School Visits - What We Offer
We offer several options to Key Stage 2 groups. The standard pattern for each visit is a 30 minute power point presentation followed by a 60-90 minute interactive tour of the Cathedral.
A Diocesan planning guide is available before the visit and where there is a pre-visit or follow-up pack for teachers with suggestions for related classroom activities, it will be sent to you, by email, free of charge.
Option 1: Cathedral Life
The power point presentation covers a typical day in the life of the Cathedral, and includes a look behind the scenes of a working cathedral.
The tour includes a look at the stained glass, the architectural features of the building, the bishop's throne and the story of St. Frideswide (patron saint of Oxford).
This option is particularly relevant for groups studying Places of Worship.
Option 2: Holy Bones - Medieval Pilgrimage
For this option, you will be sent a short story about a visit to the shrine of St Frideswide in the Middle Ages to read in class before your visit. On the day, there will be an introductory presentation about the monastery and medieval pilgrimage. Next, the children may dress up as medieval pilgrims (costumes provided) and make a pilgrimage to the shrine. The children will have the opportunity to act out the story of Saint Frideswide and then enjoy a brief guided tour of the remaining medieval parts and key features of the Cathedral.
Option 3: The Tudors and the Reformation
This visit is aimed at the upper end of Key Stage 2. The introductory presentation takes a look at Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII, and their influence on the development of Christ Church. The children will learn about the events that led to the Reformation and the Church of England. The children will also learn about the differences between the Protestant and Catholic Churches in the Reformation. Finally, there will be a tour of the Cathedral looking at the signs of the Reformation that can still be seen today.
Option 4: Christ Church and the Victorians
This option offers pupils the chance to learn about some of the famous Victorians associated with the Cathedral, such as Edward Burne-Jones, Gilbert Scott, William Wilberforce and Lewis Carroll, a tutor at Christ Church, who wrote the children's classic, 'Alice in Wonderland,', inspired by Alice Liddell, the Dean's daughter.
Your visit will start with a presentation, about the Cathedral in Victorian times, followed by a tour of the Victorian features and places at Christ Church.
Option 5: Who is the Christ of Christ Church?
This option will be available from January 2016 and offers pupils the opportunity to learn more about the life, teachings and influence of Jesus.
Who was he? Why has his influence lasted so long? What can we learn about him from the Cathedral? How does it tell his story and give him glory? The presentation and interactive tour will introduce and reflect the most important and relevant Christian concepts and festivals.
The visits tie into the History National Curriculum and the Oxford LEA RE Syllabus for Key Stage 2 by covering the following:
- Religion in the community
- Places of worship
- Prayer and worship
- The life and influence of Christ
- Expressing belief through the arts
- The life of St. Frideswide c. 680-735 ,Saxon princess, healer and saint
- Life in a medieval monastery , the Tudors and Reformation, the Victorians and the Oxford Movement
Feedback from teachers'
'Thank you for the fabulous day …. It was so informative, so educational and such fun. We could not have asked for more. I would like you to know that for the first time I have received an email from ALL the parents thanking us for such a great day.' (Year 3 teacher, Oxfordshire).
'….a wonderfully enriching morning….. The children were so enthused that on returning to school they story mapped the dramatisation and are in the process of retelling the story St Frideswide. ……….An excellent, value for money, workshop for all involved. A great CPD opportunity too for the staff.' (Year 4 teacher, C of E school, Oxfordshire)
'The whole trip was a fantastic experience for the children – the feedback when we returned to school was incredibly positive. The children enjoyed the role play and were able to retell the story when back in class. For many of the children, it was the first time they had visited such a place. They genuinely appreciated the architecture and the windows. A thoroughly enjoyable and informative trip – thank you.' Year 5 teacher, Primary School, Chinnor
'We enjoyed the story with direct links to the stained glass window, architectural features, clear introduction of the power point which set the scene, interesting snippets of information and welcoming, friendly, well-informed staff' (Year 6 Teacher, C of E School, Abingdon)
'The tour guide makes or breaks the visit. The children responded well to the guides and were engaged from the Power point slides through to the actual tour of the buildings. As a Church of England school it was particularly poignant to meet one of the church attendants and share in a short act of collective worship.' (Year 5 teacher, Oxfordshire)
Feedback from school pupils
'I liked the dressing up because it made me feel part of the story.'
'I found the roof patterns fascinating.'
'It felt like I was the only one who was there.'
'I was very interested in the quad; it is like a secret because you can't see the Cathedral hidden inside.'
'We learned a lot about the history of the church and Oxford.'
'My favourite part was acting out and pretending we were real pilgrims. I was quite amazed that any of the time I was on the trip I could have been standing on St. Frideswide's bones.' (Emma, Year 6)
- The Cathedral Education department only serves pupils in full-time UK education settings
- For current visit costs, please see this year’s Primary Education brochure, available as a downloadable PDF on this page, above.
- Accompanying adults are free
- Where relevant, pre-visit and follow-up materials are provided free as well.
Practical Information for Schools
Please apply to visit at least four weeks in advance. Once booked, you are welcome to arrange a half-hour pre-visit, before you bring your class. There is no charge for this visit.
Telephone 01865 286003
There is unfortunately no parking at Christ Church, but it is possible to drop off pupils outside the College. The nearest place for coaches to park is the local Park and Ride.