Cultural Capital and British Values at Westhaven School

What does Cultural Capital mean at Westhaven School in Lower School?

Every child and family who joins our setting 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 (Husain et al., 2018, p. 4 and Gazzard, E. 2018 in Chalmers, H. and Crisfield, E. 2019)

Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, and skills that a child can draw upon and which demonstrates their cultural awareness, knowledge and competence; it is one of the key ingredients a pupil will draw upon to be successful in society, their career and the world of work.

Cultural capital gives power. It helps children achieve goals, become successful, and rise up the social ladder without necessarily having wealth or financial capital. Cultural capital is having assets that give children the desire to aspire and achieve social mobility whatever their starting point.

Ofsted define cultural capital as…

“As part of making the judgement about the quality of education, inspectors will consider the extent to which schools are equipping pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.

Our understanding of ‘knowledge and cultural capital’ is derived from the following wording in the national curriculum: ‘It is 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.’ “

At Westhaven School, children benefit from a flexible 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.

Gradually widening children’s experiences as they progress through school is an important step in providing rich and engaging learning across the curriculum. We plan carefully for children to have progressively richer experiences in the EYFS and beyond. These include trips to the local park, shops and visits to places of worship, museums, sports and nearby venues just to name a few.

What does Cultural Capital mean at Westhaven School in Middle and Upper School?

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 pupil 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 pupil power. 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 pupils the desire to aspire and achieve social mobility whatever their starting point.

Rationale:

At Westhaven School, we recognise that for pupils 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.

Our school recognises that there are six key areas of development that are interrelated and cumulatively contribute to the sum of a pupil’s cultural capital:

  1. Personal Development
  2. Social Development, including political and current affairs awareness
  3. Physical Development
  4. Spiritual Development
  5. Moral Development
  6. Cultural development

Personal development:

    1. Careers and Information, advice and guidance provision;
    2. Personal Finance Education;
    3. Employability skills, including work experience;
    4. Citizenship, Personal, Social and Health Education provision;
    5. The school’s wider pastoral framework;
    6. Growth mindset and metacognition – Resilience development strategies;
    7. Transition support;
    8. Work to develop confidence e.g. public speaking and interview skills;
    9. Activities focused on building self-esteem;
    10. Mental Health & well-being provision. 

Social Development:

    1. Citizenship, Personal, Social and Health Education provision;
    2. Pupil volunteering and charitable works;
    3. Pupil Voice – VIPs and School Council;
    4. In school and wider community engagement programmes;
    5. Work experience and business engagement programmes;
    6. Access to therapy support. 

Physical Development:

    1. The Physical Education curriculum;
    2. Anti-bullying and safeguarding policies and strategies;;
    3. The Health Education dimension of the PSHE&C programme, including strands on drugs, smoking and alcohol;
    4. Extra-curricular programmes related to sports and well-being;
    5. The celebration of sporting achievement including personal fitness and competitive sport;
    6. Cycling proficiency training;
    7. Activities available for unstructured time, including lunch and break times;
    8. The curricular programme related to food preparation and nutrition;
    9. Advice & Guidance to parents on all aspects of pupil lifestyle;
    10. The promotion of walking or cycling to school.

Spiritual Development:

    1. The Religious Education and Philosophy Curriculum;
    2. Our collective acts of worship and reflection;
    3. Support for the expression of individual faiths;
    4. Inter-faith and faith-specific activities and speakers;
    5. Visits to religious buildings and centres;
    6. Classes and seminars with speakers focusing on spiritual issues;
    7. School-linking activities – locally, nationally and internationally;
    8. Weekly assemblies.

Moral Development:

    1. The Religious Education Curriculum;
    2. The school’s Behaviour Management policies;
    3. Contributions to local and national charitable projects.

Cultural Development:

    1. Citizenship Education;
    2. Access to the Arts;
    3. Access to the languages and cultures of other countries through the curriculum and trips and visits;
    4. Promotion of racial equality and community cohesion through the school’s ethos, informing all policy and practice.

Appreciation and love for music

Celebrating different cultures, traditions and faiths

Educational visits linked to our topics

Learning about people in our community

Having our say about road safety

Showcasing talents

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Bringing financial skills to the curriculum

Growing fruit and veg

Learning beyond the classroom

BRITISH VALUES 

“I cannot lead you into battle.  I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can give my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations​” -Queen Elizabeth II

The Department for Education has published guidance to schools on promoting British values to prepare young people for life in modern Britain.  At Westhaven School we take this responsibility  very seriously and we actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.

These concepts are explored through our curriculum and in all subjects but in Religious Education and PSHE and Citizenship, in particular, where children can deepen their understanding. We make great efforts to ensure our children are exposed to a wide range of experiences beyond their own community. 

DEMOCRACY

“Democracy and Freedom are dreams you never give up.” -Aung San Suu Kyi

At Westhaven school we listen to the views of children and we do this through a variety of means including:

  • Pupil surveys
  • Assemblies
  • Circle time

 

THE RULE OF LAW

‘True freedom requires the rule of law and justice, and a judicial system in which the rights of some are not secured by the denial of rights to others.” -Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks

Our school has ‘The Westhaven Way’ which promotes the well-being of the individual and the school as a whole. Each class reinforces the statements and they are a central part of the school ethos. They include being kind, helpful, fair and polite to everyone in our school; looking after and taking care of things around us; trying hard to do our best in everything we do. The school has a positive behaviour policy that sets out rewards and consequences. We encourage children to recognise rights and how these go hand in hand with responsibility

INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY

“One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen, can change the world.” -Malala Yousafzai

We support children to make informed choices in a secure setting. Children develop self-respect and value themselves as individuals. Our school ethos, and methods of teaching, develop children’s independence as well as other qualities such as  perseverance and resilience.

Children are encouraged to achieve highly and work hard.  Through determination and self belief we foster ambition.  Visits from doctors, scientists, firemen, farmers  and a range of other professionals encourage all children to follow their dreams and to develop plans towards fulfilling their career goals.

MUTUAL RESPECT

“We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters, or we will perish together as fools.” -Martin Luther King, Jr

Respect is a core value of our school and underpins our ethos. Respect is shown by all adults and children towards each other and towards our community. Our wide and broad curriculum supports this and helps children to articulate what respect means in practice. Children can talk about their own faith and beliefs as well as the faiths and beliefs of others. Our emphasis is one of unity around what unites us as human beings.

TOLERANCE OF THOSE WITH DIFFERENT FAITHS AND BELIEFS

“The highest result of education is tolerance.” -Helen Keller

Through Religious Education and PSHE and Citizenship, in particular, we deepen children’s understanding of faith and belief. We participate in a wide range of celebrations such as Chinese New Year, Diwali, Eid and Christmas as well as many others. We welcome visitors from our community and  those beyond. We have an emphasis on British culture and celebrate St George’s day and Shakespeare’s birthday on the 23rd of April .

At Westhaven School, we view these fundamental British values as universal moral beliefs that are commonly held across the world. We teach these through a distinct curriculum that recognises the unique culture of Britain whilst developing in our pupils a pride in being part of the British nation

“Not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or equal motivation, but they should have the equal right to develop their talent and their ability and their motivation, to make something of themselves.” ​ -John F Kennedy

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