Campus reopening roadmap

We have been working hard to make plans for reopening safely in both cities next term. You will find everything you need to know about these arrangements here:

Dear Parents

The Ministry of Health released their learning recommendations for the first quarter of the forthcoming academic year for schools in Kazakhstan. Since the start of June, Haileybury has created extensive plans in order to prepare both Haileybury schools for the variety of learning scenarios that we envisaged the schools would face in the forthcoming academic year. These range from full online education, partial online and off-line or full pupil integration back into the school. 

We will be in discussion with the Ministry of Education to clarify their exact recommendations, and what we are able to offer at Haileybury. We cannot be more specific at this stage, but as soon as we have more information, we will inform all of the Haileybury community. 

Kind regards,

Ian Hunt, Chairman of the Board of Governors

My name is Simon Mills and as the new Headmaster at Haileybury Almaty I am looking forward very much indeed to welcoming all pupils and families for the new academic year.  

I would like to thank Mr Coles very much indeed for his hard work along with all of the support and teaching in preparing for the new school year. The staff have been busy preparing the school site and the new teaching resources for the start of term.

There has been significant work to enhance the school campus to be ready as a safe and COVID-free environment including new socially distanced classroom layouts,  clear signage, temperature checking on all entrances and enhanced hygiene facilities. 

All of these measures will allow us to operate safely and effectively as we move back to lessons at school. 

We are also fully prepared for any digital teaching online and have improved our technology and staff training further to ensure this is of the highest quality.

Please do keep a careful look at the school website and there will be more communication shortly for specific year groups about the start of year arrangements.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Simon Mills

Haileybury Almaty Headmaster

Parent’s Informed Consent Letter — Covid19
Complete the form

People movement and personal protective equipment (PPE)

  • Everyone entering the campus must wear a face mask at all times. 
  • All public-facing areas will have plexiglass shields (e.g.  security bases, reception areas, medical, administrative, food serving areas etc.).
  • All public facing support staff will wear face shields in addition to masks (e.g. food servers, cleaners, health and safety staff).
  • Hand sanitisers are located all around the school and students and staff will be required to use the hand sanitisers when entering the building and entering and exiting classrooms and the dining hall.
  • Hand sanitiser liquid we use is sanctioned by the local Health Authority and does not contain alcohol.
  • All students will be encouraged to use soap and water as often as possible.
  • One way systems are in place around the school with clear signage on stairs and in corridors.
  • Additional segregation barriers to isolate groups of children.
  • ‘Please wait here’ stickers are in place in the dining hall and outside every toilet. Limit of two students at a time in a restroom. 
  • Reorganisation of classrooms to support social distancing with a maximum of 15 pupils in each classroom and additional learning spaces where required repurposing current rooms and adapting spaces where required. 
  • Group changing facilities will not be used - children coming into school ready for the activity or the activity doesn’t happen.

Effective and frequent medical-grade cleaning procedures for classrooms, offices, changing rooms, surfaces, railings, doors and windows, toys, sports equipment, dining tables.

  • Issuing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all teaching and administrative staff (face masks).
  • Specialised PPE for nursing staff-face masks, face shields, gowns, face masks.
  • Sign-posts to support one-way systems within buildings and walkways.
  • Implementation and strict adherence to social distancing at school-classrooms, offices, dining, corridors.
  • Reorganisation of classrooms and offices to allow for social distancing.
  • Social distancing markings-classrooms, corridors, dining areas, lifts, floors.
  • Effective ventilation of classrooms and offices-opening doors and windows.
  • Regular staggered breaks for students and staff.
  • Lift not to be used unless for medical reasons / movement of equipment and cleaned immediately after use.
  • Effective medical-grade cleaning procedures for classrooms, offices, changing rooms, bathrooms, surfaces, railings, doors and windows, toys, sports equipment, dining tables.
Our receptionists can be contacted during office hours by email or by telephone.

Administrative measures for Parents and Pupils

As always we are keen to support you in any way we can and although we cannot meet face-to-face at this time, our teachers will still be happy to communicate with you and answer any questions you may have through email or alternatively we can arrange a video conferencing meeting.

Forgotten school items should be clearly labelled with the student’s name and handed to our Security Staff at the nearest entrance to your child’s class. They will ensure they are given to the student.

If you are called by our Medical Team to collect a sick child, they will advise which entrance you should come to and you will be directed to the correct Medical Base.

The school will provide regular updates to parents via digital communication, including videos to demonstrate hygiene protocols. The following information will be shared in English, Russian and Kazakh:

  • Details of new COVID secure procedures and protocols.
  • School campus access arrangements (only essential access for staff and pupils).
  • Daily arrival and dismissal plan (staggered by age group to support social distancing).
  • An adjusted timetable to support minimal movement.
  • All pupils will be expected to complete a return-to-school consent form prior to arrival.

School plans for reopening:

When will we reopen?

Our aim is to reopen the school on Knowledge Day (September 1). However, the Knowledge Day ceremony will not follow its usual format in order to support new health and safety protocols.

