HELLO! WELCOME TO COLCHESTER ZOO

Primary - R, KS1

Book a FREE* activity for your students

All sessions are 45 minutes.
All sessions have a maximum of 30 pupils.
Due to the size of the zoo and all the other things to see and do, we recommend primary pupils only attend one session during their visit.

Please note that unless otherwise stated live animals are not used in any sessions.
Many sessions use real bones, furs, feathers, and skins which are customs seizures from animals hunted in the wild.

Available R and KS1 Sessions:

Click on an education session for more details including curriculum links.
An educational visit to the zoo will assist you in the teaching of ‘British Values’ and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. (SMSC)

If you have any questions about these sessions, please contact our education department directly at 01206 332511 or 01206332512 or email education@colchesterzoo.org

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:


African Animals - KS1

Pupils will actively explore animal artefacts (including furs, feathers, etc.) to identify animals that live in Africa. Using these same objects, pupils will get hands-on and sort these animals into four of the main African habitats: mountains, deserts, rainforests, and savannahs.

Click for National Curriculum links


Colour and Camouflage - R or KS1

Why are animals bright colours? Why do animals blend in? Pupils will try to spot all the camouflaged animals while learning about the benefits of spots, stripes, and changing colours. Pupils will also get the chance to see real animal fur up close and examine its patterns.

Click for National Curriculum links


Dear Zoo - R or KS1

Expanding on the ideas from the book ‘Dear Zoo’, pupils will find out about other animals which live at the zoo. Based on what we learn about these animals, the group will decided why they would, or would not, make good pets! After the session, back at school, pupils can complete worksheet letters to post to the zoo, and your class will be sent a response.

Click for National Curriculum links


Explore! Session - R or KS1

Pupils will explore different animal artefacts. A wide selection of real animal artefacts, (including furs, feathers, and reptile scales) will allow pupils to compare and contrast different objects and different types of animals. Using descriptive words, pupils will work together to describe artefacts and identify the animals into groups.

If you’re studying Classification (birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and fish), this session is a great introduction or a way to reinforce concepts learned in the classroom!

Click for National Curriculum links


Habitats - KS1

Animals live everywhere in the world, how do they live in such diverse habitats? Students will learn habitat characteristics, and discover some of the cool adaptions that let animals live there. Habitats covered generally include: woodland forest, taiga forest, rainforest, savannah, water, and desert.

Click for National Curriculum links


Lifecycles - KS1

Pupils investigate how different animals grow and develop. A variety of hands-on activities bring this topic to life as pupils examine eggs, and play games about minibeast life stages.

Click for National Curriculum links


Maths: Measuring, Means, and More! - KS1

Pupils will get hands-on working in small groups to practice maths skills in a fun, interactive way. Groups rotate around different activities that often involve real animal artefacts, or even live animals. Activities are tailored depending on age and may include: comparing patterns on tortoise shells, measuring snake skins, solving calculations involving enclosure size, timing animals’ speed over a defined distance, and more!

Click for National Curriculum links


Penguins - R or KS1

Get the chance to learn more about these charismatic birds. Using penguin role-play, bio-facts and a costume, the pupils will discover what key adaptions penguins have, as well as how these unique birds live.

Click for National Curriculum links


Rainforest Animals - KS1

Rainforests are a unique habitat because they are divided into layers. Students will learn about the emergent, canopy, understory and forest floor layers of the rainforest and about the animals that live at each level.

If you’re studying habitats, with rainforests as an example, the Habitat Session provides a more general overview of the rainforest habitat, without the focus on specific layers.

Click for National Curriculum links


Spectacular Senses Session - R or KS1

Pupils will review the five main senses: hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste. Rotating around activities, pupils will get the chance to compare their senses to some of the amazing senses animals have.

Click for National Curriculum links

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OPENING TIMES

Opening times: 

9.30am – 5.00pm or dusk if earlier*

*Last admission 4.00pm

upcoming events
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