Student Support & Safeguarding
Student support is integral to the College’s values and principles in that we are individually and collectively responsible, in partnership with the family, for the wellbeing of every student. We recognise that the family is the primary caregiver and holds the responsibility for the wellbeing of the child. In light of this, we seek to support and work collaboratively with the family to enhance wellbeing in a thoughtful and appropriate manner. Parents and students are encouraged to talk with any member of the staff if they have concerns. We provide a coordinated structure of care for every child to ensure they are effectively supported by a network of staff. By talking about issues at the early stages with the class teacher or Learning Advisor, or trusted adult at school, many situations and issues can be alleviated and solutions found quickly. When necessary, there may be more targeted intervention by different professionals within the school community such as the Student Counsellor or Social Worker (see below), Higher Education Counsellor (see HEO), Classroom Teacher, LDT teacher, EA, Secondary Dean, Primary Team Leader, VP and so forth. Student Counsellor At Discovery College there are two Student Counsellors available, both of whom are trained teachers and counsellors. Ms Michaela Byrne is available predominantly for the secondary students and their families and can be located on the 4/F as part of the DC Guidance Centre. Ms Jordana Velasco is available predominantly for the primary students and their families and her office is located on the LG/F.
The Student Counsellors, along with the HK government-funded Social Workers, operate as a close team providing student support across the school community. Students can access the counselling service through self-referrals (i.e. emailing the counsellors directly, filling out an appointment slip, or visiting the counsellors in person). Parents can access the service for their children, or seek support for their parenting, by phone or by requesting an appointment with either Michaela (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jordana (email@example.com). At times a teacher may refer a student to counselling due to an ongoing issue that has not been resolved through other avenues. The Student Counsellors work in a range of different ways including providing therapeutic counselling, skills building, advocacy work, group process and in-class support through class conferences. They work with a wide range of issues such as self-esteem, depression, anxiety, self-harm, abuse, eating disorders, family relationship issues, suicide ideation, anger, boundaries, and parenting challenges. Both counsellors operate in a wider network of Hong Kong professionals and are able to refer individuals and their families to wider support and help if needed or requested. Social workers Ellie Fong and Kyo Wong are Discovery College’s HK government-funded Secondary School Social Workers. Ellie and Kyo work closely with the Student Counsellors and teachers to facilitate group work and workshops to alleviate factors that may be interfering with a student’s learning. Both work with individuals and groups around issues such as resilience, self-esteem, and social skills, and are available through self-referrals, teacher referrals, and parent referrals. The service may involve long or short-term intervention plans according to the student’s needs, together with social and emotional factors. Ellie (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kyo (email@example.com) also liaise with other agencies to develop programmes to increase the range of support available.
If you would like to make an online referral to one of our Student Counsellors please fill in this form.
Discovery College is committed to Safeguarding, which is “what we do as a society to protect individuals (in particular, children and vulnerable adults) from harm such as abuse, neglect, and sexual exploitation. Safeguarding ensures children grow up with the best life chances and that all individuals are given safe and effective care.” (Source: Child Protection Company)
Discovery College has four Child Protection Officers (two Primary, two Secondary) who work to ensure the wellbeing of students by monitoring incidences of suspected abuse or neglect, convening teams of relevant colleagues to make decisions about student welfare and making referrals, internally and externally, to specialist colleagues in order to support students who are in need.
Any member of the school community with a Safeguarding / Child Protection concern should contact the below colleagues.
Emma-Louise Cathrae, Head of Primary - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kris Stanhope, Deputy Head of Primary - email@example.com
Brian McCann, Director of Student Support & Wellbeing - firstname.lastname@example.org
Annette Garnett, Deputy Head of Secondary - email@example.com