What is Cultural Capital?
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)
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 increase 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.
What does Cultural Capital look like at Northside Primary School?
At Northside Primary School, we assist children on their individual learning and life journeys. We want all children to succeed in life and this starts as soon as they enter EYFS. Through play, they are given the opportunities to make sense of different experiences by re-enacting them. This naturally reinforces children’s cultural capital. Role play is a perfect medium for doing this. Taking part in imaginative role play scenarios supports the children to make sense of society and the wider world around them. Our well-resourced EYFS classrooms support our children to bring these experiences to life.
At Northside Primary School, children benefit from a flexible 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. We expose our children to knowledge which is outside of their daily experiences. We teach children about aspects which children have not directly experienced before, we widen these experiences to ensure each child is exposed to or are aware of as many opportunities in their lives as possible.
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 nursery and beyond. These include trips to the local area, shops and visits to places of worship, museums, sports and music venues just to name a few.
It is important for children to gain the ‘essential knowledge,’ wide experiences and universal reference points. This allows them to succeed in their own individual journeys. Through taking part in different experiences, interacting with a wide range of people children can gain a wider knowledge of the world they live in. This, therefore, builds on children’s existing cultural capital and extends it.
At Northside Primary School we are committed to:
Celebrating and embracing the different backgrounds, heritage, language and traditions of all the children living in this country.
Building experiences and knowledge by immersing children in the world around them.