2022-23 | DBIS Primary Parent & Student Handbook

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Our Core Values We respect the needs and rights of each member of our community. ● ● ● ● ●

We show care, kindness and compassion to others. We are supportive of each other. We embrace diversity and celebrate individuality. We are responsible and honest in our actions. We value personal identity and a global mindset.

Our Mission We provide an outstanding holistic international education to students in an inclusive and nurturing learning environment. We seek to inspire and empower students to succeed in fulfilling their individual potential as global citizens in a rapidly changing world.

Our Aims ● ● ●

● ● ● ● ● ●

To promote a culture of excellence in teaching and learning. To provide a broad and balanced curriculum that reflects the international nature of the DBIS student community. To encourage internationalism, providing students with the skills, dispositions and knowledge to participate in an increasingly interconnected world. To ensure a supportive, happy and secure environment for learning. To develop leadership skills and a sense of service to others through a range of extracurricular opportunities locally and internationally. To encourage the physical and emotional wellbeing of each individual. To use innovative pedagogy and technology to enrich learning. To work in partnership with parents, alumni and the local and wider community in the ongoing development of the school. To foster a learning community where every student, teacher, staff member, parent and DBIS alumni has an ongoing passion for learning.

Contents Welcome to the Primary School


The DBIS Learner Profile




Assessment and Reporting




General Information




Student Safety




Pastoral & Community


DBIS Character & Culture






School Hours & Contact Details


How Parents Can Get Involved


WELCOME TO THE PRIMARY SCHOOL It is my great pleasure to welcome you to DBIS Primary and introduce you to the many things our school has to offer. Our Primary School is a unique and special international community school that puts learning at the heart of everything we do. The school’s philosophy is based around the holistic development of our children, ensuring that all students are given every opportunity to pursue their individual strengths and interests and develop their curiosity, independence, confidence and resilience when meeting new challenges. Our inquiry-based approach to learning is supported through our use of technology, the challenge we offer students and the support we give them to develop their independent and critical-thinking skills. We passionately believe that learning does not just happen in the classroom, so DBIS offers an outstanding range of quality extracurricular activities, giving our students the opportunity to pursue their personal interests and talents. We also pride ourselves on the excellent pastoral care given to support students throughout their time in the Primary School, maintaining a focus on wellbeing and positivity as they start to prepare for their Secondary education and beyond. We truly value the cultural diversity of DBIS students and ensure the curriculum offers the opportunity to celebrate, understand and reflect upon the importance of internationalism. In addition to exciting themed Discovery Days, students throughout the Primary School regularly mark a range of different religious and cultural festivals, with our wider school community and external visitors playing an integral part in supporting these opportunities and making them exceptional learning experiences for us all.


Due to the distinct nature of living in Hong Kong, DBIS students are extremely aware of their global footprint. Environmental awareness is interwoven into the ethos of the school, with students continually searching for opportunities to make their community a more sustainable environment. School closures in recent years have clearly demonstrated the importance of relationships and the development of a genuine sense of belonging for all in our school community. We are extremely proud of the close relationships we have developed between home and school, and we continue to work together with our parents to ensure our students are able to make the best possible progress according to their unique abilities. We truly value these relationships and are always looking for ways to strengthen them, so we encourage our community to regularly come in and talk to us about the students’ learning as well as their wellbeing and general development, thereby ensuring that every child in our school community has the opportunity to flourish. We hope the following pages give you an insight into our outstanding learning community. Susan Walter Head of Primary


FOR DBIS STUDENTS As DBIS students, you will be supported in actively developing these learner attributes in many ways. They are a guide for your holistic and personal development, and by identifying and acting in ways that develop these attributes, you will become more skilful, empathetic and well-rounded young people. Through considered reflection, you will be genuinely prepared for the wider world that awaits you.


THE DBIS LEARNER PROFILE The DBIS Learner Profile is a set of personal learner attributes that are at the heart of our curriculum and the international education we provide for all our students. We actively support our students with their holistic development in order to prepare them for their lives as global citizens. We believe that through the development of these learner attributes and skills, DBIS students will recognise that their time at DBIS has resulted in them being exceptionally well equipped to live successfully in the wider world that awaits them.

The DBIS Learner Profile is a guide to support the holistic development of all learners across the three phases of the school. They are common goals that transcend individual curriculum areas and unite us in a shared belief of what all DBIS students can and should become. We embed meaningful learning opportunities throughout the curriculum in order to support this.

FOR DBIS PARENTS The DBIS Learner Profile demonstrates to you our aspirations for your children. The creation of opportunities to develop these attributes are all around us, and we want to work with you, in partnership, to support your children in the development of these attributes that we truly value.


COMMITTED LEARNERS Dedicated students who channel their curiosity and develop their intrinsic motivation to learn. As they take risks and learn from mistakes, they grow as resilient, lifelong learners who adapt to their learning environment, establishing mutual respect in pursuit of collective and individual excellence.

BALANCED INDIVIDUALS Reflective students who value their sense of self and are aware of their emotions and the impact they have on others. They understand the importance of physical, social and emotional balance to achieve personal wellbeing and know when to draw on the support of others.

MINDFUL LEADERS Empowered students who build trust to activate and lead others to take action and make a positive difference in the world. They lead with kindness, integrity, honesty and a strong sense of equality and respect for all, nurturing an inclusive and respectful approach to leadership at all levels.

RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS Internationally minded students who act proactively to make a positive difference in the lives of others and to the environment. They are courageous change agents who understand the importance of their role and are proud of the positive contribution and impact they have both locally and globally through service.

