DOZENS of pupils visited Salisbury Cathedral earlier this month for a day of craft, history, drama and fun.

On Monday, January 15, 58 pupils in school years 2 and 6 at St Andrew’s VA Primary School, Laverstock went to the Cathedral

While the siz and seven-year-olds discovered the interesting spaces, tombs and carvings on the specially designed Animal Tour, hunting down animal props and carvings hidden around the Cathedral, the 10 and 11-year-olds time travelled, meeting a grumpy ‘King John’ (aka education volunteer Rodney Targett) and a ‘bishop’ on their Cathedral Tour, and viewing the 1215 Magna Carta.

There were also special sessions for Years 6 pupils exploring spirituality through colour and bracelet making and the younger group took part in Retelling the Past, a drama session featuring the Cathedral’s move from Old Sarum and the building of the Cathedral.

Katherine Dolphin, a former teacher who heads up the Education team said: “We work hard to make these visits meaningful in terms of the curriculum as well as fun, using drama and dressing up to capture the children’s imagination, along with other creative activities.

"The younger group, for example, made paper and cellophane stained-glass windows and played with our mini model of the windlass at the top of the Tower - and the older pupils tried their hand a calligraphy in session linked to our Magna Carta, as well as making medieval clay tiles.”

Nearly 3.500 school children visit the Cathedral annually, taking part is curriculum focused workshops that also immerse the children in the Cathedral’s stories, values and history. Most recently Katherine and Assistant Director of Music John Challenger devised a workshop with the famous Father Willis organ.

Mrs Dolphin, who is also a keen musician, added: “We are a centre of excellence for music, with a team of amazing musicians and musical educators.

"It seemed a pity not to do something to support teachers with their music curriculum while sharing our own wonderful music.”

The new workshops, which were trialled last year, were very well received (as were recent children’s initiatives like Peter and the Wolf and the special Holst Planets and poetry workshops and concert) so the music and education teams are planning to do more this year. Watch this space!

If schools wish to find out more about visiting Salisbury Cathedral they can go to the Cathedral website or contact Education Administrator Kaye Voce on 01722 555180.