Dartmoor Zoological Park School Trips

Home / South West / Devon

Here at Dartmoor Zoo we are passionate about the natural world and think the best way to understand our wonderful wild places is to get out in them! We offer a range of educational workshops tailored for all Key Stagesplus extra activities such as our snooze at the zoo, school clubs, scout and guide badge days and our award winning holiday clubs.

Dartmoor Zoological Park photograph
school trip at Dartmoor Zoological Park
Dartmoor Zoological Park school groups

Why are Dartmoor Zoological Park great for School Trips and Educational Visits?

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Whether you’re interested in our curriculum linked workshops delivered by our team of skilled and highly knowledgeable Discovery and Learning Officers, a personalised tour tailored to your curriculum objectives, or prefer to lead your own self-guided visit, we have all the information you need for an inspirational day out.

Whatever the age our workshops and tours at Dartmoor Zoo are a great way to introduce your pupils to science, with literacy and numeracy embedded, create lasting memories that enhance and reinforce classroom learning.

They’re fun, hands-on, interactive AND curriculum linked! If you don’t see a workshop that quite fits your needs we can always create individualised lessons plan to accommodate the most specific of curriculum objectives.

What activities are available during group visits?

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Themed Workshops
Spring Term – Slime!
What is slime? It’s sticky, slippery, and squelchy! But what is it exactly? Who uses it and what’s it for? In this session students will learn all about the many weird and wonderful ways animals (including humans!) use slime to help them survive. They will get a chance to explore slime in more detail than ever before by getting up close and personal with some of our most impressive slime users. Students will also become scientists in the practical side of the session where they discover that slime can be fun, when they will get a chance to make their own slime!

Summer Term – Predator vs Prey
Imagine you’re a gazelle… could you survive against 15 predators? Find out in our engaging predator vs. prey workshop. Students will learn all about the relationship between predators and prey, they will get the chance to meet a predator and a prey species AND they will be pitted against their classmates in an engaging, dynamic game of predator vs. prey!

Autumn 1 Term – Native Wildlife
Our zoo animals are incredible, so much so in fact that they often outshine our own amazing native wildlife. In this session students will develop their knowledge on native wildlife, they will learn about the importance of invertebrates, and the roles of each animal within the ecosystem. They will get a chance to put their conservation skills to the test by making either a bug house or a bird feeder. All of this will be achieved outside in our bush craft area and will be rounded up with an exciting game of ecosystem giant jenga!

Autumn 2 Term – Adaptions to the cold
Animals all over the world have some fantastic adaptations to help them live in a wide range of habitats. The thought of living somewhere like the Arctic however gives us the chills! So how do animals do it? Find out now in this hands-on adaptations session. Students will learn about the different species living in cold places, and the types of adaptations that help them to do so. They will get involved in making their very own ‘blubber gloves’ to protect their hands from icy water, and will finish the session off with an interactive, limited addition version of winter Zeebs where their very own invented species will try to survive in the arctic!

Key Stage 1

Classification – Vertebrates
Come along and discover what makes an animal a mammal, reptile or bird in this interactive session where our scaly friends help us put animals into groups.
Year 1 Science – Animals, including humans
Working scientifically

Animal Appetites
Could you tell the difference between a tiger and a zebra’s tooth? Do you know what it means to be an omnivore or herbivore? In Animal Appetites, pupils will get the chance to see real-life examples as they explore teeth, diet and try out new way of grouping animals.
National Curriculum Links:
Year 1 – Animals including humans
Working scientifically

Take a closer look at the world around us as we compare our environment to animal habitats all over the globe. In this interactive session, pupils will learn about a range of habitats including those in a rainforest, desert and grassland.
National Curriculum Links:
Year 2 – Living things and their habitats
Working scientifically

