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School is a Bunch of Fruit

To demonstrate the difference between school as building and school as community

by The Revd Guy Donegan-Cross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To demonstrate the difference between school as building and school as community.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need some large building bricks and a pile of fruit.


  1. Tell the children you are going to build something from the bricks. Ask them to put up their hands when they think they know what it is. Slowly build a school, stopping periodically to see how many people think they know what it is. You can drop hints, such as: that can be the climbing frame, here's the gate where the mums and dads wait, etc. When it is completed, ask the children to tell you what it is.

  2. Now say you are going to build another school. Take out a piece of fruit, hold it up, and say, 'This is Julie.' Place it on the table. Take out another, hold it up, and say, 'This is Fred.' Gradually build up a pile of fruit, giving each one a name - you may like to take suggestions for humorous impact! Point out how all the 'people' are different, but in this school they all try to fit together to make an attractive and mixed fruit bowl.

  3. Remind the children that both of these represent the school. Ask what the difference is between them. One is a building, and one is a community - a group of people.

  4. Ask the children: Does this group of people have to be inside this building to be the school? Point out that school buildings are a very important part of the school, but that you are still part of the school when you go on a trip, and you are a member of the school when you're at home. So school is more than just a place, it's something that you're part of and that's part of you - that's what we mean by 'community'.

  5. Say that Jesus had something to say about this when he said: 'Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there with you.' He didn't want his followers to think that they had to go to a special place to find him (although many people do find churches to be special). He wanted them to know that wherever they were, he was with them. Point out that wherever you are, you're part of this school.

Time for reflection

Dear God,
Thank you that we belong together.
We are a community.


'Welcome' (Come and Praise Beginning, 15)

Publication date: February 2004   (Vol.6 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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