Shi Jie – Spring 2017

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SHI JIE To look out into the world The Magazine of Discovery College SPRING 2017

Focus on Mathematics Grow. Discover. Dream.



Fast fact SPRING 2017




EDITOR Amy Freed PHOTOGRAPHY Claire Fraser DESIGN Vienna Chan CONTRIBUTING Fiona Altoft WRITERS Chris Barr


Michael Borrows Matt Davis Frank Donnoli Andy Eastwood Adrian Gan Hin-Hay Lam Marcell Merényi - Year 11 Student Lissie Nichols Kate Saunders Leanne Sercombe Kris Stanhope Rob Street David Thapa Ellen Rose Thompson - Year 11 Student Lawrence Wilkinson


Discovery College 38 Siena Ave Discovery Bay Hong Kong Ph. +852 3969 1000 Fax. +852 2987 8115 Em. CIRCULATION: 1500

Shi Jie is printed on Alpine Satin which is PEFC certified, Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) and manufactured under ISO14001 certification, using 100% virgin fibre from well-managed forests.

Focus on Mathematics Principal’s Note


Mathematics Curriculum Rich Tasks – Developing Persistence, Creativity and Resilience in Primary Mathematics


Number Talks – Improving Fluency with Mental Maths


13 Primary Events


The Big Draw


ESF 50th Anniversary Concert


Mr Toad’s Mad Adventure


Design & Developments

Mathematical Connections between Primary and Secondary Students


Secondary Mathematics


Transition in Math from Primary to Secondary


Giving Students a Charge


MYP Curriculum Analysis Tool (CAT)


Secondary Events The UN Inspector Diploma Art Exhibition


Young Performers Evening 10 and Annual Concert


Cobra Sports 11 Staff Profiles


Class Parent Reps Student-Led Conferences in Primary

11 DC Emerging Authors


Getting Competitive Highlights

Taichi Kho – Champion in the making 12 Paul Renie



Alumni Where are they now?


Alumni Updates






Training the Mind to Think

This year, I am especially pleased to see the collaboration that has not only taken place between teachers, but between students across Primary and Secondary both inside the classroom and in mathematics competitions. Our cover photo this issue in fact, shows a collaborative project involving Year 4 and Year 12 students working togethers, with the Year 12s acting as Maths mentors (see page 6). Mark Beach Principal

P rincipal ' s N otes


I imagine our mathematics classes at DC bear little resemblance to maths classes you remember from your youth. As views shift globally around how to teach maths effectively, the College’s curriculum moves away from more “traditional” teaching and instead involves creativity and flexibility, in

In Primary, a focus has been to improve fluency by using Mental Maths with the aim of developing accuracy, efficiency and flexibility when carrying out mental calculations. Secondary students build on these skills and study how the different areas of mathematics such as Geometry, Algebra and Statistics are interconnected, by progressively learning them as part of the maths curriculum at each year level, rather than on an isolated basis.


This issue of Shi Jie focuses specifically on how we teach mathematics at DC and how teachers are working together across the PYP, MYP and DP to ensure we have a robust programme. Through maths, students are given the opportunity to explore mathematical concepts through a variety of rich tasks and activities to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.

order to develop connections between mathematical ideas.


Our IB curriculum, starting with the PYP and throughout the MYP and DP, encourages students how to think, how to evaluate and judge, how to process information and come to rules and conclusions about the world. With this in mind, we arm our Discovery College students with a powerful set of tools that will literally last them a lifetime, even as the world rapidly changes around us.

Grow. Discover. Dream.


Rich Tasks Developing persistence, creativity and resilience in Primary Mathematics

2017 F ocus O n – M athematics

In a Year 5 maths lesson, students are just getting started on tackling their latest mathematical challenge. The room buzzes with enthusiasm, energy and tenacity, the students eager to get started and relishing the challenge of finding solutions to the problem. The aim of the lesson is for the students to solve addition and subtraction problems involving decimals, and the teacher, being careful to give very little explanation of how to find an answer, has just presented the following problem to the students:

I worked out the perimeter of my rectangular swimming pool to be 13.5m , but I forgot the details. I know the length looked like 3.XX m and the width looked like X.X m What might have been the dimensions? Some students begin with a trial and error approach, drawing rectangles of different widths and lengths, and adding them to see how close to 13.5 they are and then adjusting their ‘guesses’ based on the results. Other students begin by dividing 13.5 by 4 to give an idea of a starting point for a reasonable solution. Yet others begin by making a note of things they already know that might help them solve the problem. Eventually, one student finds an answer to the problem and is challenged by the teacher to find other possibilities. She soon finds a second possibility and realises that there is a pattern in her answers that will help her find yet more. She begins to

record the possible answers in a logical sequence in a table. Towards the end of the lesson, the teacher selects students to present their thinking to the class. The students are encouraged to explain the approaches that they have taken, make connections between the different ways they have tackled the problem and the different ways they have recorded the process. This approach to mathematics learning, through the use of Rich Tasks, has become a feature of primary maths teaching at DC over recent years. It reflects a global shift in the view of effective maths teaching away from traditional approaches,

which emphasises knowledge of a repertoire of fixed procedures which are practised until they can be applied fluently, towards a view of maths which involves creativity and flexibility. Such an approach to mathematics emphasises the development of ‘sense making’ by students, developing connections between mathematical ideas, rather than viewing maths as a collection of isolated facts and routines to be memorised. The approach also focuses on developing students’ ability and confidence to adapt their knowledge to unfamiliar situations - to find solutions to problems that they have not previously been shown how to solve.

