Teaching Sessions

We offer a variety of teaching sessions to all visiting schools at a small extra fee to the standard school admission rate. We currently offer one teaching session per class of 30 children.

The charge to all schools is currently £6 (including VAT) per pupil for self guided groups and £7.20 (including VAT)  per pupil with one session per class (minimum charge of £144 including VAT for groups of under 20 pupils) plus £1.80 (including VAT) per adult.

Sessions are subject to availability and are offered to Early Years Foundation Stage  children up to Year 11 pupils. They run from 10.15am onwards and our Education Team can discuss timings and availability with you at the time of booking.

Our teaching sessions take place in public spaces including outside in the gardens or within our glasshouses or within indoor spaces such as the gallery. All have close curriculum links to the new curriculum.

Please note that we venture out into the Gardens whatever the weather so please ensure that your staff and pupils are appropriately dressed for all eventualities! 


Early Years Foundation Stage Teaching Session Menu

(We offer one session per class of 30 pupils that you bring)

PDF iconEYFS curriculum links

Animal Handling Session (duration: 30 minutes)

Take a look at our animal collection! Your pupils will have the opportunity to get up close to Corn Snakes, Tropical Giant African Millipedes, a Giant African Land Snail, a Tenrec and a Bearded Dragon! Learn about the special adaptations that these creatures have developed and what habitat they live in through close observation of these creatures, together with the opportunity to handle them too! (please see our risk assessment pertaining to this activity on our Teachers’ Resources section of our website).  Indoor-based session (this will take place either in an upstairs room or in the gallery which is a public space).

Minibeast Explorers (available spring to autumn) (duration: 30 minutes)

Using our wide range of bug hunting equipment, your pupils will discover what minibeasts inhabit the Gardens. Are they insects? Do they have wings? How many eyes have they got? We will discover lots of exciting information about our multi-legged friends!  Outdoor Gardens-based session.

Tree Fun (duration: 40 minutes)

The Botanical Gardens are home to trees from all around the world. Find out more about them in this sensory and craft-based session as we take the blindfold challenge to explore their different textures, make bark rubbings and a leaf head crown to take home as a memento of your visit.  Outdoor Gardens-based session.

Senses Walk (duration: 40 minutes)

Enjoy time exploring our plant collection in a different way by exciting your senses! Explore the sights through a mirror walk in the tree canopy, the smells through a smelly cocktail party and the textures through a blindfold activity. Outdoor Gardens-based session.


 

Key Stage 1 Teaching Session Menu

(We offer one session per class of 30 pupils that you bring)

PDF iconKS1 curriculum links

Animal Handling Session (duration: 45 minutes)

Take a look at our animal collection! Your pupils will have the opportunity to get up close to Corn Snakes, Tropical Giant African Millipedes, a Giant African Land Snail, a Tenrec and a Bearded Dragon! Learn about the special adaptations that these creatures have developed and what habitat they live in through close observation of these creatures, together with the opportunity to handle them too! (please see our risk assessment pertaining to this activity on our Teachers’ Resources section of our website).  Indoor-based session (this will take place either in an upstairs room or in the gallery which is a public space).

Rainforest Fun (duration: 45 minutes)

Take a look at our rainforest seeds and tribal artefacts to learn about this fascinating environment. Discover what types of food plants we can eat to types of plants we can wear as we discover a whole host of plants that originally grew in a rainforest that are part of our everyday lives! Handle rainforest tribal artefacts and view our specimen preserved rainforest creepy crawlies (non-living). Also have a go with our rainforest musical instruments in this fun, fact-based and highly interactive session! Indoor-based session (this will take place either in an upstairs room or in the gallery which is a public space).

Rainforest Fun with Live Animals (duration: 75 minutes)

As above but to include live animal handling in addition. Have a look and handle our Tropical Giant African Millipedes, Corn Snakes, a Giant African Land Snail, a Tenrec and a Bearded Dragon. Whilst not all tropical animals, we can use them to discuss general adaptations and find out what kinds of animals live in a rainforest habitat (please see our risk assessment pertaining to this activity on our Teachers’ Resources section of our website). Indoor-based session (this will take place either in an upstairs room or in the gallery which is a public space).

Growth (duration: 50 minutes)

This session will cover naming plant parts and finding out the roles that they play. Your pupils will use our giant Velcro kit to name basic plant parts (stem, root, leaf etc) before playing the plant game to learn about the functions of each plant part. We will play this game as a whole class complete with sounds and actions! Take a closer look at plant parts as we dissect some in small groups before learning about the purpose of flowers in plants and the role that insects play in pollination and making seeds as we act out these roles in our ‘Buzzy Bee’ game as a whole class. This activity includes dressing up one of your pupils as a bee in our special costume! Indoor-based session (this will take place either in an upstairs room or in the gallery which is a public space).

Glasshouse Tours (duration: 1 hour)

Take a trip through our four stunning glasshouses, from the arid extreme to the vibrant tropical rainforest. Explore ways that our plants have adapted to different climates and learn exciting facts from our expert guides! Tours are conducted for 15 to 20 pupils at a time due to the size of the glasshouses (we can advise you on how many Gardens’ staff will be available to lead your tours nearer your visit date so that you can plan your timetable). We can tailor-make your tours to suit whatever theme that you want to cover. Glasshouse-based session.

Land Minibeast Explorers (available spring to autumn) (duration: 50 minutes)

Using our wide range of bug hunting equipment, your pupils will discover what minibeasts inhabit the Gardens. Are they insects? Do they have wings? How many eyes have they got? We will discover lots of exciting information about our multi-legged friends! Finish the session with a parachute game to reinforce our learning (weather-permitting).  Outdoor Gardens-based session.

Pond and Land Minibeast Explorers  (available spring to autumn) (duration: 75 minutes)

Give your pupils the opportunity to compare two different habitats. Half of your class will have a go at pond-dipping to discover what monsters live in the watery depths whilst the other half will explore the Gardens for land minibeasts such as slugs and ladybirds, before swapping over half-way through the session. Outdoor Gardens-based session.

Senses Walk (duration: 1 hour)

Enjoy time exploring our plant collection in a different way by exciting your senses! Explore the sights through a mirror walk in the tree canopy, the smells through a smelly cocktail party and the textures through a blindfold activity. Outdoor Gardens-based session.

Tree Fun! (duration: 75 minutes)

The Botanical Gardens are home to trees from all around the world. Find out more about them in this sensory and craft-based session as we take the blindfold challenge to explore their different textures, make bark rubbings and a leaf head crown to take home as a memento of your visit. Outdoor Gardens-based session.

Art Without A Paintbrush! (duration: 1 hour)

This session will encourage your pupils to create natural pieces of artwork in the style of Andy Goldsworthy. We will give you plenty of ideas before venturing out to create our own natural masterpieces so don’t forget your camera! Finish the session by making a natural postcard to take home as a memento of your visit to the beautiful gardens. Outdoor Gardens-based session.

Musical Rainstorm (duration: 45 minutes)

Have a look at our weird and wonderful plant-based musical instruments from around the world and investigate their different sounds, before making a rainforest storm together as a whole class! Your pupils can take turns to be the conductor of our whole-class orchestra! Indoor-based session (this will take place either in an upstairs room or in the gallery which is a public space).


 

Key Stage 2 Teaching Session Menu

(We offer one session per class of 30 pupils that you bring)

PDF iconKS2 curriculum links

Animal Handling Session (duration: 45 minutes)

Take a look at our new animal collection! Your pupils will have the opportunity to get up close to Corn Snakes, Tropical Giant African Millipedes, a Giant African Land Snail, a Tenrec and a Bearded Dragon! Learn about the special adaptations that these creatures have developed and what habitat they live in through close observation of these creatures, together with the opportunity to handle them too! (please see our risk assessment pertaining to this activity on our Teachers’ Resources section of our website).  Indoor-based session (this will take place either in an upstairs room or in the gallery which is a public space).

