We start the New Year 2020 with a grim reminder of the fragility of life with the COVID-19 crisis raging all around us. The precautionary measures and guidelines provided by MOE to manage the COVID-19 situation have had its implications in the way we do things in school, not least of which are routines that have had to change for the purpose of social distancing, for personal and social hygiene, as well as programmes and activities that have had to be cancelled or suspended for the same reasons.
Routines such as assembling children in the mornings and after recess, seating children in a fixed manner in various locations in the school and organising children for temperature-taking, handwashing and wipe-down after recess have had to be taught. Programmes and activities such as Prefects’ Investiture, Swimsafer Programme and certain CCAs as well as Remedial/ Stretch lessons have had to be suspended, re-scheduled or cancelled.
At CHIJ Kellock, we suspended Remedial/ Stretch lessons in the afternoon from 5 Feb 2020 because we needed time to plan and organise the afternoon activities to comply with the precautionary measures. Nevertheless, we continued with some afternoon activities (such as HMT lessons, School Team CCAs and certain enrichment lessons) because we had the bandwidth to do so for small groups. Remedial/ Stretch lessons are now reinstated in phases, starting with the P6 students from the week of 2 March, the P5s from the week of 9 March and other levels from Term 2 onwards. With the reinstatement of Remedial/ Stretch lessons, please be assured that the precautionary measures required for all our afternoon activities are in effect and these include:-
- Social distancing measures such as staggered lunch breaks for every group of students staying back in the afternoon
- 2nd temperature-taking for all students staying back in school
- Fixed seating arrangements
- Handwashing routine before and after lunch
With the March holidays round the corner, more precautionary measures will be in place especially for those with plans to travel. We strongly advise parents to check for daily updates on the MOH website for alerts on travel advisories.
More information on new/ revised precautionary measures and how these will affect school routines and programmes will be provided to you as we ride out these challenges as a school community. I ask for your continued support, patience and cooperation as my staff and I take special care of your child while she is in school.
On a brighter note, the COVID-19 situation has also provided us with the opportunities for so many teachable moments for our girls; of teaching personal hygiene habits, of teaching social responsibility, of teaching what it means to go beyond self and to think of others, especially those at the frontline, working in the medical and healthcare sector. When we teach our girls that “the gifts given to you are for others”, we know that they have imbibed these values when we see them generously giving of their time and effort to show their love and care for everyone. Students from P6 Opal, P6 Jade, P2 Earth, P2 Mars, P2 Mercury, P1 Cerise, the Brownies, and many more took time to pen their love, care and well wishes to the doctors and nurses in the various hospitals. Teachers penned notes to parents of the school who work in the frontline and one teacher even composed a song to cheer the doctors, nurses and medical workers on! Such gestures of love, service and generosity are what make the IJ Kellock girl/ teacher special – she is a person for others indeed!
A parent wrote to me on 4 March and had this to say, “I am very grateful to you and your team for the values imparted to my girls…” My teachers and I very heartened to hear this because for us, an education is more than just the academics, it is about our conscious effort to inculcate in our girls moral and social values of love, empathy, care and compassion. Thank you, parents, for the gift of your child to CHIJ Kellock. Let us work together to develop in each and every one of our girls in CHIJ Kellock, to be a Thoughtful Learner, a Servant Leader and most importantly, a Person for Others.
Ms Magdalene Chin
CHIJ Kellock Primary