PROBLEM SOLVERS Adaptive students who think deeply and critically about their learning and apply logic and innovation to identify and solve authentic problems. They set goals, plan and prioritise their approach and keep solution focused as they explore and iterate to discover creative solutions and different strategies.

CREATIVE THINKERS Inquisitive students who think creatively and imaginatively, asking great questions in order to enquire and make connections to further their understanding and satisfy their curiosity. They investigate their own lines of enquiry and demonstrate their learning in innovative and creative ways.

EFFECTIVE COLLABORATORS Purposeful students who work together towards a shared goal and promote a collaborative learning culture which is inclusive and celebrates diversity in the perspectives of others. They are confident when working independently but recognise they can be stronger when collaborating together.

CONFIDENT COMMUNICATORS Articulate students who process, organise and coherently express their thoughts and opinions and actively listen and reflect on the views of others. They carefully consider purpose, audience and style when communicating, interpreting and expressing their ideas.


STAFF Our school community is made up of many teams all working together across Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 to support your children. Each team has a specific responsibility for an area of the school’s operations. The list below provides some information about the relationships within, and the organisation of, the Primary School. PRIMARY LEADERSHIP TEAM

Stuart Bridge Head of School sbridge@dbis.edu.hk

Susan Walter Head of Primary swalter@dbis.edu.hk

Anna Christiansen Deputy Head of Primary achristiansen@dbis.edu.hk

Alison Wallace Assistant Head of Primary awallace@dbis.edu.hk



Christopher Preddy

Head of Chinese & Foreign Languages

Myra Mi

Head of Learning Technologies

Nicolas Ng

Head of Physical Education

Jon Fudge

Head of Learning Enhancement

Serena Clark

Leader for Challenge (Whole School)

Helen Kavanagh


Amie Rae

Head of Year 4

Richard Tinning

Head of Year 5

Bryony Wilson

Head of Year 6

Lewis Peck


Amie Rae, Tom Silver, Emma Jones & Katie James

Year 4

Richard Tinning, Jane Broderick, Simon Skinner & Liam Bowden

Year 5

Bryony Wilson, Ciaran Gallagher & Rachel Evetts

Year 6

Lewis Peck, Helen Kavanagh & David Raftery


Nicole Lau

Learning Technologies

Nicolas Ng & Joseph Hastings

Physical Education

Jon Fudge & Emily Hull


Carol Li, Morna Shum & Cindy Xin

Learning Enhancement Serena Clark, Kristine Wills, Courtney Coll & Minoli Samarakkody Head of Wellbeing

Jason Broderick

School Counsellor

Jess Hickling



Kaylie Malakin & Poonam Malhotra

Year 4

Tracey Murray & Jeana Dingley

Year 5

Debbie Barnett & Anita Menon

Year 6

Vanessa Ameresekere


Daniela Poon

Learning Technologies

Pierre Costa

Physical Education

Winnie Yeung & Kirsten Brownlie


Trista Xu, Susie Sun, Wendy Shie & Anny Chen

Learning Enhancement

Chintal Gandhi, Mala Sakhrani, Maria Van Helsdingen, Lovely Tse, Nigita Agrawal


Melissa Moss & Whitney Fritsch

OFFICE STAFF Director of Communications & IT

Sheila Stamp

Office Manager

Connie Ting

Admissions, Marketing & Communications Manager

Helen Harries

Communications Officer

Claire Severn

Reception Desk

Lorie Lloyd

Communications & Uniform Shop

Kammi Cheng

Administrator/Instrumental Music Lessons

Carina Inciong

Accounts and Admin Officer

Angela Pettenuzzo


Kate Yarnall & Jessica Peters


ASSESSMENT & REPORTING ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING Our assessment focus is based on whether pupils are working towards, working at, working at greater depth than or working significantly beyond the expected outcomes for their year group. Primary students complete formal assessments during Terms 1, 2 and 3 with the purpose of pre-assessing their current level of understanding. These assessments are used to support and inform teacher judgments regarding progress and attainment. The resulting data is then used to inform overall attainment levels, which are shared with parents through the school’s reporting programme. Triangulated data is also used to celebrate the children’s progress and to agree new next-steps targets in learning. These targets are shared with parents through the students’ portfolios on Seesaw. There is a noticeable focus on developing resilience and self-initiated challenge in all our students, and we maintain high expectations for this across all curriculum areas. When students are exceeding expectations, they will be further challenged in their learning through more in-depth and investigative work. This allows students to gain a greater depth of understanding of concepts and ideas and gives them the opportunity to transfer their skills and knowledge in new and different contexts. In addition to the formative assessment for learning, students complete externally validated summative assessments in Term 3. These standardised tests ensure that student attainment is in line with UK

national expectations and that students are deemed ‘Secondary Ready’ when they transition from Year 6 into Year 7 for Secondary School. Assessment is a critical part of learning at DBIS, with students continually having the opportunity to reflect upon their learning and discuss future targets with their peers and teachers. Our students are encouraged to be independent thinkers and learners; therefore, great emphasis is placed on students identifying areas of success as well as deriving their own learning targets. Students will experience a range of methods for receiving feedback, including verbal and written comments on their work as well as marking codes, which are consistent and developmental throughout the Primary School. REPORTING & SHARING STUDENT SUCCESSES IN LEARNING An effective and proactive home–school partnership is essential for ensuring we collectively give our students the best opportunity to reach their potential at school. To this end, the assessment, recording and reporting cycle is structured to allow for productive communication between parents and teachers. Formal school reports play an important part in this partnership twice a year and are supported by an ongoing programme of regular open mornings, Parent–Teacher Conferences (PTCs) and celebrations of learning, where students share their learning and celebrate their achievements with parents.


