Resource 1: What is a community?

Background information / subject knowledge for teacher

A community is a group of people who interact and share certain things in common. Members of the community may live in the same area and may have common values and beliefs. They could share some common possessions.

If you are trying to explain the idea of community to your pupils, you might start by using examples they are familiar with. A good starting point is to ask them to describe their families, including the wider family of aunts, uncles and cousins. Help them to realise that their homes and families consist of individuals, a collection of people, living in a particular place – a small community.

Building on this, you can ask them to add in other groups that they interact with and who form part of the wider community:

  • their neighbours, who live in the same street;
  • their friends, who they see every day;
  • their parents’ friends, who visit them.

It is this collection of different groups of people that makes up a community, and it is how pupils interact with these groups that contribute towards who they are and how they see themselves within the community. Identifying the different things that help define a community will help them understand the part they play in different groups. You might ask them to describe:

  • the location – where people live;
  • the language – how people speak;
  • the culture – what clothes people wear, the food they eat, their religion;
  • the history – important events that have happened to a group of people.

3. Learning to respect differences

Resource 2: Sample questions pupils might ask to find out more about local community groups