Topic outline

  • General

    Sandie Robb

    Sandie Robb

    RZSS Language Project Coordinator

    Hi I'm Sandie, the project manager for the Beyond the Panda programme and the Science Specialist Confucius Classroom.

    Welcome to the free Beyond the Panda online learning resources exploring China and giant pandas.

    The first three sections below - Project History, Planning for Pandas and Meet the Panda Team provide background to the China/UK Giant Panda Programme along with lesson plans and ideas.

    Sections - Panda Pass It On and resources provide Mandarin language and science related worksheets and games.

    The China Mobile Library and Endangered Species sections provide instructions and follow-on material for the panda box loans and outreach. Finally, the Premium Resources are available on purchase of the economy primary and secondary resource packs.

  • Project History

    In January 2011, a historic agreement was signed between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) for the loan of two giant pandas to Edinburgh Zoo.

  • Planning for Pandas

  • Meet the Panda Team

    Click/Hover over the members of the team below to find out more about them.

    • Simon Girling

      Simon Girling

      Head of Veterinary Services

      Simon Girling is Head of Veterinary Services to RZSS. His work involves overseeing the health of all the animals at Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park - including the Giant Pandas.

    • Darren McGarry

      Darren McGarry

      Head of Living Collections

      Darren McGarry is Head of Living Collections at Edinburgh Zoo. He is responsible for all species kept in the collection at the zoo including husbandry and health management, nutrition and veterinary services.

    • Alison Maclean

      Alison Maclean

      Head Panda Keeper

      Alison Maclean is Head Panda Keeper at Edinburgh Zoo. She looked after captive bears for 25 years before Tian Tian and Yang Guang arrived and has looked after them since their arrival in December 2011.

  • China Mobile Library Expert Visits & Resources

    The China Mobile Library is available FREE to schools throughout Scotland and north of England. 

    New arrangements for the China Mobile Library: (note these are slightly different to arrangements detailed in the brochure and now replace the panda box loans)

    On booking the China Mobile Library, an expert visit will be arranged for the school. The RZSS Language Project Coordinator will bring skulls, bamboo and other artefacts to investigate and play a game with the class linked to the activities within our panda packs. The Project Coordinator will also bring a panda pack for the school to keep. This will be a high quality card version of the original panda box, ready cut and ready to use but we would advise laminating for a longer life. 

    We hope these new arrangements will allow schools to fully utilise the games and activities and that more schools will be able to book each year. Our panda boxes are very popular and feedback has been excellent but due to the previous two week loan period it isn't always easy to use the games and activities within the boxes to their full potential. This new method provides the school with a panda pack in order to build upon the learning and experiences from the expert visit.  

    Additional panda packs are available to download and print from the premium section of the website - cost £30. See Premium Resources section below for details. Click on the links within that section to see what is included in the panda packs. This charge covers some of our administration costs. 

    All resources are linked to Mandarin language learning. To book contact

    The following materials accompany the China Mobile Library panda packs, providing information on how to play the games, further information and answers. 

  • Endangered Species Outreach

    The materials for the Chinese Endangered Species outreach are not available to purchase or to download. These outreach sessions are led by the RZSS Language Project Coordinator. 

    However, there are follow on materials:

  • Panda Pass It On

    The 'Beyond the Panda' resources focus on learning through fun, interactive activities, games and puzzles. See the full range available in the Beyond the Panda brochure. As an introduction, try our fun 'Panda Pass It On' game. Originally given the name because we sent some hard copy versions on a trip around Scotland and asked schools to pass on the game. You don't have to wait for a hard copy now, just download and play!

  • Zoo Fun with Mandarin

    Zoo Fun with Mandarin is a short course available at various times throughout the year. Please contact to find out the next available dates. 

    The booklet can be downloaded but please note that it is designed to be used with the interactive activities and games within the course and with the assistance of the course teacher. 

  • Premium Materials

    Beyond the Panda is a free educational programme, sponsored by the Confucius Institute for Scotland, Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools and Arnold Clark. The China Mobile Library and the Endangered Species outreach sessions are free of charge. On booking the China Mobile Library, you now get one card copy of the panda packs. However, if you would like access to download and print more copies, there is a fee of just £30 per school. This helps cover some of the administration. 


    For a school access fee of £30, the P1-P3 and P4-P7 packs are available to download and print


    For a school access fee of £30, the S1-S2 pack and the Secondary Endangered Species game pack are available to download and print. 

    If you click on the links below, you will see pictures and descriptions of the items within each pack but please note payment of the access fees are necessary to download any of the games and activities. 

    Once purchased and logged on, you will gain access to the associated premium materials. 

    To purchase the school access for any of the above contact Sandie Robb at 

    • Additional Mandarin Resources

    • Sponsors

      We would like to thank the following organizations for their support:

      Confucius Institute for Scotland logo Scotlands National Centre for Languages logo