Shi Jie - Autumn 2015

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


Focus on Humanities

Making Connections A

s we approach the end of the first term of the academic year, I am pleased to share this issue of Shi Jie with you. This issue focuses on the curriculum studied under the subjects typically grouped as Humanities. We see these subjects explored throughout the curriculum at DC, in Social Studies in the PYP, Individuals and Societies in the MYP, and specialised subject courses in the DP. At each level, these courses focus on helping students to make connections – with the past, with current events, and with their own impact on the future. Providing this context creates a deeper understanding and appreciation for the subjects studied. The ability to create connections across curriculum, and to understand broader themes, also allows our students to be better inquirers. The skills developed through research, reasoning and trans-disciplinary study are valuable ones. We see students putting these skills into action in many ways outside of their Humanities coursework. In this issue, you will read about students doing just that. Our Year 11 students report on their journey to complete the Personal Project – an indepth independent research project. You


will also read about students who had the opportunity to visit with a member of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, which offered an excellent context to the history of Hong Kong’s democratic process. And, the MYP Global Contexts are highlighted, showing the connections students are making with their learning across disciplines. Finally, this issue showcases where our alumni have gone after DC and what they are up to now. They too are continuing to make connections with their university studies, their life experiences, and the world around them. I am proud not only of the jobs and studies they are undertaking, but also of the young adults they are becoming. The importance of a curriculum that goes beyond simply learning data, and instead helps students to understand broad themes, the impact of actions and students own ability to influence change cannot be understated. As you will see, the Humanities curriculum offers this opportunity for students to develop these skills across the College, and those skills can last a lifetime. Mark Beach Principal


Contents Autumn 2015



To look out into the world EDITOR

Michelle Mouton PHOTOGRAPHY

Claire Fraser DESIGN


Matthew Charters Maura Corcoran Kirsty de Wilde


Focus on Humanities 5 6 8

Taking an Integrated Approach Exploring in Primary Diploma Courses Dig Deep

Aaryaman Dutt Donna Ellery Daniel Hansson Emma Neuprez Lissie Nichols Cheryl Osborne Tania Pickett Leanne Sercombe Bruce Taylor David Thapa Daniel Wallace Lawrence Wilkinson

Staff Profile 10 11

Cheryl Osborne Kate Jolly

Curriculum 12 13 13

MYP Global Contexts Maths Week Work in Progress

Happenings 14 15 16 17 18 19



Young Samurai Author Wields Words Moon Festival Celebration Home Turf Big Splash Students Visit LegCo Discovery Culture Festival

Alumni 20 22 24

Alumni Abroad Class Notes Where Are They Now


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.

Playground Enhancements Among the facility enhancements completed this year was the resurfacing of the lower ground floor playground. The surface is made of EPDM, which provides a soft, porous surface for play. This material is designed to handle the weather elements, and it provides a cushioned and non-slip surface for increased safety. SHI JIE MAGAZINE / AUTUMN 2015

Completed in August, the updated playground has large casual play spaces, a climbing area, and a structured court with markings for basketball, volleyball and netball. The bright new surface will last the College for some time, and is already seeing increased use during lunch and recess times and during some PE lessons. 3

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Focus on Humanities 4

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Taking an Integrated Approach Humanities gives students an understanding of broad and complex issues The IB Individuals and Societies Guide, published in 2014, states that through this discipline, learners are encouraged ‘to respect and understand the world around them’ and that their learning will ‘equip them with the necessary skills to inquire into historical, contemporary, geographical, political, social, economic, religious, technological and cultural factors that have an impact on individuals, societies and environments.’ Through the units and courses in the Humanities curriculum, DC students are challenged to achieve these skills. Throughout the curriculum, the aim is to build in plenty of real-life examples, which is done in a variety of ways. In the MYP, an integrated Humanities course is taught with social justice as an overarching principle. We believe an integrated course fits better with the philosophy of the IB, in that students are not specialising too early. In this way, students keep their future options open and can specialise when they enter the DP, and then even more so at tertiary level. Through this integrated programme, students get an understanding of some of the subjects that come under the umbrella of Individuals and Societies during their MYP years. Units are designed with particular subject leanings to ensure this. For example, the Year 9 Wild Weather unit has a focus on geography. Likewise the Year 10 Globalisation and Trade unit is geared toward economics, and the Year 11 Leaders and Change unit brings history to the forefront. Teachers make these focuses clear to students as the units are presented so that

Photo by: Alex Jone


they are more aware of what each subject is like, which helps students make more informed choices as they enter the Diploma Programme. Learning from primary sources is an important aspect of the Humanities programme, and therefore guest speakers are used to share first-hand accounts of historical events and current issues. Throughout the College, guest speakers offer valuable insights on a range of topics. In the last year, for example, students have benefited from speakers such as MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky, who spoke about his views on global foreign policy as well as his pioneering work in the field of linguistics. Students also heard from a member of the Sea Shepherd organisation who spoke about ocean conservation, and from a domestic helper in Hong Kong who spoke about her efforts to pursue legal action after being mistreated by her employer. These are just some examples of the types of speakers who bring real-world examples of current events, social justice, and global policies to enhance student learning. Another important way students gain reallife exposure to areas of the curriculum is through experiential learning and field trips around Hong Kong. For example, students visit different places of worship as part of their study of major world religions, as the Year 9 classes did earlier this term. Other year groups visit the Hong Kong organisation Crossroads to participate in some of their simulations about poverty, and Year 11 students have a chance to get out into the ‘field’ to gather primary data for analysis. In addition to the robust curriculum, activities outside of the classroom provide important opportunities to reinforce the themes taught. Through competitions and CCAs, students put their knowledge into practice. For example, the Company Programme

