Religious Education

RE is concerned with developing knowledge, skills and attitudes. It provides the children with opportunities for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. It is broadly based on the Christian faith but includes the other major religions of the world.

RE Intent

Children are taught about a range of religions and learn to respect and ask questions about different religions, traditions and cultures around the world. Across the school year we aim to make R.E relevant by studying and celebrating real events linked to the range of faiths practised by the families at Cold Harbour School. In a modern multi- faith society it is essential that our children are taught about the faith different people within our own community and the wider, global community have.

We believe children learn best from real experiences in order to develop their understanding of why people chose to follow a religion, or do not. We try to enhance our curriculum in many ways to ensure this is how children learn and respect different religions. The whole school ethos is to encourage children be respectful of others in order to impact on their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. During religious education lessons, children are challenged to push themselves to think outside of their comfort zones and explore their beliefs and ideas; asking questions, reflecting on the beliefs of others and begin to draw similarities as well as differences between faiths, considering how this affects people’s decisions in their everyday lives within their community.

Children are taught to think about our school and personal values. Additionally, how people of different backgrounds or beliefs may share similar values whilst differing in their faith. Children are taught how to develop their critical thinking, self-belief, empathy and analysis skills through their understanding of a range of faiths and how these influence the lives of the people that follow them. Children exhibit their religious education in many ways through creativity, writing and role-play in order to fully immerse children in their learning. By doing this we hope that all our children will leave Cold Harbour School with the understanding and respectfulness of every person’s right to choose to have their own faith, whatever that may be and understand the reasons why some people chose a faith. Whilst others consider other things to help them live their lives in the best way they can.

The aims of RE

RE should help pupils to:

Learn about religion by

  • acquiring and developing knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religions represented in Great Britain
  • developing an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies and cultures.


Learn from religion by  

  • developing a positive attitude towards other people, respecting their right to hold beliefs different from their own and towards living in a society of diverse religions
  • developing the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues with reference to the teachings of the principal religions represented in Great Britain
  • enhancing their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by:
  1. developing awareness of the fundamental questions of life raised by human experiences, and how religious teachings can relate to them
  2. responding to such questions with reference to the teachings and practices of religions and to their understanding and experience
  3. reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in the light of their study.


These aims are achieved through a focus on two key aspects of RE as below:

  • Learning about religion includes enquiry into, and investigation of, the nature of religion, its beliefs, teachings and ways of life, sources, practices and forms of expression. It includes the skills of interpretation, analysis and explanation. Pupils learn to communicate their knowledge and understanding using specialist vocabulary. It also includes identifying and developing an understanding of ultimate questions and ethical issues. Learning about religion covers pupils’ knowledge and understanding of individual religions and how they relate to each other as well as the study of the nature and characteristics of religion and its impact on the lives of believers.
  • Learning from religion is concerned with developing pupils’ reflection on and response to their own and others’ experiences in the light of their learning about religion. It develops pupils’ skills of application, interpretation and evaluation of what they learn about religion. Pupils learn to develop and communicate their own ideas, particularly in relation to questions of identity and belonging, purpose and truth, and values and commitments.

Time for Religious Education

Although time can be allocated to RE creatively and flexibly over terms and the subject might be planned in combination with other subjects, the agreed syllabus for Milton Keynes  has been based on the expectation that the following hours be devoted to RE:

  • Key Stage 1: 36 hours per year         
  • Key Stage 2: 45 hours per year

Withdrawal from Religious Education

Religious education at Cold Harbour C of E Primary School is an important and integral part of the curriculum. We hope that all parents will appreciate the value, breadth and depth that this subject can bring to their child’s development. Parents do, however, have the right to withdraw their child from religious education. This will be done in consultation with the Head Teacher and the Governors. The right of parents to withdraw their children from religious instruction on conscience grounds was included in the Education Act of 1944. All subsequent legislation has retained the clause that allows parents to withdraw their children from all or any part of RE. It also protects a teachers’ right to withdraw from teaching the subject. Since 1944 the nature of RE has changed significantly from the nurture of children in a faith tradition to an open and educational enquiry. It is hoped that parents and teachers will feel comfortable with the nature and areas of learning found in this syllabus and that, as a consequence, few will feel the need to withdraw either their children or themselves from the subject.

