Year levels

Foundation, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6, Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10, VCAL


See Plan Your Visit


Monday to Friday (during school term)


Aboriginal Culture, Australian Animals

Healesville Sanctuary’s flexible Inclusive Learning program offers a unique experience for students to engage with animals and learn about their care.

Program description

This flexible and real-life learning experience offers a unique experience for students to engage with Australian animals and learn about their care. The program addresses the needs of students through adaptive teacher-led activities, student-led exploration and information that is presented both orally and visually.

Students will learn:

  • About the features of Australian Animals
  • What animals need to survive
  • How to care for animals
  • About Aboriginal culture

This program supports students with:

  • Disabilities – Physical, Learning, Visual, Auditory
  • Additional Learning Needs – Autism Spectrum, Emotional and Behavioural Disorders
  • English as an Additional Language – refugees, recently arrived migrants and students visiting from overseas

Program sequence

Before your visit

Connect and Understand

Use the activities in the Teaching Guide (below) to help your students prepare for their visit. The guide includes links to sensory maps and social stories. You can also use the activities to spark your students' curiosity and develop their knowledge and skills.

During your visit

Connect and Understand  

Foundation to Year 2 
Students can become active explorers at Healesville Sanctuary, learning about the needs of animals and how we can care for them. The sights, sounds, smells and immersive environment of the Sanctuary allows for student choice and self-paced discovery of living things. Students are encouraged to emotionally connect with and develop empathy and respect for animals, Aboriginal culture and nature. Recommended for students up to Level 3 ability.

Year 3 to 10 
Students will build independence, challenge themselves and look deeper into wildlife conservation at the Sanctuary. Students will have access to biological artefacts, allowing them to connect, compare and problem solve. They will meet a variety of Australian animals while they solve inquiry-based problems and learn about their relationship to species in the wild. They will also learn about Aboriginal culture. Recommended for students above Level 3 ability. 

Your zoo visit will include: A Welcome (for arrivals between 9:50 am – 10:10 am), a Sanctuary Teacher workshop (40 minutes), Spirits of the Sky presentation and keeper talks. Check out your Teaching Guide for other ideas of what to do at the Sanctuary.

After your visit

Use activities in the Teaching Guide to deepen students’ learning back at school. 

Use the Teaching Guide to enable students to master their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts. 

Program maps and itineraries

Digital maps will be provided to you on the day.

Plan your excursion 

Inclusive Learning is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. This could include a raincoat, hat and sun protection.

School groups will enter Healesville Sanctuary via the Main Entrance. Organising teachers please check in with our Admissions team upon arrival. More information.  

All onsite excursion bookings are subject to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and as such are subject to change in line with the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s advice. We will be in contact with all teachers prior to their booked date if we need to clarify any new requirements. See the COVID-Safe information for schools before your visit.

Book your education experience

Fill out an online form to request a booking for your zoo education experience

Request booking now

You will need to know the following to book your zoo excursion or online workshop:

  • Education program of your choice (if applicable)
  • Preferred date
  • School name and address
  • Contact details of organising teacher
  • Number of students/classes and their year level