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Key Stage 4 - Plant adaptations to the environment activity tour

In this session, secondary school students learn about physiological adaptations which allow plants to survive in a variety of environments, including the various photosynthetic pathways (CAM, C3 and C4 pathways). Choose between the 45 minute activity tour and the 90 minute extended activity tour.
Carnivorous plants inside the Princess of Wales Conservatory

Carnivorous plants in the Princess of Wales Conservatory.


Students discover that many plants and animals are particularly suited to the environment they live in. They also learn how plants survive in arid environments using a variety of water retention strategies and anti-predation mechanisms, and how plants survive in the damp and dark environment of the wet tropics and the low-nutrient environment of bogs and marshes.  

In the 45 minute activity tour, students focus on plant adaptations to the wet tropics or plant adaptations to the dry tropics.

In the 90 minute extended activity tour, students explore the wet tropics, the dry tropics and additional environments as time allows, such as aquatic environments and/or low nutrient environments.

  • Length: Activity tour - 45 minutes | Extended activity tour - 90 minutes
  • Group size: 15 students
  • Minimum supervision required: 1 adult per 10 students
  • Programme cost: See our Prices and FAQs page for more information

Prices and FAQs

Learning outcomes

School visits at Kew Gardens support and enhance the curriculum offered in schools. We aim to give students opportunities that are difficult or impossible to create in the school environment.

The learning outcomes shown apply to the curriculum as it is at this time. This session offers students the opportunity to learn to:

  • identify several plant adaptations to the environment
  • explain and provide examples of convergent and divergent evolution
  • name the parts of a plant and their function (including stomata and chloroplasts)
  • describe photosynthesis in words and simple chemical equations and will know that plants derive their energy from this process
  • understand the difference between photosynthesis and cellular respiration
  • describe the basic mechanism of at least two photosynthetic pathways