Teaching and Learning of RE

We base our teaching and learning style in RE on the key principles that good teaching in RE allows children both to learn about religious traditions and to reflect on what the religious ideas and concepts mean to them. Our teaching enables children to extend their own sense of values and promotes their spiritual growth and development.

Our teaching and learning styles in RE enable children to build on their own experiences and extend their knowledge and understanding of religious traditions. We organise visits to local places of worship and invite representatives of local religious groups to come into school and visit the children. A representative from our local church visits our school regularly.

We recognise that all classes in our school have children of widely differing abilities, and so we can provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child.

For more information please see more below:

Events in school

We have had a special week considering why ‘Harvest’ time is special. On Wednesday, Amy from Bridgebuilder reminded us ‘Where our food comes from’ and the importance of sharing the wonders of the earth with others and on Friday members of Year 6 supported Maryann from St.Mary’s with our annual Harvest collective worship. It was wonderful to come together as a whole school and hear the beautiful singing from all year groups. A big thank you to all our families for the generous donations which have been sent in.

Bridgebuilder Collective Worship – Caring for the World
On Wednesday 8th September we enjoyed our Bridgebuilder Collective Worship in the sunshine and learned to consider how our actions can affect the planet.

100th Anniversary of the end of World War 1 Commemoration Service
On Monday 12th November we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War with a service on the school playground led by our year 6 children. A range of poems and accounts from soldiers were read aloud to the whole school and parents. Faith from Flamingo class read a verse from Robert Laurence Binyon’s famous poem ‘For The Fallen’

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

On Friday 9th November, parents were invited into school to help make poppies which we placed on the school field. Faith and her nanny came up with the idea of making the poppy display using plastic bottles so we invited Nanny Jane to be our special guest and to lay a poppy wreath amongst the poppies.

On a beautiful sunny morning, the service was a moving tribute to all those who have lost their lives in WW1 and all the conflicts since.

Visit from the Bishop of Buckingham
We were delighted the Bishop of Buckingham was able to visit on Monday 3rd December 2018. He delivered a wonderful worship to the whole school and then spent the rest of the morning visiting each class who were able to demonstrate their knowledge and views on the true meaning of Christmas. Bishop Alan stated how delighted he was with the children’s respectful behaviour. He then met with Mrs Ryan and governors for a pioneering discussion around chaplaincy.
On Friday 14th December the whole school took part in a Christingle Service led by Rev. Matt Beer. The Christingles remind us that Jesus is the light of the world. It was wonderful to see all the children holding the Christingles they had made with volunteers from St Mary’s church, Bletchley the day before. This was a particularly special service as it will be the last one conducted by Rev. Beer before he moves onto a new role.

Christmas Decoration – House Competition
A huge thank you to all those families who have supported children with this years House Christmas decoration competition. We been amazed at the response with over 90 competition entries! Hopefully these photographs give you some sense of the wonderful array of designs that have been adding Christmas sparkle to the corridors at school. We would like to thank Maryann from St. Mary’s church for helping us judge this competition. The designs as so unique and beautiful that really everyone is a winner. The overall winners were: Florence (Penguin) Rutherford, Summer (Penguin) Rutherford, Emily (Robin) Turing, Norman (Flamingo) Laine and Jack (Goldfinch) Newton

Easter Cracked – Year 6
On Wednesday 20th March Year 6 took part in Easter Cracked at Whaddon Way Church, Bletchley. Our visit (coordinated by the Bridgebuilder Trust) focused on the true meaning of the Easter story. The children really enjoyed taking part in all the activities and were complimented on their understanding of the Easter story.

Year 5 – Lifepath Bunyan Day at Elstow
Year 5 took part in Lifepath Bunyan at Elstow, in association with the Bridgebuilders Trust and Scripture Union. They travelled to Elstow, where John Bunyan, a Christian preacher and author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, was born and lived. They learned about his life and work, and got involved in a few activities that might have been popular during Bunyan’s time – bell-ringing, calligraphy, weaving and even a visit to the market fair for games and maypole dancing!

To end the day, the children travelled along the straight and narrow path to the Celestial City, as Bunyan wrote about in The Pilgrim’s Progress, resisting temptation along the way. The children were excellently behaved and learned a lot throughout the day – well done Year 5!

Collective worship