Will all students return at the same time?

No, our intention is to bring year groups back in stages over the first week of term. This will provide the time and space for all pupils to familiarise themselves with the new rules and routines. Our campus looks significantly different and we have prepared detailed plans for a safe return.

Specific details about your child’s return to school will be shared with each individual year group.

Will there be temperature checks?

You will need to take your child’s temperature before they leave for school each day. If your child displays a temperature over 37.4°C, they should not be sent to school, and we ask that you inform us immediately. 

On arrival, your child will pass by one of our thermal imaging cameras. Anyone displaying a high temperature at the entry point will be sent home. 

What will happen when I arrive at school?

Pupils will enter the school via the Junior School and Senior School entrances during designated times, in order to allow for social distancing protocols to be maintained. Parents can drop pupils off in vehicles but will not be permitted to enter the school building. Specific information regarding the procedure for your child’s drop off and pick up will be shared with each year group.


How will pupils receive their lunch?

The school is prepared for lunches to be eaten in classrooms in order to maintain social distancing and support minimal movement around the campus. 

However, socially distanced dining in the main Dining Hall is also a possibility with clear protocols in place. If this is the case then there will be different sittings with cleaning between each sitting. The Dining Hall will have a clearly signed one-way system. There will be hand washing before entry with entry and exit through a single designated point. Spacing indicators will be used to ensure physical distancing whilst lining up. After eating, the one way system will continue. Spacing lines will guide pupils to the plate collection area. Pupils will follow the one-way system through a separate exit and pupils will wash their hands on leaving the Dining Hall.

Until further notice, unfortunately breakfast will be not served at the beginning of the day. 

What would happen if anyone in the school caught COVID 19?

In the event of a member of staff or a pupil testing positive for COVID-19, the Ministry of Health, the staff and the parents will be informed as soon as possible. If the individual has been at the School during the lead up time to the onset of symptoms,  all or some sections of the School may close. We will follow the guidelines of the authorities closely and keep the community informed of all decisions.

Can I come onto campus as a parent?

No, only pupils and staff members will be allowed to enter the school building. Parents and drivers will be able to drop off pupils in the designated areas, at the specified time provided for your child’s year group. For younger children, staff will be on hand to meet, greet and escort them to their classrooms.

Individual guidance will be shared with each year group outlining specific arrangements.

Will there be PE lessons?

Yes, but there will be specific COVID-safe rules regarding the use of equipment, with appropriate socially distanced activities in place. As long as good weather permits all lessons will be in outdoor areas. The PE programme will be adjusted to follow guidelines for the use of equipment. Until further notice, no swimming lessons will take place. On PE days, all pupils should attend school in their PE uniform and stay in it for the whole day, changing only shoes.

What will happen at the end of the school day?

Pupils will leave the school via the Junior School and Senior School entrances during designated times, in order to allow for social distancing protocols to be maintained. Parents and drivers can collect pupils in vehicles but will not be permitted to enter the school building. Specific information regarding the procedure for your child’s drop off and pick up will be shared with each year group.

Will my child be socially distanced in one classroom?

Pupils will adhere to social distancing guidelines in accordance with the Ministry of Education requirements. For pupils in Reception, KS1, KS2 and KS3, all lessons will take place in the same classroom. For pupils in examination year groups, a minimal amount of movement will be required in order to access specialised equipment and resources to support examination subjects (e.g. Science Labs). Strict cleanliness and hygiene practices will be adhered to between lessons in accordance with sanitary protocols. 

Will CCAs be offered?

Until further notice, no CCAs will be offered at lunchtimes or after school.

Will private music lessons be available?

With the recommended sanitation and social distancing, private music lessons will be introduced.

What equipment will my child need to bring to school?

All pupils will be provided with a light-weight Haileybury tote bag for essential items only, such as water bottle, sun hat, individual stationery and spare mask.

Lockers will not be used and the bag will remain at the pupil’s designated desk.

Will my child’s books be marked?

Teachers will provide appropriate feedback on pupil work, whilst maintaining strict hygiene practices.

How will the Medical Centre operate?

The School’s Medical Centre will be open all day, operating under COVID-19 safe protocols. 

In addition, separate isolation areas have been established to allow for adequate social distancing, as well as to isolate any person displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

Will children still have playtimes?

Yes, children will still have time to play and socialise during designated, staggered times with their class, all with appropriate sanitising and social distancing. Equipment will be cleaned after each playtime.

Will there be access to learning for pupils who cannot return to school?

The school has prepared all classrooms to have video streaming technology as part of each lesson. This will allow for teaching and learning to be accessed by any pupil who is unable to come to school. 

Will pupils need to wear normal uniform ?

Normal Haileybury school uniform will be worn, minus ties and blazers. All items are fully washable and will be laundered frequently. Ties and blazers cannot be washed and hence will remain at home. 

PE and Games kit may be worn for those days when this is included in the timetable to prevent changing on site.