CCA helps students apply their business knowledge as they research a product design, explore market opportunities, and advertise and sell the product. This application of concepts learned in class solidifies the concepts being taught and gives students valuable experience. Similarly, the Model United Nations CCA applies the concepts learned from units focusing on history and global issues. Competitions also provide ways for students to apply their learning, as DC students have done in the ESF Marketing Competition and the ESF Geography Quiz each year. Some students have even stretched their interests and pursued the International Global Citizens Award, through which two DC students earned a gold certificate for their commitment and engagement to become a better global citizens by considering how their lives and activities in the world affect other people and the environment, and how to personally work toward a better world. Through these components, the Humanities curriculum exposes students to a variety of subject areas and helps them to better understand the world around them. The skills developed in these courses allow students to be active participants in their world and to think critically about the many factors that have an impact on individuals, societies and environments. Cheryl Osborne Head of Humanities


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Exploring in Primary Strands of Social Studies reinforce themes In the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the concepts and knowledge that prepare students for studying Humanities are grouped under Social Studies. The learning in Social Studies guides students towards a deeper understanding of themselves and others, and of their place in an increasingly global society. It provides opportunities for students to look at and think about human behaviour and activity realistically, objectively, and with sensitivity. Exposure to, and experience with social studies therefore opens the door to key questions about life and learning. It is recognised that teaching and learning Social Studies as a subject, while necessary, is not sufficient. Of equal importance is the need to learn Social Studies in context, exploring content relevant to students, and transcending the boundaries of the traditional subject area. These transdisciplinary themes provide the framework for a highly defined, focused, in-depth programme of inquiry, and as Social


Studies is relevant to all the transdisciplinary themes, all planned Social Studies learning should take place within this framework. Within the PYP framework, there are three key transdisciplinary themes that have a heavy social studies focus: ‘Where we are in place and time’, ‘How we organise ourselves’ and ‘Sharing the Planet’. Within these transdisciplinary themes the five Social Studies strands play a major part in the learning outcomes and experiences. The Social Studies component of the PYP is characterised by concepts and skills rather than by content. The knowledge component of Social Studies is arranged into five strands,. These five strands are concept-driven and are inextricably linked to each other. They also provide links to other subject areas of the PYP curriculum model. Donna Ellery PYP Coordinator

Year 6 History Detectives Students apply Social Studies concepts The ways in which Social Studies is embedded in the curriculum can be seen in the recent Year 6 ‘History Detectives’ unit of inquiry. The central idea for this unit is that significant events in history reveal multiple points of view that influence actions. Throughout the unit, students inquired into the role of a historian, how people are influenced through multiple points of view of the same event, and the reliability of our own and others opinions connected to a significant event. The Social Studies strand reflected in this unit is ‘continuity and change through time’.

opinion, interpretation and bias. An example of how students deepened their conceptual understanding for this unit was by students exploring the concept of perspective by examining multiple sources of evidence, and identifying where bias might be found.

During this unit, students in Year 6 were encouraged to become historians. They needed to look at the key understandings, skills and attitudes that effective historians have. They constructed their own meaning for what it means to think and behave like a historian by inquiring into different significant events connected to themselves, Hong Kong and the wider world. As a class they explored significant and relevant events such as the anniversary of the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong, The Occupy Central/Umbrella Movement and Syrian Refugees. The unit concluded with students inquiring into a significant event of their choosing.

During this unit, students were explicitly taught how to research by being introduced to the research framework of ‘MISO’, which involves students exploring a significant event using Media, Interviews, Surveys, and Observation. This framework will be used throughout the year by students.

Conceptual understanding Students developed their conceptual understandings for this unit around the function of historians and how they behave. They looked into how historians look at multiple forms of evidence to develop a sense of the perspectives on an issue, and they also reflected on the reliability of their own, and others’, opinions based on interpretations of the same significant events. Students also made their own observations about what it takes to be a successful historian, based on their learning about the functions of historians. Horace Lau, Year 6, noted that historians have to be curious and ask questions, while also checking the trustworthiness of sources.

“To be a successful historian, you need to show empathy when it is needed, be an engaged thinker and be open-minded to all ideas and opinions,” said James Wade, Year 6.

Learning experiences support student inquiry

Throughout this unit, MISO supported students as they visited the Hong Kong History Museum (Observation), spoke with other historians in the school (Interview), and looked at many forms of evidence such as photographs, news articles and books (Media). Students also developed their thinking skills through this unit by using a range of strategies to support analysing multiple media sources. These strategies were fundamental in supporting the students as they analysed evidence, looked for bias, and formed their own interpretations and opinions around significant events. Donna Ellery PYP Coordinator

Human systems and economic activities The study of how and why people construct organisations and systems; the ways in which people connect locally and globally; the distribution of power and authority.

Social organisation and culture The study of people, communities, cultures and societies; the ways in which individuals, groups and societies interact with each other.

Continuity and change through time The study of the relationships between people and events through time; the past, its influences on the present and its implications for the future; people who have shaped the future through their actions.

