Facilities at IPS
With the addition of a new building to allow for additional classroom and specialist teaching spaces the school has facilities to cater to all types of learning and space allotment for specialist subjects. In addition to class and subject rooms, there is a school hall, football field, art room, SEN breakout rooms, an EAL classroom, space for external providers, a PYP collaboration space, and staff room. IPS also rents the swimming pool across the road to allow for facilities for the swimming program.
IPS also has upgraded its ICT infrastructure since the last CIS visit. Each classroom now has a WiFi access point, Apple TV, and projector. Each teacher has an iPad and there are class sets of iPads for student use. There are 140 student ipads on campus which are allocated per year level with 20 ipads per year level for the Middle and Upper Primary sections and 15 per year level in the lower primary section and 2 per class in the Early Years section. Internet access is filtered through a firewall and is supported and maintained by an external company. These facilities help the school reach its vision of inspiring learners to thrive in a world of change.
The school campus is fenced/enclosed with a CCTV system that can be monitored via phone or computer by users. Currently the Head of School, Office Attendant, and Head of ICT have access to the CCTV system. During the school day the gates are locked and all visitors must check in with the main gate with the security officer and wear a visitors badge while on campus. The school and its facilities meet local health and safety requirements and IPS has an external health and safety officer regularly visit the school to carry out checks. As well as maintenance and support staff to ensure the school facilities are operational and safe. Outside of school hours, school facilities are used for Extracurricular Activities (ECAs), weekend workshops, holiday camps, and Parent Association (IPSPA) events to name a few.
IPS has 3 main purpose-built classroom blocks. The surface area of most classrooms is forty square metres. Classrooms are equipped with child-friendly furniture and have sufficient storage space which is adequate for the delivery of the programme. Each classroom is equipped with WiFi, a projector, and Apple TV. The class size is set by the Board of Governors Policy 7.050 and is capped at 24 students per class. This policy also provides the guideline of 20 students per class in Nursery-Year 1 and 22 students per class in Year 2-6.
Due to the growth of the student population in recent years due to the addition of a 3rd class per year level, the Board of Governors (BoG) decided to increase the facilities on campus with the addition of a new purpose-built classroom block to accommodate the upper primary students and a music/drama room. This addition in facilities allowed for the allocation of classrooms for specialist subjects (French & Music) and learning support in the existing buildings. IPS also has outdoor playgrounds, eating areas, and equipment for break time as well as for instruction. Physical education classes take place on the field, playgrounds, and/or in the hall. The hall is also used for units of inquiry linked to performing arts. IPS also has a designated Art room and a Library that has expanded to include a book-able teaching and/or workspace that is equipped with desktop computers, projector and whiteboard.
IPS also has designated spaces for Learning Support and EAL instruction which allows for pull out lessons for individual or small groups of students. These spaces are also used by outside specialists to work with students that have needs related to occupational therapy, speech & language therapy, and counselling & play therapy. IPS has also further developed the ICT infrastructure on campus and upgraded the internet connectivity speeds to better facilitate the growing demand of internet use in the classrooms and the administrative office. Tablet (iPad) sets have been allocated to each year level with a student to device ratio of 2.5 to 1 device at full student capacity.
All classroom blocks at IPS were purpose built with student safety in mind, there are multiple exits in case of fire or other emergency. Furthermore, all rooms in Lower Primary (KS1) building and Middle Primary(KS2) building were outfitted with blackout curtains which come into use in the event of an emergency lockdown level 3. Campus Emergency Lockdown is communicated via the centralized public address system which has a speaker in each classroom and the microphone is housed in the admin building.
IPS also has a CCTV system that is integrated into the school wide network and can be accessed over the network or via the NVR in the KS2 Server Room. Phones are also placed in strategic locations to allow for staff to phone the office in the event of an emergency. The phone system can also be used remotely from laptops and smartphones in the event of campus closure to ensure that communication with parents is maintained.
With the addition of a new classroom block for the upper primary students, provisions were made to freedom of access needs of all students and staff. As such, there are handicap accessible classrooms and toilets available should the need arise.
Enhancing the ICT offerings at IPS has been a focus of the school with an iPad project. The project is currently in its 4th year and the school has 185 ipads for students and teachers. The project is underpinned by a 3 year device replacement schedule and budget projections. They are delegated into bookable sets for year levels (20x per year level for Year 3-6, 15x per year level Year 1-2, and 2 per class for Nursery-Reception). Each teacher has an iPad and each classroom is outfitted with a WiFi access point, an Apple TV and projector to allow teachers to actively teach with their iPad and students to share their digital work with the class. There are also 8 computers in common spaces that can be used by staff or students as the need arises.
The school has also invested in various apps and software platforms for all students to enhance the delivery of the curriculum (BrainPop, Mathletics, Reading Eggs, & Explain Everything) as well as allow students to use digital tools to showcase their learning. Some examples of apps to showcase and share student learning are Padlet, G-Suite, Poplet, BookCreator, iMovie and StopMotion Animation to name a few. For management of student data, IPS uses ManageBac and OpenApply both platforms meet GDPR requirements.
In March of 2020, the government of Mauritius announced a lockdown in response to the COVID-19. At this time, IPS had a virtual learning policy in place and the school moved to online school via G-Suite. All students were issued an IPS Google ID which allowed them to access from home Google Classroom, Google Meet, as well as sign into the schools other platforms and resources such as BrainPop and Epic!.
Staff login credentials are required to be changed every 6 months with student’s being changed at the start of each school year using the kid friendly password generator and API from DinoPass. Student login details are shared with class teachers and students at the start of the year and in the event of long term campus closure they are shared with the parents. These G-suite logins sync to ManagBac and allow students to upload to their digital portfolios. The switch to digital portfolios happened this academic year.