A short progress report is shared with parents during Term 1. This report highlights how the children have settled into their new year group and shares information with parents regarding the students’ personal and social development, along with relevant attainment information. This provides parents with information to discuss at the PTCs that follow.

Planned reporting dates for Terms 1 and 3, as well as dates for the PTCs and SLPTCs in Terms 1 and 2, are listed below:

Students make the best progress when they themselves, their parents, and their teachers are all engaged in an ongoing dialogue concerning their future personal, social and academic developments. For this reason, no school reports are released in Term 2. Instead, the students invite their parents to a Student-Led Parent–Teacher Conference (SLPTC) where they talk to their parents and teacher together about their learning and their targets.

Term 3 End-Of-Year Reports Shared With Parents Friday 23rd June 2023

All children receive full academic reports at the end of Term 3. This formal school report contains attainment and progress information as well as observations about the children’s attitude to learning across all subject areas. Student reports are shared with parents via the Parent Portal. Whilst there are formal opportunities for parents to meet with teachers at PTCs in Terms 1 and 2, DBIS operates an open-door policy where parents are actively encouraged to make an appointment to meet with their child’s class teacher at any time to discuss aspects of academic, personal or social development.

REPORTING DATES Term 1 Reports Shared With Parents Friday 9th December 2022

PARENT MEETINGS Term 1.1 PTCs Thursday 25th & Friday 26th August 2022 Term 1.2 PTCs Monday 31st October – Friday 4th November 2022 Term 2 SLPTCs Friday 24th March 2023* *The timetable on this day will be collapsed, with students and families being invited into school for individual appointments with class and specialist teachers

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ATTENDANCE Studies by the British Department for Education relating to attendance have produced alarming figures for those students whose attendance drops below 90%. Students who miss up to seventeen days of school per year will be likely to drop one full grade at GCSE level. At DBIS, students with just 90% attendance over the whole school year will have actually missed nineteen days of teaching and learning time – almost four weeks. Please ensure that holidays are taken during school holiday periods – not within term time.

Our school’s attendance policy states that we expect students to have a minimum of 95% attendance. That equates to a maximum of nine days off per academic year.


EARLY DISMISSAL If a student needs to leave school before the end of the day (3.10pm), they are required to inform their class teachers and exit via the Primary School office, where they must sign out before leaving the school premises. The sign-out slip needs to be given to the security guard when exiting the campus. Primary School children will not be allowed to leave school during the school day without an adult.

If your child is absent from school, it is important that you let us know why. You can report your child’s absence using the online form, which can be found on the Parent Hub HERE, or alternatively, you can call the school office and leave a message. Please do not email the class teacher. LEAVE OF ABSENCE – TERM TIME A Leave of Absence form must be completed by parents prior to their child taking leave from the school during term time. If a family decides to take their child out of school during term time, the Student Absence from School During Term Time online form HERE must be submitted. LATE ARRIVAL AT SCHOOL If your child is late for school and arrives any time after 8.30am, they need to be brought to the Primary office to be registered and signed into school. They can then go and join their class. This way, we know your child will be safely registered without interrupting the learning that will already have started in the classrooms.

We believe that each and every lesson matters towards helping your child achieve their full potential. When your child is fit and healthy, we hope that you will support us by sending them to school every day during term time.

PARENTAL ABSENCE We know that our families have commitments all over the world, and this often requires travel. Please notify the school if you are planning to take a trip out of Hong Kong for more than a day. The school office will require details of appointed guardians and emergency telephone numbers in case we need them, and we will be able to keep a close eye on your child in your absence. We know that parental absence, even for the shortest of periods, can sometimes unsettle children at school, so letting the school know when you are away from home helps ensure your child is fully supported when in school. 11

GENERAL INFORMATION BICYCLES, SKATEBOARDS & SCOOTERS DBIS encourages cycling as a safe means to get to and from school with minimal environmental impact and with the health benefits associated with physical exercise. The ultimate decision and responsibility around students cycling is entirely up to parents. Parents/caregivers have a significant role to play in the students’ safety, including accepting responsibility for the students’ behaviour and wellbeing whilst travelling to school. We ask that all children who cycle, skate or scoot to and from school wear a helmet whilst doing so. The Transport Department has stated that riding self-balancing electric scooters, also known as hoverboards, on streets and pavements is illegal; electric scooters must therefore not be brought into the school. Disclaimer: the school is not responsible for any accident or injury arising from students cycling, skating or schooting to or from school. The school is also not responsible for damage to, or loss of, bicycles, skateboards or scooters. CAFETERIA Our school cafeteria is open before and after school and at morning break and lunchtime. The Boardwalk Cafeteria serves hot meals (including a vegetarian option) as well as snacks and drinks. Students can purchase a swipe card from the cafeteria manager any time, enabling a cashless option when purchasing meals. The cafeteria also accepts Octopus cards. School lunches can be preordered for your children should you wish them to have a hot meal every lunchtime. Lunch Enrolment Forms and menus from

