Primary Parent & Student Handbook 2021-22
Primary Parent & Student Handbook 2021-22 Values, Mission & Aims 4 DBIS Learner Profile
Welcome To The Primary School
Assessment and Reporting
Attendance 13 Notification Of Absence
Leave of Absence During Term Time
Late Arrival At School
Positive Behaviour Expectations
Behaviours We Expect To See At DBIS
Rewards And Consequences
Camps And Trips
Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs)
Sport At DBIS
School Hours And Contact Details
Valuables And Toys
Withdrawal Of Students
How Parents Can Get Involved At School
Our Core Values, Mission and Aims 4
OUR CORE VALUES z
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 promote a sense of 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 z
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 inter-connected 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 extra-curricular 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.
The DBIS Community - Revised in 2014 and 2017.
Discovery Bay International School (DBIS) is a unique and special school, and quite different from many other international schools here in Hong Kong. Centred in the community of Discovery Bay on Lantau Island, the school derives much of its strength and character from its tranquil location and its surrounding active community. Establishing and maintaining strong, caring, respectful, and supportive personal relationships is key to the DBIS ethos. Our approach allows DBIS’ teachers to work in tandem with supportive and aspirational parents in focusing upon the individual. It also allows students to concentrate on the challenging task of learning, growing, and developing as individuals. DBIS is committed to providing an international education of the highest quality in the medium of English to the families of Discovery Bay and beyond. We are an English medium, non-academically selective, coeducational school with Early Years (Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2), Primary (Year 3 to Year 6) and Secondary and Sixth Form (Year 7- Year 13) sections. The school has an excellent reputation as an international community school and has grown in tandem with the community it serves. Established in 1983 with an initial cohort of 3 students and 3 staff, the school now comprises of over 40 different nationalities, over 1,150 students, and is located on three very well resourced campuses. As we move forward at a manageable pace, focusing on giving our students the key life skills and qualities to thrive in their futures, we aim to ensure that the principles of academic challenge and rigour, holistic education, curriculum enrichment, learning technologies, English Language and Chinese continue to be fully developed. Our willingness to continue to embrace innovation will be critical as some of the global education trends, including student well-being, distance learning, flexible learning and increasing personalisation, become more and more pertinent.
Learner Profile 6
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 students in developing holistically to prepare for their life in the wider world, and as they leave us, students recognise and appreciate that their time at DBIS is the start of their exciting life-long learning journey for which, we believe they are exceptionally well equipped to successfully continue.
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.
FOR DBIS TEACHERS 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.
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.
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.
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 with a strong sense of equality and respect for all, nurturing an inclusive and respectful approach to leadership at all levels.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 as they investigate their own lines of enquiry and demonstrate their learning in innovative and creative ways.
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 the whole child, 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 enquiry-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 well-being 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 Weeks, 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 last academic year 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, as 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 students’ learning, their wellbeing and general development, to ensure 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.
Head of Primary
Our school community is made up from 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.
