Coronavirus Updates and Advice

Get ready for mandatory TraceTogether

https://token.gowhere.gov.sg/

The Singapore government will soon require the mandatory use of the TraceTogether app or token for all residents aged 7 and above for Safe Entry to schools, malls and other important locations.

As per the Ministry of Education (MOE) announcement on 18 December 2020, TraceTogether app or token for SafeEntry to schools will not be required for the start of school in January. GESS families should be prepared and collect a TraceTogether token if your child does not have a handphone.

The implementation of TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will only be enforced when everyone has had a chance to collect a Token at a Community Club/Centre in their respective constituency, or download the App.

Please make sure your child has downloaded the TraceTogether app if they have a handphone or collect a token from your local Community Centre. You can find out where and when to collect the token at this government website https://token.gowhere.gov.sg/

You can read the TraceTogether token FAQ for more information on how data is encrypted, secured and used https://token.gowhere.gov.sg/faq

school year 2020/21

Currently, all students will be on campus for 2020/21. This is subject to change depending on Singapore government regulations.

The School shop is open and you may visit by appointment only. The 2020/21 material list is in Parent Portal in the Help for Parents section.

Programme and service status

CCA Semester 2: On campus for Primary and Secondary. Suspended for Preschool due to government restrictions

LEP: Yes, from semester 2

VIP: Yes, the music department is working with the rules and regulations set out by the National Arts Council of Singapore. Should you require further information please visit their website (https://www.nac.gov.sg)

Library: Open with safe distancing measures

School shop: Open from 1 August - Click here to book an appointment

Sports events and matches: TBC

Large events: Suspended - Check the school calendar

School trips: TBC

Enrichment trips: TBC

Student Travel Declaration Form

Please update your child's travel declaration before school starts. Search your inbox for "CPE Travel declaration - save this email" and check your submission entry by clicking on the edit submission link in the auto-reply email. Need help? Chat with School Services on LiveChat or email school@gess.sg

Please email the GESS Emergency team at covid19@gess.sg, if any member of your household is on a Stay Home Notice (SHN), Quarantine Order (QO) or is a suspected / confirmed case.

Preschool information
Primary school information
Secondary school information
FAQ - Frequently asked questions
News and updates
What should I do if my child is sick?
GESS Emergency Team Information
Advice for Parents and Students
Contact information

Preschool information

Campus Entry
Drop off:
  • Gate 2A only (Dairy Farm lane) pedestrians from 07:30, cars from 07:55 (Preschool only)
  • If you are dropping off by car or taxi, please do not exit the vehicle in the bus bay area
Pick up:
  • Gate 2A only (Dairy Farm lane) pedestrians only
  • Children will be brought to the car park outside the Jungle Entrance staggered in groups to avoid congestion. Please wait by the sign for your child’s year level

(NEW) Pick-up times from Monday, 24th August 2020:

  • Pick up time for half-day students: 12:20
  • Pick up time Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten 1: 14:15 - 14:20
  • Pick up time for Kindergarten 2: 14:20 - 14:25
  • Pick up time Pre-Primary: 14:25 - 14:30
SCHOOL BUS ENTRY

Temperature reading - Parents must take their child's temperature in the morning and write the temperature on a sticky label or piece of paper. Students without a temperature reading will not be allowed on the school bus.

Wait until your child has entered the bus - School bus staff will check students have a temperature reading and also check if a student looks visibly unwell. Students will not be allowed on the bus if they do not have a temperature reading or look unwell. An adult must wait until the student has entered the bus.

