Application Procedure for Primary & Secondary

1. General

Applications for entry to Discovery College are made through the Online Admission System (OAS).
Year 1 and Year 7 Central Applications are made during the month of September of the year before the student enters school. Click here to see Key Dates.

General Applications for all year groups can be made throughout the whole year.

Parents may only submit one online application form per child with their selected preference of schools. Zoning applies for ESF primary and secondary schools, but NOT for Discovery College.

For Central Applications (Year 1 and Year 7), all applications received within the ‘Central Application Period’ (during the month of September) will receive a computer generated random number. Applications will be ranked by priority category and assigned a random number for central processing. The interview list for each ESF/PIS school is compiled, taking into account the priority criteria, the parent’s preferences, placement availability and requirements in line with the Hong Kong Education Bureau. Transport restrictions into Discovery Bay will also be taken into account for Discovery College processing. Applicants who are not able to gain a first-round interview are waitlisted for their first preference school. Each year, Discovery College is oversubscribed with applications, and so unfortunately, we are not able to interview all applicants who apply on-time. Year 1 applications received after the Central Application period will be placed on a waiting list in date order of receipt.

For current ESF kindergarten graduates (who are eligible for the kindergarten priority), a formal interview is exempted when they apply for a Year 1 place at an ESF school. Instead, the assessment process will take place on site at their respective ESF kindergartens. Assessment information from their kindergartens will support the process.

All other General Applications received during the year are considered under application date order and added to the waiting list according to the first preference school and priority criteria.
Applicants will be invited for interview and assessment at the school as vacancies become available.

Following a successful admissions interview and assessment, a place may be offered subject to availability.

Acceptance of the offer must be confirmed by payment of a deposit within the time frame specified on the offer letter, generally a period of between seven and 14 days.

Acceptance of an offer is with a commitment of two academic years before any internal transfer request can be made regardless of the residential address.

Re-application is required when:

  • an offer for an interview and assessment has been declined;
  • an offer of a place has been declined;
  • a student has not met the entry requirements at interview and assessment;
  • The one academic year validity period of the application has expired. Applicants on waiting lists at the end of the academic year may carry forward their waitlist position by reapplying for the following academic year. Waitlist applicants will be contacted by email before April each year for re-application. No additional fee is required.

If a student meets the entry requirements for Discovery College but there are no immediate places available, the child will be returned to the age-appropriate waiting list according to his/her priority status and, in the case of Central Admission applicants, the random number he/she was assigned. In the event a place becomes available within six months of the initial successful assessment, no further assessment will be required. If an offer is made for an alternative school, no re-interview and re-assessment is required. If a place has not become available after six months from the initial successful assessment, the child will be required to undertake a further assessment to be considered for the offer of a place should one subsequently become available.

Discovery College Year 6 students are guaranteed a secondary place at the college when transitioning to Year 7.

2. Application Fee

The application fee is HK$2,000.

This is a non-refundable, non-transferable fee which covers the cost of admissions administration, including personnel, system costs, commissions paid to our online service provider, etc. Due to the high number of applications, the collection of this fee does not constitute any assurance that an interview or a school place will be offered. Method of payment is by VISA/MasterCard through PayDollar, the ESF’s online payment service provider.

It is important to note that an application will not be processed without payment of the application fee.

Please ensure that you have applied for the appropriate academic year and Year Group. The application fee will NOT be refunded for incorrect application or early application.

Click here to view instructions on online payment.

3. Supporting Documents

It is important to note that an application with insufficient supporting documents will not be processed.

Before you start the application process, please view the ‘General Instructions (for General and Central Applications)’ on the ESF’s website.

In addition to the application form, you are required to submit supporting documents on the ESF website electronically.

If you are applying for ESF / Discovery College / Renaissance College Central Applications in September 2019 for Year 1 or Year 7 for the next academic year 2020-21, supporting documents must be uploaded on the online application form by 8 October 2019 for Year 1 and by 25 September 2019 for Year 7.

We suggest parents do not wait until the Central Admissions deadline of 30 September 2019 to submit the online application.

If you are applying under General Applications for Discovery College, supporting documents must be uploaded to the online application form as soon as possible to complete the application.

Supporting documents include copies of:

  • Child’s school reports for the last two years, with English translation as appropriate. If applying for Year 1, one kindergarten report;
  • Examination certificates / results (for Year 12 / 13 applications);
  • A reference letter from your child’s current school (for applicants seeking admission to Year 3 and above);
  • Educational Psychology Reports or similar (where appropriate);
  • Child’s birth certificate;
  • Child’s:
    • Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card; or
    • Passport / PRC Exit Entry Permit (EEP) pages showing personal details and Hong Kong Visa / Landing Slip (if issued at the time of the application); and
    • Hong Kong Identity Card (if issued at the time of the application).
  • Parents’:
    • Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card; or
    • Passport / PRC Exit Entry Permit (EEP) pages showing personal details and Hong Kong Visa / Landing Slip (if issued at the time of the application); and
    • Hong Kong Identity Card (if issued at the time of the application).
  • Two proof of HK address documents – a copy of a stamped tenancy agreement or a current government demand for rates bill and an original utility bill or bank statement;
  • Details of parent’s attendance at ESF or PIS primary/secondary school (if applicable).
  • Proof of employment of the director or employee whose Nominee is nominated under a Corporate Nomination Right (for Corporate Nomination Rights applications only).

4. Nomination Rights

See Nomination Rights Terms and Conditions.

5. Assessments and Interviews for Admission

All ESF schools offer an inquiry-based English-medium education and, as such, children applying to join an ESF school, including Discovery College, must demonstrate sufficient English language skills to engage with the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum.

For Year 1 admissions, the process used to assess a young child’s level of English language competence is through a play-based approach. Assessment reports from kindergartens also support the admissions process at Year 1.

Primary (Years 2 – 6) and Secondary students (Years 7 – 13) applying to join Discovery College will take age-appropriate assessments for English language. Secondary students will also take age-appropriate assessments for mathematics. 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 English medium curriculum being offered at the school. The student’s academic background, previous school reports and reference, and supporting documents support the admissions process for those students offered places.

In addition to the age-appropriate assessments, secondary applicants may also be required to undertake an online English placement test.

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.

6. Admission into the IB Diploma Programme / Career-related Programme

The IB Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) are 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 DP or CP:

  • A minimum of 28 points (out of a total of 49) in the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP);
  • An average, or predicted average, of Grade Cs in at least five 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.

New students will normally be entered into the DP or CP according to the preference of the student / their families and with the agreement of the Vice Principal i/c Years 12-13.

The CP is designed to provide students with learning experiences in a specialist, career-related area, while the DP is designed to provide an academic programme in a broad range of subject areas. Students wishing to take the CP should therefore show a significant interest in one of the specialist areas offered by the College as a prerequisite for admission to the programme.

A Student with grades lower than the requirement but who, in the judgement of the IB Diploma Coordinator, would be a suitable candidate 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 DP, CP, or DP Courses.

7. FAQs on Admissions

Click here to see the frequently asked questions on the Online Admissions System (OAS).

8. Admissions Enquiries

Enquiries may be sent to either Mr Bob Priest (for Secondary and combined Secondary / Primary applications) at bob.priest@dc.edu.hk or Ms Annie WONG (for Primary applications) at annie.wong@dc.edu.hk.