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Attendance & length of school day/year

Discovery College must meet Hong Kong Government requirements regarding the length of the school year.


No students, with the exception of Year 12 and 13 students (refer Senior Student privileges), are expected to be present on campus before 8 am and after 3.30 pm (Primary students) or 4.00 pm (Year 7 -11 Secondary students) unless involved with academic or co-curricular activities. On weekends, no Year 7 to 11 students are permitted in the school at any time unless they have permission and are accompanied by a teacher.


No students are expected to be present on campus before 8 am. Parents must provide supervision from 3.30 pm if their child is required to wait at school between the end of classes and the start of any activity. All students should arrive in the morning between 8 am and 8.15 am, 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.


  • Full-time attendance is mandatory for all students

  • Years 1-3 students will be monitored by their classroom teachers throughout the day

  • Years 4-13 students will log their arrival using a multi-purpose Smart Card and have attendance monitored throughout the day. To be marked on time students must swipe the attendance card readers before 8.20 am

  • Parents/caregivers must inform the school via the process outlined below if their child is absent on any given day or will be absent for a longer period.

  • Unexplained absence will be queried via email or a phone call to parents/caregivers as soon as possible

  • Patterns of non-attendance will be followed up with parents/caregivers as soon as possible, by member/s of the Student Support team, e.g. learning advisor/class teacher, deans, vice-principals, heads of school

  • Attendance will be recorded on school reports

Absences and requests for leave

Parents are required to notify the College if your child is sick or absent BEFORE 8 AM by either: ​ Email: Call: 3969 1000 ( leave a message if required) For Secondary students, in particular, the following thresholds apply to make clear to students, parents and staff the level of concern that will generally be attached to different levels of absence:

  • 99-100%: Outstanding

  • 97-98%: Good

  • 95-96%: Satisfactory

  • 90-94%: Unsatisfactory

  • 76-89%: Cause for concern

  • 75% and below: Significant cause for concern

The College reserves the right to treat each case individually, but in general, contact will be made with parents by key Student Support staff when an absence becomes a cause for concern / significant cause for concern. In such cases, the student, parents and staff are expected to work together to bring the student’s absence back to levels that do not cause concern, including by prioritising school over other events and activities that may otherwise require the student to take leave during the term. Students with significant medical absence may be asked to provide medical certificates.

Medical 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 College as soon as possible using the absence procedures above.

Essential and non-essential travel

Parents wishing to have their child take extended leave (2 or more days) from school during term-time do so under the following conditions:

  • the College will determine what is essential travel and what is non-essential travel. For essential travel, students can expect some negotiation around assessment dates and information about the work to be covered in their absence;

  • for non-essential travel, staff are not required to provide any more than a summary of the work to be covered and assessment dates will remain unchanged.

Requests should be made as early as possible so any adjustments to teaching and learning prior to term-time departure/arrival can be forecast. Requests should be made in writing to the Head of Secondary or Head of Primary. Because leave can significantly interrupt the process of learning, parents are strongly encouraged to organise holidays during school breaks.


Students are expected to have arrived at school and swiped in (Years 4-13) before 8.20 am in order to be in their classrooms before 8.25am ready to start the school day. Any student arriving from 8.20 am onwards will be deemed to be late. Parents of students with recurrent lateness will be informed. Lateness will be recorded on all school reports with the following comments:

  • 0-4 days – Acceptable

  • 5-9 days – Cause of concern

  • 10 or more days – Unacceptable

Students are also expected to maintain an operational swipe card and should replace a lost/inoperative card straight away. Concerns over students repeatedly signing in manually / failing to bring an operational card will be followed up with the student and their family.

Primary students leaving school during the day

Primary students are not at any time permitted to leave the school grounds unaccompanied. When a student is required to leave school early for a specific reason, parents should notify the class teacher via email with the arrangements that include time of collection, adult collecting and reason for early departure. The collecting adult will be expected to sign the student out at the front office prior to collecting from the classroom.

Secondary students leaving school during the day

Secondary students can leave early, if parents send the front office an email informing the school that they student will be leaving early. Without parent’s consent students will not be allowed to leave the school campus.

After school care and supervision

Primary students are not permitted to remain inside the school grounds after 3.30 pm, unless unaccompanied by an adult and participating in an after school club/sporting activity. All primary students attending after school activities must be supervised by an adult during this time.

Length of school day

  • A normal school day for formal instruction will be from 8.25 am-3.15 pm

  • All students will have a 20 minute recess and a 50 minute lunch break (different times for Primary and Secondary).

  • Co-curricular Activities will occur after school and at lunchtime. 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 weekly e-newsletter, The Explorer.

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