Coronavirus Advice

 20th March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

Temporary Closure of Russell Lower School

It is with much regret, that we are closing our doors to most of our wonderful children today.  These are certainly strange times!

I want to take a moment to thank you all for your incredible support, encouragement and understanding over the last few weeks.  It has been unbelievably challenging, but the flood of emails, notes, telephone messages and even gifts thanking us has really kept us going.  I cannot thank you all enough.  Yet again, the Russell community has pulled together and shown everyone what it is made of!

We are going to miss the children terribly, but we know that home, with their grown-ups, is the safest place for them.

We will continue to be in school, so do contact us with any issues – big or small.  We are here to help. 01525 755664 or

The whole of the Russell Staff send you all our very best wishes.  Look after each other, try to keep learning and stay well.

We will be in touch (hopefully soon), to let you know when it is possible to safely re-open school.  In the meantime, do use the website to keep you up-to-date.

By the middle of next week, I am sure we will all be adapting to our ‘new normal’. We are a versatile and resilient bunch!

Thank you so much again.  Your on-going support has been invaluable.

Take good care.

King regards and many thanks,


Nicki Walker


Department for Education

Please see below for the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).  This advice is updated frequently so please check the links regularly for updates.

The school will continue to follow PHE and DfE advice.  If you have any queries, please contact the school office on 01525 755664 or

Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice

As of 10 March, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated advice about travel to Italy. The FCO is currently advising:

  • against all but essential travel to Italy
  • against all travel to Hubei Province, in China
  • against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China
  • against all travel to the cities of Daegu, Cheongdo and Gyeongsan in South Korea

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not currently advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of COVID-19.

The latest travel advice can be found here:

Updated advice for travellers returning from Italy

On 10 March, Public Health England updated its travel advice for travellers returning from Italy. The advice can be found here:

Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here:

The importance of hygiene 

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.

How to wash your hands properly

Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.

Watch this short NHS film for guidance:

Teach young children how to wash their hands with the NHS handwashing song:

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.

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)

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the helpline.

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

Guidance for educational settings:

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

Educational resources:

Latest Department for Education information: