Page 1

Parent Handbook

2009/2010


Grow.

Be passionate about being the best you can be.

Discover.

Find wonder in the world around us.

Dream.

Dare to make a difference for yourself, humanity and our planet.


Parent Handbook 2009-10  |

Contact Details Telephone

+852 3969 1000

Fax

+852 2987 8115

Email Address:

office@discovery.edu.hk

Web site

www.discovery.edu.hk

Admissions Attendance Buses Uniforms

admissions@discovery.edu.hk attendance@discovery.edu.hk buses@discovery.edu.hk uniforms@discovery.edu.hk

38 Siena Avenue Discovery Bay Lantau Island Hong Kong

Cafeteria

www.compass-hk.com/school/index.html

School Council

schoolcouncil@discovery.edu.hk

PTA

pta@discovery.edu.hk

Directions to school (from Bus Terminal at the DB Plaza) Take the No. 9 bus. Alight at Club Siena, then walk through Siena Park towards the school. Main reception is on your right.

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|  Discovery College

Welcome to the

Discovery Col lege Parent Handbook 2009-10

Discovery College is first and foremost a place of learning. We do this by ensuring all our students are given the opportunities to benefit from an education that is of the very highest standard. To this end, the curriculum and all college activities are designed to challenge students to strive for personal standards of excellence and to reach their full potential. At the same time, their dignity and rights as individuals are given respect and encouragement. Discovery College fosters values that will create a culture and environment where love of learning, sense of self-worth and concern for others flourishes. All College activities are designed to advance these purposes. Discovery College: • nurtures in every student a sense of self-worth and concern for others and the world in which we live • fosters those personal qualities which are the mark of good citizenship as a neighbour, worker, contributor and decision-maker • fosters the highest professional standards among staff in the management, teaching and support services of the College, such that the achievement of the objectives of the students is assured • requires all students of the College to conduct themselves at all times with courtesy and commonsense This handbook sets out many of the College’s policies and procedures that will help ensure we achieve our goals. Please read it through and refer to it when necessary.


 Mark Beach Principal


Parent Handbook 2009-10  |

Te r m D a t e s f o r 2 0 0 9 / 1 0 Term 1 Monday 17 August Thursday 1 October Friday 2 October 7-9 October 8-9 October 16-25 October Monday 26 October 28-30 October 4-6 November 9-13 November Monday 16 November Tuesday 17 November Friday 20 November 24-27 November 8-11 December Thursday 17 December

Term 1 starts National Day (school closed) CPD Day (school closed) Year 4 camp Year 3 camp Mid term break Chung Yeung Festival (school closed) Year 5 Camp Year 7 Camp Class & Individual Photos Secondary Athletics Day Primary Athletics Day CPD Day (school closed) Year 6 Camp Year 8 Camp Term 1 ends, 12pm

Term 2 Monday 4 January 13-21 February 8-12 March Friday 26 March

Term 2 starts Chinese New Year Holiday Year 9 Camp Term 2 ends, 12pm

Term 3 Monday 12 April Thursday 20 May Friday 21 May Wednesday 16 June Thursday 24 June

Term 3 starts CPD Day (school closed) Buddha’s birthday (school closed) Tuen Ng (Dragon Boat) Festival (school closed) Term 3 ends, 12pm

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|  Discovery College

Staff Contact List Principal Deputy Head of College Head of Primary Deputy Head of Primary Head of Secondary Deputy Head of Secondary Digital Literacies Coordinator PYP Coordinator MYP Coordinator Head of Library

Mark Beach Peter Lasscock Phillipa Beeson Scott Campbell Andy Kai Fong Noeline Young Donna Ellery Bec Clements Adrian Gan Dianne McKenzie

Loretta Romano Sarah Bennett Kellie-Anne Gallagher Kristy Baron Shu King Pang Amy Barry Leanne Sercombe Damian Trimingham Jessica Austin Damien Barry Martin De Barr Charlotte Mortimer Edeh Nobari Marshall Hudson Matthew Gallagher Matt Baron Kim Cassel Tanya Surawski Elisha Smith Suvy Shu Susan Peng Debbie Tai Nanyue Zhu Jing Ying Herrington Maggie Lee Joanne Li Maria Chaytor Flora Mather Melanie Nightingale Annette Garnett Andy Nightingale Lesia Pringle Jason Yee Sophia Ahn Patrice Valere Dion Kay Claire Connor Stephenie Rowe Frank Donnoli Paul Kriesch Robert Chaytor Matthew Davis John Wilson Gillian Whittaker

Y1 Team Leader Teacher – Y1 Teacher – Y1 Y2 Team Leader Teacher – Y2 Teacher – Y2 Y3 Team Leader Teacher – Y3 Teacher – Y3 Y4 Team Leader Teacher – Y4 Teacher – Y4 Y5 Team Leader Teacher – Y5 Teacher – Y5 Y6 Team Leader Teacher – Y6 Teacher – Y6 Teacher Teacher – Mandarin Teacher – Mandarin Teacher – Mandarin Teacher – Mandarin Teacher – Mandarin Teacher – Mandarin Teacher – Mandarin Teacher – Spanish Teacher – English/Humanities Teacher – English/Humanities Teacher – English/Humanities Teacher – Maths/Science Teacher – Maths/Science Teacher – Maths/Science Teacher – Art Teacher – Art Teacher – Art Teacher – Drama Teacher – Drama Teacher – Drama Teacher – Music Teacher – Music Teacher – Music Teacher – DT Teacher – DT

mark.beach@discovery.edu.hk peter.lasscock@discovery.edu.hk phillipa.beeson@discovery.edu.hk scott.campbell@discovery.edu.hk andy.kaifong@discovery.edu.hk noeline.young@discovery.edu.hk donna.ellery@discovery.edu.hk bec.clements@discovery.edu.hk adrian.gan@discovery.edu.hk dianne.mckenzie@discovery.edu.hk loretta.romano@discovery.edu.hk sarah.bennett@discovery.edu.hk kellie.gallagher@discovery.edu.hk kristy.baron@discovery.edu.hk shu.pang@discovery.edu.hk amy.barry@discovery.edu.hk leanne.sercombe@discovery.edu.hk damian.trimingham@discovery.edu.hk jessica.austin@discovery.edu.hk damien.barry@discovery.edu.hk martin.debarr@discovery.edu.hk charlotte.mortimer@discovery.edu.hk edeh.nobari@discovery.edu.hk marshall.hudson@discovery.edu.hk matt.gallagher@discovery.edu.hk matt.baron@discovery.edu.hk kim.cassel@discovery.edu.hk tanya.surawski@discovery.edu.hk elisha.smith@discovery.edu.hk suvy.shu@discovery.edu.hk susan.peng@discovery.edu.hk debbie.tai@discovery.edu.hk nanyue.zhu@discovery.edu.hk jingying.herrington@discovery.edu.hk maggie.lee@discovery.edu.hk joanne.li@discovery.edu.hk maria.chaytor@discovery.edu.hk flora.mather@discovery.edu.hk melanie.nightingale@discovery.edu.hk annette.garnett@discovery.edu.hk andy.nightingale@discovery.edu.hk lesia.pringle@discovery.edu.hk jason.yee@discovery.edu.hk sophia.ahn@discovery.edu.hk patrice.valere@discovery.edu.hk dion.kay@discovery.edu.hk claire.connor@discovery.edu.hk stephenie.rowe@discovery.edu.hk frank.donnoli@discovery.edu.hk paul.kriesch@discovery.edu.hk robert.chaytor@discovery.edu.hk matt.davis@discovery.edu.hk john.wilson@discovery.edu.hk gillian.whittaker@discovery.edu.hk


Parent Handbook 2009-10  |

Lizzie Hudson Michelle Perche Susanna Janner Paddy Watson Catherine Taylor Andy Munn