Fixed seating - Your child will be assigned a seat and must sit in the same seat each day

No talking or interaction - Students must sit silently during the bus journey (see FAQ)

ON CAMPUS REGULATIONS
  • Students will need to register via SafeEntry upon entering and leaving the campus
  • Students will go directly to the homeroom classroom on arrival
  • Students must wear a face mask or shield at all times
  • Students must maintain 1 metre distance at all times
Important Documents

New timetable for Preschool

Campus entry map

Gate 2A for pedestrians
Gate 2 for cars 07:55-08:30 only

Primary school information

Campus Entry
Drop off:
  • Gate 3 for pedestrians (No parents allowed on campus)
  • Gate 1A for pedestrians (No parents allowed on campus)
  • Gate 1 for cars dropping off (Parents are not allowed to exit the vehicle and must leave immediately after drop off)
  • Drop off time: 07:30 onwards
Pick up:
  • Gate 3 for pedestrians (No parents allowed on campus)
  • Gate 1A for pedestrians (No parents allowed on campus)
  • Gate 1 for cars dropping off (Parents are not allowed to exit the vehicle or park on campus)
  • Pick up time: As normal
SCHOOL BUS ENTRY

Wait until your child has entered the bus - School bus staff will check if a student looks visibly unwell. Students will not be allowed on the bus if they look unwell. An adult must wait until the student has entered the bus

Fixed seating - Your child will be assigned a seat and must sit in the same seat each day

No talking or interaction - Students must sit silently during the bus journey (See FAQ)

ON CAMPUS REGULATIONS
  • Students will need to register via SafeEntry upon entering and leaving the campus
  • Students will go directly to the homeroom classroom on arrival
  • Students must wear a face mask or shield at all times
  • Students must maintain 1 metre distance at all times
Important documents
BACK TO SCHOOL SCHEDULE

17 August: Preschool existing students only, Grades 4-12 are at school

18 August: Preschool all students including new students, Grades 2-12 are at school

19 August: All students are at school

New Timetable for Primary School (Grades 1-2 and Eingangsstufe)

*After-School= Supervision time for students who will take the school bus or go to CCAs.

New Timetable for Primary School (Grades 3-5)

*After-School= Supervision time for students who will take the school bus or go to CCAs.

Campus entry map

Gate 1A and Gate 3 pedestrians
Gate 1 cars and taxis

Secondary school information

Campus Entry
Drop off:
  • Gate 3 for pedestrians (No parents allowed on campus)
  • Gate 1A for pedestrians (No parents allowed on campus)
  • Gate 1 for cars dropping off (Parents are not allowed to exit the vehicle and must leave immediately after drop off)
  • Drop off time: 07:30 onwards
Pick up:
  • Gate 3 for pedestrians (No parents allowed on campus)
  • Gate 1A for pedestrians (No parents allowed on campus)
  • Gate 1 for cars dropping off (Parents are not allowed to exit the vehicle or park on campus)
  • Pick up time: As normal
SCHOOL BUS ENTRY

Wait until your child has entered the bus - School bus staff will check if a student looks visibly unwell. Students will not be allowed on the bus if they look unwell. An adult must wait until the student has entered the bus

Fixed seating - Your child will be assigned a seat and must sit in the same seat each day

No talking or interaction - Students must sit silently during the bus journey (see FAQ)

On Campus Regulations
  • Students will need to register via SafeEntry upon entering and leaving the campus
  • Students will go directly to the homeroom classroom on arrival
  • Students must wear a face mask or shield at all times
  • Students must maintain 1 metre distance at all times

New timetable for Secondary School

Campus entry map

Gate 1A and Gate 3 pedestrians
Gate 1 cars and taxis


FAQ - Frequently asked questions

• Campus reopening questions

• Temperature Screening, health and entry procedure questions

• Leave of Absence questions

• School activities and programmes questions

• Other questions


Campus reopening questions

Does my child have to wear a mask all day at school?

Yes, the government rules are very clear. All students must wear a mask whilst at school. As an alternative students aged under 13 may wear a face shield.

Will there be any on campus events during 2020/21?

Events are restricted during phase 2 of the Singapore government's reopening plan. Please check the school calendar for the latest updates.

Can parents enter the campus?

No parents will be allowed on campus after 15 August 2020. Where vehicle drop off / pick up points are open, parents must not get out of their vehicle.

Why do children have to be quiet on the bus or public transport?