To support the development of this approach to maths, DC Primary teachers have had the wonderful opportunity this year to participate, along with colleagues from across ESF, in a research project led by Professor Peter Sullivan of Monash University in Australia. Professor Sullivan visited DC for two days in February, during which he modelled lessons in each year group, led discussions with each team of teachers and led a staff professional development meeting. As part of the research project, teachers in all six Primary year groups were provided with a range of Rich Tasks problems and challenged to structure their lessons in a specific way to encourage students to develop persistence when faced with challenging mathematical situations. Some examples of the tasks presented to students can be seen here:

Year 1 & 2

Year 3 & 4

Year 5 & 6

In a photo of a farmyard, you can see 10 legs. Draw what the animals might be. Give more than one possible answer.

In my basketball club, there are between 20 and 50 players. I know that there are 3 times as many girls as boys. How many girls and boys might there be in our basketball club?

The average temperature over 5 consecutive days was 28°C. The highest temperature was 36°C. What might the temperature have been on the other 4 days? I did a multiplication question correctly for homework, but my printer ran out of ink. I remember it looked like 1 __ × 4 __ = __ __ 2 What might be the digits that did not print? Give as many answers as you can.

Grow. Discover. Dream.

Students also appreciate many aspects of tackling maths problems posed in this way, as the recent comments from some Year 4 and Year 6 students show: “I like having the time to figure out how to solve problems by myself - being independent and using my brain.”

“We have to use ‘grit’ - to keep working and trying, even if we fail we should keep learning from our mistakes.” “It gets us thinking more as the problems have lots of different possibilities.” “It’s great when you get to share what you’ve done - it’s cool to teach others and you also get to learn different strategies when they share what they’ve done.” With responses like these from both teachers and students, it is clear that Primary maths at DC is being seen as a creative, flexible and even imaginative subject. It is encouraging students to build a deep understanding of important mathematical ideas as a solid foundation for creating solutions and solving problems. Andy Eastwood Vice Principal (Middle Primary Leader)


The response from teachers to the Rich Tasks approach has been hugely

positive. One colleague commented, “I see students developing their bank of strategies when faced with problems that they may not have seen before. They are taking more risks with their mathematical thinking as there is less teacher inclination to jump in and rescue the students at the outset. I see students developing confidence in recognising what they don’t know and finding ways to learn that before they move on. They are building banks of problem solving strategies to help them to work through tasks and taking pride in their achievements as they discuss their thinking with the class. Students feel pride when other students then follow their ideas. I see students becoming mathematical thinkers.”


Teachers were asked to pose the problems to the students with very little introduction, other than ensuring that they understood the problem. Students were expected to find their own ways of tackling the problems, drawing on, making connections with and building upon their existing understanding. When tasks are presented in this way, students face the challenge of planning their approach, processing multiple pieces of information, choosing their own strategies, spending time on the task and recording and explaining their thinking to the teacher and other students. Teachers were also asked not to ‘over-help’ the students by showing them how to solve the problems, but to encourage them to persist in finding their own solutions. The rationale for this approach is backed up by research which shows that students are highly motivated by overcoming challenges and gain enormous satisfaction from using their creativity and imagination to find solutions.

Some people came for a sports day. When the people were put into groups of 3 there was 1 person left over. When they were lined up in rows of 4 there were 2 people left over. How many people might have come to the sports day?


In my family there are three children. The total of the ages is 15 years. All the ages are different. What might be the ages?

F ocus O n – M athematics

Rich Tasks examples:


Number Talks Improving fluency with Mental Maths

2017 F ocus O n – M athematics

How many different ways can you work out the answer to 5 x18 in your head? This may seem like an odd question, but there is a surprising variety of possible responses... “Multiply 5x9 and double it” “Work out 5x20 and subtract 5x2” “Double one number and halve the other, so work out 10x9 instead” “Split the 18 into 10 and 8, then do 5x10 plus 5x8” “Think about the 18 as ‘6x3’, so you can do 5x6x3” And so on… Encouraging students to think flexibly and creatively about calculations in this way is the idea at the heart of an approach called ‘Number Talks’ that DC Primary teachers are using to help students become more fluent and accurate when calculating mentally. Number Talks are a short routine during which students are presented with a small selection of carefully chosen calculations and asked to work them out mentally, communicate their thinking and justify their solutions. The approach aims to develop accuracy, efficiency and flexibility when carrying

out mental calculations - the ability to choose appropriate strategies for different types of calculations and the flexibility to use the relationships between numbers with ease; the ability to ‘see’ numbers in different ways, depending on the problem being solved. It is an approach that supports students to develop ‘number sense’ by building on and extending the way numbers already make sense to them. The Number Talks approach was developed by Sherry Parrish of the University of Alabama. She argues that focussing on and discussing students’ own invented strategies, rather than telling students one ‘standard’ method for solving a problem, has many benefits, including providing the opportunity for students to: • Clarify thinking • Investigate and apply mathematical relationships • Build a repertoire of efficient strategies • Make decisions about choosing efficient strategies for specific problems • Consider and test other strategies to see if they are mathematically sound. The benefits are certainly not lost on

students either. One Year 3 student recently commented, “It helps me to use the strategies from other students. One person even made their own strategy for a subtraction problem - I think that’s pretty clever!” Another said, “Number Talks really challenge my brain. It teaches me to use a variety of strategies. Different calculations are easier with different strategies. I’ve learned that partitioning is not always the best way.” Over the final weeks of this current academic year, a small group of teachers will be working to further develop the focus on mental calculations. We look forward to seeing the results of this initiative as our students develop into even more enthusiastic, flexible and creative thinkers in mathematics. Andy Eastwood Vice Principal (Middle Primary Leader)

The Year 12 students have also been rather pleasantly surprised by the energy and enthusiasm of their younger co-learners. One observed that, “They have their unique way of thinking and are very open to receiving new knowledge. They approach a single question in so many different and imaginative ways. That was quite surprising.” Another Year 12 student added, “They are extremely quick, and logical thinkers, and are much better than me when I was in Year 4.” With an endorsement like that, it is exciting to consider what our current crop of Primary students might achieve by the time they reach the upper end of Secondary school themselves.


student commented that, “I think watching and helping them while they try desperately to solve a challenging math question is really enjoyable. They are also really cute.”

