Book a FREE* activity for your pupils

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.

Our sessions are limited in availability and very popular.
Please book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

If you have any questions about these sessions or wish to check availability on a specific date, please contact our education department directly at 01206 332511, 01206 332512 or 01206 331292 or email education@colchesterzoo.org

*Colchester Zoo reserves the right to charge a £20 fee educational sessions which are booked but not attended.


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)

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


Detailed Session Descriptions:


Art – R or KS1

Pupils will learn about great British wildlife and animal artists and how they study nature closely to create their art. We’ll discuss colour and why birds might be different colour before looking at spots and other patterns on fur. We’ll then look at other patterns and shapes found throughout nature. Pupils will then each be given their very own wildlife sketchbook before rotating around a circus of activities and having a go at making their own wildlife art based on observations of real nature artefacts (fur, feathers, etc.).  

Click for National Curriculum links


Colchester Zoo – Educational Session PLOs – Art KS1


African Safari – R or KS1

“We’re going on safari, on the African savannah. We’re going to see the big five. What a beautiful day. We’re not scared!”
Using a familiar song and rhyme children will explore the savannah habitat and learn some key characteristics of it and about the ‘big five’ animals that live there.

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

Fastest, Biggest, Strongest – R or KS1

Pupils will be amazed as we discover more about the weirdest and most wonderful animals! This session features some hands-on animal artifacts (skulls, etc.), a chance to have-a-go themselves, and loads of incredible, outrages, or even seemingly-unbelievable facts about some of the amazing animals we share our planet with.

Click for National Curriculum links


Colchester Zoo – Educational Session PLOs – Fastest, Biggest, Strongest R&KS1


Habitats – Is This My Home? R and Year 1

Join in an interactive story about a fennec fox who has lost his home. During the story, we’ll travel around the world visiting the woodland forest, taiga forest, rainforest, lakes & rivers, and the desert. In each place we’ll learn about animals that live there and some of their characteristics. After finding out about each animal home, we’ll figure out where the fennec fox should live.

Click for National Curriculum links

Habitats – Year 2

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.

If you have R or year 1, the ‘Is This My Home Session’ provides and introduction to the concept of animal homes through an age appropriate interactive story.

Click for National Curriculum links

Jungle Storytime – R and Year 1

Join us in this interactive storytime while we discover what made a mysterious noise as we explore the rainforests of the world. Pupils will learn what makes a jungle a jungle and about some of the unique and amazing animals that live in them.

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: Measure, Means, & 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 involve real animal artefacts and hands-on maths. Activities are tailored depending on age and may include: comparing patterns on tortoise shells, measuring snake skins, counting minibeast legs, and more!

Click for National Curriculum links

Colchester Zoo – Educational Session PLOs – Maths KS1


Penguins – R or KS1

This session is unavailable for booking in November and December, during this time we run our educational Christmas Penguin Experience (click to find out more!).

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

Click for National Curriculum links

Rainforest Animals – Year 2

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. If you have R or year 1, the Jungle Storytime Session provides an introduction to rainforests with an interactive story.

Click for National Curriculum links

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