Human and natural environments The study of the distinctive features that give a place its identity; how people adapt to and alter their environment; how people experience and represent place; the impact of natural disasters on people and the built environment.

Resources and the environment The interaction between people and the environment; the study of how humans allocate and manage resources; the positive and negative effects of this management; the impact of scientific and technological developments on the environment.

Connected to these concepts are the Social Studies related concepts of history, evidence, SHI JIE MAGAZINE / AUTUMN 2015


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Diploma Courses Dig Deep Specialised courses provide in-depth learning As students enter the Diploma Programme in Years 12-13, they can choose among the subjects offered in the Individuals and Societies Group. The selected course provides an opportunity for students to dig deeper into an area of interest. This further study follows on from the Humanities themes students studied throughout the MYP, and offers students a more in-depth understanding of a particular subject. The courses in the Individuals and Societies Group include Business and Management, Geography, Economics, Psychology and History, and all are offered at both Standard Level and Higher Level. Students are encouraged, where possible, to select Diploma subjects that they enjoy or have a natural curiosity of, since a lot of time and research is spent in each subject.

what the geopolitical disputes in the South China Sea are about, or what the future of the world might be like? Studying geography provides insights into these and many other topics. Geography is one of only two subjects at university that straddle both the sciences and arts faculties, and therefore is very versatile. Recently The Guardian published an article about Geography as ‘“a must have subject” and noted that it is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. As The Guardian points out, geography is an excellent subject to take as “it is inherently multidisciplinary in a world that increasingly values people who have the skills needed to work across the physical and social sciences” (“The Guardian View on Geography: It’s the Must-have A-level,” 2015).

Business Management

A wide range of career options are possible if geography is pursued in further study. Some examples include climatologist/ meteorologist, urban planner, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), tourism operator, environmental consultant, emergency management, demographer, park ranger, marketing, environmental law, hydrologist, oceanographer, coastal management, real estate appraiser, among many others.

In Business Management, students study how businesses operate in a dynamic world. This course develops the students’ understanding of business tools and theories in marketing, finance, operation and human resources. Throughout the course, students have a variety of opportunities to apply what they learn in real-world scenarios. For example, last spring, DP students used the organisation and communication skills gained from their courses to sell products at school, which were generously donated by Mendoza Bag Company, with funds donated to the PTA. Students applied their business knowledge to understand the business climate, market the sales to their audience and manage the financial returns. Students also annually participate in the ESF Marketing Competition, in which they compete with students from other schools to design a marketing strategy for a local business. The course also gives students an opportunity to study a real organisation as part of the Internal Assessment for which students gather primary data in order to give recommendations about one specific issue the organisation faces. In this project, students approach the organisation, have interviews with managers and write a report that has good value for the management of that organisation. At the start of this two-year DP course, students select two businesses, which they then follow through news articles and company information during the length of the course, in order to gain a strong knowledge of what is happening with those businesses and related factors in the business world. Students then answer one of their DP exam questions based on that business. This process ensures that students continuously keep themselves informed of what is happening in the business world. The Business Management course is a great preparation for studying business at university but is also a good addition to any other subject, as it develops financial and management skills that are needed in many career paths.

Geography Have you ever wondered how and why governments try to manage or control their country’s population structure, why famines occur, 8

The IB Diploma course covers a range of human and physical Geography. The focus is particularly on the interaction and impact people have on the natural and built environment and how these can be mitigated

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through careful management. Through the DP Geography course, students study topics such as populations, disparities in development, and managing scarce resources such as oil, fish, fresh water, tropical rainforests and coral reefs. Issues such as global climate change, peak oil, soil degradation and overpopulation are also studied. Sustainability is an overarching theme that runs through the entire course. Students also develop their international mindedness by looking at these topics and issues from different perspectives. This wide-ranging subject gives students a multi-disciplinary understanding of the world, which is a great foundation for any tertiary course.

Economics DP Economics allows students to engage in a strong investigation of the core components of the field. Within the course, students cover topics including microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics and development economics. The course is firmly rooted within the social sciences, as its main goal is to try and better understand and predict human behaviour. While many would assume that economics only focuses on business and financial decisions, this is not the case. Economics aims to understand causal relationships between behaviours, striving to more accurately predict what incentives will entice certain behaviours. For example, some ideas explored in the course include why people are driven to crime, what causes some to be lazy while others are motivated, what is behind the decisions we are constantly making, and how can one make the world a better place. Therefore, DP Economics students not only learn about markets and base level economics, but are also pushed to become more inquisitive and ask the larger questions surrounding why people behave as they do. Those who choose to pursue further study in economics may find themselves working in career fields such as education (both secondary and post secondary), conducting economic forecasting for an institution, practicing law, working for a vast array of NGOs, working in financial markets, entrepreneurship and business ownership, hospitality management, government and city planning, chief administrative roles (CEOs, CFOs, COOs), researching for a think tank or government sponsored research SHI JIE MAGAZINE / AUTUMN 2015

organisation, working with the World Bank, the IMF, or the UN, among others. Economics is a widely adaptable field that can likely, fit within or complement the majority of career paths. It is viewed as a solid foundation for post-graduate study into anything science or social science related.

