Alain Sama, head of sixth form at Discovery Bay International School, tells Claire Severn why a through-train education provides students with a coherent, balanced learning experience.
Choosing a school in Hong Kong can be a daunting process, with lots of variables for parents to take into account. One of the key considerations is how well the school is placed to support students as they progress through their school career.
Through-train schools are well positioned in this regard, offering learning at each stage of a child’s educational journey.
“A through-train education is a progressive educational journey from Early Years education all the way through to senior graduation, provided by the same school,” explains Alain Sama, head of sixth form at Discovery Bay International School (DBIS).
“The rationale behind the through-train mode is to ensure a continuous and uninterrupted learning journey for students. It aims to enhance continuity in curriculum, ease transition from one phase to another and strengthen the school’s support for its students.”
According to Alain, there are a number of benefits of a through-train set-up. “From a practical perspective, students benefit from access to the facilities at different sites when needed, and communication among staff is easier. But one of the most valuable benefits is the ability to enhance curriculum continuity while crucially strengthening the school’s understanding of and support for its students.
“Despite the age of the child, we recognise our collective responsibility to promote a nurturing environment in which all students have a sense of belonging, participation and equal access to every aspect of school life. The wellbeing of both students and staff is a priority at DBIS. As a through-train school, we can adopt a more proactive approach and quickly adapt that approach to meet student needs with minimal fuss.
“Our students are extremely fortunate to learn, grow and develop among peers who live in the same area in which they attend school, while also benefitting from wider learning across Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.”
Head girl Ashley Olsen, now in Year 13, began her DBIS journey in the Early Years section. “Personally, I feel the curriculum has been taught smoothly and it is easy to integrate with younger students through whole school events and assemblies,” she reports.
“The social aspect of the Senior School is lovely, and I will definitely miss it next year! It is so nice to know that upcoming year gtoups will always experience this, as the number of students continuing to and externally applying for Years 12 and 13 continues to increase.”