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Focus on

Community Engagement Students Excel

Scholarship students share their stories

LEGALLY BLONDE Hey you guys, it’s a musical!






LOOKING OUT INTO THE WORLD This year, Discovery College welcomed its first group of Year 13 students, those who will be the first graduates of the College. As these students begin their final year at DC and contemplate their next steps into the wider world, I am reminded of the importance of the preparation the students receive here, not only in academics, but also in relationship-building, international mindedness and community engagement. This publication, 視 界 , which in English means ‘to look out into the world’ has always been a way to demonstrate the broad scope of the College and the many ways the students are impacted by an international education. In this issue, we share the ways in which the students themselves are actively looking out into the world. Through community engagement programmes at the College, all of our students are looking into this community and communities throughout the region to identify areas where they can make a positive impact. In addition to learning about serving others, students are gaining important skills in planning and implementing activities, working with local organisations and one another, and thinking critically about the communities they serve. I am proud of our students and teachers for taking this active approach to addressing community needs and engaging in service that is meaningful and impactful. Through community engagement activities, students are taking a closer look at the world around them. Certainly, taking this active approach to being a part of their community will serve them well. For our Year 13 students, who will soon be leaving us for the next phase in their lives, I hope that they will continue to look out into the world and engage in their communities, wherever they may be. Charles Wong School Council Chairman




視界 Shi Jie


Autumn 2013 EDITOR Michelle Mouton



Matt Baron Talla Buffery, Year 13 Patrick Campbell, Year 11 Zena Chan, Year 11 Boris Choy, Year 12 Jason Edwards Mimi Ho, Year 13 Momoko Ishii, Year 13 Amirah Khan, Year 6 Iisa Kosonen, Year 9 Natalie Kunst Peter Lasscock Kathy Lau, Year 11 Jerry Lin, Year 8 Sue Meldrum Peter Muir Andy Munn Nina Rossiter, Year 12 Simran Sawhney, Year 11 David Thapa Joyce Wong, Year 12


Contents | Autumn 2013 FOCUS ON COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Why We Engage Crazy for CAS A Day in the Life Action in the PYP Branching Out

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STAFF PROFILE Peter Muir Maria Davies and Mark Sum

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STUDENTS Smart Cookies Scholarships Challenge Students Student Leaders The Year 3 Adventure HAPPENINGS Legally Blonde Artistic Showcase Family Fun Day


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CIRCULATION & CONTACT Discovery College 38 Siena Ave Discovery Bay HONG KONG

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Tel: +852 3969 1000 Fax: +852 2987 8115 Email: Website:

Facebook “f ” Logo

CMYK / .eps

Facebook “f ” Logo

CMYK / .eps SPORTS Cobra Sports Secondary Athletics Day Swimming Carnival ALUMNI Where Are They Now? Sinéad and Chloë Finnegan



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Circulation (1500)

視 界 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.


GET WARMED UP As the College continues to grow, enhanced facility spaces are needed to meet the growing demands of our student population. Over the summer and through the start of this term, several spaces in the DC campus were updated to accommodate student needs. One signature space is the new Wellness Centre, which opens this term and provides additional PE teaching space and an area for Diploma students to focus on their physical and mental wellbeing. To manage the Wellness Centre, a wellness coordinator was hired by the College. Terri Chrisman joined us this term to begin working on plans for student wellness and fitness. A student wellness committee, which included Year 13 students Shinya Mizuno, Zach Kilbourne, Sie Rossiter and Talla Buffery, helped to guide the plans for this new space and its use. Their dedication to this project has ensured that students who visit the Wellness Centre will be comfortable pursuing their wellness goals.



COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT At Discovery College, community engagement activities play an important role in learning. Through MYP Community & Service (C&S), DP Creativity Action Service (CAS), and through action in the PYP, students gain empathy and respect for the needs of others. The personal and interpersonal development of students through working together to identify and discuss community needs allows students to grow and become responsible compassionate citizens. Through community engagement activities, students are also challenged to learn new skills and consider different points of view. The collaboration and teamwork also affords students the skills they need to Grow. Discover. Dream.









Community Engagement enhances student experience At the core of an IB education is the development of the Learner Profile. IB learners should strive to cultivate the attributes of the Learner Profile as they participate in IB programmes – programmes that “aim to develop internationally minded people who, recognising their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.” In addition to the development of the individual, an explicit part of developing the Learner Profile attributes is related to the betterment of the community. Like many other IB world schools, Discovery College aims to have our students committed to being actively involved in efforts that support and advance the community. A community is essentially a group of people who are bought together either by geographic location, shared interests, or by shared identities. For example, DC students are a part of the DC community. They would also be members of the Discovery Bay community, the Lantau community, the Hong Kong community, all the way up to being a part of the global community. Students are therefore encouraged to be actively involved in activities that benefit these different communities. Often activities that serve the local community also benefit communities on a larger scale. The adage “think globally, act locally” applies here.

A vital aspect of all Community Engagement activities is that they offer the students involved an opportunity for learning. It is also essential that students develop an understanding of the issues they are involved in addressing. Involvement in community engagement also aims to extend the student, and as students progress through the IB programmes they should include activities that see them working beyond the school community. Whichever community a student is supporting, a relationship of respect should be established and promoted between the two groups. The best results for community development take place when a working relationship is created, where all parties are involved in the planning, implementation and evaluation of service activities. Collaborating with, as opposed to working for, members of a community provides the most positive service experiences for the students involved.

By default, the word ‘engagement’ implies that students are active in their participation. It also implies that students interact, communicate and connect with the community. • There are many elements of community engagement, and many ways that students can work to support others. Students do not always need to involve themselves directly with a community. Often barriers of time and location make this difficult. Other opportunities for engagement are indirect – supporting a community without direct contact with them – where the online world offers many opportunities to support communities around the globe. Volunteerism, awareness campaigns and advocacy actions are also examples of community engagement. Students may undertake activities on their own initiative, or join existing groups either in or outside of school. There are strong links between the written curriculum and community engagement. Often it is what students explore in the curriculum that inspires and motivates them to take action to address an issue of public concern. There are also units of work at DC that could be considered service learning, where students investigate, plan and act on service related activities while meeting specific curriculum goals.



