Below you can find key details of our procedures, protocols and principles for the safest reasonable opening of our campus after the initial Covid-19 wave.
We also have a very simple picture guide, which you can find HERE.
The Summer Term will end on 21st July 2020. Between now and then, we may find it necessary to modify some of what follows, in light of changes that may occur. We will keep everyone updated if this happens.
Wellington College’s procedures are all science-based. Whilst scientific conclusions are sometimes proven to have been wrong*, they are still many, many, many times more reliable than guesswork, rumour, tradition, opinion, belief, petitions, conspiracy theories or any other way of coming to decisions about what to do.
*Indeed, it is a basic principle of science that we change our minds when we discover new information
This coronavirus is spread by droplets from the nose or mouth that may spray into the air if an infected person speaks, coughs or sneezes.
These can enter the body of someone nearby through the eyes, nose and mouth, either directly while they are still in the air or indirectly, after they have landed on a surface which is then touched by someone who – then – puts their contaminated hand to their eyes, nose or mouth.
There is some evidence that droplets can remain in the air for a short time as an aerosol, but this has not been definitively proven.
Water droplets can remain on surfaces such as tables, bannisters and door handles. The virus can only survive outside the body for a short time. There is evidence that this time is reduced by heat – but hot weather is not enough protection from the virus. Stringent cleaning is required.
Hair and clothing are not a risk for retaining water particles: it is very unlikely that anyone could catch this virus from ‘contaminated’ hair or clothing.
The best current information on transmission in both homes and schools suggests that transmission from child to child, and from child to adult, is very low indeed.
Adults can transmit the virus to children, although children (above 1 year old) usually experience mild or very mild symptoms. Cases of complications in children have recently emerged in Europe and the USA but they are still considered to be very rare.
Adult-to-adult transmission, where there are no safety measures in place, is relatively high.
Any adult can experience a Severe Case of Covid-19. Severity depends on the viral load. Some underlying medical conditions can inhibit the immune response, leading to a higher chance of a severe reaction.
Current information suggests that asymptomatic carriers – people who have the virus but no symptoms – do not normally spread the disease.
The Thai Government requires the school to ‘obtain health and travel history information from staff, students, parents and relevant outsource workers from the past 14 days’.
Wellington College has a quick and easy way to fulfil these requirements. Please follow this link to complete the Travel and Health Declaration form. Your child may not return to school until this form has been completed.
The school will hold this information and only share it with authorities if requested to do so.
Prior to re-opening the campus to students, all education staff undergo a medical check and are cleared for return to work by a doctor. Where necessary, this may be followed up with a test.
The school also tracks staff movement outside school hours to facilitate tracing should anyone come into contact with a Covid-19 case.
Masks reduce the number of water droplets entering the environment from people exhaling. Masks also prevent the wearer from touching their nose or mouth and therefore reduce the chance of transmission. They provide a good level of protection when worn by 80+% of the community.
Therefore, Staff, Students and Parents must wear a mask at all times when on campus. Masks must completely cover the nose and mouth, be appropriately tight and be put on before entering the campus.
Masks should not be removed for speaking, singing, coughing etc. Any activity that involves expelling water particles without a mask is prohibited. This includes smoking, which is not permitted on campus anyway, and spitting – including brushing teeth.
Masks must be fit for purpose, and designed as masks (not headscarfs or bandanas). They may be patterned but should be school-appropriate and not distracting, rude or otherwise unbecoming of the Wellington community.
Masks that have a valve are not allowed. The valve allows the air you breathe out to enter the room unfiltered. This means that it is not effective in protecting others.
Multiple masks may be necessary to maintain hygiene and comfort throughout the day. Parents may pack spare masks to be changed at lunchtime.
Drinking with a mask: a mask can be lowered to take a drink. One should ensure 1.5 metres distance and turn one’s back to others until the mask is replaced.
Eating with a mask: masks must be completely removed while eating. Hands must be washed with soap and water before removing and returning mask. Students are separated by at least 2 metres, or a shield, when eating.
Oxygen and carbon dioxide: there is very little evidence that healthy people over the age of 2 suffer any adverse effects from prolonged mask use, unless they are engaged in very vigorous exercise. Carbon dioxide poisoning, or ‘hypercapnia’, does not occur: both oxygen and carbon dioxide pass readily through the material of a face mask, in and out. There are opportunities during the school day for students to safely remove their masks and we advise changing masks at least one a day, but this is for comfort.
