Campus reopening roadmap - Spring Term

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

I wish you a very good start to 2021. We are pleased to see that over the winter holidays the Kazakh Government has made positive announcements to the improvements in the provision of offline education for our older pupils in the Senior School. There will be a blend of online and offline teaching in the months ahead as we seek to ensure the operation of a safe school campus and ensure that pupils have all the resources, support, and encouragement needed to make their best progress. All the staff at Haileybury Almaty continue to work hard to ensure that all pupils are well supported in their studies.

We look forward to the new term and I enclose my best wishes for the year ahead. 

Kind regards,

Ian Hunt, Chairman of the Board of Governors

We are looking forward very much indeed to welcoming all pupils for the start of 2021 and the Spring Term ahead.  The staff have been busy preparing the school site and the new teaching resources for the start of term.

All areas have had a deep clean over the winter holidays and there has been significant work to ensure the school campus is ready as a safe and COVID-free environment. This includes our socially distanced classroom layouts,  clear signage, temperature checking on all entrances and enhanced hygiene facilities. 

All of these measures will allow us to continue to operate safely and effectively as we move back to lessons at school for those year groups who are permitted. We are also fully prepared for our digital teaching online which remains very important for our pupils.

Please do keep a careful look at the school website and your school emails as there will be regular communication for each year group about the start of year arrangements. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Simon Mills


Haileybury Almaty

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:

Will all students return at the same time?

No - we are bringing Years 10, 11 12 and 13 back in stages over the first week of Term 2. 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 digital thermal checkpoints. Anyone displaying a high temperature at the entry point will be sent home.

Most importantly no child should come to school if they, or anyone else in the household, is unwell.

What will happen when I arrive at school?

Pupils 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. Adults can drop pupils off from their vehicles but they will not be permitted to enter the school building. Specific information regarding the procedure for your child’s drop off and pick up has been shared with each year group. All pupils and adults should please wear face masks from the car to the school buildings on arrival and departure. We would ask adults and pupils not to gather in groups in the car park but to disperse quickly and socially distance.

How will pupils receive their lunch?

The Junior School and Year 7 have their lunches delivered to, and eaten, in their classrooms in order to maintain social distancing and support minimal movement around the campus.

Years 10 to 13 have socially distanced dining in the main Dining Hall with cleaning between each sitting. The Dining Hall has a clearly signed one-way system. Spacing indicators are used to ensure physical distancing whilst lining up. After eating, the one way system continues and spacing lines guide pupils to the plate collection area.

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 as well as our Covid procedures 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 can 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 has been shared with each year group outlining specific arrangements.

Will there be PE lessons?

Yes - for Junior School and Year 7 pupils, with specific COVID-safe rules regarding the use of equipment and with appropriate socially distanced activities in place. The PE programme has been adjusted to follow guidelines for the use of equipment. On PE days, all pupils should attend school in their PE uniform and stay in it for the whole day, changing only shoes. Years 10-13 will not have a PE programme but will focus on their academic lessons instead.

What will happen at the end of the school day?

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

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 Junior School and Year 7 all lessons will take place in the same classroom. For pupils in examination year groups some 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 CCAs will not be offered at lunchtimes or after school.

Will private music lessons be available?

With the recommended sanitation and social distancing, private music lessons are available.

What equipment will my child need to bring to school?

All pupils require a light-weight bag for essential items only, such as water bottle, digital device, 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 provide appropriate feedback on pupil work, whilst maintaining strict hygiene practices.

How will the Medical Centre operate?

The School’s Medical Centre is 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. The Medical Centre staff will be in touch with any concerns about your child and if you have any questions the School Doctor is very happy to be contacted.

Will children still have playtimes?

Yes, children still have time to play and socialise during designated, staggered times with their class, all with appropriate sanitising and social distancing. Equipment is 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 allows 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 during the school day, minus ties and blazers. All items are fully washable and will be laundered frequently. Ties and blazers cannot be washed and hence remain at home. PE and Games kit is 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 are taught in groups of a maximum of 15 pupils. These groups are allocated considering a range of factors to ensure all pupils are best supported for in school learning.

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

Both Junior and Senior School pupils must have completed the Return to School Google form before they return to school. This Google Form is available through a link at the top of this web page.

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’.

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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