Psychology Do people fascinate you? Do you want to understand yourself and others? Then Psychology might be something for you. Psychology is the science that focuses on what really goes on inside people’s minds and how this influences behaviour. Everything that relates to people, animals and behaviour is Psychology. It is impossible for a two-year course to cover everything that is intriguing about this subject, but students get an understanding of it. DP Psychology students learn about important landmark studies and cases, such as the man who lost his ability to remember, the boy who was raised as a girl, and how a monkey reacts when he gets cucumbers instead of grapes. Students also learn the biological, cognitive, social and cultural perspectives in Psychology. Depending on whether the course is taken at Standard or Higher Level, students also study one or two specialised fields — human relationships and abnormal psychology. Psychology is an obvious choice if one wants to become a psychologist, but all other

career paths can benefit from studying it. Studying Psychology helps students improve their empathy and interpersonal skills, which are valuable skills in nearly every job today. Psychology is also a science. DP students study research methodology and even conduct a psychological experiment. All other assessments require short answer responses or academic writing. Therefore, Psychology also improves students’ critical thinking skills, offering greater perspective and stimulating the intellect.

History History is more than the study of the past. It is the process of recording, reconstructing and interpreting the past through the investigation of a variety of sources. The DP History course is framed, as much as possible, around our students and their place in the world. This mean we concentrate on Asian, European and American histories, predominantly in the 20th Century. The DP History course encourages an understanding of the present through critical reflection upon the past. The aim is for each student to develop and awareness of one’s own historical identity through the study of Historical experiences of different cultures. Students develop analytical and critical thinking skills, as well the skills needed to construct well-informed and structured essays. These are all transferable skills that could lead to a number of possible careers fields ranging from political science to law.


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Cheryl Osborne Head of Humanities Department It’s hard to believe that Cheryl has maintained her enthusiasm as a teacher for more than 20 years. After working in New Zealand for most of her career, she then worked in Abu Dhabi as part of an educational consultancy team, where her main responsibility was teaching teachers English. With her team, Cheryl worked to enhance the pedagogy of teachers to be more in line with modern education system. Cheryl has also written a number of Geography textbooks that are sold throughout New Zealand. Before training to be a teacher, Cheryl briefly worked at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. She and her husband worked as archaeological assistants. Some of the sites they surveyed have now been buried under lava flows, so their documentation of them is the last record available. Cheryl and her husband also discovered some undocumented petroglyphs (rock carvings). At DC, Cheryl is the Head of Humanities


department and is also the Geography teacher. She currently teaches Years 11-13. She spends most of her day juggling various aspects of work and ends up bringing part of it home everyday. She attributes part of her success to the ESF Geography network, which has been really supportive of her as the sole Geography teacher picking MYP and DP up for the first time – particularly RCHK who continue to be generous with their resources and advice. Cheryl was raised in Auckland, New Zealand and lived there until she got married. Cheryl received her BA in Geography from Auckland University. She has been married for 26 years and has two sons who are studying at DC. She also has a dog, Yoshi. An avid exercise buff, Cheryl holds the record for attending the most boot camp sessions run by DC’s own Kylie Harrison. When not breaking a sweat, Cheryl likes to travel, read and shop. David Thapa Communications and Scholarship Assistant

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Kate Jolly Year 6 Team Leader Kate Jolly grew up in the small coastal town of Stansbury on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. With a degree in Junior Primary/ Primary Education from University of South Australia, Kate has been focusing on making learning visible in order to deepen students’ conceptual understandings and to ensure students have opportunities to develop the skills and dispositions required to pursue their own inquiries.

team to plan future learning, watching students play during recess yard duty and meeting with the Primary Leadership Team.

Before starting her professional career as a teacher, Kate worked in banking for four years at Adelaide Bank. She took her first teaching job at Redeemer Lutheran School in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, where she spent five and half years working with students from Reception through to Year 7.

David Thapa Communications and Scholarship Assistant

Outside of work, Kate can be found hiking and running around Hong Kong. She also has recently started playing netball for the Black Pearls (Discovery Bay Pirates). Kate and her fiancé Sam are scheduled to be married in Australia at the end of 2015.

Kate is currently in her second year at DC as the Year 6 Team Leader. On a typical day at DC, Kate’s routine involves teaching Language, Mathematics, and Unit of Inquiry to 30 students in Year 6, meeting with her SHI JIE MAGAZINE / AUTUMN 2015


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Understanding Global Contexts MYP framework puts learning into perspective Students learn best when learning is placed in a context and is authentic. Bridging the classroom and the real world, the Global Contexts provide purpose and meaning to all teaching and learning in the MYP. They provide shared starting points for inquiry into what it means to be internationally minded, framing a curriculum that promotes multilingualism, intercultural understanding and global engagement. Following on from the PYP’s transdisciplinary themes, the MYP Global Contexts reinforce the concurrency of learning across the three programmes. Through the six Global Contexts students develop ‘an understanding of their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet’ ( Whether this is through learning about human rights in Humanities through the context of Fairness and Development, or exploring genre and text types through the broad context of Identities and Relationships in English, building contexts is essential to building understanding. An excellent example of learning through the Global Contexts has recently been demonstrated in Visual Art. Through their own learning and understanding, a group of students each designed their own visual interpretation of one of the six Global Contexts, represented in a circle. Their design, below, can be seen on posters


throughout the Secondary learning areas. The final artworks and design were created by students Carys Feehan, Katie Chen, Jeremy Leung, Christopher Kwok, Emily Weinstein, Felicia Xiao and Catherine Shaw. The idea for this emerged from their unit on globalisation, through the context of Globalisation and Sustainability, which addresses the interconnectedness of our experiences as global citizens and our place in the world. A key part of their learning was researching artists who are affected by globalisation, such as Wei Wie, Gonkar Gysato, Kate Beynon and Jirapet Tasanasomboon. By seeing how globalisation and sustainability affect an artist’s identity, the students were inspired in their own artwork. In this way, the Global Contexts help to develop personal and global connections to learning. Through this deeper understanding, students are better able to make connections and answer the question: Why are we learning this? Kirsty de Wilde MYP Coordinator

