It has become common knowledge to the majority of the global population that the current state of the world has been plagued by concern and worry over the recent outbreak of COVID-19. In response, Britannica International School, Shanghai has implemented new protective measures to further safeguard the school community and prevent the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 is a mild to severe respiratory illness that is caused by a coronavirus, a type of virus that is transmitted mainly by contact with infectious material or with objects or surfaces contaminated by the contributing virus. Typical symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath however it could progress to more severe illnesses such as pneumonia or respiratory failure. At the time of writing this, 5.5 million cases have been confirmed worldwide and are still spreading rapidly, which has resulted in many parents being concerned about the safety of their children.

Britannica International School, Shanghai has implemented strict policies to ensure the safety of its students as they return to school. Some of these measures include: checking every student’s temperature before they enter the establishment, mandatory use of face masks when walking around the school, sanitizing the student’s hands as much as possible, and amending different classes’ schedules to prevent large group gatherings. Furthermore, each year group now has different break times to minimise the number of students playing outside.

While some of the students consider the policies mildly difficult, everyone knows that it is a necessary precaution and therefore accepts it. Thankfully though, as the number of infected cases continues to decline, the learning environment may start to become more comfortable again and we hope some of these safety measures could very well be lifted someday soon.

The most prominent safety measure is social distancing. This enforces a minimum of 1 meter of distance between 2 students to prevent the potential spread of the virus. This is said by some students to be the most challenging rule to cope with as most students enjoy talking and playing in groups, but now everyone has to stay apart, which is a big change to overcome for them. However, they also admit that social distancing does make them feel safer and alleviates their parents’ concerns about their health. Therefore, even though it may be difficult, students understand it.

The other safeguarding measures include:

  • Students are not allowed to talk facing other people without a mask,
  • Students are not allowed to share school supplies,
  • Students are required to wear a face mask at all times
  • The learning-centers/libraries are not to be used unless the entire class is taken there for a lesson,
  • Students are not to use sports equipment unless it’s already out on the field or a teacher says it has been sanitised.

This only highlights a section of all the safety measures that Britannica has taken. All the parents have been sent emails detailing these precautions that the school has taken to ensure the safety of its students.

When a secondary school student was asked what they thought, they replied with, “The safety measures are pretty extensive, but I follow them as I know they'll keep me and my friends safe”.

Another secondary school student told us, ‘Yeah, so much has changed. It’s hard to get used to wearing a mask. But, at least I’m safe.’

All of our students have remained both safe and healthy throughout this crisis and we’re working hard to ensure that this remains the case.