Spread of infection: respiratory hygiene

Teaching Time: 50min

Target Group: Key Stage 3

Curriculum Links:

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

PSHE: Core Theme 1 - Health and Wellbeing

Mathematics: Number; Use of standard units of length

Learning Objectives:

All students will:

  • 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 the mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing can prevent the spread of infection.

Most students will:

  • understand that coughing and sneezing in your hand can still spread infection.
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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.

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.

The following video demonstrates techniques for conducting the “Aerosol sneeze” experiment.


  • Respiratory hygiene - Complete pack (England)  Microsoft Word icon    Adobe PDF icon
  • Respiratory hygiene - Complete pack (Scotland)  Microsoft Word icon    Adobe PDF icon





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