Discovery Bay & DBIS

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  1. #1

    Unhappy Discovery Bay & DBIS

    Hi Everyone,

    Looking for some feedback on Discovery Bay and DBIS. My eldest daughter hasn't settled into her school on Hong Kong Island or the apartment that we're living in come to that (42nd flr might have something to do with it). We've been here since Aug 07, and feel that she should have been able to settle down by now if she was going too. She gets herself so upset about going into school that she's getting panic attacks that bring on vomitting. She's constantly asking how many more sleeps she has before she's allowed to go back home to America. She went to a great school in America and was very happy and doing really well now this school are saying that she must have a learning problem, because she's not picking things up quickly enough in class and she's asking the same question more than once and still doesn't understand. Now she doesn't want to ask a question because she told me she's stupid. I told her that no one is stupid and it's always good to ask questions even Mummy & Daddy need to ask questions. I'm a hands on parent and I'm lucky enough to be able to stay at home and look after my girls. I drive her to school and pick her up every day (she tried the bus and really hated it), I'm amazed that when I pick her up there's about 200 children coming out of school and a handful of parents, the rest are helpers and/or drivers, the children visibly (obviously) have a different relationship with the helper than a parent. It's incredibly hard to arrange playdates because the children seem to be in constant after school classes and even classes on Saturday's. The helper can't arrange a playdate and so I try to e-mail the parent which 2 days later I get an answer with a 2hr slot for a couple of weeks down the road with details of the childs driver and helper! I realise that I'm in Hong Kong and it's going to be different but I would like some kind of normal life (that my kids are used too) whilst we're living here. We plan on being here another 5 years and it's our primary concern that our girls are happy.

    We went and had a look at Discovery Bay at the weekend and it seems so much nicer, parents were playing frisbee on the beach and actually doing things with their children and generally hanging out. I had an appointment at the DB International School early in the week and was shown around. It seemed like a really nice school, the kids were happy and I was impressed with the childrens reading ability. I would welcome your opinion on DBIS and Discovery Bay.

    Clearly we would need to break our lease on our apartment here if we move to DB. The school have said that they can get her in if we pay the Premium Levy. My husbands company are not going to pay the Pemium Levy because they don't get it back, whereas they get their debenture back from HKIS. Therefore we will need to pay the Levy out of our savings (which we'd rather not do), so I want to make sure I get enough information before we make the final decission.

    Thank you.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    8,561

    you don't mention how old your daughter is.... as DBIS only goes to P6, she'd have to change schools again down the road.

    DB life is GREAT for kids. If you can get into the school, I'd go for it.

    Life in Db is much more "westernised" in many ways:
    not all highrises
    green spaces to play
    loads of playgrounds
    supermarket that is fairly well stocked (not always!)
    kids from all over the world
    it is a life that you can easily adapt to.

    we lived there for 6+ years both pre & post children. we only left because we couldn't afford the rent any longer. we really miss the fact that you can go to the playground almost any day of the week and the kids can find someone to play with. and as db is fairly small, it's not difficult to arrange playdates, even if it's just stopping at the playground on the way home from school.

    as for the school itself, i've only heard good things.


  3. #3

    Hi Carang,

    Thanks so much for your reply. My eldest turned 6 last week and my other daughter is 3. My eldest is clearly struggling to make friends and talks a lot about life back home. She and her daddy had a flower garden that they made together and it would be good if we could do that for her again. She makes friends very easily which is why we realise that for her Hong Kong Island isn't the best place to be. DB seemed very friendly when I went to have a look, unfortunately the day we chose was clod and windy so we'll probably go for another look this weekend if the weather is better. We're still weighing up all the pro's and con's for our girls living and going to school on the Island versus living and going to school on DB.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Discovery Bay
    Posts
    190

    The Discovery Bay schools are among the best in Hong Kong. And they will get better since the new school fully opens. Hwever, your daughter is only 6, primary 1, and making friends in HK is not easy. If she does not speak Chinese, then her problem will only increase. If you want a house with garden space, DB has a few, but they are very expensive to buy or rent. DBIS schools will eventually allow students to finish secondary school without changing schools.

    Your daughter is six, and you want to stay in one place her entire school life (11-12 years) so move to DB and enjoy life on the Island.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    8,561

    DBIS has no intention of opening a secondary school. you are thinking about the new ESF school that is opening there.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    8,561

    living in db, chinese is not all that helpful when making friends...she'd be better off speaking english, german, french, spanish, japanese, korean....you get the picture?

    rent is high, but not any higher than hk island and you still get a lot more for your $ in db than you do on hk island.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Discovery Bay
    Posts
    190

    My mistake, I was thinking about ESF school. And you are right, almost no Chinese students at DB. So it would be a great place for the kid.

    I forget I am even in Asia or Hong Kong when I am home in DBay. It is a wonderful place to raise a family.