Face Shields: for some staff roles and activities (eg nursing), face shields may be required. These must always be worn in addition to masks. Students may wear them in addition to their masks if they wish but there is no good reason for them to do so.
Goggles: staff, students or parents may wear goggles or glasses if desired, though these are not required by school.
Gloves: gloves do not provide the same level of cleanliness or protection as regular handwashing and should therefore not be worn by parents, students or teachers. Some non-academic roles (eg nursing) may require gloves for the wearer’s protection.
An elevated temperature is a common indication that the body is fighting a virus and could indicate the presence of Covid-19.
All staff, students and parents are required to undergo temperature checks every time they enter the building.
Manual temperature check (forehead scanner): taken by a School Nurse, in the usual way, outside the entrance to the Lobby. All visitors and members of the school must have this check before being allowed to enter the building. No-one may enter with a confirmed temperature of over 37.5°C.
Infrared Thermal Scanner: this is located inside the Lobby and everyone must pass it on their way into the school. The computer automatically logs everyone’s scanned temperature and an alarm sounds if it is over 37.5°C. In such a case, a Nurse will do an accurate body-temperature check using a sanitised underarm thermometer.
Class Teachers complete a further temperature check of all students between 10-11am.
Any individual whose temperature is found to be above 37.5°C (or is displaying other symptoms of Covid-19) during the day will be taken to the Isolation Room and must return home directly from there.
The virus is covered by a protective protein casing. It is too fragile to survive without this protein and needs it to attach to cells in the body (coronavirus cannot spread inside the body without entering a cell). Effective handwashing breaks down the external protein and the virus is then not able to survive or spread.
Soap and water is most effective at destroying the barrier (more bubbles = more protein breakdown). At least twenty seconds is needed to break down the protein barrier.
Alcohol-based Hand Sanitiser is also effective, where soap and water are not immediately available.
All students and staff must sanitise their hands on entry to the school building. Thorough hand washing must be repeated at least once an hour, every hour. Where possible, this will be with soap and water.
The closer you are to someone who is infected, the greater the risk. Understanding of how viruses travel has developed significantly since experiments into distance were performed. The WHO suggests that a distance of 1 metre is enough to disrupt, though not to eliminate, the pattern of infection. This is backed up by evidence which suggests most bigger droplets, which contain the highest concentration of virus, fall to the ground quickly as a result of gravity.
This distance alone should not be considered safe without other measures in place.
Adults, who are at the highest risk of catching and spreading the virus, should stay at least 1.5-2 metres from each other at all times. Visual guidance is provided across the campus.
This is especially important in confined areas. The lift should be avoided.
Students are taught to keep 1.5 metres from each other, and monitored.
With the youngest children, effective social distancing is not possible at all times, although it is still encouraged.
Any adult or student experiencing one or more common symptoms of Covid-19 must not enter the school building until they have been cleared by a doctor.
Most common symptoms:
- dry cough
- aches and pains.
- sore throat.
- loss of taste or smell.
- a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes.
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
- chest pain or pressure.
- loss of speech or movement.
All students and staff who have left school during the day due to Covid-19-like symptoms must provide a Doctor’s medical certificate stating they are safe to return to school following any period of absence.
Staff and parents must inform the school immediately if they have been in contact with a confirmed or (medically) suspected case.
Risk of transmission is highest between adults. Limiting adults on campus limits the possibility of transmission.
In general, visitors are not allowed on the school campus during the Pandemic Prevention Period. Where visits are essential, appointments must be made in advance and full safety procedures followed.
Parents are admitted on to campus when it is necessary to collect their child. In this instance, only one adult is permitted per child. Once a child is collected, parents must leave the campus immediately.
In general, contact between parents and school staff should be via phone or email. In the rare case that parents need to enter the campus for other reasons, an appointment must be made. Parents without an appointment will be denied entry to the campus. Parents are required to comply with safety requirements as outlined in these pages, and as designated by school staff, without complaint.
Social Distancing becomes increasingly difficult to supervise in large groups. Larger numbers make contact tracing more difficult and any outbreak of virus would have more potential spread.
