According to the school inspection handbook, Ofsted’s definition of Cultural Capital is:
“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 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.”
We want all of our children, no matter what their background or experience, to be exposed to the best of the world around them in order to help them reach their potential and make progress in life beyond school. There are many experiences, some small such as a bedtime story and others which are bigger such as a trip to the zoo which many of us take for granted.
Our aim is to redress the balance by aiming to provide opportunities and experiences for all. ‘…the accumulation of cultural capital – the acquisition of knowledge – is the key to social mobility”.
Some of the ways in which we think about Cultural Capital within in our curriculum are:
- a variety of literature is taught (classic and modern authors including poetry)
- across the years, children will be exposed to carefully chosen artists, designers, sculptors, architects and composers
- Science and History will include learning about significant scientists of the past and present and significant historical figures
- we aim for all children to experience outdoor and adventurous activities and an overnight residential experience
- we model respect for each other; use varied and appropriate language and strive to be role models for the children we teach
- pupil voice allows children to formulate arguments, make plans and work with others and they have opportunities to make decisions for the greater good which will also impact on their moral development
- daily life in school includes greeting each other at the door or when passing in the corridor; using cutlery appropriately in the dining room and even opening the door for a peer or adult. These life skills are a crucial part of enabling children to be able to adapt to the setting and experiences they are exposed to
- metalearning (learning to learn), developing a growth mind-set, self-esteem, keeping safe and spiritual development are all areas which we think play a part in children’s ability to be prepared for the future and experience the best of what the world has to offer