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National Curriculum

Community participation

Active participation in the life of the school and the wider community helps young people to develop a sense of purpose and belonging, so that they feel able to make a difference in their own lives and to the communities in which they live. Download the community participation overview.

Young people are already citizens so it is important to provide opportunities for them to become involved in the life of the school and the wider community, for the benefit of others or to bring about change. By giving young people a voice in their school, it is possible to develop a sense of responsibility and increase their motivation and engagement with learning.

Working on community projects that involve real audiences, purpose and decision-making, can help young people to see themselves as responsible citizens and as agents for positive change. By working beyond the school and with different groups, young people have the opportunity to contribute to community cohesion.

Through community participation, young people will learn to consider the impact of what they are doing for others, and their potential to influence decision makers and change things for the better. By working with a wide range of people, they will develop the confidence to explore issues and ideas critically, and a willingness to try new things and take managed risks.

As a result, society will gain young people who:

  • act as responsible citizens

  • are willing to volunteer to make a difference

  • confidently work with others to influence those in power

  • are motivated to change society for the better.

Developing a curriculum that supports community participation

In order to help learners to understand about community participation and develop the skills to get involved, they should have opportunities across the curriculum to:

  • work with a range of people from the community, including individuals, groups and organisations

  • identify issues, problems and areas where improvements could be made in their community

  • explore what they need to know in order to be able to make a difference, and find out who can help or provide advice and guidance

  • take action while working collaboratively with others

  • reflect on what they have learned, evaluating the success of their action and deciding what to do next.

Curriculum case studies

girls working on the computer

Community broadcasting

Giving pupils a platform for dialogue can help them to...

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Community participation case studies

See also

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