Admissions Policy

1. Preface

The College provides an all-through education for primary and secondary students on one campus. Students start Year 1 during the calendar year in which they turn 5 and graduate from the College at the end of Year 13. The College offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum in Primary through the Primary Years Programme (PYP: Years 1 to 6), and Secondary through the Middle Years Programme (MYP: Years 7 to 11) and the Diploma Programme (DP: Years 12 & 13).

In line with the Hong Kong Government’s requirements for all Private Independent Schools (PIS):

  • Discovery College has no catchment area: any student residing in Hong Kong can apply to attend.
  • When the College is at full capacity, at least 70% of the total students enrolled must have at least one parent who has Hong Kong permanent resident status.

2. Priority for Admission

Students applying for enrolment to Discovery College may be placed on a waiting list. Where such waiting lists occur, priority for an admissions assessment/interview will be based on the following ranked criteria; students who are (in order):

  1. Children of full-time teachers at Discovery College are guaranteed an interview for a place at Discovery College.
  2. Children who are Nominees under the Corporate Nomination Rights scheme.
  3. Children of full-time teachers at RCHK and at ESF Schools.
  4. Children of Discovery College full-time Support Staff with a minimum one-year employment at date of application, and dependent on continued employment at date of admission.
  5. Siblings of students attending Discovery College at the date of actual admission, or children who are Nominees under the Individual Nomination Rights Scheme.
  6. Former Discovery College students who left the College to move overseas.
  7. Children of former Discovery College students.
  8. Children attending an ESF Educational Services Limited Kindergarten, contingent on the student studying continuously at the kindergarten for a minimum of two terms prior to the applicable January Year 1 interview period and through to the end of Term 3 immediately prior to entry to primary school.
  9. Other applicants.

With the exception of students applying for Year 1, Siblings and Nominees under an Individual Nomination Right will have the same priority for an admissions assessment/interview, with the date of application determining the order.

3. Admission Procedures

Discovery College will determine the Year Group for admission according to the child’s date of birth (01 Jan – 31 Dec). Please note that the Year Group may be adjusted to ensure where possible the child’s date of birth matches the school’s age requirements.

Year of Birth to Year Level Placement:

YEAR 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22
1 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
2 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
3 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
4 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
5 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
6 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
7 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
8 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
9 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
10 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
11 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
12 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
13 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Applications for a specific academic year cannot be made until September of the previous year at the earliest, e.g. applications for 2017/18 cannot be made until September 2016 at the earliest.

Consideration may be given for accepting an application of a child in a year group that is one year lower if the applicant has a late (September to December) birthday. This is taken into account along with other material aspects, such as the national teaching system from which the child originates. Greater flexibility may be applied where older Secondary age groups are concerned and Year 12 in particular, however, all cases will be examined on an individual basis, and the College reserves the right to accept or reject any application at its discretion, the final decision being that of the Principal.

A student has to be in the IB DP Programme for the full 2 years of the programme and should start school in mid-August of the beginning of the academic year.

Applications for Year 13 will not be considered for students who have not completed the first year of the IB Diploma Programme.

The process for admission is:

  • Applicants must submit the application package in full.
  • All Year 1 applications received within the Central Application Period (01 September – 30 September) are processed in random order and assigned a computer generated sequential number. From this list, students are then ordered according to the priority for an admissions assessment/interview, apart from Corporate and Individual Nomination Rights Nominees, who are ranked in order of receipt of their Nomination Rights Application.
  • Any Year 1 applications received after the Central Application Period will be placed at the end of the waiting list in date order of receipt.
  • Applications for all other year levels are considered under application date order and added to the waiting list according to their priority.
  • Applicants will be invited for an assessment and/or interview at the College as vacancies become available.
  • Assessments are administered at the time of interview, apart from Years 7-13 where the assessment and interview may be conducted separately.
  • Following a successful admissions assessment and interview, a place may be offered.
  • Acceptance of the offer must be confirmed by payment of a 2-month deposit (see College Fees).
  • Re-application is required when:
    • An offer for an assessment/interview has been declined
    • An offer of a place has been declined
    • A student has not met the entry requirements at assessment/interview
  • Where an applicant has been unsuccessful at assessment/interview, a reapplication may be submitted at any time, along with an application fee. The applicant would be added to the appropriate Waiting List, in order of date submitted and priority, and would need to undertake a new assessment (no earlier than 6 months from the previous assessment) should a place becomes available.
  • If a student is successful at assessment/interview, however, is not offered a place due to the unavailability of places, the child will be returned to the waiting list according to his/her priority and, in the case of Central Admission applicants, the random number he/she was assigned. In the event a place does becomes available within six months of the initial successful assessment/interview, no further assessment will be required.

