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. 

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.

THROUGH TRAIN from K1 to Year 13

Starting from 2022/23, ESF kindergarten children joining K1 from August 2020, who can benefit from a mainstream, English medium curriculum, will be guaranteed a Year 1 place at an ESF school.

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 in the offer letter.

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.

2. Application Fee

The application fee is HK$2,000*. Click here to view instructions on online payment.

*Effective 1 September 2023, the application fee will be increased to $2,800 (subject to Education Bureau’s approval).

3. Supporting Documents

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

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

In addition to the application form, you are required to submit supporting documents on the ESF website electronically.  Click here for the list of supporting documents. 

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. 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.

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 school’s agreement.