Cultural Capital

Developing Cultural Capital at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School

The 20th century French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu defined cultural capital as, “familiarity with the legitimate culture within a society.”

In the 2019 School Inspection Handbook, Ofsted defines it as, “the essential knowledge that students need to be educated citizens, introducing them to the best that has been thought and said and helping them to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.”

At Clitheroe Royal Grammar School we view cultural capital as a vital element of the holistic education and development we offer to every young person in our school. We strongly believe that in order to equip and prepare our students for their role as influential global citizens we must offer them the very broadest range of opportunities, experiences and knowledge during their time in our school.

Clitheroe Royal Grammar School is a very diverse educational community. Our students, staff, parents/carers and Governors come from a wealth of different backgrounds, languages, cultures, faiths and traditions. As a result, in our development of cultural capital we want to celebrate this diversity and for our students to develop as “cultural omnivores” (Peterson, 1992). They should be able to choose to mix interests in a wide range of forms of culture, both those seen as “historically legitimate” by society and those forms which are emerging and contemporary. In summary, to “stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before and create new and exciting forms of culture.”

We understand that families will pass on cultural capital to their children by introducing them to dance, music, theatre, galleries, historic sites, art and literature. An awareness and understanding of these enables young people to confidently “hold their own” in a range of settings; from a job interview to a conversation with a neighbour or building a professional network. It enables young people to be able to learn and name things which are, for many, outside their daily experience.

Research from the Sutton Trust has shown that enabling young people to have knowledge and understanding of these areas of culture facilitates greater academic success and opens doors to a wide range of careers and professions for the future. Projects such as The Class Ceiling have shown how recruitment into key professions, including banking and law, is made easier by the level of cultural capital of the applicants. We want our students to be equipped with the very best possible opportunities to excel in their chosen path and to have the confidence to converse, debate and discuss.

The following page gives just a taste of the experiences offered to our students to assist them in developing their cultural capital, knowledge and understanding. This is the “golden thread” which runs through our curricular and extra-curricular programme for all students.

In summary, we aim for our students to be confident in their cultural knowledge and understanding but also to be creators of innovative new forms of culture which will help them shape the future in a diverse, global Britain.

How do we develop our students’ Cultural Capital at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School?

Clitheroe Royal Grammar School Main School Sixth Form
Commemoration Day

 

Drama club: productions and theatre visits

 

Music tuition, ensembles, Festival and Concerts

 

Art: gallery visits and artists in residence

 

Broad & balanced curriculum offer with clear intent grounded in strong philosophy

 

Careers Education, Information & Guidance programme

 

Exchange programmes

 

Auschwitz Visit and Holocaust Memorial projects

 

Diverse and challenging Assembly programme

 

Mathematics Challenge

 

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

 

Student Leadership programmes

 

School Council

 

Community projects

 

Charity Committees

 

Sporting opportunities

 

Engineering the Future project

 

Societies Challenge

 

Speaking & Listening projects and Debating Club

 

“Everyone Reading In Class”

 

Personal, Social & Health Education programme

 

Race for the Line project

 

Astronomy Masterclass

 

Readathon, Reading Spies,

Lancashire Book of the Year & Kids Lit Quiz

 

Enterprise Days

 

Curricular day visits and fieldwork opportunities

 

House System and opportunities

 

Ogden Trust projects: Physics

 

Visiting author workshops

 

Wellbeing Days and Wellbeing Challenge

 

Peripatetic music lessons

 

Theatre workshops

 

Med/Dent/Vet preparation programme

 

Lunchtime careers talks

 

Careers in subjects displays

 

 

 

Freshers Fair and wealth of student-led societies

 

Overseas visits e.g. Washington/Beijing/Operation Wallacea

 

General Election hustings

 

Speakers in Schools programme

 

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary programme

 

Oxbridge Programme

 

Extended Project Qualification

 

Guidance Programme

 

Global work experience

 

Curricular day visits and fieldwork opportunities

 

Academic Vocabulary research project

 

Computational Thinking Challenge

 

Wellbeing Weeks

 

Preparation for University and Careers admissions tests

 

Bar Mock Trial

 

Critical Thinking

 

Ethics, Philosophy & Religion Conference

 

University Open Day visits