Stuart Bridge Head of School email@example.com
Susan Walter Head of Primary firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Christiansen Deputy Head of Primary email@example.com
Alison Wallace Assistant Head of Primary firstname.lastname@example.org
WHOLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM LEADERS Head of Creative Arts
: Christopher Preddy
Head of Chinese & Foreign Languages : Qin Cai Head of Learning Technologies
: Angela Moriarty
Head of Physical Education
: Rob White
Head of Inclusion
: Serena Clark
YEAR GROUP LEADERS Year 3: Amie Rae Year 4: Lewis Peck Year 5: Alex Hughes Year 6: Russell Moriarty
TEACHING STAFF Year 3: Amie Rae, Jonny Haines, Hannah Griggs, Tom Silver Year 4: Lewis Peck, Maisie Fairweather, Simon Skinner, Richard Tinning Year 5: Alex Hughes, Helen Kavanagh, Ciaran Gallagher, Rachel Evetts Year 6: Russell Moriarty, Alison Wallace, Katie James, David Raftery
SPECIALIST STAFF Music
: Ann Horan and Matthew Gardener
Learning Technologies : Angela Moriarty and Joseph Hastings
: Rob White, Emily Hull, Leo Van Den Bogaerde
: Carol Li, Morna Shum, Cindy Xin
Inclusion and EAL
: Serena Clark, Kristine Wills, Courtney Coll, Sarah Beatie, Minoli Samarakkody
Head of Wellbeing
: Jason Broderick
: Kaylie Malakin and Poonam Malhotra
: Tracey Murray and Jeana Dingley
: Nicola Richardson and Anita Menon
: Vanessa Ameresekere and Debbie Barnett
: Daniela Poon
Learning Technologies: Irene Bang-Isaack PE
: Winnie Yeung, Kirsten Brownlie, Gabriela Espina
Mandarin : Jenah Luo, Summer Chen, Wendy Shi Inclusion Department : Chintal Gandhi, Fatima Barghane, Mala Sakhrani, Maria Van Helsdingen EAL : Whitney Fritsch
OFFICE STAFF Director of Communications & IT : Sheila Stamp Office Manager
: Connie Ting
: Helen Harries
: Elina Makilammi
: Lorie Lloyd
Communications and Uniform Shop: Kammi Cheng Administrator / Instrumental Music Lessons : Carina Inciong Administrator
: Erica De Guzman
SCHOOL MEDICAL TEAM Health and First Aid Coordinator
: Sarah Walker and Abi Tibbetts
Health and First Aid Assistant
: Kylie Wilson
ASSESSMENT AND REPORTING Assessment for Learning Our assessment focus is based around whether pupils are working towards, working at, at greater depth 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 preassessing the students current level of understanding, and also to support and inform teacher judgement regarding progress and attainment, which is then 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 step 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 to allow a greater depth of understanding of concepts and ideas 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 in our 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, written comments on their work and marking codes, which are consistent and developmental throughout the Primary School. Reporting and Sharing Student Successes in Learning An effective 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 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 with parents information regarding the students personal and social development, along with relevant attainment information, and provides parents with information to discuss at the Parent Teacher Conferences that follow.
Students make the best progress when the student themselves, the parents and 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) in Term 2, where they talk to their parents and teacher together about their learning and their targets. All children receive full academic reports at the end of Term 3. This formal school report contains attainment and progress information, as well as the children’s attitude to learning, across all areas of learning. Student reports are shared with parents via the Parent Portal. Whilst there are formal opportunities for parents to meet with teachers at Parent Teacher Conferences 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 their academic, personal or social development. Planned reporting dates for Terms 1 and 3, as well as dates for the Meet the Teacher, Parent Teacher Conferences and Student Led Parent Teacher Conferences for Terms 1 and 2 are shown in the table below: Reporting Dates Term 1 Reports
Friday 3 December 2021
Term 3 End of Year Reports Friday 24 June 2022 Parent Meetings Meet The Teacher Morning Monday 23 August 2021 Introductory Parent Teacher Conferences
Monday 30 August Friday 3 September 2021
Term 1 Optional Parent Teacher Conferences
Monday 6 - Friday 10 December 2021
Term 2 Student Led Parent Teacher Conferences
Monday 21 - Friday 25 March 2022
ATTENDANCE Studies in the British Department of Education relating to attendance in school 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 time – almost four weeks. Please ensure that holidays are taken during school holiday periods wherever possible.
Our school’s attendance policy states that we expect students to have a minimum of 95% attendance, that is a maximum of 9 days off per academic year. 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 your child to school every day during term time.
NOTIFICATION OF ABSENCE 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 DURING 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/children out of school during term time, the Student Absence 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. Then they can 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.
EARLY DISMISSAL If a student needs to leave school before the end of the day at 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 and leave the sign out slip with the security guard. Primary children will not be allowed to leave school during the school day without an adult.
