGCSE external exams provides the most suitable preparation for the IB Diploma and university. Most of our parents prefer their children to participate in the British National Curriculum and then to benchmark achievement against world standards through the external exams we offer.

Our IB Diploma graduates can apply universities all over the world. The IB Programme is recognised by universities in 75 countries including the USA, UK, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and Australia.
Our curriculum places our students in an excellent position to go to a university of their choice directly from Renaissance.

What If My Child Needs Additional English Language Support?

Renaissance has a long tradition and expertise in supporting students for whom English is an additional language. Quality learning and teaching, where English is the ‘common language’, and experienced professionals, provide the necessary conditions for our students to develop mastery of English and, as a result, to successfully undertake internationally recognised examinations. For those students, new to English, or requiring additional support, our school has an established a dedicated English as an Additional Language (EAL) department and Intensive English Programme.

Can My Child Learn Other Languages in Addition to English?

We provide a wide array of First Language choices for our students to study. Renaissance is the only International School in Ho Chi Minh City to provide both Mandarin and Korean as first language choices. Additional to this is our impressive Modern Foreign Language Department providing students, as part of their academic programme, the opportunity to learn English, Vietnamese, Mandarin (Chinese), Korean and French. As a progressive international school we are always looking to further extend the range of languages offered. With such a wide language choice it’s clear to see why Renaissance students have a truly international outlook.

Will My Child Be Given Assignments to Do At Home?

All children from Primary through Secondary will have Home Activities (homework). This is a part of school life aimed at revising concepts introduced in the classroom and establishing a disciplined, self-study work ethic at home. The time allocation for such activities is matched to your child’s ability. The children will be given diaries to assist in the management of the assignments and to aid efficient communication between home and school.

What Subjects Will My Child Study in Early Years?

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum is a play-based curriculum and specifically designed to provide equal opportunities for all children to develop skills and competencies, to flourish as individuals and to achieve in a child-centered learning environment – ensuring children enjoy greater success with the consistency and natural progression of skill development to support a smooth transition into Primary School. By enrolling in our Early Years parents are giving their children a great advantage in life as research shows the majority of children that complete the Early Years programme are achieving at a higher level when compared to others.

The EYFS is broken down into 6 areas of learning and development: 3 prime areas and 3 specific areas which are all planned for and assessed as an ongoing support for development.

  • Communication and Language including Literacy
    Listening and Attention- Understanding and Speaking- Reading and writing
  • Physical Development
    Moving and Handling: Health and Self-care
  • Personal Social and Emotional Development
    Self- confidence and Self- awareness: Managing Feelings and Behaviour: Forming Relationships
  • Mathematics:
    Numbers, Shape, Space and Measurement
  • Understanding the world:
    People and Communities, the World, Technology
  • Expressive art and Design:
    Exploring and Using Media and Materials, Being ImaginativeChildren at Renaissance enjoy the challenges and rewards offered from specific teaching strategies, attention to active engagement with hands-on learning activities, collaborative opportunities and critical thinking skill development. At the heart of the EYFS is the fundamental belief that all children are unique in their learning pathways and possess strengths and competencies which teachers embrace and weave into their curriculum planning to ensure personal motivation.At Renaissance, we are committed to raising academic standards for all of our children while ensuring they enjoy coming to our school and learning in a safe, happy, fun and friendly environment.

What Subjects Will My Child Study in Primary and Secondary?

In Primary:

  • Year 1- 6: English Mathematics, Science, Mandarin, Geography, History, Art, Music, Vietnamese Culture, Design and Technology ICT, SMSC and PE. Vietnamese passport holders study Vietnamese in accordance with the laws of Vietnam. Non-Vietnamese children enjoy the opportunity to learn Vietnamese as an Additional Language (VAL), take part in various sports and activities.