Teacher Teacher Teacher Teacher Teacher Teacher

– – – – – –

Learning Support Learning Support Learning Support PE PE PE

Pat Romano Simone Turner Maria Brusuelas Ada Chung Kristi Jervis Jackie Stephenson Pat Leung Roy Tam Andy Wong Michael Kwan Wilson Lin George Tibbetts Wilson Chow Hamlet Lin Peter Liu Oliver Peneyra Alan Beeson Melanie Hnetka Norris Kong Mandy Kwok Alice Leung Amy Freed Annie Yeung Connie Leung Talent Fong

Business Manager Develop & Comms Admissions Manager PA to Principal PA to Head of Primary Nurse Facilities Manager Systems Engineer Site Supervisor Site Staff ICT Manager Database Analyst ICT Tech ICT Tech Lab Technician – Science Lab Technician – PA Lab Technician – DT/Art Office Executive HR and Finance Manager Finance Officer Receptionist Activities Coordinator Library Assistant Library Assistant Apple Service Technician

lizzie.hudson@discovery.edu.hk michelle.perche@discovery.edu.hk susanna.janner@discovery.edu.hk paddy.watson@discovery.edu.hk catherine.taylor@discovery.edu.hk andy.munn@discovery.edu.hk pat.romano@discovery.edu.hk simone.turner@discovery.edu.hk maria.brusuelas@discovery.edu.hk ada.chung@discovery.edu.hk kristi.jervis@discovery.edu.hk nurse@discovery.edu.hk pat.leung@discovery.edu.hk roy.tam@discovery.edu.hk andy.wong@discovery.edu.hk michael.kwan@discovery.edu.hk wilson.lin@discovery.edu.hk george.tibbetts@discovery.edu.hk wilson.chow@discovery.edu.hk hamlet.lin@discovery.edu.hk peter.liu@discovery.edu.hk oliver.peneyra@discovery.edu.hk alan.beeson@discovery.edu.hk melanie.hnetka@discovery.edu.hk norris.kong@discovery.edu.hk mandy.kwok@discovery.edu.hk alice.leung@discovery.edu.hk amy.freed@discovery.edu.hk annie.yeung@discovery.edu.hk connie.leung@discovery.edu.hk servicecentre@discovery.edu.hk

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Contents The IB Curriculum Primary Years Programme PYP Subject Guidelines/Overviews Learning Programme - Primary  Middle Years Programme MYP Subject Guidelines/Overviews Learning Programme - Secondary  Diploma Programme Absences and Requests for Leave  Appointments  Assessment & Reporting  Attendance & Length of School Day/Year  Buses  Cafeteria  Co-curricular Activities  Communication  Cycling  Digital Technologies   Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC)  Emergency Arrangements  Extra-curricular Activities  Facilities Rental  Homework   House System  Insurance  Library   Lockers  Lost Property  Mother Tongue  Money & Valuables  Music  Newsletter  Parent Information Sessions  Parental Involvement   Pastoral Care  PTA Shops  Relationship Management Policy  School Nurse  Smart Cards  Sporting Opportunities  Stationery  Student Support Team  Uniform  Visitors to the School 

11 12 13 15 16 17 18 20 21 21 21 21 22 22 23 24 24 25 27 27 30 30 30 30 31 31 31 31 31 32 32 32 32 32 33 33 33 34 36 36 36 37 37 38


Parent Handbook 2009-10  | 11

The IB Curriculum

Introduction Discovery College is committed to developing “inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect” – International Baccalaureate Organisation Mission Statement. Discovery College fosters student achievement by providing learning and teaching programmes through the IB Curriculum framework in collaboration with students and parents. We do this by • nurturing positive relationships between staff and students • developing and implementing a learning and teaching programme centred around inquiry-based learning • ensuring learning is significant, engaging, relevant and challenging • giving priority to student achievement in literacy and numeracy • giving priority to regular quality physical activity that develops motor skills for all students • deploying a range of assessment practices to: - inform student learning - improve student learning - evaluate student learning • using good quality assessment information to identify: - student(s) who are not achieving - student(s) who are at risk of not achieving - student(s) who have individual and/or EAL needs; and aspects of the curriculum which require particular attention • developing and implementing learning and teaching strategies to address the needs of all students • providing appropriate career education and guidance for all students in Year 7 and above Discovery College is a community of learners delivering excellence through • a collaborative approach to learning and teaching • robust assessment procedures • benchmarking against the highest international standards • an internationally researched professional learning programme • regular self review


12 |  Discovery College

P r i m a r y Ye a r s P r o g r a m m e (IB PYP)

Discovery College is committed to the Primary Years Programme - an internationally devised programme administered by the IBO - that draws inspiration from the best educational research and practice.

Source: http://www.ibo.org/pyp/slideb.cfm, retrieved May 30, 2008

The Primary Years Programme is based on inquiry-based learning. Discovery and experimentation begin from curiosity of mind, from the simple questions a child might ask to understand the world, such as: • • • • • •

who are we? where are we in place and time? how do we express ourselves? how does the world work? how do we organise ourselves? how should we share our planet?

The Primary Years Programme recognises a child’s education needs to be dynamic and that learning is not a sedentary or isolated activity but a way of connecting our children to the depth and richness of the world. Our children are resourceful, daring and imaginative. The Primary Years Programme opens the horizon to them, stretching it gently. Reading, writing and mathematics are essential skills. These will provide a basis for expression and reasoning from which our students may explore the creative spheres of technology, art, drama, music and language. As a school based in Hong Kong a strong emphasis is placed on learning and using Mandarin.


Parent Handbook 2009-10  | 13

PYP Subject Guidelines/ Overviews Language At Discovery College English is the language of instruction. Every child benefits from having access to different cultures, perspectives and languages. Acquisition of more than one language enriches personal growth and helps facilitate international understanding. Therefore, Discovery College provides the opportunity for all students to learn Mandarin. Language is fundamental to learning, thinking and communicating, and permeates the whole curriculum. It is necessary not only to learn language, but also learn about language and through language. Learning best takes place in authentic contexts and literature plays a special role in enabling this to happen. The strands of oral, written and visual communication are taught across and throughout the subject areas. Each aspect is only relevant in relation to the whole. PYP schools have a special responsibility to recognise and support language development to ensure all students are provided with the environment and the necessary language support which enables them to participate fully in the academic programme and in the social life of the school, as well as to develop as individuals. All teachers at Discovery College are considered teachers of language. Exposure to and experience with language, in all its richness and diversity, opens doors to key questions about life and learning and encourages students to develop responsible attitudes and find appropriate ways to take action, in order to make a difference in the world. Mathematics The mathematics component encompasses data handling, measurement, shape, pattern, function and number and their many applications to students’ everyday lives. Mathematics provides opportunities for students to engage in investigations into these components of the programme and allows them to communicate in a language that is concise and unambiguous. Mathematics concepts and skills can also be applied to solve a variety of real-life problems. Students apply their mathematical reasoning to a number of situations in order to find an appropriate answer to the problems they wish to solve. Science Science is viewed as the exploration of the behaviours and the interrelationships among the natural, physical and material worlds. Our understanding of science is constantly changing and evolving. The inclusion of science within the curriculum leads learners to an appreciation and awareness of the world as it is viewed from a scientific perspective. It encourages curiosity, develops an understanding of the world, and enables the individual to develop a sense of responsibility regarding the impact of their actions on themselves, others and their world. Science is taught as part of the transdisciplinary programme of inquiry. The focus is on concepts and skills as well as knowledge. The knowledge component is arranged into four strands: living things; Earth and space; materials and matter; forces and energy. Social Studies Social studies is viewed as the study of people in relation to their past, present and future, as well as their environment and society. Social studies encourages curiosity and develops


