Our AQI Measures
At Dulwich College Beiing, we believe that ‘students come first’, and apply this philosophy to everything we do. Recognising that outdoor air quality can sometimes be challenging in Beijing, we were the first school to install a filtered sports dome in 2011 and continually strive to improve our amazing facilities. We now have advanced, primary fresh air filtration in our sports halls, classrooms, theatres and common areas, backed up by computer-controlled secondary filtration in the ceilings of our classrooms and common areas as well as now having not one, but two filtered domes. As well as ensuring our systems routinely remove over 90% of pollution and achieve PM2.5 levels of less than 15 ug/m3 in every classroom, we have also set demanding targets for CO2 levels, well in excess of the required building code, ensuring that our air is always fresh and that students are alert and able to fully focus on their learning. Since August 2016, we now also have air filtration in all of our school buses, ensuring our students have cleaner air when travelling to and from the College. To ensure our air is always the very best it can be, our trained operations staff take outdoor and indoor readings across 50 test points every day, using TSI (Trading Standards Institute) approved, calibrated monitors. To provide more detailed data, we also have 22 DST (Department of Science and Technology) monitors that provide us with live data every five minutes and which allow us to track air quality online across the entire school day. We also share data for our parents to see via our public website. We would encourage parents to look at the data to see for themselves just how good the air quality actually is.
AQI Policy and Practice
Dulwich College Beijing tracks air quality throughout the day by reference to our own AQI monitor, the live Air Quality Index (AQI) feed from the US Embassy in Chaoyang, District, and the Shunyi reading on this site. The reading on our own monitor determines our response. Our Early Years and Junior School response to the AQI is slightly more restrictive than that for Senior School because medical evidence indicates that very young children are more vulnerable to the effects of particulate pollution than older children and adults. When the AQI is over 200, all Early Years and Junior School students will be kept indoors. Where the AQI is between 150 and 199, consideration will be given to allowing the children a shortened period of outdoor play, not to exceed 15 minutes for Early Years and 20 minutes for Junior School. The threshold for Senior School students is 250. Where the AQI is between 200 and 249, consideration will be given to allowing pupils a shortened period of outdoor play, not to exceed 20 minutes. Thresholds for students with respiratory problems are 150 for Early Years and Junior School, and 200 for Senior School. It is therefore absolutely crucial that parents inform the classroom teacher or form tutor if their children have respiratory problems, and that parents reiterate these thresholds with their children. Readings are taken at least 3 times every day around our campuses and the information supplied to the leadership teams in each school, in order that decisions can be made informed by current circumstances.
AQI Outdoor Activity Policy
0-149 Normal Outdoor Activities
150-199 EY outdoor activities reduced to 15 minutes, JS outdoor activities reduced to 20 minutes
200-249 Early Year and Junior School students stay indoors, Senior School students shortened breaks outside
250+ All outdoor activities suspended