Tours and Workshops
We have categorised our tours and workshops into age ranges, however, we may be able to adapt some activities to suit either an older or younger group of children – please do ask!
Guided Tour (all Key Stages)
Guided tours of the Cathedral last approximately 1 hour. We are happy to provide your group with an experienced guide, who will tailor a tour of the Cathedral to meet your requirements. When booking your visit please make it clear what you want your students to gain from their visit and how it fits in with your work in school; this will enable our guides to support your aims. If you would like advice on the sort of tour which would best suit your group please contact the Education Officer.
Guided tours are subject to availability so please book well in advance, particularly in the Spring and Summer Terms.
Foundation and Key Stage 1
Cuthbert and the Natural World (Reception ~ Y2)
Find out about St. Cuthbert’s life as a monk and as a bishop. Learn about his care for the world around him. An interactive tour of the Cathedral (with the help of a few furry friends) will give your children an understanding of who Cuthbert was and why this great Cathedral was built to house his remains. Hands-on activities in CEDRIC will help the children explore certain aspects of Cuthbert’s life and have some time for reflection.
This is a full day’s programme of activities and is suitable for a maximum of 60 children. Supports work in RE for AT1 and AT2.
A Place of Worship (Reception ~ Y2)
The Cathedral is such a big building that people often forget that it is, first and foremost a church! Our tour explains what all the different “bits” of the Cathedral are for. Get the answers to questions such as “What’s that big table up at the top end?” and help your children to develop an awareness of the sacraments. You may even turn one of them into a bishop for a few minutes!
The tour is complemented by a brief hands-on session in CEDRIC. This will focus on 2 of the sacraments: baptism and communion. Children will be able to role-play a baptism and set up an altar table as it would be for communion in the Cathedral. Lasts approximately 1½ hours. Supports work in RE for AT1 and AT2
Fantastic Faces @ Durham Cathedral (Nursery and Reception)
Embark on a face hunt in the Cathedral and see how many you can find. Pick your favourite face and recreate it in CEDRIC with clay. Lasts approximately 1½hours. Supports work in Foundation Stage on ‘Myself’.
Key Stage 2
Northern Saints (KS2)
Who are the Northern Saints and how did their lives shape the region?
Explore the lives of St. Aidan, St. Cuthbert, The Venerable Bede, St Oswald and St. Hild through an interactive journey round the Cathedral. Collect symbols for each saint, visit the shrines of Cuthbert and Bede and hear the stories of the lives of the Northern Saints. During the tour we will ponder such questions as ‘What is a saint’, and ‘What is pilgrimage’.
The tour ends in our ‘Cuthbert’s Island’ room with a time of reflection on our journey with the Northern Saints.
Lasts approximately 1¾ hours. Supports work in RE for AT1 and AT2 and also History.
Embark on a “pilgrimage” in the Cathedral. Each child will receive a pilgrim badge and a pilgrim bag which they will fill with information during their pilgrimage. Find out why people made pilgrimages to Durham in the past and why they still come today. Explore some of the things people do whilst on pilgrimage and have some time for some quiet reflection. Lasts approximately 1½ hours. Supports work in RE for AT1 and AT2.
Bede’s Bones - a medieval mystery (Y3~Y6)
The year is 1104 and a great scandal is about to break in Durham Priory. Some bones have been discovered and they shouldn’t be there! Prior Turgot requests your urgent assistance.
This Literacy and Thinking Skills activity allows KS2 children to turn into investigative monks. They will encounter 5 suspects, (in the form of cartoon images, artefacts and character statements), who will challenge them to solve clues to learn guilty secrets.
It is intended that this activity should be supported in school. The children will do all of their investigation on site, but they must hold their ‘Chapter Meeting’ back at school to present their findings and produce arguments for and against the different suspects. Once they have found out who the guilty person is they will have to decide on a suitable punishment.
This innovative approach to Literacy allows the children opportunities for speaking and listening, questioning, recording information and presenting information to support different viewpoints. On booking this activity you will receive a pack of information to support pre and post visit Literacy work.
More information on the potential for Literacy work based on this activity can be downloaded in PDF format.
Supports work in Literacy, Thinking Skills and History. Lasts approximately 1¾ hours.
Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Post 16
Art in the Cathedral (KS3, KS4+)
A guided tour which is aimed at Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and post 16 students, which looks at, and discusses, the artwork in the Cathedral. The Cathedral’s permanent art works include pieces by Mark Angus and Fenwick Lawson. Learners will also look at the use of texture, embellishment and repeated pattern throughout the Cathedral.
Structures (KS3, KS4+)
A specifically designed short visual and written guide, that enables students to gain a full understanding of the Cathedral from an arts perspective. This has been designed with students in mind who are visiting to gather visual research to develop their sketchbook and final art work. The guide includes architectural information as well as inspiration from other artist’s work.
Architecture (KS3, KS4)
A self guided tour with a resources box that includes worksheets for learners and teacher’s notes. The learners will hunt around the Cathedral for architectural clues that will allow them to understand the three main architectural styles and their characteristics used in the building of Durham Cathedral. The learners will also discover clues that will explain the basics of the Norman, Transitional and Gothic engineering. Teachers can also purchase an additional power point resource for use before or after an architecture visit.
Tours (KS3, KS4+)
We can tailor tours to your specific requirements; please contact us on 0191 386 4266 (Ext 4) or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
For further information, see "other facilities".