14 |  Discovery College

an understanding of a rapidly changing world. Through social studies, students develop an understanding of their personal and cultural identities. They develop the skills and knowledge needed to participate actively in their classroom, school, community and the world: to understand themselves in relation to their community. The aim of social studies at Discovery College is to promote intercultural understanding and respect for individuals and their values and traditions. The knowledge component is arranged into five strands: • human systems and economic activities • social organisation and culture • continuity and change through time • human and natural environments • resources and the environment Personal and Social Education Personal and social education is concerned with the ongoing development and growth of the individual in respect to feelings, beliefs and behaviours, and how they interrelate. It also considers the interaction of the individual within the family, school, community, society and the world at large. The PSE component of the curriculum provides a framework and vocabulary with which students can build relationships with peers and adults, make connections, and develop values and beliefs. Physical Education Physical education has an important role to play in various aspects of human development: physical, social, personal and emotional. PE develops these aspects by giving students the opportunity to learn about movement and through movement. Students experience a wide variety of physical activities to help develop their motor skills. Through these activities, students can increase their confidence and cooperative skills. They develop an understanding of the role of physical activity in a healthy lifestyle in order to make informed choices and the cultural significance of physical activities for communities and individuals. The Arts The arts are viewed as a form of expression inherent in all cultures. They are a powerful means to assist in the development of the whole child, and are important for interpreting and understanding the world. The arts at Discovery College promote imagination, communication, creativity, social development and original thinking. The arts are identified as drama, music and visual art - which are significant disciplines on their own. The transdisciplinary nature of the arts makes them an essential resource throughout the curriculum. Through the arts we learn to communicate, are exposed to other cultures and other periods, and find out more about ourselves. The creative process is seen as a driving force in learning through inquiry.


Parent Handbook 2009-10  | 15

Learning Programme - Primary

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is taught through both stand-alone subjects such as mathematics and English and through the Programme of Inquiry. The Programme of Inquiry incorporates science, social studies and personal and social education. This is based, wherever possible, around a transdisciplinary approach to learning across a number of subject areas. The development of the transdisciplinary units is the responsibility of all teachers who work at that level. Teachers plan collaboratively under the leadership of the PYP Coordinator. In addition to the classroom based programme students have weekly lessons in physical education, music, drama and visual arts and lessons in Mandarin. Year 1-2 will have 40 minutes of Mandarin a day, three days a week Years 3-6 will have 40 minutes of Mandarin a day Classroom teachers will co-teach these classes with the Mandarin teachers. Students will be divided into three pathways depending on their experience and ability in the language. Each day will begin with a 15 minute welcome session with the classroom teacher, who will take responsibility for the pastoral care of their students. Sessions, which are empty on the timetable below, will be organised by the class teacher at the beginning of the year. They will include classes in English, mathematics and the Programme of Inquiry. Sample Primary Timetable Monday 8.30

Class Meeting 15mins

8.45

Block 1 80mins

10.05

Block 2.1 40mins

10.45

Recess 20mins

11.05

Block 2.2 40mins

11.45

Block 3 80mins

1.05

Lunch 50mins

1.55

Block 4 80mins

Tu es d a y

Finish

Th u r s d a y

F r id a y

Drama

Mandarin

Mandarin

Physical Education

Mandarin

Mandarin

Drama

Physical Education

Music

Visual Arts Assembly

3.15

W ed n es d a y

Mandarin


16 |  Discovery College

M i d d l e Ye a r s P r o g r a m m e (IB MYP)

The MYP is a five year programme of international education designed to help students develop the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and skills necessary to participate actively and responsibly in a changing world.

It is designed for students aged 11 to 16, a period which is a particularly critical phase of personal and intellectual development. The MYP helps students participate actively and responsibly in a changing and increasingly interrelated world. What the curriculum contains The curriculum contains eight subject groups together with a core made up of five Areas of Interaction. This is illustrated by means of an octagon with the five Areas of Interaction at its centre. Source: http://www.ibo.org/dp/curriculum/ retrieved May 30, 2008. Students study subjects from each of the eight subject groups through the five perspectives of the Areas of Interaction: • approaches to learning • community and service • human ingenuity • environment and health • health and social education


Parent Handbook 2009-10  | 17

MYP Subject Guidelines/ Overviews Arts The MYP art subjects include courses in visual arts, music and drama. While these courses are treated as distinct, with their own specific skills, lessons are all planned with the same creative cycle. This cycle is a dynamic, ongoing process of sensing, planning, creating and evaluating performance and art.

- Visual Arts MYP visual arts courses will include techniques such as drawing, painting, sculpture and photography. Students will learn to draw upon a range of these techniques and work in a variety of media. Technology courses will be strongly integrated with visual arts courses, allowing students to make use of technology as a creative aid and understanding how technology has broadened artistic horizons.

- Drama In this course, students will learn to make use of theatrical concepts that can be used to create dramatic works. Students will learn how dramatic artists organise and manipulate dramatic performances; investigate how performance space can be used for different effects and research audience opinions to plan challenging performances. - Music Music courses will teach students how to interpret, compose and express themselves musically. Learning activities will include exploring how various music and sounds are created in order to produce mood, improvisation, and composition through a variety of technologies.

Humanities The MYP Humanities course incorporates the disciplines of history and geography. Humanities encourage students to respect and understand the world around them. In this course students study societies and environments in the broad context of historical, contemporary, geographical, political, social, economic, religious, cultural and technological perspectives. Language A (English) The study of Language A develops key skills in literacy, as well as developing self-expression. In this course, students will engage in activities such as critical analysis of various written and spoken genres, analysis of descriptive and imaginative language, depth of character development in novels and locating and effectively using a variety of reference resources. All students will study English as their Language A. Language B (Mandarin and Spanish) The primary aim of Language B at Discovery College is to encourage students to gain communicative competence in an additional language, with the long-term objective of bilingualism or mulitlingualism. At Discovery College, the delivery of Mandarin courses to accommodate students of various levels of proficiency in the language. The MYP Language B courses have 3 levels of study, advanced, standard and foundation. In addition, it may be recommended to students with a substantial background in the language to undertake Mandarin at Language A level.


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In the 2009-10 academic year, Discovery College will be introducing Spanish as a Language B course. Students may elect to undertake this course as an alternative to Mandarin if they make a successful application to the Head of Secondary. Mathematics In mathematics, students will be taught essential numeracy skills. The study of mathematics encourages students to recognise that mathematics permeates the world around us. Objectives include developing mathematical curiosity, using reasoning to solve problems, developing abstract, logical and critical thinking skills and to appreciate the international dimensions of mathematics and its multicultural perspectives. Physical Education The aim of the MYP physical education course is to encourage students to understand the importance of a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Beyond simply participating in physical activity, this course encourages students to develop interpersonal and critical thinking skills and personal reflection as well as a sense of responsibility. These skills should encourage students to make choices that contribute to long-term healthy living. Science The study of natural sciences encourages students to develop an inquiring mind and curiosity about science and the natural world. Students will acquire knowledge, conceptual understandings and skills to solve problems and make informed decisions in scientific contexts. Students will also learn to communicate scientific ideas, arguments and practical experiences in a variety of ways, as well as understanding the benefits and limitations of science imposed by social, environmental, cultural and ethical factors. Technology The study of technology encourages students to develop an appreciation of the significance of technology for life, society and the environment. The technology design cycle will help students develop problem-solving, critical-thinking and creative-thinking skills. This will help develop a respect for others’ viewpoints and appreciate alternative solutions to problems.

