Shi Jie - Spring 2016

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SHI JIE To look out into the world The Magazine of Discovery College SPRING 2016

Focus on EOTC

Challenging ourselves to be our best In many types of situations, we find ourselves facing moments of challenge. Whether at work, at school or at home, situations arise that cause us to reach outside our comfort zones to resolve a problem, master a new skill or try something new. It isn’t easy to face new challenges head on, but when we put forth the effort, we learn a great deal about ourselves. Students have the opportunity to learn through challenges in numerous ways throughout their education. One example of this at Discovery College is our Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) programme. Beginning with activities in Year 1, students are given an opportunity to experience learning outside of the typical classroom environment. In progressively more rigorous programmes, including camps in the Primary years, the Hong Kong Hustle, Secondary camps and eventually No Boundaries, students learn new skills from these fun yet challenging experiences with support from their teachers and their peers. Often this means that students reach outside their comfort zones to sleep away from home for the first time, camp outside, hike or bike new trails, or visit a new country. Through this, they gain knowledge about themselves and their ability to persevere, to show independence and leadership, and to work together with


their peers as they develop and strengthen friendships. Throughout this issue, you will read about the experiences of our students in the EOTC programmes this year. I am proud of our students each year for the commitment they make to put their best effort into these experiences, and thank the many parents and staff who support these activities. Also in this issue, you will see students challenging themselves in other ways. Our primary students staged an excellent drama production this spring, no doubt stretching many beyond their initial comfort levels as they embarked on an incredible performance. You will see also read about our basketball teams being challenged in international competitions, and our Year 13 visual arts students putting together their final exhibition. One of our goals at DC is to provide ways to both challenge and support students so that they are able to stretch to their full potential and learn from their experiences, their mistakes, and the process of carrying out these activities. By focusing on the whole learning process, we aim to give students many opportunities to learn about themselves, to find creative solutions to problems, and to work together to be their best selves. Mark Beach Principal


Contents SPRING 2016



To look out into the world EDITOR

Michelle Mouton PHOTOGRAPHY

Claire Fraser DESIGN



Focus on EOTC 4 6 6 7 8 8 9

Building Skills and Knowledge Sleeping at School Camping Out An Adventure in Sai Kung Hustling as a Team Teamwork and Trust Out in the World

Staff Profiles 10 11

Gary Chan Nigel Philip

Jocelyn Chan Joseph Cheung Matt Davis Frank Donnoli Annette Garnett Patrick Hawkey Kate Jolly Ryan Krysinski Alisa Lam Peter Lasscock Dan Macheski Rachel Muldoon Susan Park Nigel Philip Loretto Romano Miwa Sakamaki David Thapa Brendan Tigue Nicole Woo

College News 12 12 13 14 15 15

A New Look for Discovery College DC Students in the News Website by the Numbers New Leadership in Secondary Student Voice in Action House Competition



16 16 17

Experience Encourages Action Physics Fun 100 Days of School

Highlights 18 19 20 21

Basketball Makes its Mark Art Exhibition Showcases Passion Music Performances Abound Primary Production Entertains

Alumni 22 24


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.

Community Engagement Expo On 24 March, the Year 10 students hosted the Community Engagement Project Expo. This event provided them with the opportunity to share and celebrate their Community Engagement projects. Students had been working in groups on these projects since last October, investigating a chosen issue, developing plans SHI JIE MAGAZINE / SPRING 2016

to address it, and then implementing these plans. The Expo gave students an opportunity to share what they have learned about these issues, how they were able to implement their plans, and what they learned from the whole process.


Year 1 - Pizza Party

Year 2 - Sleepover at DC

Year 3 - One night camp

Year 4 - Two night camp

Year 5 - Two night camp

Year 6 - Three night camp

Year 7 - Hong Kong Hustle

Year 8 - Three night camp

Year 9 - Three night camp

Year 10, 11 & 12 - No Boundaries week-long experience

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Building Skills and Knowledge EOTC experiences help students learn more about themselves Education outside the classroom (EOTC) plays an important part in the life of a Discovery College student. EOTC is defined as any activity that takes place outside the walls of the classroom. Its aim is to extend students’ learning experiences beyond the classroom and out into the community and the environment. EOTC at DC includes field trips, sporting trips, the school camps programme and Model United Nations, among many other things. EOTC encourages students to make links between the curriculum and real world experiences and is important for long-term learning. At DC a major part of our EOTC activities is our school camps programme. These experiences are a compulsory part of the curriculum for all year groups. They progress in difficulty and level of challenge as students move up through the College. At the Primary level, EOTC experiences begin with a Pizza Play Party in Year 1, and is followed in Year 2 with a onenight sleepover on the school campus. This progresses through to a three-night residential camp in Sai Kung in Year 6, with students spending one night sleeping out in tents in the wilderness of Sui Long Wo. Once in Secondary, Year 7s compete in the Hong Kong Hustle, a three-day adventure race around Hong Kong. Year 8 and 9 students participate in four-day camps in Sai Kung and Lamma Island. These camps include activities such as kayaking, hiking,

