Every child and family at our school has their own knowledge and experiences that will link to their culture and wider family. This might include: languages, beliefs, traditions, cultural and family heritage, interests, travel and work. When the culture of children and their families is valued, both the child’s experience of learning and progress can benefit.
Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, and skills that a child can draw upon and which demonstrates 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.
Ofsted look at cultural capital when making a 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 the 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.’ ”
At Summerlea Community Primary School, children benefit from a creative and broad and balanced curriculum that builds on what they understand, know and can already do. We believe that exposure, not only to culture but also to situations which the children might not have had prior experience of, is of paramount importance to their ongoing achievements and personal development.
Gradually widening children’s experiences as they progress through school is an important step in providing a rich and engaging learning experience across the curriculum. We plan carefully for children to have progressive experiences from EYFS onwards. Examples include:
- Observing and learning about our resident ducks and ducklings
- Learning about people and places around the world
- Appreciation and love for music, singing and the performing arts
- Understanding how history has shaped our future
- Celebrating different cultures, traditions and faiths
- Educational visits linked to topics
- Residential and overnight experiences
- Learning about people in our community
- Opportunities for pupil leadership
- Planning and running an annual fundraising fiesta for a range of charities
- Showcasing talents, including through performances and our termly cowbell assembly
- Forest School
- Learning beyond the classroom and embracing our local environment
- Themed days and weeks including Dragons’ Den
- Visitors to school
- Extra-curricular clubs
- And lots more!