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KS3 Antibiotic Use and Medicine

When, Why and How to use antibiotics can be confusing for many people. The treatment of infection section explores the use of antibiotics and medicine in treating various illnesses and diseases. This lesson perfectly complements RSHE Health and Prevention guidelines.

  • Overview

What will you learn:

This lesson introduces how antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, providing a basis for e-Bug lesson on 'Antibiotic Resistance'.

Activities include:

  • Practical activity where acids and bases in agar plates are used to represent bacteria and antibiotics and students test a range of antibiotics (acid solutions) on bacteria (indicator in agar base) cultured from patient samples and determine which illness the patients have from a list provided.
  • Discussion activity encourages students to research relevant 'hot topics' related to antibiotic use today.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand that most common infections will get better by themselves through time, bed rest, liquid intake and healthy living.
  • Understand that if you have antibiotics, finish the course.
  • Understand that you must not use other peoples or leftover antibiotics.
  • Understand that bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics due to overuse.
  • Understand that overuse of antibiotics can damage our normal/useful bacteria.


  • Petri dishes
  • Base Agar
  • Hot plate
  • Phenol Red
  • Wax Crayon/marker
  • Disposable droppers
  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Cork borer
  • Test tubes
  • Test tube rack

Curriculum Links:

  • Science: Working Scientifically, Experimental skills and investigations, Analysis and evaluation
  • RSHE: Health & Prevention
  • GCSE: Health and Social Care, Factors affecting health and wellbeing, health promotion
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e-Bug Operated By Public Health England Logo

e-Bug is a free educational resource, operated by Public Health England, which contributes to the government’s ongoing action plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance. e-Bug resources make learning about microbes, antibiotics and the spread and treatment of infection, engaging and accessible.


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