Andy Eastwood Vice Principal (Middle Primary Leader)


The short weekly sessions involve a small group of Year 4 students who were selected by their class teachers on the basis that they would benefit

from enrichment and extension of their thinking and learning in maths. The focus of the sessions is on challenging problem-solving, communicating mathematically and developing deeper connections within and between important maths concepts. It is a valuable opportunity for the Primary students to explore their passion for maths and have their thinking challenged. They are certainly enjoying the experience, with one of the Year 4s commenting, “The Year 12s are great - they really help us and don’t get frustrated with us.” Another Year 4 student reported that, “They let us try to figure out things for ourselves. The problems are really challenging, but that’s what makes it fun - our brains are getting smarter.” The Secondary students are enjoying the sessions too. “They are an exciting group of children, with a lot of energy and are always excited to see us. They are also quick learners and are willing to learn new things all the time” said one of the senior mentors. A fellow Year 12


In a wonderful example of collaboration between DC Primary and Secondary, this term has seen the start of an initiative involving a group of talented and enthusiastic Year 4 mathematicians being supported in their learning by a group of volunteer Year 12 students. When the idea was first proposed to members of Lissie Nichols’ Year 12 class, there was no shortage of volunteers to give up one lunchtime a week to support the younger students. One of the Year 12s commented, “I wanted to help the Year 4 students develop their problemsolving and critical thinking skills, as they’re skills that will always be useful later on in life.” Another student added, “It is a great way for me to build my leadership skills. I also enjoy working with young kids as well as maths too.”

F ocus O n – M athematics

Making Mathematical Connections Through Student Collaboration

Grow. Discover. Dream.


Learning Maths Through Inquiry and Exploration

2017 F ocus O n – M athematics

Learning through inquiry and exploration is a focus in MYP mathematics. Students explore different mathematical ideas and equations through activities that require them to explore new topics and relationships, instead of just being told to memorise formulas. It is a similar concept to the rich tasks that they do in primary school, so students are familiar with the process when they join secondary school. These activities enrich students’ understanding of the concepts so that they retain the knowledge better for future studies in mathematics, as well as their appreciation for the real-life applications of the topics. For example, in Year 10, trigonometry is introduced through exploratory activities focused around drawing and measuring triangles by hand, as well as through technology tools, such as their graphing calculator and Geogebra. Students first explore the relationship between the measures of the sides of a right-angled triangle, and are able to actually see how and why sine, cosine, and tangent work. Once students have a conceptual understanding of the content, it is reinforced through activities on, and their textbook. In addition to students having an understanding of how a concept works, they also can see how it works in real-life. For example, with trigonometry, many examples of angle of elevation are used so that students can see how they can calculate the height of something without actually measuring it. Throughout the MYP curriculum, students are engaged with many areas of mathematics. Number, Algebra, Geometry, and Probability and Statistics are integrated into each year level, instead of being isolated, so that students can see the interconnectedness of many areas of

mathematics. Students are assessed in many different ways during the MYP courses. They have tests in class that are timed and leveled to see how well they understand the actual concept. These tests also give students a medium for showing how well they can apply the maths they have learned in a new and challenging way (the level 7-8 questions on an MYP criterion A assessment), in addition to the familiar ways they have done during the lessons. These tests give students great preparation for their future studies in mathematics, especially in Years 12 and 13 where a majority of their DP maths grade is determined by their final test in May of Year 13.

In addition to the tests, students have assessments that are not timed and assess how well a student can apply the maths they have learned in a reallife situation. For example, in Year 8, students complete an assessment called “DC Chicken” for the number unit where they are opening a restaurant (DC Chicken) and they have to analyse the mathematical components of opening a restaurant. They have to look at the cost of hiring employees, utilities, and ingredients, as well as the revenue they will make from selling the chicken, and ultimately determine the success of the restaurant. This challenges students to apply their mathematical knowledge in a practical way. These types of assessments are not only important for students to

be able to apply their math knowledge in practical applications, but also for their internal assessment in DP, which is a maths exploration of a topic of their choice.

Year 7-9 overview • Mixed ability classes • Focus on inquiry and real-life mathematics

• Strong focus on statistics and practical applications for the real world and non-math career paths • Includes a statistical project where students gather their own data and analyse it for correlation formally for DP Internal Assessment Standard Level Mathematics • Students who need a strong background in math for university courses • Recommended for students who have excelled in MYP math • Includes a math exploration that requires students to explore an area of math that they are interested in and write a formal report for DP

Year 12-13 DP Mathematics: Mathematical Studies Standard Level • Students who need to meet the requirement for math, but are not interested in pursuing a math related field in university

Grow. Discover. Dream.


Year 10-11 overview: • Split into standard and extended classes • More emphasis on preparing for success in DP mathematics

Internal Assessment Higher Level Mathematics • Students who are planning on having math be a major focus of their university studies and career path • Recommended for students who have excelled in Year 11 Extended MYP Math • Complex and abstract topics, including many that are at a first or second year university level • Includes a math exploration that requires students to explore an area of math that they are interested in and write a formal report for DP Internal Assessment



F ocus O n – M athematics

Ultimately, MYP and DP mathematics helps students to see how maths is relevant to other subjects, as well as how it is applied in real-life. In addition, these courses prepare students to be successful in any further mathematics courses that they intend to pursue in their future studies and careers. Learning through inquiry allows students to thoroughly engage with the subject and see its relevance in and outside the classroom. Lissie Nichols Heads of Mathematics, Secondary


Building Mathematical Fluency for Exam-Focused Senior Years


operations, where students see how many single digit multiplication and division questions they can complete in one minute, either on the computer or on paper. Tracking the data helps us identify students who require extra support and practise, as well as share good news with parents and other teachers. Students can also see their improvement throughout the year while getting consistent practise and building up speed.

