Trails for Key Stage 1

The Abbey as a Place of Christian Worship: What do Christians believe?

St Albans Cathedral is open 365 days a year, but how and why is it used? Using the building as our classroom, the children will explore the Cathedral to learn about the key beliefs of Christian worship, what was the good news that Jesus brought, and how the building helps to bring these to life. They will visit the font, altar, pulpit, lectern and shrine, and think about communion, baptism and the Bible, before one of the children is dressed up as the Bishop!

St Alban and the Romans: Local History  

The year is around 300AD and all is peaceful in the town of Verulamium. Until, one day, a Christian priest comes visiting … Using the Cathedral as our setting, the children will dress up to re-enact the story of Alban, saint and martyr. Along the way they will learn about the history of every day Roman life in Verulamium, and find out how brick from Verulamium ended up being used to make the Abbey 700 years later. For teachers who wish their children to learn about St Alban from an RE perspective, the children can also explore in more detail the growth of the Abbey after his death and how Alban is remembered in the Cathedral today as the first Christian Martyr in Britain.

All About Me (5 Senses)

The children investigate the Cathedral using all their senses. Sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste are all used to explore the building and its use as a Christian place of worship. The children are encouraged to use simple scientific vocabulary and to identify which of their senses are most appropriate for the objects they are investigating. Searching for symbols, smelling herbs and flowers, listening for music and bells, making rubbings of surfaces and tasting Easter Eggs are just a few examples of how we help the children to make sense of the place they have come to visit.

Buckets Full of Shapes and Colour

Colour surrounds us in the Cathedral, from the beautiful stained glass windows to the furniture and clothing used in worship. Using their senses of sight and touch the children will explore the building, discovering the many colours and shapes and thinking about why they are used and how the different colours make them feel. The children will use their bodies to create shapes before going on a hunt to identify the different shapes in the cathedral. They will also make their own headband full of shape and colour. Finally, to complete their trail they will find and make different repeating patterns.


Celebrations take place in the Cathedral throughout the year for a variety of different reasons, including weddings and baptisms. Using the Cathedral building, children will explore the meaning, symbolism and ceremony of these celebrations in a fun, thoughtful and sensitive manner, before taking part in a wedding re-emactment at the High Altar!

Christmas Trail: why does Christmas matter to Christians?

Christmas is one of the major festivals of the Christian year, and we have both a trail and a workshop aimed at investigating Christmas in a fun and thought provoking way.

Christmas Trail: The children will explore the Cathedral and learn about the Christmas story, its significance to Christians, and how it is celebrated. They will investigate the signs and symbols of the festival and find out how the Cathedral prepares for Advent and Christmas.

Christmas Clay: In this workshop the children will learn about the signs and symbols of Christmas, before each creating a clay tile design with a Christmas symbol on it.

Easter Trail: why does Easter matter to Christians?

Easter is one of the major festivals of Christianity, and we have both a trail and a workshop aimed at investigating Easter in a fun and thought provoking way.

Easter Trail: The children will explore the Cathedral and learn the story of Easter, its significance to Christians, and how it is celebrated in the church today. They will investigate the meaning of Lent, the Stations of the Cross and discover the history of the Hot Cross Bun!

Easter Clay: In this workshop the children will learn about the signs and symbols of Easter, before each creating a clay tile design with an Easter symbol on it.


Children explore the Cathedral using their sense of touch, investigating the materials used in and around the building. Handling and locating the Roman brick, flint and limestone used to build the Cathedral are important elements along with considering the use of wood and glass throughout the building. The children will identify properties of all of these materials e.g. rough, smooth, hard, shiny, transparent and think about why certain materials would have been chosen for different jobs. For example was it because they were strong, transparent, easy to find or a regular shape? As part of the trail each child is given a badge to wear with a piece of key vocabulary or a question on and as we work our way around the building we encourage them to use these words to describe the materials and to answer questions about them. This is an excellent opportunity to experience and handle a variety of materials and to consider them in a real and practical context.

Maths Trail: Shape and Measure

Maths is at its most exciting in the real world, and there is nothing better than using the Cathedral to bring the children’s classroom work to life! By exploring the building, the children will have a chance to use their skills in shape, pattern, symmetry, length and number. The trail will finish with the conundrum of how to measure the height of the Nave ceiling, testing the children’s creative thinking to the limit!

People Who Help Us

Who Am I? Through exploring the building the children will find out about who works in the cathedral, actively taking part and dressing up as different members of the church community. As part of finding out who looks after this enormous building they will have the opportunity to engage in practical activities, including building an arch from mock stone.

Signs and Symbols: what do Christians believe?

The Cathedral is full of signs and symbols, but what do they all mean? By exploring the building, the children will discover the important signs and symbols of Christianity, including the significance of candles, food, communion, baptism and bells. They will visit the Lectern, Pulpit and the Shrine, as well as the Cathedra where one of the children will dress up as the Bishop!


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