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Community cohesion and geography

What is the geography subject contribution to community cohesion?

The DCSF guidance is quite clear on what is meant by the school community and the community within which the school is located:

  • The school community - the children and young people it serves, their parents, carers and families, the school's staff and governing body, and community users of the school's facilities and services
  • The community within which the school is located - the school in its geographical community and the people who live or work in that area. This applies not just to the immediate neighbourhood but also to the city or local authority area within which a school is located

Does your geography curriculum reflect this meaning?

The other definitions of 'community' within the DCSF guidance are less clear:

  • The UK community - all schools are by definition part of this community
  • The global community - formed by the EU and international links

In your own documentation, you might like refer to more detailed statements such as the National Curriculum or QCDA guidance and show how these communities are evident in your schemes of work.

How do you deal with the geographical sub-divisions of the British Isles and the United Kingdom? How is this expressed in terms of communities and identities? How would you back this up with evidence of the impact you are having?

The guidance also points out that 'schools themselves create communities' so you might like to identify how the department works collaboratively with other schools or how it engages with professional networks such as your subject association.


Has your school carried out an audit on their curriculum provision? If not, download the Teaching and Learning Audit document from the Teachernet website which will help you think about how you might structure your learning journey.

Download: Teaching and Learning Audit (external website)

Complete and save your own responses to the audit as you will need this later.

Further sources

Exploration of these sources is supplementary to the course completion time.

QCDA (2008) Global Development in action: a planning guide for schools

QCDA (2010) Community Cohesion in action: a planning guide for schools

QCDA National Curriculum Planning for identity and cultural diversity

QCDA National Curriculum Equalities, diversity and inclusion

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