F ocus O n – M athematics

One of the more difficult aspects of the transition from Primary to Secondary for our students is the increased rigour of middle school mathematics, as they begin to develop the conceptual knowledge and procedural fluency required to be successful in the exam-focused senior years. The MYP subject guide says specifically that “the emphasis on understanding increases” since “MYP mathematics courses help specifically to prepare students for the study of group 5 courses in the IB Diploma Programme (DP).” In addition to being able to apply and experience mathematics in a wide range of situations, students are also expected to develop significant depth of knowledge. Speed of completion also begins to be important. In Secondary, one method we use to develop this is through activities that encourage enjoyment through competition and self-improvement. The entire department this year has begun using Web Math Minutes to build fluency of the four basic

A second recent focus of the department with the aim of helping students develop greater procedural fluency has the use of rich tasks and activities that “hide” the practise of math skills while also developing deeper understanding. Take for example the activity TWO+TWO=FOUR from NRICH (see below). While giving students plenty of opportunities to practise their multi-digit column addition skills, it also develops their conceptual understanding of the procedure, the idea of mathematical proof and reasoning, and a basic introduction to algebra. Last year, all members of the department attended a workshop at ESF Centre on rich tasks such as these

by Charlie Gilderdale of NRICH. Later that year, there was a teacher exchange focusing on these activities where a teacher here at DC was paired with one from ESF West Island School. This year, some teachers participated in several days of training with Mike Ollerton and came back with many ideas to use in their classrooms. As we strive to continually improve the transition from Primary to Secondary mathematics at DC, our teachers use both traditional and newer researchbased methods, understanding that all students learn differently and are eager to meet their individual needs. Hin-Hey Lam Secondary Mathematics Teacher

Grow. Discover. Dream.



The most easily accessible competitions are test-based, for example the UK Mathematics Competitions, the Waterloo Mathematics Competitions, and the Purple Comet online competition. Each of these has a range of levels, and can be taken in school. We routinely have students performing in the very top percentiles globally, (Yan Yau Cheng, Soovin Lee) as well as younger students (Lily Sercombe, Samira Salwan, SeoJin Park) entering competitions designed for much older mathematicians.

The highlight of the competition calendar is NEAMC (North and East Asian Mathematics Competition), this year held in Tokyo. Teams compete and collaborate over three days with the best mathematicians from all over East Asia. A highlight for me was watching Kevin Xin publicly and confidently sharing his explanation of a challenge with those 150 top mathematicians and their teachers, as well as one of our teams (Anthony Chen, Raymond Chen, Kevin Xin) ranking 7th overall in that event, and Anthony Chen 13th in the individual competition. This year we also enjoyed a similar competition in Suzhou, called HSTM (High School Team Mathematics).

What’s great about working with students training for these competitions is seeing them embrace their curiosity. They take on mathematical puzzles a long way beyond the curriculum and enjoy the challenge of tackling and solving them. The fact that the training is mostly led by other passionate students just makes it even better. It turns out that training for and taking part in mathematics competitions is a lot of fun. Rob Street Secondary Mathematics Teacher


It’s been a bumper year for mathematics competitions at Discovery College. Yearround student-led weekly (sometimes biweekly) training is enjoyed by students from Years 8-13. This training is led by a team of experienced competition-goers, and caters to advanced and novice enthusiasts alike.

More intense are the Hong Kong competitions that take place outside school. These include Dragonmaths, the RCHK Team Mathematics Competition and the forthcoming UK Team Competition at Harrow International School. Our students spend a lot of time preparing for these competitions. This year we also attended several HK-based competitions, including the recent InterSchool Maths Competition, and the HK International Mathematics Olympiad qualifying rounds (Yan Yau Cheng, Ira Cheng, Marcell Merényi, Kevin Xin).

F ocus O n – M athematics

Getting Competitive


Class Parent Reps Helping build the DC community atmosphere……

2017 H ighlights – P arent I nvolvement

A wonderful part of our DC community are the hard working Class Parent Reps (CPRs) who are cordinated by the PTA. Across our school we are fortunate to have over 30 parents who have volunteered their time as CPRs to organise a wide range of community building activities for all cohorts of primary students. Working in teams, the parents provide our students with great opportunities to build new relationships, meet new people and participate in a wide

range of different events each term. With activities such as Movie Nights, Halloween Discos, Splash Parties and Christmas & Easter events, students have opportunities to have fun, enjoy celebration food and develop friendships outside their regular school day. Organisation of events each term are only one part of the role of our CPRs. They also provide games and craft stalls at our Family Fun Day and support their child’s class teacher as a

communication link between parents and the school for the organisation of helpers for some school events. We are very fortunate and appreciative that we have this dedicated group of parents to help us build the community atmosphere at DC. Chris Barr Head of Primary

Student-Led Conferences in Primary Student-Led Conferences are a formal reporting sessions to parents, led by the students themselves. Each year students across the school have an opportunity to share their learning journey with their parents. During this event the teacher plays an important role guiding and preparing the students to be able to demonstrate their learning to their parents, whilst we ask that parents actively support and engage in positive discussion with their child in a one to one conversation.

The purpose of Student-Led Conferences in Primary at DC is to: • Empower students to be actively responsible for the ownership of their learning and to promote reflection • Enable students to articulate and demonstrate understandings, approaches to learning and attitudes • Celebrate student progress and achievements This year we invited over 1,400 parents into our school to share in

this opportunity with their child. It is always lovely to see so many smiling faces, as students share with their parents what they are most proud of and what they still need to work on. This is one chance of many across the school, whereby we look to develop a partnership with parents to support their child’s education here at DC - something we work hard to do and are very proud of.

