School tours take place Monday – Friday 10:15 am – 4:00 pm. We can vary the duration, start and finish times to suit your requirements. Our Education Department can be flexible so if you want something that is not listed here please get in touch.
We offer a general children's guided tour of the Cathedral or one more specifically focused to suit your requirements. For example, comparing the two Cathedral’s is a popular choice. We train our Cathedral Guides (many of whom are ex teachers) to work especially with children and all are experienced at meeting the needs of a school's curriculum. We pride ourselves on being teacher-led. Please ask for what you want; we will do our very best to meet your needs.
MINI VISITS FOR EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE & RECEPTION CLASSES
Before you bring a class of small children to visit the cathedral we will work with you to devise a programme of your choice based on using all five senses.For example, you might like to arrange for the children to look and wonder at the size of the arches and the height and decorations of the ceiling, or to see colours in the widows, to feel the shapes and texture of the stone and the wood in the columns and carvings, to sit in the choir stalls and hear choral singing, to smell incense, and to taste ‘special food’. Perhaps you might also like to light candles and include a moment of quiet and stillness.
We always give Special Schools a warm welcome to the Cathedral and are happy to adapt our programmes to suit varying needs. Contact the Education Officer to talk about how we can help.
KEY STAGE 1
Many of the workshops for KS2 can be adapted very successfully for KS1 children - please see below for more detail.
KS1 TRIPLES for 5-6 year olds
These are new, supported visits to the Cathedral focusing on any three parts / features of the Cathedral and they have been designed especially for younger children. Lasting approximately 30 - 40 minutes, one of our specially trained KS1 visits leaders will hopefully inspire and enthuse the children on topics you, the teacher, have chosen! The children will have a short talk (about 5 minutes) on each of the three topics and then sketch and describe them to take back to school. Please bring your own paper and pencils for this session.
KEY STAGE 2
For Key Stage 2 children who have not visited the cathedral before, the building might seem enormous and possibly intimidating. When you bring a class to visit us, whichever trail or workshop they are doing they will be warmly welcomed, and they will have time to look around at their surroundings, to notice the architecture and furnishings and to make observations and ask questions.
ACTIVITIES: Full details and costs available from the Education Department
- 1) Stained Glass Window workshop – enables each pupil to design their own stained glass window. (Duration – 40 mins)
- 2) Vestments – Pupils have a talk about the vestments of the Cathedral and then process in the Cathedral to the sound of the organ. (Duration – 40 mins)
- 3) Soft Toy ‘Safari’ – Children can explore the Cathedral for animals made out of stone, wood and glass. (Duration – 40 mins)
- 4) Making a (Mitre or bookmark) – Pupils have a talk about the Mitre or Cathedral ‘logo’ and then make their own mitre and bookmark. (Duration – 40 mins)
- 5) A talk with our resident Stonemason - Meet our Resident Master Stonemason; watch as he demonstrates his skills of carving stone. Find out about the Mason’s mark and what it is like to work on preserving this magnificent Cathedral. (Duration – 40 mins)
- 6) Organ demonstration - Our Cathedral organists are world famous. Music plays a major role in Cathedral worship and the building is an ideal setting for children to listen to music and perform their own. A music workshop allows pupils to hear the fabulous organ being put through its paces. (This workshop depends on the availability of the organists. Please give plenty of notice if you are interested in this workshop and we will try our best to accommodate you) (Duration – 20 mins)
- 7) Trip up the tower for year 6+ - Unforgettable views of the city and even Blackpool’s Big Dipper from the top of the Tower. (Duration – 40 mins)
- 8) Baptism - Pupils will be shown a Baptism using a doll which they will name and choose Godparents (Duration - 40 mins)
- 9) Fantastic Faces - Rec - Yr 2 - A face hunt in the Cathedral followed by a workshop making a clay face (Duration - 1.5 hrs)
- 10) Explorer pack - This is a new teacher led activity. Children can become Cathedral explorers by hiring a pack with a compass, binoculars, magnifying glass to name just a few. There are questions for pupils to answer as they tour the Cathedral. Hire charge £1. Each pupil gets a sticker on completion.
MUSICAL MONDAYS - KS 2 & 3
Every Monday (wherever possible) we offer schools groups and opportunity to perform for visitors in the Cathedral and a highly experienced Head of Music teacher will accompany your group. Percussion instruments are also available for hire. The theme varies by term. The sessions are 11am - 2pm Introductory offer £10 for 1 hour.
Guided Tours can be arranged for all ages and abilities. They can relate to most curriculum areas e.g. History, R.E., and Art. Teachers should specify the focus of their visit on the booking form. Guided tours last between 1 hour and 1 hour 15 minutes.
EUCHARIST FOR CHILDREN
This session is especially designed around what the school wants. An experienced member of the clergy, used to children, will offer a simple explanation of the Eucharist.
KEY STAGE 4 & SIXTH FORM
We offer occasional debates and lectures for pupils on ethical issues. Please ask for more details.
CURRICULUM AREAS ABLE TO BE COVERED ON A VISIT TO THE CATHEDRAL.
1. Religious Education
The Cathedral is the ideal setting in which to learn from and learn about Christianity: design, layout, furniture, vestments, worship, sacrament, symbol, festivals, organization and history. Programmes can be planned for Church schools, county schools and other faith groups. A short service can form part of the visit.
The largest Cathedral in the UK, Giles Gilbert Scott’s masterpiece is vast and breathtaking. A “behind-the-scenes” tour can be arranged to help students observe and understand this unique structure and study photographs of the building process over 74 years.
3. Materials, Crafts, Technology
Stone, brick, concrete, metal, wood and glass all feature in the building and their properties can be examined. It may be possible to meet the craftsmen and watch them at work. The technology of the builders can be considered through old photographs and observation.
4. Visual Arts
The building is rich in stone and woodcarving. The windows reveal the cathedral’s history in twentieth century stained glass. There are five recent paintings and Elizabeth Frink’s final bronze. There is an important collection of Church embroidery in the Elizabeth Hoare Gallery.
The design and atmosphere of the Cathedral make it a helpful setting for fostering spirituality – music, colour, and space can foster stillness, thought, emotion and mutual respect.