Page 1


Table of Contents Our shared Core Values, Mission and Aims

page 1

Welcome and Introduction

page 3

Approach to Learning

page 5


• Early Years

page 7

• Primary

page 9

• Secondary

page 11

Student Progress

page 13

Student Support

Extra Curricular Opportunities

Campuses and Facilities

page 15


page 17 page 19 page 21

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.


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

Our Aims • To promote a culture of excellence in teaching and learning. • To provide an individualised and personalised approach to learning together with small class sizes and flexible teaching methods. • To provide a broad and balanced curriculum that reflects the international nature of the DBIS student community. • 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, 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


Welcome and Introduction


iscovery Bay International School (DBIS) is very different to other international schools in Hong Kong. Centred in the wonderful community of Discovery Bay on the beautiful island of Lantau, the school derives much strength 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’ outstanding 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. Our students enjoy a broad international curriculum with British characteristics and a distinctive learning journey that begins in the Early Years (age 3 - 5), progresses to the Primary school (age 6 - 11), and culminates in the Secondary school (age 12 - 16). The DBIS student experience is characterised by a highly personalised learning environment, small class sizes, creative approaches to teaching and learning, and a broad range of extra curricular activities. The school has developed in tandem with the community it serves. Established in 1983 with an initial cohort of 3 students and 3 staff, the school now comprises 40 different nationalities, 950 students and 154 staff located on two very well resourced campuses. Returning former students will recognise the distinctive feel of the school, such as the warm, happy and caring atmosphere, but they will also recognise that the school has grown and changed from a village school to a truly international community school. As illustrated by our school’s aims and mission we are incredibly ambitious for our students. We are intent on ensuring that every student is supported and encouraged to reach their individual potential. We are an international community school committed to the constant pursuit of excellence in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for all our students. We believe that we are well placed for further growth, development and success as our actions are rooted in strong collective values and a desire to equip our students with the skills, knowledge and mindset needed for a happy and successful life. We hope that this prospectus gives you a genuine flavour of what we do and how we do it. There is much more on our website Paul Tough Head of School Discovery Bay International School

“We encourage DBIS students to be confident communicators, to be creative, resourceful and inquisitive.�


Approach to Learning


igh expectations and the pursuit of excellence are fundamental to our approach to learning at DBIS. From the Early Years, to the Primary and into Secondary we are focused on developing independent learners who are curious about the world around them and have desire to explore and enquire. Students at DBIS thrive when faced with a challenge and are increasingly exposed to dynamic, active and engaging opportunities and experiences both inside and outside the classroom.

A range of extra support exists for all students to pursue their strengths and interests in addition to developing their curiosity, independence, confidence and resilience when meeting new challenges. We encourage DBIS students to be confident communicators, to be creative, resourceful and inquisitive. DBIS learners collaborate, share ideas and opinions and work together in teams. DBIS learners work hard and are proud of their achievements. Small class sizes allow teachers time to truly understand every child and develop strong home school links. Fundamentally, at DBIS, we prioritise personalised learning. We look at each student’s individual needs, tracking their progress and identifying next steps for each of them. Through this we aim to ensure that all students make good progress and are supported in reaching their full potential. At the heart of our broad and balanced curriculum are a number of areas that we feel are essential for students to experience throughout their learning journey at DBIS. These include problem solving though mathematics and computing, proficiency in English, development of an additional language, creativity and performance in Music, Art and Drama, plus health and wellbeing through sport and physical education. Equally, as an international school in Hong Kong, we passionately believe that it is essential for our students to develop an understanding of, and appreciation for, different nationalities and cultures. Internationalism permeates every subject at DBIS and underpins all discussions, actions and views enabling our school community to interact with and learn from our host country. Mandarin Chinese is taught in every year group throughout the school while French and Spanish are optional subjects at Secondary level. Increasingly, the school is also using the world around us as a context for learning, our students engage in various environmental issues that help them to become socially and internationally aware. Opportunities for enhanced student voice and student service is a developing feature of school life, thus enabling all students to take action and gain a deeper and more compassionate understanding of the world around them.


