Primary Schools Programme

Our Education Centre is located at the Upper Lake in Glendalough. We offer a free Nature Awareness programme for primary schools with several themes, designed for all age groups.

How To Book

  • Ring early—we book up quickly.
  • We only take bookings by phone (0404-45656). 
  • Our service is free of charge. (However, there may be a charge for parking.)
  • We insist that groups bring at least one adult leader for every 10 children.

Primary School Programme at a a glance


For All Ages

Nature Awareness Day

Age Range: Any—This is a good choice for schools that are bringing a wide age range.

Time of Year: Any

On our Nature Awareness Day, children are encouraged to explore nature using a variety of fun activities that make full use of the five senses. This programme borrows activities from our entire range of themes. A typical Nature Awareness day includes:

  • A treasure hunt
  • A scavenger hunt
  • A nature walk full of fun activities

For Infants

Nature For Infants

Age Range: Senior & Junior Infants.

Time of Year: Any, but preferably during the warmer months.

This is a fun day that focuses on introducing Nature to the very young through a series of age-specific activities. A typical Nature For Infants day might include:

  • A Scavenger Hunt.
  • Exploring plants, bugs and larger animals 
  • Basic food chains
  • Drama & other fun activities

For 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Classes

Wildlife & Wilderness

Age Range: 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th classes

Time of the Year: Any. 

Most children know a certain amount about lions, tigers and other foreign wildlife. But many Irish children are unaware of the wildlife in their own country. Do we have beavers in Ireland? How easy is it to see a badger? Do deer eat sheep? This day focuses on our Irish mammals, birds, frogs and lizard. The programme for the Wildlife & Wilderness day is as follows:

  • A wildlife themed treasure hunt 
  • Birdwatching (using real binoculars, images of birds in the trees, and a simple bird identification chart)
  • A scavenger hunt
  • A wildlife safari, looking for tracks & signs of mammals & birds, and exploring their homes and habitats. Why do certain animals live in certain places? 
  • A wildlife quiz. (If time permits)
  • If we are very lucky, we may even spot a wild red squirrel, a deer, or a herd of wild goats. (But no promises!)

Bug Safari

Age Range: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th classes

Time of Year: March to October only; the warmer the weather, the better the bugs!

Bugs are fascinating! The bug world is full of drama, with herbivores and carnivores of all shapes and sizes. It is truly a bug eat bug world out there! From lowly earthworms to beautiful butterflies, bugs are found in every habitat. A typical Bug Safari day includes the following:

  • A bug treasure hunt
  • A bug slide show
  • A bug hunt, exploring the bugs of several habitats, and using bug jars, nets, pooters, and beating sheets. Bug themed activities also feature.
  • A bug quiz

Irish Jungle

Age Group: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th classes

Time of Year: April to October, when the leaves are on the trees. 

Many of Ireland’s children are growing up with no knowledge of common wild flowers and trees. On an Irish Jungle day, children will discover the difference between a daisy and a dandelion, and much, much more... 

A typical Irish Jungle day includes the following:

  • A plant treasure hunt
  • A plant slide show
  • A plant exploration walk, looking at trees, algae, lichens, flowers, and shrubs, and exploring how plants gather their energy from the sun, what eats plants and how plants fight back.
  • Fun activities using blindfolds and other props will help introduce plants to children in a fun way.
  • A plant quiz is an optional extra, if time allows.

Mini Bioblitz / Biodiversity Day

Age Range: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th classes

Time of Year: Any.

A Bioblitz is a race to record species. Our National Parks join a nationwide 24 hour Bioblitz each year. This smaller version encourages children to discover the wide variety of life around them. It also fits perfectly into the Green Schools Biodiversity programme.  A typical Mini Bioblitz includes the following:

  • A treasure hunt
  • A Bioblitz walk to see how many species we can find. 
  • A wildlife quiz is an optional extra, if time allows.

For 5th & 6th Classes

Take A Hike

Age Range: 5th & 6th classes

Time of the Year: Any

 A hike around Glendalough can be a great way to explore nature. Our hikes vary from heading up a steep hill to admire a fabulous view, to a flat walk to explore ancient ruins. We also introduce the children to Leave No Trace. Leave No Trace is an outdoor ethics programme that encourages us all to look after our surroundings. A typical Take A Hike Day includes the following:

  • A Leave No Trace treasure hunt
  • A walk to explore Glendalough and to discuss the seven principles of Leave No Trace 
  • A Leave No Trace quiz (if time allows)

Habitats Day

Age Range: 5th & 6th classes

Time of the Year: Any

The valley of Glendalough contains many wonderful habitats - evergreen and deciduous woodlands, grasslands, rivers, lakes, bogs and heaths, and more. Our Habitats Day is designed for 5th and 6th classes. It uses a simple worksheet, and teachers will be expected to photocopy a worksheet for each child. 

A typical Habitats Day includes the following:

  • A habitats themed treasure hunt
  • A habitats slide show
  • A habitats study with a worksheet and fun activities 
  • A habitats debate