Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours and skills that a child can draw upon and which demonstrates their cultural awareness, knowledge and competence; it is one of the key ingredients a pupil will draw upon to be successful in society; their career and the world of work.
Cultural capital gives power. It helps children achieve goals, become successful, and rise up the social ladder without necessarily having wealth or financial capital. Cultural capital is having assets that give children the desire to aspire and achieve social mobility whatever their starting point. Cultural capital is absolutely everywhere in our world, in our own house, our road, our town/city, across the nation, across the globe.
Ofsted define cultural capital…
As part of making the judgement about the quality of education, inspectors will consider the extent to which schools are equipping pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Our understanding of ‘knowledge and cultural capital’ is derived from the following wording in the national curriculum: “It is essential knowledge that pupils need to be educated citizens, introducing them to the best that has been thought and said and helping to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.”
A school is not going to develop cultural capital purely by, for example, taking children to an art show or to the theatre. It is through children’s active participation that cultural capital develops. Children are unique human beings – they should sing, they should dance, they should twist, they should turn, they should rock and roll, they should imagine, they should script their own stories and then act them out, they should use their hands to twist, to bend, to shape, to mould, to feel, to cut, to tear, to form, to join, to draw, to paint, to make, and they should explore and experience all those wonderful haptic moments which are essential to developing as a human being. Their confidence in doing this is part of their cultural capital.
St Francis is committed to providing our children with these real experiences, and our children benefit from a broad, balanced and enriched curriculum that builds on what they already know and understand. We believe that exposure, not only to culture but also to situations in which the children might not have previous experiences of, is of paramount importance to their ongoing successes. Gradually widening children’s experiences as they progress through our school is an important step in providing rich and engaging learning across the curriculum. We plan carefully for children to have progressively richer experiences in reception and beyond, which are inline with our curriculum drivers: Inspiring, Creative, Active, Nurturing and Challenging.
We will strive hard to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, those with disabilities, those with special gifts and talents, and those learning English as an additional language (EAL), and we take all reasonable steps to achieve this.