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/children in your absence. We know that parental absence, even for the shortest of periods, can sometimes unsettle children at school, so knowing when you are away from home helps ensure your child is fully supported when in school.
SCHOOL AWARDS Each year the school celebrates the achievement of our students through an awards ceremony in June. These awards recognise and celebrate students across the Primary school for academic achievement, progress in learning and service to others in the school community.
POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR EXPECTATIONS We have high expectations of behaviour for our students at all times, be that in school, on the school bus, on trips or outside of school. When wearing a DBIS uniform, students are representing our school and we expect them to uphold our core values. Our school principles and values listed below, underpin our approach to positive behaviour management and we expect all students to understand and promote the following at all times: z
Every member of our school is important and valued.
We each have an important contribution to make to the school community.
We value effort, hard work and good behaviour.
We value ourselves and each other.
We value teamwork.
Boundaries of expected behaviour: z
We strive for consideration, cooperation and courtesy at all times.
We strive to try our best and to work hard.
We look after our school, classroom, our friends and ourselves.
Expected Behaviours: z
We act with consideration, cooperation and courtesy at all times.
We help to make our school a happy and safe place.
We speak politely to everyone.
We always try our best.
We consider our actions and our words.
We help others to learn and to teach.
Behaviours we expect to see at DBIS: z
Consideration, Cooperation and Courtesy
Kindness to others
Being Better than Before
Helping those in need
DBIS Learner Profile
Care of our school
Doing our best
Rewards and Consequences: We welcome the opportunities to recognise pupil and staff achievement. We do so with the following rewards: z
House Dojo Points
School Spirit Awards
Better Than Before Certificates
Note in school diary
The rewards are given for a wide range of achievements. These include the following: z
Sometimes a student’s behaviour is unexpected. At such times, consequences are applied. These include the following:
Report the incident to class teacher
Referral to the student’s Year Group Leader
Referral to Deputy or Head of Primary
Time Out - Working apart from peers in class/working with another class in the Year Group
Exclusion from certain activities where needed
Bicycles, Skateboards And 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 of students who cycle or scooter to and from school have a significant role to play in their safety, including accepting responsibility for their behaviour and safety. We would ask that all children who cycle to and from school wear a helmet at all times. The Transport Department has stated that the riding of self-balancing electric scooters, also known as hoverboards, on streets and pavements is illegal so electric scooters must not be brought into the school. Disclaimer - the school is not responsible for any accident or injury arising from the students cycling to or from school - the school is not responsible for damage to, or loss of, bicycles, scooters or skateboards. Cafeteria Our school cafeteria is open before and after school and at morning break and lunchtime. Boardwalk Café serves hot meals (including a vegetarian option), snacks, and drinks. Students can purchase a swipe card from the cafeteria manager anytime, 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 Café, are available on the Parent Hub HERE for both Junior and Senior lunches. Personal Information It is very important for the school to have complete and up to date information about all of our students and those whom we may need to contact in case of emergency. Please can you make sure that you inform the school immediately of any change of contact details, names, telephone numbers or change of address details. The Student Contact Details Change Form for this can be found under Operational Information on our Parent Hub and is linked 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 Operational Information on our Parent Hub and is linked HERE. These must be kept up to date at all times. Medical Care If a student becomes unwell while at school, he/she will be taken to the school nurse. The school nurse will evaluate the student’s medical condition, and will decide as to when students are required to be collected from school, as directed by the Hong Kong Health Department. The time of handover to a parent or caregiver is noted and the classroom teacher 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 the medical decisions based on the doctor’s recommendations. Parents will be systematically informed if the school contacts emergency services, but it may not always be possible to do this before we do so. 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 while the school provides limited medical insurance for all students while they are in our care, the insurance may not cover all medical costs. Therefore, parents should make sure that the 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 like these. Communication Clear communication between home and school is essential. Our communication system utilises the functionality of 3 platforms to communicate with our parent community. They are as follows: 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 will be found on the Parent Hub linked HERE. Any calendared event will have a parent bulletin 2 weeks prior to the event taking place. All bulletins are sent to parents in a consolidated email each Sunday so parents can organise the forthcoming 2 weeks. The Parent Hub also contains the current DBIS school calendar which contains term dates as well as the dates of all upcoming school events. iSAMS Parent Portal and 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 children, such as School Reports and attendance data, the website link is HERE. 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.