camping, cooking, rock climbing, abseiling and adventure challenges. All these activities pepare our students with the necessary skills to take part in the Year 10-12 No Boundaries programme, which sees students head abroad to participate in adventure, cultural exchange and/or community engagement related activities. Places such as Vietnam, Malaysia, China and Thailand, in addition to activities based in Hong Kong, are some of the destinations that allow students to develop an understanding and appreciation of different cultures and communities and where appropriate, empathy for those who have less access to resources than they do. These unique experiences expose our students to a number of learning outcomes. They gain confidence and self-esteem through taking on challenges and achieving success. Through working in groups, greater self-awareness and social skills are developed. Personal qualities such as increased initiative, self reliance, responsibility, perseverance and commitment are also demonstrated through the challenges involved in the camps programme. Along with these learning outcomes, these experiences have strong links to the IB curriculum. The IB learner profile outlines a number of qualities that IB learners strive to exhibit. The camps programme encourages a number of these qualities, including our students being risk takers, open minded, communicators, thinkers, caring and reflective. Another aspect of the IB curriculum is the approaches to learning (ATL) skills, which are attributes that help students ‘learn how to learn.’ These have relevance across the whole curriculum and are


again evident in our EOTC programme. Examples of such ATL skills include critical and creative thinking, collaboration and communication, along with reflective and organisational skills. DC’s camps programme is a major part of our EOTC activities and has a long list of benefits for our students that reinforce the importance of its inclusion into school life. But if we put aside all this learning, school camps provide students with a great opportunity to get out and spend some time interacting with their peers away from all the distractions of everyday life, including time away from computer or phone screens, which is becoming increasingly rare these days. All of these factors combine to make our students’ camp experiences a highlight of their school year and provide them with memories that will last long after they leave the College. Nigel Philip PE Teacher/EOTC Coordinator


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Sleeping at School Year 2 tests independence at their sleepvoer The sleepover is the event every student in Year 2 looked forward to all year and finally happened in Term 3. The thought of spending the night at Discovery College was exciting but was also met with a bit of trepidation; nevertheless, enthusiasm was high. For some of the students it was the first time they had ever slept anywhere else apart from home. As the date loomed closer students started counting down the days and began making plans with their friends about sleeping arrangements. What started as an ordinary Friday ended up with 120 Year 2 students arriving back at school, with teachers and educational assistants, ready for a night of fun and excitement. Students brought sleeping bags, pyjamas, cuddly toys and food to share. After the beds were set-up in the three Drama studios they said goodbye to their parents and began the celebrations. The event started with a picnic dinner in the playground followed by the night’s activities. Discovery College looked very different without people around; it was so quiet and very dark. Students had fun exploring the learning spaces in the dark on the night walk around the school. They learned new moves by spending time dancing. Students listened to teachers read bedtime stories for a change and even got to tell some of their own. They played games in the Primary Sports Hall and got creative with the Chinese

teachers. With so much to do, there was no time to feel homesick. After changing into pyjamas and cleaning teeth, the Year 2 students settled down to sleep for the night. Even though they were tired, some were still too excited to sleep. Eventually they did sleep, but there was not much time for the teachers to sleep with all the toilet breaks needed throughout the night. In the early morning there were wake-up exercises followed by a delicious breakfast in the cafeteria. Before long the students were dressed, packed up and ready to greet parents, feeling tired but happy. There were so many different stories to share with families. Even though the sleepover has ended, the experience lives on in every student’s memory. It certainly is a night to remember. Loretta Romano Year 2 Team Leader

Camping Out Learning about food at Year 4 camp Why was the beach wet? What does a werewolf always bring to the beach? How do you make a tissue dance? Don’t know the answers to these highly intellectual questions? Then I can only assume you were not at the exciting, the entertaining, the energetic, Year 4 camp. On 4 November, Year 4 students bid their parents adieu, loaded their belongings onto the bus and ventured out to San Shek Wan for a three-day camp extravaganza. Students participated in a variety of activities including farming, hiking, archery and beach activities. Asked about her favourite activity, Annabelle Poernomo responded, “My favourite part of camp was going to the beach and participating in the sand castle competition.” Woody Salt preferred archery, stating, “The best activity was archery because it had real arrows.” It would be impossible to capture the essence of Year 4 camp by ignoring the plethora of skits and jokes performed by the teachers and parent volunteers. The multi-talented Mr Burrows led the way in turning Mr De Barr into a fortune teller, Mr Stanhope into a baby, and tricking Mr Macheski into smearing banana all over his face. Tvisha Valakati, who was especially fond of the skits, spoke about the most entertaining one, “My favourite skit was the bubble gum skit because it looked so real!” 6

Camp isn’t only about fun and games though. The students also spent a day at Ark Eden as an introduction to their food unit. They learned about organic farming as well as how to make a vegetarian stir fry accompanied by lemon grass tea. Seth Peramunetilleke learned a lot here, noting, “At Ark Eden I learned that composting is better than throwing food into the rubbish bin.” As for the question ‘Why was the beach wet? Because the seaweed of course!’ Dan Macheski Year 4 Teacher

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An Adventure in Sai Kung Year 6 Camp helps students tackle challenges One of the most anticipated and exciting events in Year 6, along with exhibition and receiving our very own laptops, was of course the Year 6 camp. Ninety students, and a team of committed, enthusiastic and caring parents and teachers who volunteer their time, attended a four-day residential camp at Sai Kung Outdoor Recreation Centre and Shui Long Wo Camp Site. Throughout the four-day/three-night camp, students engaged in a range of activities, spread across the two sites, designed to build a broad range of skills and attitudes, including confidence, teamwork, communication, independence, leadership and outdoor technical skills. While based in Sai Kung, the students spent half of the day within the township and half of the day on a small island, only accessible by private boat. On the island students spent time playing in nature and using their imagination to create their own games using whatever resources they


