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RZSS Wild Learning

Connect your child with nature to build resilience, emotional intelligence and outdoor skills at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo!

A pupil holding an insect

Join us at RZSS Wild Learning, RZSS Edinburgh Zoo's outdoor learning programme.

Based in our wildlife garden and around the zoo, your child can work with our experienced outdoor learning team, all trained teachers and including Forest School trained staff, to develop confidence and self-esteem in the outdoors.

Specially designed for primary-aged children flexi-schooling or in full time home education, book our seven week block for the autumn term. Each session will be informed by Forest School principles and will be child-led, and broadly based around a nature theme, with tool use, crafts, games, STEM activities, adventures and lots of outdoor free play. Zoo entry and all materials are included. 


Warming hands by a campfire


2023/24 dates and times:

Open to all primary-aged learners, the programme will run each Thursday for £6.67 per hour.

Weekly times: Thursdays 9.30am - 12.30pm


Block 1 dates: 7 September, 14 September, 21 September, 28 September, 5 October and 12 October

Block 2 dates: 2 November, 9 November, 16 November, 23 November, 30 November, 7 December and 14 December

Block 3 dates: 18 January, 25 January, 1 February, and 8 February

Block 4 dates: 22 February, 29 February, 7 March, 14 March, 21 March and 28 March

Block 5 dates: 18 April, 25 April, 2 May, 9 May, 16 May and 23 May


Settling in

Your child's wellbeing is extremely important to us. In order to meet the needs of every learner in our care, on making your booking you will receive a link to complete a health and emergency details form.

You will receive a link to our RZSS Wild Learning handbook, containing all of our policies and procedures.

If you are new to RZSS Wild Learning, you will also be invited to a 10 minute online meeting to discuss the specific needs of your child to give everyone a secure, nurturing start to the programme.

Would you like to know more?

Want to find out about new blocks of RZSS Wild Learning and our other family education programmes? You can sign up to our mailing list here and tick 'education programmes'.


Children in wellies standing in a row

Wild Learning FAQs

What are the drop-off and pick-up arrangements? Parents/carers are requested to bring learners to meet the RZSS Wild Learning team at the Members Gate at the top of the Edinburgh Zoo car park at 9.30am, and collect from the same location at 12.30pm.

Will food be provided throughout the day? No. We request that learners are provided with a mid-morning snack. Lunch will not be provided. Learners should also bring a reusable water bottle, clearly labelled, that can be refilled throughout the day. Occasionally, campfire treats such as popcorn, hot drinks and marshmallows may be offered to learners, in line with any health and wellbeing information provided by parents/carers in the Health and Emergency forms.

What should my child wear to RZSS Wild Learning sessions? Our sessions will run in all weathers (with the exception of very extreme weather), and conditions can be changeable throughout the day, so we ask that all participants come prepared for the outdoors with:

  • Full length trousers and long-sleeved tops
  • Sensible footwear eg. walking boots, wellies
  • A waterproof layer eg. raincoat and waterproof trousers, snow suit
  • Long hair tied back or a hair tie that participant can use without assistance
  • Warm layers, thick socks, hats and gloves on cold days
  • Light layers, sun hat and sun cream on warm days

Is RZSS Wild Learning a Forest School? With Forest School trained staff and a strong Forest School ethos, the Forest School approach is at the heart of what we do. However, we recognise that in Edinburgh Zoo we have a unique resource that we aim to use to support wild learning and a love of nature wherever we can, so we may occasionally interpret the Forest School principles more flexibly to allow this.

Where can I learn more about the Forest School approach? We are working towards recognised provider status with the Forest School Association. Their website provides a wealth of information about the Forest School approach.

Will my child have the opportunity to visit the animals in the Edinburgh Zoo collection? Yes. We are very proud of our world famous zoo, and look forward to visiting a wide range of the species on site in the course of our sessions.

Please note that due to running costs, RZSS Wild Learning sessions will be cancelled and all places fully refunded if the minimum number of attendees is not met.