Spread of infection: hand hygiene

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Information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

See our recommended resources for home-schooling

Teaching Time: 50min

Target Group: Key Stage 3

Curriculum Links:

Science: Working scientifically; Scientific attitudes, Experimental skills and investigations, Analysis and evaluation

English: Spoken English

PSHE: Core Theme 1 - Health and Wellbeing

Design and technology: Cooking and nutrition

Learning Objectives:

All students will:

  • understand that infection can be spread through unclean hands.
  • understand that sometimes microbes can make us ill.
  • understand that prevention of infection, where possible, is better than cure.
  • understand how, when and why to wash their hands.
  • understand that handwashing can prevent the spread of infection.

Most students will:

  • understand why we should use soap to wash our hands.
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Hand hygiene has been shown to reduce the incidence of absenteeism in schools as good hand hygiene reduces the spread of microbes and infection. This section aims to teach students how poor hand hygiene can lead to the spread of microbes and disease.

Activities include:

  • An experiment to observe how microbes can spread from person to person simply by shaking their hands.
  • Worksheets that can be used to have a classroom discussion on the chain of infection.

The following video demonstrates the primary hand hygiene experiment.






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DISCLAIMER: e-Bug was developed for use in schools pre-COVID-19 and so some activities may require modification based on your school’s distancing guidelines.

Please use your judgement and tell us how you have modified the activities, or if you would like to discuss some ideas, contact e-Bug@phe.gov.uk

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