Education

Summer Programmes FAQs

Find out more about our summer programmes at Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park. Use the tabs to swap between Summer School, Summer CAT, Science Summer School and Virtual Summer School - we've got lots going on!

  • Summer School
  • Summer CAT
  • Virtual Summer School
  • Science Summer School
  • Zoo Studies

Summer School

  • Summer 2021 Update

    Due to government guidance, we are operating our holiday programmes at reduced capacity this year. To allow those whose places were cancelled last year a chance of getting a space this year, we enabled priority booking and this does mean that many of the tickets we had available have now sold out. 

    If guidance changes to allow us to increase capacity, there may be the possibility of releasing more spaces after the initial booking is launched. If this does happen and you would like to be updated by email, please enter your details here. We will only use these details to let you know of any added spaces to our Eventbrite page listings for our summer programmes. Please note, this is not a priority waitlist – if any additional spaces become available, they will be on a first come first served basis.

    Tickets are now also available here for our Virtual Summer School, an interactive week of Edinburgh and Highland discoveries for your animal lovers and the whole family online and offline from home.

  • What is it?

    RZSS Summer School is a week of discovery! Meet our amazing animals, and discover the habitats and cultures of different places around the world. All of this learning happens through a range of fun activities such as zoo trails, games, arts and crafts, animal handling, building enrichment devices and much, much more! This year the theme is Celebrating Edinburgh Zoo. 

    Find out more about Summer School 

  • Who is it for?

    There are four age groups for Summer School:

    • P2-3
    • P4-5
    • P6-7
    • S-4

    (You should book for the year group your child is about to move up to after the holidays)

  • When is it?

    The programme runs from 8.30am – 3.30pm.

    After school club will be unavailable during Summer School 2021.

    Week 1 – July 5th 2021

    Week 2 - July 12th 2021

    Week 3 - July 19th 2021

    Week 4 - July 26th 2021

    Please note the change in start time from previous years.

  • How much does it cost?

    It costs £195 per child for the full week.

    Child membership is not valid for any of our holiday programmes. We are unable to accept childcare vouchers for our holiday programmes.

  • Can I use childcare vouchers?

    Unfortunately we cannot accept childcare vouchers currently. 

  • How do I book?

    Tickets will be initially available for a limited number of places due to guidance and tickets sales will be live on Saturday 1st May from 9am.

    A link to the Eventbrite page will be added to the Summer School homepage when booking opens.

  • Is there a waiting list?

    Places are limited due to guidance this year, so are likely to sell out fast.

    We don't have a waiting list, if any additional spaces become available they will appear on the Eventbrite page, so it's worth checking back occasionally!

  • Can I change my booking?

    If you've made a mistake when booking, we will do our best to make changes if we can, but as these events are very heavily subscribed this may not be possible, so please make sure you choose the right dates and year groups to avoid disappointment!

    Contact us at education@rzss.org.uk

  • Can I cancel my booking?

    Please contact us at education@rzss.org.uk to arrange your cancellation. We will refund your charges through Eventbrite.

  • My child has special dietary needs/needs to take medicines during the day/has additional support needs, etc. What support can be offered?

    After you book your Summer School tickets, your Eventbrite confirmation email will contain a link to fill out an online Health & Emergency form and a COVID-19 form. This will provide us with essential information for ensuring your children are in the best of care during their week with us.

  • Can my child attend from abroad?

    Children from other countries are welcome to attend our summer events, but we are not able to help with accommodation. It is recommended that children have at least a moderate command of English in order to get the most out of their sessions. 

    If you can't get to Edinburgh this year, why not join us for our Virtual Summer School instead?!

  • Do you provide food during the day?

    Each child needs to bring their own packed lunch (labelled if possible) and a snack for morning break time.

    Cups of juice and water are available at break and lunch and your child should bring a named water bottle for activities throughout the day. 

  • What should they wear?

    Your child will get their own Summer School T-shirt to keep!

    They'll need to wear their T-shirt each day, and then weather-appropriate clothing that they don’t mind getting active in, including painting and a range of other activities outside!

    Wet weather gear for bad weather and sunscreen for hot weather are also recommended. 

  • Where can I get more help?

    Get in touch with us at education@rzss.org.uk and we'll do our best to help!

Summer CAT

  • Summer 2021 Update

    Due to government guidance, we are operating our holiday programmes at reduced capacity this year. To allow those whose places were cancelled last year a chance of getting a space this year, we enabled priority booking and this does mean that many of the tickets we had available have now sold out. 

