Cultural Capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, and skills that a student 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.
As a school, we understand and support the belief that cultural capital promotes social mobility and success in the extremely diverse society in which our children live and will grow to work in and engage with further.
Cultural capital provides our children with a certain strength. It helps them achieve goals, become successful, and rise up the social ladder without necessarily having wealth or financial capital. This is particularly significant to our children given the disparate socio-economic back grounds of many of our school community.
Cultural capital is having specific and much needed assets that will give students the desire to aspire and achieve social mobility whatever their starting point.
At St Thomas More Catholic School we recognise that for our children 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.
We understand that for students to be both aspirational and successful academically, and in the wider areas of their lives, we need to provide them with a rich and sustainable range of opportunities which will develop their cultural capital. We do so in a variety of ways, for example, through our curriculum, extra curricula activities, trips and visits and careers activities.
We recognise that there are four distinctive areas of development that are interrelated and contribute to building our student cultural capital. These are:
- Academic/cultural development
- Personal and social development
- Physical development
- Spiritual and moral development
Nothing is more necessary for our students’ education than ensuring that they are supported to be the best they can be within a society that is ever changing, diverse and eclectic. It is important to us that this will also ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to live, learn, and achieve.
Summary of key areas of coverage for each area of Cultural Capital Development:
- Academic/Cultural Development:
- Access to Music, Performing Arts, Design and Technology
- Opportunities to debate/discuss/consider opposing points of view.
- Fostering BfL within Form /lesson eg academic resilience, perseverance, stamina.
- Provision of Pastoral and Parents’ Evenings.
- Visits to Theatres, Art Galleries and music venues.
- Provision of after school tuition in Community Languages.
- Promotion of race relations and community cohesion through our schools’ ethos.
- Form time curriculum.
- Foreign trips and visits.
- Visits from theatre groups to school.
- Personalised study areas.
- Personal/Social Development:
- Careers and information, advice and guidance provision.
- Employability skills, including work experience.
- Personal, social and health education provision.
- The school’s wider pastoral framework.
- Growth mindset and metacognition – Resilience development strategies.
- Transition support.
- Work to develop confidence eg public speaking and interview skills.
- Activities focused on building self-esteem.
- Mental health and wellbeing provision.
- Activities focussed on building self-esteem.
- Form time curriculum
- Student volunteering and charitable works.
- Student Voice – Year Group and School Council.
- SJV Group access.
- In school and wider community engagement programmes.
- Work experience and business engagement programmes.
- Access to counselling.
- Physical Development:
- The Physical Education curriculum.
- Healthy Eating policies and catering provision.
- Anti-bullying and safeguarding policies and strategies, including the student-friendly safeguarding policy.
- Our health education dimension of the RSHE/PSHE programme, including strands on drugs, smoking and alcohol.
- The extra-curricular programme related to sports and wellbeing.
- The celebration of sporting achievement eg including sports days and individual student achievement outside of school.
- Cycling proficiency training
- Activity-based residentials.
- Advice and guidance to parents on all aspects of student lifestyle.
- Spiritual/Moral Development:
- The Religious Education and Philosophy Curriculum.
- Our collective acts of worship and reflection.
- The Assembly programme.
- Support for the expression of individual faiths.
- Classes and seminars with speakers focussing on spiritual issues.
- School-linking activities – locally, nationally and internationally.
- Vincent de Paul Groups
- RSHE programme across all key stages.
- Recognition of key national and international events such as Black History month, Remembrance Day, Holocaust Memorial Day.
- The behaviour and justice framework rooted in our Catholic ethos, underpinning the school’s Behaviour Management policies.
- Contributions to local, national and international charitable projects.
- Celebration of key liturgical events.
- Celebration of key religious events in other world faiths.
- Cafod Live Simply Award.