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Secondary Update

Posted: June 12, 2020

It has been brought to the school’s attention that large groups of unsupervised students are gathering at different places around Discovery Bay, and participating in activities such as underage drinking, vaping and other examples of unsafe and unhealthy behaviours.

Our Deans have been in contact with parents of Year 9, 10 and 11 students to highlight this issue and raise awareness of the dangers of these behaviours. This has subsequently led to further discussions and feedback with some concerned parents, including questions raised about student behaviour on campus which the College continues to monitor closely.

We will continue to foster our partnership with parents, and other community members, so that we work together to provide a safe environment for our students. With this in mind, please let me take this opportunity to provide further insight into the strategies that we have in place at Discovery College to address these issues:

  • Through our Learning Team curriculum, we continue to provide educational experiences that alert students to the dangers of drinking, vaping and other substance misuse.
  • Since class resumption, our Secondary Leadership Team and duty staff have been vigilant in monitoring students at break times and lunch times to ensure appropriate behaviours.
  • If we find instances of inappropriate behaviour, including vaping, we respond accordingly so that the issue is dealt with in line with school behavioural policies and with the seriousness that it deserves.
  • Furthermore, we do act on any information that comes to us regarding any students involved in activities, such as vaping. We encourage all students to discreetly share information that they have so that we can respond effectively and appropriately.
  • Our security guards monitor the use of the foreshore area during the evenings and we review CCTV footage accordingly, sharing information with the police and Discovery Bay management company, as appropriate.
  • We liaise closely with our Community Police. There will be a webinar for Year 9 and 10 students on Wednesday 17 June, hosted by our Police Liaison officer, that will further educate students and raise further awareness of the legal implications of large group gatherings, vaping, underage drinking and drug use. We will aim to record this webinar and share with parents and students of all Secondary year groups.
  • We believe that this information will be timely and important for our community, particularly as we are on the cusp of the summer holidays where opportunities for travel are limited.

If we can be consistent with our messages to our children both at home and in school, this will help to provide a safe environment for them to flourish. I hope that this overview of our approach proves useful and I am always open to conversations around this, and any other issue.

Mark Poulsum
Head of Secondary