Students will not gather in groups of more than 23 (the maximum size of a class)
Adults waiting on campus to pick up their children will be required to sit in designated socially-distanced areas and leave the campus as soon as they have received their children. Copenhagen will not be open for business and no social gathering is permitted.
Social Distancing is harder to enforce when moving around the building. Limiting movement improves contact tracing and reduces the spread of any potential outbreak.
Movement around the building is restricted to essential-only. As far as possible, classes remain in their own classrooms and do not mix. Proactive measures are taken to avoid large numbers of students moving at the same time.
Social Distancing is maintained when moving around the school. Regular floor markings indicate minimum distance. No-one walks side-by-side with anyone.
There is some evidence that closed environments with insufficient airflow can contribute to transmission of Covid-19. The use of air conditioning per se is not a factor. Air change helps to limit exposure to any water particles in the air.
HVAC systems run at all times, bringing fresh air into the building. Classroom windows are opened for ten minutes every hour.
Doors to all classrooms remain open at all times.
All students get controlled, socially-distanced outdoors time every day.
Common cleaning products such as Dettol and Chlorine are highly effective at killing the virus (external to the human body – they should, of course, never be taken internally). School cleaning staff use these extensively and appropriately in their work.
UV rays may help to break down the protein surrounding the virus. High-dosage UV procedures were performed throughout the Junior School building prior to reopening.
Professional, certified Deep-Cleaning was performed prior to re-opening.
A schedule for all spaces in the school allows for constant, rolling cleaning throughout.
Quarantine remains a vital weapon in the battle against the spread of Covid-19 in Thailand and across the world. Wellington College is fully compliant with all government requirements and monitors any staff who are required to undergo quarantine.
New staff arriving from the UK in August will be required to undergo full two-week state-mandated quarantine and therefore will not be able to visit the campus until they are demonstrably Covid-free.
All parents are required to take their children’s temperatures before leaving home to go to school. If the child’s temperature is above 37.5°C, the child must be kept at home and the school informed. Before the child can return to school, a Doctor’s Certificate must be obtained.
Parents must maintain a daily log of their children’s temperature.
All staff, parents and students must enter through the main entrance, leading to the Lobby.
Social distance markers are provided along the external covered walkway for safe queueing.
All students and parents entering the building must pass through the following steps:
- Mask check
- Hand sanitiser
- Temperature check
- Shoe sanitisation (mat)
- Infrared Temperature Scanner check.
Reception – Year 7
Parents may accompany their child to the walkway but are not able to wait with their child or enter the campus. For safety, teaching staff supervise children in the line.
Once they have passed safety checks (above), students continue to their classroom. Social Distance markers and adult supervision are provided throughout the route.
Students arriving after 7.50am will not be admitted without prior approval.
Pre-Nursery and Nursery
Parents may accompany their children to the gate but may not enter school campus. Class Teachers are positioned inside the gate to collect their students.
Each class is provided with a designated drop-off zone in the Lobby, staffed by ALTs. Students wait on socially-distanced chairs and are walked to the classroom in small, socially-distanced groups.
Teachers and ALTs clean their hands with Sanitiser on arrival at the Lobby; students clean their hands with Sanitiser prior to entering the Lobby, so physical contact is permitted if necessary. All Teaching Staff and students wash their hands on arrival at the classroom.
Students arriving after 7.50am will not be admitted without prior approval.
Students’ temperatures are taken before entry to the bus. They must clean their hands with Hand Sanitiser. Seating in the bus is Socially-Distanced and masks must be worn. The school bus should arrive after 7am. The bus monitor helps students to queue in the Socially-Distanced line and sees them through the gate.
Arrival is separated into four Time Zones (see table, below). Parents are only permitted onto the campus during their assigned Time Zone. Once a child is collected, families must leave immediately. No waiting or socialising can be permitted during the Pandemic Prevention Period.
Only one adult per student may enter the school campus.
Parent security passes will have a Colour Code sticker showing which Time Zone they can collect in.
On arrival at school, parents must present their pass for checking and undergo the temperature screening.
Parents cannot be admitted to school before their Time Zone.
Parents must use Hand Sanitiser before entering the campus and wear a mask at all times.
Parents must strictly adhere to Social Distancing markers. Furniture must not be moved and parents must not gather.
