Christian Distinctiveness & Religious Education

We are extremely proud to be a Church of England School and have a close partnership with the Parish of St. Mary’s and the Diocese of Derby. We believe that all children should have ‘life in all its fullness’ John 10:10.

We work closely with Reverend Arnold, who has shared the following message:

My name is Derek Arnold and I am the new Team Rector (priest-in-charge) of Coton in the Elms Church working in the school with the Revd Bruce Johnson who is the Team Vicar looking after the community side of the partnership. We also look after a number of other churches. I have 4 children, a number of Grandchildren and Foster Son who was with us for 10 years. I have joined the Governing body and would like to give you an idea about who I am.

After attending Art College in Portsmouth, I began my working life as a Technical Illustrator. We moved to Germany for 10 years where I worked in the latter part of my time as Marketing Director and when I returned to Banbury, I started my own company which is where I remained until I got the call to be a priest and the rest they say, is history.

Since joining the Priesthood, I have served on 6 Governing Bodies and have been the Chair on 3. It was not always at the best of times, but always a pleasure and privilege to serve. If any of my past and present experience can help the school, I will do what I can.

Working in schools, and behind the scene, at schools has been a real interest of mine. I believe this is a really important part of the church’s mission to our communities, and a place where we can enjoy real encounters, and build good relationships with students, parents and teachers.

I enjoy watching sport and Stand-up Comedy, getting out into the countryside and going fishing when I get the time. I love going to the cinema and a couple of my favourite films are Gran Torino and The Great Escape.

Our school values of P E A C E are rooted in the Bible Teaching.

2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

We all want the very best life opportunities for our pupils. Through perseverance in times of challenge we can succeed. Although academic success is important, we value most that our pupils revel in the awe and wonder of God’s creation. We wish for all our pupils to have compassion for others and live out God’s plan that he has for each of us.

We are very proud of our SIAMS outstanding outcome. Our report can be viewed here: Coton-in-the-Elms-SIAMS-Report-2017

Further information can be found about the diocese here: Derby Diocesan Board of Education – Derby Diocesan Board of Education Website (

Collective Worship

We are passionate about delivering thoughtful, thought provoking and inspiring Collective Worship. We have daily collective worship. Each half term we have a value that forms the theme for the worship led by Mrs McIntosh.

We have a Collective Worship MP as part of our School Parliament, who helps us by providing ideas, prayers, insight and by evaluating our worship so that it continues to meet the needs of our children. We invite all children to take part in Collective Worship, but are incredibly inclusive and give children choices, options and independence in how they join in, reflect and learn with us.

Collective Worship Timetable

Themes for Collective Worship Autumn 1 2022 (1)

Themes for Collective Worship Autumn 2 2022

Themes for Collective Worship Spring 1 2023 (2)


This is a complex and abstract concept, which is unique to each of us. We believe that spirituality is the opening of hearts and minds, through reflection, and the questioning of the world. It is the opportunity for us to discuss and challenge the wonder and the challenges we see in our world.

RE Curriculum

We deliver RE lessons weekly, using the Understanding Christianity scheme ( Each unit is introduced through a ‘Big Question’. Each lesson builds through a carefully planned sequence of objectives, to support pupils with reflecting on the Big Question. Lessons refer to the big frieze, created by artist, Emma Yarlett. The frieze is used to support pupils in building coherence about key concepts and how they relate to each other.(

Understanding Christianity Frieze

Our RE long term plan is on a 2 year rolling program

RE Long Term Plan

Pupils are also taught about World Faiths. Lessons are progressive and follow the Derby Agreed Syllabus: building-progression-through-your-agreed-re-syllabus.pdf (

The long-term plans set out a clear sequence of learning. Supplementary planning and lesson ideas are taken from: Derbyshire and Derby City Agreed Syllabus for RE

We incorporate the values of the Church of England into our curriculum and daily practice. As a staff we have considered how we ensure we educate for:

wisdom, knowledge and skills: enabling discipline, confidence and delight in seeking wisdom and knowledge, and developing talents in all areas of life.

hope and aspiration: enabling healing, repair and renewal, coping wisely when things go wrong, opening horizons and guiding people into ways of fulfilling them.

community and living well together: a core focus on relationships, participation in communities and the qualities of character that enable people to flourish together.

dignity and respect: the basic principle of respect for the value and preciousness of each person, treating each person as a unique individual of inherent worth. This documents how Coton offers ‘fullness of life’ for all:

CofE values in our school Sept 22

RE Assessment

At the start of each unit, we share the Big Question and set out the ‘sticky knowledge’ that outlines the key learning we want pupils to have retained. RE is assessed by reflecting on the Big Question. Pupils complete an activity showing their response to what they have learned. As the curriculum is a spiral curriculum, pupils have several opportunities to revisit key learning and build upon their prior knowledge.