COVID-19 Update

Health authorities across the nation are continuing to respond to the emergence of the COVID-19. The information on this page will be updated regularly to reflect the changing circumstances and all School families will be provided notification when significant changes are to be implemented.

As a School, the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and wider community remain our highest priority. The School continues to be informed by factual information provided by the relevant government departments and will continue to operate as per their recommendations.

The below links and information are provided to enable parents and guardians to be fully across what is happening within our School, and who to reach out to when you are uncertain of what it is you, or your child, should do. If you have any queries not answered below, please direct them to the Head of School.

Phase  4 – Easing of Restrictions

Health advice has occasioned the easing of restrictions by the WA Government, effective from Monday, 29 June 2020.

The advice of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) continues to be that, in order to avoid outbreaks, we should continue to follow the advice around physical distancing and practice good personal and environmental hygiene, and ensure provisions are in place to minimise risks to vulnerable populations in the School. Should an outbreak occur after restrictions are lifted, the School will follow the advice of the WA Health and Education Departments.

While measures around physical distancing and the limitation on the number of people at gatherings are not applicable in the school environment, the School and its staff have made the decision to continue to do all that is reasonably practicable, around Hygiene, Environmental Cleaning, and Physical Distancing to protect the safety and health of our staff and students and their families; particularly to reduce the risks to vulnerable populations in the School and wider community.

Attending Campus
We continue to ask that at no time should any person (staff, student, family or visitor) attend the campus if they:

  1. have travelled outside of Western Australia in the previous 14 days
  2. have had contact with any person suspected of having or being diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous 14 days
  3. have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  4. have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results
  5. are unwell in any way, including elevated temperature and/or flu or cold like symptoms

Visitors

  • Visitors are permitted on campus. In accordance with the School’s usual policy around visitors on campus, all visitors are required to present at the Primary or Secondary administration offices to undergo a temperature check and sign-in declaration and assessment.
  • In line with the Phase 4 operating guidelines released by the WA Department of Education, Parents/guardians/carers are able attend the campus to drop off or pick up a child in either the Day School or Boarding, or to attend pre-arranged meetings. No temperature checks and sign-in is required when collecting or dropping a child off in the usual course of the school day.
  • Visitor sign in is essential as it may be required by the Department of Health for contact tracing and is part of the School’s safeguarding protocols.
  • Visitors attending campus outside usual school hours for sporting fixtures will be asked to provide a register of their participants and adhere to any requirements in place by the respective sporting code club COVID rules.

Physical Distancing
Measures and signage across the campus, including public areas, classrooms, offices and thoroughfares will remain in place. The more space between people, the harder it is for a virus to spread. AHPPC guidelines suggest that the greatest risk of transmission in the school environment is between adults. It is therefore important that teachers and parents alike maintain physical distancing between themselves and each other at School.

Assemblies and Chapel
Assemblies and Chapel services can occur, with adult visitors and staff required to adhere to the one person per 2m2 rule. All School events that required the gathering of a significant number of community members will be risk assessed on a case by case basis. This will be revisited in anticipation of Phase 5 implementation on 15 August 2020.

Cleaning Regimes
Coronaviruses can survive on surfaces many hours or more but are readily inactivated by cleaning and disinfection.  It is good practice to routinely clean surfaces and the School will continue the  supplementary cleaning regimes across the campus that include additional cleaning of the toilet blocks, daily cleaning of playground equipment and making surface sprays and cleaning kits available in each classroom for use by users of these spaces. The School’s contract cleaners spend additional time ensuring all surfaces are fully disinfected and additional cleaning schedules have been implemented.

Hand sanitiser available on all School buses.

Hygiene
The School continues to emphasise personal responsibility for good hygiene practices as a protection against infection and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and indeed any other surface borne illnesses.

Camps/Excursions/Incursions
School excursions, which are necessary to achieve a curriculum intention, will be considered on a case by case basis by the School Leadership and having regard to the Depart of Education Guidelines around School Camps.

Sport
Contact sport and training is permitted. Participation in community sporting activities can take place in line with guidelines of each sporting code. Equipment may be shared, and regular cleaning will continue.

COVIDSafe APP
We are encouraging, but not mandating, the use of the COVIDSafe tracing app by all adults on campus.

Ongoing Measures – For Students

If a student is unwell, they should not attend school. If children or young people at school experience symptoms compatible with COVID-19 (fever, cough or sore throat) they will be isolated in an appropriate space with suitable supervision, and their parent/carer will be contacted to collect the student as soon as possible. Parents are expected not to send their son or daughter to School if the student is unwell and should be kept at home until they have recovered.

