Primary School Sessions

A Day at the Cathedral


Explore the Cathedral’s fascinating history, building and treasures and find out more about the special events and celebrations which take place in it in this exciting school session.

This half a day session (10am-12.30pm) includes a tour around the Cathedral, an organ demonstration and hands-on and activities appropriate to the age group.

A day at the Cathedral has a Catholic Religious Education focus and it has been designed in accordance with the Come and See Scheme. It also has cross-curricular links with History, Art & Design, Music and English.

Free, but donations are very much appreciated.


Session plan

1. Tour around St Marie’s Cathedral (10-11am)

During this child-friendly guided tour, pupils will learn about the fascinating history of Catholicism in Sheffield and England, the Cathedral’s exciting history and the most important features of a Catholic Cathedral.

Pupils will also explore our world-class architecture and artistic treasures, some of which were designed by the renowned 19th-century Catholic architect Augustus W. Pugin.

2. Organ demonstration (11-11.30am)

This session also includes an organ demonstration, where pupils will be able to learn how this fascinating musical instrument works and to have a go themselves!

3. Hands-on activities (11.30-12.30)

At the end of the visit, pupils will be able to keep discovering the Cathedral’s heritage through fun and hands-on activities tailored to the needs and interests of each Key Stage (please find further information below).

These activities take place in our Learning Room (Houlden Hall).

3.1 KS1 Activity: Who is who in the Cathedral’s family

3.2 KS2 Activities: What’s on at St Marie’s & Assisting Fr Pratt

4. Lunch

Schools are welcome to use our Learning Room (Houlden Hall) to have their packed-lunches if they wish.

We ask all school groups to leave the room as they find it. Waste bins, brush and dustpan will be provided.

You can have a 30-minute lunch break before the hands-on activities start (e.g. 11.30am) or, preferably, at the end of the session (e.g. 12.30pm).

How to book

This session is available on Wednesdays (10-12.30pm).

Please note that we cannot accept more than 2 bookings/groups from each school per each academic year. We recommend that you bring Y2 and Y5/Y6, but please feel free to contact us to discuss other options.

If you wish to book your group (maximum 35 children), please select a date on our online booking system and fill our online booking form.

Please note we require at least a month notice.

Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below for further information on our school sessions and how to prepare for your visit.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any breaks during the session?
Yes, there is a 10-minute comfort break before the hands-on activities start. Depending on the time of your lunch break (if any), we can give the children additional time to have a snack if you think it is necessary (please discuss this with us in advance).

Are toilet facilities available?
There are toilet facilities at the Houlden Hall.

How many adults should accompany the pupils?
Since groups are usually split into two, we recommend having a minimum of four adults for a 30-children class.

Adults are expected to get involved during the sessions, help the children to carry out the activities, and watch out for any signs of misbehaviour.

Do I need to prepare the class for the session in advance?
We kindly request teachers to bring stickers with the children’s names and stick them to the children’s uniforms (e.g. cardigan or jumper).

We ask that the class is split into two mixed-ability groups of equal size for the guided tour and the hands-on activities in advance of the visit.

Please find a General Risk Assessment here.

We suggest that you visit our website with your class before your visit. Have a look at some of the pictures and find out about the types of events and celebrations that take place in the Cathedral.

Do you have any post-visit activities?
We have post-visit quizzes for KS1 and KS2 groups (including answers).
You can find some useful images here.

How do we get there?
Please find a map here.
The nearest tram stop is Cathedral at the bottom of Fargate, which is pedestrianised. There are numerous bus stops nearby at the Arundel Gate Interchange and on Leopold Street/Pinstone Street. Coaches can drop off passengers on Norfolk Street by the Crucible Theatre, but cannot park there.
The entrance to the Cathedral is on Norfolk Row, opposite Vero Gusto (Norfolk Row is pedestrianised).

Where should we meet you upon arrival?
A member of our team will be waiting for you at the agreed time at the cathedral porch (main entrance).

Is photography allowed at the cathedral?
Yes, it is provided the flash is off.