Glasshouse Tours (duration: 1 hour)

Take a trip through our four stunning glasshouses, from the arid extreme to the vibrant tropical rainforest. Explore ways that our plants have adapted to different climates and learn exciting facts from our expert guides! Tours are conducted for 15 to 20 pupils at a time due to the size of the glasshouses (we can advise you on how many Gardens’ staff will be available to lead your tours nearer your visit date so that you can plan your timetable). We can tailor-make your tours to suit whatever theme that you want to cover. Glasshouse-based session.

Tree-mendous Trees! (duration: 1 hour)

Work in small groups to discover how old some of our trees are, work out their height using clinometers and have a go at tree hugging! Finish the session with a game about trees. Outdoor Gardens-based session.

Land Minibeast Explorers (available spring to autumn) (duration: 50 minutes)

Using our wide range of bug hunting equipment, your pupils will discover what minibeasts inhabit the Gardens. Are they insects? Do they have wings? How many eyes have they got? We will discover lots of exciting information about our multi-legged friends! Finish the session with a parachute game to reinforce our learning (weather-permitting).  Outdoor Gardens-based session.

Pond and Land Minibeast Explorers (available spring to autumn) (duration: 75 minutes)

Give your pupils the opportunity to compare two different habitats. Half of your class will have a go at pond-dipping to discover what monsters live in the watery depths whilst the other half will explore the Gardens for land minibeasts such as slugs and ladybirds, before swapping over half-way through the session. Outdoor Gardens-based session.

Growth (duration: 50 minutes)

This session will cover naming plant parts and finding out the roles that they play. Lower Key Stage 2 will cover naming basic plant parts (stem, root, leaf etc) whilst Upper Key Stage 2 has the option to look at naming flower parts too (stamen, stigma, style etc) if required. Play the plant game to learn about the functions of each plant part as the whole class will be transformed into the working plant parts complete with sounds and actions! Take a closer look at plant parts as we dissect some in small groups before learning about the purpose of flowers in plants and the role that insects play in pollination as we act out these roles as a whole class. This activity includes dressing up one of your pupils as a bee in our special costume! Indoor-based session (this will take place either in an upstairs room or in the gallery which is a public space).

Rainforest Challenge (duration: 75 minutes)

In small teams (maximum 6 groups per class), your pupils will have fun acting as rainforest detectives to follow the clues to discover our secret rainforest plants. Using the clues hidden in their backpacks to help them, your pupils will find out the names and information about some of our key rainforest plants. A plenary ends the session where your pupils will have the opportunity to handle various rainforest seeds and products from the plants that they have discovered. Can your pupils work out the secret codeword? We recommend bringing plenty of drinking water for this session in the summer months. Glasshouse and Indoor-based session (introduction and plenary will take place either in an upstairs room or in the gallery which is a public space).

Natural Art (duration: 1 hour)

This session will encourage your pupils to create natural pieces of artwork in the style of Andy Goldsworthy. We will give you plenty of ideas before venturing out to create our own natural masterpieces in our outdoor ‘gallery’ so don’t forget your camera! Finish the session by making a natural postcard to take home as a memento of your visit to the beautiful gardens. Outdoor Gardens-based session.

Food Chains (duration: 1 hour)

Understand that all organisms within a habitat interact with each other and their relevance in food chains. Can your pupils organise themselves into a food chain? What is a food web and can we make one? Take a walk around the Gardens to find evidence of food chains including plants, herbivores and carnivores and discover how energy is lost along the way in a fun outdoor watery game! Outdoor Gardens-based session.