can find. Some students chose to search for intricate shells, while others skimmed rocks, sketched landscapes or simply sat in an open and quiet space to practise being mindful. In the town, students worked together in small teams to navigate and orientate their way around Sai Kung with the support of an adult. While working their way around the town using clues, students learned the importance of listening to each other’s ideas as they looked for answers to questions that could only be found through careful observation. After a day in the town, students returned to the recreation centre and were given time to explore the endless activities on offer, including archery, roller skating, rock climbing, ropes courses, soccer, badminton, table tennis, air hockey, pool, tennis and swimming. Over at the Shui Long Wo Campsite, students faced challenges of a different kind. They courageously participated

in night hikes, tent pitching, campfire preparation, cooking over an open fire and overcoming their fear of creepy crawlies and the long drop toilet, as well as completing team initiatives. The Shui Long Wo Campsite is often the part of camp students express most concern and nervousness about, but are always pleasantly surprised by how much fun they have. Each year students return from this camp buzzing and full of exciting stories they just can’t wait to tell. With the Year 6 camp taking place early in the academic year, students were challenged to get to know each other outside the four walls of the classroom, broaden their perspectives of one another and learn to appreciate and tolerate each other’s differences. Kate Jolly Year 6 Team Leader


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Hustling as a Team Year 7 explores Hong Kong The eagerly anticipated annual EOTC event for Year 7: The Hong Kong Hustle took place on 18-20 November. The event is similar to the reality television game show, The Amazing Race, but our version has students split into house teams, racing against the clock around either Hong Kong Island or Lantau Island. They earned valuable points as they orientated themselves, using a paper map, from one checkpoint to the next. Like in the show, students were required to be back by a specified time. Students were required to accurately read ferry timetables, negotiate the internal DB bus system, and test their personal physical fitness levels in urban and rural contexts. This outdoor education activity involved finding resources, exploring ideas, applying experience, gathering information and thinking critically in order to be competitive against the other groups. Special emphasis was also given to how to be safe, at all times, in the outdoors. This EOTC unit identified approaches to learning skills that students developed through their inquiry and demonstrated through their participation. The students were able to really extend their collaboration skills through their active involvement. They exercised leadership and were required to take on a variety of roles over the course of the three days. To survive and finish in a timely manner, they needed to listen actively to others’ perspectives and ideas, particularly as they navigated themselves through the labyrinthine streets of Central. Their self-management skills were

also tested, requiring all individuals to demonstrate persistence and perseverance, and practice their positive thinking. Groups were challenged further through the limited use of transportation modes; the emphasis was on getting to their stated checkpoints, relying mainly on their feet. Every year, I am impressed by the grit and determination shown by our students, transferring their skills to this wonderful event. Despite the heat, students arrived back each day by the 5pm deadline, tired but filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Annette Garnett Year 7 Dean

Teamwork and Trust Year 8 works together on camp This year we were all very excited to go on Year 8 camp. Not only did we learn about our environment, but also about each other. Camp started on 1 March and from day one we had action packed days with fun activities. We were able to go kayaking where we were put into groups of two to learn how to control the kayak and work as a team to make the kayak go faster. The staff were very helpful and gave us very good advice. We explored the area while learning a lot about our surroundings. After a long day of activities, we went back to stay at a holiday camp which was called Po Leung Pak Tam Chung holiday camp. It had many facilities where we all got to do lots of things in our free time including archery, badminton and basketball. Staying in the dorms allowed us to communicate more with different people in our year group. 8

One of the most memorable events was hiking. It was a 3-5 hour hike to get to the beach. The ocean was blue and it was hard to believe that we were still in Hong Kong. We had a couple of hours to settle in and have fun. We tossed frisbees, swam in the ocean and played games. For dinner, we made curry using very minimal equipment. It was very interesting to learn about cooking in the elements. We later had a singing competition in groups, sat near a bonfire and ate delicious marshmallows. Alisa Lam and Miwa Sakamaki Year 8 Students

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Out in the World Students reflect on No Boundaries New challenges in Gopeng, Malaysia I just chose the Gopeng, Malaysia, trip for the adventure—it looked fun. The trip advertised whitewater rafting, zip-lining, a high-ropes course and abseiling. It did not advertise the outhouses we used for bathrooms, the mosquito bites like chicken pox, or no wi-fi. And the dorm situation wasn’t exactly a five-star hotel. In the middle of our first night, one of my friends was returning from the outhouses, and broke the dorm door completely off its hinges. We all spent the whole night trying to fix it, but finally leaned the door against the doorway to avoid anyone noticing it broke. The next morning Mr. Kai Fong pushed open the door to wake us up. To his surprise, it came crashing down. We woke with a jolt, saw the flattened door and burst out laughing. Thankfully so did Mr. Kai Fong. Our whitewater-rafting trip delivered the adventure and the fun. The instructor driving the boat with five of us, decided to show off a little. We were still tired from the door incident, but he probably thought we were bored. He steered the raft sideways as we went down a rapid so we could surf the miniature waterfall. This did not go as planned. I was sitting on the edge of the boat when we bumped on a rock and I fell out. My friend next to me decided to laugh instead of grabbing my hand to keep me in the raft. But luckily, I caught him with my foot and pulled him into the water with me. I swallowed some of the river, but not my pride. Abseiling challenged us. Our group of 20 students and teachers started on top of a mountain cliff as high as Discovery College. We had to ease our way down to the ground while attached to a rope, our life literally hanging by a string. The five minutes it took for our feet to reach the safety grass below felt 10 times longer. But one of my friends froze a quarter of the way down and tried to go back up. The teachers on the cliff-top shouted down moral support to him, while the rest of us on the ground shouted up encouragement. He conquered his fear and landed safely on the ground, probably just to shut us all up. We will always remember our Malaysia trip, because without it we wouldn’t have crashed through doors, surfed mini waterfalls, triumphed over our fear of heights, seen giant butterflies, drove around in the back of a pickup truck, played football with orphans, or pulled off leaches from our ankles while hiking. No Boundaries proved to be an amazing experience for me and every other Year 10 student. Not only did we see a different part of the world and meet people from a different culture, but we also had some outrageous fun. Brendan Tighe Year 10 Student