Taichi Kho

Now in Year 12, Taichi started golfing at the age of five-and-a-half and started competing at the age of eight. His commitment to golf often takes him out of school for various tournaments both in Hong Kong and abroad. As a scholarship student, Taichi acknowledges that it can be tough to balance school and sporting commitments, especially now that he is part of the IB Diploma Programme, but he says having the scholarship gives him the support he needs and keeps him motivated to excel in both. Without a lot of down time, Taichi says the key to his academic success comes from organisation which, like golf, he has learned to master over time.

Taichi led the Discovery College Cobra Golf team in tournament victories this year and serves as a solid role model for many of our younger golfers. “Taichi has been an exemplary leader of our DC Cobra Golf team. He emails the team prior to events and checks on them all the morning of the tournaments,” says Cobra Golf Coach Joe Leithhead, “Being able to win the clean sweep of the individual tournaments Grow. Discover. Dream.

Taichi has a future plan to play golf at a university in the United States following in the footsteps of DC alumni and former scholarship student Mimi Ho (’14) who

In his scholarship application six years ago when he was just 11 years old, Taichi was asked about his future career ambitions and he listed, “Professional Golfer, Professional Golf Coach and Fighter Jet Pilot”. We at Discovery College are hoping he sticks with golf. We’ll be rooting for him as we watch his star continue to rise.


Taichi’s career victories on the golf course are too many to list. In 2017 alone, Taichi took the title in the Truvision Junior Championship 2017 in Thailand, the Hong Kong Junior Close Championship 2017, an ISSFHK tournament, the Hong Kong Schools Team Championship 2017 and perhaps his biggest achievement to date, the Hong Kong Professional Golfers’ Association Order of Merit (open division) as the youngest in his field.

is having continued success playing golf at California State University, Fresno. Preparation to fulfil his dream started last October when Taichi started building relationships with coaches at potential schools who will be able to watch him play in the summer at several tournaments in the US. Taichi recognises the importance of staying strong academically when looking at schools such as University of California, Berkeley and plans to cut back his tournament schedule during his final year in the DP to accommodate more study time. While he is undecided on what his future studies will be, Economics is an interest of his.


has certainly endorsed Taichi’s method of preparation to his fellow team mates, and this exemplifies his role model status.” Taichi’s outstanding accomplishments for Cobra Golf, coupled with his leadership of fellow golfers earned him the title of Discovery College Sportsperson of the Year 2016-17.


Your first thought when you meet Discovery College Sports Scholarship student Taichi Kho is that he is a genuinely nice young man. As you speak with him further you understand that he is also a tough competitor with the type of strong work ethic that champions are made of, not to mention he has a winning smile.

H ighlights – T aichi K ho

Discovery College Sportsperson of the Year


The Big Draw Since 2000, the annual international celebration of drawing, ‘The Big Draw’, has brought people together under the banner ‘drawing is a universal language’. It regularly takes place in over 25 countries, involves over 1000 events and has encouraged over four million people back to the drawing board. On the 30 March, The Big Draw took place at DC. Advertised by our Year 5 student media team, students and teachers from across primary school came together to draw. We repurposed old banners that had been used for various events throughout the school and created whole school free draw murals that are now on display around the foyer.

2017 H ighlights – T he B ig D raw




On 17 March, 700 students from across ESF joined forces to present the ESF 50th Anniversary Primary Choral Concert. 90 students from Discovery College in Years 5 and 6 took part wowing an audience with a wide range of songs. Highlights included Kyrie, from Bob Chilcott’s “A Little Jazz Mass”, the well-known Chinese melody, 大海啊故鄉 (The Sea is My Home), and the upbeat Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, conducted by Michael Burrows, the Primary Music Teacher here at Discovery College. Also of note were two original compositions by ESF teachers, “A Thousand Voices” by Jane Engelmann at Peak School, and “Time To Shine” by David Benzie at Glenealy School.

H ighlights – E S F 5 0 th A nniversary C oncert

ESF 50th Anniversary Concert

Grow. Discover. Dream.


Mr Toad’s Mad Adventures

2017 H ighlights – D rama P roduction

On 29-30 March 2017, the Discovery College Year 5 and 6 students staged the production of “Mr Toad’s Mad Adventures,” a delightful new version of Kenneth Grahame’s always popular The Wind in the Willows. A story of the eccentric but likeable Toad of Toad hall, Toad has an obsession with motor cars but ends up crashing them wherever he goes. Despite the sincere efforts of his dear friends Badger, Rat

and Mole, Toad’s madness gets the best of him and after a hysterical episode with the Judge, ends up in prison for borrowing a car without the owner’s permission. His imprisonment couldn’t please his enemies, the weasels, more. They quickly take over Toad Hall and trash the place. Meanwhile, the jailer’s daughter, Polly, thinks Toad

is an exceptional fellow and helps him escape dressed as a washerwoman. On his way back home, he has a wild adventure with a barge owner who is horrified to discover the washerwoman is actually a toad. When Toad finally meets up with his friends again, they devise a clever scheme to recapture Toad Hall from the weasels in another wild scene.

H ighlights – D rama P roduction 2017 Grow. Discover. Dream.

ideas and sometimes incorporated into the script. The enthusiasm, energy and practical assistance of the Discovery College staff, parents and students made the theatre production process a rewarding experience and once again the persistence, drive, dedication and talent by all, made this show possible. Frank Donnoli Primary Drama Teacher


The choice of Mr Toad’s Mad Adventures enabled these outstanding young people transform from the regular role of a student to something

extraordinary and magical. Even if just for a moment, each member of the cast became something new as they set foot on the stage. The production process over the months demanded discipline and risk-taking from the actors whilst providing scope for fun and celebration. Part of the rehearsal process involved script-writing workshops, dance workshops, music, makeup and costume design which emerged as


This faithful dramatisation by Vera Morris was supported by a range of secondary school students, in particular the Year 9 Design and Technology classes as well as the makeup and costume CCAs.


