2022-2023 Home Education Sessions

These are details about the upcoming Sept 2022-May 2023 Home Education Sessions.

For registration, please fill in the Registration Form found further down this page (click here or scroll down).

Home Education Christmas Penguin Sessions Click for More Details!

Education sessions for home educated children

These sessions are aimed at families who home educate. If you are a teacher at a school, please see our school page for more details (click here). Sessions require pre-registration. Unregistered children will not be allowed to participate. Home education classes are designed to build on one another, and you can (if registered) attend all the age-appropriate sessions, or if you prefer, just register for one or two.

These sessions do not include entry to the zoo. There is no fee for the sessions, but participants must arrange entry separately either by paying standard entry fees (click here for prices), organising themselves with 15 people to qualify for our group rates (click here for group details), or using zoo passes (click here for details)(recommended if you plan on attending more than one session) to gain entry to the zoo.

Regular Session Topics 2022-2023

Sessions will run on three days each month (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday), the sessions offered are identical on each day. Each day will have a session aimed at 5-7 year olds, 7-11 year olds, and 11-16 year olds.

5-7 year old sessions take place at 1:00-1:45 pm
ALL 5-7 year old SESSIONS (MONDAY, TUESDAY, and WEDNESDAY) are fully booked
Wait list is available

7-11 year old sessions take place at 2:00-2:45 pm
ALL 7-11 year old SESSIONS (MONDAY, TUESDAY, and WEDNESDAY)are fully booked
Wait list is available

11-16 year old sessions take place at 3:00-4:00 pm
ALL 11-16 year old SESSIONS (MONDAY, TUESDAY, and WEDNESDAY) are fully booked
Wait list is available

Click below to download a PDF of all the session topics, and a description of what will be covered for each age group.

Session Dates for 2022-2023:

  • September – Mon 5th, Tues 6th, & Wed 7th
  • October – Mon 3rd, Tues 4th, & Wed 5th
  • November – Mon 7th, Tues 8th, & Wed 9th
  • December – Mon 5th, Tues 6th, & Wed 7th
  • January – Mon 9th, Tues 10th, & Wed 11th
  • February – Mon 6th, Tues 7th, & Wed 8th
  • March – Mon 6th, Tues 7th, & Wed 8th
  • April – Mon 17th, Tues 18th, & Wed 19th
  • May – Mon 8th, Tues 9th, & Wed 10th

Session Registration

Participants must be registered a minimum of 2 days prior to the class.

Please fill in the following registration form and send via email to education@colchesterzoo.org to register for the sessions.
After your booking form has been received by our education team, you will be sent a confirmation email to the email address you provided confirming your registration for the sessions. Please read the confirmation email carefully, as while we strive to place you in your first choice day of the week, this is not always possible.


Terms and Conditions:

Unexpected Circumstances: Sessions sessions are offered in good faith on the assumption that Colchester Zoo will be open and visitors will be allowed to attend sessions. Please be aware, that due to potential unforeseen circumstances (e.g. Covid-19 restrictions, severe weather events, etc.) there may be unexpected changes to sessions dates and/or topics. Additionally, due to situations outside of Colchester Zoos’ control, as a last resort, sessions may be cancelled. We will endeavour to avoid this wherever possible, and strive to keep registrants updated if this occurs.

Age to Attend Sessions: The sessions are divided into different age groups because this lets us tailor the session to include terminology and activities which are better suited to different age ranges. However, the ages we provide are just guidelines of where we will be targeting the information/activities, not firm requirements. To ensure the smooth running of the session, and for the benefit of all participants, we request younger/older children do not attend if they would be disruptive to the rest of the group.

Adult Supervision: All children attending sessions must be accompanied by an adult.

Minimum Class Size: Colchester Zoo reserves the right to cancel a class, no less than 4 days prior to the first class of the month, if registration is under five participants. In this event, you will be notified via the email you provided when you registered. You will also be given the option to attend the other date the same session is offered (e.g. if the Monday session is cancelled you would be offered a space in the Wednesday class if you so wish).

Maximum Class Size: Classes have a maximum of 25 participants. If a class is full, you will be put on a waiting list and contacted if there are any cancellations. Being on the wait list does not guarantee you will be able to attend the session.

Unattended Sessions: If you are unable to attend a session, please inform Colchester Zoo via email (education@colchesterzoo.org) as soon as possible. This will allow them to contact someone on the waiting list to let them attend. If you repeatedly do not attend sessions you are registered for, without letting the zoo know, you may be removed from future sessions.

Please note – Home Education sessions are free of charge. However, Registration for sessions does not include entry to the zoo. Participants must arrange entry to the zoo separately; either paying entrance price, organising themselves independently into a group of 15 (to qualify for group rates), or using zoo passes (gold cards) (see above for further details).


Home Ed Christmas Penguins

Bookings are now open!

To book your place for any of the three dates, please email education@colchesterzoo.org with your child(ren)’s name and age as well as the parent/guardian’s full name and your preferred date to attend.

We will process email as we receive them and send a confirmation email when we have booked you into the session along with details of how to pay the £4 charge. Please note, all children at the session must be registered (including babies), and all children over 1 are charged the £4 fee due to the up close animal experience and the plush penguins.

Please note, this is a completely separate session and requires different registration than our usual monthly Home Education Sessions.

Once again we will be running our special Christmas Penguin Educational Experience for Home Educated Children, and new this year we will also be offering an alternative Special Penguin Educational Experience which has no Christmas links. See below for details on both sessions.

Recommended for ages 5 to 9

Please note,  this session (as with all Home Education Sessions at Colchester Zoo) does not include entry to the zoo. Participants must arrange entry separately either by paying standard entry fees (click here for prices), organising themselves with 15 people to qualify for our group rates (click here for group details), or using zoo passes (click here for pass details).


Christmas Penguin Educational Experience

60 minute session from 13:00-14:00 on Monday 28th Nov (session full), Tuesday 29th Nov (session full) or Thursday 1st Dec (session full). Session also available at 11:00-12:00 (SPACES STILL AVAILABLE!) or 12:00-13:00 (session full) on Monday 28th Nov.

A festive elf will greet the group and need help learning all about penguins.  Participants will work together with a magic book to find out more about these fascinating animals.  The entire group then gets the chance to observe real penguins up close before Father Christmas arrives to see how much you’ve all learned about one of his favourite winter animals!  As you leave, Father Christmas will give each child a lovely penguin-y gift.

Due to the up close animal experience and the gift, there is a charge of £4 per child attending the session (this includes younger siblings attending).

This session will be identical to the Christmas Penguin Educational Experience in previous years.

This session has very limited places which will be filled on a first come first served basis. If there is enough interest, additional sessions may be added.


Special Penguin Educational Experience

60 minute session from 12:00 – 13:00 OR 13:00-14:00 (session full) both options on Monday 14th Nov

This session has been created to provide a unique learning experience for children all about penguins but without any mention of Christmas or other religious celebrations. As a group we will learn about where penguins live, what they eat, and how they are adapted to this. To reinforce this learning, the group will have the chance to observe real penguins up close. At the end of the session each child receives a cuddly toy plush penguin to remember and reinforce the learning they have done.

Due to the up close animal experience and the plush penguin, there is a charge of £4 per child attending the session (this includes younger siblings attending).

Please do not book this if you are interested in the Christmas Penguin experience, as this is a unique opportunity for children who would otherwise not be able to attend.

This session has very limited places which will be filled on a first come first served basis.

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