Early Years

“Early years teachers inspire children to learn through individual care and attention, and a happy and car ing atmosphere.�


Early Years (Nursery and Reception)


he Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum is the starting point for the DBIS approach to learning. Early Years teachers inspire children to learn through doing in an environment characterised by a full day school experience, child led activities, a varied and balanced curriculum, individual care and attention, and a happy and caring atmosphere. Teachers recognise the importance of self-directed play and balance this with adult initiated activities. Our Early Years section of the school is located on a distinct campus and caters for both nursery and reception students. We currently have 5 nursery classes and 5 reception classes. Each class comprises of 20 students, one teacher and one full time educational assistant. The Early Years facilities are spacious and welcoming. They include an engaging outside play area with delightful grounds, purpose built classrooms, a library, a music room, a computer suite and an indoor reception room. We aim to provide the best learning opportunities in a stimulating and nurturing environment. Specialist teachers in the Early Years are provided in the areas of physical education, music, Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Mandarin Chinese. The Head of Early Years works closely with the Early Years teaching team to find out about each student’s needs and interests. We assess learning and development through frequent observation and evidence of student’s work. Each student has an electronic learning journal that is used to evidence and reflect upon his or her progress. Crucially, the Early Years team ensures that parents are welcomed and encouraged to be part of their child’s educational experience.



“It is an approach that helps to prepare students for the future by ensuring that they develop critical thinking skills, leadership skills, personal skills, ICT skills and environmental awareness through a rigorous curriculum.�


Primary (Years 1-6)


n the Primary school students are taught writing and reading, personal, social and health education (PSHE), humanities and the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) by their class teacher. There is specialist teaching in mathematics, art, music, Mandarin Chinese, physical education and ICT. Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 of the English National Curriculum are used as the main framework in our Primary School. The IPC is a comprehensive, thematic, creative curriculum for 3-11 year olds, with a clear process of learning and with specific learning goals for every subject, for international mindedness and for personal learning. It is an approach that helps to prepare students for the future by ensuring that they develop critical thinking skills, leadership skills, personal skills, ICT skills and environmental awareness through a rigorous curriculum. As is the case in the Early Years, there is a strong emphasis on, and high expectations of our students in mathematics, reading and writing. Every year, students in years 5 and 6 go away on residential camps, under canvas or in youth hostels. All trips compliment the curriculum and introduce children to new situations and challenges. Our Primary campus caters for students from Year 1 to Year 6. There are four classes in each year group. Class numbers are carefully monitored to ensure that appropriate student teacher ratios are maintained where possible at an optimum number of one teacher to 24 students. Along with the provision of class teachers, education assistants have been appointed to assist in the classrooms and in a range of other areas of the school.



“The curriculum and our approach to teaching and learning seeks to ensure that students develop a range of essential thinking skills, knowledge of key concepts, and crucially, an aptitude for continuous learning.�


Secondary School (Years 7-11)


he Secondary school’s distinction lies in the emphasis placed upon small class sizes, a personalised approach to student learning, and the pursuit of creativity and innovation. Secondary school teachers know their students well and are able to individualise their support and programmes according to the needs of each student.

The Secondary school provides a broad and balanced curriculum based on the English National Curriculum and tailored to meet the needs of international students based in Hong Kong. The curriculum and our approach to teaching and learning seeks to ensure that students develop a range of essential thinking skills, knowledge of key concepts, and crucially, an aptitude for continuous learning. Students in years 7, 8 and 9 access a range of subjects which include English, mathematics, languages (Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and French), science, humanities, technology, creative arts, computing and physical education. Secondary school students in all year groups are also challenged to investigate and respond to complex questions, problems or themes through inter disciplinary Project Based Learning (PBL) tasks. The learning journey for DBIS students culminates in years 10 and 11 when students complete examinations in a range of subjects leading to the award of International General Certificates of Secondary Education (IGCSE), externally accredited and internationally recognised qualifications. Typically, students at DBIS will complete examinations in 7 or 8 subject areas. Graduating students leave DBIS at the end of Year 11 academically, socially and emotionally very well prepared for further study in Years 12 and 13. The DBIS and tailored curriculum and learning experience prepare our graduates to be critical, creative and independent thinkers. Crucially, it also prepares students for a range of exciting educational possibilities and challenges in Hong Kong or abroad including the International Baccalaureate Diploma, A Levels or the BTech qualifications.

“At DBIS we passionately believe that formative assessment underpins effective learning and teaching.�


Student Progress


tudent progress in the Early Years, Primary school and Secondary school is monitored closely in a number of different ways. Commonly this will involve formal assessments that are given at a point in time to establish students’ levels of understanding and knowledge. It will also involve informal and ongoing assessment of student performance.

At DBIS we passionately believe that formative assessment underpins effective learning and teaching. Teachers aim to ensure that students of all ages understand the learning intentions and criteria for success, receive ongoing and constructive feedback on their learning, and are active learners who evaluate their own progress. The school maintains assessment data by individual teachers and centrally in order to track student progress, modify teaching approaches and to set individualised student targets. A combination of written reports, parent/teacher/student meetings, electronic learning journals, open mornings and academic review mornings are used to update parents on their child’s progress.

