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Focus on Hamerton Zoo Park

Date Posted: 20/11/2014

Subjects: Wildlife, Science
Venue: Hamerton Zoo Park, Cambridgeshire
Key Stages: 1 - 4

Set in open Cambridgeshire countryside, Hamerton Zoo Park has a collection of around 200 different animal species, including many rare and endangered species. 

If you are thinking of taking your class to the zoo, it offers education sessions on a variety of topics, with something to suit all age groups. Talks can be tailored specifically for your own students’ needs.

Sessions include getting close to and handling some of the smaller animals, such as snakes, giant land snails, giant millipedes, Shaw’s jirds, pygmy hedgehogs and more. The zoo also has a collection of specimens and aim for sessions to be as hands-on as possible.

The size of the cabin in which the sessions are held limits Hamerton to a maximum of 30 pupils per session, so, for larger groups it will run multiple sessions. Sessions last around 30 to 35 minutes and charges are per pupil, rather than per group.

Sessions available for Primary schools

Variety of Life: A show-and-tell session using specimens and two or three different live animals, focussing on the similarities and differences between animal groups.

Night and Day: Why some animals are nocturnal and adaptations to being active at night.

Fur, Feathers and Scales: Focussing on the three main animal groups in the Hamerton collection, mammals (including humans as mammals), birds and reptiles, using many skin and feather specimens and live animals from at least two of the three groups.

Sorting Sets: An introduction to classification, using pictures and yes/no questions to develop the principal of a classification key.

Animal senses: How animals, including humans, use their senses.

Adaptation to Habitat: The variety of habitats and how animals are adapted to them.

Camouflage: How animals use colour and camouflage for survival.

Renewable energy workshops

Hamerton can also offer workshops on renewable energy technologies, including tours of its own wind and solar energy facilities, provision of live and historic data and a small scale turbine to look more closely at the construction of a wind turbine and how it works.

Primary school sessions include:

What is Wind?: Practical experiments can be done in-school or on site using balloons, paper windmills, fans etc. This can then be followed up with a visit to the turbines to see how powerful wind can be.

Wind and Sunshine: This topic can be tailored for KS1 or KS2 pupils and includes a tour of the wind turbines and solar panels.

Electricity from the weather: A simplified view of the workings of a wind turbine to show how wind energy is converted to electricity.    

For secondary schools, sessions will be tailored to your groups’ particular requirements, but some suggestions are:

The workings of a wind turbine: A look at just how wind energy is converted to electricity, and the potential power generated.

Wind and Solar Power: A tour of wind and solar installations and a look at live and historic data from each, showing how they can be complementary.

A site visit and tour can be tailored to generate discussion for in-school debate. Some likely topics are: renewable vs. fossil; wind vs solar/nuclear/tidal; local impact – siting of wind farms / land use; and the purpose of zoos.

For more information e-mail our Education Officer, Christine Bristow, at, or visit

School Travel Organiser's Guide