Learning Programme - Secondary

The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) is the framework we will use for the next five years of your child’s education. The MYP is designed as an extension of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and preparation for the Diploma Programme (DP). The programme is a balance of eight learning areas – science, maths, English, humanities, physical education, arts, technology and language B (Mandarin and Spanish). Interdisciplinary learning opportunities between two or more subject areas are established and developed through the MYP’s Areas of Interaction – Human Ingenuity, Community & Service, Environments, Approaches to Learning and Health and Social Education. Learning Teams (15 min block/day) All students will be in a learning team facilitated by a teacher who will also teach them for part of their week. The learning team teacher will be the centre of the pastoral care system for students and parents. The teams will meet each morning to look at progress, goal-setting, confirm due dates, plan and provide support for each other. Our timetable is built around 20 ‘blocks of learning’ per week, one of these allocated for pastoral programmes. These are 80 minutes in length.


Parent Handbook 2009-10  | 19

Other Learning Areas Language A (English) / Humanities

4 blocks/week

Language B (Mandarin/Spanish)

3 blocks/week

Maths/Science

4 blocks/week

Performing Arts (Drama)

1.5 blocks/week

Performing Arts (Music)

1.5 blocks/week

Physical Education

2 blocks/week

Technology

1.5 blocks/week

Visual Arts

1.5 blocks/week

Where possible and relevant, these learning areas will plan to integrate their learning programmes with the Units of Inquiry. It may be more appropriate to simply link their programmes thematically and at other times, there will be no link at all. Sample Secondary Timetable Monday 8.30

Learning Team 15mins

8.45

Block 1 80mins

10.05

Recess 20mins

10.25

Tu es d a y

W ed n es d a y

Th u r s d a y

F r id a y

Math/Science

Language B

Language A/ Humanities

Math/Science

Music

Block 2 80mins

Design & Technology

Language A/ Humanities

Language B

Visual Arts

Language B

11.45

Block 3 80mins

Language A/ Humanities

Drama

Visual Arts

Health & PE

Math/Science

1.05

Lunch 50mins

1.55

Block 4 80mins

Health & PE

Learning Team

Math/Science

Language A/ Humanities

Drama

Assembly

3.15

Finish


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Diploma Programme (IB DP)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically rigourous two-year curriculum, aimed at students aged 16 to 19. It leads to a matriculation qualification, widely recognised by the world’s leading universities.

The curriculum contains six subject areas together with a core made up of three separate parts. The distinctive core components of the Diploma Programme are: The Extended Essay The Extended Essay is an independent research essay of no more than 4,000 words. This offers students the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest and acquire the skills in research and writing expected at university level. Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) Participation in CAS encourages students to be involved in artistic, sporting and community service. CAS encourages students to appreciate life outside of academic pursuits. Theory of Knowledge (TOK) TOK is an interdisciplinary course designed to provide coherence to a DP student’s academic programme. TOK explores the nature of knowledge across all disciplines, and encourages an appreciation of difference cultural perspectives. This is illustrated by a hexagon with the three parts of the core at its centre.

Source: http://www.ibo.org/dp/curriculum/ retrieved May 30, 2008. The Diploma Programme builds on the skills and attitudes embedded in the Middle Years Programme (MYP). The MYP’s interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning and the Human Ingenuity Area of Interaction provides excellent grounding for the DP’s Theory of Knowledge (TOK) Course and the skills inherent in the MYP Personal Project will serve our students well in their Extended Essay, the major independent research project in the DP.


Parent Handbook 2009-10  | 21

Absences and Requests for Leave

Parents are required to notify the College before 8.20am if your child is sick or absent by either: • calling the College office on 3969 1000; or • using the online absence form that can be found on the College website www.discovery.edu.hk > Information > Absence Form Please note that requests for extended leave during the term should be made in writing to the Principal at least three weeks in advance. Because leave can significantly interrupt the process of learning, parents are strongly encouraged to organise holidays during school breaks.

Appointments

Students are strongly encouraged to make medical appointments during holiday or after school hours. In the case of unavoidable or emergency appointments parents are required to notify the school as soon as possible using the absence procedures above.

Assessment & Reporting

Assessment The purpose of assessment at Discovery College is to improve student learning, to provide information on student learning and to contribute to the efficiency of learning programmes. Assessment is the ongoing process of gathering evidence for and of learning. This evidence will be used to give recognition and timely feedback to the learners and all other stakeholders. Assessment will reflect the best practice that supports the learner and the teacher in the promotion of student achievement. Reporting As part of a purposeful assessment process, families can expect regular, meaningful feedback on their children’s progress in a number of different formats. These include: • three-way conferences • student-led conferences • written reports • written feedback on individual assessment tasks • written feedback on assessment rubrics

A t t e n d a n c e & L e n g t h o f S c h o o l D a y / Ye a r

Discovery College must meet Hong Kong Government requirements regarding the length of the school year. No students are expected to be present on campus before 8.00am and after 4.00pm unless involved with academic or co-curricular activities. All students should arrive in the morning between 8.00am and 8.20am, leaving them time to go to their classrooms, unpack their bags, greet their teacher and be prepared to start the first lesson. Parents who bring their children to school in the morning are asked to leave the class before the start of the school day in order to allow the learning to commence without distraction. Attendance • full-time attendance is mandatory for all students • Year 1-4 students will be monitored by their classroom teachers throughout the day • Year 5-9 students will log their arrival using a multi-purpose Smart Card and have attendance monitored throughout the day parents/caregivers must inform the school via email or phone call if their child is absent on any given day or will be absent for a longer period • unexplained absence will be queried via a phone call to parents/caregivers as soon as possible


22 |  Discovery College

patterns of non-attendance will be followed up with parents/caregivers as soon as possible, by member/s of the pastoral team e.g. learning advisor/class teacher, head of level, vice principals, heads of school

Length of school day • a normal school day for formal instruction will be from 8.30am-3.15pm • all students will have a 20 minute recess (different times for primary and secondary) and a 50 minute lunch break • co-curricular activities will occur after school and at lunch time. Where these activities occur after school finishing, times will be communicated to parents / caregivers at the time of enrolment in the activity Length of school year • Discovery College will be open for tuition the equivalent of 185 days in each academic year • days lost for inclement weather conditions are not required to be made up at the end of the year • information on events/activities will be available on the College’s annual calendar, the website and through the regular e-newsletter

Buses

All information on the bus service provided by the PTA for students of the school is available on the school website www.discovery.edu.hk > Information > Buses This page on the website provides: • bus fee schedule • bus rutes for within Discovery Bay • bus routes for locations outside Discovery Bay including Kowloon, the New Territories West, South Lantau, and Tung Chung Each school bus has an experienced bus supervisor who accompanies the students in the morning and afternoon. Each student riding the school bus must accept and abide by the Rules of Respect. Any queries on the bus service should be made by email to buses@discovery.edu.hk Should you need to make changes to the arrangements for your child leaving school with less than one working day’s notice, please contact the school directly on 3969 1000 to inform them of the change to the arrangements.

Cafeteria

Students may bring food from home and/or purchase it from the cafeteria. No food can be brought into the school for students during the day. Peanuts and peanut products are banned within the school. This restriction includes all food brought to school from home. Recess Open for secondary students only (cash/Octopus) Primary students must bring and eat snacks in classroom Cafeteria lunch times (G/F) Years 1-3: 12.45pm-1.05pm (enrolment only) Years 4-6: 1.05pm-1.30pm (enrolment/cash/Octopus) Years 7-9: 1.30pm-1.55pm (cash/Octopus) The cafeteria will provide hot food options every day.


Parent Handbook 2009-10  | 23

Café (1/F) The café is open daily on the 1/F between 8.00am-4.30pm for parents/visitors who wish to purchase drinks and food. It is also available during these times to secondary students. Daily newspapers are provided, as are a range of childrens books and toys for those families with pre-schoolers. For your convenience and taking into account the requirements of the different year level groups, this is the system for ordering/purchasing food. Ordering Food - Years 1-6 STEP 1

Go to www.compass-hk.com/school/index.html to view monthly menu.