    If guidance changes to allow us to increase capacity, there may be the possibility of releasing more spaces after the initial booking is launched. If this does happen and you would like to be updated by email, please enter your details here. We will only use these details to let you know of any added spaces to our Eventbrite page listings for our summer programmes. Please note, this is not a priority waitlist – if any additional spaces become available, they will be on a first come first served basis.

    Tickets are now also available here for our Virtual Summer School, an interactive week of Edinburgh and Highland discoveries for your animal lovers and the whole family online and offline from home.

  • What is it?

    Summer CAT is based in Edinburgh Zoo’s Wildlife Garden Yurt where children spend all day outside getting mucky and getting hands on with conservation.

    They will take part in a range of activities including planting, building, animal surveying, games, campfires and much more. We also take advantage of being set in a zoo and visiting some of our amazing animals!

    Discover Summer CAT

  • Who is it for?

    Summer CAT is for children entering school years P4-P7 after the summer holidays (7-11 years old)

  • When is it?

    The programme runs from 8.30am – 3.30pm.

    After school club will be unavailable during Summer School 2021.

    Week 1 – July 5th 2021

    Week 2 - July 12th 2021

    Week 3 - July 19th 2021

    Week 4 - July 26th 2021

    Please note the change in start time from previous years.

  • How much does it cost?

    It costs £195 per child for the full week.

    Child membership is not valid for any of our holiday programmes. We are unable to accept childcare vouchers for our holiday programmes.

  • Can I use childcare vouchers?

    Unfortunately we cannot accept childcare vouchers currently. 

  • How do I book?

    Tickets will be initially available for a limited number of places due to guidance and tickets sales will be live on Saturday 1st May from 9am.

    A link to the Eventbrite page will be added to the Summer CAT homepage when booking opens.

  • Is there a waiting list?

    Places are limited due to guidance this year, so are likely to sell out fast.

    We don't have a waiting list, if any additional spaces become available they will appear on the Eventbrite page, so it's worth checking back occasionally!

  • Can I change my booking?

    If you've made a mistake when booking, we will do our best to make changes if we can, but as these events are very heavily subscribed this may not be possible, so please make sure you choose the right dates and year groups to avoid disappointment!

    Contact us at education@rzss.org.uk

  • Can I cancel my booking?

    Please contact us at education@rzss.org.uk to arrange your cancellation. We will refund your charges through Eventbrite.

  • My child has special dietary needs/needs to take medicines during the day/has additional support needs, etc. What support can be offered?

    After you book your Summer CAT tickets, your Eventbrite confirmation email will contain a link to fill out an online Health & Emergency form and a COVID-19 form. This will provide us with essential information for ensuring your children are in the best of care during their week with us.

  • Can my child attend from abroad?

    Children from other countries are welcome to attend our summer events, but we are not able to help with accommodation. It is recommended that children have at least a moderate command of English in order to get the most out of their sessions. 

    If you can't get to Edinburgh this year, why not join us for our Virtual Summer School instead?!

  • Do you provide food during the day?

    Each child needs to bring their own packed lunch (labelled if possible) and a snack for morning break time.

    Cups of juice and water are available at break and lunch and your child should bring a named water bottle for activities throughout the day. 

  • What should they wear?

    Your child will get their own Summer CAT T-shirt to keep!

    They'll need to wear their T-shirt each day, and then weather-appropriate clothing that they don’t mind getting active in, including painting and a range of other activities outside!

    Wet weather gear for bad weather and sunscreen for hot weather are also recommended. 

  • Where can I get more help?

    Get in touch with us at education@rzss.org.uk and we'll do our best to help!

Virtual Summer School

  • What is it?

    Ready for a fun adventure from your very own home? Join us for a jam-packed week of live, online and offline activities all about animals for your whole family! Brought to you by our brilliant team, experts from zoos around the world, and a huge range of amazing authors and illustrators, there’s plenty for everyone to get stuck in and start discovering!

    Join Virtual Summer School

  • How does it work?

    Everything will be on one virtual classroom for easy access where you can see each day’s activities, share ideas and projects with classmates, get feedback from your zoo teacher and access a huge range of exclusive authors and illustrators sharing their own animal adventures.

    You will need a device with internet access so that you can check in each morning and access the activities for the day. Some of these will need internet access but most are designed for getting active without the screen. Before your week begins, you’ll be sent a password and the link you’ll need for setting up your access to the online classroom

  • Who can take part?

    No matter what your age, you’re invited! See how many family and friends you can get involved...even your family pets!

  • How much does it cost?

    £50

  • How do we book?

    Choose and book your week here: http://bit.ly/VirtualSS2021

  • What supplies or materials will we need?

