It is remarkable to think that we have been separated as a community for over four months, even as we prepare to physically see one another again on campus. Things changed quickly during this unusual period and Huili School Shanghai has been patiently waiting for a reopening notification from the government while preparing itself for a smooth resumption of daily school lessons and activities. Dear pupils, long time no see! The reopening is occurring in stages and on 18th May, we welcomed back our first batch of pupils, ranging from grades 4 to 7. The campus was instantly filled with laughter from the pupils, making a sound as vibrant as the early summer’s scenery. Although it has been a long and difficult wait, rest assured that we will all see each other again soon. The following is a recap of how the partial reopening on the 18th went, as it will provide the blueprint for the full reopening, which will happen in the very near future. Morning check Early in the morning, security guards and nurses were ready to guide pupils through the procedures of the morning check. Pupils waited in a queue to have their temperature taken before showing their ID cards as they entered the campus.
Mr. Gerard MacMahon, Executive Master of Wellington College Shanghai, and Ms. Stella Zhou, Principal of Huili School Shanghai, were also waiting at the school gate to welcome pupils back. Happiness and excitement about being able to reunite on campus were much in evidence in both pupils and teachers.
The first lesson Our long-awaited return to campus life was launched by a special flag-raising ceremony, held on the playground. Ms. Zhou delivered a keynote speech as the first lesson after our reunion, encouraging pupils to learn from role models, develop a sense of national pride and good habits, and make full use of the time available to them. Underpinned by the Huili Identities of being inspired, intellectual, independent, individual and inclusive, pupils will forge ahead and achieve excellence.
Virus prevention training Our school nurses explained to pupils the precautions that should be taken, and codes of conduct that they should obey during this special period on campus.
Additionally, our counsellor was on hand to assist with any emotional problems that pupils may face, aiming to help them re-familiarise themselves with campus life.
Having lessons in the classroom When e-learning came to an end, based on feedback from learning reflections and formative assessments, teachers adjusted their teaching plan for their resumed classes, ensuring a smooth transition from e-learning back to classroom-based teaching. As we adjust back to life on campus, our teachers will also provide a personalised support programme for any pupils who need it, to maintain their best possible learning outcomes. We noticed that pupils’ eyes sparkled with tremendous joy when they were allowed back into their classrooms and united with familiar schoolmates and teachers.
Lunch arrangement Teachers took pupils’ temperature before lunchtime and kept monitoring their daily health condition.
For the foreseeable future, pupils from grades 4 to 6 will need to have lunch in their classrooms, delivered by catering staff via heat-preserving carts. Grade 7 will continue to have lunch in the canteen in batches and in a specified timeslot. On this partial reopening day, all pupils consciously obeyed the rules and regulations, and had their meals in a safe and orderly manner.
Outdoor lessons The PE department arranged group-specific timeslots for using the sports fields, ensuring that playtime breaks and PE lessons were staggered. Currently, the sports curriculum focuses more on non-contact activities that can be carried out independently.
When the class was over, pupils were able to leave the sports field in an orderly manner without crowding together. Even though physical play is subjected to these restrictions due to our virus prevention rules, it did not affect pupils’ enthusiasm to enjoy both their playtime and their PE lessons.
After school collection Those pupils who take the school bus home after school had their temperature taken and used hand sanitiser before boarding. They also remembered to wear a mask when riding the school bus and to sit some distance away from others wherever possible. Pupils collected by their parents were led by teachers to a specified area in a scheduled group, waiting for their parents to pick them up. To avoid crowding, parents left immediately after collection, demonstrating the importance of their continued cooperation and support.
The first day after returning to campus went smoothly. All pupils and staff remained healthy and no abnormal conditions or any suspected cases occurred. The smooth running of the campus has made us even more confident that we can provide the excellent standard of Huili teaching and learning even during this unusual period. Meanwhile, we are expecting to welcome back grades 1 to 3 two weeks from now (1st June) when all pupils in our care will resume their classes. Although we cannot have close contact with each other while obeying social distancing rules, we still felt excitement and joy as pupils and staff were reunited. The orderly operation of the school is inseparable from the cooperation between Huili and its parents, as well as the support of the community as a whole. We want to extend our gratitude to everyone again for all your help in making the reopening of Huili as safe, orderly and joyous as possible. Together, we can protect the health of everyone at Huili and the learning journey of its pupils.