STEP 2

For Years 1-3, choose one of two ‘hot’ options for each day e.g. stir fried noodles/veges OR spaghetti bolognaise. For Years 4-6, choose from two ‘hot’ or one ‘cold’ option e.g. sandwiches.

STEP 3

At lunchtime, Years 1-3 will be directed to a designated seat in the cafeteria. Caterers will bring food round to tables.

STEP 4

Children will make the specific choice ON the day i.e. stir fried noodles/ veges OR spaghetti bolognaise (this is to alleviate the issue of children changing their minds when they see what their friends are having).

Ordering Food - Years 7-9 STEP 1

Children choose their own food on the day (2 ‘hot options’, 1 ‘cold option’ and the snacks counter such as sandwiches, fruit salad). Secondary (Year 7-9) students can also chose from a range of items in the 1/F café.

STEP 2

Students can pay for their meal on the day using either cash or Octopus.

Co-curricular Activities

Co-curricular activities enhance and build on children’s experiences and learning within the school. The activities will contribute to their intellectual, social, cultural and emotional growth. They will cater to a wide variety of needs and cultures within the school community and will be used to forge links with the wider community. Our expectation is that all students become involved in some form of regular activity outside of school hours for their general health and well-being. Staff offer co-curricular activities, unpaid, in the areas of their passion and expertise. All efforts are made to keep costs to an absolute minimum, however, we do ask for a small fee to cover basic costs such as (but not limited to) materials specific to the activity, consumables and equipment wear and tear.


24 |  Discovery College

If items are needed over and above the basic fee, this will be stipulated on the enrolment form. All enrolments are completed through Gateway http://dc.tg.esf.edu.hk Cost - $200/activity/term (non-refundable) Please note no make-up lessons are offered due to sickness, inclement weather, suspension of classes or school closure. Term dates for co-curricular activities are: Term 1 7 September - 13 November (9 weeks) Term 2 11 January - 19 March (9 weeks) Term 3 19 April - 18 June (9 weeks) Guidelines • co-curricular activities should cater to as many students as possible • most school run co-curricular activities will be led by a staff member and/or parent • activities will be communicated to parents at least two weeks before they start • all external providers will be pre-approved through an appropriate vetting process to ensure the safety of our children • we expect all students to be involved in at least ONE co-curricular activity during the year • transport arrangements to and from activities outside Discovery Bay may require parental assistance • more information about co-curricular activities can be found on the school website www.discovery.edu.hk > Curriculum > CCAs

Communication

Communication is critical in ensuring all stakeholders are informed of College activities, events, celebrations and direction. This includes what is happening at a class, team, primary, secondary and College-wide level. Every teacher has an email address published in this guide. Parents are encouraged to use this to communicate with teachers as well as the diary in primary classes from Years 1-5. Prompt communication of a problem or issue will generally result in its resolution. Communication at Discovery College includes: • College web site www.discovery.edu.hk • weekly e-newsletter (The Explorer) emailed to parents at the end of each week and available from the College web site • student work sent home, including workbooks and portfolios • three-way conferences • student-led conferences • two formal school reports • parent information evenings • student exhibitions and presentations Staff-Parent/Caregiver Communication Successful schooling is based on a strong and trusting three way relationship between the teacher, the student and the student’s parents. An essential element of this relationship is regular communication that provides quality dialogue about all aspects of learning and teaching. It is the College’s belief that no report, three-way or student led conference should contain any information that is a surprise to either student or parent. Any significant improvement, success, academic or behavioural concern should be communicated immediately, discussed and, if necessary, a strategy put in place involving all stakeholders.

Cycling

Discovery College encourages cycling as a safe and affordable means to get to and from school (i.e. Siena Park) with minimal environmental impact and with the health benefits


Parent Handbook 2009-10  | 25

associated with physical exercise, however, the decision and responsibility around students cycling is entirely up to parents. Parents/caregivers of students who cycle to and from Siena Park have a significant role to play in their safety, including accepting responsibility for their behaviour and safety. Students are prohibited from bringing scooters, skateboards and rollerblades into the school. Discovery College recommends that: • only students in Year 4 and above cycle to and from school independently • any cyclists in Years 1 to 3 must be accompanied by a parent/caregiver • students wear safety-approved protective gear (including helmets) correctly • students not carry passengers • students not impair their hearing and/or vision whilst cycling • students use proper hand signals when cycling on the road • students maintain their bicycles in a safe working condition • students should have reflective devices on their bicycles • in bad weather, students are advised to walk their bicycles to school or leave them at home • bicycles are parked in designated areas only • bicycles should be locked during the school day • parents role model safe cycling practises for their children e.g. wearing helmets Disclaimer • the school is not responsible for any accident or injury arising from the students cycling to or from Siena Park • the school is not responsible for damage to, or loss of, bicycles

D i g i t a l Te c h n o l o g i e s

Digital technologies include all devices used to create, manipulate, transmit, store images, words, numbers, moving images and sounds. This includes, but is not limited to, laptop computers, desktop computers, digital still and video cameras, mp3 recorders and players, scanners, printers, mobile phones, PDAs, memory devices, network infrastructure and the Internet. Key understandings Discovery College seeks to use digital technologies in powerful ways to enhance learning and teaching. Discovery College sees digital technology as a natural tool in the learning process that supports and enhances the curriculum but does not drive it. We seek to allow students to use digital technologies as a creative tool to investigate, design, manipulate, programme, control, develop, create, publish, present, evaluate and reflect on learning to a variety of audiences both face to face and online. Laptop and computer access • students in Year 1-5 will access laptop and desktop computers provided by the College when required • students in Year 6 and above will use one to one computing and are required to buy a laptop computer and associated software in line with the current model being supported in the College. Current laptop model information can be found on the College website. Students at these levels will also have access to high-end technology to handle specific purposes and applications such as computer-aided design, sound recording and video production not supported by their own laptops • all teaching staff are provided with a laptop computer and are required to use this for investigation, reflection, evaluation, lesson planning, developing resources, presenting and organising ideas, administration, reporting, communication with other staff, parents and students • students may be asked to help develop and sign essential agreements about when and how laptops are used that are year level specific


26 |  Discovery College

Acceptable Use Agreement Discovery College values the use of technology and encourages its use in creative ways to support student learning in a safe and secure learning environment. To ensure this occurs, the College community needs to be clear as to what is not acceptable. This agreement was developed with the help of the Communications sub-committee of the Student Council. These rules apply to any electronic device including laptops, mobile phones, MP3 players, gaming devices, digital cameras etc. Learning ALWAYS takes priority. No trespassing • Do not touch another person’s laptop/device unless invited by the owner • Do not play with, use, or change another person’s user account • Do not access another person’s files or resources • Only access areas of the network you have been given permission for No fooling around • Do not load any game, video or music file on your machine that is not rated Category ‘I’ or ‘G’ (suitable for all audiences) • Do not play games at school, unless sanctioned and agreed to by the College • Do not access inappropriate websites (obscene, violent etc) on your laptop while at school • Do not chat online or play music/videos unless given permission by your teacher • Leave mobile phones turned off or in silent mode in your bags or lockers unless their use is sanctioned by a teacher for a learning activity • Do not post or send any message/picture/sound/video that is obscene, rude, harassing or insulting to another • Do not attack, threaten or intimidate another student • Do not take pictures or post pictures of others without asking their permission No hogging • Do not take up bandwidth by downloading movies, music, pictures, or by playing online games not directly connected to your learning • Do not store music, movies, pictures or files on the school network not connected to your learning • Do not waste e-resources or material resources (e.g. network space, internet bandwidth, printing) No stealing • Do not download any illegal materials (e.g. cracked software, pirated music or movies, or any copyrighted materials) or bring such materials in to school • Do not plagiarise i.e. present anybody else’s work as your own No spamming, hacking or hawking • Do not forward or send any content not directly associated with your learning (e.g. advertisements, games, pictures) • Do not deliberately or negligently spread viruses, malware, or spyware • Do not attempt to access any areas of the school network, or other peoples devices you do not have permission to visit • Do not run a business or seek to make profit using the school network Guidelines • Discovery College will monitor user data and internet access and check the contents of any electronic device brought onto the College premises or on any official College event • curriculum use of the network and computer resources takes precedence over non-curriculum use including games not related to classwork


Parent Handbook 2009-10  | 27

• •

this statement covers (but is not limited to) the use of electronic devices owned by the College and by students that are brought onto College premises, or on excursions, camps or other official school functions including computers, laptops, storage devices, digital video and music players, cameras, other recording devices, mobile phones and organisers Discovery College reserves the right to ensure all student laptops have sufficient space to support learning activities. This may include the college deleting non-essential games, music and video files.

