How can schools be animal-friendly?

Boy putting up bird nest box © Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA Photolibrary

Animal-friendly schools do more than just teach about animals. They encourage both teachers and pupils to think about animals¿ needs and to develop a sense of caring and responsibility for them.

The benefits

An animal-friendly school:

  • promotes a sense of responsibility and respect towards all living things
  • teaches pupils about animals and their needs
  • is aware of and abides by animal welfare legislation
  • looks at important contemporary moral and ethical issues like animal experimentation and the effect of humans on the environment
  • encourages empathy and understanding of animals
  • is relevant to everyday life.

How the RSPCA can help

  • The RSPCA¿s free education service supports teachers to develop informed, responsible and active citizens, and helps schools to become more animal-friendly.
  • Our education website has a variety of resources, linked to the English and Welsh curricula, which are free to download and include factsheets, activity sheets and photos.
  • We have a team of education training and development advisers who can arrange ITT and INSET sessions to demonstrate how animal welfare can be used as a focus or context for the delivery of the National Curriculum. For contact details, visit

Areas to think about

Curriculum opportunities

  • Animal welfare can be a cross-curricular topic or integrated into a specific subject such as science, citizenship or PSHE and English.
  • The current citizenship curriculum offers specific opportunities for teaching animal welfare topics at primary and secondary level.
  • Visit for more information.

After-school clubs

  • Animal welfare could be a priority for after-school clubs ¿ children and young people with a special interest in animals will be eager to learn how to look after them properly.
  • Visit The Den pages on the RSPCA website.

See more ideas to make your school animal-friendly or download the full version of our Animal-friendly schools guidance (PDF 369KB). A Welsh version (PDF 246KB) is also available.