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Heythrop Zoological Gardens, based in Chipping Norton, West Oxfordshire, is the largest providers of animals for film, TV, advertising, natural history documentaries, photography and live events in Europe. Our animals have appeared in favourites such as Harry Potter and Big Barn Farm and have worked with David Attenborough and a host of pop stars and actors. We have been running roadshows at special events for the past 40 years and now offer a tailor-made service to schools.

As we all know, outcomes across the curriculum improve when pupils learn from first-hand experience. Therefore, what could be better when starting a Science project than to investigate real live animals visiting your school, complete with trainers who can give educational talks and answer questions?

Develop investigation and communication skills

The roadshows aim to capture pupils’ interest in nature and help them to understand conservation issues for animals in the wild, including their history and the cultures they are part of. Close encounters with animals can also inspire poetry, music, dance, artwork and pieces of drama after the visit. Events are structured to enable pupils to explore the animals in detail so that they have lots of information to use in follow-up work. Recording the animals through photography and drawing is encouraged, as is using vocabulary to describe their characteristics and their relationship to other animals and their environment.

Choose from National Curriculum linked themes, or suggest your own:

Creepy Crawlies – a selection of reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates, including non-venomous snakes (large and small), giant toads and tarantulas.

Adaptation Roadshow  – how animals adapt to their environment. A typical package would include:

Squirrel monkey (South American)
Kookaburra (Australian)
Boa constrictor (South American)
Iguana (South American)
Tarantula (South American)

Endangered Species – specifically looking at conservation issues of animals in the wild.

All events are tailor-made to your school and can link to: KS1 & 2 Science Breadth of Study Life processes and Living things; KS2 & 3 Geographical enquiry; & KS2 & 3 Scientific enquiry into habitats, adaption and food chains


Before the event:

  • Receive digital images of the animals visiting your school to share with pupils.
  • Develop investigation, questioning & ICT skills by emailing pupil enquiries to the trainers, to be answered on the day of the event.

During the event:

  • Provide large numbers of pupils with memorable curriculum-linked experiences without the need for transport.
  • Be close enough to the animals to take photographs and investigate how they move and interact with their environment.
  • Help pupils become more aware of the needs of animals and how they are cared for.

After the event:

  • Use children and teachers’ photographs, notes, word banks and sketches to inform cross-curricular work.

Schools need to provide a warm holding room for our staff to assemble the animals and change (particularly in the winter months). Students will need access to digital cameras and notebooks. Events run from 10am-3pm or 9am-2pm (both with an hour break) and can involve pupils from all classes divided across the time, representing outstanding value at around £2 per pupil for an average size primary school.

We have a massive selection of animals available, including: owls, meerkats, skunks, armadillos, llamas, crested porcupines, baby crocodiles, camels and donkeys


“Wow! What an utterly fabulous visit from your amazing animals and their equally amazing handlers! The children have not stopped talking about it! Please pass on our huge appreciation to the lovely ladies who shared so much information about each animal. The Oxford Mail contacted us to find out what we had been doing for Book Week and we were able to tell them about the experience from Amazing Animals.
Thank you so much for the truly amazing experience”

Abingdon Prep School


“10 out of 10. It was an absolutely amazing day and the children and staff loved every minute. The children were in Reception and Year One were so inspired by the day that they independently made a penguin, took a penguin home and wrote thank you letters about their day. A child said ‘This is the best day of my life’ and another said ‘Do they have to go home’.

Can I just say Emma and Mary were absolutely fantastic and the children really liked them both.They were fantastic with the children and the way they communicated with the different age groups. All the staff and children spoke very highly of them and I think they have inspired most of the school to work with animals!!!!

I cannot Thank you all enough for making this day possible for us all. It has ended the year in a magical way for the children in Team Happy Feet.”

Herstmonceux Primary School

“Just wanted to send you a quick email to tell you how impressed we all were with the animal roadshow on Friday. Staff and students really enjoyed the whole day and Grace and Beth both did a wonderful job.”

St Ivo School


Amazing Animals, Heythrop Zoological Gardens Ltd, Green Lane, Heythrop, Chipping Norton, Oxon, OX7 5TU