Sanctions Sanctions for violations stated above may include the following measures: • confiscation of the device for a defined period • withdrawal of privileges including on-line access for breaches of on-line policy • withdrawal of the right to bring or use electronic devices to the College or to College activities • community work for the College outside school hours • payment for cost of repairs For serious breaches of rules • suspension or expulsion • law enforcement agencies may be involved

Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC)

Learning experiences in the outdoors complement and enrich students’ holistic education positively. All students are expected to participate fully in the Outdoor Education programme designed at their year level. There are many benefits of outdoor experiences that are transferable to the students’ daily lives. Examples of these outcomes are confidence, problem solving skills, intrinsic motivation, self-esteem, independence and effective communication skills. Camps It is an expectation that all students participate in College camps as an integral part of the learning programme. For 2009, this programme includes: Year 1 - Year 2 - Year 3 - Year 4 - Year 5 - Year 6 - Year 7 - Year 8 - Year 9 -

foundation building outdoor activities in and around Discovery College and Discovery Bay. one night sleep-over at school one night camp at YWCA San Shek Wan, Chueng Sha two night camp at Silvermine Camp, Mui Wo two night camp at Bradbury Camp, Cheung Chau Island three night camp at Sai Kung Recreation Centre, Sai Kung three days of events in and around Lantau Island and Hong Kong Island three night camp, location TBC four nights camping around Lantau Island

Staff adhere to the strictest policies and guidelines on safety and supervision, risk assessment and risk management, leadership and legal requirements. For further information please refer to ‘insurance’.

Emergency Arrangements Bad Weather Procedures

RAINSTORM AND TYPHOON WARNINGS The rainy season lasts from April to September. Parents are advised to note the following arrangements, which apply in all cases except where students are taking external examinations (see External Examinations).


28 |  Discovery College

TYPHOONS Before school hours: Parents should use radio or television (or consult the EDB or ESF websites) to receive announcements on the closure of schools. If Typhoon Signal Pre-8 or Signal 8 or above is raised prior to school hours, Discovery College will close. The pre-8 signal indicates that the observatory expects to raise the 8 signal within two hours, giving school and families the opportunity to be prepared. If a signal is raised while students are travelling to school, the school is responsible for receiving the students and holding them until arrangements can be made for them to return home at an appropriate time. In school hours With the government announcement of the closure of schools, all schools are to close. In that situation principals will ensure that safe and adequate arrangements can be made for students to return home. If that is impossible the school will inform affected parents that their children will remain in school until it is safe to release them or until a parent or designated responsible adult picks them up. Students will not be sent home on school buses once a Signal 8 or above has been hoisted. Lowering of signals When a typhoon signal is lowered to no. 3 (or no. 1 for kindergartens and JCSRS) or all signals are cancelled, all schools will open on the next school day. HEAVY PERSISTENT RAIN The Amber, Red, Black Warnings are independent of other warnings e.g. landslip or typhoon warnings. The school will not allow students to return home, including on a school bus when a Red or Black Warning is issued. In these circumstances children may only be released to a parent or designated responsible adult if requested by a parent to do so. Schools will not request parents to come to school to collect their children in dangerous conditions. RAINSTORM WARNING SYSTEM AMBER

ACTION TO BE TAKEN All schools and kindergartens operate as usual.

RED OR BLACK (i) Before the start of school

All schools will close for the whole day. If the warning is raised at the time your child sets off for school (sh)e should stay at home.

(ii) After students have set off for school, but before the commencement of school

Schools will accept those students who arrive, and retain them until it is safe to allow them to proceed home.

(iii) When classes are in session

Schools continue until the end of normal hours and students are retained until conditions are safe for them to return home.


Parent Handbook 2009-10  | 29

If school buses can be arranged when the relevant signals are lowered, then they should operate. If not, the school will advise parents (or designated responsible adult) to collect their children from school. When in doubt, parents should consult the Discovery College website for clarification on arrangements in inclement weather. When relevant observatory signals are lowered, the emergency notices will be removed from the website, indicating a business as usual situation. External Examinations It should not be assumed that the above procedures will hold for those taking external examinations e.g. International Baccalaureate Diploma. Parents will be advised about contingency plans for extreme weather by the school in our communications to parents on examination arrangements. Parents are advised to keep these arrangements easily available should such conditions arise. Discovery College will follow common procedures for each session of such examinations. In extreme weather please do not telephone the school unless it is absolutely necessary. Please refer to the ESF or Discovery College websites. EMERGENCY EVACUATION/LOCK DOWN The signal for an Evacuation will be: (i) The continuous ringing of the bell. Evacuation will be carried out in cases of fire, gas leaks, bomb threats or other emergency situations where it is deemed that student safety will be enhanced by moving from their rooms to the emergency assembly area. The signal for a Lock Down will be: (i) The stop-start ringing of the bell interrupted by an announcement requesting all students and staff to remain in classrooms/ offices with closed doors and windows. Other instructions may be given as required. Lock Down will be carried out in cases of intruders on site, gas leaks, fire or other emergency situations where it is deemed that students safety will be enhanced by remaining in their rooms. Emergency Assembly Area Located in Siena Park between Discovery College and Club Siena. Backup Emergency Assembly Area When it is deemed as not safe to use Siena Park, the Foreshore Promenade will be used. Coordination Centre Ground floor office. The Principal, Deputy Head of College (Chief Marshall), Head of Secondary (Deputy Marshall) and Business Manager (Office Marshall) will be carrying mobile phones. Parents and others who arrive at the school, concerned for the safety of students, will be directed to gather outside Club Siena.


30 |  Discovery College

Extra-curricular Activities

These activities are provided by external providers and by ESL. They include sports coaching, clubs such as chess, performing arts and a range of other activities. Please see the school website for more information. ESL’s after school activities include: Swimming – every day except Fri/Sun Language – English, Mandarin, French Basketball Summer camps

Mini-Tennis Soccer Kung Fu

External provider after school activities include: Chess Club Karate Golf Mini-golf Table Tennis Gymnastics Indoor Cricket Performing Arts Workshops Maths/ICT Club Photography Discovery Swimming Amateur Club (DSAC)

Fa c i l i t i e s Re n t a l

At Discovery College we have areas that are available to be hired for a range of activities, including our Library, Primary Sports Hall, Main Gym, Performing Arts Theatre, Black Box Theatre, Swimming Pool, Diploma Centre, Playground areas, Dance Studio and Classrooms. For further information, please contact our facility staff on 3969 1061 during office hours 8.00am-4.00pm.

