Our learning programme addresses cross-curricular themes and dimensions and a variety of curriculum areas e.g. Art, English and History. The Cathedral Education Team are particularly happy to focus on heritage, identity and belonging and the story that the Cathedral has to tell about Bradford's growth as a city.

The RE content of our learning programme is designed to address aspects of the Bradford Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, the Diocesan Syllabus for RE and the Department for Education none statutory guidance for RE.  All learning sessions and trails are experiential and include opportunities for children to reflect and to respond creatively through a variety of media. They are designed to acknowledge the diverse nature of British society in the 21st century.


Bradford Agreed Syllabus for RE Key Stage 2 Programme of Study

Lower Key Stage 2 

  • Beliefs - What do different people believe about God?
  • Practices - How do faith communities demonstrate what is sacred?
  • Forms of expression - How do believers use symbolism to show their beliefs?

Upper Key Stage 2

  • Beliefs - Why are there different beliefs about God?
  • Practices - Why are certain people, places and times sacred?
  • Forms of expression - Why do people need to express their beliefs?

RE Themes

A Sacred Space - An Interfaith Trail

This involves a Cathedral discovery trail featuring an exploration of key features that are connected to the practice and expression of the Christian faith e.g.  the font (baptism), the nave (people at worship), the lectern and pulpit (the Bible), the chancel (music in worship), the cathedra (the bishopric), the sanctuary  (Holy Communion). The focus is on Christianity, but the participants are tasked with using their 'detective' skills to find out about a Christian place of worship and compare this with other places of worship in the city, identifying similarities and differences.


A Window on Faith

The Cathedral features an amazing collection of stained glass windows, which provide an insight into the origins of Christian belief and practice. They are one way in which Christians demonstrate what they hold to be sacred and special. They feature stories of the life of Jesus, the early Church, and also the saints of the British Isles, including stories of particular significant female saints. Some of the windows link to special times of remembrance and commemoration in the Christian calendar.


The Kirk and the Broad-Ford

This  learning session concentrates on the story of Christianity spreading to Yorkshire and in particular on the history of the Cathedral and the growth of the city of Bradford; it features stories of invaders, moving people and settlers.


'The Bradford Rabble'

In this session we focus on the English Civil War and the experiences of the people of Bradford, the role the Cathedral played in the story and in particular on the seige of Bradford and the 'Bradford Rabble' (December 1642).  Participants are tasked with finding evidence of this conflict, and the importance of wool in the locality and in the famous story. We also consider how the role of the Cathedral and Bradford in the Civil War was linked to the development of Christian belief and practice in the 17th century.         



This is a session that uses special places within the Cathedral, notably Saint Aidan's Chapel and related stories e.g. Aidan and Oswald's story and life and prayer on Holy Island or Hild's story, to create opportunities for group and individual reflective silence, and a personal creative response to this experience through art, the written word or drama.

Signs and Symbols

This workshop explores signs and symbols, dangerous times and secret messages It also explores the symbols and colours of the Church’s Year as  found in objects and places in the building and in the robes and vestments worn by the clergy and the Bishop.


World War I and the Memorial Bells


In this workshop participants will find out about the history of bells in the Cathedral and compare the use of bells, to the use of call and response in other religious traditions. They will use artefacts, documents and exhibition materials to find out about the World War I Memorial Bells and the story of Bradford bell ringer Joe Hardcastle (pictured bottom right above). They will use role play and exposition to retell the story of the Bells to others.



The Key to the Cathedral Trail

This  involves children in an exciting hunt for lost treasure. The children are tasked with solving clues and to follow a 'key' trail that explores the Cathedral's main features. They find out about the importance of Saint Peter in the Christian tradition and the symbolism of keys. They also take part in an associated craft activity. When the treasure is found all participants receive their own personal key to the Cathedral to take away as a reminder that the door to Bradford Cathedral is open to all.


Cross Curricular Links

  • Art: Observational drawing recording for later development back in school, art appreciation, William Morris windows, art, design and colour. Using art to convey a message or a story.
  • English: Creative writing, prose and poetry, writing for a purpose e.g. a guidebook for the Cathedral.
  • History: Chronology, Anglo Saxons, the Civil War, World War I; local study and significant local, national and international events.
  • Drama: Role play, movement and mime based around stories and events.
  • Music: Church and Cathedral Music; music in worship, styles of live organ music and various composers. Campanology, bell ringing and change ringing.

Reflection and Creative Response


The Cathedral Education Team are happy to facilitate teacher led opportunities for quiet, reflective  time to enable the experience of awe, wonder and mystery in this special and unique Christian place of worship. Likewise it is possible to arrange appropriate teacher led sessions, that encourage participants to respond in a range of creative ways to the Cathedral experience. 

Bespoke Sessions

If possible we encourage schools to choose from the learning sessions and workshops outlined above. However should group leaders have particular content that they would like the Education Team to cover, please make this clear at the time of booking and whenever possible we will endeavour to meet your needs.