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Coronavirus

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 new 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

Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response

Guidance for educational settings:

COVID-19: guidance for educational settings

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

The document includes:

  • what we know about the virus and the disease it causes

  • how we have planned for an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current coronavirus outbreak

  • the actions we have taken so far in response to the current coronavirus outbreak

  • what we are planning to do next, depending upon the course the current coronavirus outbreak takes

  • the role the public can play in supporting this response, now and in the future

Updates from the Government:

1. The Prime Minister’s statement from Monday 16 March can be found here:

You will no doubt be aware of the main points in the updated advice, which are as follows:

  • Avoid unnecessary travel.
  • Avoid gatherings in crowded places.
  • No unnecessary visits or visitors.
  • If there is one person within a household with a new persistent cough (coughing repeatedly) or high temperature (37.8 degrees and above), everyone within the household should self-isolate for 14 days. If you live alone and display these symptoms you should self isolate for 7 days.
  • Specific advice on social distancing for vulnerable groups 

Firs Lower School Updates 

In assembly and in class, we have talked to the children about the importance of basic hygiene generally, including washing our hands.

We are making sure there are hand sanitisers available and bins just for throwing away tissues are now in use. We are making sure that posters conveying the hygiene messages that the Government are providing for schools, are being 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 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 Friday 13th we sent Y4 parents a statement released by Grafham Water Centre, concerning the forthcoming residential visit. It is attached below.

3. On Monday 16th March we wrote to parents informing them about the cancellation of our parent consultation meetings this term and other 'social distancing' procedures we are introducing. The letter can be found as an attachment below.

4. Also 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, we are now asking that 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.

​​​​​5. 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.

6. 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'. We are now awaiting further guidance from the DfE concerning how this will be implemented. As soon as we have this information, we will update parents immediately.

Staff are currently working on 'Learning at home' materials for this week and next week, that will be sent / emailed to parents tomorrow. Next week, we will be sending parents a further communication about 'Learning at Home' materials going forward.

7. Update letter 4 to parents - 19/3/20 - see attached below - please contact the school if a) you think you my be a 'Key Worker' (see letter for the guidance we have for this) and/or b) you would like a paper copy of the 'Home Learning' resource pack for your child.

8. 20/3/20 - following the revision of the 'Key Worker' definition by the Government late on 19/3/20 a new letter is attached below inviting parents to apply for places for their children in the special provision from 23/3/20. Replies need to be made to school via email by 2pm on 20/3/20.

9. 23/3/20 onwards- The school is closed to most pupils until further notice. A small group of children have been identified according to Government guidance who are still attending school. Information regarding the  'home learning programme' extending the issuing of learning packs to children to include opportunities to have contact with your child's class teacher, will be coming out in the week beginning 30/3/20.

10. 30/3/20 - Updates from school nursing team and Central Bedfordshire Council during school closure...

a. Please find attached details of how to contact school nursing and useful information for staff, parents and pupils.

  • 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 www.cambscommunitysevices.nhs.uk | Find us on Facebook | Follow up on Twitter

b. Advice for parents and carers document, produced by CBC is available for download... see below.

11. A letter was emailed to parents regarding our Home Learning Provision 2/4/20- see document available for download below.

12. 7/4/20 - Useful guidance for home learning produced by CBC available below. See 'Home Schooling List2'.

Coronavirus advice for Education Settings