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Examples of recent community engagement activities at DC include: • A group of Year 9 students organising activities at DC related to World Food Day; • A group of students involved in delivering an English literacy programme in Yat Tung estate; • Primary students involved in supporting the Box of Hope event • Some No Boundaries groups preparing to deliver various programmes to support the community that they will visit; Students planning and delivering CCAs to their peers or younger students; Students visiting elderly people in Sheung Ling Pei and Ha Ling Pei Village to assist in delivering wellbeing programmes; The DC Labour Rights group striving to improve working conditions in targeted areas; and DC UNICEF club designing a number of activities relating to the goals of UNICEF.

When done well, community engagement neatly reflects our school philosophy: it challenges students to Grow, building self-esteem, selfconfidence, autonomy and self-reliance; it requires them to Discover things about themselves, others, and communities on a local and global scale; and it encourages them to Dream to be an agent of change. Peter Muir CAS and C&S Coordinator



Why students should embrace CAS Creativity Action Service, or CAS, is one of the three core elements of the internationally renowned International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. It is described by the IB as “a fundamental part of the programme and takes seriously the importance of life outside the world of scholarship, providing a refreshing counterbalance to academic studies” And yet, students can sometimes struggle to appreciate this “refreshing counterbalance”. Perhaps the reason behind why so many students undervalue CAS is in their own perception. ‘Chore,’ it seems, forms the general attitude towards CAS, rather than what it should be: Opportunity. Possessing three distinct categories — Creativity, Action, and Service — CAS encourages students to pursue their own passions. More than anything, CAS is an opportunity for students to use their strengths and interests in a way that can boost some very important 21st century life skills. With each category, a different attribute is developed. Creativity stimulates a student’s ability to plan, express, and bring things into existence. Action encourages the student to become active, whether it is in sports, involvement of physical endurance, or in the conquest of personal fears. Service allows the student to identify problems facing the community and their ethical implications, as well as urging them to find solutions. In addition to the immediate learning outcomes and the sense of selffulfillment, CAS can also play a massive role in the future of a student. With a constantly evolving world, universities and potential employers look for more than just an excellent academic record. They don’t want lifeless robots that only know how to regurgitate paragraphs of a textbook. They want people who can use their imaginations and take new ideas into play. They look for people who have healthy lifestyles, and those who are well balanced with positions in management. They want people who can understand the textbooks and make ethical judgments and decisions. To quote the eternally classic film Crimson Tide, “Rickover gave me my command, a checklist, a target and a button to push. All I gotta know is how to push it, they tell me when. They seem to want you to know why.” Today, major companies recognise that many skills developed in CAS are skills that they want in their employees. Even having CAS on your record to begin with is a major boost; it shows experience and initiative developed through involvement in a range of activities. A 2012 study by Universum, a global employer branding firm that annually surveys students and professionals, have shown that 58 percent of employers look for self-monitoring skills. This directly correlates with several of the outcomes listed in the CAS programme: • Being involved in planning activities shows ambition, organisational skills, and problem-solving ability. It proves that you possess leadership skills and will not tremble when given responsibility. • When you develop an awareness of your strengths and areas for

growth, it shows that you can understand your weaknesses and independently work towards improving these. It shows that you are confident about what you can do and have the capacity to develop what you cannot. To show perseverance and commitment in your activities communicates that you are self-motivated and prepared to be dedicated to the job. Possible employers see that you are adaptable and will follow through in spite of any problems or negative influences.

Another favourable trait discovered through this study is intellectual curiosity (preferred by 57 percent of employers) – a need to question ideas and a fearlessness to try new things. Whether it be addressing issues or identifying ethical implications, CAS is driven by students who use their creativity, their ideas, and take action towards a cause. So not only is CAS a gold mine of opportunity for student potential, it can also be a pivotal point in future education and job opportunities. What is more, doing CAS feels good. It offers a sense of achievement that comes only from doing something worthwhile. Bearing all this in mind, students should ask not what they must do for CAS, but what they can do for CAS, and what CAS in turn can do for them. Boris Choy Year 12

CAS Learning Outcomes CAS is not assessed formally in the Diploma Programme, but students are required to provide evidence of achievement from their experience, through written reflections, photographs, video, or other ways, in each of the eight learning outcomes. This evidence is compiled in a CAS Portfolio. Students must complete a CAS project, which because of its duration offers greater opportunity to show evidence in the learning outcomes. The eight learning outcomes are: • • • • • • • •

increased your awareness of your own strengths and areas for growth undertaken new challenges planned an initiated activities worked collaboratively with others shown perseverance and commitment in your activities engaged with issues of global importance considered the ethical implications of your actions developed new skills






Students share their experiences in community engagement World Food Day

Nude Food Day

My experience working on World Food Day 2013 was fun. I really enjoyed working with the other group members and I liked the feeling that I was doing something to help out less fortunate people in Hong Kong. This is my first year as a student at Discovery College, so I didn’t know anything about C&S (MYP Community & Service). However, I found that my involvement was not too difficult, as we helped each other as a group, and we had Mr Muir to help out when required.

I enjoyed working on Nude Food Day. This is a day where everyone at DC is encouraged to make a healthy lunch that has little or no wrapping that could be bad for the environment. I had worked on this project last year and I wanted to continue helping this year, as I thought it was a really interesting issue. We can do so much simply by reducing the amount of packaging we used.

To start this project, we first had to develop our own knowledge about issues relating to food. We focused on local issues, though these issues such as food waste and hunger are also found around the world. We then did some brainstorming about what we could do, and then created an action plan with all group members having tasks to complete. A major part of our activities was a food drive, supporting the local organisation, Feeding Hong Kong. I was really happy that students donated food, and when we put the donated items together I felt really proud of what we had done. Even though it was only a little bit of help, I was pleased with what we had accomplished.


