Bristol Cathedral’s education programme offers cathedral tours and workshops designed to complement curriculum studies in subjects including Religious Education (RE), as well as SMSC development (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural), an important criteria marked out by Ofsted.

STO takes a look at the workshop programme the Medieval cathedral offers, which caters for all Key Stages.  

Key Stages 1 & 2

RE and SMSC workshops suited to Key Stages 1 and 2 include Experience Church, which lets students explore how and why Bristol cathedral is used for Christian worship, Special Places/Places of Worships, which includes a guided tour showing how the building and objects are used in worship, and Values, a workshop and tour which considers values such as friendship, thankfulness, generosity and respect.

Visits don’t just have to be related to the RE curriculum though and workshops are also available to support learning in Maths, Art and History.

For example the Religion & Art activity offers a guided tour focusing on the stained glass and art within the cathedral, before students create their own stained glass window to take home.

An additional gargoyle making workshop can be added on as part of this visit, or alternatively time can be made to allow pupils to sketch in the cathedral and its garden.

Meanwhile Bristol Cathedral also offers additional education days on specific dates during the year, which can tie into key Christian festivals, such as Candlemas, Christmas and Easter.

Christmas Through the Keyhole is a Primary school session which will take students on a journey around the cathedral at the same time as recreating the story of Mary and Joseph. This year, Christmas through the Keyhole will run on 6th, 7th and 8th December. 

Then, on 25th and 26th January 2017, Key Stage 2 students can learn about the Feast of Candlemas, a celebration of light and the time Christians remember Jesus being presented in the Temple.

Activities include workshops based around the theme of light, such as making decorated candle-holders and singing songs about light.

There are also Moving On days for Year 6 students in June, which encourage students to think about their hopes and fears posed by the transition to Secondary school. Bookings for this event in 2017 will be taken from Christmas time onwards.

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 classes can use a trip to Bristol Cathedral to study Medieval Monks and Monasteries, Bristol’s Slave Trade, and War, Peace and Remembrance.

Medieval Monks and Monasteries and Bristol’s Slave Trade can both tie into Local History studies and each includes a tour of the cathedral.

On the Medieval Monks and Monasteries tour students will dress up as monks and explore the cathedral as monks would have seen it in the Medieval times, whilst pupils taking part in the Bristol’s Slave Trade visit will tour the cathedral searching for links to the slave trade.

Both activities are also suitable for Key Stage 2 students.

The War, Peace and Remembrance workshop, targeted for both Key Stage 3 and 4 students, includes a tour of the cathedral and the ground’s memorials, and teaches students how the Bristol Cathedral is linked to war, peace and remembrance.

War, Peace and Remembrance is suitable for Key Stage 3 and 4.

Key Stage 4 & 5

God and the Big Bang is a Key Stage 5 conference, which is also available to higher ability Key Stage 4 students that will take place specifically on 23rd February 2017.

It aims to engage pupils in a discussion about the place for Science alongside religion. Practical Science demonstrations, a keynote talk by a member of the science-faith community and a question and answer panel session make up this event.

For more information call 01179-468175, e-mail the cathedral’s education officer Frances Taylor at or visit