Key Stage 2

KS2 pupils working in the CathedralOption 1: Cathedral Life

Discover a typical day in the life of the Cathedral, and take 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 or comparing Places of Worship.

KS2 pupils in the CathedralOption 2: Anglo-Saxon Christ Church

Children may dress up in Saxon costumes and find out more about St Frideswide's influence and daily life in Anglo-Saxon times, in the very place Oxford was founded.

The children can also enjoy acting out the story of St Frideswide, the 'princess who hid in a tree'. The story of Oxford's Patron Saint is now available as a picture book, published by the Bodleian Library.

Option 3: 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, find out about monastery life and medieval pilgrimage. The children may dress up as medieval pilgrims (costumes provided) and make a pilgrimage to the shrine. 

Option 4:  Be a Monk for the Day

Children may dress up as medieval monks and find out more about monastic life, past and present. They will learn about healing herbs and medieval medicine.

Option 5:  The Tudors and the Reformation

This visit takes a look at Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII, and their influence on the development of Christ Church. The children will learn about Tudor times and the differences between the Protestant and Catholic Churches in the Reformation. On the tour of the Cathedral, the children will be invited to look for the signs of the Reformation that can still be seen today.

Learning how to build a Romanesque archOption 6: 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

Our tour will highlight some behind-the-scenes Victorian features and places at Christ Church.

Option 7:  Who is the 'Christ' of Christ Church?

This option 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 guided tour will introduce and reflect the most important and relevant Christian concepts and festivals.

Option 8: Christ Church and the Civil War

Charles I lived at Christ Church during the Civil War and there is much to discover about Oxford life in those troubled times. This option offers pupils the chance to learn about how the sieges might have been experienced by the citizens of the city. They can don Royalist hats and imagine when Oxford was the capital of England, during the 1640s.


The Curriculum

The visits tie into the History National Curriculum and the Oxford LEA RE Syllabus for Key Stage 2 by covering the following:

RE

- Religion in the community
- Pilgrimage
- Places of worship
- Prayer and spirituality
- The life and influence of Christ
- Expressing belief through the arts

History

- 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

Our tours can be tailor-made to suit your learning objectives. Pupils might focus on Maths in the Cathedral; Art and Architecture, including stained glass windows; Heraldry; Literacy and poetry; Cities; or the City and famous Oxford people.

KS2 PupilsFeedback 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, Oxfordshire) 

'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, Oxfordshire)

Feedback from pupils

'I liked the dressing up because it made me feel part of the story.'

'I was very interested in the quad; it is like a secret because you can't see the Cathedral hidden inside.'

'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)

Practical information for teachers

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.

Please contact Jackie Holderness, Cathedral Education Officer 01865 286003

You'll need to complete a booking form. For more information, see our leaflet for KS2 visits and visit the Practicalities section.