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Kids in China get creative to keep COVID-19 at bay in reopened classrooms

Patrick Knox, April 28, 2020 6:45PM The Sun

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Students at Yangzheng Primary School Hangzhou, China return to school with wide hats to ensure they stay apart. Picture: Zhejiang Daily via @SixthTone/Twitter media_cameraStudents at Yangzheng Primary School Hangzhou, China return to school with wide hats to ensure they stay apart. Picture: Zhejiang Daily via @SixthTone/Twitter


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Kids who have returned to a school in China are wearing specially designed “social distancing hats” to keep them safe.

The creative headwear, which they’re calling a “one-metre hat”, ensures* pupils returning from several months away from school space themselves out to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

(Photos courtesy of Zhejiang Daily) media_cameraOne of the cool “one-metre hats”. Picture: Zhejiang Daily via @SixthTone/Twitter

Four classes of first-year pupils at Yangzheng School in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province in east China, were allowed to return to their classes this week as restrictions were lifted.

Each of the children could be seen wearing a surgical mask and “social distancing hat”, which has a one-metre-long measuring tool jutting* out the sides.

Most are made of cardboard, but at least one creative girl has made hers using balloons to make balloon animals, the pictures show.

Students in China go back to school wearing 1m wide hats. (Photos courtesy of Zhejiang Daily). Twitter: @SixthTone media_cameraBalloons worked well on this student’s hat. Picture: Zhejiang Daily via @SixthTone/Twitter

Vice-principal Hong Feng told local Chinese media: “This was our own creative idea.

“It helps us promote our slogan: ‘Wear a one-metre hat, keep a one-metre distance.’”

To ensure schoolchildren maintain proper hygiene* practices, pupils are not allowed to have any physical contact with one another, and cannot break their hats.

It is compulsory for them to wear their surgical masks, and pupils must also undergo regular temperature screenings.

Chinese students return to school wearing wide hats. (Photos courtesy of Zhejiang Daily) media_cameraCardboard tree branches, leaves and birds make a nice wide hat. Picture: Zhejiang Daily via @SixthTone/Twitter

As COVID-19 infections increased in China at the end of January, schools and universities were told not to reopen after the Chinese New Year holidays ended on January 29.

Lessons were moved online, and city officials across China could resume* classes at their discretion*.

Junior and senior high school pupils in their final year returned to class on April 13, and fourth, fifth and sixth year primary school pupils on April 20. Those in grades one, two and three returned on April 26. Nursery schools are set to reopen on May 6.

Zhejiang remains the region with the third-most coronavirus cases in China after the provinces of Hubei and Guangdong.

The provincial health commission has reported 1268 total cases and one death, while its capital Hangzhou’s last recorded case was an imported asymptomatic* patient on April 20.

This story was first published on The Sun and is republished with permission.


  • ensures: makes sure of
  • jutting: sticking out
  • hygiene: things you do to keep things healthy and clean
  • resume: begin again
  • discretion: freedom to decide
  • asymptomatic: not showing any symptoms


Big COVID-19 questions and simple answers

Shutdowns across Australia to slow COVID-19

It’s not all bad news; there is good news too

Hand-washing: how does soap work?

Funny food hats will have you in stitches


  1. Why did they make the funny hats?
  2. What province is Hangzhou in?
  3. What is the school’s health slogan?
  4. When did schools in China close?
  5. What does asymptomatic mean?


1. Create Your Own COVID-19 ‘Stop the Spread’ Invention
Australia is doing well to stop the spread of the coronavirus due to the strict restrictions we’ve had in place. Governments are talking about letting schools re-open in the near future, although different states may reopen schools at different times.

When you go back to school, it won’t be completely back to normal, as we need to ensure the virus doesn’t start spreading again. So you will have to maintain distance (1.5m) and keep up the strict hygiene practices like hand washing. There will also probably be restrictions on how many people are in a room or outside together.

Invent an item that will help kids respect and adhere to these rules when you return to school. It could be a hat like these children in China, or it could be something else to remind them of any of the rules they have to follow.

Outline your invention with a sketch of your design and present to the class over video. Give each other positive and negative feedback.

Time: allow 40 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Design and Technologies, Critical and creative thinking

2. Extension

Write a letter to the premier of your state outlining a date for your school to re-open and state your reasons why. Share with an adult.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and creative thinking

Verb adventures

With a partner see if you can identify all the doing words/verbs in this text. Highlight them in yellow and then make a list of them all down your page. Now see if you and your partner can come up with a synonym for the chosen verb. Make sure it still makes sense in the context it was taken from.

Try to replace some of the original verbs with your synonyms and discuss if any are better and why.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Would you prefer to be learning at home or school? What is your idea for staying healthy back at school?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

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