6: Miscellaneous

6.01 Time.

Schools are normally open for 40 or 41 weeks a year. There will normally be three weeks’ holiday (typically known as a ‘winter break’ or Christmas), two weeks holiday (typically known as ‘spring break or Easter) and six or seven weeks ‘summer break’. The school year usually starts as near as possible to 1st September and ends at the end of the second full week in July.

                                                                         

MINIMUM DAYS / HOURS IN SCHOOL EACH ACADEMIC YEAR

PRIMARY 5 - PRIMARY 8: 185 DAYS      1018 HOURS

PRIMARY 1 - PRIMARY 4: 185 DAYS         925 HOURS

NURSERY

MINIMUM OF 620 HOURS A YEAR OR MINIMUM OF 185 DAYS

LENGTH OF SCHOOL DAY


PRIMARY 5 - PRIMARY 8 

MIN 5 HOURS AND 30 MINUTES

MAX 6 HOURS


PRIMARY 1 - PRIMARY 4

MIN 5 HOURS

MAX 6 HOURS 

  • A maximum of 20 minutes morning break time can be included in the total number of hours. Afternoon breaks, lunchtimes and after school activities should not be included.

  • Children in Primary 1 through to Primary 3 can attend for four and a half days each week if this is the present practice. The half day does not need to conform to the minimum time of five hours.


Many schools stated that public holidays were occasionally declared after the school calendar had been set. Head teachers should ensure that these unexpected holidays do not lower the number of days the children are learning in school below the 185 minimum. This can be achieved by planning the year to have more than the minimum number of school days.

Before publication of holidays, head teachers must submit in a timely manner, the planned school days to Shell Education Services Department using Appendix 31.

                                                                 

When exceptions to these regulations are needed, the Head of the Education Services Department should be consulted.

School time must be explicitly defined and communicated in the school brochure.

6.02 Health and Safety.

Each school is subject to the Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) policies and procedures of its operating unit. The head teacher and staff should be aware of these expectations and implement them as appropriate. In addition, each school must produce its own HSSE policy. This should specify the overall principles governing the school's approach to health and safety issues, and procedures related to such things as:


  • Identification of hazards.


  • Risk assessment (policy and procedure)


  • Incident reporting.


  • First aid.


  • Emergency drills.


  • Protective equipment.


  • Supervision of children.


  • Staff training.


6.03 Insurance.

All official NTC locations abroad are insured against their responsibility for Dutch children during school time. For more information contact:

Stichting NOB Department of Advice and Support: Mr Ruud Kouijzer

We recommend that all teachers have personal liability insurance.

6.04 Links with the Community.

Each school should develop local links - both with the Shell expatriate community and with the host country.

In doing this schools should teach children an awareness, appreciation of and respect for local customs. Schools should make good use of the community and the environment as resources for learning and recognise the benefits that children can gain from living and learning in a country that is not their home country.

6.05 Assemblies.

Schools should hold a non-religious assembly for all children and teachers at least once a week.

Assemblies can be used to celebrate school events and milestones and the achievements of individuals and groups. Children can be encouraged to take part in assemblies by, for example, showing and talking about aspects of their work or by performing music and drama. We recommend that schools take opportunities to invite parents and other members of the local community to join children and teachers for assemblies.

Shell schools and Shell affiliated schools are non-denominational schools. Learning about different religions and cultural celebrations should reflect the international nature of the schools and should not be dominated by one religion or culture.

All children should be given the opportunity to learn about a variety of religions and cultural celebrations, including their own. It is important that schools are sensitive to the local conditions and the wishes of the parents. Schools can facilitate celebrations. The schools should attempt to do so outside the normal school hours as this will allow parents to request that their children can opt out of the celebration without missing leaning time.

6.06 ICT.

Schools are expected to have up-to-date ICT equipment and to use best practice in relation both to improving children’s learning and to administration.

6.07 Head lice.

All schools are likely, at some stage, to be affected by issues related to head lice. You should therefore have a policy in place rather than trying to respond once an infection becomes evident. There can be no detailed central Shell policy statement because circumstances, regulations and laws will vary according to location but the following points apply to all schools:

   

  • All Shell schools should have an HSSE policy on head lice.

   

  • Any such policy should be drawn up following consultation with the local Shell medical department. If there is no such department you should seek advice from the medical department in The Hague.

   

  • Any policy should be published to parents.


Further guidance can be found in Appendix 25.