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Maths Week Games and activities enhance Maths education During the week of 12-16 October, Secondary students celebrated Maths Week with a series of events. During this week, the Maths Department ran a variety of activities for all MYP students. Year 7 students played a “Murder Mystery” game, in which they solved puzzles and used logic to solve the mystery. Students in Years 7-9 all participated in a lively competition called “Dragon Maths,” which is modelled after a Hong Kong-wide math competition. This event took place in the DC foyer and involved lots of running around, teamwork, and problem solving. Years 7-9 also did a Math Treasure Hunt on the roof, in which students worked in teams to solve problems and to find their answers scattered throughout the sixth floor. Years 10 and 11 played a collaborative game in which they trapped (imaginary) lobsters. In this game, students had to use probability and logic to try to earn the most profits by buying pots and boats to trap lobsters. The MYP students also all participated in World Maths Day, which is an online math contest where students compete with other students from all over the world. Overall, it was a very fun and successful Maths week here at Discovery College. Lissie Nichols Head of Maths Department

Work in Progress Year 11s reflect on the Personal Project so far Throughout our journey so far in Year 11, we have had to cope with the pressure and stress of maintaining good grades, keeping up with our Community Engagement, and of course, ensuring that we keep our extra-curricular activities going as well. But one thing that was new to us was having to handle the demanding nature of the Personal Project.

challenges throughout the process of our Personal Projects, the sense of achievement and pride in our work are rewards in themselves.

We were able to choose to do whatever we want, in pursuit of our personal passions. Since late last year, we have been working on various aspects of the Personal Project, from the reflections, to the actual project, to presenting to our peers and teachers in our recent ‘Work in Progress’ exhibition. It has been a challenging process, but the crop of current Year 11 students have found that it is extremely beneficial to our organisational skills and many other aspects of student life. We also had to put in a large amount of work during the summer break — a time where we were used to just relaxing and getting away from life became a time for rigorous hours of work and effort.

Aaryaman Dutt and Matthew Charters Year 11 Students

All in all, the two of us, and the rest of Year 11 believe that the Personal Project journey so far has been excellent practice for the Diploma, and we have thoroughly enjoyed it, despite our struggles.

We have faced multiple obstacles throughout the course of our Personal Projects which we’ve had to overcome using our wits and mental endurance. Organisation and time-management has been a significant component to ensuring our overall success and effectiveness this term. For many of us, it has been challenging few months. However, although there may have been many struggles and SHI JIE MAGAZINE / AUTUMN 2015


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Young Samurai Author Wields Words Visiting author inspires and entertains Chris Bradford, author of the Young Samurai and Bodyguard series, visited DC in early October. Chris has written 18 fiction books, been published in more than 20 languages and been nominated for over 30 book awards. Chris’s impressive honours include the 2011 Northern Ireland Book Awards and the 2014 Brilliant Book Award. His book Bodyguard: Hostage was long listed last year for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and Young Samurai: The Way of the Warrior, is considered one of Puffin’s top 70 books alongside Treasure Island and Robin Hood. Students in Years 5, 6, 7 and 8 were treated to fantastic performances from the awardwinning author while Year 4 students participated in a lively question and answer session. Students loved the action-packed book readings and in particular the Samurai sword display. Students also thoroughly enjoyed the interactive nature of this author visit with many students participating in on-the-spot contests. Following each


presentation, students engaged in a question and answer session followed by a book signing and photographs. Chris is a method writer and he spoke to the students about this process, discussing his training in samurai swordsmanship, karate, ninjutsu and Zen Kyu Shin Taijutsu. he also explained that for his Bodyguard series, he underwent training to become a qualified professional bodyguard. He enhanced his talk with several entertaining video clips. Book sales were high after the event, which demonstrated the popularity of this author. Students from both primary and secondary really enjoyed the visit and Young Samurai books can be seen in the hands of many readers in the library. We are delighted to have had the opportunity to have this major author in our school. Maura Corcoran and Leanne Sercombe Librarians

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Moon Festival Celebration The Chinese Mother Tongue group co-hosted a Mid-Autumn (Moon) Festival on 25 September for all primary students and their families. In preparation for the festival, students participated in a home-made lantern competition. Tasked with creating a lantern that showed their creativity and appreciation of Chinese culture, students also SHI JIE MAGAZINE / AUTUMN 2015

had to demonstrate environmental awareness by using recycled items in their creations. Winning lanterns from each year level were recognised at the Moon Festival, followed by games, story telling, a family picnic, and of course Mooncakes.


