Head of School's Welcome

Dave-PorterWelcome from the Head of School
2017-18 School Year


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 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 in the website
For enrollment inquiries, please contact Sara: admissions@greenshoots.edu.vn
To continue the conversation, please email me: d.porter@greenshoots.edu.vn


Our Voices

How we came to bePrincipal’s WelcomeGreen Shoots VoicesOur Yearbooks
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. The school has grown from a kindergarten of just a dozen children to a full kindergarten, primary and secondary school educating over 100 students from over 20 countries. 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 me: c.mckinley@greenshoots.edu.vn

sueWelcome to Green Shoots International School!

I have been honoured to have been involved with the development of this wonderful school since meeting Catherine McKinley when the school was a thought and not yet a reality. Opening the kindergarten in 2011, and then being involved in the growth of our school to include primary and secondary classes, has been the most satisfying role in my educational career.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of our current families, and also to those who would like to find out more about us. Thank you for considering Green Shoots as the school for your child.

Central Vietnam is an amazing place to live and we are enrolling increasing numbers of students whose families have chosen the area because of the lifestyle afforded to them, comforted by the knowledge that there is now a quality educational option for their children.

We keep our class sizes small in order to provide the maximum benefit to our students, recognising that each child is unique and encouraging all to do, and be, the best they can. This, in turn, allows our dedicated teachers to provide an engaging, stimulating and effective educational programme within an environment that is respectful of learners, educators and our physical environment.

Our school motto is ‘Learning For Life’, inferring both learning for your own life and learning for all of life. We encourage and support the education of sustainability, not just as a topic of learning within school but as a way of life. We believe that mindfulness and the ability to be able to reason and question are valuable tools, and we supplement our educational curriculum with strategies and learning opportunities to allow our learners to further develop these important skills during their time with us.

I invite you and your family to come and observe our students and educators ‘Learning For Life’ and see for yourself the wonderful environment that is Green Shoots International School. Email admissions@greenshoots.edu.vn to receive further information or enquire about booking a tour.



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!

Learn more about Green Shoots and our journey by flicking through our yearbooks.

Year Book 2012-14

Year Book 2014-15

Year Book 2015-16

Year Book 2016-17












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.

Our Staff

Creating a school from scratch is a challenging undertaking and at Green Shoots we are incredibly proud of our staff and the effort and energy they give to the important job of educating your child.

All of our international teachers hold a graduate or post-graduate degree in teaching. Many also hold specialisations such as reading support, special education needs, and EAL teaching qualifications. Our Vietnamese teachers and teaching assistants hold either a Vietnamese teaching qualification or have undergone internal professional development to ensure they understand and support our ethos, values and standards.


Leadership and Administration Faculty Support Staff

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 also developing links with Round Square, a group of like-minded schools around the world that develop in their students a shared sense of global outlook, service, and environmental stewardship.

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.