OPAL for schools

OPAL surveys are a fantastic way to take teaching outdoors, learn new skills and contribute to real scientific research.

Take part in OPAL surveys

Quick suggestions:

  • Find simplified survey materials for young children in our Resources section.
  • Download easy-to-print Bugs Count recording sheets on the Bugs Count Survey page.

Watch it:

Tree health survey – Ecologist Mike Dilger introduces our guide to examining trees in your garden, school or park. OPAL Learning Lab – find out how you can get involved in OPAL surveys. Play in our Learning Lab to find out more.

Recording sheets

Download easy-to-print recording sheets for schools (black and white)

Popular teacher downloads

CREST – OPAL activities

Girls looking at lichens

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

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

Lesson plans

Children taking part in the OPAL Water Survey

Get guidance on adapting OPAL surveys for your lessons

Our free lesson plans and curriculum guides take you step-by-step through teaching OPAL surveys to your pupils:


Education packs

Woman showing a leopard slug to schoolchildren

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

Explore the great outdoors in every season, and take part in follow-up activities when you get back to the classroom:


Mission: Explore

Boy with insect in a jar

Discover the world through a series of challenges, and earn points as you go. Can you top the leaderboard?

Look out for the OPAL missions to earn your Nature Explorer reward:


Useful links