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 Resources

    The China Mobile Library is available FREE to schools throughout Scotland and north of England. 'Panda boxes' are available on loan. These contain unique games, jigsaws and activities for interactive learning. All resources have links to Mandarin language learning. To book contact

    The panda boxes are posted out to the school. Teachers have approximately two weeks to use these resources. This is followed by an expert visit. The RZSS Language Project Coordinator will bring skulls, bamboo and other artefacts to investigate and will play a game with the class to consolidate the learning. The Project Coordinator will also collect the panda box. 

    [Panda resource packs are available to download and print for follow on work. These contain similar resources to the panda box - see details in Premium Resources.] 

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

  • Endangered Species Outreach

    Information and follow on materials for the P1 - P3 and P4 - P7 Chinese Endangered Species outreach session.

  • 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 4 hour course available at various times throughout the year. Please contact to find out the next available dates. 

    The notes can be downloaded but please note that they are designed to be used with the interactive activities and games within the course and with the assistance of the course teacher. 

  • Premium Materials

    NEW - 

    Primary: We have changed the way you can purchase access to the panda resource packs. These resources are best used for follow on work after the panda box loans within the China Mobile Library. 
    For a school access fee of £30, the P1-P3 and P4-P7 packs are available to download and print. These packs contain similar resources to the panda box but please note that the jigsaws cannot be replicated and are therefore replaced with posters. 
    Secondary: For a school access fee of £30, the S1-S2 pack and the Secondary Endangered Species game pack are available to download and print. 
    There are no loan boxes for Secondary. Outreach sessions on the Secondary Endangered Species and S1-S2 games may be available. Please enquire for details. 

    If you click on the link, 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 Scotland China Education Network logo Arnold Clark logo