Buff visits Him Lam International School

Not far from Hanoi there lived a happy, singing water buffalo named Buff. Buff enjoyed his life by roaming around the rice fields in Bac Ninh and meeting lots of new people in his community.

Buff wanted to go to school so much and kept on nagging his mother every day, which was a bit of a headache from Mom Aggie. Mom Aggie and Dad Norm wanted to take Buff to school, but where would they find the right school for their child?
For a few months now Buff noticed a very big building rising in Green Park, this caused a lot of discussion between all the children seeing this amazing transformation. One day while looking for some tasty new grass, Buff heard a wonderful story about this new building.

Buff could not contain his excitement and ran all the way home to tell Mom and Dad about what he found. Getting home all out of breath and wide-eyed, the only words Buff could get out were “New Sch…..Newww …..schoooool”.

Mom and Dad could not make sense of this and asked Buff to first drink some water and calm down. When he was calm and Mom Aggie wiped the sweat from his forehead, Buff was ready to tell his story.

With wide eyes Buff started; “Mom and Dad, you will not believe me. But I have to tell you that I found a wonderful new place!!” After a few minutes, Mom and Dad realized the place Buff was so excited about was indeed HIM LAM International School.

They looked at each other and shared a smile; this is the opportunity they have been waiting for. After some discussion, Dad decided to contact the school for some more information.

What he found out was much more than expected. Dad announced with a wide smile “Tomorrow we will visit the school”, Buff let out a loud “YES” and went off to tell his friends all about his new adventure.

The sun slowly crept over the hills warming the earth with morning sunlight. Buff lay wide-eyed and excited in his bed, “It is finally here!” he whispered. He jumped out of bed, started running around looking for clothes, and in a rush dressed, brushed his teeth and hair and stormed down the stairs to the kitchen. Mom and Dad were already up and having some coffee, happily smiling when seeing his excitement.

“Let’s go, let’s go!” Buff shouted, all excited to get to school. Dads let out a loud laugh, “Let’s go and see mom”. And so they set off to school.

As they came closer to the school, Buff was not so sure anymore. The building was huge and he suddenly thought it might be better to stay at home. Mom bent over to whisper in his ear “Don’t worry sweetie, I am right here” Buff felt a bit better holding his mom’s hand, but was still a bit scared to enter the school.

Very soon they arrived at the admission office, Buff could see a lot of friendly smiling faces and it made him feel a bit better. He heard a lot of new words, “Student agency, Learner profile and Transdisciplinary units”. Buff felt so confused, he looked up to mom and dad and could see their wide smiles and it made him feel better.

After they toured the school they received some papers from the admission lady and set off to home. Mom and Dad chatted all the way, Buff could not understand all the words they used but could see they were happy.
Buff’s head was spinning a bit, he saw a lot at the new school. Some things really made him want to go as soon as possible, but he still felt a bit scared.

Getting home mom prepared lunch; Buff always enjoyed lunch at home. After lunch, mom and dad wanted to talk to Buff about the new school. As he sat down with perked ears and wide eyes, dad asked him what he thought about the new school.
Buff was a bit hesitant, softly he said; “I think it is ok”. Mom looked a bit concerned but Dad patted her hand and then asked Buff what he enjoyed seeing at the school. This he could answer with a big smile “I liked the playground a lot; there are lots of trees that I really like. The classrooms are very big and I could see a lot of pencils, glue, and paper. I think we will be making a lot of interesting things.”

“That’s better”, Dad’s next question made Buff close his eyes for a bit, “What made you scared of the new school?”

Now Buff was very hesitant, he didn’t know how to say the new words he heard. With encouragement from Mom, Buff softly said “The big words they used at school makes me scared, I don’t know if I will be able to do it”, tears started rolling down Buff’s face. He really wanted to go to the new school but the uncertainty of what he would need to do there was too much for him.

Mom gave him a hug as Dad started explaining the hard words to Buff.

Student agency meant that students would have a say in what they learned. When a topic came up in class students would have to decide on what they wanted to know about the topic. For example, talking about the weather, students can decide if they want to learn about different weather types or maybe how the weather affected different Countries.

The Learner profile was one that Buff really enjoyed hearing about.

  • Inquirers – Asking lots of questions and like to learn
  • Knowledgeable – You can tell us what you have learned and show us you understand
  • Thinkers – If you try to solve problems and make good decisions
  • Communicators – Talk about your ideas and can express yourself
  • Principled – Try to do what is right and follow rules
  • Open-minded – Listen to what others say and try to understand them
  • Caring – You care for others and help them
  • Risk-takers – You are courageous and try new and exciting things
  • Balanced – You eat healthy food and exercise regularly
  • Reflective – You think about what you learn and know what you are good in

Transdisciplinary units mean that you will learn about one topic in different subjects, like when talking about the weather, you will learn about the language used when talking about the weather, you can also count the weeks and different seasons in a year. When doing science your teacher will then help you do experiments like making a cloud in a bottle and how rainbows work.

The most exciting part of this was when Buff heard that they will also do art, music, and physical education. He loved singing and could not wait to share this with his teacher and new friends at school.

He was ecstatic to hear all of the explanations that Dad gave and yelled “I want to go to school!!” which made Mom and Dad very happy.