First we set a date for the Nude Food Day, which was on 24 October, and after that we started to research facts in order for us to make posters and put them up at school. We spent several of our team meetings making these posters, which advertised Nude Food Day and shared some of the facts we’d learned, hopefully informing more students and teachers about this issue. Another part of Nude Food Day was that the cafeteria stopped selling bottled drinks for one day, as an incentive to bring your own water bottle. However, there was still one brand of bottled water sold, as the plastic of this bottle is biodegradable. We hoped that this would also raise awareness, as people might ask why no drinks in plastic bottles were being sold that day.

The process of organising our World Food Day activities gave me some knowledge about issues that our community faces and about how we can help. It also helped me learn new skills, and it was quite fun!

Overall, participating in this was a great experience. We all learned more about Nude Food Day and the issue of food and product packaging, in addition to organisational skills. We hope that we raised awareness at Discovery College about Nude Food Day, and it will definitely be hosted again next year, as this is an important topic for our school and community.

Iisa Kosonen Year 9

Kathy Lau Year 11



ACTION IN THE PYP Primary students engage Action is one of the five essential elements of the PYP and is embedded in the inquiry process. Student initiated action can be seen in the form of research, direct action, indirect action and advocacy. Finding out more about an issue through researching is considered a form of action. New found knowledge may lead to other forms of action.

Elderly Service in Tung Chung Before we began our visit in Tung Chung, we were a bit anxious because we didn’t know what to expect. The purpose of our visit was to bring donated items to the elderly living there, learn about their lives, and practice our Cantonese while talking to them. We were surprised by how old the home was, and by how long some of the residents had been living there. This activity taught us that no matter how many problems you’re facing or struggling with, there are ways that we can cope with adversity. Often this is through support from others. We learned that people are not all as fortunate as we are, and that there are many things we have that we don’t really need. We were a bit surprised that even though some of the people we spoke with were suffering and in a lot of pain, they still faced their problems bravely and tried to live the best everyday. The people we visited were also very happy with what they had and didn’t care much about materialistic things. One of the most enjoyable things was listening to these people tell stories about their lives and their pasts. We also enjoyed being able to help them by bringing donated items, and just by spending time with them. It was nice to see how happy everyone was at the end of our visit. By the end of our time with the elderly living there, we felt we had benefitted from the visit by learning about the lives of other people in the Hong Kong community. Joyce Wong, Year 12, Simran Sawhney and Zena Chan, Year 11

Have an idea? Discovery College is always looking for opportunities for our students to get involved in meaningful community engagement. If you know of a community organisation or upcoming event that Discovery College students could be actively engaged in, please contact CAS and C&S Coordinator Peter Muir by emailing

Direct action refers to students identifying the cause of a problem and acting directly to find a solution. Examples of this may include planting trees to address deforestation, caring for abandoned animals or teaching someone how to read. Last year, as part of the PYP Exhibition, several students participated in a ‘bread run’ by delivering hundreds of loaves of bread from Maxim’s bakeries to homeless shelters in Hong Kong. Indirect action refers to channelling resources to someone who can help solve an issue, such as raising money for a charity organisation like Unicef or Greenpeace, or collecting goods such as stationery for schools in need. The Box of Hope project, described below, which many Discovery College students participate in, is an example of this. Advocacy is when students raise awareness of an issue. In the past our DC students have composed, recorded and performed their own songs to raise awareness about issues such as child poverty, shark finning and animal rights. Students have also created brochures, short films, posters and banners to advocate particular beliefs or ideas. Matt Baron VP/Upper Primary Leader

Box of Hope Giving a Box of Hope is wonderful! It’s just like giving a child a birthday or Christmas present. The boxes provide useful or educational gifts, which DC students bring in, to underprivileged children in Hong Kong. I appreciate the idea of presenting something as a ‘gift’ instead of something to ‘donate’, because every child deserves a gift. What I like most about Box of Hope is that it encourages children like me to think about children who don’t have as much as we do. I put my box together with lots of fun educational resources because I want to help improve children’s health and education. I hope when the children receive their Boxes of Hope they feel happy and have big smiles on their faces. Amirah Khan Year 6






No Boundaries provides opportunities for service across the region

From rafting down the Ganges, to community work in Chiang Mai, to trekking in jungles in Borneo – an exciting range of activities are offered to students participating in Discovery College’s No Boundaries week. No Boundaries offers all students in Years 10-12 a range of experiential learning activities. It provides them with an opportunity to be involved in a number of challenging and meaningful learning experiences, through which leadership skills, an awareness of self and others, and exposure to different perspectives are developed. These experiences offer students a unique exposure to other cultures and communities, aiming to deepen their appreciation of others. In developing these trips the College aims to offer experiences that will help develop self-awareness by providing physical, intellectual and emotional challenges. Activities are organised in each experience that will promote independence, responsibility, cooperation and goal setting among students. Moreover, No Boundaries gives students exposure to new cultures and points of view. A number of No Boundaries activities also have service as a part of the experience. In setting up these community engagement opportunities, a focus is given to working with the community being visited, rather than simply doing something for that community. This is done in order for students to gain an awareness of the destinations they visit and some of the issues that people face in these locations by trying to understand the issues rather than oversimplifying them. Trips that involve a strong service component are often developed using a reliable and reputable organisation at the location to ensure that the community students will work with are involved in the planning of service activities. The planned service activity is one that is relevant, meaningful, challenging and directly addresses an identified community issue. Students are also involved in reflection – before, during, and after each trip – to have them consider their perceptions about the people and places they visit as well as how the experience may have challenged them personally. They are asked to reflect on what they learned about themselves, their relationship with others, and the importance of teamwork or leadership in their experience. Peter Muir CAS and C&S Coordinator




Where in the World? As this issue of Shi Jie goes to print, students from Discovery College are preparing to travel around the region on various No Boundaries trips where they will have hands-on-learning experiences and an opportunity to make real-world connections to the curriculum. Students in Years 10-12 will gain new points of view and learn about different cultures through the following trips.