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Home Turf Discovery Foreshore enhances Cobra Sports The Discovery Foreshore opened near the end of the 2014-15 academic year, and though our Cobra teams were able to take advantage of that new space last season, the real impact is being felt this year. The addition of this space has made a big difference to the DC Cobra Teams in Season 1. The versatile facility has given our football, rugby, netball and volleyball teams extra spaces in which to train. This has meant more teams can train on the same days, and in nearby quality facilities. It has been a luxury to be able to step out of the DC campus and into our own backyard, rather than having to travel to the North Plaza for rugby training sessions. The results of the those training efforts can be seen in the results from our teams so far. For example, our football teams have seen success this season, with the U14 Boys and the U14 Girls A teams making it through to the ISSFHK U14 Championships. In addition to great training opportunities, the Discovery Foreshore also offers a new venue for DC to host games. Playing on a home field, where many of parents and fans can cheer on the team, has been a boost for the Cobra players, and it has given DC the opportunity to host other schools for games and tournaments. For example, a Netball tournament for the U10, U11 and U12 netball teams from DC, DBIS & CDNIS is scheduled to take place in November at DC.


The positive impact the foreshore has had on our Cobra Sports programme is immeasurable. You simply have to look out on the field from 7.00am - 5.00pm and see the commitment the DC students and coaching staff give to their respective teams when using this fine space. Lawrence Wilkinson Sports Coordinator

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The annual Primary Swimming Carnival was held on 6 October at the Lei Cheung Uk Swimming Pool in Sham Shui Po. Despite a rainy start to the day, the Year 4-6 swimmers were ready for action, as they participated in a series of events to earn points for their


House. Team spirit, friendly competition and participation in events were the key elements of the day, with all students enjoying the day outside and the chance to put their swimming skills to work.


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Students Visit LegCo Meeting with the Head of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party gives students unique insights In October, DC students had the opportunity to visit the Legislative Council (LegCo) Building in Central and meet directly with Emily Lau, Head of the Democratic Party in Hong Kong. The students who attended were members of the DC Labour Rights group and those participating in Model United Nations (MUN), in Years 11-13. The LegCo building is preserved as a historical monument, but continues to be a place where history is being made today. During the visit, the DC group visited the LegCo offices and toured the main debating floor. Seeing the space where debates take place, including those during the Occupy Central movement last year, was an important experience for the students to see where the Hong Kong government operates. Throughout the tour, students were given a history of the democratic process in Hong Kong and had the opportunity to ask questions about it. DC students posed thoughtful and sometimes challenging questions about Hong Kong’s election system and its road to democracy. Following the tour, students met with Emily Lau in her offices and were able to hear her experience as a legislator and ask questions about her perspectives. Humanities teacher Bruce Taylor has arranged a number of interviews with intellectuals and activists from around the

world but he felt that this was among the most meaningful to date. “Being able to sit at a table with such a prominent figure in local and regional politics and hear such amazing primary accounts of key moments in Hong Kong’s history from someone who helped to directly shape those events was a very powerful learning opportunity,” he said. Prior to becoming a Legislative Council member, Ms Lau was a journalist and correspondent covering Hong Kong, and she had some unique opportunities to interview world leaders, which she shared with the students. Ms Lau has been a member

of LegCo since 1991, and has played a prominent role in Hong Kong. She is known for her outspoken manner and interest in human rights and domestic worker rights. “I enjoyed listening to her speak about Hong Kong’s political relationship with different countries. I found it fascinating how she was so passionate about her stance and had strong opinions about the topics she discussed,” said Julia Klocek, Year 11. Ms Lau shared with students an overview of LegCo functional constituencies and voting, as well as several stories about the handover of Hong Kong, the role of the Chinese, and Hong Kong’s democratic policies. Ms Lau has played an active role in Hong Kong’s movement for democracy, including the recent Occupy Central movement, so her observations were especially timely and relevant. Ms Lau has connected with the DC Labour Rights group on the Domestic Workers Roundtable and the DCLR’s recent protests at Disneyland of the Mitzutani Corporation. The visit and meeting with Emily Lau provided students with a unique insight into Hong Kong’s history, and gave them an opportunity to hear first-hand from someone who is actively involved in Hong Kong’s democratic process today. Michelle Mouton Communications and Development Manager


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Discovery Culture Festival New name, new experiences, and many returning favourites The Discovery Culture Festival is a new iteration of some old favourites. This year, the festival combines the Arts & Culture Festival with the College’s annual Book Week celebration to create one big wonderful event. Discovery Culture Festival will showcase and celebrate arts, culture and literature across the College during the festival, which runs 2-10 December. Students and families can expect to see some returning favourites as well as some new and exciting offerings. Primary classes will enjoy activities such as African drumming & stories, Brazilian Capoeira, Chinese water colour painting, Chinese Dragon Dance, and street dance. In addition, talks by author Sarah Brennan, a ‘Decorate your Classroom as a Book’ competition, and a Primary ‘Peace Tree’, will be part of the festival week in the Primary school. Secondary classes can expect to experience stage fighting techniques with Faust, talks by author and journalist Nury Vittachi, the ‘No Boundaries Bamboo Grove’, and workshops in architecture, costume design, ceramics, DJing, parkour, cake decorating, artist studio visits, photography, comic art and design, and more.

