HELLO! WELCOME TO COLCHESTER ZOO

Post 16 & Higher Education

Book a FREE* activity for your students

Sessions are 45 minutes unless otherwise stated.
Sessions work best with 30 or fewer pupils, but unless otherwise stated, we can accommodate more if necessary.

Available Sessions:

Click on an education session for more details including curriculum links.

For Animal Care Students, we offer specific education modules which cover zoo animal care in more depth. Click here for more details.

If none of these talks suit your needs, please contact our education department directly at 01206 332511 or 01206332512 or email education@colchesterzoo.org.
Alternatively, our Q & A Session provides your students with the opportunity to ask zoo questions on any topic.  This session is ideal for students who are required to gather specific information for completing mock assessment, portfolios, workbooks, etc.

Our sessions are limited in availability and very popular, especially during summer term.
Please book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
Please arrive for your session on time; if you miss a considerable portion of your allotted time slot, your session may need to be altered or potentially cancelled.

*Unfortunately, due to an increase in schools booking sessions and not attending them, we have sometimes been unable to offer sessions to schools who request them. For this reason, Colchester Zoo reserves the right to charge a £20 fee for all educational sessions which are booked but not attended either due to last minute cancellation (less than 1 week notice), or not attending on the day without a valid reason. If you attend the session they are free of charge. The charge only applies to non-attended and/or late cancellations.


Detailed Session Descriptions:


Animal Behaviour Workshop – Biology Focus

Please note this session is 90 minutes, and for a maximum of 20 students.
Students discover why we study animal behaviour at Colchester Zoo.  As a group, students will learn how to observe, record and interpret animal behaviours. Students practice identifying behaviours of live animals and learn the difference between innate and learned behaviours.  Using this knowledge, students carry out a behavioural study. They enter this data into ethograms which will be analysed by the entire group.

Click for curriculum topics covered:


Animal Behaviour Workshop – Psychology Focus

Please note this session is 90 minutes, and for a maximum of 20 students.
Students discover the basics of animal behaviour. As a starting point, students learn the difference between innate and learned behaviour. This leads into the theories of classical and operant condition and the different types of operant conditioning. Building on that, students discover how animal training is a form of operant conditioning.

Click for curriculum topics covered:


Art at the Zoo

Please note this session is for a maximum of 30 students.
This session opens with a brief introduction to Colchester Zoo and how we use art. Then students have the opportunity to sketch, draw, or photograph from a variety of still life resources, including: furs, skins, skulls, feathers, and more. These resources allow students to get up close and pay attention to textures, patterns, shape, and structure. Students attending this session must bring their own dry drawing materials, sketchbooks, cameras, etc. Art materials will not be provided.

Click for curriculum topics covered:


Classification Talk

After discovering why and how we classify things, students learn the different levels of the classification system. All the levels (kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species) are explained, with examples and characteristics given for the major invertebrate phyla. Students then get the chance to guess what characteristics define animals in the vertebrate phyla. This ends with a closer look at class mammalia, and the many orders within it. The focus is then on the primate order, examining the various families. At the species level, students learn about what makes a species a species.

Click for curriculum topics covered:

If you would like students to get the chance to see animal artefacts up close and practice classifying animals based on hands-on observations, book the Classification Workshop.


Classification Workshop

Please note this session is 90 minutes, and for a maximum of 40 students.
After discovering why and how we classify things, students learn the different levels of the classification system. All the levels (kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species) are explained, with examples and characteristics given for the major invertebrate phyla. Students then get the chance to guess what characteristics define animals in the vertebrate phyla. Using this knowledge, students examine real animal artefacts (skins, skulls, etc.) and practice classifying them based on their visual characteristics.  After classifying the artefacts, students will also have the chance to examine them looking for individual variation, and guessing at the cause of the variation. This ends with a closer look at class mammalia, and the many orders within it. The focus is then on the primate order, examining the various families. At the species level, students learn about what makes a species a species, and relate individual variation to features they noticed during their classification activity.

Click for curriculum topics covered:


Conservation Talk

What is conservation and why should we care about it? Students discover this while examining endangered species artefacts and learning about the threats they face. After learning about how zoos and other organisations help conservation, students figure out why that might not be enough. The problems of uneven distribution of wealth and food are discussed leading into the issue of different stakeholder demands. The example of palm oil plantations in the rainforest is used to illustrate that different stakeholders have different priorities, which is then tied back into conservation.

