Key Stage 3, 4 & 5 Teaching Session Menu


Teaching Sessions are delivered by expert Gardens’ staff and all are tailored to link to the new National Curriculum.

Teaching sessions take place in our dedicated classrooms, but also public spaces including outside in the Gardens or within our Glasshouses. We venture out into the Gardens come rain or shine, so please ensure that everyone is appropriately dressed for all eventualities!


Photosynthesis, The Planet and Me (duration: 75 minutes)

What is photosynthesis and why should you care? Have your students learn all about photosynthesis, experience our Glasshouses to investigate how plants are especially adapted, and understand the important role we all play in the global process, in this fun and interactive session. Indoor & Glasshouse session.

Animal Handling (duration: 1 hour)

Take a look at our exciting and unique animal collection! You will have the opportunity to `get up close` with a range of exotic animals chosen from the following selection: Corn Snake, Panther Chameleon, Bearded Dragon, Lesser Madagascan Tenrec, Fire Salamander, Giant Land Snail, Madagascan Hissing Cockroach and Stick Insect! Learn about the special adaptations that these creatures have developed and what habitat they live in, through close observation, together with the chance to handle them too! Risk Assessment. (We cannot guarantee the availability of any animal.) Indoor session.

Rainforest Challenge (duration: 75 minutes)

In small groups (maximum 6 groups per class), your pupils will develop their teamworking skills while following the clues hidden in their backpacks to find out the names and information about our key rainforest plants. Can your pupils work out the secret codeword? A plenary then ends the session where your pupils will have the opportunity to investigate various rainforest seeds and products from the plants that they have discovered. (We recommend bringing plenty of drinking water for this session, particularly in the summer months.) Indoor & Glasshouse session.

Gardens Tour (duration: 1 hour)

Explore all four corners of the Earth, without leaving Birmingham. Experience tranquillity in our Japanese Garden, admire the tallest tree species in the world in our Pinetum and wonder at the otherworldly plants found on the tundra. You can also marvel at our birds of the world collection in the beautiful Lawn Aviary and maybe bump into our free-roaming peacocks. (We can tailor your tour to any topic/theme.) This tour will cover the outside gardens but will not include our Glasshouses. Outdoor session.

Glasshouse Tour (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 survive and thrive in different climates and learn exciting facts from our expert guides! (We can tailor your tour to any topic/theme.) (Glasshouse Tours are conducted for 15 to 20 pupils at a time because of restricted space.) Glasshouse session.

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 your 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 session.

Japanese Challenge (duration: 50 minutes)

Learn all about the tradition and history behind the Japanese garden culture in this practical session. First, have your pupils develop their teamwork and communication skills to recreate and translate Japanese characters. Then, hunt for challenge answers whilst exploring our ornate and tranquil Japanese Garden and National Bonsai Collection. 知識は力である! Indoor & Outdoor session.