School Visits

Ripon's beautiful Cathedral is the perfect environment to learn and discover something new.

Ripon Cathedral’s Education Team offer school visits that are filled with awe, wonder and intrigue. With great facilities and exciting, interactive workshops to support learning in EYFS and Key Stages 1 & 2, the cathedral is a fantastic place to bring your classroom learning to life.

Our Education Officer, Yvonne Jefferies, leads a team of experienced education volunteers, who run hands-on activities on aspects of RE and History. You are welcome to come for a short visit or stay the whole day, as the cathedral has beautiful outdoor spaces for picnics as well as complimentary wet weather alternatives.

There is a small charge of £3 / £5 per pupil for half / full day visits, led by our Education Team. Our dedicated education days are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but self-guided school visits are welcome at other times. However, please make sure you book your visit with us – as the cathedral is often in use for community events and services – and we would be grateful for any donation you are able to make.

We also welcome visits from older school groups – please get in touch to discuss how we can help.

How to book: please contact the office on 01765 603462 or on
postmaster@riponcathedral.org.uk

What we offer

Become Pilgrims visiting our Ancient Anglo-Saxon Crypt

Step back in time to 672 AD down the secret passages Anglo-Saxon Pilgrims walked to pray, to marvel at the gem covered Gospel books and touch the holy relics of the saints.

Find out why people made pilgrimages to Ripon in the past and why they still go on pilgrimages today.

Using crafts, drama and story children will find out about St Wilfrid and how he changed history.

STEM Workshops

Ripon Cathedral is home to the oldest building of any English cathedral – the Anglo-Saxon Crypt. You can help to build the crypt using our replica construction crane and arch building blocks, as well as looking at why it was made by St Wilfrid back in AD672! Explore STEM activities, mixed with history and team-building tasks.

Crypt Poetry

We are delighted to be working with Olivia Mulligan, BBC Radio York’s Poet Laureate, on a creative writing session inspired by our unique heritage, which stretches back 1,350 years. 

Sensory Stories

Using all the senses to connect to stories in stained glass and characters carved in Tudor oak. We share the sandy desert stories from the Bible of Moses and Joseph, the watery whale exploits of Jonah and the stories Jesus told about stormy seas, starfish and Samaritans who were not foes but friends.

Children will have the opportunity to create their own stained-glass window and share their own version of the story.

A Place of Worship – Signs and Symbols

A journey around the Cathedral looking at what the stones and arches, artefacts and furnishings tell us about faith. Spotting the difference between Norman and Gothic arches. How the shape of the building shares the message at the heart of faith and how the carvings and windows tell their own stories.

Exploring secret passages, observing, drawing signs and symbols, describing and handling objects.

Children will be able to take part in role-play as they learn about the sacraments of Baptism and Communion.

Using stencils they will be able create their own Celtic Cross in wood.

Tudor Funny Faces, Animals and Angels

Finding out if Ripon Cathedral really does have a Tudor carving of a pig playing the bagpipes?

Finding the funny faces with protruding tongues.

Spotting the elephant, greet the monkey, find the mermaid, meet a few dragons, watch the rabbit being chased by a griffin and disappear down a hole from Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland.’

Meet a Tudor Knight and spot the stag on his collar, touch his sword.

Children will have the opportunity to carry out their own observational drawings and create sock puppet dragons or wooden spoon angels.

This workshop session lasts 90 minutes.

Easter Module/Fantastic Festivals

Explore Easter travelling through Holy Week with lots of sights, smells and drama. Meet our Legionary on duty. Discover the secret passage to the Crypt dating back to the Anglo Saxons 672AD (even before the Vikings) built by St Wilfrid to resemble the garden tomb. Visit the hidden Chapel of Resurrection that leads onto our Easter Garden. Find out about Easter then and how and why we celebrate Easter now.

Be detectives looking at the signs and symbols of Resurrection in stained glass. Children will engage in an art activity based on the Emmerson Hanging Glass image.

Children will receive an information booklet about Easter then and now and create an embellished Cross.

This module takes 1½ hours.

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