Students will be dismissed one at a time by their teacher.
Parents collecting from the Junior Dining Room should exit via the side gate.
Parents must leave the campus with their child, immediately after collection.
Waiting areas are cleaned in between sessions.
Parents with more than one child and different Pick-Up times will not be able to wait on campus between pick-up times. Please contact Ms Byrne directly if you are one of these parents. We will find a solution!
Students whose parents are late for Pick-Up will remain with their teacher at the Pick-Up location for 5 minutes after collection time.
The teacher will then return with the student to the classroom, where they will wait at their desk. Late parents must report to the Front Desk on arrival.
The school day is structured to reduce movement as much as possible. Non-essential and unsupervised movement is suspended during the Pandemic Prevention Period.
Use of stairways and doors
The school now operates a one-way system. Signage is provided and students and adults must adhere to this guidance.
School day timings are staggered to allow one class to use a staircase at a time.
When travelling around the school or mustering, students are strictly supervised to ensure at least a 1.5-metre distance between them at all times.
Where lining up is required, markers are provided for 1.5m Social Distancing
EYFS and KS1 students use distancing ropes. Each student has their own space to use and the ropes are not shared.
Classrooms are set up with a minimum of 1.5 metres between seats and all students facing the same way (not facing each other). Movement in and out of the classroom is controlled to maintain distance.
Throughout the school, furniture has been rearranged to enforce social distancing at all times.
Signs are provided throughout school and students are educated on the reasons for, and importance of, Social Distancing.
Toilets are smaller spaces where privacy is required; therefore, Social Distancing must be carefully managed. No more than one student is sent to the toilet at a time.
- Every second tap is deactivated and marked ‘out of use’ to ensure distancing at the sinks
- Toilets are considered high-touch areas therefore taps, handles etc are cleaned very often
- Queueing spaces are provided if the toilet is already in use when a student arrives
All staff and students wash their hands with soap and water once an hour. Training on correct handwashing is provided for all staff and students and there is a Handwashing poster by each sink.
Handwashing times are shown on the class timetable.
As masks are removed for eating, other safety measures are increased, including distance between students. Snack and lunchtimes are carefully monitored. During the Pandemic Prevention Period, eating is not a social activity.
- Students wash their hands before and after eating
- Proper manners are important to minimise risk
- Screens between students facing each other provide a further level of safety
- PN lunch is eaten on a dedicated PN lunch room, with full social distancing and screens.
- N lunch is eaten in the Early Years Dining Hall, with full social distancing and screens.
- Reception and Years 1-4 eat in the Junior School Dining Room
- Years 5-7 eat in the Top Floor Learning Studio
- Lunch is no longer self-serve: the appropriate meal is provided to each student.
- Screens are provided and Social Distancing strictly enforced
- Each student has their own named water bottle
- Sharing water bottles is prohibited
- Water bottles are kept separate.
- If a student’s water bottle is empty, they must ask an adult to fill it
- Adults are trained to use water dispensers hygienically.
It is important for physical and mental health that students get regular breaks and opportunities to do physical activity.
Each student will have two physical breaks during the school day, either outside on Front Field or in the Sports Hall. This also allows an opportunity to air and clean classrooms regularly.
Social Distancing is strictly maintained and supervised during physical break times. It is very rare that a student may be excused from physical breaks.
If possible Covid-19 symptoms emerge during the school day, the student or adult is referred directly to the Isolation Room. Anyone displaying symptoms should leave the campus as quickly as possible and be assessed by a Doctor.
Any adult or student who is sent home must provide a medical certificate and receive approval from the Head of Junior School before returning to Campus.
Non-Covid illness or injury
If a student has non-Covid symptoms or injuries, the usual Health Centre and Nurse procedures are followed.
Students follow individual programmes and are provided with their own labelled bag of equipment.
Lessons take place on the track and field to ensure distancing. PE staff are deployed to ensure small group numbers.
Only teaching staff handle equipment and are provided with their own resources (cones, watches and tape measure).
Students wear their PE kits on PE days so changing is not required. PE lessons are focused on strength and conditioning so there are no hygiene concerns.
Each personal water bottle is placed 1.5 metres apart in allocated spaces.
Please have a look at our explanation videos: