HELLO! WELCOME TO COLCHESTER ZOO

Primary - KS2

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 KS2 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:


Adaptations - KS2

What adaptations do animals have? As a group, we'll decide which bits of costume volunteers will dress-up in to demonstrate the major characteristics of Predators, Prey, and for older children adaptations to live in Hot and Cold places.

Click for National Curriculum links


African Animals - KS2

Discover the four main habitats of Africa and learn cool facts about some of the animals that live there. Focus on mountain animals, desert animals, rainforest animals, and savannah animals.

Click for National Curriculum links

Childrens University

Is your school a member of Children's University? After attending this session, your children can complete follow up worksheets at home to earn passport hours! Ask our educators for more details education@colchesterzoo.org


Animal Needs Session - KS2

Pupils will learn about the basic needs of all animals. Based on that, pupils will compare the needs of zoo animals with the needs of common pet animals. Expanding on this, they will learn how mammals, reptiles, birds, and invertebrates have different needs and how zoos meet the needs of their animals and how pupils can meet the needs of their pet animals.

Click for National Curriculum links


Art - KS2

Pupils will each be given their very own wildlife sketchbook. They’ll then get the chance to learn how some great British wildlife and animal artists use sketching and recording wildlife to help scientists understand the animals. Pupils will learn how to classify animals into different groups (mammals, birds, etc.) and what key features to include when sketching or recording details from each group. Pupils will then get the chance to get hands-on and examine animal artefacts (skulls, furs, etc.) up close and practice their techniques.

Click for National Curriculum links


Darwin Explorers Session - Upper KS2

Learn about Darwin’s big ideas through hands-on activities with real specimens. Pupils will travel back in time to the era of the Victorian naturalist. Armed with field journals, they’ll hunt for beetles and other insects just as a young Charles Darwin did using similar skills to identify and classify their finds. Continuing on the adventure, pupils focus on Darwin’s later work. Hands-on with real scientific study skins, pupils compare bird beaks and feet to investigate how birds are adapted to specific diets. The study of bird beaks is then related back to the idea of evolution through natural selection.

Click for National Curriculum links


English – Are Zoos Good? – Upper KS2

Reading and writing material based on conflicting viewpoints is an essential component of the English curriculum. At Colchester Zoo we recognise that there are many different viewpoints about zoos. In this session, students are introduced to ways to evaluate how writers use language for different impacts on the reader. Pupils will also discover key indicators to distinguish between statements of fact and opinion. Based on this knowledge, pupils can critically assess the expert opinion given about the benefit of zoos.

At the end of the session, teachers are provided with packs to continue the learning back at school. The packs contain critical reading exercises (both for zoos and against zoos), as well as worksheets to assess student learning. Based on their learning and reading, pupils write letters on their opinions which can be sent back to the zoo to receive a response.

Click for National Curriculum links


Explore! Session – Lower KS2

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 - KS2

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.

Click for National Curriculum links


Lemur or Monkey? Session - KS2

Pupils will discover the key differences between lemurs, monkeys, and other primates. While investigating this, pupils will learn how these animals evolved to survive life in their specific habitats. Props, costumes, and a game to put pupil’s noses to the test will bring this topic alive and show pupils just how different these similar animals can be.

Click for National Curriculum links


Lifecycles - KS2

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 to explore the various life stages of different organisms.

Click for National Curriculum links

This session is focuses on learning about lifecycles. School groups who want to hold minibeasts without the lifecycle activities can drop-in at the Discovery Centre or the Sensation Station any time throughout the day to hold minibeasts and other animals. 


Maths: Measuring, Means, and More! - KS2

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

Please note that this session does not involve teaching maths skills, but rather focuses on solving real world maths problems in a unique way designed to engage, excite and inspire pupils.


Minibeast Classification - KS2

Learn about different types of minibeasts.  Pupils will learn what makes an insect an insect. Using this knowledge, pupils will get the chance to work in groups and classify artefacts, and pictures of invertebrates into insects and ‘not insects’. To wrap everything up, pupils will get the opportunity to meet real live minibeasts, and try their classification skills on them!

Click for National Curriculum links

Groups who just want to hold minibeasts without learning about classification can drop-in at the Discovery Centre or the Sensation Station any time throughout the day to hold minibeasts and other animals. 


Nocturnal Animals - KS2

The dark might seem scary, but it is full of fascinating creatures. As a group we’ll decide which bits of costume to dress a volunteer up to demonstrate the major adaptations of nocturnal animals. Pupils will discover the main reasons animals are nocturnal and how it helps them find food, stay cool, and avoid predators.

Click for National Curriculum links


Rainforest Animals - KS2

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. Threats to the rainforest are also discussed.

Click for National Curriculum links

Childrens University

Is your school a member of Children's University? After attending this session, your children can complete follow up worksheets at home to earn passport hours! Ask our educators for more details education@colchesterzoo.org


Saving Endangered Animals - KS2

Why are animals dying out? Is this natural and normal? What are these animals' major threats? What can I do to help? These are all questions which will be answered during this session. The session is delivered in an upbeat and interactive way, focusing on guessing games and what we can do to help.

Click for National Curriculum links

Childrens University

Is your school a member of Children's University? After attending this session, your children can complete follow up worksheets at home to earn passport hours! Ask our educators for more details education@colchesterzoo.org


Science in the Wild: Wildlife Rangers - KS2

Pupils learn how our real life wildlife ranger team use science in the wild at our nature reserve in South Africa. Working scientifically through hands-on investigation, pupils will get the chance to put their skills to the test and identify what animals might be out there on the reserve based on gathered scientific evidence. This identification will involve the use of animal guides for tracks and scat as well as using dichotomous keys for harder identification skills.

Click for National Curriculum links


Who Eats Who? Session KS2

What do animals eat? What eats them? A variety of hands-on activities help students learn about herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores and how they link together into food chains. There are also lots of skulls to examine to get a better understanding of how teeth work.

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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