The Covid Traffic Light framework means that New Zealand children are back at school for 2022, and schools are working hard to keep their students safe with increased cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, and hand sanitiser in classrooms – but there are additional steps that can be taken to minimise the risk of a covid outbreak spreading widely within a school.
Small children at Primary Schools can’t be expected to maintain social distancing themselves, and even teens will find the constant self-awareness required to always be aware of proximities and wearing masks exhausting. It’s realistic to expect friend-groups and classmates to create opportunities for covid spread, even with the best intentions, especially with more contagious variants emerging.
Our tamariki and rangatahi are our greatest treasure, and we have thought hard about how we at NZ Marquee Hire can support schools to create the safest possible learning environments, and minimise spread of covid within schools, while allowing children as much freedom to "be children" as possible.
Here are our ideas for supporting natural movement flow for different year groups, which may be relevant to your school.
If your school is a combined intermediate and college, these grounds may be marked out as separate to avoid cross-contamination. Temporary fencing can be used to provide a easy to see boundary that can run across playing fields, playgrounds or school buildings to naturally guide movement of different year groups without cutting out the view of the rest of the school.
Temporary Fencing can guide student flow as they move about the school grounds, creating pathway flows for different year groups or college / intermediate students.
Queue pathways for tuck shops can be created using temporary fencing to avoid students gathering tightly in the usual ‘scrum’ at the counter, and coloured markers can be placed along the temporary fencing to encourage groups of friends to space out from other groups while in line for their lunch.
Temporary or long term marquees can be installed to create outdoor all weather play areas over playgrounds or playing fields to avoid children being kept in classrooms during wet lunch times.
Our large hire marquees can be used to create large outdoor assembly spaces which can be used as a stand-alone fresh air ‘hall’, or used in combination with the main hall to allow students more space to spread out in their groups. Schools can set up a zoom link to show the main assembly on screen in the marquee simultaneously, and the marquee can also be used for PE on wet days.
Ideal for any sports day or school event, our marquees can be installed on concrete, asphalt or grass, and can be set up with sides up or down, and adapted to the weather. For example on a windy day one side may be down and others have the side panels raised.
Entry to the school can be streamlined by having different entrance points for various year groups. If needed in more serious circumstances, the entrances can employ temporary fencing to create spaced queues, and we can install a small marquee shelter where staff can remind older students to use the QR scanner as they enter, and hand out masks as needed to any students who have forgotten or who do not have supplies at home.
Thank you for considering how to keep our children safe, and reading this far. If you have any questions or want to discuss how our services may work in your school or educational facility, please call David on 0211944988 or use our contact form to message our team.
This is a timelapse of our large marquee Wharenui going up for the Auckland Grammar 150th celebrations in 2019, and being used in various ways throughout the weekend.