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 student 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 student power and 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 students the desire to aspire and achieve social mobility whatever their starting point.
The original phrase came from the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu in the 1970s, believing the more ‘capital’ you had, the more powerful your position was within society. This concept has continued to develop and research now shows that when a child’s cultures are valued, both their experience of learning and their progress can benefit (Husain et al., 2018, p. 4 and Gazzard, E. 2018 in Chalmers, H. and Crisfield, E. 2019).
Cultural Capital at Listerdale Junior Academy
Every child and family who joins Listerdale 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. At Listerdale pupils benefit from a creative and ambitious curriculum that builds on what they understand and know already. We believe the exposure to valuable, long-life experiences is really important to their ongoing successes.Children are exposed to a wide range of books, either through our text-led curriculum, reading sessions or the plethora of reading activities we run through school such. We have recommended reading books in each year group. Reading is seen as a high priority, but also exposing children to authors that link to our context and that they wouldn’t necessary encounter, if it wasn’t for our guidance
We recognise that for our pupils to 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. We do this in many ways, for example, through our curriculum, extra-curricular activities, workshops, visits, enrichment days and community links.
Here are some of the ways Cultural Capital is showcased at Listerdale