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The Great Bug Hunt Competition 2017

The Great Bug Hunt 2017 is announced!

A Great Competition for Primary Schools to encourage pupils to get outside to learn more about living things and their habitats and to use the outdoor classroom. Simply identify a local habitat, get the pupils to explore and discover the minibeasts (bugs) that live there, draw them and record their findings – it’s that easy!

 This exciting competition, now in its fourth year, fits into the curriculum and helps to develop Working Scientifically too; it also fits perfectly with many of the topics which NI teachers use to teach the curriculum area called the World Around Us.

Ages 5-7:
Children will learn to use simple equipment to help observe and capture the minibeasts and then to use observation skills and name them. There are also opportunities to then record the data in simple form.

Questions relating to investigation could include ‘How does the weather affect them?’ or ‘Who lives in a place like this?’ or ‘What does this one eat?’. By investigating the habitats, you can look at simple food chains and then identify and name the different sources of food.

Learners at Foundation Phase in Wales will investigate outdoor learning environments, whilst working co-operatively, making observations and measurements and keeping records. They will observe differences between animals and communicate these  observations and measurements to others.

Ages 7-9:
Children have questions after exploring and talking, developing ideas about living things and familiar environments. Identifying and classifying skills will build on previous work in order to start to use keys for identification, and looking for patterns between local organisms and those found further afield. Patterns and relationships between the habitats and the types of minibeasts found there can also be investigated. There are opportunities for observation over time. Activities include, for example, life cycles, and when you begin to see certain minibeasts (recognising that they are unlikely to see butterflies, bees, etc., in winter months).

Pupils will also be able to take the time to recognise that environments can change (as part of Observation over Time, particularly in relation to human activities such as littering and dog walking, as well as changes from mowing lawns, to name a few, which could form their own investigations in terms of surveys) and then to think about the dangers this poses to the habitats and the minibeasts that live there.

Age 9-11:
Pupils can refine their choice of the most appropriate ways to answer their own and other’s questions using different types of science enquiry. Developing and mastering the drawing of conclusions using their evidence and their increasing scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.

Recognised keys should not only be used, but pupils should also develop their own, testing them on their peers. They should build on this to produce other information records, so mastering a range of presentation methods and styles to identify and describe living things and any patterns that they find in the natural environment.

At this stage pupils may also be able to consider whether concepts such as the idea of global warming are ‘real’, so considering if the evidence supports the idea.

Welsh learners will have the opportunity to further develop skills of observation and measurement and communicate their findings
through writing, drawings and diagrams, whilst using relevant scientific vocabulary. Through fieldwork they will investigate how environmental factors affect which animals grow and live in different environments.

Entries should be emailed or posted to Rebecca Dixon Watmough at:
44 St. Peter's close
United Kingdom
To download a copy of this A4 Poster, click on the link below:


The Great Bug Hunt is run in association with the Royal Entomological Society

Founded in 1833, the Royal Entomological Society plays a major national and international role in disseminating information about insects, improving communication between entomologists and informing the public about entomology.

For more information please visit


2016 Winners Announced!



'WOW! So many facts and figures, presented in a fascinating way. Insects forever!' (David Bellamy OBE)


The winners of this year’s Great Bug Hunt competition have been announced! The competition, brought to you by the Association for Science Education and the Royal Entomological Society, takes science learning out of the classroom and brings it to life outdoors. 


The winning entries were judged during National Insect Week 2016 by Dr Luke Tilley from the RES and Rebecca Dixon-Watmough from the ASE on 28th June.

Children taking part in the competition had spent their time exploring habitats before recording their observations and researching the insects. Photos, pictures, poems, graphs and songs were all used to creatively show-off the little things that run the world, insects.  

‘The Great Bug Hunt competition is a brilliant way of bringing science to life for children and shows you can go on a journey of discovery in your own backyard. Not only does the competition do a great job of capturing children’s imagination, it also fits in well with the science curriculum. Using the natural environment when teaching is an important part of science education and something the ASE strongly advocates through its Outdoor Science Working Group

(Marianne Cutler, ASE Professional Development (Projects) Lead).


First prize of a school ‘bug day’ from the RES went to Year 4 at Wickham Market Primary School in Wickham Market, Suffolk.

​ See the East Anglian Daily Times coverage of the presentation

The winners from each age prize category were:


Years 1 and 2 - St James CofE, Weybridge, Surrey

Years 3 and 4 - Swaffield Primary School, Wandsworth, London

Years 5 and 6 - Manor Farm Junior School, Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire

High res images (with captions) available from the following link


The prizewinning day took place in Novemeber 2016, with presentations by Dr Luke Tilley from the Royal Entomological Society and the three other winners received certificates and insect goodies.



“The children have thoroughly enjoyed The Great Bug Hunt and were enthralled with the diversity of bugs they found. “They were able to use the experience to further their knowledge of habitats and organisms around them.

“They are now all thoroughly immersed in the world of bugs and are still keen to find even more bugs in our school grounds.

“It also gave them a great understanding of how to handle and look after creatures in their care and we are going to use our terrariums to keep even more bugs to study.“

“Thank you to everyone at The Great Bug Hunt and we can’t wait to enter again next year.” (Marianne Cutler)

© 2017 | Part of ASE Online