Increasing pupils cultural capital through outdoor learning experiences

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One way of thinking about cultural capital is that it is an individual's social assets that enable them to succeed and thrive in wider society through education. Examples of social assets are education, intellect, skill and behaviours and they can be learnt through experiences and opportunities.

Each individual possesses their own cultural capital that they have developed throughout their life. It has now become a focus of Ofsted to ensure that teachers use the curriculum to enhance the experience and opportunities available to children, particularly the most disadvantaged, to ensure the continued development of cultural capital - something they describe as essential knowledge that pupils need to be educated citizens. Expanding upon the objectives of Citizenship, SMSC and PSHE, the development a child's cultural captial can be achieved through activities like travel, or music, or indeed anything that gives them access to new opporuntities and experiences.

It is important to recognise that every child is unique and that they are constantly learning. However, the focus on cultural capital is intended to give children the social assets to be resilient, capable, confident and able to thrive in a range of social and academic environments. All of which will help children achieve a better standard of education.

How can school trips help develop a child's cultural capital?

Perhaps your class have not had much experience in a rural environment. Children who grow up in cities have a very different life experience to those in smaller towns or villages. Planning a school trip into the countryside, or giving them the chance to try activities like pond dipping, or bushcraft skills, would be a great way to build their cultural capital. Alternatively, your class may be from a rual area without much exposure to, or experience of, the arts. Why not consider a theatre trip, or a visit to a city like London, Manchester or Birmingham.

If the majority of a school's students are from a single ethnic group, those students many be missing out on experienceing other cultures and appreciating differences. Schools can plan and deliver a variety of workshops or day trips; immersive experiences of cultures and faiths that they may not have had much exposure to previously.

If the school's context is an area of low socio-economic status, children may start their school life with little cultural capital. Trying to offer the children experiences that will spark their interest in specific subjects like science and maths, or music and the arts, can show them the different ways these subjects can affect their lives and futures.

On a national level, language teachers look for opportunities to increase pupils cultural capital through experiences of the French or Spanish speaking world. This could be through engaging with music, art, food, dance, language or the countries themselves. School trips and workshops can expand a student's cultural capital in a variety of ways, helping their social, moral, physical, personal, spiritual and cultural development.


If you would like us to help you find a school trip or workshop to boost your students' cultural capital, please use the form below to tell us what you are looking for.

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Introducing Shakespeare- Engage and Inspire
Introducing Shakespeare- Engage and Inspire
Introducing Shakespeare- Engage and Inspire

During this Drama Hut Workshop, we will lead the children on a fun exploration of ‘all things Shakespeare’, helping them to appreciate how exciting and accessible his work can be, through voice exercises, storytelling, text work and improvisation
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Exciting Egyptians
Exciting Egyptians
Exciting Egyptians

Humph’s Histories is led by Steve Humpherson who has a passion for history and passing on this passion. Steve combines fun and learning through his exciting and engaging activity based workshops. Just click to see the full list of workshops offer
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Around the World VR Workshop
Around the World VR Workshop
Around the World VR Workshop

Bring Geography to life with our 'Around the World' VR workshop. We split your class into small groups and they compete to identify the country, city and landmark. Enquire now with PrimeVR, the UK's no.1 VR workshop company for schools!
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Hoo Zoo and Dinosaur World Workshop
Hoo Zoo and Dinosaur World Workshop
Hoo Zoo and Dinosaur World Workshop

Being one of the top Dinosaur Parks in the country (ranked no. 2 on TripAdvisor for 2023) we pride ourselves on not just using dinosaurs for entertainment but also education.
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SEA LIFE Hunstanton
SEA LIFE Hunstanton
SEA LIFE Hunstanton

Dive deep into a world of underwater discovery. Pupils will understand and learn how to conserve the natural wonders of the world! Explore creatures of the Pacific Ocean and journey back in time to the age of the dinosaurs.
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Tudors & Elizabethans Workshop
Tudors & Elizabethans Workshop
Tudors & Elizabethans Workshop

We bring interactive history right to your school via a full range of resources including our mini-museum, replica weapons and games; all hosted by our experienced actors who bring history to life in the classroom.
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