Mary Hill of Magdalen First School, Norwich, takes her Year 2 groups to Norwich Cathedral every autumn to study materials We take all our children, including those of other faiths. Before we go, we look at pictures and talk about how old the building is. Afterwards, we do artwork and have a display so that children can compare the materials in the cathedral with those around them.
We start outside. Saul Penfold, the education officer, explains where the stones come from and talks about the stained glass. We look at the spire, and he asks the children the size of the cockerel on the weathervane. They are amazed at how big it is.
Inside, they look at the roof and the wood carvings. They see glass candles made to look like wax, and compare them with wax candles. There is the lecturn in brass, shaped like a pelican. We go into the cloisters and see how the stone has worn over the years.
Churches and cathedrals are wonderful for looking at materials. Teachers should find out if they have an education officer. You get the most out of the visit if you inform them of the educational level of the children and the type of input you want.