Year 10-11 Hong Kong - Centred around the theme of making a difference in our local community, students are spending three days volunteering with a community service group or NGO. Vietnam - Here students are experiencing a village homestay, working on a community-development project and learning various local traditions. Philippines - The focus of this trip is working with students in a local kindergarten, as well as making and distributing devices to store and pour water in rural communities. Borneo - Students are challenged physically and mentally as they participate in a community-directed service project as well as a number of adventure activities. Thailand - Students have the opportunity to visit an elephant conservation park and participate in English language teaching in local schools, as well as engage in hiking and rock climbing. Fujian (South China) - Students are cycling through rural areas of the region and teaching English in classes within a small rural school. India - This trip introduces students to the natural and cultural heritage of India and includes activities such as easy rafting, cycling, rock climbing and bird watching. Yunnan - Students are learning about sustainable ecological development and the preservation of minority cultures and languages, as well as being involved in the delivery of a community development activity.

Year 11-12 Sulawesi - Students are working with Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue Center, which works to diminish the regional wildlife trade through rescue and rehabilitation of protected species.

Year 12 Hong Kong - As in Year 10-11, students are spending four days volunteering with a community service group or NGO of their choice. Day 5 will be combined with all three year groups. Yangshan (South China) - Here students are working with a sustainable farming project that is helping to alleviate poverty amongst the Yao Minority. Cambodia - Travelling to Phnom Penh and surrounding areas, the focus of this trip is working with children at the Who Will Village Orphanage.





CAS and C&S Coordinator Before coming to Discovery College, Peter Muir lived in Bali for 12 years where he first moved having been lured by surf and sun. Peter first taught at a private national school and then worked at Bali International School for five years before he decided to move on to further develop personally and professionally. At DC, Peter coordinates opportunities for students to be actively involved in service-related efforts within the school and wider community. He is passionate about guiding students to get involved in activities that can challenge them and make a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. He believes that it is a moral responsibility for schools to do this – to develop those who can deal with a situation that current and previous generations have created. Peter also teaches PE and Theory of Knowledge (TOK). During the tragic bombing of Bali in 2002, Peter was again reminded the importance of community working together during difficult times. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his efforts in helping out in the morgue in the days following the incident. Originally from Australia, Peter comes from a small coastal town called Inverloch, about 150km southeast of Melbourne, where he grew up on a farm. Peter earned an Honours degree in Physical Education from University of Ballarat and a Masters of Education from Macquarie. Peter is married to Yani, who is from Java, and they have two children, Ryan and Riana. Having been spoiled with good surf in Bali, Peter has not taken up surfing in Hong Kong due to the lack of good waves. These days he gets his sports fix by following his favourite Aussie Rules team, the Richmond Tigers. He also plays football for a local team, the Lantau Lizards, despite his body giving him signals to give up. David Thapa Communications and Scholarship Assistant

DC HOSTS ACCREDITATION TEAM The week of 27 October – 1 November saw the final stage of more than 18 months of self study, reflection and planning for the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation process. A team of 11 international educators spent the week in our school visiting classes of every teacher, reviewing evidence around our self study and ascertaining whether or not the College meets the stringent standards of these internationally respected school accreditation organisations. Our self study was undertaken last academic year and involved all teachers, more than 20 parents, many support staff and volunteer students who looked at 21 different areas of the College’s operation.

of the visit was highly positive leading us to believe we are in a good position to be accredited. Key highlights of the informal feedback included the team’s awareness and appreciation of: • a very strong and positive culture between students, teachers and the community; • highly engaged and connected students; • very positive and professional teachers; • detailed and thorough self study reports; and • so many structures and systems in place to support learning and student needs in just five years since opening. Thank you to all who have been involved in this process.

Although we will not have official confirmation of accreditation for several months as the report is submitted and approved by the CIS and WASC central offices, the feedback we received during and at the end



Peter Lasscock Deputy Head of College



New faces at reception Discovery College welcomed two new staff members to the receptionist positions in the main office this year. Mark Sum and Maria Davies are the friendly faces you will see when you first visit the College. The college receptionists share the responsibilities of managing incoming calls and queries, handling the attendance records, following up on absences, and making sure that visitors to the College are welcomed and directed to the appropriate persons. Mark has lived in Hong Kong for 17 years. He previously worked as a front desk customer officer in Panda Hotel and Headland Hotel for six years. He recently worked in customer service in Discovery Bay with DBSL before joining Discovery College. Mark and his family moved to Hong Kong from China in 1997. He has both a Portuguese and Chinese heritage. Mark is a passionate reader; he is constantly exploring new ways to expand his vocabulary. When he is not reading, Mark enjoys watching movies, cycling, and hiking during his time off. As a part of his life-long self-improvement process, Mark is looking forward to starting his part-time degree course in Hospitality Management in February 2014. Also coming to Discovery College with a background in hospitality, Maria has worked in a variety of travel industry jobs – from checkin at the airport, to holiday consultant, to flight attendant. She worked for Air Emirates for two years while living in Dubai before working for Qantas for five years as a first class flight attendant. She then moved into a training role before starting a family and moving to Hong Kong. Maria is originally from New Zealand, and she and her husband have two young sons.

Maria especially likes that DC students are all really polite and friendly, at all year levels. She also admires the school spirit and commitment to sports and extra curricular activities run by students. Maria enjoys spending as much time as she can with her kids, taking them to the park and exploring little bits of Hong Kong. She also enjoys going out to dinner and spending time with her friends. Before she had her sons, Maria would regularly engage in various sporting activities – equestrian, cycling, and hiking. She was also bit of a dare devil having conquered the Nevis River Bungy, the highest bungy jump (134m) in New Zealand. She also holds an Open Water Diver certification from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. She hopes to do sky diving in the future, once her children are older.

