The Giles Nursery and Infants' School

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Cultural Capital

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

Celebration assemblies

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

Healthy Schools

Protective behaviours

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.

Sports day

Celebration of sporting achievements

Daily Mile

Yoga workshop

Dance festival

Disability awareness – PSHCE activity – blindfolded to experience blind – what would it be like?

Dance workshops

Forest School/Outdoor learning

Physical brain/sensory breaks



3. Social and Emotional Development

Forest School/Outdoor learning

School Council/Eco Council

Playground leaders

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)

Lego club

Transition – booklets, visits.

Ribbons on the gates



4. Spiritual Development

Visits to the local church

Exploring religious buildings

Assemblies delivered by Bridge Builders charity.

School Prayer

Re curriculum

Celebrations - Chinese New Year, Diwali, Christmas

Local religious leader visits

Religious festival role play areas

Faith assemblies

Forest School

Eco Council

British Values


Cards for care homes, hospital, police

Creation story – art, music and poetry

Environmental art

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

Black History

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

Pantomime visits

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

Bilingual books

Visitors – People who help us – The Blue Cross, Firefighter, Police, Paramedic, Doctor, Nurse, Flight Attendant, Postal Worker.


One world week

50th Anniversary

PE unit teambuilding

Living Nativity

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


Workshops - Dance, Drumming, Puzzle, History, Nativity

Community Events - Stevenage Day, A Moment in Time

National Charitable Projects

Visits to places of worship - Christmas at Church

PSHCE - Disability Awareness

Visitors - Firefighters, Police, MP, Blue Cross, Scouts

Forest School and Outdoor Learning

Keeping Safe Online

Sporting Events and Sports Day

Educational Visits

Mindfulness Day