  • Supervised washing of hands prior to and after breaks (recess, lunch, scheduled sport) in Primary.
  • Use of hand sanitiser before and after using playground equipment.
  • Secondary students are actively encouraged to use hand sanitiser provided at regular intervals (i.e. change of classes, after sport classes, recess and lunch) during the day.
  • Physical distancing is in place, where possible.
  • Students are being reminded about personal hygiene, including not touching the face and mouth, appropriate cough and sneeze and hand washing etiquette.

Ongoing Measures – For Staff

Staff who are unwell, should not attend School. If staff experience symptoms compatible with COVID-19 (fever, cough or sore throat) they will be isolated in an appropriate space and, following a medical fit for work assessment by the School Nurse and deemed not fit for work, they will be asked to go home to recover. [POL-281]

  • Staff have been advised to follow the same hygiene practices as the students and to check that everyone has access to adequate soap and hand sanitiser.
  • Additional cleaning of toilet blocks and surfaces in shared spaces, throughout the day.
  • Staff meetings, briefings, and appointments with parents and carers continue to be available on MS Teams.
  • Special considerations for staff who are over 70 years, or over 65 years with chronic medical conditions, or anyone with compromised immune systems.

Ongoing Measures – For Boarding

  • Single occupancy of rooms in Boarding units where available and practicable.
  • Boarding staff are well informed and practising physical distancing.

Dining

  • Boarders are able to dine together. Under a 2m2 rule the BCGS café can seat almost 100 people. Inclusive of staff, this would be 70 people at tables of five Boarders. The 2m2 rule is not applicable to schools and is designed to cater for people who may not be living together.
  • Appropriate distancing is marked around the servery area.
  • Cutlery is provided on dining tables to minimise cross contamination.
  • Hand sanitiser is available in the Café and use is mandated.

Hygiene and Cleaning

  • Hygiene, handwashing and hand sanitiser protocols are posted in all units and are regularly reiterated with students and staff.
  • Additional cleaning, including weekend cleaning, is rostered.

Leave
Leave will be approved for Boarders:

  • returning home each weekend
  • going to approved hosts (pre-approved by parents) on weekends, and
  • to attend medical and essential appointments.

Visitors
All visitors will be met by the Residential staff who will arrange a temperature check and sign-in declaration and assessment. This will not apply to parents/carers/guardians dropping off and collecting students.

Health and Safety Precautions

  • The School Nurse visits Boarding between 8:00 and 8:30am each day. Any students who are unwell and exhibiting flu-like symptoms will be managed in accordance with the School’s policy on infection in Boarding.
  • PPE is available for staff use where necessary.
  • COVID-19 testing is available is Bunbury and all boarders are eligible for testing.
  • Should quarantine be required, the School’s preference is for the student to return home. Where this is not practical, isolation is possible in a single unit in Boarding and would be arranged.

Ongoing Measures for Music Students

Our music ensembles have resumed practice, with the following protocols in place:

  • Good hygiene practices, including handwashing before and after lessons
  • Cleaning of any instruments in common use, ie piano, before and after each lesson
  • Hand sanitiser available and use encouraged
  • Staff and any visiting adults maintain physical distancing of one person per 2m2
  • Rules around gatherings apply to rehearsals and performances
  • Each student has their own music so that there is no sharing of sheet music

Important contact details

Students Services: Please report all absences (part/whole day) with reason to student services
(08) 9722 6000 Email: administration@bcgs.wa.edu.au

Head of School: Please report immediately any contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case
(08) 9722 6006 Email: headofschool@bcgs.wa.edu.au

Educational support:
Head of Primary, Mr Rob Whirledge (08) 9722 6104 Email: rob.whirledge@bcgs.wa.edu.au

Head of Secondary, Mr Matthew O’Brien, (08) 9722 6000 Email: matthew.obrien@bcgs.wa.edu.au 

For questions relating to Boarding, please contact the Head of Boarding, Mr Justin Forbes via email: justin.forbes@bcgs.wa.edu.au

IT Support:
IT Department, helpdesk@bcgs.wa.edu.au

Important Links

Australian Government Department of Health – COVID-19 Health Alert

Australian Government Department of Health

Government of Western Australia Department of Health – COVID-19 Updates

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Smartraveller – COVID-19 Travel warnings

WA Department of Education COVID-19 School Update

Telethon Kids Institute- discussing corona virus with your kids

Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) advice on reducing the potential risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools

SEQTA Engage (for parents)
(if you have not activated your account, please email the School Administration to activate your account.