David Thapa Communications and Scholarship Assistant




2013-14 Scholarship Students Principal’s Scholarship Momoko Ishii Cameron Smith

Discovery College 2013 ICAS Medal winners, from left to right: Viola Graef, Kevin Xin, Howard Cheng, Emily Weinstein, Isabella DiaTsi-Tay, Cherie Ho, Zoe Franklin (not pictured, Jason Chan and Emily Lo)


DC students excel in ICAS Nine students at Discovery College earned the highest score in an academic subject in the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) academic competition across all of Hong Kong at the end of the 2012-13 academic year. These students received the ICAS Medal in their respective subject in a presentation ceremony over the summer. The student winners are all Secondary students at the College. They earned top honours in subjects ranging from mathematics and science to English and writing. The ICAS Medal winners from Discovery College were: Kevin Xin (Primary 6 science in English, first out of 647 students), Howard Cheng (Form 1 mathematics in English, first out of 2,520 students), Cherie Ho and Emily Weinstein (both Form 1 writing, equal first out of 1,359 students), Emily Lo and Jason Chan (both Form 2 writing, equal first out of 558 students), Zoe Franklin (Form 3 English, first out of 2,161 students), Viola Graef (Form 3 writing, first out of 708 students), and Isabella Dia-Tsi-Tay (Form 4 writing, first out of 167 students). “The ICAS provides an opportunity for students to gain a measure of their own achievement in an external testing situation compared to other students in Hong Kong,” said Mark Beach, Principal. “We are incredibly proud of our students for the outstanding achievement of earning the top score across the whole of Hong Kong.” The ICAS is administered and marked by an external company, and is offered to students across Hong Kong and many other countries around the world. Participation in the assessment is voluntary for students at DC. In addition to the nine ICAS Medal winners, the College also had 82 students earning High Distinction, meaning they scored in the top one percent in Hong Kong. In each of the three previous years, one student at Discovery College has earned an ICAS Medal. In 2011-12, Ezra Kohn, then in Year 9, earned the medal in the writing competition. In 201011, Tra My Hickin also achieved this honour in the writing competition as a Year 9 student. The previous year, Timothy Tan received the medal in mathematics as a Year 6 student. Michelle Mouton Communications and Development Manager



Academic Scholarship Thomas Au Patrick Campbell YanYau Cheng Emily Choi Carrie Chow Boris Choy Isabella Dia-Tsi-Tay Cosima Graef Viola Graef Tra My Hickin Claire Holubowskyj Ewan Jones Nicole Lau Jorie Lefler Jerry Lin Barak Michaelis Zachary Sang Grace Sercombe Linda Shin Erez Uzan Samantha van den Esschert Aashman Vyas Nicole Woo Chantel Woo Athletic Scholarship Ashley Brooks Chloe Chan Chloe Choy Christopher Dann Mimi Ho Grace Kai Fong Taichi Kho Zachary Kilbourne Ryan Lee Nicky Li Alfred Lo Jenghis Lui Shinya Mizuno Jessica Sang Isabelle Thoreau Natalie Tse Eleanor Udall Che van Raad Drama Scholarship Eloisa Damulo Ruhi Kumar Clara Steel-Miguelez Music Scholarship Kurt Cheang Katie Chen Leo Davin Jonathan Healy Gigi Ho Ryan Lam David Lunn Aeden Reyes Jocelyn Tang Phoebe Whalley Emma Yong Visual Arts Scholarship Filippo Frassinetti Haein Kim


SCHOLARSHIPS CHALLENGE STUDENTS Discovery College is proud to have sixty scholarship students this year - just below 5 percent of the student body. The students are each talented and serve as leaders within the College. Here, three students share their stories about how their scholarships encourage them to be successful.

Mimi Ho

Jerry Lin

I had the honour of first receiving an athletic scholarship when I was in Year 9. As a former local school student, my passion for my sport had not been recognised and for many years my success in golf was not celebrated or appreciated. The first year that I entered DC, the supporting atmosphere for both education and sports overwhelmed me, and I was driven to succeed in both my academics and golf. Receiving a scholarship of any kind is a great honour, but receiving a scholarship for something that I love and am passionate about has given me even greater honour. During this year’s US Summer Tour, I earned second place in the Toyota Cup Championship and was the winner of the FCG Junior World Championship. The great achievement is that I shot two lowest career rounds, 3 under par. Also, in late August I had the honour of representing Hong Kong in the Asian Youth Games held in Nanjing, China. The greatest honour yet is that I have received a full athletic scholarship from California State University Fresno, USA. I will be competing in the NCAA Division I women’s golf. I am so happy to have the opportunity to be able to pursue both my academic and golfing career at the same time. As a scholarship student at DC, I’ve learned the importance in keeping the balance between my academics and golf, and I think this way of living will enable me to adapt to the life of a college athlete.

It is my pleasure to honour DC as an academic scholarship student with my academic ability and performance. During the past two years, I have been studying advanced level courses outside of DC at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in the areas of Mathematics and Physics. It was, of course, undeniably difficult at first, but once I got the hang of it, many things became clear and unravelled themselves. In my opinion, taking Physics based on Calculus-level Maths is more intricate and conceptual and takes more time to approach a single problem, unlike the straightforward and symmetric Maths problems, which are easier to understand.

Mimi Ho, Year 13 Athletic Scholarship

Momoko Ishii Being a Principal’s Scholar encouraged me to make and seek out opportunities to achieve my potential and live my life to the fullest. While leadership opportunities offered at school are extensive, I also like to explore paths different from those others take and find my own paths. Having contacted over 100 professors to pursue my interest in the sciences, I interned at the Department of Pathology at the University of Hong Kong last Christmas, and I researched the formation of blood vessels at the University of Cambridge this summer. This research has the potential to find alternative prevention and cures for cancer using herbal compounds. I am further interested in public health, and was fortunate to work as an assistant director in a health committee at Harvard Model United Nations (MUN) China in March. I have especially enjoyed being involved in MUN, and have been fortunate to serve as a member of the Academic Branch of the Chinese University MUN Club and Deputy Secretary General of HKMUN where I was honoured to receive Honorable Mention. In addition to MUN, I’ve enjoyed participating in the Hong Kong Aquathon Challenge & Duathlon Challenge, and performing as a solo harpist at the Annual Concert of Hong Kong Harp and Piano Academy. I recently won second place at the International Triathlon Union Asian Cup. Attaining a scholarship has challenged me to pursue new interests and step out of my comfort zone. Although I am not a natural athlete, I developed my liking for sports using the opportunities available in Hong Kong and have challenged myself to pursue my academic interests outside of school.

Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” I agree with this quote. Life is fluctuating, full of ups and downs like when one is on a bicycle. Don’t expect it to be perfect, but on the contrary, life is not unmanageable either. If a person has the motivation to pursue his own dream or accomplish a goal, with enough resources, it is usually achievable. Once he has a motivated perspective on life, things become much less tedious. Even great people like Albert Einstein needed to work hard; what brought them to their levels were their motivations. With performance ahead of that of my chronological age, I have definitely been trying my best over the past years. This scholarship is meaningful to me and further encourages me to motivate myself in experiencing more advanced programmes in this fabulous world. Jerry Lin, Year 8 Academic Scholarship

Momoko Ishii, Year 13 Principal’s Scholarship SCHOLARSHIPS CHALLENGE STUDENTS




Student Council members aim to serve We were both very fortunate to have been elected as Student Council representatives for a second term. This opportunity has caused us to reflect on the ‘bigger picture’ of the Student Council’s role in the school and our community. As a Council, we decided that our main focus for the year would be to encourage international mindedness and cultural awareness throughout the student body. We discussed what it really means to be internationally minded; having a true understanding of an individual’s culture and background is not just a question of ‘food, festivals, and flags.’ To promote this, we have proposed a range of different ideas this year, from the introduction of speakers at assemblies, to Internet-based projects through the Ding! virtual learning community and the school website, to events such as cultural days and other celebrations of diversity. Last year was very successful for the Student Council. There was an incredible level of collaboration between the Student Council, Primary Class Captains, PTA, students and teachers, and the school leadership. Some notable accomplishments include the allocation of PTA funds to various student groups, the organisation of the popular Family Fun Day, the establishment of a senior students’ common room, and representing the student body in the negotiation of new contract terms with Chartwells. As Student Council representatives, our major responsibilities are to support our peers and to provide the student body with a voice. We hope to create leadership opportunities for our peers by establishing committees for various purposes, such as a cafeteria advisory group to provide feedback to Chartwells on a regular basis; organising committees for student graduation celebrations; developing

management groups for student-run facilities such as the Diploma Centre common room; and organising committees for the overall improvement of student life at Discovery College. Being on the Student Council has provided us with many rewarding learning experiences. We have had the opportunity to work with students of all year levels, and many members of the community. The various projects that we have been involved in have allowed us to develop leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. Nina Rossiter, Year 12 and Patrick Campbell, Year 11 Student Council Representatives

Student Council Representatives


Year 5 Lawrence Heggie Ann-Marie Whiley

Year 8 Perlei Toor Ethan Twelker

Year 11 Patrick Campbell Viola Graef

Year 6 Ayla Collingwood Casper Den Boogert

Year 9 Cherie Ho Jacques Meldrum

Year 12 Taha Hashim Nina Rossiter

Year 7 Blaise Kingan Alfred Lo

Year 10 Christopher Rhee Hannah Ridley

Year 13 Anthony Dillon Sie Rossiter




Camp teaches students new skills After dropping their bags outside in the courtyard and assembling in the gym, the Year 3 students were already beginning to show the signs of independence, maturity and courage for which this short but fun filled camp is renowned. Like a finely oiled machine, 120 Year 3 students were bused out of Discovery Bay to the YWCA campsite, San Shek Wan, on the other side of Lantau Island. There were no signs of anxiety as the three buses were filled with laughter, singing and tall tales of food stashed away for midnight feasts. Upon arriving at the camp, all the luggage was stored, activity groups were given, parent group leaders were assigned and then the 20 minute walk to Cheung Sha beach commenced. Once at the beach, gallons of water were gulped down, along with snacks and fruit, keeping the intrepid Year 3s hydrated and energised on a hot balmy morning. The groups then rotated through a range of activities from sand sculptures and team building games to environmental awareness tasks and the ever popular parachute. At 2.30pm all activities stopped and the students, parents and staff started their walk back to camp, the highlight being spotting a water buffalo in the stream.

Back at camp a hushed silence took over the sports hall as the students waited with anticipation to find out who their dorm buddies would be for the night. As names were called and buddies assigned, there were enthusiastic yells of appreciation and relief. Everyone was happy – the teachers had got it right again!

Next came a quick wash and scrub to remove half of the beach and once the ever baffling puzzle of bed making was solved the children had free range to choose from a variety of activities. Dinner was served, followed by night activities, teeth washing, bedtime and lights out at about 8.45pm. The next morning everyone woke up famished after a relaxing and refreshing night’s sleep, however, beds needed to be put away and bags needed to be packed and stored before we could start breakfast, which was followed by more camp activities and lunch. At 1.00pm all Year 3 students got onto the buses to go back to school eager to tell their parents about the experiences they had and the new skills they had gained. Thank you to all the teachers, educational assistants and parents who helped on this camp. For some children this was their first night away from home and all were able to grow and discover in an environment where they felt safe and secure. Jason Edwards Year 3 Team Leader




All were ready for opening night due to their hard work in rehearsals.


Secondary production goes musical Justice is served! This year’s musical production of Legally Blonde, which was performed 18-20 November, did not fail in bringing tears of laughter or moments of intense reflection. Starting in August, auditions for the production took form in a traditional structure: can you sing, dance and act?

As music played a large element in Legally Blonde, audience members were lucky enough to have their ears serenaded by a live band. From guitars to percussion, students showcased their musical talents when performing songs for both the department store and the ‘frat party’ scene.