How will pupils be allocated to teaching groups (bubbles)?

We are pleased to offer the opportunity to teach all Junior School pupils in school. In order to enable this pupils will be taught in groups of a maximum of 15 pupils. These groups will be allocated considering a range of factors to ensure all pupils are best supported for in school learning. Further information will be sent regarding teaching groups one week before the start of term.

Do all pupils have to complete the Return to School Form?

Both Junior and Senior School pupils must have completed Return to School Google form completed before they return to school in preparation for the new school year.

The following was done to ensure the implementation of enhanced sanitary measures and the improvement of the educational process:

1. Recirculators with antibacterial and antiviral filters were purchased and installed in each classroom, including the gym, 132 pcs.
2. Visualizers – 72 pcs.
3. Webcams – 72 pcs.
4. Sensor dispensers with sanitizers – 110 pcs. (total will be 134)
5. Interactive panels – 7 pcs.
6. Additional tables – 50 pcs.
7. Towel dispensers were additionally purchased – 80 pcs. (total will be 134)
8. 25 thermometers 
9. Masks – 7500 pcs., gloves

The Future

The measures outlined above make up Phase 1 of a staggered return to normal. We are in discussions regarding the next phase which will include reducing some of our measures in line with a reduced risk from COVID-19. This will be done under guidance of the authorities, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, and not before it is safe to do so. You will be informed in advance of any changes to the guidelines outlined above. Whilst details of this are unconfirmed, future phases are likely to involve:

  • a reintroduction of large gatherings but with appropriate physical distancing;
  • in junior sections of the School, mixing of certain groups of children beyond the current bubbles
  • an increased range of activities allowed in PE;
  • a relaxing of some staggering measures on pick up and drop off; 
  • an ability to use some shared resources more freely (IT equipment, instruments, library books).


1. Academic Research by Harvard, Cambridge, and Johns Hopkins outlining why schools should reopen:

Educational Damage of not re-opening immediately

Harvard Experts acknowledged the risks associated with reopening schools, but the risks of keeping children home too long are even greater. Barry Bloom, former dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "I believe that the process of socialization is really important, and that long-term deprivation of that is probably going to do more harm than the occasional child becoming infected."

2. Long Term Damage to the Economy if schools do not re-open immediately

Research by the U.K. Royal Society, (UK national academy for Scientific Research): school time lost because of the pandemic will harm global economies for the next 65 years. The research group, including academics from Cambridge and Bristol universities, says it will cost billions in a reduced growth rate.

The study says the disruption to lessons will have a negative impact on the future skills of the workforce. ‘Getting pupils back to school must be a priority’.

3. Infection Rate for Children

Research has indicated children infected with the coronavirus are not as contagious as adults, nor are they as affected by Covid-19. Children and teenagers are at least 50% as likely as adults to become infected with the virus.

Harvard Global Health Institute: "The good news is kids transmit less. They are certainly less likely to get sick."

4. From The London Times Newspaper, July 2020

One of the largest studies in the world on coronavirus in schools, carried out in 100 institutions in the UK, will confirm that “there is very little evidence that the virus is transmitted” according to a leading scientist, Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and a member of the government advisory group Sage. He said: “A new study that has been done in UK schools confirms there is very little evidence that the virus is transmitted in schools”.

“This is the some of the largest data you will find on schools anywhere. Britain has done very well in terms of thinking of collecting data in schools.”
The study is being carried out by Public Health England and is expected to be published later this year.

Viner says a full reopening of schools is “imperative”. He warns that children have lost friendships, missed months of lessons and will suffer long-term social, mental and academic problems if schools stay closed. For teenagers, in particular, being cut off from their peers is bad for their development.

Viner adds that schools must have tests that can be turned around within 24 hours to enable the rapid isolation of infected people.
“It is absolutely essential for schools to reopen in September. The risks to children from Covid are very low and the risks of school closures we know are very serious,” he said.

“Britain as a nation should stand up and say: our children are essential. Reopening schools is essential. If we do not feel test and trace is fully in place by September, we need to look carefully at the level of R [rating the virus’s ability to spread] at that point and look at what trade-offs may be necessary.”

“It is about what is necessary for the future of society and what is not. Schools are necessary.”

“Everything you do to reopen society will impact the national R, but reopening schools, we believe, has a very small impact on it. The majority of cases are staff, not students,” Viner said.

5. Schools Reopening arguments

Paul Volberding, professor of medicine and emeritus professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, University of California-San Francisco, "really young kids are not much of an infection reservoir, so I think it is okay for preschool, day care, and elementary school to reopen." However, for older students, “schools may have to make adjustments, like having morning and afternoon shifts and limited hours”,

Josh Sharfstein, vice dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: “Schools should reopen with modifications, keeping students six feet apart, staggering student drop offs, and requiring students to wear masks. "

“The risks of staying home are in many ways clearer than the risks of returning to school" (Collins/Jackson, USA Today, 7/7;)

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