Cultural Capital

What does Cultural Capital Mean?

Cultural capital is the essential knowledge that children need to prepare for their future success. It is about giving children the best possible start to their early and primary education.

The term ‘cultural capital’ comes originally from the field of sociology, which involves the study of society, including relationships, social interactions, and culture. It is important to recognise that everyone has cultural capital – which 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 can be Static and linked only to a child’s interaction with their parents and reflective of their socio-economic status.

Cultural Capital can be Dynamic and influenced by external factors which can impact on a child’s cultural capital and shape their lives.  

Cultural Capital is not something that is ‘given’ or ‘taught’. It is about living and experiencing a broad range of cultural, language, traditions, environments.

Cultural capital is empowering. It helps children achieve goals, become successful, and rise up the social ladder without necessarily coming from or 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 in life.

Cultural Capital at St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School

Our aim is to enrich every child’s school experience and create an environment where they are encouraged to succeed and be the best they can be.

Cultural capital is about preparing children with the knowledge and skills for what comes next. We realise the exploration of new skills and experiences helps to nurture resilience, curiosity, and creativity. Ultimately, this leads to the growth of new forms of cultural capital that makes a difference in individual mindsets and shapes the future.

At St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School, children benefit from a broad and balanced high quality bespoke curriculum. It is through this curriculum that children live and experience culture, language, traditions, and environments.

The Curriculum at St Cuthbert’s is underpinned by the five following principles which all promote our approach to providing our children with ‘dynamic cultural capital’:

  1. Every child is valued and embraced as unique individuals - we ensure our children have a strong sense of belonging and self-worth, that they feel safe in school and know that we love and care for them and want what’s best for them. We value and respect each child for who they are and where they come from. We ensure children’s individual talents are identified and nurtured and we raise children’s aspirations for themselves.
  1. An understanding of the importance of Curriculum Literacy – our school provides a high-quality curriculum; an instructional model-based approach to teaching and learning in the classroom; teaching content and strategies which are based on sound educational research; strong subject leaders and subject leadership and high quality targeted professional development on specific curriculum areas.
  1. Prioritising the experiences of the children as learners – our school provides a knowledge rich, age and need appropriate, broad and balanced curriculum which is cohesive and well-sequenced across all key stages; our curriculum is bespoke to our school, aspirational and challenging.
  1. Promoting a wide and varied curriculum which goes beyond the classroom – our school provides plenty of opportunities to explore new activities, through lunchtime and after school clubs; teaching children about a wide variety of arts including literature and music; learning outside of the classroom, prioritising school trips and residentials and providing plenty of opportunities for questioning, curiosity and creativity.
  1. Providing a stimulating, attractive, purposeful, aspirational, and inspirational learning environment – our school environment is outstanding and responds to the needs of our children and promotes a positive experience to learning and school. It caters for all areas of our bespoke, broad, and balanced curriculum.

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St Cuthbert's Catholic Primary School is part of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust

A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company registration number No 7841435.

Registered Office: Fenham Hall Drive, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 9YH