Chartwells, who operate the Boardwalk Cafeteria, are available on the Parent Hub HERE. PERSONAL INFORMATION It is very important for the school to have complete, up-to-date information about all of our students and those whom we may need to contact in case of emergency. Please make sure that you inform the school immediately of any changes to contact details, names, telephone numbers or addresses. The Student Contact Details Change Form for this can be found on our Parent Hub HERE. It is also imperative that you let the school know of any allergies, medical conditions or ongoing medication your child has. Student Medical Profiles can also be updated via the our Parent Hub HERE. These details must be kept up to date at all times. MEDICAL CARE If a student becomes unwell whilst at school, they will be taken to the school nurse. The school nurse will evaluate the student’s medical condition and will decide if they need to be collected from school, as directed by the Hong Kong Department of Health. The time of handover to a parent or caregiver is noted, and the classroom teacher is made aware. If a student has a minor complaint or accident, the school nurse will administer first aid and care in the school’s medical room. In the case of a more serious concern, the school will contact the parents and/or emergency services and will make medical decisions based on doctor’s recommendations. Parents will be systematically informed if the school contacts emergency services, but it may 12

not always be possible to do this in advance of making an emergency call. Please note, the school’s nurse is not authorised to administer mild medications, such as paracetamol, to students without parental permission. Prescribed medication can be administered on completion of the Prescribed Medicines Permission Form linked HERE. Please note that although the school provides limited medical insurance for all students whilst they are in our care, the insurance may not cover all medical costs. Therefore, parents should make sure that students have sufficient medical coverage in addition to what the school provides.

PERMISSION FORMS School trips form an integral part of our school curriculum, and we like to immerse our students in learning outside the classroom wherever we can. We have immediate access to the mountains and beaches here in Discovery Bay, and the children love to learn outside. All parents are regularly asked to sign an online permission form, which gives students advance permission to attend all local school trips.

SMART WATCHES Smart watches are permitted in school; however, the mobile phone function must be disabled during school hours. We kindly ask that smart watches are only used for telling the time. Students who use their smart watches for playing games or making phone calls will be asked to remove them. LOST PROPERTY All lost and found items are kept in the cupboards in the covered area by the Year 1 and 2 classrooms. We ask that all student clothing is clearly labelled with the child’s name. At specific times throughout the year, we will put all lost and found items on display, and if unclaimed, we will donate these items to one of our school charities. VALUABLES & TOYS Students are asked not to bring valuables, toys or fidget spinners into school. Occasionally, students may wish to bring items into school as part of a project or other piece of school-related learning. Under these circumstances, any items should be given to the class teacher for safekeeping. WITHDRAWAL OF STUDENTS

MOBILE PHONES We do not permit our Primary students to use mobile phones at any time during the school day and would ask that they are not sent in to school with students. Our student lockers are outside in the corridors, and we therefore cannot guarantee the safety of any mobile devices if left in student bags.

To withdraw a student, notice in writing by parents must be given to the Head of School not less than 60 days (excludes July and August) before the student leaves the school. If students are not returning to DBIS after the summer holidays, official notice must be given 60 days before the last day of term. The school will charge school fees in lieu if the above notice period is not adhered to.


UNIFORM DBIS has a compulsory school uniform. Information regarding uniforms can be found on the Parent Hub HERE. Our uniform shop is located on the Primary campus and is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8.15 am to 11am during term time. If possible, we ask you to please bring your own carrier bag with you to take away uniform items. Some key points to remember: School Shoes All children must wear plain black or dark blue school shoes. Sun Hats All students must have a school hat for outdoor Physical Education (PE) and playtime. We have a ‘no hat – no play’ policy. Jewellery Watches and small stud earrings are permitted (but must be covered or removed for PE). No other jewellery is permitted to be worn to school.

Physical Education Uniform Children in Year 3 can wear their PE kit all day on PE days. Children in Years 4–6 can wear PE kit to school if their lesson is before lunch (and then change at lunch). If their lesson is after lunch, they should change into PE kit at lunchtime. Sports Shoes Students should wear appropriate footwear that adequately supports their feet during PE lessons and sports activities. Make-up Make-up, nail varnish and temporary tattoos are not permitted to be worn to school. Hair Hair longer than shoulder length must be tied back. Hair dye is only allowed if a natural colour. Cold Weather During colder months, please ensure you purchase a school uniform jumper for your child to wear.

COMMUNICATION Clear communication between home and school is essential. Our communication system utilises the functionality of the

following platforms to communicate with our parent community:

THE PARENT HUB The Parent Hub is our main platform for communication between school and home. All communication to parents regarding upcoming events and information can be found on the Parent Hub. Any calendared event will have a parent bulletin approximately two weeks prior to the event taking place. All bulletins are sent to parents in a consolidated email each Saturday so that parents can organise the forthcoming two weeks. The Parent Hub also contains the current DBIS school calendar, which details term dates as well as the dates of all upcoming school events.

STUDENT DIARY Student diaries are an effective means of communication between home and school. Students are expected to use their diaries to record their homework and home-reading log. Parents and teachers may use the diary to communicate messages between home and school. Parents are requested to sign the student diaries each evening, and teachers will check the student diaries every week. Student diaries should not be used to discuss sensitive matters. Should they wish to discuss any aspect of their child’s wellbeing or learning in greater detail, parents are welcome to make appointments to meet with their child’s class teacher by emailing the school at dbis@dbis.edu.hk.

ISAMS PARENT PORTAL & APP Parents can access all student-specific information via the iSAMS Parent Portal and app. This platform is used to communicate confidential information about your child, such as school reports and attendance data. The app can be downloaded free from the App Store and Google Play Store. The school code is DBIS, and you will need your personal iSAMS username and password to log on. SCHOOLSBUDDY ACTIVITIES & TRIPS PLATFORM All information about your child’s extracurricular activities (ECAs), fixtures, camps and trips can be found via SchoolsBuddy. A personal username and password to log into SchoolsBuddy will be shared with you so you can see all of the activities your child is involved with.

SCHOOL NEWSLETTER Each Friday, the school’s newsletter is emailed to parents. The newsletter provides a snapshot of the week’s events across all phases of the school.