In Secondary:

  • Year 7- 9: English, Maths, Science, Mandarin, Business Studies, ICT (Computing), PE, Art, Design and Technology, Music, Drama, French, Vietnamese as an Additional Language, History and Geography.
  • Year 10- 11: All students will study IGCSE courses in English (as a first or second language), Maths, a Science subject and PE. Options are chosen from ICT, Business Studies, History, Music, Health and Physical Education, Geography, Global Perspectives, Vietnamese, Korean, Mandarin, French, Vietnamese as an Additional Language, Art and Design and Technology. Our Key Stage Leader (Key Stage will be available to discuss your preferred options and provide help, support and guidance.
  • Year 12- 13: Students study six subjects selected from the subject groups of: first language, second language, individuals and societies, experimental sciences. Normally, three subjects are studied at higher level and the remaining three subjects are studied at standard level. All three parts of the core programme – Extended Essay, Theory Of Knowledge (TOK) and Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) – are compulsory and are central to the philosophy of the Diploma Programme. Our Key Stage Leader will discuss preferred options with you. Our IB Coordinator will be available to discuss your preferred options and provide help, support and guidance.

Will the Child Receive a Diploma after Completing Secondary/High School? Who Issues It?

Yes, after completing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), students will be given the IB Diploma from the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). This programme is recognised by the most prestigious universities around that world.

If My Child Withdraws from Renaissance, Will His/Her School Certificates Be Recognised by Schools in Others Countries?

Yes. All schools overseas recognise our school reports and students’ results. We pride ourselves on the support we offer our students to ensure a smooth transition when they move to another country. The Head of School can sign and authenticate any of our school reports if required.

Do You Have any Scholarship Programme?

Yes, when our school was founded it was always intended that Renaissance would serve and support its community and provide affordable, high quality education. We offer qualifying IGCSE students fee discount on entering our Year 12 and 13 and for our IB programme there are generous scholarships available of up to 100% for high performing individuals.

Can the Students Transfer from Renaissance to Another Country?

Yes, a considerable benefit of a British education is that it is transferrable. The structure and consistency of the National Curriculum and International Baccalaureate allows students to move easily between British schools in various countries and facilitates an easy progression to a university in Europe, Asia, America or elsewhere in the world.

I Wonder If Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) Are Accepted for Entry to USA Universities/ Colleges?

Cambridge IGCSE is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16 year olds. Some community colleges with Foundation Programmes (1 year pre-university courses) accept IGCSE, as do some private universities. However, we would urge you to discuss this with us if you are considering this option.

My Company or Employer Will Pay for the School Fees, What Should I Do?

The company/employer must advise the school in writing on company letterhead confirming that it is responsible for the payment of fees. They can either come to our school and pay the fees to the cashier or transfer to the school account.

What Is the School’s Withdrawal Policy?

Parents must advise the school 40 working days in advance before the expected departure dates so that any refund will be processed. For the refund amount, please see Schedule of Fees. A refund of fees will be only apply for annual payment.

Do Your Tuition Fees Provide Good Value for Money?

Our fees are very competitive and compare favorably when measured against other international schools in HCMC. We have made the conscious decision to keep class sizes small and make access to high quality education affordable to our families.

At the same time we are continuing to invest in the school. Parents and visitors have been very complimentary about the changes that are taking place and the excitement and energy that is now a part of every school day.

We are honoured that many families choose to stay at our school for many years and send all their children here. Please enquire about loyalty and family incentive schemes.

After Graduation, Do Students Still Have to Take an Entrance Exam for University?

It depends on the university that they wish to enroll in. Most universities who recognising the IBDP accept students through the number of points that they are awarded at the end of the Diploma programme. We will support your child in the application process and provide help and advice for any of our Secondary students as they look to find a university that suits them best.

Are Renaissance Graduates Accepted by Universities All Over the World?

Yes, Renaissance graduates have gone on to study at the following colleges and universities. Please visit University Destinations to find out.

What Year Levels Do You Cater for at Renaissance? What Is the Process of Application?

Click here to learn about our Admissions Process.

 

Click here to download Parents Handbook 2017-2018