    Most of the adventures can be done just with initial access to the digital classroom, some recycled materials and a few cuddly toys! If possible, have some paper and pens handy and check out the extended list of material ideas in an email before your week begins.

  • Do we have to be on the computer the whole time?

    No – you can use the digital classroom to check in with the day’s challenges and then again at the end of the day to share your creations. A few of the activities are guided by video clips but you can mix and match when you try them.

  • How safe is the online classroom?

    The classroom will only be accessible via a password that will be sent to you before your week begins and will be monitored by our zoo team. We are also fully committed to the security and privacy of users’ data.

  • Where can we get more help?

    Get in touch with us at education@rzss.org.uk and we'll do our best to help!

Science Summer School

  • What is it?

    A week long course run at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park designed to give students real world experience in the fields of research and conservation within the setting of our Zoos. This is a great opportunity for young scientists to get together, explore the science behind zoos, meet some unusual challenges and have fun as well as work hard.

    Apply for your place at Science Summer School

  • Who is it for?

    Science Summer School is aimed at young people aged 16 - 18 years old (S5 - S6).

  • When and where is it?

    The course runs from Monday to Friday 9.00am to 4.00pm and is a 1-week commitment during the school holidays, so it is essential we only have students that can make the whole week.

    At the Highland Wildlife Park:

    Weeks commencing 19th and 26th of July 2021 

    At Edinburgh Zoo:

    Weeks commencing 2nd and 9th of August 2021.

     

  • How much does it cost?

    The programme is free to all accepted applicants!

  • How do I apply?

    To apply please complete the Online Application Form before the stated application deadline. We ask that all students applications are accompanied by a recommendation from a teacher (or other responsible adult who knows the student well). Teachers looking to submit their recommendations should complete the following Teacher Recommendation Form.

     

    Deadline for applications is 9am on Monday 17th May 2021. All applicants should hear if their application has been successful or not by the end of May. This will allow you as much time as possible to arrange accommodation for yourselves if it is required.

  • Can I attend from abroad?

    Applicants from across the globe are regularly accepted every year. We cannot provide accommodation and students will NOT be working directly with animals.

    Can't get to Edinburgh or the Highland Wildlife Park this year?

    If you love the idea of this course but are unable to physically attend due to logistical issues, perhaps you would be interested in RZSS Zoo Studies: a week-long online course broadcast live from Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park from July 12th 2021. Like the free Science Summer School, this course is designed for learners over the age of 16 and covers elements of behavioural research, conservation, animal welfare and zoo design.

    Unlike the free Science Summer School, the Zoo Studies course can be completed flexibly from the comfort of your own home. In addition, students who successfully complete all assessment on the Zoo Studies course will be able to gain a Zoo Environment Behavioural Research Award (ZEBRA Award) courtesy of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. Because of the very different styles of learning that take place, and the ability to gain additional accreditation through Zoo Studies, students may even see the benefit of attending both programmes.

    Find out more about Zoo Studies here.

  • Where can I get more help?

    Get in touch with us at education@rzss.org.uk and we'll do our best to help!

Zoo Studies

  • What is it?

    RZSS Zoo Studies is a virtual week of animal behaviour, conservation and discovery! Meet our amazing animals and discover what happens in a modern zoo. This distance-learning course which will combine live content and interactive online workshops over the course of the week to guide you through the various course assessments. Successful completion of this course will gain learners a Zoo Environment Behavioural Research Award (ZEBRA) courtesy of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS). This course can be done from the comfort of your own home but get you real life experience in ethology: the study of animal behaviour!

    By using our live webcams at Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park, plus a wealth of unique and original learning materials, we aim to give you a grounding in the importance of behavioural research to the operation of zoos and wider conservation globally.

  • Why do Zoo Studies?

    This is a fantastic opportunity to gain insight into the world of zoos and conservation. In times where it has been so difficult for people to build their CV’s and gain practical experience to benefit their career, we hope that you see this as a fantastic opportunity to gain real world experience from the comfort of your own home.

    In addition, successful completion of all course assessments will lead to you being awarded with a ZEBRA Award (Zoo Environment Behavioural research Award) courtesy of RZSS.

  • How does it work?

    By signing-up to this online course you will gain access to RZSS’s moodle-based online learning platform ZOOdle. Through this, and regular live broadcasts (hosted on Zoom) from our team, we will guide you through a 5-day programme that will explore the 4 course modules. Through this you will be able to engage with the topics of Behavioural Research, Conservation, Animal Welfare and Zoo Design in your own time.

