Primary schools programmes

Teachers can choose from the many of topics on offer here at RBGE. Programmes cover environmental studies and expressive arts to science, geography and biology. We also have special programmes that run for one week only. Book early to avoid disappointment!

Download our current schools education programme via the 'Downloads' box to the right.


To enquire about availability or to make a booking, please telephone our schools booking line on 0131 248 2937. We cannot accept bookings made by email or via the enquiry form.

For any other enquiries about our programmes, you can contact the Education department via our enquiry form (select ‘Education'), or telephone our schools booking line on 0131 248 2937.

Special Needs Pupils

We are always happy to welcome pupils with special needs, and can tailor the activities in any of the programmes for mixed groups. Please contact to us to discuss your requirements.

Primary Programmes

Times and Prices

Half day programmes (10am - 12pm OR 12.30pm - 2pm) cost £3.50 per pupil.

Full day programmes (10am - 2pm) cost £4.50 per pupil.

Art in the Garden/Photographing Plants programmes have an additional materials cost of £25 per class.

Special Programmes

Gaelic Week (April 2011)

With the support of Comunn na Gaidhlig, one of our primary programmes will be led by a Gaelic-speaking presenter throughout one week in April. Please contact us via the schools booking line on 0131 248 2937 for more details.

Panda's Journey (Expedition Week May 2011) (P1-3)

Full day
Explore the Garden following in the footsteps of the Giant Panda. What does the Panda need to survive and can we find those things at the Botanics? This new programme will help introduce children to a simple food chain and how living things in the environment depend on each other. Join us on this adventure and learn more about the garden too.

Plant Hunters (Expedition Week May 2011) (CfE First, Second and Third Level, P4-7, S1-2)

Full day
Follow in the footsteps of the some of the great plant hunters and learn useful expedition skills. This programme celebrates the links between Scotland and China using the magnificant special collections of Chinese plants growing at the Botanics. It offers an excellent opportunity to address the four capacities of the CfE and approaches the topic in a multi-disciplinary way.

Regular Programmes 

Teddy Bears' Picnic (P1-3)

Available April - June, Full day
Edward Bear invites your pupils and their teddies to take a magical adventure, learn about the wonders of nature and discover how living things obtain the necessities of life.

Exploring the living world with RBGE’s Senses programme.Senses (P1-3)

Available all year, Half day 
Take an amazing sensory journey through the natural world. Be guided by your senses and explore your environment in astounding and unexpected ways.

Plants We Use (P1-3, P4-7)

Available all year, Half day
What plants do we use every day and what do we use them for? From the common to the exotic uses include food, clothing and shelter, but do you know where the plants come from or which parts of the plant we use? Discover how plants benefit our society and join us on a global journey of discovery to explore the links between plants, people and the environment.

Rainforest Adventure (P1-3, P4-7)

Available September - March, Half day
Join us on an adventure through the richest and most diverse ecosystem on Earth. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of these precious environments and learn the secrets of their plants and people.

Learn all about our native woodlands with RBGE’s Scottish Trees programme.Scottish Trees (P1-3, P4-7)

Available September - October & April - June, Half day
Learn how to recognise our native Scottish trees. Discover the stories that surround them and their traditional uses. Explore the biodiversity of Scotland's woodlands and the important role they play in our lives.

Green Kingdom (P4-7)

Available all year, Half day
Discover ways of classifying plants into groups and experience using some of the tools scientists use to observe them. Make sketches along the way to record your findings.

The Life of Plants (P4-7)

Available all year, Half day
Focus on the world of plants and their amazing lifecycles. This is an opportunity to discover everything from the secrets of seeds to the power of pollination.

Art in the Garden (P1-3, P4-7)

Available all year, Full day
Join our Art Specialists for a practical workshop inspired by the world of plants. Discover the wonders of the ‘green kingdom' and transform your discoveries into art through the media of batik, printing or willow sculpture.

Photographing Plants (CfE First, Second and Third Level, P5-7, S1-2)

Available all year, Full day
This is Art serving Science and a perfect tool for meeting the Curriculum for Excellence. This special programme first explores the issues of quality 'picture-taking'. Classes then tackle an Academic Challenge putting theory into practice, using our digital cameras to gather images from our extensive plant collections to illustrate a chosen topic. A variety of topics, including plant life cycles, biodiversity, marketing or any idea of your own, are presented as a Critical Skills Challenge. Contact us for further details.

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)