Lower Key Stage 2

Classification – Vertebrates & Invertebrates
What do a jellyfish and a grasshopper have in common? They are both invertebrates! Come along and discover how we can classify both vertebrates and invertebrates according to their similarities and differences and help us put them into their correct groups.
National Curriculum Links:
Year 4 Science – Living Things and their Habitats
Working scientifically

Upper Key Stage 2

Life Cycles
How does the life cycle of a mammal compare to that of an insect or an amphibian? In this session we look at the different life cycles of different animals, explain what is meant by metamorphosis and compare the gestation periods of a range of different creatures.
National Curriculum Links:
Year 5 Science – Living Things and their Habitats
Year 5 Science – Animals, including humans
Working scientifically

Classification – The Linnaean System
In this session we look at more sophisticated classification systems and how different sets of living things can be classified into broad groups according to their similarities and differences. We will take a look at more curious creatures and find out where they belong on the Linnaean System of Classification.
National Curriculum Links:
Year 6 Science – Living Things and their Habitats
Working scientifically

Evolution & Inheritance
With the help of our highly evolved reptile collection, pupils are introduced to Darwin’s theory of evolution and can discover for themselves how animals adapt to their environment and evolve over time.
National Curriculum Links:
Year 6 Science – Evolution and Inheritance
Working scientifically

In this session we introduce Darwin’s theory of evolution and compare the adaptations of two similar animals from different habitats.

Secondary Education

Whole Day Workshop – DZP Enterprise Challenge
Key topics covered:
Conservation, team work, finances, enclosure design, BIAZA, CITIES, stud books, business, media and presentation skills.
Learning Objectives
-to explore the history of zoos and important legislations (for examples CITES)
-to design appropriate animal enclosures
– evaluate the animal welfare and enrichment needs for successful captive breeding

Our Enterprise Challenge is unique, challenging, award winning and lots of fun, pitting teams of up to six students against each other in a tough, real-world task to select a new species to add to the DZP collection, design the enclosure and present their plan to senior zoo staff.

Your students will have to work together tackling all the real life struggles that we face at DZP in our mission to help conserve endangered species and maintain an exciting collection that will engage and thrill the general public.

We will provide the students with all of the background information and resources, then it’s down to them!

At the end of the challenge, each team will present their design and strategy to a panel of DZP senior staff, Dragon’s Den style.

Animal Behaviour
In this workshop we will look closely at the different ways animals communicate, the difference between instinctive and learnt behaviour. The students will carry out and analyse an ethogram on one of our big carnivores.

Role of the Modern Zoo
What do zoos really do and why? Find out what happens behind the scenes and how we care for over 250 animals.

Animal Training
Why do we train our animals? This short workshop highlights the benefits of training animals for health checks and shows a behind the scenes training session with our tigers or bears.

Careers in Zoos
This workshop highlights the career options available to young adults wanting to enter the animal care or Zoo industry itself. The will be time for questions and answers from students at the end of the session from industry experts at the Zoo.

The Zoo as a business
A spin off from our award winning enterprise challenge, this challenge asks students to produce a business plan for one improvement or new attraction that they would make to the Zoo. Students will have to be sure of their plans though as they will be pitching them to senior zoo staff in a dragons den style finale.

Animal Adaptations
A hands on session into how animals cope with extreme conditions and defend themselves from predators. Experience some of the amazing adaptations that our animals possess through evolution to help them survive.

Revision Days
Want an inspirational place to revise for upcoming exams, with a little input from our Post-16 Teachers and our resident creatures? Let us know your topic and we can help.

What size groups do you cater for?

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We cater for groups of any size and can run multiple sessions throughout the day. Workshops accommodate up to 35 children per session and tours up to 20 per session.

Do you offer on-site classroom facilities?

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Is there first aid on site?

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Do you offer access for visitors with disabilities?

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Do you cater for visitors with Special Educational Needs (SEN)?

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Transport Savings

Current School Trip Offer

We have special transport savings deals with Tamar Coaches and Plymouth City Bus. Please do ask if you wish to take advantage of these special offers.

Find out more about this school trip...

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