Monthly Archives: September 2014

Heroic Swim Around Lantau Island for Plastic Free Seas

Posted by Peter MUIR

Bruce Pye is embarking on a monumental task. This experienced marathon and triathlon sportsman has pledged to swim around the entire Lantau Island – a staggering 75km – in order to raise awareness of the environmental impact of plastic.

A gruelling swim over five consecutive days will see Bruce start his journey on Tai Pak beach in Discovery Bay on 29 October 2014 at 7.45am. He will cover approximately 15km each day. Following the completion of each leg, Bruce will participate in a beach cleanup alongside local schools, clubs, corporates and interested members of the public. The goals of this adventure are to: raise awareness of the issue of plastics in the South China Sea, undertake research looking at the plastic load in the South China Sea, and raise money for Plastic Free Sea’s Education and Research Sea Classroom which will be launched later this year.

The targeted beaches are: Luk Keng Bay (near Sunny Bay MTR), Tung Chung Bay, Fan Lau (south-western tip of Lantau Island) and Shui Hau Wan (near Tong Fuk). Bruce will repeat the process of swimming and doing beach cleanups until 2 November 2014, when a celebratory lunch will be held to present the ceremonial cheque for the funds raised so far from the event. All the proceeds will go to Plastic Free Seas, a charity dedicated to educating children on plastic marine pollution. Fundraising will continue until the end of November.

PFS Bruce swimWhen asked for his reaction to the highly positive feedback he has received from the public, an excited Bruce replied, “Plastic Free Seas is a wonderful organisation, teaching our children about an issue that has always been very close to my heart. I’ve always wanted to give back and this event is exactly that. We need to make sure that the world we leave behind for our children is in a better state than when we entered it.”

People who would like to sponsor Bruce on his amazing and challenging journey can visit to make a donation which will support Plastic Free Seaseducation programmes, specifically their education and research vessel.

Businesses interested in making a donation or sponsoring the event should contact for more information

About Bruce Pye

Bruce Pye, a long-term resident of Hong Kong, is currently a Captain with Cathay Pacific and is the Managing Director at Sports World, a store selling high-end sports apparel, gear and products to people with an active lifestyle. He is also a frequent competitor in marathons, triathlons and ironman races. A keen athlete, he likes to put his athletic skills to useful causes, the most recent being the Marathon Des Sables, a 251km footrace in the sweltering Saharan desert heat. It was an easy decision for him to choose to support Plastic Free Seas in his newest adventure.

About Plastic Free Seas

plasticfreeseaslogoPlastic Free Seas was registered as a charitable non-profit organisation in Hong Kong in 2013, and is dedicated to advocating change in the way people view and use plastics in society today, through education and action campaigns.

Solution-based education has been Plastic Free Seas’ focus, and in the past year they have reached more than 5000 kindergarten to university students in over 40 schools with talks and programmes. The aim is that by understanding the issues related to plastic waste and pollution, people will choose to use less plastic and therefore less plastic will end up in the ocean, polluting the waters, affecting the fish and entering the food chain.

Plastic Free Seas also works with companies, community groups and the HKSAR Government on action campaigns and awareness events.

The proceeds from this fundraiser will enable the Plastic Free Seas Education and Research Sea Classroom to be operational in 2014.  A converted ex-fishing trawler will take secondary school students out onto the water to experience and participate in science-based learning programmes at sea.  This environmental Sea Classroom is the first of its kind in Hong Kong.

Discovery College Shelterbox Club

Posted by Peter MUIR

Do you want to make a difference?  Then join the Discovery College ShelterBox Club!

What is Shelterbox? Shelterbox is an international disaster relief charity that provides temporary shelter and life saving supplies to displaced families.

What will you do in the Discovery College Shelterbox club? Learn about disaster issues and disaster relief; organize fundraisers and other events to raise awareness of Shelterbox.

Where and when will you meet? Tuesdays at lunchtime in 2208 (Mr Hansson’s classroom).

For more details – email Mr Hansson:

UNICEF Young Envoys Programme is now open

Posted by Peter MUIR

UniceflogoSince 1996, the UNICEF Young Envoys Programme has been providing a platform for Hong Kong youth to learn about child rights, to go through new challenges, and organize various educational activities to speak up for children.

Those who join the programme can join a field visit to learn about the situation of children and women in developing countries, as well as to witness how UNICEF’s work improves their lives.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. To find out more details click here or visit to apply online or follow Programme’s Facebook Page for more details.  Application deadline: 31 Oct 2014

Interact at DC

Posted by Peter MUIR

interact logoDo you want to be empowered to take action, become leaders, and gain a global perspective? Then get involved in Interact!  Interact is a club for young people ages 12-18 who want to join together to tackle the issues in their community that they care most about. Through Interact, you can:

  • Carry out hands-on service projects
  • Make international connections
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Have fun!