All students will have the opportunity to participate in the opening festival parade, view student music performances and art exhibitions, and participate in book quizzes, lunchtime literature treasure hunts, ‘Guess Who’s Behind the Book’, ‘Buskers’ Corner’, and the ‘People & Places’ photo competition. A few of the College-wide highlights are included below, and a full schedule is available online at

Opening Festival Parade Wednesday 2 December, 8.30am

Drama Production: Christmas Cadavers Thursday 3 December, 6.30pm *not suitable for Primary students

Ensemble Evening Tuesday 8 December, 6.30pm

Community Drum Circle Wednesday 9 December, 3.30pm



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Alumni Abroad DC graduates are pursuing work and further education around the world Discovery College’s alumni population is growing, with two classes of graduates now out in the world. DC alumni are pursuing university studies, work opportunities, and volunteer experiences around the globe. The map below represents countries where alumni are living. Each is using the foundation provided by DC to pursue their interests and passions through further study and work experience.

Cambridge, Durham University, University College London (UCL), Goldsmiths, University of Kent, University of Creative Arts and nearly a dozen others.

DC has the greatest population of alumni studying in the United Kingdom, where students are enrolled at institutions such as the University of Oxford, the University of

Many alumni are also studying in North America, at such universities as Northeastern University, UCLA, Parsons School of Design, California State University Fresno, and


In Hong Kong and throughout Asia, DC alumni are studying at City U, CUHK, HKU, HKUST and SCAD, as well as Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan and the University of Nottingham Ningbo in China.

Columbia College, among others in the United States. In Canada, students are pursing studies at the University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, Vancouver Film School, Ryerson, Simon Fraser, and Waterloo. Alumni are also pursuing work experience, apprenticeships, and gap years around the world, which allow them to gain valuable experience and pursue their interests. Michelle Mouton Communications and Development Manager

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4 1



12 1 Canada


Where did they go

2 1

1 1




South Korea

3 20 36 16 Germany

Hong Kong

United Kingdom

United States of America

What are they studying 18








Art & Design Business


Liberal Arts Performing Arts

Social Sciences Education

Sciences Engineering & Technology


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Class Notes Updates from our alumni Evelina Alex ’14 is in her sophomore year at The College of Wooster (Ohio, U.S.), and has decided to major in Psychology with a minor in Geology. She is part of the sustainability committee on campus as well as the outdoor / hiking / climbing club. She also volunteers with Four Paws For Ability – a nonprofit organisation that trains puppies to be future service dogs, pictured here. Evelina works in the campus library a few days a week as an inter-library loan assistant.

archaeologists around the world. Claire notes that fieldwork can be very different from academic study, but it’s also a great opportunity to apply what she’s learned and reconcile gorgeous museum artefacts with their origins. Having scrubbed pottery on-site, she now has a new appreciation for the sparkling cleanliness of vessels on display in museums.

Juan Mabanta ’14 moved back to the Philippines after graduating from DC last year. While there, he worked as an assistant teacher during his gap year. This summer, he moved to Vancouver, Canada, to attend Simon Fraser University. Although he initially intened to study Economics—his focus in high school—he has changed his major to Psychology, which is something he is much more passionate about.

Branwen Bindra ’14 has recently started her second year at

Shinya Mizuno ‘14 developed his experience and knowledge in

university at the SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) Hong Kong campus. She is majoring in Fashion Marketing & Management. Branwen and DC classmate Dylan Helyer ‘14 also recently represented SCAD HK at an orientation day with the United Student Forum group.

business and entrepreneurship during a gap year after graduating from DC. He also competed in his first body-building competition (HKCBBA), in which he earned 2nd place in the Under-21 category. This year he began academic studies at City University of Hong Kong pursing a bachelors degree in Business Administration.

Dylan Helyer ‘14 is studying

Miranda Skinner ’14 is

at SCAD HK and has held an internship with Balmain Paris. He will soon be starting an internship with Joyce, and in January he will be assisting Louis Vuitton in an upcoming Runway show that will debut late January 2016. Dylan was also chosen as one of five excelling students at SCAD to meet with the president of SCAD, Paula Wallace. This quarter he is further exploring the creative and technical side of fashion by taking Fashion Technology and Fashion Design courses. Though he finds his life to be very fast paced, he also finds it fulfilling. This year he has also found a love for fitness!

taking a break from art school and working instead on some personal interests. She is currently living in Chilliwack, British Columbia, across the street from a dairy farm. Miranda has decided to change her major and pursue a career as a veterinarian. She hopes to get involved with cows, to see if she enjoys working with large animals so that she may specialise as a bovine veterinarian instead of the traditional domestic pet business.

Claire Holubowskyj ’14 is studying Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Oxford in England. Through her programme of study, she has spent six months on campus and six months travelling and doing archaeological work. While at Oxford she has had the opportunity to work in the labs, gaining experience in isotopic analysis and studying artefacts. During her course travels, she had the opportunity to excavate a Roman Fort in Southern England and a Minoan town in Eastern Crete, to intern in a leading archaeological museum, and to conduct exploratory survey work in Argentinian Patagonia, working with 22

Sienna Stubbs ’14 split her gap year between both Thailand and Hong Kong. During this time she has had a range of experiences in education, work and volunteerism. In the last year Sienna has taught English, received a TEFL certification, bungee jumped, volunteered, gone to tattoo school and tattooed 9 people, trained at a Muay Thai camp, worked overnight shifts at a fast food restaurant, and worked for a well known clothing company in a 9 to 6 office job, just to list a few. Despite her self-professed uncertainty at graduation, she has gained a valuable set of skills and experiences so far.

