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Spread of infection: hand hygiene

Teaching Time: 50min

Target Group: Key Stage 2

Curriculum Links:

Science: Working scientifically; Living things and their habitats

English: Reading and Comprehension

PSHE: Core Theme 1 - Health and Wellbeing

Design and technology: Cooking and nutrition

Art and design: Painting; recording observations

Learning Objectives:

All students will:

  • understand that infection can be spread through unclean hands.
  • understand that handwashing can prevent the spread of infection.

Most students will:

  • understand when and how to wash hands.

Some students will:

  • understand why we should use soap to wash our hands.


Hand hygiene has been shown to reduce the incidence of absenteeism in schools as good hand hygiene reduces the spread of microbes and infection.

Activities include:

  • “Horrid hands” experiment to observe how microbes can spread from person to person by shaking hands.
  • Experiment or fair test to determine which handwashing method is best at removing microbes.

The following video demonstrates techniques for the “Horrid Hands” experiment.