A cycling journey in Fujian “Right foot, left foot. Repeat. Don’t fall over!” This was the message repeating in my head as I cycled, like a broken radio. Never in my life have I ever been both so exhausted yet happy, as I was during my trip to Fujian for No Boundaries. A 5-day, 100km+ cycling trip was never something I had planned to do before this. It was very nerve-racking leading up to the day we left Hong Kong, but was incredibly rewarding as we cycled through fields and mountains admiring the picturesque scenery. It opened my eyes and gave me a chance to take a break and appreciate the nature around us. Cycling approximately 25km every day, we restored our energy through multiple bowls of rice and fragrant traditional Chinese dishes, such as braised pork (扣肉), Dongjiang salt-baked chicken (东江盐焗鸡), rou jia mo (肉夹馍) and much more. As our route was along rural Guangdong and Fujian, we stayed in a different hotel every night, including a night’s stay in a traditional Hakka house. More commonly known as a Tulou, we were given the chance to meet with the residents there and explore the area. We also had the opportunity to work with the children at a local school in Fujian, where we did an activity day, teaching origami, playing card games, and making hand-paintings and coloured in photos of Hong Kong. Seeing them learning English and smiling from ear to ear was such an gratifying experience. Sitting on the bus travelling back to Hong Kong, I felt invincible, with legs of steel. This entire trip was unbelievably rewarding - great people and incredible experiences, what more could one ask for? I’ve made new friends, gained the skill of perseverance, and have learned that going down a long, winding hill is worth the tiresome ride up. Nicole Woo Year 10 Student



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Gary Chan PE Assistant Gary Chan provides administrative support to the PE department. A majority of Gary’s time is spent assisting with the running of PE classes to ensure a safe environment and the wellbeing of students.

had the desire to help others overcome their difficulties and achieve success. Gary looks forward to expanding his expertise and hopes to begin working with children with special needs in the future.

Gary’s responsibilities range from overseeing PE facilities and maintaining all resources to coordinating match fixtures. Before working in DC, Gary worked for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of Hong Kong. He primarily assisted in organising district-wide sports programmes, mostly targeting children and young adults. In addition to organising sports programmes, he also frequently participated in setting up various cultural activities and concerts with musicians from Hong Kong and overseas. His passion for working with children in an educational setting led him to DC.

It comes as no surprise that Gary loves all sorts of sports and outdoor activities, from hiking high near the clouds to scuba diving into the deep blue sea. Not satisfied with just hiking among the clouds, he took a plunge and jumped out of a plane for the first time in New Zealand last year.

Gary is from Hong Kong, born and bred. He has a degree in Special Educational Needs. Ever since he can remember, he has always


When not at DC, he can also be seen playing footy every now and then. A keen pet lover, Gary shares his apartment with two cats and always has space for another. David Thapa Communications and Scholarship Assistant

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Nigel Philip PE Teacher / EOTC Coordinator Nigel is originally from New Zealand where he started his PE teaching career. Prior to DC, Nigel taught at ACS Cobham International School in England for five years and Kuranui College in New Zealand for two years. Nigel received a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Otago University and a postgraduate diploma in Secondary Education. At DC, Nigel teaches MYP physical health and education and DP sports exercise and health science. He is also the Education Outside of The Classroom (EOTC) coordinator responsible for organising Years 7-9 EOTC programmes such as camps and field trips. An avid outdoorsman, Nigel relishes organising and leading students through off-campus learning experiences. He believes that learning is an interactive and lifelong process of analysing, questioning, and discussing; learning is looking for SHI JIE MAGAZINE / SPRING 2016

new meanings and unique applications of knowledge in every situation. He is constantly encouraging students to expose themselves to as many meaningful experiences as possible in order to broaden and cultivate an awareness and appreciation that can’t be taught from a textbook. In addition to routine activities, Nigel is also currently developing a higher level DP sports exercise and health science course, which will be introduced at DC next year. Nigel enjoys keeping active and likes to spend his free time running, cycling and going to the gym. David Thapa Communications and Scholarship Assistant


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A New Look for Discovery College ESF rolls out new brand elements ESF has been engaged in an intentional rebranding exercise with external consultants for the last year. The research and collaboration during this process yielded a number of results that will influence the way ESF and its schools improve communication with parents and other constituents. One of the significant changes is a streamlining of the ESF branding across all schools. New logos for each school have been developed to reinforce the important connection to ESF and increase the visual brand awareness for all ESF schools. While each school has special characteristics, we share many of the same personality and cultural elements that define who we are. Foundation-wide, all ESF schools aim to bring out the best in every student, and the cohesive branding across the Foundation will enable all schools to better tell the story of how we do this. ESF schools are widely researched and becoming well-known around the world. You can see a few statistics about Discovery College’s online reach in the info-graphic on the next page. A unified brand helps all the ESF schools reinforce our messaging and promote our accomplishments.

As a result, the College has begun introducing its new logo, shown here, as well as other brand elements, such as fonts, colours, and graphics, on our website, social media and printed materials. You will continue to see these elements updated in publications, College letterhead, signage and other materials as we head into the next academic year. We are excited about the opportunities this will bring for Discovery College, and look forward to sharing future updates with you. Michelle Mouton Communications and Development Manager

DC Students in the News News articles feature student achievements Discovery College students frequently accomplish impressive things, and this year has been no exception. Though all of the highlights would be to numerous to list, here are a few examples of student activism, perseverance and achievement that have been featured in the media around Hong Kong this year.

Student Artwork in the IB World Magazine The artwork of Year 12 student Susan Park was selected as the cover of the Fall edition of the IB World Magazine. This also received coverage on the front cover of the Young Post, as well as mentions in the SCMP and Sing Tao Daily News, among others: http://

Live@YP highlights student musician Phoebe Whalley, Y12, was recently invited to the Live@YP studio to perform a few songs and participate in an interview with the Young Post staff. Her performance at the studio and her interview can be found here:

Student activists making their mark The DC Labour Rights group was featured in the South China Morning Post and Around DB, highlighting the work they’ve done to raise awareness for the issues facing factory workers in Guangdong. The article can be read online: 12

Sports Stars The SCMP Young Post featured three DC students in its Sports Stars feature. Cameron Smith, Y13, Taichi Kho, Y11, and Grace Kai Fong, Y12, who has since departed DC for New Zealand, each had full page articles in the publication and online. The articles shared the students’ experiences as student athletes and highlighted the hard work they put into practice to maintain their high performance. Read more about Taichi ( RjmHoH), Grace ( and Cameron ( online.

Science Olympiad Yan Yau Cheng, Y11, represented Hong Kong in the International Junior Science Olympiad in South Korea, where he and his teammates earned six medals. The Hong Kong Information Services Department issued this article highlighting their achievements:



2 MIN & 40 SEC

The average time spent on the website



Other popular languages are: Mandarin, Korean & Japanese

35-44 YEARS

The average age group of users


OF VISITS ARE FROM HONG KONG & CHINA Other popular countries are: Australia, Canada, Germany, India, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, United Kingdom and USA





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New Leadership in Secondary Getting to know the new Head of Secondary In May, Discovery College welcomed James Smith as the new Head of Secondary. He joins DC from ESF King George V School, where he served as Vice Principal. Here, we get to know a little more about him.

Q: What are some of your favourite aspects of working in education? A: There are so many reasons to be an educator but central among them is that you get to work with a fantastic group of young people and be part of their lives during the years in which they form themselves as people and decide on their directions in life. I think it’s also true to say that there has never been a time in history at which a strong, values-driven education has been so important – the young people in our schools right now will go on to face incredible challenges in changing society, the economy and the environment for the better, and so as an educator you feel a heavy burden of responsibility but it’s also what gives the job its importance. You get to wake up each morning knowing that what you do really matters.

Q: What are some of the most gratifying moments in your career thus far? A: I’ve had the pleasure of working in many different areas of school life but the roles I look on with greatest pride are usually those associated with students’ wellbeing. Developing a strong counselling / student support service at a previous school was something I felt really made a difference to a lot of students’ lives, and I’ve been involved with a number of challenging cases where a student was facing serious problems or needed help in some way, and being part of a team supporting the student in getting their life back on track is edifying, though it is always tough at the time. These previous experiences all make me really excited about the work that Discovery College is doing with positive education and student wellbeing – I’m excited to be a part of this.

Q: What are you most looking forward to in your new role at DC?


A: It’s clear to me that a sense of community and belonging runs through everything that happens at DC, and I am really excited about becoming part of this community and having my family be here as well. DC has a well-deserved reputation for innovation and this comes from the fact that our teachers model inquiry and work as a team to reflect on their own practice and how we can make the student experience better across the school. I love the fact that parents and guardians are so closely involved with school life and put so much energy into helping DC move forward. I also love that students feel so connected to DC and speak with such positivity about it. I remember being taken on a tour with some students when I visited the school last year and hearing them speak proudly about the school, its model of education and the fact that its philosophy offered them a learning experience they really valued.

Q: What was your childhood ambition? A: I had a few! I think most people tend to dream of a lot of different futures for themselves when they are growing up, and I was certainly no exception. I remember there was a good few months where I wanted to be a theatre director, and for a while I definitely saw myself

writing novels. I think Helicopter Pilot was in there somewhere as well. Throughout my childhood, though, I was always very aware of my parents’ careers and learned a lot through their experiences. Mum was a teacher of the deaf and Dad was a college principal, and so when it came time to establish my own career I think my choices were shaped heavily by their work and the importance they placed on education.

Q: What is something people might be surprised to know about you? A: I once sang for Nelson Mandela at an event in London as part of a group I was in. He didn’t say anything but he smiled a lot so I don’t think we could have been too out of key.

Q: What do you like to in your down time? A: My wife Lizzie and I have two wonderful kids—Georgia (aged 3) and Luke (aged 1)—and so the concept of ‘down time’ is a challenging one, but mostly we like to go to parks and on walks with our dogs, and the beach is a favourite as well. Lizzie and I also share a love of the theatre so we are hoping to do more of that soon.

