Daily School Programmes
The NZG’s daily lessons are facilitated to school groups visiting the zoo from Mondays to Fridays. Schools are encouraged to book for these lessons, but many schools arrive unannounced. Lessons for learners in the Foundation and Intermediate Phases are conducted at different stations scattered throughout the zoo. Teachers are thus encouraged to guide learners through the zoo, making use of the educational lessons at the stations. As these lessons are relatively short and interactive (15 – 20 minutes) and are interspersed with viewing animals in enclosures, they are within younger learners’ attention span.
Lessons for the Senior and FET Phases are more structured. These start in the NZG’s Education Centre and are followed by further activities in the zoo. The vast majority of learners visiting the NZG are in the Foundation Phase, while the numbers of FET learners are relatively low.
The following Daily Lessons are facilitated:
|Foundation||Don’t Litter||15 – 20 min||Main picnic area|
|Foundation||National Symbols||15 – 20 min||Sammy Marks fountain|
|Foundation||The Majestic Elephant||15 – 20 min||Elephant enclosure|
|Intermediate||Discovering Reptiles||20 min||Reptile Park lapa|
|Intermediate & Senior||The Microscopic World||20 min||Aquarium|
|FET||Understanding Biodiversity||120 min||Education Centre & Zoo|
|FET||The Application of Genetics||120 min||Education Centre & Zoo|
Themed lessons are facilitated during a certain time of the year only. These last for about one hour, leaving schools enough time to view the rest of the zoo, aquarium and reptile park. Most of the lessons consist of a number of stations (usually five or six) where different aspects of the lesson are dealt with. The learners from a particular school are thus divided into smaller groups, which then rotate from station to station. Themed lessons are usually linked to a national or international focus event, such as National Water Week or National Marine Week, and explore the theme in depth.
These Themed Lessons are facilitated:
|Intermediate||National Water Week||March||Picnic area|
|Intermediate||The Magic of Owls||May||Owl enclosures|
|Intermediate||National Science Week||August||Dispersed throughout zoo|
|Intermediate & Senior||Ecosystems||September||Apies River bridge|
|Intermediate||Seas and Oceans Alive||September||Aquarium|
As relatively few high schools visit the National Zoo, science festivals are attended to reach this target group. The NZG usually participates in science festivals which are within easy travelling distance in Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and the Free State, but even SciFest in the Eastern Cape may be attended. The NZG’s participation consists both of an informal display which is visited by learners at random, and formal lessons which are facilitated in an auditorium. These are:
|Senior & FET||Micro-Zooming||Informal||NZG display|
|Senior & FET||Understanding Biodiversity||Informal||NZG display|
|Senior & FET||The Applications of Genetics||60 min||Auditorium|