Secondary schools at the Garden

A visit to the Botanic Garden is an ideal opportunity for children and students to engage with the natural environment. Our collections include plants from tropical rainforests, deserts, mountains and bogs. We also have a range of fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants.

Our sessions are not classroom-based but include a variety of hands-on activities.  We aim to promote a love of the natural environment, to support and encourage future generations of botanists and conservationists.

About school visits

The Garden offers a range of sessions to enhance the curriculum for Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. A visit typically lasts between ninety minutes and two hours, and has a capacity of 35 students.

Please note that there is a charge for all education sessions. Our sessions fill up quickly, so book early to avoid disappointment.

School sessions do not include a general tour of the Garden, so please make sure you book extra time with us if you wish to explore the Garden afterwards.

Science sessions

Azalea and Handkerchief Tree

Plants as living things: Key Stage 3

This session covers the similarities and differences between plants and animals; the process of photosynthesis and the carbon cycle; the role of plants in ecosystems; and the importance of biodiversity.

Wildflowers and Bee

Plants and human health: Key Stage 4

This session covers the role of plants in the discovery and development of new medicines; feeding a growing population, productivity and plant diseases; and the importance of biodiversity.

Seeds in the Meadow

Conservation preservation: Key Stage 5

This session covers the importance of habitat, species and genetic diversity; the role of classification in understanding species diversity; factors that put biodiversity at risk; and the conservation process.

Art and geography sessions

Arid House

Art in the Garden: all Key Stages

Art students are able to explore the historic Walled Garden, the less formal Lower Garden and see the exotic plants in the Glasshouses. 

On arrival, students and teachers will be given a short introduction to the collection and some guidance about getting the most from their visit.

The suggested length for an art visit is between one and two hours.


People, plants and places: Key Stage 3

This session includes activities based on: understanding the similarities and differences between the environments of the world; the study of a rainforest biome, and the factors and processes that affect the things that live there; and the production of food and use of natural resources. 

The suggested length for a geography visit is between one and two hours.

Self-led geography activities for Key Stage 5 

Please contact for further information.

Cross-curricular programmes

The Botanic Garden is one of the University of Oxford's six collections. If you are interested in combining a visit to the Garden with a visit to one of the University Museums, please contact to discuss possible programmes and themes.


Session Max numbers Charge
Secondary school half-day session facilitated by Education Officer 60 £100.00
Secondary school full-day session facilitated by Education Officer 60 £200.00
Introduction to the Garden for secondary school art groups (20 minutes) 60 £35.00
Add-on to facilitated visit: Self-guided sketching (45 minutes) 35 £20.00
Bespoke school programmes (full day, selection of workshops) Flexible Contact us
Lunch room at the Botanic Garden (45 minutes) 35 £20.00

How to book

You can make a booking enquiry online or call us on 01865 286 690, to arrange your visit.

You will receive booking confirmation with our standard terms and conditions. An invoice will follow.

Information for your visit

Find out more about how to prepare for your visit, what to expect during it and follow-up activities for afterwards.

Teacher training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

We are passionate about the natural world, and believe it can be used as a springboard to teach a range of topics. Our practical hands-on courses will fill you with confidence, and will introduce you to a range of exciting ideas that you can take back to school. Find out more about our upcoming Teacher CPD programme.

Not a UK school?

Due to limited education staffing and high demand from UK schools, we cannot run facilitated sessions for schools visiting from outside the UK. If you would like to visit the Garden please book a group visit

Booking your visit

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