“It showed me what a real musical audition felt like,” said Tyra Eberwein, an actor in Year 10.

“Apart from a nice story line, the music really makes it that touch more special,” said David Lunn, a musician in Year 13.

Involving all secondary year levels, many people contributed towards the production. There were costumes, set, backstage, lighting and props crews, all of whom worked alongside the cast, stage managers and chorus.

Rehearsals ran after school until 5.00pm for the first two months, but as performance dates got closer, bedtime got later. Rehearsals were extended, calling everyone until 8.00pm some nights and even some weekends. It was an intense, demanding, yet extremely remarkable countdown to the final performances.

“I made friends with so many people in different years,” said Angel Olivo, an actor in Year 9. “It was so heart-warming to see everyone work simultaneously and see things tie together in the end.” Through humid weather and a mildly air-conditioned theatre, the set design crew painted, measured, and did other complicated things to ensure a great overall look of the stage. Subsequently, their hard work paid off in creating a set like no other. Working with the crafty revolving stage, the stage hands were quickly able to turn Elle’s fluffy pink bedroom into a supreme court in just seconds.



Overall, the Legally Blonde family were able to perform – I mean, sing – a sensational story, encouraging students to never give up in what they want to achieve – but don’t follow your boyfriend to university. Talla Buffery Year 13




ARTISTIC SHOWCASE Discovery College visual arts students have recently been invited to participate in a number of creative projects which contributed to the Auberge Hotel in Discovery Bay. These projects provided students with a stellar opportunity to be involved in the community and practice working the way in which professional artists would. At the hotel’s Opening Day in June, Discovery College students exhibited their work alongside professional artists in the Pavillion space. Following this, a group of students worked alongside Mr Dion Kay, one of our Secondary Visual Art teachers, to produce a fantastic artwork that featured an octopus motif. This artwork was subsequently incorporated into the children’s buffet table at the hotel. In addition, a group of senior students – Cheryl Sze, Haein Kim, Joyce Wong and Shanel Lim – painted a set of stairs in a children’s theme for the hotel’s reception area. The students painted these stairs as part of the creativity component of CAS. These experiences have provided opportunities for students to take their learning from the Visual Arts programme and apply their knowledge and skills to real world and everyday contexts. In doing this many students have developed skills in working to a design brief, time management and organisation. Natalie Kunst Head of Art





DC community comes together A colourful mix of games, challenges, creative craft activities, delicious food, great entertainment and enticing commercial and charity stalls all contributed to a fun and very successful 2013 Family Fun Day. Primary parents and students did a wonderful job running the arts and craft stalls, where children made Christmas cards, masks, crowns, tiaras, photo frames, paper fans and more. Secondary students, teachers and parents did a great job of organising a fun line-up of games and activities including the popular ‘sponge the teacher,’ face painting, coloured hairspray, ‘trash or treasure,’ football shoot competition and basketball challenge. Students also enjoyed testing their fitness against teachers and parents in the Spinworks spin cycle challenge. PTA Sponsor AGS Four Winds kindly donated the use of their ‘bouncy truck’ and the younger children also enjoyed a bouncy castle, courtesy of DC parents Ben and Andriette White of Jumping Castles HK. Parents representing a host of countries including China, Australia, England, Korea, India, France, USA, Japan, Germany, Canada, South Africa, the Mediterranean, New Zealand and the Philippines organised and hosted the international food stalls, sharing a fantastic range of culinary delights throughout the day. Families also enjoyed purchasing delicious baked goods donated by DC parents at the ever-popular cake stall. We would like to extend a special thank you to Chartwells for kindly supporting our drinks station with a donation of water, soft drinks and beer. We also offer a big thank you to DC parent YB Rai of Uncle Russ for hosting a coffee stall and donating half the proceeds on the day to the PTA. As always, the highlight of the day was the musical entertainment provided by our very talented students, together with dance performances from community groups and a fun Capoeira flash mob. The commercial and charity stalls, offering a range of merchandise including toys, books, fancy dress costumes, art and craft materials, jewellery, bags, home wares, wine, cheeses, children’s clothing, health products, holiday decorations, and more, were busy helping families with their holiday shopping. A huge thank you to DC parents Sue and Gary Panons, who once again ran the very popular ‘Dress-up Costume sale’ – the proceeds of which are generously donated to the PTA. Thank you also to Dymocks Discovery Bay, whose new owners Carlos and Susan Leung organised a Family Fun Day Book Stall, offering a 10 percent discount on all stock and a 10 percent donation of their stall’s overall proceeds. Family Fun Day would not happen without the very generous support of the many parents, teachers, students and sponsors who contribute to the success of the day. These include Emma Cameron (PTA Family Fun Day organiser), Sam Kynaston (international food and cake stalls), Jane Robbins and the Primary Class Parent Reps (arts & craft stalls), Rob Chaytor (entertainment), Koren Thomas (commercial and charity stalls), Pat Romano (drinks station and logistics support), Sue Thomas (secondary student activities) and Lauren Gordon (publicity). Sue Meldrum DCPTA President