The Singapore government has advised that all passengers on public transport or buses should refrain from talking or talk quietly if essential. This is part of the safety measures to minimise contamination risk. Please refer to the Ministry of Education FAQ for more information.


Temperature Screening, Health and entry procedure questions

[NEW] Who will need to use Trace Together app or token?

All GESS students in Primary and Secondary grades 1-12 and Eingangsstufe, aged 7 and above. This will start when the Singapore government announces mandatory use of the TraceTogether app or token for SafeEntry.

Preschool students under 7 years old do not need a token, however, accompanying parents will need to use the TraceTogether app or token to enter our campus.

[NEW] Does my child have to carry the Trace Together token all day?

If your child is 7 years old and above, they will need to check in and check out of the campus using the TraceTogether token or app on their handphone. Once your child has completed SafeEntry, they can put the token in their bag until they leave the campus. Students will only need to check in and out each time they enter or exit the campus.

[NEW] Can my child attend school if they forget to bring their token or handphone?

Yes, your child can enter the campus, however, GESS reserves the right to send a student home if they repeatedly forget. For the first two occasions, we will send you a reminder if your child arrives at school without their token or handphone. On the third occasion, we will send your child home or you will be required to pick up your child.

[NEW] What happens if my child loses their token?

You will need to visit the nearest token distribution centre to get a replacement token. Please see https://token.gowhere.gov.sg/ for your nearest distribution centre.

[NEW] MY CHILD IS IN PRIMARY GRADE 01 OR EINGANGSSTUFE BUT IS NOT 7 YEARS OLD YET.

Presently, only residents aged 7 years above are allowed to collect a TraceTogether token. If your child is in grade 01 and is under 7 years old, please make sure your child brings the printed barcode for SafeEntry scanning.

[NEW] Where can I find out more information about TraceTogether?

You can read the TraceTogether token FAQ for more information on how data is encrypted, secured and used https://token.gowhere.gov.sg/faq

Who is being screened?

Every visitor, staff and student including but not limited to: contractors, canteen staff, bus drivers, vendors and instructors are being screened each time they enter the GESS campus. This will continue until further notice. We realise this may cause delays, however, the safety of our students and community is our priority.

Do I have to pick up my child if their temperature is 37.5°C or above or they have a fever, sore throat, cough or runny nose?

Yes, it is a mandatory school procedure. Please cooperate with the First Aid team and pick up your child as soon as possible. Your child will be kept in an isolation room with a member of the First Aid team.

[New] if a parent or household member is sick, can the child still come to school?

Students who have household members with flu-like symptoms such as fever, runny nose, sore throat and cough and are required to take a COVID-19 swab test, are required to stay away from school until the negative swab test result has been received. You must send the test result to covid19@gess.sg

How often are the buses disinfected?

Bus drivers and the Bus team disinfect buses twice on a daily basis using the same cleaning products as GESS. Hand sanitising is far more important in preventing the spread of germs, however, during these challenging times, we have added extra cleaning measures for buses.

Why does my child have to be temperature screened every time I come to GESS?

We are currently operating an enhanced screening procedure for each and every visitor to the GESS campus including staff and students. This is precautionary and to try and reduce the risk of infection within the campus. There will be additional temperature checks carried out throughout the day.

What time does the campus open?

The campus is open at 07:30 for students. Do not arrive earlier than this.


Leave of absence questions

What is the difference between loa, shn and qo?

Stay Home Notice (SHN) is a Singapore government notice given by the Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA). Click here for more information.

Quarantine Order (QO) is a Singapore government order given by the Ministry of Health (MOH). Click here for more information.

Leave of Absence (LOA) is a GESS precautionary measure given by our school. Please note this is different to the previous Singapore government Leave of Absence (LOA) arrangement which has been replaced by Stay Home Notice (SHN).

