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How do you catch the ‘glitter virus’? Primary school educates children about the spread of germs

PUBLISHED: 17:37 11 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:20 12 March 2020

Louis, Lucas, Florence, Max and Elodie with teacher Katie Coburn, demonstrate how easy it is for germs to spread, by putting glitter on their hands for the day  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Louis, Lucas, Florence, Max and Elodie with teacher Katie Coburn, demonstrate how easy it is for germs to spread, by putting glitter on their hands for the day Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

A primary school has been educating pupils on the spread of germs in an imaginative way – following government advice of regular hand washing to tackle coronavirus.

Nayland Primary demonstrate how easy it is for germs to spread, by putting glitter on their hands for the day. Mrs Pentney after scrubbing the glitter off her hands.  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDNayland Primary demonstrate how easy it is for germs to spread, by putting glitter on their hands for the day. Mrs Pentney after scrubbing the glitter off her hands. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Katie Coburn, deputy headteacher at Nayland Primary School, ran an activity with her class which so proved popular that the entire school is now taking part in a 'light hearted activity with an important message'.

Teachers have gone through a sanitising process of washing their hands and using antibacterial gel before covering their hands in moisturiser and then coating them in glitter.

This 'glitter virus' was then spread across the school by teachers going about daily activities such as handing out items, opening doors and making contact with pupils.

Regan Delaney, headteacher at the Essex school, said the response they had from teachers was amazing.

Nayland Primary demonstrate how easy it is for germs to spread, by putting glitter on their hands for the day  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDNayland Primary demonstrate how easy it is for germs to spread, by putting glitter on their hands for the day Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

'We get daily updates from the Department for Education but we wanted to make sure we did something that didn't panic the children,' she said.

'We want children to do everything they can across the board to prevent the spread of any flu or seasonal virus.

'If we can make it a habit for them at this age it should stick with them for later in life and make them more health conscious adults.'

When parents came to pick up their children at the end of the day they were then invited inside to see the evidence of 'glitter virus' spread around the school.

Nayland primary demonstrate how easy it is for germs to spread, by putting glitter on their hands for the day, the parents came into help clean up the glitter 'germs' Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDNayland primary demonstrate how easy it is for germs to spread, by putting glitter on their hands for the day, the parents came into help clean up the glitter 'germs' Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Mrs Delaney added: 'Everyone can see how it's much easier to keep your hands clean than it is to clean an entire school or house.

'This is a way to get the message across gently without alarming the children - we are in a very privileged position and we take our role as educators very seriously.'

But by the end of the day it was the school cleaners who were happiest, as parents and pupils lent a hand cleaning up the viral glitter mess.

Mrs Delaney said that pupils were shocked, saying 'it's going everywhere' and even parents were amazed by how much it had spread.

Louis, Lucas, Florence, Max and Elodie with teacher Katie Coburn, demonstrate how easy it is for germs to spread, by putting glitter on their hands for the day  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDLouis, Lucas, Florence, Max and Elodie with teacher Katie Coburn, demonstrate how easy it is for germs to spread, by putting glitter on their hands for the day Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

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The government advice for preventing the spread of coronavirus is similar to that of seasonal flu - washing hands regularly and sneezing or coughing into an elbow rather than open hands.

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