The Campus Learning Model
Learning: Above all, schools are places that are designed to nurture learning for their students. Learning is constructed in the minds of learners as they engage within their environment. Our priority in campus-based school is to ensure that all students are challenged to make progress with their learning and that they are successful in doing so. While certain safety adaptations may be made to the curriculum or the way it is delivered, ensuring high-quality learning is the key driver of all we do.
Well-being: Children cannot learn unless they feel safe; consequently well-being is always a priority at NIS. Campus-based school during COVID-19 offers fresh challenges to physical and emotional safety as we combat the risks of infection and help students learn to live comfortably and safely with the risks inherent in COVID-19. Mitigating risks and supporting students emotionally is the second key driver of our on-campus school experience.
Continuity: During Campus-Based learning in COVID-19 we know that from time to time students and staff may not be able to attend campus due to short term quarantine (usually up to 14 days) or other factors. The design of our campus learning model includes provision to ensure that these short term necessary absences do not unreasonably impact the learning and well-being of our students
The priority for all staff is to ensure high levels of learning in our students. With that in mind, the curriculum will be delivered with the same commitment as normal through campus-based learning engagements designed for students to Inquire, Inspire and have Impact!
Of course while our commitment to learning will remain as strong as ever, we will need to adjust how we deliver learning according to the Well-being and Continuity of Learning considerations mapped out below.
Being Emotionally Ready for Learning
The COVID-19 situation is a difficult and stressful one. Aside from concerns about the virus itself, COVID-19 has brought other stresses into the lives of our students and families. Whether it be a distancing from ones we love, the loss of fun activities we took for granted prior to the pandemic, or the economic uncertainty that has hit households, we know that these stresses have an impact on children and on their readiness to learn.
NIS teachers will be attuned to children to look for signs of stress that may be impeding their ability to make progress in their learning. We will work together as teachers alongside you as parents to ensure that your child has the support they need to be successful.
Staying Physically Safe for Learning
An Overview of Safety Measures: The 3C’s and General Hygiene
NIS will, to the best of our ability, welcome students and staff to a safe school environment, mindful of the risks of infection caused by aerosol transmission (allowing the virus to float in the air) and transmission through larger droplet transmission which can leave the virus on infected surfaces.
In Japan, the guidelines to mitigate these risks are known as the ‘Three Cs’, which are supported by observing General Hygiene practices. These form the basis of our school safety measures as follows:
Avoiding the Three Cs’:
- Close contacts (avoiding getting too close to others because there is a danger of spreading infection; wearing masks helps us when close contacts are unavoidable).
- Closed settings (avoiding spaces that are closed up, with poor ventilation; keeping windows/doors open for a breeze is a very important countermeasure).
- Crowded settings (avoiding areas with lots of people where physical distancing is hard; wearing masks and using screens when such settings are unavoidable are important countermeasures).
These ‘Three Cs’ are supported by four pillars of ‘General Hygiene,’ as follows:
- Stay home if unwell or in quarantine.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap as often as you can (and use sanitizer when you can’t access water).
- Avoid touching your face.
- Minimize and clean shared surfaces/items.
The Importance of being Physically Present for Learning
We do ask all those students who are able to attend school to do so, both for their learning and for their emotional well-being. The safety procedures outlined on these pages are aligned to the best science we have and while we can never say that all risk is eliminated, we do have confidence that the levels of risk to students and our wider community is a reasonable one. Certainly we know that the risks of NOT attending school, both in terms of learning and well-being are significant. For that reason, we do hope to see all our students who can attend campus doing so!
Supporting Students Unable to Attend Campus
However, we are aware that some students may be physically unable to attend campus. This may be because they are unable to enter Japan at this time or due to our campus access policy which requires students and staff to stay home in case of even slight symptoms being experienced by themselves or their family members. This means that some students (and staff) will have periods of time where they need to study or work from home.
While it is not possible to offer a full online and campus based experience simultaneously, NIS will ensure that your child’s learning is not unduly disrupted if they need to quarantine from home during a period of campus-based learning. Such absences will be marked as ‘quarantine’ (rather than absence) and will not be counted as absent for the purpose of school attendance. The school will have alternative ways to ensure these students and staff can continue to teach and learn during quarantine.
The support for quarantining students will look different in the various stages of the Primary and Secondary schools, but in both cases it will involve staff connecting with your child, sharing resources and materials with them, connecting them to the classroom digitally where possible, and ensuring that your child’s learning and well-being stays on track.
When contacting the office to report a child’s absence it will be important to tell the school the reason for this absence as Quarantine in the case that your child is well enough to continue working from home.
We know that some of our families may still be stranded long-term overseas and unable to attend campus. While some school support is possible for these families, it may be that a longer-term solution in your current location is preferable. The academic offices will be able to advise you on what might be best for your child. Please contact the school office for advice.