Companies and organisations may issue orders to stay at home, this is different to a Stay Home Notice (SHN) issued by the Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA)

I HEARD THAT A PERSON IN THE CONDOMINIUM WHERE WE LIVE IS A CONFIRMED CASE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Firstly, always follow Ministry of Health instructions.

If you have not had close contact with the person, 15-30 minutes in the same room, then the chance of the virus spreading is minimal. If you have had close contact, it is likely you will be contacted by the Ministry of Health as part of their tracing activities. In this instance, stay at home and inform the Ministry of Health (telp: 1800 333 9999).

Continue to wash / sanitise your family's hands regularly and take all of your household's temperature twice daily.

If in doubt or if any member of your household feels unwell, go to a doctor immediately.

A member of my family / household is on Quarantine Order or stay home notice. can my children come to school?

No, children must stay at home and follow the Quarantine Order / Stay Home Notice period. You must inform the school by emailing covid19@gess.sg

Application for leave

We respect that each family has the right to decide whether to send their children to school during this difficult period. If you wish to keep your children at home, please make sure you fill in the application for leave form and inform the School Bus team (bus@gess.sg) if appropriate. Completing the form is compulsory.

Absences will be marked as authorised absence and there will no effect on Student’s pass attendance requirements.


School activities and programmes questions

Is my child's CCA / music lesson (VIP) or Language class (LEP) cancelled?

Please check the Coronavirus update page in Parent Portal for the latest information on which programmes are operating.

ARE ALL break times and outdoor play cancelled?

All visitors including students are screened at entry to the GESS campus. Break times and outdoor play time will be restricted and students must follow safe physical distancing rules.

Are all school trips cancelled?

All school trips are currently cancelled.

[NEW] Why are there no CCAs for Preschool?

We are currently not permitted to have after-school activities in Preschool due to Early Childhood Development Agency and CPE regulations. Therefore CCAs for Preschool will continue to be suspended in semester two.



Other questions

DOES GESS HAVE SURGICAL MASKS?

GESS has surgical masks for First Aid use only. Families should purchase surgical masks from supermarkets or pharmacies, if they wish to. Please remember regular hand washing and sanitising is key. Dr Leong has good advice on how to stay safe https://www.facebook.com/onefm913/videos/2916759611719451/

I have received different information from a whatsapp group or internet site

All official GESS communication, procedures and advice is published in Parent Portal. This is the only official source of GESS information about the Coronavirus.

There have been several false rumours published on the internet and in WhatsApp groups. Please only follow official Ministry of Health and government advice.

I HAVE feedback for gess

Thank you; as a community school we welcome feedback. During these challenging times, we ask that feedback is NOT communicated via the main communication channels: phone lines, school@gess.sg, firstaid@gess.sg and operational staff.

It is vital that we keep these communication channels free for urgent and operational needs. You are welcome to submit feedback via this form and we will get back to you when possible.

Why isn't the information in German or why is the translation a little bit different

We are trying to simultaneously translate all information into German as part of our commitment to the community. This is a challenging task and we hope you understand that sometimes it will not be possible to have all the information translated into German or that there are some small differences in the translation. We will focus on making sure that the English text is always up-to-date with German translation updates happening as soon as possible. We will also work on translating key messages into other languages where appropriate to further support our diverse community.

If you see any errors or corrections, please submit a general feedback form.

News and updates

Singapore Updates


Please note that there have been a number of false rumours and news published on the internet. Only follow official advice and updates from trusted sources.

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section of this page before contacting GESS.

GESS Updates

GESS will publish updates and action plans in Parent Portal and send updates via email. Below is an archive all GESS communications related to the Coronavirus:

Health Advice for your family

Hand washing is the best way to prevent and combat the spread of germs! Wash hands often with soap and water or hand sanitiser. Explain this to your children.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow or arm if no tissue is available
  • Do not share drinks and food or use unwashed utensils
  • Get plenty of rest, eat healthy food and drink lots of water and healthy drinks
  • Avoid people that are sick and stay home when you are sick
  • Disinfect surfaces that are prone to germs, e.g. phones, keyboards and doorknobs
  • Avoid non-essential meetings and play dates, however, try and incorporate normal activities where possible and safe to do so. Keeping to a regular routine will help your family during this difficult period

What should I do if my child is sick?

MORNING ROUTINE

Take all family members’ temperature every morning. If your child has a fever or is displaying Coronavirus symptoms, please get medical advice immediately. You should also contact the GESS COVID-19 team at covid19@gess.sg

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD IS SICK?

If your child is unwell, please inform school@gess.sg and the homeroom teacher.

Please be informed that according to the Singapore government every child who has temperature above 37.5c or respiratory symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough) must see a doctor.

After the visiting the doctor

1. Please send the medical certificate (MC) to covid19@gess.sg and the GESS COVID-19 team will get in touch with you.

2. If your child has served the given MC period and still has respiratory symptoms, please see the same doctor again before sending your child back to school

DO I HAVE TO PICK UP MY CHILD IF THEIR TEMPERATURE IS 37.5°C OR ABOVE OR THEY HAVE A FEVER, SORE THROAT, COUGH OR RUNNY NOSE?

Yes, it is a mandatory school procedure. Please cooperate with the First Aid team and pick up your child as soon as possible. Your child will be kept in an isolation room with a member of the First Aid team.

IF A PARENT OR HOUSEHOLD MEMBER IS SICK, CAN THE CHILD STILL COME TO SCHOOL?

Students who have household members with flu-like symptoms such as fever, runny nose, sore throat and cough and are required to take a COVID-19 swab test, are required to stay away from school until the negative swab test result has been received. You must send the test result to covid19@gess.sg

GESS Emergency Team Information

What should I do if my child is sick?

If your child is unwell, please inform school@gess.sg and the homeroom teacher.

Morning routine

Take all family members’ temperature every morning. If your child has a fever or is displaying Coronavirus symptoms, please get medical advice immediately. You should also contact the GESS Emergency team at covid19@gess.sg

How to wear a mask

For further information on how to safely wear and remove a mask, please click here.

GESS EMERGENCY TEAM

Please inform the GESS Emergency Team if a member of your household is placed on a Stay Home Notice (SHN) or Quarantine Order (QO). You must also inform the GESS Emergency Team if a member of your household becomes a suspected or confirmed case. Please email covid19@gess.sg

Leave of Absence (LOA) and other measures

Stay Home Notice (SHN) is a Singapore government notice given by the Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA). Click here for more information

Quarantine Order (QO) is a Singapore government order given by the Ministry of Health (MOH). Click here for more information

Leave of Absence (LOA) is a GESS precautionary measure given by our school. Please note this is different to the previous Singapore government Leave of Absence (LOA) arrangement which has been replaced by Stay Home Notice (SHN)

Companies and organisations may issue orders to stay at home, this is different to a Stay Home Notice (SHN) issued by the Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA)

Advice for Parents and Students

Dear Parents and Students,

This is a difficult time for children and, of course, you as parents and adults. The uncertainty of what is to come completely turns everyday life upside down and our feelings can be on a mixed up roller coaster ride. There are moments when you feel that you cannot endure the current difficult situation, followed by the hope of being able to master it together.

Physical distancing, stay home measurements and quarantine can be very stressful for all of us. Which strategies can help us to cope with the current situation? How can we also cope well with moments that are too demanding and stressful?


Below are some resources and help available for our GESS families. We have also prepared helpful tips for returning to on-campus learning. Please click here to read the guide.


Warm regards,
The GESS Counselling Team


Helplines

If you need help, or know someone who does, do not hesitate to use the following helplines or resources! Sometimes sharing your problem can help you to see things more clearly & cope better during difficult times.

Counselling centres in Singapore with German speaking counsellors

Helplines in Singapore for children

Helplines in Singapore for adults

Helplines in Germany

International helplines

Adults can:

1 Focus on your own stress level.

If you are feeling nervous about the virus, seek relevant and reliable resources. Here in Singapore, you can check the Ministry of Health website for the most updated information https://www.moh.gov.sg/ or the Health Promotion Board https://www.hpb.gov.sg/. Find healthy coping mechanisms that help you manage your stress.

