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KS3 Respiratory Hygiene

This section aims to teach students how poor respiratory hygiene can lead to the spread of microbes and disease. Students observe how far microbes are carried when they sneeze and how many people can be affected. This lesson perfectly complements the RSHE Health and Prevention guidelines.

  • Overview

What will you learn:

Through a set of trial experiments, students learn that covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not hands) when coughing, or sneezing helps prevent the spread of infection.

Activities include:

  • Aerosol sneeze experiment where students observe how far microbes in a sneeze can spread and the best way to stop them.
  • Discussion activity considering what the best way to cover a sneeze is.
  • Use a flight plan to discuss how a strain of flu is spread around the world

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand that sometimes microbes can make us ill.
  • Understand that prevention of infection, where possible, is better than cure.
  • Understand not to spread their harmful microbes to others.
  • Understand that infection can spread through sneezing and coughing.
  • Understand that covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze helps prevent the spread of infection.
  • Understand that coughing and sneezing in your hand can still spread infection.


  • 30 paper discs (10cm)
  • Measuring tape
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Food dye (optional)
  • Large tissue
  • Gloves

Curriculum Links:

  • Science: Working Scientifically, Experimental skills and investigations, Analysis and evaluation
  • RSHE: Health & Prevention
  • Mathematics: Use of standard units of length
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