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Westgate Primary School

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Cultural Capital

Cultural CapitaL


What is cultural capital?

Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, and skills that a pupil 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 promotes social mobility and success in our stratified society.

Cultural capital gives a pupil power. It helps them achieve goals, become successful, and rise up the social ladder without necessarily having wealth or financial capital.


Cultural capital is having assets that give pupils the desire to aspire and achieve social mobility whatever their starting point.


Ofsted’s definition of cultural capital

According to their 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.’”


Why is Cultural Capital important?

We recognise that for pupils to aspire and be successful academically and in the wider areas of their lives, they need to be given rich and sustained opportunities to develop their cultural capital.

The school recognises that there are six key areas of development that are interrelated and cumulatively contribute to the sum of a pupil’s cultural capital:


    Summary of the key areas of coverage for each area of Cultural Capital Development

   1. Personal development:

  1. Personal Finance Education;
  2. Employability skills,
  3. Citizenship, Personal, Social and Health Education provision;
  4. The school’s wider pastoral framework;
  5. Growth mindset and metacognition - Resilience development strategies;
  6. Transition support;
  7. Work to develop confidence;
  8. Activities focused on building self-esteem;
  9. Mental Health & well-being provision.


   2. Social Development:

  1. Citizenship, Personal, Social and Health Education provision;
  2. Charitable works;
  3. Pupil Voice – School Council, House Captains and Eco-Schools Representatives;
  4. Nurture Group Access;
  5. Provisions linked to the school’s Healthy Schools’ work;
  6. Provisions linked to the school’s accreditation as a Mental Health Champion School and its key role as a pilot school for the NHS Mental Health Trailblazers’ programme;
  7. In school and wider community engagement programmes;
  8. Access to counselling.


   3. Physical Development:

  1. The Physical Education curriculum;
  2. Healthy Eating policies and catering provision;
  3. Anti-bullying and safeguarding policies and strategies;
  4. The Health Education dimension of the PSHE curriculum, including strands on drugs, smoking and alcohol;
  5. The extra-curricular programme related to sports and well-being;
  6. The celebration of sporting achievement including personal fitness and competitive sport;
  7. Cycling proficiency training (Bikeability) and Cycling to School Safely protocol;
  8. Activities available for unstructured time, including lunch and break times;
  9. Activity-based residentials;
  10. The curricular programme related to food preparation and nutrition;
  11. Advice & Guidance to parents on all aspects of pupil lifestyle;
  12. The promotion of walking or cycling to school.


   4. Spiritual Development:

  1. The Religious Education Curriculum;
  2. Our collective acts of worship/reflection / Link with St. Paul’s Church;
  3. Support for the expression of individual faiths;
  4. Inter-faith and faith-specific activities and speakers;
  5. Visits to religious buildings and centres;
  6. School-linking activities – locally, nationally and internationally;
  7. The Assembly programme linked to our values programme.


   5. Moral Development:

  1. The Religious Education Curriculum
  2. The behaviour and justice framework underpinning the school’s Behaviour Management policies;
  3. Contributions to local, national and international charitable projects.


   6. Cultural Development:

  1. Citizenship Education;
  2. Access to the Arts;
  3. Access to the languages and cultures of other countries through the curriculum and trips and visits;
  4. Promotion of racial equality and community cohesion through the school’s ethos, informing all policy and practice.