2 Model calm and control

Children take their emotional cues from the significant adults in their lives. Avoid appearing anxious or frightened.

3 Reinforce safety

Point out factors such as the morning temperature screening at school that helps to insure their immediate safety and that of their family and community. Children also need to feel a sense of control to minimise worry. Remind them of what they can do to protect themselves. The Ministry of Health website has some great infographics that are easy for children to understand the proper way to wash their hands and also was COVID-19 means.

4 Let children know it is okay to feel upset

Let children talk about their feelings and help put them into perspective.The more they share their thoughts, the easier it will be for you to help them navigate their worries.

5 Observe children’s emotional state 

Many children do not express their concerns verbally. Changes in behaviour, appetite, and sleep patterns can indicate a childs level of grief, anxiety, or discomfort. There is no right or wrong way to feel or express grief.

6 Read more

Here are a few articles written for parents related to the COVID-19 that might help your conversations with your children.

1. https://psychcentral.com/blog/coronavirus-anxiety-4-ways-to-cope-with-fear/

2. http://www.restorativecommunityconcepts.com/blog/understanding-the-mental-health-social-impact-of-the-coronavirus-finding-the-middle-path

3. https://www.brainpop.com/health/diseasesinjuriesandconditions/coronavirus/

4. Advice on talking to your children about the Coronavirus from GESS

5. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51734855

6. https://maudsleycharity.org/familiesunderpressure/

7 Speak to the GESS Counselling Team

If you need any additional help, please contact Dr Hana Adams (hana.adams@gess.sg) or Jennifer Maerz (jennifer.maerz@gess.sg)

In order to be able to cope with this new situation a little better, you will now find Jennifer Maerz's “Digital Counseling Office" here (in German), where we regularly provide videos, pictures, links and tips on how the “school at home for a limited time" can work well.

Resources for children

Willi Virus: Aus dem Leben eines Schnupfenvirus

Author: Heidi Trpak

ISBN: 978-3702234867

Details: Das Buch ist aus der Perspektive des Rhinovirus Willi erzählt und wird durch zahlreiche zusätzliche Sachinformationen ergänzt. - Alter 5-9


Something Bad Happened: A Kid’s Guide to Coping with events in the News

Author: Dawn Huebner

ISBN: 978-1787750746

Details: How to process different world events. - Ages 6-12


Gefühle - So geht es mir!

Author: Felicity Brooks, Frankie Allen

ISBN: 978-1789411386

Details: Eine gute Möglichkeit, mit kleinen Kindern über Emotionen zu sprechen - Alter 4-6


What to Do When You Worry Too Much

Author: Dawn Huebner

ISBN: 978-1591473145

Details: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety - Ages 7-12

Contact information

Contact school administration

Please use the Live Chat function on the school's website. The Live Chat box is found on the bottom-left corner of all gess.sg webpages. Please note that many of our GESS colleagues are working from home during phase 2 reopening and not all phone lines are operating.

You can Live Chat with the following departments:

GESS Parent help will connect you with School Services and Parent Service Centre

Finance will connect you with our Finance and Accounts department

Information Technology will connect you with our IT Support and Ed-Tech teams

Student application help will connect you with our Admissions teams

Opening Hours for all departments: 08:00 - 17:00

GESS EMERGENCY TEAM

For medical questions ONLY, please contact the Emergency team via email covid19@gess.sg.

If a member of your household / family becomes a suspected / confirmed case, is placed on a Quarantine Order (QO) or Stay Home Notice (SHN), you must inform the GESS Emergency Team. We cannot help you, if you do not inform us.

FEEDBACK

For constructive feedback, please use the general feedback form. This is to allow key school departments to focus on plans and operations related to the Coronavirus outbreak.