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, Christmas Mincemeat Hunt & Lotions and Potions programmes have an additional materials cost of £25 per class.

Special Programmes

Light lab Workshop (March 2016)

Available 14th - 18th March 2016, £2.50/pupil
Learn how light and lenses work in the Light Lab using camera obscuras with science communicator and light artist Kenny Bean. Please contact us for times and availability. 

Gaelic Week (April 2016)

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.

Lotions and Potions - NEW (April 2016)

Available 25th - 29th April 2016, Half day
Learn to use plants and herbal extractions to make useful body products in this new hands on workshop. Students will get to make their own lotions and potions to take away and use. This is an interdisciplinary programme covering sciences, health and wellbeing, and arts. There is a £25 additional charge per class for materials.

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.

Secrets of Trees (P1-3)

Available September-October and April - June, Half day
Follow our journey through the parts of the trees from roots to leaves to seeds to discover their secrets. Explore using your senses and find out how trees are important to our lives.

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 Quest (P1-3)

Available September - March, Half day
This quest will take children on a journey into the tropical rainforest to help us solve a puzzle while finding and learning about key rainforest plants.

Rainforest Adventure (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 (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.

Hot & Cold (P4-7)

Available all year, Full day
Climate affects every living thing so come along and investigate how plants have adapted to flourish in different habitats. Explore our plant collections to gather information and journey from the tropical rainforest to the desert, and then to harsh mountain conditions. Makes notes of your findings in your own field notebook.

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)