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This page is designed to update parents about 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.

Where to find the latest information:

Updates on COVID-19:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response

Government Guidance for schools:

Guidance on full opening of schools

DfE Helpline:

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline by calling: 

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

Government Coronavirus updates:

Coronavirus action plan

What parents and carers need to know (Updated 22nd February 2021)

Guidance for parents and carers using out of school settings

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.

Responding to a suspected case of Coronavirus.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive test, remain at home for at least 10 days after the onset of your symptoms. This will reduce the risk of you infecting others.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive test, then you should avoid contact with other household members as much as possible.

Other members of your household, including those who do not have any symptoms, need to stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days. This 10-day period starts from the day when the first person in your house became ill or if they do not have symptoms, from the day their test was taken. 

If a child develops one or more of the symptoms of Coronavirus (see above) at The Firs, we will make sure that they are cared for in a separate room to the other children until they can ve picked up. The Guidance was updated on 10th September and if  a child needs to go home for this reason,  we will need to ask parents/carers to pick up any sibling as well

We will contact the parents/carers of any children in the same 'bubble' (class or year group) if there is a suspected case and we will inform you of the test result. Rest assured that in the event of a positive test result, we will liaise with the DfE helpline staff / Public Health England, to take appropriate steps, including asking close contacts to self isolate. We will make sure that parents/carers are kept informed as promptly as possible.

Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus should 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: 

Book a Coronavirus test

Firs Lower School Updates:

1. At the end of the summer term, we wrote to parents/carers to set out some of the key details regarding our planned provision at the beginning of term in September. See letter 'Full Reopening of Firs Sept 20' below.

2. Presentations and transition booklets were created and shared with parents/carers at the end of last term, to help support children's transition back to school in the autumn term. These are available on the web page for each year group under the 'Our Learning' tab of the website.

3. At the end of the summer term, a letter was sent to parents regarding the Kids' Club provision in September 2020. The letter can be found below and on our KC page, which can be found under the tab of the website.

4. 1/9/20 - Government leaflet added to page (see attachment 'A4 Primary Leaflet' below) designed to answer parent / carer questions regarding sending children back to school.

5. Risk assessment for full opening from 7/9/20. See pdf below.

6. Well being questionnaire sent home to parents/carers. See attachment below 'Well being questionnaire for children'.

7. Flow chart emailed to parents/carers 19/9/20 to help guide decision making about whether to send children to school when children are unwell. See attachment below 'Firs - Should I send my child to school flow chart'.

8. 27-9-20 -Message to parents re a case of Covid-19 in Year R- see text below 'Email to parents re YR Coronavirus Case'

9. 28-9-20 -letters to YR parents and all other parents (following consultation with DfE - see attachments below.)

10. Letter to parents with NHS advice regarding the Test and Trace process. See attachment below.

11. 2/10/20 - Covid 19 FAQ sheet for parents / carers published by The Firs. It is attached below.

12. All YR children are able to return to school from Monday - 12/10/14. (See newsletter 5 - Communications link under Parents tab).

13. 31/10/20 -Government announce a new national lockdown. The Firs, like all schools will remain open as normal. See update letter below dated 2/11/20.

14. 9/11/20 -Letters sent to Saplings parents confirming a Cornavirus case. A copy of the general letter to all parents is attached below.

15. 5/1/21 - Partial closure of the Firs Lower School.

16. Update - 22/2/21 -The government announced the return to school for all children from 8/3/21. 

17. Update 26/2/21 -We wrote to parents today to set out some key aspects of our planning for the full re-opening of the school from Monday 8th March. See letter 'Update on Full Reopening of The Firs March 21' below.

18. Update 7/5/21 - See Roadmap (downloadable below) produced by The Firs to set out our plan (subject to progress with the National roadmap and DfE guidance) to remove restrictions brought into place due to Covid 19.

19. 21/5/21 - Letters to parents re a suspected case of Covid-19 in Year 2. (Results of PCR tests negative so self isolation of children and staff discontinued.)

20. 25/5/21 - Letters to parents re case of Covid-19 in Year 4.

21. 27/5/21 - Update from Central Bedfordshire:

The school has been asked to pass on an update from Central Bedfordshire about the current situation locally with regards to Covid 19. In addition to the information here there is an accompanying letter and two flow charts with this newsletter. This information is also on the Coronavirus page of our website.

Schools have been informed that cases of the new COVID-19 variant first identified in India have recently been identified in Central Bedfordshire.  

Evidence suggests that this variant spreads more easily than previous strains.  In nearby Bedford, cases of this variant are increasing, and there has been a rapid rise in cases overall, particularly amongst children and young people.

CBC are working closely with Public Health England to investigate the cases and will undertake additional testing where this is appropriate.

Around 1 in 3 people do not have symptoms of COVID-19; increased testing will help to find other cases and to limit the spread of this disease.

The latest guidance from the Director of Public Health for Central Bedfordshire is that schools should continue to use all preventative measures, including face coverings, to help to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 cases in Central Bedfordshire.  This change has been approved nationally.

We have been asked particularly by CBC to share the following information:


  • Continue to be vigilant for symptoms of Covid-19

    Please be vigilant for symptoms of COVID-19; all adults and young people should stay at home if unwell, self-isolate and book a PCR test as soon as possible, as above.

  • Continue to participate in regular LFD testing

    Everyone over the age of 11 in Central Bedfordshire is encouraged to continue twice weekly testing.  There are test centres across Central Bedfordshire for people to get tested, which can provide results usually within 30 minutes.  Tests can also be collected from test centres, from local pharmacies or ordered for home delivery.

    If anyone has had a positive PCR test for COVID-19 within the previous 90 days, they are likely to have developed some immunity.  Individuals are, therefore, exempt from testing by both PCR and LFD within 90 days of a positive PCR test unless they develop new symptoms.

  • All adults who are eligible for vaccination, should book their vaccination promptly or visit the local Clinical Commissioning Group website for details of drop-in sessions.

 22.  Revision of the school Roadmap for Exiting Restrictions published to parents in light of the announcement by the government on Monday 14th June that the current national restrictions will be continuing for another 4 weeks. See revised v5 of our roadmap below.

23. Letter re Covid case in school. 5/7/21

24. Letter re unconfirmed Covid case in Y1 6/7/21

Useful links:

1. School Nursing service:

2. Information and Support for Parents and Carers document, produced by CBC is available for download... see below.

3. 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:

Coronavirus advice for Education Settings