As most pupils have now returned to school following lockdown, the COVID-19 school study, run by University of Bristol researchers, has also resumed fully.

The study (also known as CoMMinS) aims to test thousands of pupils and staff for infection, in participating primary and secondary schools across Bristol. The aim is to find out more about the impact and transmission patterns of COVID-19 in schoolchildren, and how infection patterns amongst pupils might affect the wider community.

An important part of the study is a short video animation, which shows pupils how to take part. The Bristol BRC Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG) worked closely with researchers and animators to design how the video looks and what it says. Group members Eleanor (18) and Negervan (16) even recorded the voiceover for the video in November, before the latest lockdown.

The video explains step by step how pupils should provide a saliva sample. Negervan said:

“Everyone is going to have to go through it at one point, so I felt it was helpful in that it gave me an insight into what to do.

‘‘The recording was a bit nerve-wracking, but it turned out really good.”

Eleanor added:

“Often with YPAG, it might be the same person coming back to talk to us every few months to develop a study, but this was done in such a short time frame.

“It was really nice to be a bigger part of the project and you can really see how our input affected it. It’s always much easier to have something to watch than to listen to a long talk.”

Recruitment to the study has now been widened to children in all year groups from Year 2 (aged 7) upwards.

If your Bristol school is not taking part and would like to do so, please contact commins-schools@bristol.ac.uk

Watch the video