What does Cultural Capital Mean at The Giles Nursery and Infants' School?
Cultural Capital is everywhere in our world. It is in our homes, our streets, our town and further across the country and the wider world. We have a rich and diverse community within the Giles Nursery and Infants’ School with over 30 languages spoken and many different faiths and religions.
The Cultural Learning Alliance believe that cultural capital is a way to "celebrate and embrace different backgrounds, heritage, language and traditions of all children living in this country".
At The Giles Nursery and Infants' School we celebrate each child's and their families' own knowledge and experiences that link to their culture and the wider community. It is important that all children have the opportunity to share their own knowledge of different languages, beliefs, traditions, cultural heritage, family heritage, interests, travel and work. The children at our school enjoy sharing what they know and their own experiences as well as learning from their peers. We embrace the different cultures within our school and in our surrounding communities.
Ofsted's definition of cultural capitalism is:
"As part of making the judgement about the quality of education, inspectors will consider the extent to which schools are equipping children with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Our understanding of 'knowledge and cultural capital' is derived from the following words in the national curriculum: 'It is 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.'"
Cultural Capitalism is something that is applied to all curriculum subject areas. At our school, we believe that the key to cultural capital is through curiosity and creativity. It is important for children to have the desire to find out more about themselves, where they come from, where they belong, where they feel safe and confident, and how they can grow as a person. This will equip them with the cultural knowledge to propel them further in their education, careers and social development. We aspire to create holistically, well rounded individuals equipped with the personal skills, behaviour and knowledge to succeed in life.
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)
At The Giles Nursery and Infants' School, children benefit from a topic-led, creative curriculum that builds on what they know and understand already. We believe that it is important to provide the children with experiences in which they can all be actively involved in the learning and take part in situations that they might not have previous experiences of. This is of paramount importance for their ongoing successes. We plan carefully for the children to be involved in rich and engaging experiences. These include trips to the local woodland areas, walking through our local area, visits to places of worship, connections with the museum, workshops set up in school, visitors coming into the school to share their knowledge, assemblies and many more. Our curriculum encourages pupils to experience awe and wonder of the world by developing their curiosity. By tapping into their potential, we are able to widen their horizons so that they aspire and achieve bright futures whatever their starting points.
Our school recognises that there are 6 key areas of development that are interrelated and cumulatively contribute to the sum of a pupil’s cultural capital:
1. Personal Development
Topic-based educational visits
EYFS, Year 1, Year 2 library
Specialised PE teachers
When learning about other countries we learn about their music, dance, food as well as their climate and traditions.
Educational visit to the seaside
Educational visit to Sishes Wood
PSHCE Curriculum including Jigsaw/SEAL
Science - Growth and well-being weeks
Yoga and mindfulness sessions
Value of the month
2. Physical Development
Extra curricular activities including Art club and dance
Specialised PE teacher
Sporting Future apprentices
Sporting Future events in school and outside of school including the Mini Olympics and athletics sessions.
Celebration of sporting achievements
Disability awareness – PSHCE activity – blindfolded to experience blind – what would it be like?
Forest School/Outdoor learning
Physical brain/sensory breaks
3. Social and Emotional Development
Forest School/Outdoor learning
School Council/Eco Council
Full time Family Support Worker based in school – well-being work.
Support work from external professionals including play therapists and family support workers.
Bright Stars/protective behaviours
The feelings monster (KS1 approach to developing emotional literacy)
Transition – booklets, visits.
Ribbons on the gates
4. Spiritual Development
Visits to the local church
Exploring religious buildings
Assemblies delivered by Bridge Builders charity.
Celebrations - Chinese New Year, Diwali, Christmas
Local religious leader visits
Religious festival role play areas
Cards for care homes, hospital, police
Creation story – art, music and poetry
The First Musician – art and music
5. Moral Development
Contribution towards national charitable projects – Children in Need, Odd Socks – Down Syndrome awareness, Red Nose Day, Collection for Ukraine, The Poppy Appeal
Stars of the week
Value of the month award
Transition – booklets, visits
School Awards – Hertfordshire Quality Standards, Stevenage Sporting Futures, Healthy Schools, Green Tree School Bronze and Silver awards.
Collecting for harvest
Royal British Legion visitor
Democracy and voting
6. Cultural Development
Dance and Music workshops – drumming, Samba workshop, Native American dance.
Links with Stevenage Museum
The Scott Polar Institute
Musician of the month
‘A Moment in Time’ project – Schools collaborating to celebrate 70 years of Stevenage New Town.
Theatre Visits to school
Educational workshops – The Great Fire of London, Life in the Victorian House, Seasides Then and Now.
Visits from Important people – Scientific research trip to Antarctica.
Opera Singer visit
Year 1 History of Stevenage topic
Close links with the local MP, regular visits
Visitors – People who help us – The Blue Cross, Firefighter, Police, Paramedic, Doctor, Nurse, Flight Attendant, Postal Worker.
One world week
PE unit teambuilding
Role play areas
The Great British Art Exhibition – community art project
The Creative Network
Exploration of various artists
Celebrating national months/days
World book day