In the Main Lesson of Saints that takes place in Class Two, the children are told of the life stories of holy men and women who had a particular empathy with the animal kingdom. The stories of the Saints provide imagery for the conscious human being who thinks out of their own individuality. Together, we are exploring how the promise of compassion resides within each one of us. We are trying to foster a sense of goodness and kindness within.

“The stories of the saints serve a particular purpose because the saints were people who, through self-discipline and strict training, overcame their own lower natures. This is pictured in the stories as outer encounters with animals in which the moral strength of the saints enables them to face the wildness of the animal nature and transform it … Such stories do not belong to or promote a particular religion. They show the children that spiritual strength is different to the physical kind and has to be won in a different way …”Putting the Heart back into Teaching  Stanford Maher & Yvonne Bleach

This beautiful Main Lesson of ‘Saint Jerome and The Lion’ tells of a monk named Jerome that helps a lion in need, thus fostering a beautiful friendship between the two. This story explores themes such as ‘there is more to a situation then meets the eye’ and the power of kindness and friendship.

The Story of Saint Jerome and The Lion.

A guided drawing lesson of Saint Jerome and The Lion.

Working alongside the teacher to capture the essence of the story before students are expected to add their own details; using their own creativity to refine and personalise their work.

A guided writing activity for Saint Jerome and The Lion.

Key elements in this lesson: Correct spacing (with golden stars), sounding out unfamiliar words, looking at patterns in language, capital letters and full stops and writing in cursive script.

The final formal element of this Main Lesson is to encourage children to formulate their own writing.

By providing certain key words to ‘prompt recall and memory’, children should be encouraged to write a recount of as much of the story as possible. Once they have finished their writing, encourage proof reading by checking for full stops, capital letters and to underlines words they are unsure of the spelling.

To complete this Main Lesson of Saint Jerome and The Lion, Class Two children were asked to complete two practical craft activities from home. The first was to sew a sock lion by following this Youtube instructional video and the second was to find some blocks, lego or boxes and to design their own monastery for Saint Jerome. In this monastery, children were asked to put a bees wax lion and donkey of their own making and any other details they wanted to add. It was a lovely way to round off the Main Lesson and bring the magic of the story to life.

Here we have some photos of the work produced by our amazing Class Two students at the end of this Main Lesson block.