REPORTS A total of two reports are sent to parents each year, with information pertaining to each student’s current attainment and progress as well as next-steps targets for the children’s future learning. More details about these reports can be found in the Assessment and Reporting section of this handbook. 15

DBIS WEBSITE The school’s website, linked HERE, is a window into the school, giving parents access to information on all aspects of the school’s operations as well as teaching and learning approaches. The website also provides parents with a link to the Parent Hub. EMAIL/TELEPHONE CONTACT For all general enquiries, parents can email the school office or individual staff members via dbis@dbis.edu.hk. Parents can also phone the school office on +852 2987 7331.

TEXT MESSAGE/SMS Occasionally, we will send out a text message/SMS to parents to inform them that we have had a fire drill or lockdown practice and that all children are safe and accounted for.

STUDENT SAFETY Student safety is paramount to us here at DBIS, and even within our extremely safe Discovery Bay community, we need to

ensure that students are ready to act calmly and appropriately in the event of an emergency.


is given over the school tannoy system. Again, parents are informed by email and SMS that all students are safe following any drill.

Fire drill procedures are carried out each term and involve all staff and students. In the event of a fire, all Primary staff and students are evacuated to the car park in front of the school gates, where class rolls are taken. An email and SMS are sent to all parents following a successful fire drill or evacuation, informing them that all students are safe. Key DBIS Policies can be found HERE. LOCKDOWN PROCEDURES Lockdown procedures are usually carried out once or twice a year and involve all staff and students. In the unlikely event that the school campus needs to be locked down, all blinds and windows are closed, and all staff and students stay silently and safely in a locked area until the all-clear

GUEST VISITS TO SCHOOL Any visitor, including ex-students as well as family members or helpers of students attending DBIS, must sign in to school at the security gate during school hours. Outside these hours, visitors need to report to the Main reception. All visitors are required to wear a visitor’s pass at all times whilst on school grounds. Visitors are not permitted to attend classes with students. This is to ensure learning is not disrupted as well as for insurance liability reasons. Please note that procedures for visitors to the school campus are subject to change during periods of COVID-19-enforced regulations.

CURRICULUM CURRICULUM OVERVIEW We are committed to ensuring that our students embark on their Primary learning journey in an environment that provides stimulating, exciting and relevant learning experiences where a strong pastoral ethos helps the students feel safe, secure and happy to learn. We value each student and support each individual by nurturing their personal strengths and interests. Our creative and integrated curriculum is underpinned by a structured approach to teaching the core subjects of English and Mathematics. Whilst our curriculum is guided and directed by the English National Curriculum, it also reflects our international setting and celebrates the diversity of our school community and our place in Hong Kong. The DBIS Primary Curriculum Booklet can be accessed HERE on the school website. Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) has a central and important role within school and is taught through our Learning for Life curriculum. Regular assemblies are held to address different aspects of the Learning for Life curriculum and to directly support student wellbeing across the school. We are particularly proud of the breadth of our provision and the many opportunities we provide for children to achieve to the very best of their ability. Outstanding specialist teachers are complemented by our impressive ports, learning technology and creative arts facilities. Students are taught by specialist teachers in the areas of PE, Learning Technologies, Mandarin and Music. Unique, bespoke Discovery learning units help our children connect their learning to where they are living here in Hong Kong. They also look at learning from the perspective of other people across the

Southeast Asia region and other countries, including their home countries. More detail of the Discovery curriculum can be found in the following section of this handbook. CHALLENGE DBIS believes that all children learn more effectively when their learning is differentiated to meet their individual learning needs across the curriculum. We follow Professor Françoys Gagné’s definition of challenge, recognising that our Challenge students are in possession of natural abilities or aptitudes at levels significantly beyond what might be expected for their age. We carefully plan to support our Challenge children to stretch their understanding and prompt deep and meaningful learning for them in their areas of interest and talent, both in their day-to-day lessons and through our exciting enrichment programme.



Discovery is a bespoke inquiry-based curriculum that DBIS has developed to meet the learning needs of our students. It is concept based, which means the learning is not locked in time or place; instead, it is transferable. Discovery frames the facts and skills of five subject areas: Science, History, Geography, Art and Design Technology. Through identified subject concepts and conceptual understandings, students have opportunities to develop deeper conceptual thinking and understanding. The Discovery units are underpinned by Learning Technologies and Internationalism and provide a contextual learning experience for the development of English skills. Details of all the Discovery units can be found in the Primary Curriculum Handbook HERE.

Students can work with each other on shared goals, questions and challenges. They know how to be a constructive part of a team, to use different roles for different tasks and to actively listen to and respect other people’s views. They understand how their behaviour affects others.

THE INQUIRY LEARNING SKILLS The development of communication, collaboration, research, thinking and self-management skills underpins learning in Discovery. These skills transfer to all areas of learning and are laid out progressively in learning ladders for each standard within the Primary School. They provide a focus for the students within Discovery learning engagements, and at DBIS, our students aspire to show these skills across all areas of curriculum learning. Communication Students can communicate ideas confidently in different ways and for different purposes. They listen thoughtfully to what others communicate to them. They can adapt their communication style to different contexts.