Giving Students a Charge

2017 H ighlights – G iving students a charge

Year 12 Student Council representatives, Chris Kwok and Rachel Telford, along with the Year 12 Ambassadors, submitted a proposal for two secure charging stations for the Diploma Centre. With many students working there up to 8pm and over weekends, there was a need to provide a place to charge laptops, with the cost coming from the annual PTA Grant to the Student Council. Rachel and Chris met with Mr Tibbetts (ICT Manager) to go over the design and logistics. A prototype was built by Mr Veilleux (Design Technician) and presented to the students for comment. Everyone was delighted with the proposal, so much so that the school is actually going to make four stations so that we have two extra to place in other areas around the school. Thanks to Rachel, Chris, Mr Tibbetts, Mr Veilleux, and of course to our wonderful PTA for the money to get this done.

MYP Curriculum Analysis Tool (CAT) Discovery College secondary staff have been working in collaboration with ESF Centre, West Island School, Island School, South Island School, Shatin College and King George the Fifth (KGV) to build a Middle Years Programme (MYP) Curriculum Analysis Tool (CAT). As the only authorised MYP school in the group, Discovery College staff have played a prominent role in the development of the CAT. The CAT will become these schools’ MYP curriculum development and mapping tool. It includes a broad range of functionalities designed to support the collaborative development of both subject and interdisciplinary planning. Michael Fraser, Head of Design, describes the benefits: “The CAT will allow us to work in an online and collaborative environment. Units will be easier to access and easier to update. The CAT tool will have built in-prompts and search

functions that will also improve the quality of our planning.” The migration of planning documents from our previous planning platforms into CAT has been executed in exemplary fashion by one of our DC alumni, Eleanor Udall, who has worked

at the College on a short internship. As a former MYP student, Eleanor’s understanding of the MYP has made this transfer exceptionally efficient and we’re grateful for her fine work. Adrian Gan Vice Principal (MYP Coordinator)



Ellen-Rose Thompson and Marcell Merényi, Directors


After six weeks of dedicated preparation, complete with sweat and tears, the Year 11 drama class proudly presented the UN Inspector in April. The process was fully student led, from set design to directing to publicity, giving us all a real sense of ownership over the final product. An example of some of these expectations were sourcing set pieces, designing lighting sequences, drawing up posters, on top of line memorisation and rehearsal times. As you can imagine, this was a behemoth of a task that required total commitment from all company members. While it was a bumpy road, it led to each and every person having the opportunity to grow. Despite the high level of student responsibility, Ms LaBrooy was an invaluable help at all stages. Without her constant guidance and support, and her ability to corral stray actors, we would not have been able to present what we did. Lastly, we want to thank the amazing audience who came out to support us on the night.

H ighlights – T he U N I nspector

The UN Inspector

Grow. Discover. Dream.


Diploma Art Exhibition This year’s Diploma Art students had big shoes to fill after the 2016 DP class received a 6.5 average for the IB results last year in the first year of the new curriculum. They lived up to this challenge and have strived to maintain DC’s reputation while separating themselves with completely new and creative works that demonstrated confidence and exploration.


Students based their exhibition around a coherent collection of art works which fulfilled a stated artistic intention and communicated clear thematic or stylistic relationships across individual pieces.

H ighlight – D iploma A rt E xhibition

Students examined concepts relating to identity, conflict, change, culture, technology, aesthetics, hierarchy, social and political issues, conflict and the fragility of the natural environment. Their work was informed by their unique life experiences, their relationships, their studies in other subjects, literature, popular culture, community service opportunities, the media and their observations of the rapidly changing world around them. They worked hard to master techniques, develop individual approaches and push the boundaries of their understanding of art. The International Baccalaureate aims to develop ‘inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create

a better and more peaceful world through inter-cultural understanding and respect’. This was certainly exemplified in the work presented in this exhibition. The art room became their studio - a place of creativity, discussion, humour, problem solving and at times frustration. It was also a classroom environment which encouraged and allowed greater experimentation and deeper self-reflection at each stage of their journey. These DP students were creative, challenging and inspiring as they progressed and developed in art and as young adults throughout the programme. Fiona Altoft Head of Art

Grow. Discover. Dream.


The Annual Concert this year was again an exciting and diverse concert featuring excellent musicians from all secondary year levels. It was also an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of our Year 13 music students who used this opportunity to record public performances for their DP music portfolio. It was a pleasure to see students perform at the Annual Concert for the first time and to see veterans of the Annual Concert perform on instruments other than their main instrument displaying the depth and range of talent we have at Discovery College.


Primary students from Years 1-6 took part in the Young Performers Evening. The acts ranged from solo pianists to full rock bands, delighting the audience with a range of repertoire and styles. This was a showcase of the talent we have in Primary.


H ighlight – M usic P erformances

Young Performers Evening and Annual Concert


Cobra Sports ACAMIS Volleyball Tournament, Shanghai Community School, China


Cobra Sports


The DC Cobras U20 Boys & Girls Volleyball teams travelled to Shanghai in November to participate in the Discovery College’s first ACAMIS Green Division competition. With strong competition from all schools, our teams were pushed in all games. The boy’s team won two of their four pool games to finish second in pool play only to lose to the host school in the semi-final. They went on to lose a very tight 3/4th playoff against KAS but won the Sportsmanship Award for their efforts. The girl’s team came close in all of their pool games but were unlucky to not pick up a win. They went on to play Beijing City International School for 5/6th winning that exciting game. ACAMIS Basketball Tournament, Discovery College

H ighlights – C obra S ports

The DC Cobras U20 Boys & Girls Basketball teams had home court advantage in this years ACAMIS Green Division Basketball Tournament which took place in January. The boys’ team stormed through their pool play, winning all games to set up a semi-final against Shanghai Community International School. A convincing 41-21 win led them to the final against Kaohsiung American School which the boys won to take the championship title. The girls’ team won three of their five games in pool play which set up a semi-final to mirror the boys against SVIS. Unfortunately, the girls suffered a narrow loss from which they then played Nord Anglia International School for 3/4th. In a tight game, the DC Cobras team just lost 16-22 but played with spirit in front of a packed home crowd. ACAMIS Football Tournament, Beijing City International School, Beijing The Cobras U20 football teams had a great ACAMIS Green Division tournament in Beijing with crystal blue skies. Congratulations to the boys’ team for their silver medals and to Tamara Kristensen and Eoin O’Grady for their MVP awards. The teams ended the tournament singing karaoke, more or less in tune.