Homework

The aim of homework is: • to keep students up-to-date with current class work • to reinforce lesson content and skills • to practise generic skills e.g. literacy and numeracy • to work on assessment / assignment work that requires time spent on it outside of class • to develop good study habits Homework will be provided when necessary to meaningfully support learning at school. Sometimes there may be more homework than other times. It will be issued at the teacher’s discretion to meet the aims listed above. If homework is provided, there will be an expectation that it will be checked by the teacher as soon as possible after its completion date. Feedback on its completion will be provided where appropriate. Homework should be an enjoyable experience for the child. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions or concerns over homework.

House System

Discovery College has five houses, each made up of vertical groupings of staff and students across all year levels. Siblings are placed in the same house. The five houses are based on the five elements of Chinese creation, namely: 流水 Liú Shuǐ House Water (blue) 青木 Qīng Mù House Wood (green) 金属 Jīn Shǔ House Metal (purple) 烈火 Liè Huǒ House Fire (red) 热土 Rè Tǔ House Earth (yellow)


Parent Handbook 2009-10  | 31

The purpose of the house system is to: • provide an opportunity for students from ALL levels of the school to interact • build new friendships • encourage older students to mentor and care for younger students • build school spirit • create sense of identity and belonging • promote participation (Years 1-9) and competition (Years 5-9) • provide opportunities for student leadership and student voice • provide a grouping through which we can deliver aspects of a pastoral programme

Insurance

Parents should understand that according to the Education Development Bureau (EDB) guidelines, ESF’s group personal accident insurance policy covers each student against accidental death/permanent disability; however, medical expenses are not covered. We recommend that parents have a fully comprehensive medical cover for their children to cover any medical expenses they may incur.

Library

The library is staffed by both library and information technology staff. For assistance with computer or library issues, students should go to the library desk. Up to 10 resources may be borrowed at a time, although there may be restrictions sometimes. The school library has a photocopier which can be used with the ID card. Students need to see a staff member the first time they wish to make a photocopy. School bags need to be checked into the lockers provided and food and drink are not permitted. Parents can become members and should refer to the College website for more information. www.discovery.edu.hk > Information > Library

Lockers

Each student has their own locker. For primary students in Years 1-5, these are open-faced and located in the shared areas. For Year 6 and all secondary students, the lockers have doors. Students are expected to provide a secure lock. All belongings should be placed in the locker. Students are strongly advised to not leave items of value in their lockers overnight.

Lost Property

All lost property is taken to our main reception office. Items can be collected from there during office hours 8.00am-4.00pm. Parents are required to name all property including lunch boxes and drink bottles.

M o t h e r To n g u e

Discovery College believes that mother tongue language development is crucial to maintaining cultural identity and emotional stability. We recognise that strength in mother tongue supports students in learning other languages. International schools have a special responsibility to recognise and support each and every aspect of language development. With a significant proportion of students at Discovery College speaking mother tongues other than Mandarin or English, we acknowledge the need to support these additional languages. With help from the ESF Language Centre, Discovery College offers support for parent-led mother tongue groups where communities of speakers of the same language can gather together to foster the use of the mother tongue as a way of developing academic language proficiency as well as emotional and social proficiency. The focus is developing the listening and speaking abilities of the students to bridge the gap between ‘school’ language and ‘home’ language.


32 |  Discovery College

Within the classroom students are encouraged to use their mother tongue as a tool for understanding and as a way of sharing their knowledge with others.

M o n e y & Va l u a b l e s

Students are advised not to bring valuable items or large sums of money to school. The College accepts no responsibility for personal property brought to school by students.

Music

There are many exciting opportunities for all students to participate in musical activities at Discovery College. Regular choral and instrumental ensembles are run and groups perform at school assemblies and concerts. There are also occasions for participating in external concerts and festivals. Instrumental Music Programme There is an extensive instrumental music programme at the school. Instrument hire is available. The demand for places is high and therefore families are encouraged to enrol early. Detailed information on the programme and how to enrol is available on the website www.discovery.edu.hk > Curriculum > Music

Newsletter

The Discovery e-Newsletter (The Explorer) is produced each Friday and a link is sent to families by email. If a family does not have computer access, special arrangements can be made for the family to receive a hard copy of the e-newsletter.

Parent Information Sessions

Information Evenings provide an opportunity for parents to meet teachers, see their child’s classroom and gain an understanding of the program. It is important for parents to attend all information sessions which involve their child/ren. Some information evenings include overviews of the year’s programme, camps, early literacy and mother tongue. Parents are encouraged to ask for assistance and information from their child’s teacher at any time during the year.

Parental Involvement

The school is a shared environment which includes community, parents and teachers working together to enhance the experiences and education of the children at Discovery College. Research has shown that students perform at a higher level if their parents are involved in their education. This includes sharing their learning through discussion and homework, participating in school events and being involved in the day to day programmes of the school. Parents are encouraged to share their skills, knowledge and experiences with the students of the college. This can be through regular school support or by attendance on school events and trips. Parent helpers can give support to the College by assisting in the classroom, developing resources or working in specific areas such as the library. Where parents assist class programmes, we ask that you commit to regular attendance. The College will provide appropriate training as required.


Parent Handbook 2009-10  | 33

Pastoral Care

Discovery College recognises that students who make positive connections with school enjoy their experience more and are more successful. We provide a network of support (internal and external) for every child to assist them to make those connections. The internal network relies on a regular proactive programme of care and guidance for all students (e.g. learning team time, house meetings), regular communication amongst staff and access to more targeted intervention as required. The external network relies on open, two-way communication between school and homes to identify any issues as early as possible. We also have access to limited external support services for issues beyond the College’s expertise.

P TA S h o p s

Shop hours: Monday to Friday 8.30am-3.30pm The PTA Shop is run by a PTA coordinator and a team of parent volunteers as a service to the whole school community. Items for sale include: • a complete line of uniforms including swimming gear • stationery • Mandarin books • select hair accessories Services include: • organising school buses • collecting payments on behalf of the school for certain activities and items • taking in your comments and suggestions For inquiries, please call 3969 1069, email us at pta@discovery.edu.hk or go to www.discovery.edu.hk > Information > PTA

Relationship Management Policy

The quality of relationships across our school community will be a strong determinant of our overall success. The interrelationships between students, staff (teaching and non-teaching) and parents must be open, honest and respectful and have the achievement of the student and the well-being of all parties at their core. All parties i.e. students, staff (teaching and non-teaching) and parents must accept they have a role to play in the development and maintenance of these relationships. We expect that students will treat each other, support staff, teachers and visitors to the school with the utmost respect. Bullying is targeted as is ongoing harassment intended to cause hurt or harm to another person. Discovery College will not tolerate bullying of any kind (verbal, physical or cyber). We urge families to report instances of bullying immediately as early intervention is the more effective way of dealing with it. Behaviour Management Procedures We adopt a Restorative Approach to managing behaviour at Discovery College which prioritises restoring harm done to relationships over the apportioning of blame and dispensing of punishment.


34 |  Discovery College

A Restorative Approach means that for any situation requiring intervention of staff and/or student mediators, we are working to ensure that all parties: 1.

Acknowledge their role in the incident

2.

Take responsibility for their actions

3.

Understand the impact of their actions

4.

