We hope students of all ages will want to understand York’s history and appreciate its architecture. The Trust Education Committee seeks to reach students and young people to introduce them to the values of the Trust. Our activities include:

Public Speaking Competitions

We run public speaking competitions, on heritage topics, for both primary and secondary school pupils. The most recent primary school competition was on 5 July 2017, when St Wilfrid’s Primary School won the prize, for the third year in a row, from 13 other schools.

Lord Mayor Barbara Boyce with winners of the Primary School Public Speaking Competition in July 2017


Video highlights of primary school pupils participating in the July 2017 public speaking competition can be viewed below or on Youtube here.

The latest competition  for secondary school pupils was held on 16 November 2016, when Bootham School won the prize, speaking in York’s Council Chamber.

Art Competition

In 2017, York Civic Trust and York Art Gallery jointly organised a competition for York primary schools, based on John Piper’s 1951 painting View from Clifford’s Tower. Schools were asked to provide An Alternative View of York. The five winning schools: Copmanthorpe, Rufforth, Danesgate, Osbaldwick and Knavesmire were awarded with two days of workshops with an artist.

Their resulting images were photographed in high definition and displayed on the panels on the façade of York Art Gallery, and the original work from all 15 participating schools was on display in the Art Gallery’s project room in summer 2017.

Osbaldwick School’s Winning Entry

Dissertation Prizes

The Trust has supported the University of York by instituting a prize for the best student in the Department of Archaeology’s Cultural Heritage Management Masters programme. In January 2017 Michala Pearson received her MA and her Trust award for her dissertation.
Andrew Scott with Dissertation Award winner Michala Pearson January 2017

Collaborative Doctoral Awards

We support three Arts and Humanities Research Council studentships at the University of York (in partnership with the City of York Council and Historic England).  The research relates to World Heritage and cultural heritage values.

Fairfax House

Fairfax House offers children (with their teachers) a chance to learn about York’s rich history and experience life in an eighteenth century townhouse in Castlegate. Staff and trained volunteers – many of them former teachers – are in costume and in role. The children are challenged to understand the difference between life 250 years ago and today.. Here is a link to the Fairfax House education programme.    We are always glad to hear from teachers or educational groups who would like to arrange a special walk around York or visit to Fairfax House.