COVID Safety measures at OWIS

Keeping our community of students, staff and parents safe and healthy is our top priority. While regulations in this COVID era keep evolving, we keep ourselves updated with the latest advisories from the Committee for Private Education (CPE) and stringently follow all the relevant safety regulations and measures as advised by the CPE and Singapore’s Ministry of Health.

The various measures taken at OWIS to keep our community safe are mentioned below.

Safe Entry

All staff members, teachers and students must use the Safe Entry app when entering the school premises. Parents and visitors to the school must use the Safe Entry app if they go beyond the designated drop-off areas or need to enter the school premises for any specific reason.

‍Our teachers play a key role in modelling age appropriate behaviour to establish student routines and reduce student anxiety. They will consider each student’s individual needs and ensure that they feel safe and confident about coming into school. Our students and parents will be kept informed about any procedures to make them feel more comfortable and relaxed about their time at school.

Temperature checks

Parents are requested to check their child's temperature each morning before sending them to school and should they have an elevated temperature or be unwell, please keep them at home.

OWIS has installed thermal scanners, which help in efficient taking of temperatures and also reduce human contact, compared to hand-held scanners.

The temperature of all staff and students is checked twice a day.

Our school nurse is on hand to attend to any medical concerns and is highly trained at dealing with a range of medical issues by constantly updating her knowledge and skills with regards to the current COVID-19 situation.

Parents will be kept up to date at all times if any of our processes change or if we have any concerns regarding the pandemic.

Drop-off/Pick-up routines

There are staggered drop-off and pick-up timings for students to avoid overcrowding while students enter and exit school at the start and end of the day.

Our secondary students arrive first so that they can attend their tutor group sessions. Our primary students follow and, finally, our early childhood students are dropped off.

Since access to the campus is highly controlled during COVID Phase 2 safety arrangements, parents/caregivers are requested to follow the instructions for dropping off their children at school at the dedicated time-slots and designated drop-off/pick up areas. There will be no waiting or parking allowed on the school campus.

Our teachers and pastoral staff will collect the younger students from the drop off points so parents can feel confident that their children are being cared for from the moment they arrive at school. 

Parents/caregivers collecting their children from school are requested to collect their child at the dedicated time-slots from their designated collection points. Our teachers and pastoral staff will escort our younger students to these collection points.

Students leaving the school independently are required to leave the campus immediately after dismissal. For students in Early Childhood and Grade 1 who use the school bus, the teaching assistants will accompany them until they board the bus. All other students board the bus with the help of their teachers and transport staff as per their staggered dismissal timings.

Health and Travel declarations

All students and staff are reminded to update us immediately if you plan to travel outside Singapore or should your travel situation change. 

Anyone on a Stay-at-Home notice (SHN), Leave of Absence (LoA) or Quarantine Order (QO) should inform the school immediately. Students on these orders should not come to school.

If any family member is on an SHN, LoA or QO, students should not come to school. 

If you have any questions regarding these notices, or if you are unsure whether your child should be attending, we ask that you contact the school to discuss as soon as possible.

Safety and Safe-distancing measures

School bus

Please be reassured that we have checked with our bus service provider and they have confirmed that they are following all Singaporean directives and school expectations.

Buses have seating plans that are in line with the expectations set by the Singapore authorities. Siblings are able to sit together; however, students from different family groups will be seated with social distancing in place.

Hand sanitiser will be available during each ride.

Internal checks and record-keeping will ensure all transport staff are compliant with regulations to ensure compliance.

Our staff members are also positioned at the public bus stops that our students use to ensure that our students are safe-distancing while waiting for the public bus. 

Face masks and face shields

Everyone on campus will be wearing a face mask or face shield. Face masks are compulsory for all students above the age of 12. Students aged 12 and below are permitted to wear face shields or face masks.  

When teachers are speaking for a long period of time, they are permitted to wear face shields, and hence our teachers will be wearing face shields inside the classroom. We feel that this is especially important for our younger students, as it allows them to read facial expressions and emotions with greater ease. This is extremely important for their learning and development and ensures that they feel confident within the classroom.

Classroom arrangements

Safe-distancing arrangements in all classrooms, including specialist lessons, by rearranging of furniture and seating arrangements for students. 

Our primary students are now seated at the ends of their tables so that they can continue to work with their peers while maintaining a safe distance.

We have invested in desk separators to ensure that students keep a safe distance from each other and perspex individualised screens for our secondary students. In most cases our secondary students have individual desks.

Play and activity routines have been altered to ensure safe distancing while still allowing for students to benefit from important social and playtime.

A rota is in place so that all of our classes have at least 30 minutes of outdoor educational and play time.

Hygiene and cleaning arrangements

Teachers will frequently remind students, especially the younger ones, to maintain personal hygiene (washing hands, not touching the face or shield/mask, maintaining the cleanliness of personal space, etc.).

Hand sanitisers are positioned throughout the school, particularly in high traffic areas.

There will be disinfecting of common facilities if different sets of students need to use the same facility consecutively.

All classrooms will be disinfected at the end of the day.

More frequent cleaning and disinfection of commonly used facilities, such as washrooms and surfaces like doorknobs and railings.

Use of disinfectant misters, which have been specially purchased in this period to disinfect classrooms thoroughly, in addition to manual disinfection methods

Canteen Safe Distancing Measures

All canteen tables will be labelled and designated to classes/grades – there will be no cross mingling of classes at tables. Our students will remain in their ‘bubbles’ throughout the day.

Time in the canteen will be limited, to ensure eating is efficient and non-mask wearing time reduced.

Cleaning and sanitation will take place between every group to ensure there is no cross contamination.

Specialised Age Appropriate Arrangements

Our teachers will provide a supportive and caring environment for our students at all times and will ensure that age-appropriate processes are in place. At OWIS, we understand that the ‘new normal’ can cause anxiety for our students and parents, so we are passionate about making our students’ time at school as enjoyable and as normal as possible. We keep our parents in the loop at all times.  

Early Childhood

The Early Childhood department is housed in a separate building in a fenced section of the school.  Please be aware that parents or visitors will not be permitted to have access to this dedicated environment.

Outdoor and indoor play is only permitted within a small group of up to 5 students with their own designated member of staff.

Students will sit in groups of 4 with clear safe distancing between each table grouping.

Students will work within their designated group of 4 when working directly with the teacher, either on the carpet or at their group table.

Primary School

Student seats will be assigned in line with the safe distancing measures.

Staggered outdoor play is permitted with proper safe distancing measures.

Masks or shields must be worn when transitioning around the school and during outdoor play.

Secondary School

Students will not be permitted to move between tables during a lesson.

Tables and screens will be wiped down at the end of each lesson.

Masks must be worn when transitioning around the school.  

All Secondary students will transition in a one-way flow around the Secondary building to avoid walking towards each other with 1-metre spacing between individuals.

There will be staggered sittings in the canteen. Half in the canteen, half in a designated play area outside.

Frequent Communication with Parents

The Head of School will continue to communicate frequently with parents during these times of heightened awareness. As this is a dynamic time with situations changing globally on a regular basis, our Head of School will communicate with parents when there are new updates to any safety rules or if there is anything parents need to be made aware of.  We will remain proactive in gaining further information about the situation and will always ensure that parents are informed as soon as we hear anything. We understand that this is a difficult period for our parents and that these times can cause a lot of anxiety. We want to ensure that all of our parents feel confident that their children are safe. We are doing everything we can to ensure that safety is paramount, and we will continue to maintain this level of care and support as long as it is needed.