The Race 2017




H ighlights – C obra S ports

On Saturday 11 March, 16 international primary schools were involved in The Race organised and hosted by Discovery College. Cheered on by hundreds of parents and supporters, over 500 students from Years 3-6 ran in one of eight races in and around Siena Park and Discovery College. The Cobra Team had some fantastic results individually and as teams. We are looking forward to hosting The Race 2018 next year.

To look out into the world


DC Emerging Authors

2017 S taff P rofile

Discovery College is proud to have a diverse and talented staff who have a wide range of interests outside of teaching. Here are profiles of three DC staff members who have published a variety of books.

appeal for young readers, particularly boys. Written in easy to read colloquial language the novel deals with issues such as family, death, dealing with emotions and the destructive influence of alcohol.

Kris Stanhope

When he’s not teaching, Kris enjoys spending time with his family and watching sports. He still writes on a regular basis.

Year 4 Teacher (Team Leader) Kris is originally from Canada, but has spent the last 17 years teaching in New Zealand and then here, in Hong Kong. The majority of his youth was spent either playing sports or watching them on TV. While weekly visits to the library helped develop a love of reading books, writing always remained something that was only done in school.

Frank Donnoli Drama Teacher

After high school Kris became a teacher and found New Zealand, with its abundance of teaching jobs and warm climate, to be a great fit. During that time he got married, had two children, and decided to take a stab at writing.

Frank never actually intended to write a children’s story, let alone illustrate one, however, he found himself engrossed in an idea and he simply couldn’t stop. This has resulted in him creating a small collection of books, which has continued to grow. Frank finds working with children on a daily basis inspiring, fun and full of surprises providing a great environment for stories, anecdotes, and fun.

“Why I hate school” by Michael Fatarsky is Kris’s children’s novel and is a winner of Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award, a New Zealand prize awarded for a first novel. The story is fast-paced and has broad

The books are published through CreateSpace, which, linked to Amazon, cuts out the challenge of distribution. Each book was approached differently in its construction. Here is Frank in his own words.

Mighty Monty and the Stinky Possum Gang began as a standalone drawing on my iPad which led to another drawing and then another. I decided to add words to enhance the image still with the idea of them being standalone and before I knew it I had series of pictures with dialogue that somehow went together. I had no idea how the story would end until I sat down and completed the final picture. Wilson Wirehair and the Smiling Cloud was planned out using a storyboard, numbered pages and designed with a complete book in mind. All that was left to do were the illustrations and dialogue. After collaborating with DC Primary Chinese teacher, Lilian Wong, this book was translated into Chinese. The Misunderstood Speckled Python was an idea, which emerged from an inkblot on a piece of paper. In that inkblot I saw a scene full of unusual characters that I filled in and then described that scene. Originally I thought it would make for an interesting poster and ended up being the centre spread. I then developed the story by working out what happened before and after that centrepiece.

Peter Muir CAS/Community Engagement Coordinator Originally from Victoria, Australia, Peter Muir has been living in Asia for a third of his life. Lured by surf and the sun, Peter moved to Bali where he lived and worked for 12 years. He was awarded an OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) for his efforts in helping out in the morgue in the days following the Bali Bombing in 2002.

To many, tackling global issues might seem like a behemoth task, but Peter sees it as a moral responsibility for schools to develop those who can deal with the situation that current and previous generations have created. He hopes to guide students in getting involved in activities that can really challenge them to make a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. It comes as no surprise that Peter got involved in discussions with other CAS coordinators from various IB regions when they realised there was a need for more resources to support students in their CAS programme.

book towards not only students but also have it as a worthwhile resource for IB educators. Peter found the experience of co-authoring the book with other writers scattered around the globe interesting but challenging. “We used Google Docs and Skype to collaborate,” he explains. Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) for the IB Diploma: An Essential Guide for Students is the only published resource for the thousands of students who are engaged in CAS programmes around the world.

After some discussions with the publisher, the team of CAS coordinators decided to direct the S taff P rofile

The Bold Adventures of Dasher and Faye was a story I had been carrying around in my head since a visit to a beach in Wales where the seagulls are quite large and very keen on chips. I simply just put the story down in prose and then the illustrations.

Paul Renie Mathematics Teacher

Before joining DC, Paul worked at I-Shou International School, an IB school in Taiwan, for four years. While working at I-Show International School, Paul got a sneak peek of life at DC while on a

Grow. Discover. Dream.

According to Paul, the students at DC have proven to be much more enthusiastic than at his previous job. It’s not uncommon for his learning team to arrive at around 8am to squeeze in extra time to do mathematics for fun. He was most pleasantly surprised to see 20 students who were so excited, having woken up at 5am, to attend a Mathematics competition in Tuen Mun.


On rare occasions when Paul substitutes Mandarin language classes, he’ll bust out his fluent Mandarin. “…I teach the class in Mandarin...with a southern Taiwan accent and my food related vocabulary is fantastic.”

Currently, Paul is working on developing a Python language CCA in hopes of getting students interested in the basics of computer programming. “It’s inspiring to see the students make Paul teaches a wide range of classes, from connections and transfer what they Year 9 in the Middle Years Programme to learn in programming to their content in Higher Level Mathematics in the Diploma Programme. In between classes, he can often other classes.” be found helping with Extended Essays and, teaching computer programming.