CHQ Activities and Trips Platform All information about your child’s Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs), fixtures, camps and trips can be found via the CHQ platform linked HERE. You will need a personal iSAMS username and password to log on. Once you are logged on you will be able to see all of the activities your child is involved with. 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 student diaries every week. Student diaries should not be used to discuss sensitive matters and parents are welcome to make appointments to meet with their child’s class teacher by emailing the school, should they wish to discuss any aspect of their child’s well-being or learning in greater detail. School Newsletter Each Friday the school’s newsletter is emailed to parents and available on our website. The newsletter provides a snapshot into the weekly events across all phases of the school. Year Group letters, specific to each year group, are published on the Parent Portal every other week. These contain information about the learning that is happening across the year group, and specific dates and calendar reminders. 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. 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 and teaching and learning approaches. The website also provides parents with a link to the Parent Hub. Email Contact For all general enquiries, parents can email the school office or individual staff members via email@example.com or by phone 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 Lock Down practice and that all children are safe and accounted for.
Curriculum Overview The Primary School is committed to ensuring that our students embark on their learning journey in an environment that provides stimulating and exciting and relevant learning experiences where the 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. Weekly assemblies are held for different Year Groups 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 sport, learning technology and creative arts facilities. Students are taught by specialist teachers in the areas of Physical Education, Learning Technology, Mandarin and Music. Our unique Discovery Units of learning are a real strength of our Primary Curriculum. Unique, bespoke Discovery Learning units help children to connect their learning to where they are living here in Hong Kong, as well as looking at the learning from the perspective of other people in our region of Southeast Asia, as well as 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 where 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 Curriculum Overview
Discovery is a bespoke enquiry 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 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 will provide a contextual learning experience for the development of English skills. The Enquiry Learning Skills These underpin learning and skills development in Discovery and transfer to all areas of learning. These 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 will aspire to show these skills within other areas of the curriculum. Research Students can formulate questions and locate and use a wide range of sources and techniques to investigate problems, interests and issues. Students can think critically about the information they gather and they are careful to acknowledge our 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. Collaboration 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. 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.
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 in a show as part of their Discovery Learning. The resulting shows are always a huge and exciting celebration of the successes the student 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. Students in Year 3 participate in four lessons of Mandarin per week, each being half an hour in duration. 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. In Years 4 - 6 students participate in three lessons per week, each being 45 minutes in duration. Upon entry to Year 4, the students are split into three discrete Pathways according to their language proficiency in order to provide greater differentiation for the wide range of language learners within the school. A description of each pathway can be found below. Students focus on the four areas of language learning - speaking, listening, reading and writing. The students learn to express their ideas in written format using Pinyin and also learn to write in characters. 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 lessons in the Primary School are interactive, fun and engaging. Lessons often operate on a rotational basis in which students have the opportunity to participate in a range of learning experiences to support in the development of language proficiency within speaking, listening, reading and writing. Homework is introduced in Mandarin when the children reach Year 4. Native speakers are taught in small groups and are often supported by a Mandarin EA. A specific curriculum is followed by our native speaking groups from Year 4 which has been sourced from China and adapted to meet the needs of students in our international setting. Mandarin Pathway Descriptors:
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 have often 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.
