Y4 RE: Saints and Heroes – What Makes A Hero?

As Theologist this term, we have been exploring the lives of faith members who have performed heroic deeds as well as those who have dedicated their lives to a cause to help others.

Firstly, we considered the individuals in our own lives who we considered to be heroes for the selfless acts they perform in putting the needs of others before their own…

Parents and Grandparents
Siblings and extended family members
Teachers and Teaching Assistants
The Emergency Services
The Armed Forces

We then explored the life of Emperor Nero, which linked with our study of the Romans in History, and considered the effect he had upon those who followed the Christian faith.  The children were unanimous in their conclusion that Nero was definitely not a Saint or a Hero due to his selfish need to suppress the freedoms of those civilians who followed the Christian faith resulting in their persecution for his own entertainment.

The life and commitment of William Wilberforce, who hailed form Hull, was then explored in relation to how his determination and dedication to his cause had a significant impact upon the slave trade during is lifetime. The children unanimously agreed that Wilberforce was a true Hero and selfless man who put the needs of others before his own.  He demonstrated empathy for those who had been taken as slaves and was both brave and resilient in continuing his campaign even though it took 18 years for the changes to begin to be accepted by those in Parliament.

We then reflected upon the teachings of the four Patron Saints of the United Kingdom and considered the way in which their dedication to their faith helped others. The children agreed that Saint George(England), Saint Andrew (Scotland), Saint David (Wales) and Saint Patrick (Ireland) remained true to their Christian beliefs in their passion to help others and spread the word of Jesus. Did you know that an individual can only be given the title of Saint after they have passed away and as long as they have lived a holy life and done a miraculous deed? A fact worth knowing!

The children have also reflected upon the key events of Holy Week and considered why Easter is the most important celebration for Christians.  Upon watching the events of Holy week online, a class discussion allowed children to voice their opinions as to how key individual’s acted and felt at relevant points throughout the events of Holy Week:

Palm Sunday – People were overjoyed when Jesus travelled into Jerusalem
The Annointing – Jesus was telling people to respect one another and love one another
The Last Supper and Arrest – Jesus was aware of what was to happen; Judas was overcome with temptation; His friends left because they feared the Romans
The Crucifixion –  Religious leaders were jealous of Jesus; The Religious leaders pressured the Romans to vote for Jesus to be crucified; Followers of Jesus were overcome with sadness; Jesus was brave to sacrifice himself; the Roman soldier realised that Jesus was a special man and felt guilty for what was happening; Judas was remorseful
The Resurrection – Jesus rose again because he was the son of God; His followers were happy because he returned to them before going to Heaven.

I am sure you will agree that our children in Y4 have once again worked hard in R.E this term and have gained both knowledge and insight into what makes and individual a Saint or a Hero.