Rainforest Fun (duration: 45 minutes)

Take a look at our rainforest seeds and tribal artefacts to learn about this fascinating environment. Discover what types of food plants we can eat to types of plants we can wear as we discover a whole host of plants that originally grew in a rainforest that are part of our everyday lives! Handle rainforest tribal artefacts and view our specimen preserved rainforest creepy crawlies (non-living). Also have a go with our rainforest musical instruments in this fun, fact-based and highly interactive session! Indoor-based session (this will take place either in an upstairs room or in the gallery which is a public space).

Rainforest Fun with Live Animals (duration: 75 minutes)

As above but to include live animal handling in addition. Have a look and handle our Tropical Giant African Millipedes, Corn Snakes, a Giant African Land Snail, a Tenrec and a Bearded Dragon. Whilst not all tropical animals, we can use them to discuss general adaptations and find out what kinds of animals live in a rainforest habitat (please see our risk assessment pertaining to this activity on our Teachers’ Resources section of our website). Indoor-based session (this will take place either in an upstairs room or in the gallery which is a public space).

Musical Rainstorm (duration: 45 minutes)

Have a look at our weird and wonderful plant-based musical instruments from around the world and investigate their different sounds, before making a rainforest storm together as a whole class! Your pupils can take turns to be the conductor of our whole-class orchestra! Indoor-based session (this will take place either in an upstairs room or in the gallery which is a public space).


 

Key Stage 3 & 4 Teaching Session Menu

(We offer one session per class of 30 pupils that you bring)

Animal Handling Session (duration: 45 minutes)

Take a look at our new animal collection! Your pupils will have the opportunity to get up close to Corn Snakes, Tropical Giant African Millipedes, a Giant African Land Snail, a Tenrec and a Bearded Dragon! Learn about the special adaptations that these creatures have developed and what habitat they live in through close observation of these creatures, together with the opportunity to handle them too! (please see our risk assessment pertaining to this activity on our Teachers’ Resources section of our website).  Indoor-based session (this will take place either in an upstairs room or in the gallery which is a public space).

Glasshouse Tours (duration: 1 hour)

Take a trip through our four stunning glasshouses, from the arid extreme to the vibrant tropical rainforest. Explore ways that our plants have adapted to different climates and learn exciting facts from our expert guides! Tours are conducted for 15 to 20 pupils at a time due to the size of the glasshouses (we can advise you on how many Gardens’ staff will be available to lead your tours nearer your visit date so that you can plan your timetable). We can tailor-make your tours to suit whatever theme that you want to cover. Glasshouse-based session.

Rainforest Challenge (duration: 75 minutes)

In small teams (maximum 6 teams per class), your pupils will have fun following the clues hidden in their backpacks to find out the names and information about our key rainforest plants. A plenary ends the session where your pupils will have the opportunity to handle various rainforest seeds and products from the plants that they have discovered. Can your pupils work out the secret codeword? We recommend bringing plenty of drinking water for this session in the summer months. Glasshouse and Indoor-based session (introduction and plenary will take place either in an upstairs room or in the gallery which is a public space).

Cryptic Orienteering (duration: 75 minutes)

Using maps (compasses are optional), can your pupils find their way around the Gardens and answer the cryptic questions as they go? This trail challenges your pupils with questions about the site and plant collection, encourages teamwork and enhances their map skills, whilst at the same time ensuring that they get plenty of fresh air and exercise! Outdoor Gardens-based session.

Maths in Plants (duration: 45 minutes)

Take a closer look at our tree collection to find out more about them; how old are they? Which is the tallest? Which has the biggest canopy? Compare scientific measurements to other ways of finding out about our trees from around the world. This session includes optional time spent on our Maths-based quests that send pupils around the grounds to different locations to complete. Outdoor Gardens-based session.

Pond Explorers  (available spring to autumn) (duration: 45 minutes)

Give your pupils the opportunity to explore the pond environment and discover what type of creatures lurk in the water’s hidden depths. Pupils will try their hand at pond dipping and identify and record their findings. Outdoor Gardens-based session.