Head of School's Welcome

Dave-PorterWelcome from the Head of School



Congratulations on finding your way to this page as you explore opportunities for schooling in Hoi An, this beautiful coastal town in central Vietnam. I am going to use this page to encourage you to explore our website further, to view the images we have captured and the words we have chosen to narrate the quite remarkable journey we are making.

Our school is young but developing rapidly; conceived and created by Catherine and Sue, they detail the origins of the school on other pages on the site. The entity which is now Green Shoots International School coalesced around them and their unshakable resolve to provide an educational experience of the highest possible academic standards, rooted in values that would equip students to thrive personally, and contribute meaningfully, to whichever aspect of our global society they chose to join.

Since its inception, the school has acted as a magnet to attract parents and professional educators from around the world who are looking for such a holistic, learning community as this. Our challenge and ambition now is to accommodate the many others who wish to join us. In the medium-term, this will translate into new educational facilities being built, new organizational systems being introduced, our community growing and our original buildings being re-purposed once again.

We are sure to change and mature over the coming years, as that is the nature of all living things. It is our intention, however, to maintain the school’s core values so students’ academic progress and developing a sense of social responsibility, is coupled with organizational growth that is ‘sustainable’ in the widest possible meaning of the word.

I have the privilege to be leading Green Shoots International School at this exciting stage of development and I welcome you to join us and our growing community of lifelong learners.

With kindest regards,







Dave Porter, Head of School

For more information, please read further on the website
For enrollment inquiries, please contact Sue: admissions@greenshoots.edu.vn
To continue the conversation, please email me: d.porter@greenshoots.edu.vn


Guiding Statements


Our Vision & Values

Green Shoots students are passionate, independent, lifelong learners who strive for personal best and are responsible global citizens. Ours is an inspirational learning community that fosters happy, mindful and creative thinkers committed to the sustainable development of our world.

The Green Shoots Core Values underpin individual qualities that will equip our students for the continually changing contexts of their lives. Opportunities to learn, experience and practise these are developed at an age-appropriate level and are celebrated in assemblies where we acknowledge these positive attributes in daily life on our campus.

Our Values Tree shows how seven of our core values feed into and sustain the eighth. We teach our students to be adaptable, tenacious, independent, thoughtful, and cooperative. We help them to understand the value of living sustainably and with integrity. Through these values, we remind them of the importance of respect: for themselves, for others, and for the world we live in.

Our values provide a foundation upon which each child can mature, growing over time like the branches of a tree. How each child lives these values depends on who they are and how old they are, and for this reason Green Shoots’ values are translated into action in different ways in our kindergarten, primary and secondary classes.


Advisory BoardStrategic Plan

The Green Shoots International School Board is a proprietary board of advisors and is the guardian of the school’s vision and values. Its purpose is to provide the school’s owner and Head of School with sound advice upon which decisions impacting our long-term development can be made.

The Board meets throughout the school year to consider issues such as Green Shoots’ standards of service provision, finances, facilities development, strategic planning, major policy changes, and governance. Its members offer their substantial expertise in the areas of educational leadership, financial management, and property development to ensure that Green Shoots grows steadily and sustainably, ensuring continuity for the families enrolled with us.

The Board is not a management board and is not responsible for day-to-day management of the school. This duty is held by the Head of School, who is recruited by the Board.

A brief biography of each Board member is given below.

Mike Johnston

Education Advisor

David King

Financial Advisor

Simon Craig

Property Development Advisor


Green Shoots develops a Strategic Plan every three years to guide our growth and define our priorities. Our current plan covers the years from 2017-18 to 2019-20 and focuses on five core areas of development. The key points in each area are given below. For a more detailed explanation of our current strategy, please download our full Strategic Plan here.   

Leadership and Governance

Teaching and Learning



Business and Administration

Accreditation & Affiliation

Green Shoots gained Vietnamese government approval to offer kindergarten services in Hoi An in 2011 and primary and secondary services from 2012. Since our launch, we have worked hard to integrate into the international education community, providing links with other schools for our students, assurance of academic quality for our parents, and access to a wide-reaching community of peers for our staff.

We are a member of the Council of British International Schools, which upholds standards among British-curriculum schools overseas, and in 2016 were accredited by Cambridge International Exams, the body that administers our secondary programme and is recognised as the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16 year olds.

Green Shoots is currently working toward membership of the Council of International Schools (CIS), which we aim to join in the 2018-19 school year. CIS sets high standards for its members in a range of areas (including governance, purpose, internationalism, teaching and learning, facilities, staffing, and child safeguarding) and membership will represent further evidence of our standing in the world of international education.

Thanks to our founder’s links with the school, Green Shoots enjoys strong support from the United World College of Southeast Asia (UWCSEA), a school of almost 6,000 students with a 45-year history of educating expatriates in Singapore. As a young school, we look to more established like-minded schools for guidance in order to ensure that our services meet the expectations expressed by members of our community, and with this in mind UWCSEA generously offers support in areas such as curriculum development, school management, and staff training.




Our Voices

How we came to beGreen Shoots Voices
about-howbecameGreen Shoots was established by Catherine McKinley, a self-confessed ‘education junky’ who sought something new and different for her children.

Born and raised in rural Oxfordshire, she moved to Singapore at the age of 13. There, her eyes were opened to life in a very different part of the world and education in a very different environment from the one she had left behind. Through middle and high school, she attended the United World College of Southeast Asia where the philosophy of educational thinker Kurt Hahn was deeply engraved upon the curriculum. Hahn’s assumption that ‘there is more in you than you think’ has inspired her ever since, pushing her to test her limits, try new experiences, and question assumed boundaries.

She moved to Vietnam in 1999 and lived for 11 years in Hanoi. It was here that she married and became the mother of two wonderful children. But as the city’s living costs rose and pollution levels climbed she looked for other ways to live and work in the country that had become her home. In 2010 she and her family moved to Hoi An.

Green Shoots was born little more than a year later. Its philosophical foundation remains true to the ideas of Kurt Hanh and the movements he founded and inspired.

Each member of our community is a member of the Green Shoots family, cared for and nurtured as an individual but also reminded of his or her role in ensuring the sustainable future of the greater whole. Our healthy menu, child-centred pedagogy, and focus on sustainable education all stem from Catherine’s desire to raise her own children to become active, mature and responsible members of a global society.

To continue the conversation, please email Catherine: c.mckinley@greenshoots.edu.vn

We wanted to know what our community feels is special about Green Shoots. When asked, this is what they told us. Our thanks go to secondary student, Theo, for compiling their comments into such a wonderful video.

In 2014-15 we played host to a Korean high-school graduate from UWCSEA’s sister school in India (UWC Mahindra), who joined our school for six months and worked with our teachers to guide students through their learning journey. When he returned home he left a gap in our community that we are still trying to fill. But fortunately for us, he also left us this video. Thank you June Soo!

Endicott Survey 2018

We are extremely pleased to share with you the results of our Endicott Self-Study Survey, which was given out to Green Shoots parents, staff and students in October 2018. Please access the survey by clicking on the document below:


Endicott Survey 2018