Our programmes link with the National Curriculum and RE syllabuses and teachers are very welcome to come for a visit to the Cathedral to discuss and plan their visit.
Booking a visit
To find out more or to book a visit to the Cathedral, contact the friendly members of the Schools Department to discuss requirements. We can then check the Cathedral calendar and make a provisional booking. We will ask you to complete a booking form to confirm your visit and send it back to us.
Here is a list of the main types of activities we offer. We are happy to tailor your visit to your requirements and so please contact us if you have any special requests.
Guided Tours can be arranged for all ages and abilities. They can relate to most curriculum areas including History, RE, Art, English/Chaucer and Science and are led by experienced volunteer tour guides or members of the Schools Department. Teachers should specify the focus of their visit on the booking form as well as identify their learning objectives. Guided tours last between 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes depending on the requirements and the suitability for the pupils.
Our students were fascinated by their tour. It’s no small achievement to hold the attention of twenty two 16 year olds for nearly two hours.
Costume Trails are role-play experiences in which the pupils dress up as characters related to the history of the Cathedral and visit specific sites in costume as part of a guided tour. Topics include ‘St Augustine’, ‘Medieval monks’, ‘Thomas Becket’, ‘Pilgrimage and ‘Tudor times’. Each trail lasts around 1 hour and is most suitable for pupils in Key Stages 1 & 2.
The best part of the day was the dressing up. I loved being a knight and I hope we can come back soon.
The Activity Room provides a session of hands-on activities relating to the building of the Cathedral and the monks who lived there. Pupils will have the chance to work independently and collaboratively on a range of activities including: carving on stone; building arches; writing with quill pens; brass rubbing. Each session will relate to the focus of the visit and so children could make pilgrim’s badges, Saxon brooches or write prayers. Each session lasts between 45 minutes to 1 hour and is led by a qualified teacher. We also offer workshops on a specific theme such as ‘Make a stained glass window’, ‘Create sculptures out of clay’, ‘Investigate the development of the Bible’ and ‘Henry VIII’.
When we used the quill pen I knew how hard it could be for the monks to do writing.
An Entrance Only reserves entry at a specific time using the pre-booked entrance at Christ Church Gate. Unbooked groups will be charged a higher rate. Pupils should be divided into small groups with 1 teacher per 10 pupils. The teachers should accompany their pupils at all times. Supervising adults will be given a badge to wear and an information leaflet highlighting the main features of the building. Staff and volunteers, trained on all aspects of Cathedral life and its history, are available to assist teachers inside the Cathedral throughout the visit. Teacher information sheets and pupil questionnaires are available as free downloads or on arrival from the Welcome Centre.
This film provides an appropriate introduction to the history and life of the Cathedral. It lasts about 15 minutes and is suitable for children in Year 6 and above. It is available in English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Polish and Japanese.
A visit to the Library & Archives can enrich your visit to the Cathedral. The Archives contains documents and charters dating from the 9th century and the Library contains about 30,000 books with topics ranging from Bibles and prayer books to herbals and medicine, natural history to Jacobean drama, the anti-slavery movement and an early copy of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
Interviews with members of staff, chaplains and volunteers are particularly useful for students studying GCSE and A Level RE, Sociology and Travel and Tourism and these can be arranged through the Schools Department.