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Cultural Capital

Cultural Capital at Barnfields Primary School


At Barnfields Primary School, we recognise that every child and family who joins our school will have their own unique set of experiences that reflect their family and the culture in which they live. Each child begins school with their own cultural capital and at Barnfields, we strive to build on that.


Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, and skills that a child can draw upon which demonstrates their cultural awareness and competence. It is one of the key ingredients that determines their success in society, their career and the world of work. It is a complex theory that comes originally from the field of sociology, which involves the study of society, including relationships, social interactions and culture. It is important to recognise that everyone has cultural capital – knowledge, skills and behaviours – and these accumulate over a lifetime through many different experiences and opportunities.


Ofsted define cultural capital as…

‘…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.’ (DfE, 2013)


Our children at Barnfields Primary School benefit from a carefully planned, progressive and coherent curriculum that builds on what they understand and know already. We believe that exposure, not only to culture but also to situations in which the children might not have previous experiences of, is of paramount importance to their ongoing successes. In each subject, we promote cultural capital as well as experiences to enhance these opportunities.


Gradually widening children’s experiences as they progress through school is an important step in providing rich, varied and engaging learning across the curriculum in all year groups. These include visits to places which enhance the children’s cultural capital such as: visits to Stafford Castle, the local farm, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, and The Black Country Museum to name a few. At Barnfields, we seize opportunities possible to increase the cultural capital of our learners enabling them to flourish in society.