Coronavirus Updates and Advice

New campus entry restrictions

The GESS campus is approved to reopen on 2 June 2020 with a phased, staggered schedule. Please check the Preschool, Primary and Secondary information tabs for further information.

Current status as of today: Stage 5

Programme and service status

CCA: Online only

LEP: Online only

VIP: Online only

Library: CLOSED, return books only

School shop: CLOSED

School fee payments: Online or bank transfer only

Sports events and matches: Suspended

Large events: Suspended

School trips: Suspended

Enrichment trips: Suspended

Student Travel Declaration Form

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

Preschool information
Primary school information
Secondary school information
News and updates
Home learning
FAQ - Frequently asked questions
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 08:00

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

Do not arrive early and queue at least one metre apart in the bus bay area

Pick up time: 15:00-15:45

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

Key changes
  • Students will go directly to the homeroom classroom on arrival
  • Students must wear a face mask or shield at all times
  • Break and lunch time will be further staggered
  • Lunch in the classroom
  • Students will be kept in their homeroom group all day
  • No mingling or mixing between homeroom groups
  • Limited specialist lessons
Staggered schedule information
Grades 2 - 5 June 8 - 12 June 15 - 19 June 22 - 25 June
Pre-Primary and K2 On campus On campus On campus On campus
K1 Home-based learning On campus On campus On campus
Pre-Kindergarten Home-based learning On campus from 10 June On campus On campus

Primary school information

Campus Entry

Drop off

Gate 3 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 1 for cars dropping off (Parents are not allowed to exit the vehicle or park on campus)

Drop off 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

Key changes
  • Students will go directly to the homeroom classroom on arrival
  • Students must wear a face mask or shield at all times
  • Break and lunch time will be further staggered
  • Students will be kept in their homeroom group all day
  • No mingling or mixing between homeroom groups
  • Limited language classes
Staggered schedule information
Grades 2 - 5 June 8 - 12 June 15 - 19 June 22 - 25 June
Grades 1-2, Eingangsstufe and IB grade 3 On campus Home-based learning On campus Home-based learning
Grades 4-5 and German section grade 3 Home-based learning On campus Home-based learning On campus

Secondary school information

CAMPUS ENTRY

Drop off

Gate 3 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 onward

Pick up

Gate 3 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)

Drop off 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

Key changes
  • Students will go directly to the homeroom classroom on arrival
  • Students must wear a face mask or shield at all times
  • Break and lunch time will be further staggered
  • Students must maintain 1 metre distance at all times
Staggered schedule information
Grades 2 - 5 June 8 - 12 June 15 - 19 June 22 - 25 June
Grades 6, 8, 10 IB section Home-based learning On campus Home-based learning On campus
Grades 7, 9, 10 German section On campus Home-based learning On campus Home-based learning
G11 On campus On campus Home-based learning On campus
E11 Home-based learning On campus On campus On campus
G12 At home At home On campus x
E12 On campus x x x

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

Home learning

Following the Singapore government directive announced on Friday 3 April 2020, all schools in Singapore will move to home-based learning.

GESS started home-based learning on Monday 13 April 2020. The Department Head for each section has contacted parents directly about plans and arrangements for home learning.

Distance Learning Plan

Here you can find the distance learning plan. If you have any questions, please contact your homeroom teacher.
Distance Learning Plan plan

HELP

Live Chat is available on the GESS website for parents that have questions or need support with home learning. Your child's teacher is your point of contact for any academic questions about home learning and lessons.

FAQ - Frequently asked questions

• Campus reopening questions

• Temperature Screening and entry procedure questions

• Leave of Absence questions

• School activities and programmes questions

• Other questions

Campus reopening questions

[New] Are all students returning on 2 June 2020?

The Singapore government will phase back students to school. For GESS there will be a staggered return in June. Please check the Preschool, Primary and Secondary tabs for more information.

[NEW] 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 may wear a face shield.

[NEW] Will there be any on campus events during june 2020?

No events are permitted on campus during phase one of the Singapore government's post Circuit Breaker plan.

[NEW] Can parents enter the campus?

No parents or non-essential visitors will be allowed on campus. Where vehicle drop off / pick up points are open, parents must not get out of their vehicle.

Temperature Screening, Health and entry procedure questions

Who is being screened?

Every visitor, staff, student and parent 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.

[New] Do I have to pick up my child if their temperature is 37.5°C or above?

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 is sick, can the child still come to school?

No, under phase one of the post Circuit Breaker plan, where any household member is unwell, all members must stay at home including GESS students. This is an extra precaution to minimise the risk of infection within the community.

How often are the buses disinfected?

Bus drivers and the Bus team disinfect buses twice 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 do I 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 and parents. 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.

WHY ARE HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS OR GUESTS ALSO INCLUDED IN THE LEAVE OF ABSENCE (LOA) PROCEDURE?

We are taking precautionary measures to protect our community and this includes declarations where a household member or guest has visited the countries listed by the Ministry of Health in the last 14 days. The situation is being constantly monitored and may change in the future. Please regularly visit Parent Portal for the latest news and updates.

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

No, children must stay at home and follow the Leave of Absence / 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 and for next week, we will automatically approve all requests until further notice.

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

How do I calculate the leave of absence?

MOE provides a simple to understand graphic to calculate the leave of absence period. Day 1 is the day after returning from the listed countries.


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.


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.

Why do we use stickers?

Stickers are used to visually identify that visitors, parents, students and staff have been temperature checked. Different colours are used each day.

Please note that the sticker colour does not indicate any classification. A different colour is used simply to control the daily temperature checks.

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)

Authorised Absence (AA) is a GESS status for parents who keep their child at home voluntarily or out of school

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.

The school closure due to the circuit breaker and the resulting loss of normal everyday life is an unfamiliar situation for everyone. 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.

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.

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

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

Until further notice, 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 the school's phone lines will not operate during the home-based learning period.

You can Live Chat with the following departments:

GESS Parent help will connect you with School Services and Front Desk

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.