Research Students can formulate questions and locate and use a wide range of sources and techniques to investigate problems, interests and issues. They can think critically about the information they gather, and they are careful to acknowledge sources. Thinking Students can think logically, creatively and reflectively. They think about how we use our thinking and have different strategies for making our thinking visible to others. They remain open minded and know that their thinking changes as they learn. Self-Management Students can learn independently and can make wise decisions about their learning. They know themselves as learners and can set and work towards personal goals. They know they can continually improve as learners. PRIMARY SHOWS Primary shows give our students the opportunity to perform for a real audience and demonstrate skills they have been developing across the curriculum. Students in Year 3 and 5 get the opportunity to completely create a show 19

as part of their Discovery learning. The resulting shows are always a huge and exciting celebration of the successes the students have had in learning and are something we are exceptionally proud of here in the Primary School. MANDARIN The teaching and learning of Mandarin is a key learning focus for our school. Mandarin lessons in the Primary School are interactive, fun and engaging. Students focus on the four areas of language learning: speaking, listening, reading and writing. They learn to express their ideas in written format using Pinyin and also learn to write in characters. Mandarin lessons often operate on a rotational basis in which students have the opportunity to participate in a range of learning experiences to support the development of language proficiency within speaking, listening, reading and writing. In Year 3, students participate in three lessons of Mandarin per week. The focus in Year 3 is very much on the development of speaking and listening skills in order to develop a more thorough grounding of basic language skills to be applied in Upper Primary. Upon entry to Year 4, the students are split into three discrete pathways according to their language experience and proficiency. This provides greater differentiation for the wide range of language learners within the school. A description of the three Mandarin pathways can be found towards the end of this page. Homework is introduced in Mandarin when the children reach Year 4. Native Mandarin speakers are taught in small groups and are often supported by a Mandarin EA (educational assistant). A

specific curriculum is followed by our native-speaking groups from Year 4; this has been sourced from China and adapted to meet the needs of students in our international setting. At the end of Year 6, students in pathways 2 and 3 (and some selected from pathway 1) are offered the opportunity to take the HSK standardised Chinese test and YCT (Youth Chinese Certificates) as internationally recognised qualifications representative of their achievements in Mandarin. Mandarin Pathway Descriptors Students can think logically, creatively and reflectively. They think about how we use our thinking and have different strategies for making our thinking visible to others. They remain open minded and know that their thinking changes as they learn. Pathway 1 Students who are learning Mandarin as a foreign language and are emerging in their understanding of the curriculum for their age group. Pathway 2 Students who are learning Mandarin as a foreign language and often have been doing so for a period of time. Students demonstrate a secure understanding of the curriculum for their age group. Pathway 3 Students with a Chinese-speaking background, either Cantonese or Mandarin, including native Mandarin speakers. This pathway also includes very able students without a Chinese-speaking background. 20



Our team of Creative Arts teachers aim to deliver a diverse programme both in and out of the classroom in order to enrich and inspire our students. Supported by a committed group of peripatetic teachers, the Music department offers numerous ECAs and an array of public performance opportunities. These include large-scale community events such as Carols On The Pitch, the Spring Concert, the International Food Fair and DBIS Live. There are also a number of opportunities for students to participate in international music festivals through our ongoing membership of FOBISIA (Federation of British International Schools in Asia).

In addition to the PE curriculum, all students have regular opportunities to take part in competitive sport through the inter-school house system and the extensive ECA programme here at DBIS. The school’s goal is to involve, excite and motivate our students to join in sporting activities as lifelong participants, and, therefore, we offer a varied, progressive and exciting programme from Year 3 through to Year 6.

Art and Drama also play a huge part in our school curriculum, with our children taking part in Creative Arts Mornings. The aim of the half-termly Creative Arts Mornings is to allow the children to cultivate a deeper and more discreet exposure to the Creative Arts within our curriculum and to further explore and develop their skills in the four disciplines of Art, Drama, Musical Theatre and Music. The students’ regular morning timetable will be collapsed during Creative Arts Mornings. The children are invited to come to school in their PE kits for the morning and stay in them if they have PE in the afternoon. Please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Creative Arts Department should you have any questions regarding this exciting and enriching opportunity for your children.

We are fortunate to have excellent sporting facilities for our Primary School, which enable us to provide a wide range of competitive and non-competitive activities throughout the year. We encourage maximum participation, individual aspiration, team achievement and personal excellence. FOBISIA FOBISIA is a regional group of the leading British International Schools in Asia and has been in existence for over 25 years. The overall aim of the federation is to promote excellence in education in our schools and to provide opportunities for inter-school competitions and enrichment programmes. As a member of FOBISIA, we offer our students several unique opportunities to travel and represent our school in a variety of ways. Selection for FOBISIA teams is the responsibility of our team coaches and is usually done after a period of training or practice. Once selection of teams has been made, parents are notified and details shared through the Parent Portal.


EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES When operating without the recent COVID-19 opening restrictions, we offer a comprehensive range of ECAs, providing students with a variety of sporting and creative experiences, including performance and competition opportunities within DBIS and the wider Hong Kong community. DBIS also offers a wide range of other clubs, such as computing, gardening, Battle of the Books and subject-based clubs. To find out more, please read the Activities & Trips page on the Parent Hub linked HERE. On occasion, ECAs may need to be cancelled at short notice. If pollution levels are high, the weather is inclement and poses a serious risk to the health and safety of our students, or sometimes in the event of teacher absence, we may need to alert parents and students about cancellation. In the event of a thunderstorm warning or an amber rainstorm, before-school, outdoor ECAs will be cancelled by 6.30am. ECAs will also be cancelled in the event of red or black rainstorm warning. Parents will be informed through a notice on the Parent Hub. After school, outdoor activities will not go ahead in any of the above circumstances. Coaching staff will be on location to supervise any students who arrive. HOME LEARNING Consolidating learning at home helps children become more independent and allows them to deepen their understanding of learning they have enjoyed in the classroom. Home learning will be given weekly, with an opportunity for children to

share and celebrate their achievements with their teacher and peers. Students are expected to read for 20 minutes each night and record this in their communication diaries. Children should check their online learning portfolio on Seesaw once a week as this will highlight current areas of learning and development in Mathematics, Discovery and English. We ask that parents celebrate and support their child’s learning by checking Seesaw for teacher comments. By discussing the Seesaw tasks, parents can help to consolidate and deepen their child’s understanding of in-school activities. Additionally, children will have access to Times Tables Rockstars to practise times tables and Spelling Shed to practise their spellings for the week. These activities can be completed at a convenient time at least once a week. This provides the students with greater opportunities to explore their own interests, linked to their learning at school, whilst also managing and organising their time accordingly.

