Coronavirus Info

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
As you are all aware the information advice and status of this virus is changing on a very regular basis.

It is likely we will ask that parents pick up and drop off outside of the school building, with possible staggered timings, and will confirm arrangements for this in due course.

We have seen a lot of activity today where schools are preparing for a 2-week school closure added to the Easter break. Whilst this has not come formally from the DfE, it maybe that a change of advice is imminent.

We will keep you informed as this fast-moving situation develops but if you have any concerns please don’t hesitate to ask.

We are receiving regular updates from the Department for Education and Public Health England. These will be shared on the school website on the new ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19)’ page. We will also use this page to inform parents of any changes to normal school rhythms related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), such as a need to close temporarily (this would also be communicated via email).

“COVID-19 is in the news and on everyone’s mind. Our children, unfortunately, are not likely an exception. Even when children are shielded from media, peers, siblings, and overheard conversations can give children just enough information to bring forth concern. Children are also incredibly intuitive to their family’s emotions and will pick up on any fear and anxiety their parents or extended family may be feeling.” The following article picks this up and provides some helpful insights into how to talk to children about the Coronavirus: Talking to Children about Coronavirus

Plans for Drop off and Pick Up

We are continuing to review the regularly changing Coronavirus situation and how school can minimise risk for its families and staff. In light of this we have reviewed our current drop off and pick up procedure for the beginning and end of the school day. Children will now be dropped off and picked up from outside the school. Whilst there is still a risk that children can bring the virus into school, by reducing the number of people mixing in a small indoor space we will decrease the risk of spreading the virus and as these changes are relatively easy to implement we will change our drop off and pick up procedure from Monday 16th March.

We really appreciate families’ support of our new procedure and strongly encourage you to stick to the times given to help protect ours and the wider community.

Note: Beate/Anne will be in touch with parents about arrangements for drop off and pick up for Buttercups children.

 Drop Off

The car park will be closed to all parents’ cars, the only cars that may need access during pick up and drop off will be those using the pool. Please push bikes through the car park.

We strongly encourage parents to drop off and pick up children at the times requested.

 Families with Lower School Children and Siblings in Kindergarten

Drop off will be at 8.15-8:25am

One side of the main front gate will be closed for this period.

A member of staff, wearing a high vis jacket, will meet children at the front gate. Older children can be dropped off here by parents (and those younger children who are happy with the arrangement). Children will walk from main gate to reception and then their classroom.

Another member of staff, again wearing high vis jacket, will be at the main door to school welcoming younger LS children (and those preferring to be dropped off here by parents). Children will walk from the main door to their classroom.

Those meeting children and parents will take any parents’ messages and pass them to class teachers, or parents can email or ring reception with a message.

Kindergarten children should arrive at school already dressed to spend time in the garden. Kindergarten Assistants will be at the long, low wooden gate to the right of the pool welcoming children. They will then take the children to their gardens.

 Families with Kindergarten Children Only

Drop off from 8:25-8:35am

Kindergarten children should arrive at school already dressed to spend time in the garden. Kindergarten Assistants will be at the long, low wooden gate to the right of the pool welcoming children. They will then take the children to their gardens.

 Pick Up

1pm pick up will remain as normal.

For afternoon pick up at 3pm:

All LS children will be waiting to be collected from the gate to the left of the main entrance, in Class 1’s garden.

Kindergarten children will be waiting to be collected at the gate to the right of the swimming pool, where they are dropped off in the morning.

 After School Clubs

After school clubs are still running at present. Children attending Drama on Monday, Woodwork on Wednesday or Orchestra on Thursday will go to Class 1 at 3pm and be looked after by Bethany (Monday and Wednesday) or Yule (Thursday) until 3.30 when the club begins. Any changes to pick up arrangements will be communicated by club organisers.

As is often the case when trying something new, we may experience some teething trouble as we adopt these new procedures; please bear with us. If you have any questions or need further clarification on anything, please get in touch.

 DfE Daily Update March 20th 2020

This is your daily email to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Information to cascade to parents and carers
From Friday 20 March schools, childcare and other educational settings are closed for everyone except:

  • children of critical workers
  • vulnerable children

We have published guidance for parents and carers:

Critical workers
If parents’ work is critical to the coronavirus response, their children will be prioritised for early years and education provision.
The Government has published a list of critical workers:

Please cascade the above information to parents and carers where possible.

Attendance reporting for educational settings to start from Monday 23 March
From Monday 23 March, educational settings should complete a short form to notify the Department for Education about their status regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).
The form will ask you to confirm whether your setting is open and, if so, provide information about numbers of pupils and staff attending. It will take you less than 2 minutes to complete. You should submit it by noon of each weekday.
Your data will help us build a national picture of educational provision so that we can focus support more effectively. It will also help the Government monitor the impact of the virus.
You will need a ‘DfE sign-in’ account to access the form. We are writing separately to DfE Sign-in approvers in all education settings to help you with this.
We will send more information about recording attendance and completing the form tomorrow.

Further details on exams and grades announced
New details regarding the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on summer exams has been released.
The exam regulator, Ofqual, and exam boards will work with teachers to provide grades to students whose exams have been cancelled this summer, following our actions to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Ofqual and exam boards will be discussing with teachers’ representatives before finalising an approach, to ensure that it is as fair as possible.
Find details on the impact on summer exams here:
More information will be provided as soon as possible.

Funding to support schools
To ensure schools can continue to pay their staff and meet other financial commitments, schools will continue to receive their budgets for the coming year regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure.
We will put in place a new process that allows us to reimburse schools for exceptional costs that they face as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Details of the scheme will be published in the coming days.

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.
Watch this short NHS film for guidance:

Educational resources
The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene.
Resources are currently available for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and can be used in various settings including schools:

Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus 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 as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)
Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends.
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19:

Guidance for educational settings:

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

Educational resources:

Latest Department for Education information:

Please keep your GIAS contacts up to date
If you work in a school, please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About Schools (GIAS).
To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here:

Click Here for Cambridge Steiner School Prevention and Protection Plan

Click Here for Cambridge Steiner School Letter on the Coronavirus