Click for curriculum topics covered:

This talk focuses on the big picture problems facing conservation. If you would like your pupils to be more involved in the stakeholder discussion book the Conservation Workshop.  If you would like a focus specifically on poaching and the illegal wildlife trade book the Wildlife Forensics Workshop.


Conservation Workshop

Please note this session is 90 minutes, and for a maximum of 40 students.
What is conservation and why should we care about it? Students discover this while examining endangered species artefacts and learning about the threats they face. After learning about how zoos and other organisations help conservation, students figure out why that might not be enough. The problems of uneven distribution of wealth and food are discussed leading into the issue of different stakeholder demands. This session ends with the chance for pupils to take on the role of different stakeholders and debate over potential uses for the rainforest. Through this debate, students learn that different stakeholders have different priorities, and that there are no easy answers for conservation.

Click for curriculum topics covered:

This workshop includes the chance for students to take on different stakeholder roles and debate about how the rainforest should be used.  If you would prefer a shorter session that covers similar topics without the debate book the Conservation Talk.


Enclosure Design Workshop

Please note this session is 90 minutes, and for a maximum of 40 students.
Students will learn all about creating appropriate enclosures for zoo animals.  Using examples from the zoo, pupils learn how enclosure design must meet the needs of the keepers, animals, and visitors. Using this knowledge, pupils critique a current enclosure at the zoo through first hand observation.  Then pupils have the chance to design their own enclosure and share their design with the group.

Click for curriculum topics covered:

This workshop is aimed at Design and Technology students.  For Animal Care students we recommend our Enclosure Design Animal Care Module. Click here for more details.


Q & A Session

Please note this session is 45 minutes, and for a maximum of 50 students.
This session is a bookable timeslot for your students to ask Colchester Zoo staff questions.  Zoo staff are prepared to answer questions on a wide range of topics including how we use science at Colchester Zoo, how we meet the needs of our customers, health and safety concerns of a zoo, case study examples of our conservation projects around the world, or a focus on any other topic.

This session is ideal for students who are required to gather specific information for completing mock assessment, portfolios, workbooks, etc.

Students attending this session MUST come prepared with a list of questions to ask the speaker.


Teachers in Training – All About School Trips

Trainee teachers will learn all about planning an educational school trip, using Colchester Zoo as a point of reference. We cover the rationale for school trips, and how this can be used to increase student learning. We’ll then walk through the steps to plan a successful trip. This includes information about risk assessments, organising adult helpers, planning activities, and how to link trips to the national curriculum. The session includes a chance to look at the education department’s teaching resources (skulls, furs, etc.), as well as examples of some of the formal education sessions teachers can book.

Click for curriculum topics covered:


The Role of Zoos Talk

What do zoos do, and why?  Students learn the main goals of a modern zoo. Based on these goals, students can consider their own opinions about zoos while discovering how zoos play vital roles in conservation. Colchester Zoo’s contributions to in-situ and ex-situ conservation will be discussed using specific case studies.

Click for curriculum topics covered:


Wildlife Forensics Workshop

Please note this session is 90 minutes, and for a maximum of 40 students.
Students explore the issues of illegal wildlife crime, learning about the problems of hunting, poaching, pets, souvenirs, medicine, and bushmeat. While examining real, seized artefacts of the illegal wildlife trade, students learn how organisations are helping to stop these crimes by identifying criminals and identifying the animal victims. Some of the methods, such as finger print analysis and firearm analysis may be familiar, but students will also get to try feather identification, and skull identification as well as learning about DNA analysis for species and parentage. Students will leave with new science skills and an appreciation of the threat caused by wildlife crime.

Click for curriculum topics covered:

This workshop focuses on the illegal wildlife trade including poaching. If you would like more of a focus on the big picture problems of conservation (local people needing jobs and money; world agriculture, etc.) book the Conservation Talk or Workshop.


BOOK NOW

feature-appv3

OPENING TIMES

Opening times: 

9.30am – 5.00pm or dusk if earlier*

*Last admission 4.00pm

upcoming events
March 2017
Sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
26 27 28 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1

feature-read-review