GOOGLE CLASSROOM & SEESAW In the Primary School, we use the online platforms of Google Classroom and Seesaw to support home learning. Children can collaborate on shared documents and have access to their own copy of resources shared by the class teacher. Students will log in to both Google Classroom and Seesaw using their school logins.


CAMPS & TRIPS Outside the classroom, we aim to provide memorable experiences that foster a real love of learning and personal development. Educational trips and visits can be made for a variety of reasons, and we know they have the potential to enhance learning in all curriculum areas. In planning school trips and visits, careful consideration is given to the needs of our students and the safety of all concerned. An adequate adult to student ratio, usually 1:8 or 1:10 for our older children, is maintained throughout all trips. This ratio is lowered in certain situations, such as for younger children and higher-risk activities. School trips and visits help students develop a greater appreciation of their

own community and beyond and contribute to their intellectual, social and emotional growth. Carefully planned trips and visits form an integral part of our school curriculum and our students’ development, and it is therefore expected that all students take part in them. In addition to an exciting range of theme days and visitors, students from Year 3 to Year 6 participate in residential camps. From undertaking a series of team-building activities whilst camping on Lantau Island in the younger Primary years to visiting overseas locations in Year 6 (COVID-19 permitting), residential camps form an integral part of our Primary curriculum, so again, it is expected that all children attend.


PASTORAL & COMMUNITY THE DBIS HOUSE SYSTEM All Primary students are assigned to one of the four Primary Houses: Lions (yellow), Wallabies (green), Eagles (blue) or Dragons (red). Collecting House Dojo Points is central to our rewards programme here at DBIS, and students can also compete in various disciplines to collect House Points throughout the year. These House Dojo Points link directly with the DBIS Learner Profile and are awarded when students demonstrate themselves to be committed learners, balanced individuals, mindful leaders, responsible citizens, effective collaborators, confident communicators, problem solvers or creative thinkers. Each House has two Year 6 House Captains, who are voted in at the beginning of the school year. STUDENT LEADERSHIP We are extremely pleased to be able to offer a range of leadership opportunities for students of all ages at DBIS. The key goals are to enable our students to become ambassadors for our school virtues, to encourage and facilitate them into taking an active role in all aspects of the school community and to encourage them to work with others to achieve the best possible outcome. House Captains & School Ambassadors Year 6 Student Leaders are expected to be: ● Positive role models and ambassadors for the school ● Enthusiastic and committed to the House system at DBIS ● Friendly and positive with all students, particularly within their own House

● Part of the team of student leaders who work together to achieve success for all ● Able to work to deadlines Two House Captains are elected by their House peers at the start of each academic year. They lead the Houses and plan and lead House activities throughout the year. Our Year 6 Student Ambassadors take on other leadership roles across the school, including roles in the library, the playground and each of the classes across the Primary School. Student Council The Primary Student Council is made up of representatives from Years 3 to 6 who are voted in at the beginning of the school year by their classes. Student Councillors have the opportunity to represent the wider student body and discuss issues important to them, including charity work and also working on specific projects in conjunction with the Early Years and Secondary Student Councils. The Student Council representatives meet on a regular basis, working on whole-school projects and supporting local and international charities whilst building relationships with other schools here in Hong Kong. SCHOOL AWARDS Each year, the school celebrates the achievement of our students through an awards ceremony, which takes place in June. The awards recognise and celebrate students across the Primary school for academic achievement, progress in learning and service to others in the school community.


FOR DBIS STUDENTS As DBIS students, you are expected to continually reflect and develop your character throughout the years, always holding yourself accountable to your choices. This will allow you to become self-aware, self-managing, socially aware and able to develop strong, effective relationships as a key cornerstone of your approach to life.

FOR DBIS STAFF DBIS staff members are here to guide and support the holistic development of all learners across all three phases of the school.

DBIS CHARACTER & CULTURE The Character and Culture policy contains a reflective approach to behaviour choices, illustrating steps to success as well as a restorative process enabling there to be an agreed understanding between student and staff member. Through our character and culture approach, positive choices are promoted at DBIS so that every student feels supported, happy and secure. We recognise that our students are developing. This can mean that students occasionally make mistakes. We aim to put restorative actions in place that guide and support our students towards making better decisions in the future and also help them to develop a sense of personal responsibility.

If we witness choices that contravene our school’s character and culture, we address the situation, take responsibility and see it through. We ask for support but lead the discussions and are part of the reparation. The role of a staff member is to embed and support expected character and culture, using common language and role modelling the values expected of us and our students.

FOR DBIS PARENTS DBIS endeavours to build a supportive dialogue between home and the school, and we inform parents immediately if we have concerns about their child's displayed character and/or choice(s). If our school has to use reasonable responses, we ask parents to support the actions of the school. If parents have any concerns about the way their child has been treated, they would initially contact the class/form teacher.

