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The Great Bug Hunt 2020


…is now open for entries from home!


Due to the closure of schools, we have opened up this competition to all primary school children (and their parents!)

Our challenge is pretty simple – take your children into the garden or any outside space you own and see what bugs they can find!

Simply point them at the nearest hedges, flower beds, trees, long grass, logs, stones, rocks (well, you get the picture)... let them explore and then report back to us what they have found.

Please be sure, however, to follow government advice and do not leave your property. To do this, stay 2 metres away from people not in your household and do not put yourself or others at risk. 

Make it into a project – if they find a spider or woodlouse, find out all about it. Draw it, examine it (carefully!), what does it eat, where does it live – maybe even write a story or poem about it, design a poster, shoot a video and then email it over to us by the 12th June to (use mailbigfile free to send large files).

Maybe you’ll find a spider under the bed, maybe you’ll have a bug hunt indoors, maybe your explorers could learn about a habitat or insect online, the options are endless – with a little bit of imagination…

Run every year by the ASE in partnership with the Royal Entomological Society, the ever popular Great Bug Hunt competition takes science learning out of the primary classroom and brings it to life in the outdoors.

The competition is divided up into four categories: Ages 4-5, 5-7, 7-9 and 9-11 (see bottom of this page for Curriculum Links)

The prizes will awarded to the winning child’s class.

The winning entry in each category, selected by a panel of experts from both the ASE and Royal Entomological Society (RES), will receive a copy of this fabulous book:

‘Let’s talk about Animals’ ,


plus a bundle of bug exploration-related prizes, whilst the overall winner’s school can select a day when schools are back in the (hopefully) Autumn term when the team from the RES will join them for a hands-on "Insect Day", bringing along an assortment of insect life that we can guarantee won't be found underneath a log by the school pond.

A digital microscope will be awarded to the child too with the best entry!

The closing date for entries is 12th June 2020.


For a little inspiration, take a look at some images from last year winners and their "Insect Day" prize!


 "Insect Day" prize



 “…it’s so addictive I can guarantee once you’ve been on a bug hunt you will never, ever be bored again”

(Nick Baker, naturalist and television presenter, hosting BBC Autumnwatch Unsprung and Springwatch Unsprung, and presenter of the popular long running Weird Creatures series on C5 / Animal Planet)



“The competition was really wide and gave us lots of scope to do loads of interesting studies. We managed to include some minibeast Maths, music and lots of art. We'd like to focus on water minibeasts next” (Lynn Garbett, Year 5 teacher)


Enthuse children about the potential of exploring the natural world on their doorsteps! – it is truly an adventure in the offing!


Curriculum links:


Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.


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 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.


AGES 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.


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