4. Applications for Admission

Once an online application has been successfully submitted, along with payment of the application fee, a hard copy of the completed online application form, along with supporting documents, must be sent directly to “Discovery College (Attn: Admissions Manager), 38 Siena Avenue, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong”. Supporting documents include copies of:

  • Student’s Birth Certificate;
  • Student’s Passport/PRC Exit Entry Permit (including their Hong Kong visa status, if any) or Hong Kong Permanent ID Card;
  • Student’s current and last year’s school reports, with English translation as appropriate;
  • Parent’s Hong Kong Permanent ID Cards or Passports/PRC Exit Entry Permit (including their Hong Kong visa status, if any);
  • Details of parent attendance at Discovery College (if applicable);
  • Student’s photograph showing his/her full frontal face with clear facial features, measuring 4cm (width) x 5cm (height);
  • Educational Psychology Reports or similar (where appropriate); and
  • Proof of employment of the director or employee whose Nominee is nominated under a Corporate Nomination Right (for Corporate Nomination Rights applications only).

An application with insufficient supporting documents will not be processed and the applicant will be notified accordingly.

N.B. Discovery College contacts each student’s current school to complete a confidential reference form (for applications to Year 3 and above).

5. Application to ESF and ESL Private Independent Schools (PIS)

Dual applications are permitted to both systems. For statistical purposes, parents are asked to indicate schools applied by ticking the box/es on the individual application forms. Applications to Discovery College and Renaissance College are through a separate application process to other ESF schools.

6. Assessments and Interviews for Admission

Applicants must demonstrate through assessment/interview that they are capable of engaging with an English medium IB curriculum.

Students applying for admission to Discovery College take age-appropriate assessments for English. In addition, applicants are assessed for learning skills and cognitive ability. The assessments are accompanied by interviews that will explore each student’s potential for language learning as well as their ability to engage and succeed within the curriculum being offered at the school.

Applicants’ academic background, previous school reports and supporting documents will also be taken into account. Applicants must be able to demonstrate behavioural responsibility and the principles of good citizenship.

Whilst assessment interviews for Primary (Years 1 to 6) have to be undertaken in Hong Kong at Discovery College, assessment testing for overseas Secondary students (Years 7 to 13) can be undertaken with the cooperation of the applicant’s current school and subsequent interviews arranged to be undertaken by Skype.

Discovery College will request the details of a senior member of staff of an applicant’s current school, and retains the right to verify the identity of any person nominated by parents to administer assessments on our behalf, either by way of a school’s website, or contact with the school’s Principal/Head Teacher or senior staff member of an educational company nominated for this purpose.

7. Admission into the IB Diploma Programme

The IB Diploma Programme is designed for students who have successfully completed their middle years of secondary schooling. Various indicators of this success exist as possible pathways for entry to the IB Diploma Programme:

  • A minimum of 36 points (out of a total of 63) in an 8 subject model or 28 points (out of a total of 48) in a 6 subject model in the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP);
  • An average, or predicted average, of 5 Grade Cs in the IGCSE examinations;
  • New applicants will be admitted to the College and the programme on the basis of school transcripts, written applications, admissions tests and interviews.

Students successfully completing any of the above will normally be entered into the IB Diploma Programme. Students with grades lower than the requirement but who, in the judgement of the IB Diploma Coordinator, would be suitable candidates for Year 12 entry may be admitted as a DP Courses student. However, all cases will be examined on an individual basis, and the College reserves the right to accept or reject any application at its discretion. Students will be counselled on the correct choice of either full Diploma status or Courses status.

8. Nomination Rights

See Nomination Rights Terms and Conditions

9. Fees

See College Fees

10. Immigration Status

An offer of a place cannot be made to a child who is not a resident of Hong Kong unless the child is permitted by the Director of Immigration to reside in Hong Kong. Unless clearance is obtained from the Director of Immigration, no child will be admitted to any school in Hong Kong whose travel document/passport bears the endorsement “Visitor” over the immigration stamp. Parents of non-local children are advised to seek the approval of the Director of Immigration ( as soon as possible for entry to Hong Kong of the child in question, for the purpose of study.

11. Withdrawal of Students

For withdrawal of students, please refer to the Student Withdrawal Procedures.

12. Admissions Enquiries

Enquiries may be sent to either Mr. Bob Priest (for Secondary and combined Secondary / Primary applications) at or Ms Annie WONG (for Primary applications) at

13. Policy Review

Discovery College’s admissions policy is subject to regular review.

It is the responsibility of individual applicants to check the College website for any updates to the policy.

14. Enquiries

Enquiries about this policy should be directed to the Admissions Manager at