TECHNOLOGY Today’s students must be prepared to thrive in a constantly evolving technological landscape. Here at DBIS, we encourage the authentic use of technology to transform learning experiences. Students have access to an incredible amount of opportunities as they work towards becoming successful computational thinkers, innovative designers and global collaborators. Our students are empowered to be more creative and more connected than ever

SCHOOL GOOGLE ACCOUNT At DBIS, we use Google Apps for Education. This provides students with a Google account including email and an online storage facility. Students use these accounts from Year 2 onwards. The school will assign all usernames and passwords once a student joins the school.

DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP Digital media and technology continue to evolve at an incredibly fast pace. This brings extraordinary opportunities for learning but also presents our students with some difficult choices to make. On the positive side, young people are using the immense power of the internet and mobile technology to create, connect, explore and learn in ways never before imagined. We are delighted to harness this opportunity and share learning with you at home through the students’ online portfolios in Google Classroom and Seesaw.

before. We provide a one-to-one device for all our Year 3 to 6 students. This device is a Chromebook, which the children use at school but do not take home. Children in all year groups also have access to a wide range of technology, including iPads, iMacs and robotics. The school subscribes to several online learning platforms, including Spellodrome, Times Tables Rockstars and WeVideo, which are often used for home learning. This means that children will often need access to a computer or iPad at home.

On the negative side, however, we are highly aware that harmful behaviours, aided by digital technology, from cyberbullying to digital cheating, are surfacing in schools and in homes across the globe. Young people face moral and ethical challenges almost daily, so we need to help provide them with a road map to guide them. Through weekly Learning Technologies lessons, Digital Citizenship awareness days and our Learning for Life programme, we ensure that students regularly participate in a range of classroom discussions and activities based around issues such as the internet and social media safety. As part of these discussions, lesson topics include the following: protecting one’s online reputation, cyberbullying, internet chat and digital law. At DBIS, we take Digital Citizenship very seriously and believe in working together with parents to ensure we raise a generation of children who will become smart, responsible and respectful digital citizens.


CALENDAR School Dates and Holidays for 2023–2023 can be found on the Parent Hub HERE.

AUTUMN TERM Thursday 18th – Wednesday 24th August 2022

New Student Orientation

Thursday 25th August 2022

All Primary Students Start Term 1

Monday 12th September 2022

Public Holiday

Tuesday 4th October 2022

Public Holiday

Monday 17th – Friday 21st October 2022

Half-Term Holiday

Friday 18th November 2022

Half Day for Students (Teacher Professional Development Day)

Friday 16th December

End of Term 1 (Half Day)

SPRING TERM Monday 9th January 2023

Start of Term 2

Monday 23rd – Friday 27th January 2023

Chinese New Year Half Term

Friday 17th March 2023

Half Day for Students (Teacher Professional Development Day)

Friday 31st March 2023

End of Term 2

SUMMER TERM Monday 17th April 2023

Start of Term 3

Friday 28th April 2023

Half Day for Students (Teacher Professional Development Day)

Monday 1st May 2023

Public Holiday

Friday 26th May 2023

Public Holiday

Thursday 22nd June 2023

Public Holiday

Friday 30th June 2023

End of School Year 09 27


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Classrooms will be open for a soft start at 8.15am. Registers will be taken at the start of the school day at 8.25am and again at the start of the afternoon session. Children arriving at school after 8.30am need to go to the Primary office to be registered before joining their class. Morning break is from 10am until 10.30am, and this is when children will usually eat their morning snack. Lunchtime starts at 12.10 pm and lasts for 45 minutes. Students have a supervised 15-minute lunch break at 12.10 pm, when they eat before going out to play. There is an option for students to purchase a hot or cold lunch from the Boardwalk Cafeteria. Parents can choose from a daily menu through a pre-payment system. At 12.55pm, the bell is sounded to indicate the end of break. The school day finishes at 3.10pm. ECAs begin at 3.20pm. Any students staying in the school grounds after school who are not attending an ECA must be actively supervised by a parent or carer. We ask that all students leave the school grounds by 4.30pm.

Please note that there is no supervision before school and that under current Education Bureau guidelines, students must leave the school grounds immediately after school. Please ensure that children are actively supervised between the end of the school day and the start of the ECA programme. All teachers are part of the ECA programme so are not available to supervise children after 3.10pm. We expect all Primary children to be collected from school by an adult. Parents of children in Year 4 and above who want them to walk home without an adult are required to fill in a Permission Form in order for us to release the children unaccompanied. The Permission Form can be found on the Parent Hub HERE.




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HOW PARENTS CAN GET INVOLVED CLASS PARENTS Every year, we are delighted to welcome one or two class parents for each class. These parents are a huge support for us, coming on school trips, helping out in class and organising parental support for plays, shows and many of the other activities undertaken by the students. Class parents are a link between the wider parent group and the school and are invaluable. If you are interested in becoming a class parent, please approach your class teacher at the start of the academic year. PTSA We have a very active Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) who work tirelessly to support our school. More information about the PTSA can be found on the Parent Hub HERE, and they can be contacted at ptsa@dbis.edu.hk. PARENT LEARNING GROUP There is a Parent Learning Group, which meets with the Head of Primary each half term to discuss different areas of school life. Do register your interest at the start of each year by emailing Susan Walter, Head of Primary, at swalter@dbis.edu.hk if you would like to join this group.

PARENT PARTNERSHIPS We actively recognise that parents are a child’s first – and most important – teachers, and we work hard to build strong, positive and supportive relationships between school and home. Working in partnership with parents enables us to provide the best support possible for every child.