Natalie Tse ’14 is currently studying Surveying in the University of Hong Kong after taking a gap year. She was influenced by her father, an experienced Civil Engineer, and she has developed an interest in real estate and construction work overtime. With her current financial ability, she recently brought her parents to Osaka, Japan, to show her appreciation for their hard-work and care. Natalie has been doing swim coaching since last summer and is now qualified

A U T U M N 2 0 1 5 / A lumni

as a certified swim coach. She has recently led the competitive swim team for her previous primary school students, and she enjoyed meeting the young students who share a similar interest and background with her. Coaching has allowed her to share her stories and experiences to hopefully give her students the motivation and inspiration to work hard both academically and athletically.

Dana Young ’14 is in her second year at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, studying Food and Nutrition. Though she recalls initially being scared of not having enough support or resources, she has been pleasantly surprised to find that Ryerson provided ample support for their students. Dana volunteered to be a frosh leader, which helped her meet new people who in turn encouraged her to join the university’s dragon boat team.

Saya Kawano ’15 is currently a dance major at the University of California, Santa Barbara (U.S.) and is planning to declare a double major in political science or global studies. Though still settling in to her new environment, she is enjoying the beautiful view outside my dorm room and the sunny beaches. Saya shared that after initially being nervous about meeting new people, she has made many great friends. She also notes that university life requires a lot of independence and discipline. For example, her lectures are large classes where the professors don’t necessarily know each student unless you approach them directly, so adjusting to a different type of academic environment has been part of her experience.

Nicole Lau ‘15 has just begun her studies in Education with Music at the University of Cambridge, but is already busy with school assignments and readings. Nicole has joined the college orchestra, jazz orchestra, choir and theatre society as well as participated in many college traditions, her favourite of which is that all First Year’s drink from a horn which has the previous SHI JIE MAGAZINE / AUTUMN 2015

principals’ names engraved on it. Living in a busy city has meant Nicole has had to learn a new transportation system, including cycling everywhere next to busy traffic, which keeps her on her toes.

Nina Rossiter ‘15 is starting her first semester of university in Thessaloniki, Greece through the NUin programme in Northeastern University (Massachusetts, U.S.). In addition to taking classes that will go towards her International Affairs major, her school programme organises a variety of activities that have allowed her to see more of the country. On the weekends, she has hiked to the top of Mt Olympus, gone scubadiving, visited the Greek Orthodox monasteries built in the 1314th century, explored the Ioannina caves, and she plans to soon visit Cyprus, Amsterdam and Rome with friends. Nina says she has enjoyed her first months, despite some struggles in daily Greek class, and she is enjoying her experience.

Samantha Ryan ‘15 enjoyed a graduation trip to Bali with 13 other DC classmates at the start of the summer holiday, where they explored Uluwatu temple and Seminyak’s markets. She is now at the University of Manchester (U.K.) studying Biomedical Sciences. In her first busy month there, she got a glimpse of university life, as she met new friends, won a pub quiz, joined societies, attended a Brian Cox lecture, explored Manchester, and managed with limited student finances.

Emma Yong ’15 is now studying law at the University of Exeter (U.K.). Moving to a new city has been an eye opening experience for Emma, who has lived in Hong Kong for the past 16 years. She shared that attending university has been an exciting experience so far, though very different from high school. From focussing on one area of study to living a nonparent dependent, self-sufficient lifestyle, Emma is finding that adapting to a new community is fun, especially with the support of new flat mates and the university.


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Where Are They Now? Matilda and Lucy Damman Where do you live now? We live in the city of Brisbane, Australia. Brisbane is known as The River City, as the Brisbane River flows through the center of the city. We live in a house called a ‘Queenslander’, around the corner from where we go to school. It’s takes us about 3 minutes to walk to school.

What brought you there? We moved to Brisbane because this is where our parents’ families live. Our mum grew up in Brisbane and attended the same school we now go to. It’s great living in a city where our cousins live.

Where do you go to school? We attend St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School. It is a through-school, which starts in pre-prep and finishes in Year 12. There are two campuses next to each other, one for Primary and one for Secondary, with a total of 800 students at both campuses. St Margaret’s began in 1895 and quite a few of the old buildings are still used today. It is on the North side of Brisbane, on a hill with beautiful views of the city.

What are some differences between your school and Discovery College? The school we attend is a girl’s only school. We have fewer students in each class, about 22 girls. The school offers languages and we are still learning Mandarin but not

every day like we did at DC. The school offers some sports the same as DC and some different. We play the similar sports at the opposite time of year as we are in the Southern Hemisphere. Our school year ends in December, as this is our summer so we have our long break over Christmas and New Year.

What types of activities are you involved in? We have been involved in various school sports including swimming, lifesaving,

hockey, and softball and have just started water polo. School sports are played on Saturday mornings, and usually it’s an early start. Our school participates in rowing in winter, and it starts at 4.30am! We also attend drama classes and are currently involved in a production of ‘Grease’.

What do you like best about living in your new home? We enjoy living in Brisbane and our new house. Brisbane has a subtropical climate with warm or hot weather for most of the year. This means we are able to use our pool most of the year, and with summer nearly here we’ve been swimming most afternoons after school.

How is it different from living in Hong Kong? We miss Hong Kong and we miss DC and our friends. We have been very lucky to be able to come back and visit a few times since we moved to Australia in January. Please look us up if you come to Brisbane. We’ve become great tour guides!