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Student Voice in Action Student Council turns student feedback into reality This year, the Student Council has focussed its efforts on taking student feedback to action. As a committee we have tailored our approach to four main areas: MYP to DP transition, Cafeteria, Uniform, and Support Staff Appreciation. These areas have been chosen in order to cover aspects of student life from ranging from academic support to wellbeing. The Cafeteria Committee has focussed their efforts on regular meetings with Chartwells, conducting rigorous discussions on food options and healthier alternatives. The committee has also focussed its efforts on informing students of the environmental impacts of meat consumption with Green Mondays and of food waste with the promotion of a composter. The Uniform Committee has also been engaged with talking with the DCPTA regarding the PE uniform and has been surveying better options in response to student feedback.

greater relationship between students and our support staff. The committee’s initiatives include creating introductory videos for the support staff, and a plan to provide students with an opportunity to express their appreciation through cards in the foyer. Lastly, the MYP/DP committee aims to ease the Year 11 to 12 transition for the forthcoming students. The committee is currently working to initiate DP student-lead Crashcourse Workshops. The workshops aim to provide Year 11 students with deeper insight into the individual Diploma subjects, and seek to further establish a peer support system between the two cohorts. We hope that these initiatives provide a long term impact to the wider student body, and continue to establish a positive learning environment for all students in Discovery College. Susan Park and Joseph Cheung Year 12 Student Council Representatives

As student representatives, we have the responsibility of looking out for all members of the DC Community, and through the Support Staff Appreciation Committee, we seek to establish a

House Competition Team events strengthen House spirit Each year numerous House events that take place, which are designed to promote teamwork, leadership and friendly competition. Though the major events are generally well known, such as the Sports Days, Swimming Carnival, and Battle of the Bands, many of the minor events this year have also seen the House teams working together. House Trivia this autumn provided opportunities for our students in both Primary and Secondary to show their knowledge about where they live, music and general knowledge in house teams. House Debating also gave Secondary students an opportunity to put their knowledge to work. House Debating is a hilarious and, at times, semi-serious opportunity for the Houses to go “head to head” on some of today’s most pressing intellectual topics. Students debate theoretical prompts on the spot and are given only a few moments to craft a position. This two-day event took place during lunch, and was judged by a group of students, teachers and school leadership to make the scoring as unbiased as possible. Sports competition events let students demonstrate their teamwork, such as House Basketball and House Football. In Secondary, there was a week of intense house basketball competition. House teams, in divisions for Y7-9 and Y10-13, competed together during lunch to show off their hoop skills. The competition was fierce between the houses as we witnessed some slick passing and great team work. We also saw friendly competitiveness as the audience cheered on their house from the sidelines. Likewise in Primary, the Year 3-6 House Football event saw a large turnout for all matches and an SHI JIE MAGAZINE / SPRING 2016

enthusiastic crowd supporting them from the stands. It was the first time using the new foreshore pitch and this proved to be a huge success, with the quality of football improving drastically due to more space for players and supporters. The perennial favourite event—Battle of the Bands—centred around a Disney theme, which was a crowd pleaser from the Year 1s to cheering parents. The talent on show was unbelievable and congratulations should go to all houses for their arrangements, practice and efforts. All of these events, and others staged throughout the year, give students an opportunity to work together across year groups, forming mentoring relationships and friendships. Peter Lasscock Deputy Head of College 15

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Experience Encourages Action Year 9 students visit Crossroads Despite all the injustices and inequalities of the world we live in, as Discovery College students, we are often in a bubble. The small, contained and wealthy community in which we live is actually a novelty in a world of poverty and inequality. Many of us often cannot see beyond the constraints of our bubble, nor can we begin to imagine the life that well over half the world’s population is dealing with right now. Crossroads provided us with a window—an insight—into just a little bit of that life. The simulation that took place on our visit to Crossroads led us through the plight of less fortunate people, exposing us—at least for an hour or so—to the cruelties and hardships faced by those living in extreme poverty. The simulation involved working in groups to create paper bags to sell to merchants and shopkeepers. Using the relatively minuscule amount of money that each grouped received from the shopkeepers, each group had to be able to pay for food, water and rent. Very often groups would fall short and have to pay collateral to the landlord of the “slums” they lived in, very often giving anything from watches to one of our group’s hand in marriage. Education was a luxury that only the extremely successful groups could afford. Of course all of this was pretend, but the struggles within the lifestyle it exposed made the image of poverty—previously to many nothing more than figures and photographs—very real and very

vivid. It made us think of those who live the game we played every day. The trip didn’t merely teach us about poverty, it left a longlasting impression on us as students and gave us an incentive to bring about change. Ryan Krysinski Year 9 Student

Physics Fun Collecting data at Ocean Park The piercing shrieks and joyous screams of the roller coaster riders filled the air on a slightly chilly and rainy Friday in January. The Year 10 students enviously gazed up at the magnificent roller coaster rides of Ocean Park, wishing to be able to enjoy the thrill of those rides. However, since we had come to Ocean Park for our Physics Unit trip to collect specific data, we used our desire to go on those rides as our motivation to quickly complete the data collection booklet, allowing us enough free time to experience as much as possible. The booklet included four activities at different locations—the notable Ocean Park Cable Car, the Ocean Park Tower, the Abyss, and the Dragon. Activity 1 measured the velocity of the cable car and the distance travelled, requiring basic trigonometry knowledge to calculate displacement. Activity 2 observed the motion and velocity of the Ocean Park Tower. The booklet wasn’t all work and no play, since it 16

included riding the Abyss in order to answer the questions in Activity 3, which were about motion and Newton’s Second Law. Unfortunately, the infamous roller coaster, the Dragon, was closed for maintenance; however, Activity 4 could still be completed as it was just calculations of velocity that only required using maths. Students were able to understand physics principles better by applying them to reallife situations. Since the purpose of this excursion was to learn more about motion and forces, Ocean Park was the perfect destination. Though the weather was gloomy and some people got drenched, we made the best out of our visit and had a wonderful time! Jocelyn Chan Year 10 Student