COBRA SPORTS Swimming Cobra swimmers had a brilliant start to the season with the Junior Squad winning the DC home meet. Throughout the season, both the Junior and Senior teams continued to place highly at meets hosted by AISHK, RCHK, and Harrow, going on to win the final meet at DBIS. On 29 and 31 October the squad had great success at the HKSSF Championships. Competing against 18 other schools, they won 24 individual medals as well as two Divisional trophies (U14 Girls team earned first place and the U14 Boys team placed third). The finale of the season, and our biggest swim meet yet, with 700 athletes from 18 other international schools, was the very competitive ISSFHK Championships. Once again there was a good team effort from DC, winning five medals and placing 14th overall. Well done Grace Kai Fong (gold 50m BF, bronze 100m FS and 200m IM) and Cameron Smith (silver 50m BF and bronze 50m FS). The entire squad has worked hard for their success and most importantly have achieved it with great sportsmanship and team spirit. Cross Country More than 100 DC Cobra cross country runners participated at the ISSFHK championships on 4 November. The races, held this year at Victoria Peak for the first time, offered an opportunity to compete against hundreds of runners from most HK international schools. The course provided a variety of terrain as well as the added difficulty of navigating between other walkers, runners, pushchairs, dogs and even the occasional car. A 200m very steep hill to the finish line really tested the endurance of everyone. DC ended up taking home 3 third place finishes in the team events for the U12 Boys, U14 Girls and U16 Girls. Golf A strong start to the year has seen the DC golf squad training weekly with their eye on the coveted ACAMIS golf trophy, for which they competed in November in China. The four players chosen for this year’s ACAMIS tournament were Mimi Ho, Shinya Mizuno, Taichi Kho and Danny Choi. Mimi Ho earned first place in the girls division, and the team earned third place overall. Following ACAMIS, the ISSFHK series of tournaments will be held in Discovery Bay in the first week of December and then the time-honored Kai Sai Chai challenge in January. U14 Girls Football The squad gained a lot of experience this season and gelled very well together. As the season progressed, the team was able to put some



great passes together, creating space and showing determination at all times. The girls came out of the season with 2 wins, 2 draws and 3 loses and unfortunately lost narrowly to the first and second placed teams, CIS and AISHK. Both of these matches could have gone either way. The last match against DBIS yet again produced everything that you would expect in local derby and resulted in a nail-biting 1-1 draw. Being one of the youngest teams in the league, with most girls being 11 or 12 years old, DC looks forward to a very promising season next year in the same league. U14 Boys Football The U14 Boys football team had a new look to it this year, with only one player remaining from last year’s squad. The team came in second in the Kowloon division of the ISSFHK competition after losing one game. Coming second meant the team qualified for the ISSFHK play-offs which were held at Kings Park, where DC played the top team from Hong Kong in the semi-finals. In the game against WIS, DC held their own in the first 15 minutes and then some good play from WIS allowed them to run away with the game despite a spirited comeback attempt at the end. This meant DC would play CIS in the 3rd/4th play off. DC continued to play some good football and went to dominate the game against CIS, eventually winning 5-0 and coming 3rd overall. It ended up being the team’s best performance of the season and it showed how the boys could play once they got used to the larger pitches. U16 Girls Volleyball This year saw a young U16 Girls Volleyball team compete with the best. The girls had a mix of results but finished the season strong with a win over one of the top teams. The team is looking forward to next year where most of the girls will be eligible for the same competition. The girls showed improvements in all areas of the game and they should hold their heads high and be proud of the way they conducted themselves. U20 Girls Volleyball The team had a great season this year, ultimately winning the ISSFHK Division 2 championship. The team reaped the rewards of an intense training regime requiring a high level of commitment and effort from all squad members. Over the course of this season the team worked hard on the development of their systems as well as individual skills and we look forward to putting these into action next season.


SECONDARY ATHLETICS DAY Under clear blue skies at Kwai Chung on 25 October, a highly exciting Secondary Athletics Day was held with Houses in friendly battles all day. The Houses were recognised in the categories of competition (winning the most events), participation (the highest percentage of participants) and spirit (the most enthusiastic support). The competition in all categories was very close with many equal places awarded. Students also competed hard in the various sports, and several records were broken this year.

SWIMMING CARNIVAL 100% participation was the order of the day at the Year 4-6 Swimming Carnival held Friday 4 October at Lei Cheng Uk swimming pool at Sham Shui Po. Competition was fierce in all events and Houses were neck and neck for much of the day. At the end Qing Mu (Green) House reigned supreme in the competition category edging out Lie Huo (Red) House to second place. The House Spirit category was judged on the House Wet competition, lunchtime House Chants and support for the team throughout the day. Lie Huo (Red) House finished the day on top followed by Re Tu (Yellow). The PE staff and parent volunteers made the day truly memorable. SECONDARY ATHLETICS DAY




Sinéad and Chloë Finnegan

Where do you live now? We live in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is very polluted with lots of traffic. Sometimes we see loads of people crammed onto a little motorbike. What brought you there? Our dad’s work brought us to Jakarta. Where do you go to school? We go to the British International School, or BIS as we call it. What are some differences between your new school and Discovery College? At BIS we have an Olympic size swimming pool, 3 large ovals, 4 tennis courts and lots of big areas to play in. We also have to opportunity to travel to other countries with our school and take part in FOBISSEA (Federation of British International Schools in South East Asia) in a number of sports and music. For the last two years I have been chosen to represent BIS in Bangkok, where I competed in swimming, football, athletics and tee-ball. This year Chloë will be old enough to participate if she is chosen, and it will be held in Kuala Lumpur. It’s a great way of meeting new friends and I get to see some old ones who have moved to different places within South East Asia. Our IB students also designed and developed a school for 25 shanty kids called Sekolah Bisa, now they get to go to school and learn like us, it’s good to see them being able to have an education like us so they can have a better life. What types of activities are you involved in? We play football, swimming, athletics, tennis, piano and guitar.



What do you like best about your new home, how is it different from living in Hong Kong? I like having my own room. Because the houses in Jakarta are so big, we are also lucky enough to have our own swimming pool. Another plus is that we are so close to Bali, so we learnt to surf last time we were there. Australia also isn’t so far away, which means we don’t have a long journey when we travel home. Another thing I like about living in Indonesia is being able to visit volcanoes. We hired a boat and went out to the middle of the ocean and saw Krakatau, which isn’t active anymore, and Anak, which means child, and is active (pictured below). It’s also different because we don’t walk to places like we did in Hong Kong because now we have a car.





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Shi Jie - Autumn 2013  

The Autumn 2013 issue focuses on Community Engagement and the ways in which DC students are looking into their communities.

Shi Jie - Autumn 2013  

The Autumn 2013 issue focuses on Community Engagement and the ways in which DC students are looking into their communities.