Evolution & Adaptations (KS2)


Evolution and Adaptations is designed to support classroom learning on inheritance, and how that leads to the evolution of adaptations (through natural selection). It directly links to the Working Scientifically part of the Upper KS2 Programme of Study, but the emphasis is on Evolution and Inheritance (Year 6).  

This session involves interactive challenges and lots of open-ended questions to help your students develop and demonstrate their understanding of these topics. Pupils are encouraged to work scientifically throughout by using their observations to answer questions.  It ends with a Q&A where your students can pose their questions to us! By using the species we care for at the Zoo, and our conservation work out in the field, we can provide context to your classroom teaching – without your students having to leave the classroom. 

Digital Outreach an Evolution and Adaptation session

Age Group: KS2 (7-11 years old)
Duration: 45 minutes
Capacity: 35 students
Cost of session: £45 per class

 At ZSL London Zoo this session is delivered indoors and we aim to use live animals in this session. However we cannot guarantee they will be present- animals can fall ill or be unwilling to be handled, and their welfare is ZSL’s first priority. 

At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo this session is delivered outdoors with one of our flagship species in the background, but this is not guaranteed and is weather dependent.

We recommend Microsoft Teams as the platform for delivering the Digital Outreach sessions. If you do not use this in your classroom already, other platforms are available to use upon request.


BOOK NOW BY emailing learning@zsl.org 


Upon booking you will be sent a set up guide including support for setting up the session, a full session outline, key words glossary and pre- & post-session activity suggestions.

Visiting the Zoo too?

This session can be offered as a standalone session, or can be delivered as a follow up after a Zoo visit. If you are also visiting one of our Zoos we recommend booking the World Habitats education session (at ZSL London Zoo) or Darwin’s Dilemma (at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo) or Habitats and Adaptations (at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo). If you book your Zoo visit and digital outreach session at the same time we will provide additional student worksheets for use around the Zoo.

An Evolution & Adaptations digital outreach session after your Zoo visit is a great opportunity to review what the students learnt at the Zoo and use their new scientific vocabulary in context by discussing evolution and adaptations.

National Curriculum links:

KS2 Science

Year 6 Programme of Study
Evolution and inheritance
Upper KS2 Programme of Study
Working Scientifically

Recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents

Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment and that adaptation may lead to evolution

Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations

Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Intended learning outcomes:

Pupils will:

  • Gain an understanding of the difference between “adaptations” (features of an animal to help it survive in its habitat) and “evolution” (the process by which these features come about)
  • Be able to give examples of adaptations in species and explain how they help that species to survive within its habitat.
  • Gain an understanding that variation within a species and inheritance of beneficial traits is how species can evolve to become adapted to suit their environment (the process of natural selection).

Digital Outreach Technology

We recommend Microsoft Teams as the platform for delivering the Digital Outreach sessions. If you do not use this in your classroom already, other platforms are available to use upon request.

An essential, free Test Call is also booked at the time of booking the Digital Outreach session. This enables us to ensure the connection works before the actual session takes place. This test call must happen at least one week before the date of the booked session. 

Please have the following information to hand before booking a Digital Outreach session:

  • Contact email for teacher
  • Direct phone contact for the day in case of  connection problems
  • A suitable date for your test call to take place (between 15:30 and 16:30 Mon-Fri)

TO BOOK A SESSION: Please email learning@zsl.org