Back to school activities

Captivate your class as the new school year begins with a host of fun and inspiring OPAL science activities.

We'll show you how your school grounds can become an outdoor laboratory, and take you through the steps to find and identify a range of flora and fauna.



Lichen on a branchLichens are fascinating organisms and can tell us about local air quality and pollution. Which species can your class find?

Look for lichens with the Air Survey

People doing the Tree Health SurveyInvestigate the health of trees in your school grounds, learn to measure their height, and look for pests and diseases that can affect them.

Take part in the Tree Health Survey

A ladybird on a leafRace against the clock to find and identify as many invertebrates as you can. Who will find the most bugs?

Take the Bugs Count challenge


The Learning Lab

Learning Lab screengrab

Discover what data can do, test your nature knowledge and learn about our surveys.

The world of OPAL is at your fingertips in our interactive online learning tool for schoolchildren.

Visit the Learning Lab


Discover heathland

Heathland plants

Lowland heathland is one of Britain's rarest and most threatened habitats.

Teach your pupils more about it – and the unique plants and animals living there – with our resources.

Heathland teaching resources


Crest – OPAL activities

Girls looking at lichens

CREST is a science award scheme for schools and colleges run by the British Science Association.

Earn awards by completing science projects and use OPAL resources to help you.

Crest Star – for ages 5-12

Crest Awards – for ages 11-19


Education packs

Woman showing a leopard slug to schoolchildren

From animal tracking to tree maths, discover the environment with these curriculum-linked activities.

Explore the great outdoors with your class this autumn, and take part in follow-up activities when you get back to the classroom.

Download our education packs