The patron saints of Ireland and Wales have strong Celtic connections. For the KS2 unit on "Invaders and Settlers" the study of how mythological Celtic heroes and heroines became Christian saints is interesting in its own right. It could also be a fascinating study in how the subsequent Saxon, Viking and Norman cultures impacted on and adopted parts of the existing ideas and beliefs. This provides an ideal citizenship opportunity for looking at how different peoples and cultures share common values, beliefs and roots. Saint George provides an ideal platform to study the crusades - and comparing crusaders with football fans might be an unusual way of tackling this issue. Were crusaders as uninformed about Saint George as present-day football fans? The real Saint George certainly presents us with a good example of historical stories being interpreted the way we want them to be rather than the way they were.
This article raises some fascinating possibilities for looking at how history is interpreted, and also the ways in which beliefs and traditions merge and continue to live on in different forms. Pupils could all have fun investigating their respective national saints - how and why did each become the patron saint?
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