“The school encourages a strong partnership with parents. We value open and ongoing communication between school and home.�


Student Support


BIS is a safe, caring, friendly and supportive environment. We value every member of the school community and look to ensure that all students develop self-confidence, self-respect and resilience.

Class teachers (Early Years and Primary) and form tutors (Secondary) play a crucial pastoral role with each student in their care. Class teachers and form tutors are the first point of contact for teachers, students and parents if there are issues of concern. Our school’s values and the distinct set of virtues associated with the IPC curriculum guide our approach when dealing with pastoral issues. Our school’s values also provide a reference for helping students develop and maintain positive relationships. The school encourages a strong partnership with parents. We value open and ongoing communication between school and home. Students achieve when teachers and parents work in unison. We welcome parents contacting the school at any time to speak to the relevant class teacher, tutor, year group leader (Early Years and Primary), house group leader (Secondary) or Senior Leadership Team member in charge of the relevant section. The school is also very aware that some students may require modified programmes of study or additional support in a given area of learning. The school’s individual needs department provides a range of support structures and programmes for a variety of different learners. Primarily these include: • Targeted support designed to cater for students who need extra help in order to understand the curriculum and make progress. • An intensive English as an additional language programme designed to develop and consolidate the language proficiency of some students. • Gifted and talented programmes for some students who benefit from a level of extra challenge and extension in specific areas of their learning such as mathematics, languages, reading and writing. Above all, DBIS is an inclusive school in which students with a range of additional needs are fully and actively welcomed into all aspects of our educational provision.

“Students have the ability to pursue their individual passions and interests or challenge themselves with something new.�


Extra Curricular Opportunities


tudents are encouraged to take part in the wider life of the school through participation in an extensive extra curricular activities programme. We offer over 30 different activities throughout the academic year. Students have the ability to pursue their individual passions and interests or challenge themselves with something new.

Sport and the creative arts are strong features of the extra curricular activities programme. Students have the opportunity to represent the school in competitive sport, join an orchestra, choir or band, participate in a drama production or in a school show. The school’s sports and creative arts programmes provides opportunities for broad participation and enjoyment coupled with a distinct programme of competitive sport and performance opportunities. Our dedicated staff can be seen running activities before and after school or on the weekends. We also provide external specialist coaching as and when necessary in some areas. Students can also develop their leadership skills by taking part in one of the school’s service or charity projects, membership of our environmental groups, joining the Student Council, as Head Students, Model United Nations membership, becoming a house representative or as a peer mediator. Students are also encouraged to propose and develop school projects or initiatives of their own. A number of academic extra curricular opportunities also exist for students wishing to further their interest in mathematics, technology, computing, art, languages, science, humanities and critical thinking.


Campuses and Facilities


iscovery Bay International School is spread across two campuses. Both our Early Years campus and our combined Primary and Secondary campuses are extremely well equipped.  We strive to create formal and informal learning environments that encourage students to be inquisitive, active and creative. The key facilities available for our students include:

• • • • • • • • • •

Extensive outdoor space for active play Extensive play equipment for Early Years and Primary students An artificial turfed sports pitch Well equipped classrooms An auditorium A gymnasium A swimming pool Drama rooms Science laboratories The Discovery Centre which accommodates the school library, resource centre, computer suites, art studio, design technology suites, music suites and instrumental practice rooms • A cafe - The Boardwalk Café The school is also very well resourced with ICT and learning technologies. This allows DBIS teachers to use learning technology judiciously in their lessons. All students in the Secondary school are provided with their own iPads while students in the Early Years and Primary school have access to class sets. The school has full wireless connectivity and teachers, students and parents use our online learning platforms extensively.




BIS is a unique school. There isn’t another international school like it in Hong Kong. We do encourage you and your child to visit us to experience the school in action before making an application. The school hosts a number of open days, parent forums and morning teas throughout the year. We are a very welcoming and friendly school. Tours and visits hosted by a member of the Senior Leadership Team can also be arranged on request. Please visit the school website or contact the admissions team for more information at Please note that all students applying to DBIS in Primary and Secondary undertake a written English proficiency assessment and attend an interview with a member of the school’s Senior Leadership Team. Prior to places being offered to applicants, parents will also be required to meet a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

“DBIS is a unique school. There isn’t another international school like it in Hong Kong.”

Contact Head of School Paul Tough Address: Discovery Bay International School Discovery Bay Lantau Island Hong Kong

Telephone: Early Years campus: (+852) 2914 2142 Primary / Secondary campus: (+852) 2987 7331 Email: Website:

Discovery Bay International School Prospectus  

Find out about the educational provision offered at this prestigious and unique community international school.

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