Camps And 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 / student ratio, usually 1:8, is maintained throughout all trips. This ratio is lowered in certain situations, including the age of students and for higher risk activities. School trips and visits can lead to students developing 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 visiting overseas locations in Year 6 to undertaking a series of team building activities whilst camping on Lantau Island, residential camps form an integral part of our Primary Curriculum, so again, it is expected that all children attend.
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 toward becoming successful computational thinkers, innovative designers and global collaborators. Our students are empowered to be more creative and more connected than ever before. We provide a one to one device for all our Year 3 to Year 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.
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 continues to evolve at an incredibly fast pace, bringing with it extraordinary opportunities for learning, but also presenting 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 student’s online portfolios in SeeSaw. 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 Technology lessons, Digital Citizenship awareness days and the Learning for Life program, we ensure that students regularly participate in a range of classroom discussions and activities based around issues of 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 become smart, responsible, and respectful digital citizens.
Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs) We offer a comprehensive range of Extra Curricular Activities, which provides students with a variety of sporting and creative experiences, including performance and competition opportunities within DBIS and the greater community. DBIS also offers a wide range of other clubs such as computing, gardening, Battle of the Books and subjectbased clubs. To find out more please read the Activities and Trips page on the Parent Hub linked HERE. On occasion, ECAs 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, red or black rainstorm warning, outdoor ECA’s will be cancelled at 06:30 am before school activities. Parents will be informed through a notice on the Parent Hub. However, if you follow the Hong Kong Observatory App, you will be able to deduce when a cancellation will be issued. After school, outdoor activities will not go ahead in any of the above circumstances. Coaching staff will be on location to supervise any students that arrive.
Sport at DBIS In addition to the PE curriculum, all students have opportunities to take part in competitive sport through the inter school house system and the extensive Extra Curricular Activities (ECA) programme here at DBIS. The school’s goal is to involve, excite and motivate our students to join in sporting activities as life-long participants and therefore we offer a varied, progressive and exciting programme from Year 3 through to Year 6. 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 The Federation of British International Schools in Asia (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.
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. Fire 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 pitch whereby class rolls are taken. An email and SMS is sent to all parents following the successful Fire Drill or evacuation informing them that all students are safe. Key DBIS Policies can be found HERE. Lock Down Procedures Lock down procedures are carried out each term 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 is given over the school tannoy system. Again, parents are informed that all students are safe by email and SMS following any drill.
Guest Visits To School Any visitor, including ex-students and family members or helpers of students attending DBIS, must sign into school at the security gate during school hours. Outside these hours, visitors need to report to the main reception and all are required to wear a Visitor’s Pass at all times. Visitors are not permitted to attend classes with students to ensure learning is not disrupted and for insurance liability reasons.
Home Learning Home learning can be anything that students do outside of the normal school day that contributes to their learning, usually in response to guidance from our school. Home learning encompasses a variety of activities instigated by teachers and parents to support student learning. One of the aims of our school is for students to develop as independent learners, and home learning is one way in which students can develop their independent learning skills. While home learning is valued, it should not prevent students from taking part in the wide range of extracurricular activities, clubs and organisations that play an important part in the balanced lives of our students. Students are encouraged to develop their skills, interests and talents to the full when parents and teachers encourage them to make maximum use of the experiences and opportunities that are available within and outside of our school. Google Classroom In the Primary School we also use 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.
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. Each house has two Y6 House Captains who are voted in at the beginning of the school year.
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 into school with students. Our student lockers are outside in the corridors, and therefore we cannot guarantee the safety of any mobile devices if left in student bags.
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.
Unplanned School Closure Please familiarise yourself with the school’s Severe Weather Policy and Procedures linked HERE, regarding the closure of school. The school website will display weather warnings and notification of school closure whenever applicable.
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 goal being to enable our students to become ambassadors for our school virtues; encourage and facilitate them into taking an active role in our all aspects of the school community and to work with others to achieve the best possible outcome. House Captains and School Ambassadors Year 6 Student Leaders are expected to be: z
Positive role models and ambassadors for the school
Enthusiastic and committed to the House System at Discovery Bay International School
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 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 - 6, who are voted in at the beginning of the school year. The students 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 Secondary Student Council. The Student Council representatives meet on a regular basis and work on whole school projects, support local and international charities and build relationships with other schools here in Hong Kong.