Paul grew up in the state of Maryland and attended the University of Maryland. He majored in Mathematics and Secondary Education, with a perfect major related GPA.

visit during a professional development course. “After attending an IB workshop at Discovery College and hearing teachers speak positively of their experience at the school, I decided to apply and was hired at the job fair in Bangkok.”


Though being a full-time math teacher comes with its own set of unique challenges and fame, Paul Renie isn’t one to shy away when the cards are stacked against him. Paul has competed in various strategy games internationally throughout his life. While in high school, he was ranked No.1 in the world in Versus System and eventually went on to win a team world championship in a different game called Magic the Gathering.

25 SHI JIE MAGAZINE – SPRING 2017 S taff P rofile

SCHOOL’S OUT The Class of 2017 celebrated their last day of school with a spirited and emotional farewell assembly. Year 13 students passed the torch to the Year 12s officially making them the senior class as the Year 13s headed off to prepare for exams and graduation.

Grow. Discover. Dream.




S taff P rofile


Where Are They Now? The Raper Sisters – Lauren and Eloise


Where do you live now?

W here are they now ?

We moved from our life on Lantau to New Zealand. Our dad is from Christchurch but our mum is from the UK, so they agreed to live in Auckland on the North Shore. We found a place to call home in Greenhithe close to our school as we are busy with after school sports. It is great as we are close to the west coast beaches for the surf and the east coast beaches for calmer beach days.

What brought you there? We decided to leave Hong Kong to experience something new and to spend more family time together with less time in the

office for our dad. He had been in HK since he was three years old with his family and our mum moved to HK with her family when she was 15. Both our parents went to school in HK and it was time for a change and to live a life outdoors exploring new things.

Where do you go to school? We go to school at Kristin School in Albany, Auckland.

What are some differences between your school and Discovery College? Kristin is an IB school so it feels very similar to Discovery College. We chose the school because of its similarities. It is also a co-ed school. Eloise is in Year 6 and Lauren is in the middle school in Year 8. We are enjoying the school and everyone has made us feel very welcome but they still miss our DC friends. We are also missing the simpleness of the DC uniform as we are not enjoying having to wear a tie and a skirt!

What types of activities are you involved in? There are lots of opportunities for sport here, from surfing to snow sports and adventure camps with caving and mountain biking. Lauren has been selected to play waterpolo and Eloise plays flippaball for the school. Eloise

still plays netball for the school team and is still swim training. Lauren has chosen sailing as her new sport. We spend time surfing when we aren’t poolside. We will both be representing Kristin at the inter schools swimming competition. Lauren won the Year 8 swimming sports championship and Eloise was awarded Year 6 age champion. Eloise has also been swimming competitively since arriving in NZ and made the qualifying times for nationals.

What do you like best about living in your new home? We love the fresh air and the cooler weather. We love having a pool in our back garden and stargazing at night. We can see the amazing sunrises and sunsets from our home and watch the horses in the nearby fields. Our mum is loving growing our own fresh salad and vegetables.

How is it different from living in Hong Kong? We found it hard seeing all the plastic rubbish in the sea and on the beaches in HK, here the beaches and sea are so clean, but the water is cold! We don’t miss the pollution and humidity in Hong Kong but we do miss our friends and family. We would love to extend a welcome to any DC family visiting NZ.

Dylan Helyer Fall/Winter 2018

PREDATOR Dylan Helyer Fall/Winter 2018

Poisonous Black Microscopic Blue Bacterial Blue Reptillian Green Preditorial Purple Vascular Pink

Dylan Helyer ‘14 Dylan has been working on his pitch for sponsorship from Swarovski for his senior collection that is coming in September. He is completely focused on creating designs and toiles that incorporate into his collection multicoloured Swarovski crystals in a fun and innovative way. If all goes to plan with guidance from his professors I will have a year’s worth of crystals from Swarovski to use in his collection. Swarovski will get joint rights to his work, however, he will be able to keep the final pieces.

Grow. Discover. Dream.

Carrie is about to start the clinical portion of her medical degree soon at Chinese University Hong Kong. Carrie rows for the CUHK rowing team and trains almost every day. She has been travelling all over the world, most recently to the Maldives. She and her partner in crime, Sie Rossiter ‘14 made the swim together across Discovery Bay in early May. (Submitted by Sie Rossiter on behalf of Carrie Chow.)



Carrie Chow ‘ 14


Sie has been working at Wellington Management’s Tokyo office this year from January to June. She’ll head to Scotland for the month of July to take some courses with the University of Edinburgh, before returning to Boston where she attends Northeastern University. She has been doing a lot of skiing in Japan during the colder months. On a recent trip to Hong Kong, Sie and fellow Alumni Carrie Chow ’14 swam across Discovery Bay from the ferry pier to a secluded beach on the other side and lived to tell the tale. Sie will be participating in the Spartan Sprint, the world’s best obstacle course race, in Tokyo this year on 27 May.


Sie Rossiter ‘14

A lumni U pdates

Alumni Updates



2017 P TA

In April, the DC PTA hosted a screening of the documentary ‘Screenagers – Growing up in a digital age’. The event was advertised to the Discovery Bay community and nearly 200 people were in attendance. The film provided insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists about how technology affects the development of children and also examples of different individuals with struggles.

The documentary opened the door for many families, to start the discussion, as to how the different screen devises are used in their home. Challenging the children and adults equally. Since the screening many families have spoken about trying to find the balance between on and off screen time and being more explicit about intentions. The success of the evening has opened the dialogue, not just within families but, also the community. We will continue to be proactive in supporting and educating our students about using their devices responsibly.

d ou of P r so r A on T Sp C P D

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