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P6 - Saints/Witness/Ministry

These exemplar narratives follow the core learning chosen by the Holy Cross cluster group/working group and contained in the diocesan planning exemplars:
P6 Saints/Witness short version (click to open)
P6 Saints/Witness long version (click to open)


Click below for a podcast about the role of a deacon:

Click below for a podcast about the history of the Permanent Diaconate:


Click here for a powerpoint lesson-starter about Church leadership


Exemplar narrative 1:

- Powerpoint about Baptism and the Sacraments of service
- Research relevant saints at home and in class
- Familiarise class with statues and icons around the school
- All the pupils found this unit helpful in their process of choosing their Confirmation names.  They enjoyed researching the life of St Maximilian Kolbe in paeticular, and seem to have a deeper understanding of the sacraments.  This unit also generated some interesting discussion regarding our role as Christians and how we can help others, using our gifts and talents.

Exemplar narrative 2:

St Mary’s, Hamilton:

(This was originally developed for the NAR, which focussed solely on RERC 2-19a.  If St Maximilian Kolbe and St Martin de Porres replace the original St Margaret and St John Ogilvie, it can respond to much of the second part of core learning as outlined above.  Using St Margaret and St John Ogilvie it will also respond to some the P6 Heritage theme)

Each activity may require more than one lesson.

Activity 1                                             

Read Matthew  5 : 13 – 16  Salt of the earth and light of the world.

Whole class discussion on what they think this passage (Matthew  5 : 13 – 16) means.

Split into collaborative groups, giving each group a sentence or two from the passage.  They should discuss what they think their part means and ‘graffiti’ their ideas.

One child will then report back to the class for each group, offering their own group’s interpretation.  Each group’s ideas are displayed.

Having discussed each sentence in detail and shared their ideas with their peers, each child is then given a sheet of paper with the whole text and asked to answer the following question using their own and others’ ideas.

What is Jesus asking me to do?

*encourage children to use the words ‘saint’ and ‘holy or holiness’*


Activity 2             


Recap from  Lesson 1.

What does it mean to be holy?

Ask the children what they think it means to be holy * (using vocabulary children used in Lesson 1)

Display all of their ideas and discuss.

Identify accurate definitions suggested by the children and discuss inaccurate ones (why might people think this?)

Discuss the children’s understanding of holiness and issue ‘LARGE LETTERS’.  The children should, in groups, take a letter of the word ‘holiness’ and write inside people / actions they think show holiness.

Remind the children that we are called to be Saints.  Determine their understanding of what this means.  *

For display, the children will surround the large letters with strips of paper with a definition they have composed ‘Being called to be a Saint means that_______________________’

*Look up definitions in the dictionary

Activity 3

Called to be a Saint

1 instruction sheet, 1 highlighter & 1 Pope’s message sheet for each group is needed.

The children will be extracting information from the Pope’s message about holiness from his message young people at Twickenham at  and being called to be a Saint and using that information to produce a paragraph or poster explaining what it means to be ‘Called to be a Saint’.

Read over instructions.

Explain that we are going to use reciprocal reading strategies.  Allocate children groups of 4 (if there’s a 5 they can have a ‘Big Boss’)

Explain to the children that they are going to decide on the key message of each paragraph and give each paragraph a title appropriate to the message. 

The children have to extract only the information they need. They should highlight the relevant information. 

Before beginning the task, they should check that they have clarified any words they didn’t understand and obtained answers to any questions they have.  

Share success criteria at the bottom of the sheet with the children and remind them of points to consider.

Provide any materials they may require for their poster or paragraph.

Children will present their posters / read their paragraph to their peers.  As a class, they will peer assess each one. (see assessment sheet)


Activity 4

St Margaret

Recap on previous learning.                         

What does it mean to be holy?  What does it mean to be a saint?

Share learning intentions.

Display image-Feast of St. Margaret of Scotland

Analyse picture-what do we know about her by looking at this?

Read and reflect upon story of St. Margaret.

Key questions: 

What was significant about St. Margaret’s life?   What qualities did she have? 

How do you think other people perceived St. Margaret? In what ways does she inspire us to become holy people?   What do you think inspired St. Margaret to lead a holy life? 

State that Saints can inspire us to lead holy lives. 

Divide pupils into groups of 4, identify roles and provide materials.

Observe, question, assist and challenge groups.

Encourage groups to share what they have completed so far with peers. 

Peer assessment: have they addressed the learning intention (on poster)?

Activity 5

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach 

All group members read the words of St Paul.  (Romans  12 : 2)

Discuss as a class.

Using reciprocal reading roles, the reader should read aloud the passage from Jonathan Seagull .

Clarifier should check any words the children are unsure of.

Children should then discuss how does this passage link up with the words of St Paul?

In their groups, children (reporter) should report back to the class.

Children should make notes when listening to their peers to record any ideas / information they may have omitted.  

Explain to the children that when we allow the Spirit to fill our lives, he helps us to see things in a new way, with a new mind.  Encourage them to think of a situation where seeing things in a new way and ‘daring to be different’ would make you behave differently and become more holy.

The children should be given the opportunity to act out this situation and present it to their classmates.  

Children should be encouraged to comment on each group’s ideas.  Remind the children that they are commenting on content and ideas…not necessarily performance skills!


Activity 6

St John Ogilvie

Using reciprocal reading, ask the children to read the story of St John Ogilvie.

Ask the children to discuss his virtues – traits that are good.  

Around his image, write some words / phrases that could be used to describe him and the life he led.

Explain that we will be composing a prayer to St John Ogilvie.  This should include a virtue of his that the children feel is important and asking him to intercede that we may be more him.  

e.g. St John Ogilvie, you had great faith when you spread the word of God, even though it was dangerous at the time.  Please help me to have faith and courage like you.



Activity 7

Using the skills the children have used to research St Margaret and St John Ogilvie, the children should now be given a research task.  

In pairs, the children will research their chosen Saint ( they can choose from a list which includes Scottish Saints St. Margaret, St. Ninian, St. John Ogilvie, St.Columba, St. Cuthbert and/or St. Enoch ).  (Children who require support may use the information on St John Ogilvie or St Margaret from previous lessons)

Children will prepare a piece of writing about their Saint which must include


Details about the Saint’s life.  When / where were they born? Family life? What was society like at the time? 

Turning point / action?

What inspired the Saint to change their ways or what spurred them into action?  What did they decide to do?

Virtues / evidence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Saint

What good things did the Saint do?  What virtues did the Saint have? Give evidence of the Holy Spirit at work in the life of the Saint. 

How can your Saint inspire us today?

What things in our life could change if we decided to follow the example of this Saint?  What could we do to be more like this Saint?  Are there any inspiring words / phrases / prayers of that Saint.

The children will compose a prayer to their chosen Saint, asking them to intercede for us, using the previous prayer to St John Ogilvie as a guide.

The children will then report back to their classmates who will take notes under the following headings.


Turning Point / action

Virtues / Evidence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Saint

How can they inspire us?

After all children have completed their presentation, each child should have notes on a variety of different Saints.

In groups, the children should decide on an appropriate Saint for each class in the school, depending on what they study that year or if it is a Sacrament class.  As a class, make a final decision.

In groups, the children will be asked to adapt their prayers to make them suitable for their audience P1 to P7. 

Children will design an appropriate icon to accompany their prayer.  The icon should be in a similar style to those they have already studied and should include at least three objects to show the life or virtues of the Saint.

Activity 8

Inspired by what the children have learned about the lives and virtues of Saints, they should now make an Advent promise.

This promise should reflect the idea of being ‘Called to be a Saint’. 


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