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Castor Church of England Primary School

Cultural Capital

 Cultural Capital at Castor Church of England Primary School

Every child and family who joins our school will have 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.

Research shows that when children and families’ cultures are valued, both the child’s experience of learning and progress can benefit (Husain et al., 2018, p. 4 and Gazzard, E. 2018 in Chalmers, H. and Crisfield, E. 2019)

What is Cultural Capital?

‘Familiarity with the legitimate culture within a society’ - PIERRE BOURDIEU (FRENCH SOCIOLOGIST) 1970s

‘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.’- SCHOOL INSPECTION HANDBOOK SEPT 2019

‘It is the role of the setting to ensure that children experience the awe and wonder of the world in which they live, through the seven areas of learning.’ - OFSTED EARLY YEARS INSPECTION HANDBOOK, SEPT 2019

‘This is an opportunity for schools to define the cultural capital that their children need and to think more widely than existing ‘legitimate culture’. This will ensure that their pupils are confident creators, able to be the ‘cultural omnivores’ that can make informed decisions about what culture they consume and participate in, and can articulate why it has value.’- CULTURAL LEARNING ALLIANCE 2019

‘Exposure not only to culture but also to situations in which they might not have previous experiences is of paramount importance to their ongoing successes. Moreover, having the understanding that economic capital is intrinsically linked to the level of a student's cultural and social capital keeps at the forefront of our minds the differences in experiences that our disadvantaged children may have had.’- TES JAN 2020 (ADAM RICHES)

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.

At Castor CE Primary School, children benefit from a curriculum that builds on what they understand and know already. 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 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 year and beyond. These include trips to the local park, shops and visits to places of worship, museums, sports and music venues just to name a few.

Through the use of scaffolding we ensure that all children including those with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities are able to access the curriculum. If a child has an Educational Health Care Plan then a tailored curriculum is provided where needed. 

Cultural Capital opportunities are entwined within our bespoke curriculum map. Please see below our curriculum map for 2023-2024