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100 Days of School Year 1 celebrates being 100 days smarter This spring, the Year 1 students celebrated being 100 days smarter on their 100th day at school. This was a special day for the Year 1s as they celebrated all together with a morning full of fun activities, thanks to the help of some parents and teachers. In the days leading up to the celebration, students brought in 100 pieces of any kind of item to help them see the different ways this number could manifest. There was an exciting buzz in the Year 1 area as the children were welcomed to school under a large banner welcoming them to their 100th day of school. Students showed creativity by imagining what they would look like when they are 100 years old and designed pictures using the digits of 100, transforming them into trucks, animals and designs. They played various number games, rolling dice and racing each other to get to 100 first. Hand painting and counting by 10s helped them show 100 fingers. Students became kings and queens by creating 100 days smarter crowns and constructed gigantic, colourful paper chains of 100 links. Some were exhausted after jumping rope and bouncing balls 100 times. With the help of some parents, students managed to complete a challenge to create a tower of 100 cups or a necklace of 100 beads. The morning culminated with a whole year level photo in the shape of the number 100. Rachel Muldoon Year 1 Team Leader



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Basketball Makes its Mark Cobra teams excel this season An amazing year of Basketball started with the introduction of the DC Cobras U16 & U20 Boys into the ESF Basketball League. This was a great opportunity for the DC teams, which included a number of younger players, to work on plays created by coach Brandon Nichols. Although not successful in bringing back silverware, the teams developed and used these games as an ideal build up towards the ISSFHK season. Again this year the DC Cobras performed well in the ISSFHK competition with four of our six teams making the playoffs. The U20 Girls brought home a championship banner under the tutelage of coach Kris Stanhope. In the U20 Boys final, they registered a narrow loss to YCIS, which would be rectified during the ACAMIS Tournament. To wrap up the Basketball season our U20 Boys and Girls teams travelled to Beijing in February to compete in the ACAMIS Silver Division Tournament, hosted at the Beijing International Bilingual Academy. The girls cruised through to the finals, bringing back the championship banner. They boys met their nemesis in the form of YCIS, this time winning the final in what was a tight and well fought game. This was a great season of basketball supported by fantastic


coaches, parents and students. We look forward to the 20162017 season, when Discovery College will host the ACAMIS Green Division Basketball Tournament to round off the ISSFHK season. Lawrence Wilkinson Sports Coordinator

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Art Exhibition Showcases Passion The DP Year 13 Art Exhibition was worth 40 percent of each art student’s graduating mark. The exhibition forced students to be both creative in the arrangement and fluent in the curating of their body of art. It was an opportunity for students to passionately share their artistic interests and influences with the DB community. Students spent many late nights pushing their art-making practice and display to the pinnacle of perfection. The opening night was SHI JIE MAGAZINE / SPRING 2016

the culmination of two years of art-making. Each student had curated with heart, while teachers proudly witnessed them become fully-fledged artists. The exhibition was a meaningful success due to the attendance of friends and family, as well as the patience and commitment of our teachers Mrs Altoft and Mr Kay. Patrick Hawkey, Year 13 Student 19

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Music Performances Abound This year has once again been a busy year for the music department and our young musicians at Discovery College. In November we were treated to some high quality and very polished performances by both primary and secondary students at the Recital Evening. This included performances by our IB Diploma music students and our music scholarship students. Our current Year 13 students Leo Davin and Kathy Lau also hosted an evening, which they named Classicallusions, during which they presented piano repertoire including a composition by Leo Davin. Term 1 concluded with our first Ensemble Evening for the academic year. We were treated to performances by the Chamber Orchestra, Stage Band, Cello Ensemble and the Cobra Choir. This was a highlight for our students involved in ensembles at DC as their commitment to rehearsals all term paid off and they genuinely enjoyed the experience of performing publicly with each other. Term 2 kicked off with a truly outstanding Young Performers Evening. The variety of repertoire and standard of performers this year was a real pleasure to witness. This was soon followed by our Annual Concert, which due to the depth of talent at Discovery College, was a marathon evening of music. The musicians did not disappoint, with many memorable performances and a real eclectic mix of repertoire. We also had a record number of students auditioning for a place at this year’s concerts which shows our music culture here at Discovery College is alive and very well. There have been countless other events featuring DC musicians, including Family Fun Day, Picnic in the Park, House Battle of the Bands, an Evening of Jazz, and the Year 12 IB Diploma music students’ evening called The Showcase. Finishing out the year will be our final Ensemble Evening. Matt Davis Head of Music Department


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Primary Production Entertains Collaboration with design classes brings Oliver Twist to the stage On 16-17 March, the Year 5 and 6 students staged the production of Oliver Twist. The audience was treated to all the fascinating characters from this exciting story: the Artful Dodger, Fagin, the menacing Bill Sikes and the kind-hearted Nancy. Young Oliver became involved in a plot containing mystery, robbery and revenge until Oliver’s true identity was discovered and he found a home and happiness with his benefactor, Mr. Brownlow. This faithful dramatisation of the Charles Dickens classic by Joellen Bland was performed by Year 5 and 6 students and supported by a range of secondary school students, in particular the Year 9 Design classes. This year saw the formalisation of vertical collaboration with Year 9 in addition to the Production Unit in Year 5, which was directly linked and articulated to teaching and learning. The choice of Oliver Twist satisfied both educational and artistic goals. The script demanded discipline and risk-taking from the actors while providing scope for fun and celebration. Part of the rehearsal process involved script-writing workshops, dance workshops, music and costume design, which emerged as ideas 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. As the director, I am always excited and at the same time humbled by how much I learn from the students who fearlessly work through this rigorous process. Frank Donnoli Primary Drama Teacher


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Class Notes Updates from our alumni Galen Law Kun ‘14 is studying at HKUST (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) with a concentration in Finance and Marketing. During his study, Galen has been nominated as one of six Head Student Ambassadors to represent the school and has received the Silver Award from the RedBird Award Program. Outside of school, he has interned at PwC in the department of Tax and Assurance (FS) and will be interning on the Investment Team at Value Partners for the summer of 2016. In his spare time, he manages a YouTube Channel “Galenlk” and the largest FlipBoard Magazine covering Xiaomi news which has garnered over 20,000 readers with over a 1 million views. He has also recently co-founded GLK Industries, a start-up which explores the potential applications of 3D Printing.