Be part of the solution (where possible)

A Restorative Approach does not preclude the use of other consequences that may be, but are not restricted to: Meetings with teachers Verbal warnings Verbal and/or written apologies Appointments with social worker Parent meetings Parents informed Students sent home early

Meetings with Principal / Head of School Loss of privileges Exclusion from participation in events Referral to appropriate support agencies Reflections – during / after school Exclusion from school

School Nurse

School Nurse The school nurse is an integral part of the school staff and community. Their role is to provide medical support to students in the school and promote health in the curriculum. Guidelines Parents should complete the Medical Information Form every academic year, this can be downloaded from the College website and returned to the school nurse. • • • •

the school nurse provides medical emergency intervention and assistance with incidental injuries such as cuts and grazes the school nurse does not provide medicine, diagnose illnesses or change dressings on wounds parents should inform staff if they have concerns regarding their child’s health when the child comes to school parents will be informed by staff if they consider a child to be unwell when the child comes to school parents should not send their child to school if they have a temperature over 37.5°C

Procedure for attending the medical room • if a child is slightly unwell in class, the teacher will send the child to the medical room accompanied by another child. The nurse will inform the teacher of their actions. If the child is seriously ill, the nurse can be called to the class. • if the child is slightly unwell on the playground, the teacher or assistant on duty will send the child to the medical room accompanied by another child. The nurse will inform the teacher of their actions. If the child is seriously ill, the nurse can be called to the playground. • the nurse will inform the parents of their actions • all medical intervention will be recorded by the nurse in an accident log book


Parent Handbook 2009-10  | 35

Procedure for administering medicine 1. A request must be received from the parent or guardian in writing. 2.

If the medication was prescribed by a doctor, a note should be received to the effect that it is necessary for the child to take medication during school hours. The note should give clear instructions concerning the required dosage.

3.

The school does not assume responsibility for any reactions that may occur following administration of medication sent from home, nor can there be any responsibility assumed if the parent does not send sufficient medication. ANY medication should be brought to school by the parent or parent’s representative. It should be delivered personally to the school nurse or class teacher. The medication should not be given to the bus escort.

4.

Medications must be clearly labelled with contents, owner’s name and dosage.

5.

A completed Medication Authorisation Form must be submitted to the school before the medication can be administered. For your future reference, the Medication Authorisation Form is available on the College website.

6.

Medication will not be sent home with a child. Where there is an excess of medication sent, these must be collected from the school by an adult.

Procedure requiring external intervention/hospitalisation • when an accident occurs requiring medical intervention beyond the capability of the school nurse, the school will attempt to reunite parents and children as soon as possible. Parents will be informed immediately of the situation and will be advised regarding the next steps. • where a parent is unavailable or cannot be contacted, decisions on medical intervention will be based on the available knowledge and in the best interests of the child (where a parent holds strong views against medical intervention based on religion, s/he must inform the school in writing and agree with the school nurse on alternative arrangements. The parent must also sign a waiver of the school’s responsibility for not intervening medically as normally required). Head Lice • it is important NOT to send your child to school if infested with head lice • parents should inform teacher/nurse if their child has head lice • if your child is found to have head lice during school hours the nurse will inform you to come and collect them • once your child has received treatment and all eggs are removed they can return to school Contacting parents • if the child is unwell or has a temperature over 37.5°C and needs to go home, the school will contact the parent; the school will not send a child home with anyone, unless a parent has been contacted first. • it is the parents’ responsibility to keep current their contact information with the school at all times


36 |  Discovery College

Smart Cards

Discovery College students use a multi-purpose, stored-value Smart Card System. The Smart Card is a photo-identity card with other functions designed to increase efficiency and convenience with respect to day to day functioning e.g. attendance, library issuing and photocopying. Guidelines Functions accessible through the Smart Card System include: • photo identity • attendance • library issuing • photocopying • printing • access to rooms Year 4-9 students use the Smart Card for more functions than the Year 1-3 students as outlined below: Function

Year 1-3

Year 4-9

=

=

Photo Identification Attendance Library Issuing

=

=

=

Photocopy

=

Printing

=

Access to rooms (future)

=

• • •

students can add value to their Smart Cards by bringing money to school and adding value in the AppleCare Centre on G/F. The minimum top-up amount is $50. This can be done before school or at break times only. parents/caregivers/students have access through the Internet to the current value on the Smart Card and also a record of transactions (Discovery College recommends regular checks of this information). Octopus is used in the Cafeteria.

Sporting Opportunities

There are many opportunities for both competition (house and school) and recreational sport. The sports offered change each term. Information about trials and practices is published in the College e-newsletter and also made available to students via the sports notice board and the daily notices. Discovery College participates in a number of interschool competitions.

Stationery

The provision of stationery to students is determined by the College and administered by the PTA. A stationery pack is put together at the end of the year and parents will be notified of its contents and the cost involved. Parents are asked to pay for the pack prior to the start of the year to ensure that the pack is ready for use on the first day. A list of items of stationery not included in the pack will be sent to parents prior to the start of the year. Parents should ensure that students have all items on the list to start the school year.


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S t u d e n t S u p p o r t Te a m

Discovery College recognises that all children are individuals in terms of academic, social, emotional and physical abilities. Each learner’s experience of the curriculum is unique and it can be affected by a number of recognisable factors: • • • •

learning and behavioural difficulties physical disabilities exceptional high ability English as an Additional Language (EAL)

There are occasions when students would benefit from more personalised assistance to help them get the most out of their school life. The Student Support Team is available to help students in developing the necessary skills which will help them perform to the best of their abilities. Our students’ progress is regularly monitored and assessed so that appropriate and timely support can be provided to meet their needs. At Discovery College, all teachers work closely with the Student Support Team and follow a designated process for identifying, referring, monitoring and supporting children with individual needs. This process is in line, where appropriate, with the Code of Practice as established by ESF. In addition, our Discovery College parents play an important role in the student support process. Parents may be invited to attend meetings with teachers to discuss how they can support their child’s learning at home and to participate in the process of setting appropriate learning and behavioural goals for their child. This partnership between home and school is extremely important and highly valued at Discovery College.

Uniform

The purpose of the uniform is to: • develop a sense of pride and belonging amongst the student body • make our students readily identifiable in a public setting • provide a baseline of equality amongst the student body • provide a range of sun-smart responsible and functional clothing items General • students are required to wear the Discovery College uniform which is outlined on the college website at www.discovery.edu.hk > Information > Uniform • the polo shirt combined with school shorts/skorts/cargo pants is required for most school days (also see PE requirements) • long sleeve t-shirts are only to be worn underneath the polo shirt • ‘optional’ uniform items are designed for colder weather and/or sports trips outside of the school • uniform shoes must be mostly black or mostly white. They can be any style that is appropriate, comfortable and safe for walking to/from school and up/down stairs • for PE, students must have suitable sports shoes with non-marking soles • students can wear their PE shoes as day to day uniform shoes • shoes must be worn with short white socks • all uniform items are to be clearly labelled • children are expected to be clean and tidy in their dress at all times • no jewellery, except plain stud earrings, is to be worn (exemption based on religious reasons is required to be applied for on a case by case basis) • hair must be of a natural colour • hair on or below shoulder length must be tied back • the school issue broad brimmed hat is required to be worn when outside • official school outings will require students to wear full and correct uniform (unless otherwise stated e.g. camps)


38 |  Discovery College

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alterations / additions to school uniform items will be approved by the school the Discovery College PTA oversees sales of uniform from the onsite PTA shop extreme hairstyles including unnatural hair colours are not permitted

PE (physical education) • Year 1-6 students must wear PE gear to and from school on days when they have PE classes • Year 7-9 students must bring their PE gear and change before and after their PE lessons Procedural guidelines • if your child does not have a correct uniform item available on any given day, parents should send them dressed in an appropriate alternative item and communicate the reason to the learning advisor/class teacher • if this situation extends beyond a day, parents should indicate the length of time in their communication with the learning advisor/class teacher

Visitors to the School

For the safety of students, all visitors to the College between 8.30am-2.45pm, including parents, must enter through security at the front entrance to the school and proceed to the main reception.


Discovery College 38 Siena Aveune Discovery Bay Lantau Island Hong Kong discovery.edu.hk

Discovery College Parent Handbook 2009-2010  

Parent Handbook 2009 - 2010

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