    As you proceed through the course modules you will encounter 5 course assessments, which can be submitted online. Everything on the course will be within one virtual classroom for easy access where you can see each day’s activities clearly laid out. Even the behavioural research project learners complete will be conducted remotely, with learners collecting project data via our live RZSS webcams based at Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park.

    You will need a device with internet access so that you can check in each morning and access the activities for the day. Before your week begins, you’ll be sent a log in details and a password and the link you’ll need for setting up your access to the online Zoodle classroom.

    The course has been designed to allow learners to complete it flexibly Live content is recorded to be enjoyed at leisure if the original broadcast time was not possible to attend for the individual, and the deadline for assessment completion with be a minimum of 4 weeks from the course start date, despite all live content being concluded within the first week (Monday – Friday).

  • Who is it for?

    Available to learners globally, participants of this course must be over the age of 16. If it sounds of interest, we encourage you to join us!

    RZSS regularly run this course for students aged 16-18 year olds, as well as separate events targeted at adult learners over the age of 19.

    Please book the event most suitable for your age range.

    Aside from age, there are no formal entry requirements for this course!

  • When is it?

    The week-long programme runs multiple times a year (often during academic holidays), but each repeat will follow the same basic structure.

    The course will start on Monday morning with a Live session hosted on zoom with our education team to introduce the course. Over the week, online content and several subsequent live workshops (all hosted between the hours of 9.00am-4.00pm) will guide you through the course until the Friday of your booked week. After this, learners will have a further 3 weeks available to them to explore the online learning resources on ZOOdle and complete course assessment before the assessment deadline. The additional weeks are available however as a courtesy to facilitate flexi-studying, but there is no reason that all course work shouldn’t be completed within the single week of the course if this is what you plan.

     

    Head to the Zoo Studies webpages to find out when the next repeat of this online course is scheduled. For 16-18 year olds click here. If you are aged 19 or over click here.

    Zoo Studies (16-18) | RZSS

    Zoo Studies (19+) | RZSS

  • How much does it cost?

    The cost for participation on the course is set at £75 per person with a discounted rate of £50.00 per learner for students currently in full-time education. This is a single course fee with no further hidden charges, gaining learners both access to the extensive course content online whilst also covering the post-completion administration relating to issuing of ZEBRA Awards upon successful completion.

  • How do I book?

    You will find links to book onto the latest repeats of this event via our course website:

    16-18 year old event

    Event for learners aged 19 years or older

     

  • Is there a waiting list?

    Yes. Should all tickets for your chosen event be sold-out, you will be asked is you wish to be added to the event waiting list. This means in the event of cancelled bookings or more tickets being released you will be automatically made aware though Eventbrite.

  • What supplies or materials will I need?

    Essentially you will need access to an internet-enabled computer to engage with the course on both the ZOOdle online learning platform and zoom. To complete the course assessment you may wish to ensure you have access to Microsoft Office (e.g. for word-processing or spreadsheeting purposes) or other computer programmes for your design task. However, these are optional, and it should be noted that all assessments can be completed to a high standard with as little as a paper and pen/pencil.

  • Do I have to be on the computer the whole time?

    No, it is entirely down to you – Delivery of this course is blended, encouraging a wide range of cross-curricular individual study, social groupwork, interactive live workshops, formative assessment, and creative project work to stimulate interdisciplinary learning. Presented from both Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park, all live content will conclude by the end of the booked week. Recordings of the LIVE broadcasts will be recorded and made available via our online learning platform ZOOdle after each event, and learners will retain access to ZOOdle for a further 3 weeks after their booked week to support flexible learners. This should ensure extensive additional time for completion of course assessments if they wish to receive the ZEBRA qualification.

  • How safe is the online classroom?

    The classroom will only be accessible to those who have signed up to the course. You will be sent account details before your week begins and the course will be monitored by our zoo team. We are also fully committed to the security and privacy of users’ data.

  • Can I change my booking?

    If you've made a mistake when booking, we will do our best to make changes if we can, but as these events are very heavily subscribed this may not be possible, so please make sure you choose the right dates and age groups to avoid disappointment!

    Contact us at education@rzss.org.uk

  • Can I cancel my booking?

    Please contact us at education@rzss.org.uk to arrange your cancellation. We will refund your charges through Eventbrite.

  • Can I attend if I do not live in the UK?

    Yes, students from other countries are welcome to attend Zoo Studies. It is recommended that students have at least a good command of English in order to get the most out of the workshops.

  • Where can I get more help?

    Get in touch with us at education@rzss.org.uk and we'll do our best to get back to you ASAP.

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