Gabriela Espina ’15 is currently studying politics and international relations at the University of York. She is also a part of their women’s rugby team, where she has been working hard for an annual ‘Roses’ tournament, taking place in Lancaster next term. Alongside her degree and rugby she has recently landed a work experience project with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to advocate for the protection of animals within the Yorkshire dales.

Sie Rossiter ‘14 has been interning at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore for six months, working in the Foreign Commercial Service under the Department of Commerce. In July, she returns to Boston to continue her studies at Northeastern University. While in Singapore, she also participated in the Spartans Race (Sprint) in Singapore on 7 May.

Carla Acepcion ‘15 returned to Discovery College this year, where she is now working as the Performing Arts Technician, supporting the drama department and the numerous student productions that take place at DC. She is happy to be back at DC sharing her knowledge and talents.

Boris Choy ‘15 is currently studying BA English at University College London (UCL) and living in London. What he particularly likes about the course is that – despite a deceivingly low seven hours of contact time a week – it immerses him in a lot of material very quickly, allowing him to really get a sense of literature throughout human history. When he’s not struggling to pronounce Old Anglo-Saxon vocabulary, he can be found out and about in London, attending concerts and being disappointed by the mighty Arsenal FC. Otherwise, he is usually cooking instant noodles out of his window and trying (successfully) not to set off the fire alarm.


Brayden Handcock ’15 is currently studying at the Vancouver Film School. He has been acting in student films, including some with students at Emily Carr University. His most film had him playing a man who unknowingly brings a serial killer back home after a night out.

Nina Rossiter ’15 is in her second semester at Northeastern University in Boston, where she has added on to her degree and is now majoring in a combined International Affairs and Environmental Studies degree with a Chinese minor. She spends most of her free time going to interesting talks, and most recently met the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario and Skyped with a professor in the University of Geneva about the rising crime in the Syrian Crisis. She is also involved in a club that

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teaches English to cafeteria workers, and is currently helping one prepare for her citizenship test. Over spring break, Nina went to Central America for the first time, to teach English in a learning camp in Nicaragua.

Justin Wong ‘15 has just finished his first year studying

Minato Umehara ’15 recently ran the Toyko Marathon. Although initially nervous about it, he was confident that the passion he got from DC helped him to achieve this tough challenge. Along the route, he was able to meet many people and enjoy perfect weather and stunning views of Tokyo. He plans to run it again next year.

Elya Uzan ’15 moved to Israel after graduation and joined an educational gap year programme where she is learning about a wide range of issues for personal enrichment and development. This non-academic education has reignited her love for learning, and has also provided her with many platforms through which she can volunteer with the struggling communities in her country. When her programme ends, she will join the Israeli Defence Forces. There, she hopes to work on the ‘education cops,’ which provides socio-economically weakened soldiers with the some of the education they did not get to acquire at school or throughout their lives. Pictured, above right, are Elya and friends at the Negev Desert in Israel, one of the locations she visited during this gap year.


Management and International Business at the University of Toronto. He shares the following advice: “Time. There is no waiting. The last 19 years felt like it happened in an instance. If there is anything to be learnt from life, it is that time never waits. One of the most important piece of knowledge, not taught explicitly in universities. Learn to appreciate the people around you. Be grateful of life’s opportunities. Most importantly, as you mature and grow as a person, learn to enjoy the time you have.”

Stay Connected! Discovery College alumni are encouraged to keep their contact information current by visiting http://www.discovery. to update their contact details with the College. We welcome updates from all graduates for future issues of Shi Jie, which can be sent to


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Where Are They Now? Georgia and Olivia Kynaston Where do you live now? We live in a village called Hampstead Norreys in the south of England, in a county called Berkshire.

What brought you there? My dad decided decided that he wanted to change jobs, and he found one here in England for a holiday company called Thomas Cook.

Where do you go to school? We go to an all girls school called St Gabriel’s Senior School in Newbury which is just down the highway from our house. (Georgia is pictured at right with the school’s Head of Primary, and below with friends.)

What are some differences between your school and Discovery College? Well first, it is an all girls school. The curriculum is completely different as we do the British curriculum as well as the

different sports we play like rounders and tennis. The size is also tiny compared to DC. There are 12 people in a class compared to 31 in Discovery College. (Olivia is pictured below left in front of her school building.)

What types of activities are you involved in? We both take part in girl guides. Olivia also does ballet and swimming— including swimming in competitions, but due to the English weather, the big competitions usually happen only in the summer!

What do you like best about living in your new home? The fresh air of the countryside and the way people take


you under their wing. Our home has a big garden and my room is huge!

How is it different from living in Hong Kong? It is a lot harder to visit my friends because everyone lives further apart and the only way to get there is by car. It has a very different atmosphere and approach when there are newcomers.