We have created a page to update parents about the Coronavirus - Covid 19, so that we can provide links to the latest information from the Government, including any advice to schools.
We will also include on this page, any information regarding The Firs and our response to the ongoing situation.
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline
The DfE have launched a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education.
Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19:
Guidance for educational settings:
Government Coronavirus action plan and updates
On 3rd March 2020, the Coronavirus action plan was launched. This document sets out what the UK as a whole has done to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next.
The action plan can be found here: Coronavirus action plan
Updates from the Government:
Prime Minister Boris Johnson address to nation 10th May 2020:
Government Recovery Plan 11th May 2020
Government Plans for Partial Reopening from 1st June:
19/5/20 - Update on symptoms to watch out for:
The most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
Children are likely to become infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) at roughly the same rate as adults, but the infection is usually mild.
If anyone has any of the symptoms above they should self-isolate at home.
29/5/20 - Testing available for anyone with symptoms:
The government has announced that anyone with symptoms of coronavirus is now eligible to book a test, including children under the age of 5 years. Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough; high temperature; or a loss of, or change, in their normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia) can book a test.
A coronavirus test can be booked here:
Firs Lower School Updates
In assembly and in class, we talked to the children about the importance of basic hygiene generally, including washing our hands.
We made sure there were hand sanitisers available and bins just for throwing away tissues are now in use. We made sure that posters conveying the hygiene messages were displayed.
Important updates will be added below:
1. On Thursday 12th March, we wrote to parents (letter is available to download below) to update them re. our response, including the information that from Friday 13th, we will be asking children to wash their hands on arrival at school and before leaving at the end of the day.
We would be very grateful if parents could continue to reinforce the messages about catching sneezes and the importance of washing hands at home too. There is a guidance sheet, available for download below, to support parents in talking to children about Coronavirus , which we hope you will find helpful.
2. On Monday 16th, the Government announced new guidance (see above):
'Based on the updated scientific advice, we are today advising that if you or anyone in your home has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough, then you should stay at home for 14 days.'
If any parent/carer or child has these symptoms, all children in the household are off school for the 14 days now recommended. We know this will create child care problems for some families and we would like to thank parents / carers in advance for their patience and support.
3. On Tuesday 17th March, we wrote to parents with Update Letter 3 (attached below), which gave information about self -isolation and new practices in school, to try and limit visitors on site and face to face meetings. There were also many updates re cancellations of visits and extra curricular activities delivered by outside providers.
4. Firs Closing on Monday to 'Most Pupils' - The Prime Minister announced on 18/3/20 that all schools in the UK will be closing for 'most' pupils from Monday 23rd March 2020.
In the Prime Minister's announcement, he added that schools will continue to make provision for 'vulnerable' children and the children of 'key workers'.
5. Update letter 4 to parents - 19/3/20 - re establishing the number of 'Key Workers'.
6. 23/3/20 - The school is closed to most pupils. A small group of children have been identified according to Government guidance who are still attending school.
7. 30/3/20 - Updates from school nursing team and Central Bedfordshire Council during school closure...
- We would be grateful if you could forward information to your wider community.
- Mid Beds School Nursing - Tel 0300 555 0606
- Find us online at https://www.cambscommunityservices.nhs.uk/Bedfordshire/services/school-nursing | Find us on Facebook | Follow up on Twitter
b. Advice for parents and carers document, produced by CBC is available for download... see below.
8. A letter was emailed to parents regarding our Home Learning Provision 2/4/20- see document available for download below.
9. 7/4/20 - Useful guidance for home learning produced by CBC available below. See 'Home Schooling List2'.
10. 28/4/20 - A very useful webpage is available, coordinated by CAMH that gives a selection of materials available online to support mental health and well being generally and during the lock down specifically. Also a useful document from the World Health Organisation, See document 'helping-children-cope-with-stress-print.pdf' and link below:
11. 14/5/20 - Following the Government announcement (see above) on 10/5/20 letter sent home to parents concerning the school's plans, working with the LA and other FARM schools, to plan for the return of Saplings, YR and Y1 children to school from 1st June, if safe to do so. See 'Re-opening' letter attached below.
12. 21/5/20 - Following the initial Reopening letter on 14/5/20, a second letter about the reopening in June, with more detail, was sent to parents to inform them regarding our plans for welcoming YR and Y1 children back to school on Wednesday June 3rd and Saplings children from the week beginning 8/6/20. (Letter attached below).
13. 26/5/20 - Following the 2nd update letter, sent out 21/5/20, a third update was sent out to Pine, Maple Class, Holly Class and Key Worker Group parents. These letters (attached below) provide additional information regarding the arrangements for the wider opening of The Firs from 3rd June.
14. 1/6/20 - We have decided to delay the wider re-opening to Monday 15th June for YR and Y1 and ‘from Monday 15th June’ for the older Saplings children (starting YR in September). We will continue to make provision for Key Worker children during the two weeks before this, as we were doing before half term. See 'Revised Re-opening' letter attached below.
15. 12/6/20 - A series of letters and presentations sent out to Saplings, YR and Y1 parents re the wider opening from 15/6/20. The videos are embedded in the PDF. Hover the pointer over the picture and it turns into a hand. Click and it takes you to the video on our YouTube page. The videos can also be accessed from the 'Welcome Back' word doc. See attached below.
16. 19/6/20 - There was an update in the Keeping In Touch letter (Sum wk7- attached below) that the Firs would close for YR and Y1 pupils on the last 2 days of term to enable Y4 children to come back and have two days in school. There were also announcements regarding Y2 and Y3 who will be provided with opportunities for short visits into school before the end of term. More details to follow.
17. 1/7/20 - Letters to Y4, Y3 and Y2 are attached below, explaining the arrangements for the Y2 and Y3 keeping in touch events and the 2 day return of Y4 pupils to the Firs at the end of term.