Schools and Groups at Kirkstall Abbey
  • A to Z
  • About us
  • Contact us
  • Accessibility
  • A- A+

 Schools and Groups at Kirkstall Abbey

Click to expandEYFS/Key Stage 1 Workshops

FREE guided tours for schools
Give pupils the opportunity to get inside knowledge of the Abbey with one or our expert guides.

Arty in the Abbey
This session is full of fun art activities designed to help pupils to understand and explore our wonderful ruins. Activities include making rubbings, sketching, calligraphy and illuminated letters.

‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ story sack
Share the story of ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle. The story sack includes a copy of the book, caterpillar and butterfly soft puppets, laminated food and a hungry caterpillar dressing up outfit.

If Stones could Speak
Using a range of fun practical activities involving puppets, rubbings and dressing up, this workshop will help pupils to understand the different materials used in old buildings and how buildings change over time.

Why is Kirkstall Abbey important?
A fun assortment of activities will help pupils to discover; when and why the abbey was built? Who actually lived here? Why is it so big? And why is it still important today? Together we will explore the ruins with activities including dressing up, actions, puppets and games.

How to book:
Please call 0113 378 4079 to reach our Learning and Access Officer.

Click to expandKey Stage 2 Workshops

​FREE guided tours for schools
Give pupils the opportunity to get inside knowledge of the Abbey with one or our expert guides.


Health and Hygiene
Health and Hygiene Why were people in medieval times so preoccupied with death? Why did medieval monks live so long? What did they eat? How often did they wash? What happened when they were ill? Did they actually know what they were doing? Explore these questions and more using the abbey’s buildings, artefacts, herbs and documentary evidence.

Hideous History - Monks and Tudors
Why did Tudor doctors shave chickens’ bottoms? What did monks do with the blood after letting? Why were beetles so important in making books? Find out the answers and do a talking timeline in this exciting workshop!

Literacy and Numeracy trails
Support your visit with these self-led trails and learn about the Abbey in the process.

Maths at the Monastery
Experience practical maths in action! A range of simple methods and equipment will be used to estimate and calculate length, area and height.

Mellow Monks
Are your pupils feeling stressed or finding it hard to concentrate? Help them keep calm with yoga in the peaceful setting of Kirkstall Abbey.

What was it like to be a Monk at Kirkstall? A local study
Pupils will explore what it was like to be a monk and live in medieval Kirkstall. We will start with a talking timeline covering over 850 years with pupils taking on the roles of important people in Kirkstall’s history.

How to book:
Please call 0113 378 4079 to reach our Learning and Access Officer.

Click to expandKey Stage 3/4 Workshops

FREE guided tours for schools
Give pupils the opportunity to get inside knowledge of the Abbey with one or our expert guides.

History teacher's pack
KS3 self-guided visit and teacher's pack to support the new KS3 History curriculum written by Ian Dawson.

Power and Politics
Develop pupil’s interpretation and enquiry skills by exploring medieval life in the abbey, change over time and the power of the Church.

How to book:
Please call 0113 378 4079 to reach our Learning and Access Officer.

Click to expandHow to book

If you are thinking of booking a trip to Kirkstall Abbey for your school or group please get in touch with the Learning and Access Officer.

Phone: 0113 378 4079
Email: kirkstall.abbey@leeds.gov.uk

Visitor information

Access to the site

Single Image Display

 Where can you find all these things together in one place in Leeds?

a. Bats
b. Some of the oldest archaeological remains in Leeds
c. Eighteenth century graffiti
d. Concerts, Shakespeare and the Breeze Festival

Kirkstall Abbey!

The building and collections at Kirkstall Abbey belong to you. We are here to help you access the collections in the best possible way for you and your students.

Kirkstall Abbey works well for Early Years Foundation Stage, KS1 and KS2 supporting topics such as Tudor rich and poor, Maths and Literacy. Everything we do is cross-curricular and all the workshops support the development of literacy skills (speaking and listening), science (materials and using evidence) and often art and geography. We also have a yoga programme in the summer months to mellow out your students before their exams. Most workshops are supported by downloadable and paper-based self-led resources and trails, just ask for details.

For secondary History, come and study Tudor power and politics: what happened to the power of the Church? How do we know this? This workshop is supported by a Learning Pack written by Ian Dawson.

Booked groups can use the Visitor Centre or the Chapter House as a base for their visit, including for lunch. We would recommend you come and meet us for a pre-visit where we can tailor workshops and resources to suit, if your group has additional needs, and you can complete your risk assessment. We have downloadable Health and Safety guidance to help you to do this which can be found on our 'Planning a visit' page under the expandable downloads section.

“Facilities were great, it was easy booking, the resources were excellent”, Year 3 teach​er about at Kirkstall Abbey

Planning your trip:
If you are thinking of booking a trip to Kirkstall Abbey for your school or group please get in touch with our Learning and Access Officer.
Phone direct: 0113 378 4079 or email kirkstall.abbey@leeds.gov.uk

Follow us:

  • facebook
  • flickr
  • twitter
  • youtube