Whether they’re carrying out a service project, organizing a Twitter chat, or planning a meeting, Interact club members develop skills that can last a lifetime.

If you are interested in joining the DC Interact club – email Mr Muir today!

Michael Jordan and perseverance

Posted by Peter MUIR

Showing perseverance and commitment is a learning outcome in both CAS and MYP Community Engagement.  What does Michael Jordan’s ‘Maybe It’s My Fault’ commercial tell us about hard work, perseverance and commitment?

MTR run for low carbon living

Posted by Peter MUIR

CAN logoA local youth running athlete group organized a 17km charity run along the MTR Island Line, in order to promote a life with low carbon footprint. Participants started running from Heung Fa Chuen Station until Sheung Wan Station. Money raised from the event will be donated to the Clean Air Network in support of their work.  Another example of a CAS / Community Engagement project.

DC Community Engagement Captains

Posted by Peter MUIR

Students in Years 7-12 are invited to apply for the position of newly created Community Engagement Captains.  The Community Engagement (CE) Captains will consist of elected student members who will play a role in managing and developing Discovery College’s CE activities.  This leadership opportunity will enable successful applicants to develop communication skills, skills in promotion and marketing, organisational skills, and foster information literacy and social capital.

The CE Captain’s role will include:

  • Encourage and support student CE efforts
  • Promote CE activities within the school
  • Assist in developing and reviewing a DC CE plan
  • Authorize proposals for student run CE events
  • Approve student proposals for CE clubs in the school
  • Liaise with Secondary leadership team about CE activities
  • Communicate CE activities to parents and the broader community
  • Prepare annual CE reports
  • Contribute to a review of DC’s efforts in CE
  • Where applicable, representing DC at external CE events
  • Meeting fortnightly with the Community Engagement Coordinator

Successful applicants will have:

  • Demonstrated development in each of the IB Learner profile attributes
  • Be able to commit to attend fortnightly meetings
  • A willingness to commit to Community Engagement

The Community Engagement Captains will be (maximum) two student representatives from each of Years 7-12.  We are looking for a broad representation of the student body to become CE Captains: from those who are often centre-stage, to those who enjoy playing supporting roles.

To apply for this position, students will be required to give a brief summary of what Community Engagement means to them, and provide some examples of how you see Community Engagement evolving in DC.   Deans, secondary leadership team and the Community Engagement coordinator will then select successful applicants.  Students who do not currently hold leadership positions in the school are strongly encouraged to apply.  Complete the application form below to apply.


The benefits of Community Engagement

Posted by Peter MUIR

At DC, we frame Community Engagement in the MYP and CAS in the DP as ‘personal and social development programmes’.  As I have said to parents and students many times, developing and executing a well-thought out plan in either of these programmes offers our students a number of benefits.   Not only do students have the opportunity to help out others in the community, they also have the opportunity gain many personal benefits.  Those benefits include developing the skills and attributes highlighted by company CEOs, universities, employers and educators as key to future success.  A recent post on this blog outlined how participation in Community Engagement can also reduce student stress.  In the video above Youth Service America explains how one form of Community Engagement – service learning – offers students the opportunity to develop what the US’s National Education Association (NEA) refer to as the Four Cs – critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.   It is these four skills that make up much of what is required for future success, and it is development of these four skills that is one aspect of what Community Engagement has to offer our students.

Community Engagement reduces stress?

Posted by Peter MUIR

Here is a quote from the opening lines in an article from Youth Service America, which discusses research findings that getting involved in Community Engagement can offer the additional benefit of reducing stress.

Did you know that school is the top source of stress for teens? Service can be the answer: multiple studies have found that volunteering can help reduce stress and increase happiness.

So not only does Community Engagement provide students with an opportunity to develop attributes of the IB learner profile as well as foster 21st century skills such as collaboration and creativity, and support other members of the community, and enhance a student’s CV and university applications, it can also help ro reduce student’s stress!  Totally a win-win!

Post-Mid-Autumn Festival Beach Cleanup

Posted by Peter MUIR

After-party CLEAN UP (DB Green)While the Mid-Autumn festival provides a celebration opportunity for our community, it also create a lot of waste!  As such, DB Green and Plastic Free Seas are organising a family-friendly beach cleanup to not only remove the litter from Tai Pak Beach, DB’s main beach, but to also raise awareness about the waste created and left behind on the beach after the Mid-Autumn Festival. Thousands of glow sticks and connectors, perfect condition lanterns with working batteries left inside and many single-use disposable items can be found scattered around the beach.

DB Green is in fact asking that people make an effort to make more environmentally-friendly lanterns.  See this post on their blog on how to do so.

The post-Mid-Autumn Festival Beach Cleanup will be held on Sept 9, 9am to 11am, on Tai Pak Beach. Organisers will supply gloves and bags.