Air Quality Policy

There are times of the year when we experience poor air quality in Beijing and we know this is an issue of importance for many of our parents. At the same time, the Beijing Education Commission has required schools to maintain good air circulation indoors for the health and well-being of students and teachers. We make every effort to ensure we provide a safe environment for our children to learn in and therefore have the following systems and procedures in place

The Shunyi campus uses three air purification systems in unison across the entire school. First, we use the Beacon brand of filters in our central air conditioning system and we have installed high-specification ceiling-mounted Daikin brand air filters in all of our classrooms, aimed at reducing the classroom AQI to no more than 10 µg/m3. Each EYFS classroom is also equipped with a portable air filter as an extra precaution. Our foyer areas feature positive pressure systems over all entrances and a large-scale IQ Air filter over the entrance to the multi-purpose room.

Student school buses are replaced often and include filters as part of the air-conditioning. The quality of these systems is always under review.

Air Quality Measurements

Outdoor AQI measurements that BSB use are from the World Air Quality Index. This refers to air quality measurement stations nearby our school and from the US Embassy official site. If there is any doubt, the Principal will make the decision as to whether or not we may take classes outdoors.

Training for all BSB Shunyi staff occurs in two sections: one for Admin staff and one for teaching staff. In these separate briefings, all staff are trained on the current policy as well as the required reaction and on the proper use of air purifiers in each room twice a year.

Indoor air quality results are measured by two external and independent companies, at the request of the Facilities Manager to ensure the measures taken are working well.

In line with the ISAC agreement among Beijing International Schools, an outdoor sports tournament will not begin where the AQI is 251 or above, with a 6:15am notification from the hosting school. Any sports tournament must end if the AQI moves to an unacceptable level during the event. The students will also be using the Sports Dome. The Sports Dome allows for PE, sport and play to continue even on the worst of weather conditions.

When the AQI is above 180, Primary children are restricted from high impact activities even indoors, and above 300 Secondary students are restricted during their indoor activities.

At a glance our AQI limits are:

AQI Action
Over 150 and below 180 Pre-Nursery (Teddies) and Nursery have limited outdoor play (approximately two x 20 minutes per day).
Over 180 Teddies, Nursery and Reception students stay indoors
Over 200 Primary school students stay indoors
Over 250 Secondary school students stay indoors and all outdoor sport tournaments are cancelled. All outdoor after school activities are cancelled.
Over 300 Beijing day trips and excursions are cancelled.

For more detail, please download the Air Quality Index (AQI) Guidelines to see the response taken by our school, depending on the AQI level.

Indoor Break Time Activities

As much as possible we want children to remain motivated and enthused whilst indoors. With our indoor facilities we are able to provide more options for the children during indoor breaks and lunchtimes.

Soft Play Room – Foundation stage and Primary have access to our soft play room. A safe indoor play room in our Primary wing where our youngest students can wiggle, play, and climb indoors.

Gym, MPR, Ampitheatre and Sports Dome – During indoor play time the sports dome, gym, ampitheatre and the Multi-Purpose Room are made available to the students under supervision to socialize & play.

Library (separated by age groups) – Pupils are able to sit with friends and look through all the wonderful books we have in the newly separated libraries on three floors in our main building. These are separated in age appropriate groups and include comfortable chairs, desks and shared computers.

Use of DVDs in Primary – As much as possible we aim to limit the use of DVDs during indoor break times and we would much rather some down time, especially when they have been involved in active learning during lesson time. Therefore educational DVDs such as Blue Planet, Walking with Dinosaurs, Blue Peter, Newsround, etc., will be used on a restricted basis with the children. DVDs will always be chosen so they are relevant to the specific age range.

AQI Guidelines

Air Quality Index (AQI) Guidelines