School Calendar School Dates and Holidays for 2021-2022 can be found on the Parent Hub HERE. Autumn Term 12, 16-18 August 2021 New Student Orientation 19 August 2021
All Primary students start Term 1
22 September 2021
30 September 2021
Half day (Teacher Professional Development Day)
1 October 2021
11 – 15 October 2021
Half Term Holiday
26 November 2021
10 December 2021
End of Term 1
Spring Term 3 January 2022
Start of Term 2
28 January 2022
(Teacher Professional Development Day, No children in school)
31 January – 4 February 2022
Chinese New Year Half Term Holiday
4 March 2022
(Teacher Professional Development Day, No children in school)
1 April 2022
End of Term 2
Summer Term 19 April 2022
Start of Term 3
2 May 2022
9 May 2022
3 June 2022
30 June 2022
End of School Year
School Hours And Contact Details Timings of the School Day:
Classroom will be open for a soft start at 8.15am. Registers will be taken at the start of the school day at 8.25am.
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 10.00am until 10.30am and this is when children will usually eat their morning snack.
Lunch is from 12.15pm. Children eating food from the canteen eat there before going out to play.
At 1:00pm, the bell is sounded to indicate the end of break. Lessons resume after the bell at 1.00pm.
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 EDB 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. School Contact Details: Website - www.dbis.edu.hk Primary Phone - 2987 7331
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Uniform Our uniform shop is located on the Primary campus and is open on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:15 am - 11:00 am during term time. If possible we ask you to please bring your own carrier bag with you to take away uniform items. Jewellery Watches and small stud earrings are permitted. Necklaces, bracelets and anklets are not permitted. School Socks Day wear with regular uniform is navy blue ankle socks available from our uniform shop, PE wear is white ankle socks available from our uniform shop.
Daywear Shoes Dark blue or black sandals for day wear (no adornments and not to be worn with socks) or black leather slip on shoes (girls) or black leather shoes (must be able to be polished, no coloured laces, adornments or sports shoes) and socks as noted above. Sports Shoes Students should wear appropriate footwear that adequately supports their feet during physical education lessons and activities. Sun hats It is of the utmost importance that we promote sun safety with our students. To assist in this, our Primary School compulsory uniform hat is a wide brimmed, well ventilated style that must be worn by all students. Primary students without a school hat will not be allowed to play outside. PE Uniform The following procedures should be adhered to in regard to wearing PE uniform at school: z
PE uniform can be worn to school if a student has an ECA or PE class before break. Students with PE lessons after break are to get changed at morning break.
Those with a PE lesson after lunch must get changed during lunch break and may wear their uniform home.
Students with an ECA or sports trip after school are to get changed at the end of the school day.
Hair We expect that any student, boy or girl, with shoulder length or longer hair, has it tied up during the school day. If a student has dyed hair we would expect it to be in a natural colour.
Valuables And 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 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 school after the summer holidays, official notice must be given on or before 30 April. The school will charge school fees if the above notice period is not adhered to.
Creative Arts 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 extra-curricular activities and an array of public performance opportunities. These include large scale community events such as Carols On The Pitch, the Spring Concert, International Food Fair, as well as DBIS Live. There are also a number of opportunities for students to participate in international music festivals through our ongoing membership of FOBISIA. 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, Dance and Music. The students’ regular morning timetable will be collapsed during the Creative Arts morning. 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.
How Parents Can Get Involved At School Class Parents Every year we elect one or two class parents for each class. These parents are a huge support for us, coming on school trips, helping out in class, organising parental support for plays and 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 PTSA can be found on the Parent Hub and they can be contacted at email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join this group.