Secondary schools programmes

Teachers can choose from a wide range of topics in biology, the expressive arts, and geography. We also have special courses which are available for one week only. Book early to avoid disappointment!

Please download our current schools programme from the 'Downloads' box on 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. Pleae contact us to discuss your requirements.

Times and Prices

Secondary programmes generally run from 10am - 2pm although this may vary from programme to programme.

The cost is £3.50 per pupil for all programmes except Art in the Garden and Photographing Plants which cost £4.50 per pupil. There is also an additional £25 materials cost per class for these two programmes.

2009 - 10 Secondary Programmes

Biology Courses

Students working on RBGE course materialWorld of Plants Standard Grade S3-4

Available September - October & April - June, 10am - 2pm
World of Plants Education Pack (reusable): £15.00

This programme is designed to cover the requirements of the ‘Introducing Plants' and ‘Growing Plants' topics within the Standard Grade Biology Curriculum. Accompanied by pre-visit lesson-plan, worksheets and DVD, it includes a practical workshop and self-guided Glasshouse tour.

Intermediate 1: Growing Plants Unit S3-5

November - March, 10am - 12.30pm

A behind-the-scenes guided tour of the Garden and Nursery to familiarise students with the propagation and cultivation of plants. We aim to stress the relevance of this unit to horticultural careers.

Plant Adaptation Higher S5

A Cactus has made incredible adaptations to cope with the harshest conditions.Available November - March, 10am - 1pm

This two-part programme is based on Unit 2: Genetics and Adaptation. It involves a practical workshop carrying out experiments from the Higher Biology Syllabus and a guided tour of the Glasshouses focusing on hydrophytes and xerophytes. Follow-up work is provided and the practical can be written up for assessment.

Advanced Higher Biology S6

Please contact us for availability

We can offer a number of possible topics from the Advanced Higher Syllabus such as issues with invasive plants or electron microscopy. Please contact us on to discuss your needs.

Art Courses

Art in the Garden

Available all year, 10am - 2pm

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 Third Level, S1-2

Available all year, 10am - 2pm

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.

Geography Courses

Rainforest Plants and People CfE Third level, S1-2

September - March, 10am - 1pm

Tropical rainforests are the richest ecosystems on Earth. They are also home to many peoples around the world. Find out about indigenous use of plants, about how we in the west use these resources and investigate ways of managing them.

Special Courses

Plant Hunters (Expedition Week May 2011) CfE Third Level, S1-2

10am - 2pm

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.

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