What is it and why is it important?
Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, and skills that a person can use to show understanding of the world and which enables us to engage in all areas of life and work.
Cultural capital gives us power. It helps us achieve goals, become successful, and rise up the social ladder without necessarily having wealth or financial capital. Cultural capital is having assets that give us social mobility.
On this page, you will find a list of activities we recommend you and your child/children take part in to develop their cultural capital.
TOP TIPS – in each section you will find Top Tips. These are activities recommended by several or all subject areas.
MONITORING & REPORTING – Each time your child completes one of the activities, they should: write a few lines about what they experience did and/or learned in their diary or collect a leaflet or flyer to share with their form. You should sign their diary on the Cultural Capital pages to confirm which activity they have completed, we would really love to hear about it.
JOIN YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY
Take out a new book each week. Try to select a mixture of fiction and non-fiction
BE A TOURIST
Visit places of interest in London. Use Visit London website or app to find free events in London. Try to select a variety of activities that will help your child experience different aspects and parts of the city such as Chinatown, Southbank, Covent Garden…
Have a monthly family meal out at a different restaurant to try different cuisines. Alternatively, you can cook together and make food you’ve never tried before.
Subjects: English, Maths, Food Technology, Sociology, Geography, languages, Science
THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
London is full of fantastic parks and other natural attractions.
Free: See the pelicans and Buckingham Palace at St James Park, see the deer in Richmond or Bushy Park, climb on the life size pirate ship in Kensington Gardens, Listen to people ideas and opinions at Speakers Corner Hyde Park.
Local: learn about plants from around the world at Kew Gardens.
Subjects: Science, Geography, Art & Design, History, PE
Most London museums are free! Try to visit one each term. Have a look on line to find out what is available to see.
British Museum – History, Geography, Politics, Languages
Science museum – Science, Maths, History, engineering, art
Natural History Museum – Science, History, Geography
Museum of London – History, Geograph, Science, Engineering
Subjects: English, History, Geography, Sociology
Lots of art galleries in London are free to visit. You can learn a lot about, art, history, geography, maths and science by visiting them.
Subjects: Art, History, Geography, Government & Politics, Sociology, Psychology
SEE A PERFORMANCE
There is always something to see in London.
Free: Covent Garden & South Bank – have a walk through London and witness some of the amazing street performances.
Cheap: Lyric Hammersmith – join Young Lyric and get tickets for any show for £10.
National Theatre – you can get tickets for as little as £15.
Local: Ealing Questors, Brentford Watermans, Beck Theatre Hayes
Subjects: Drama, Dance, Music, History, English, Sociology, Psychology, Government & Politics
Language and Literacy
Speak using long, grammatically correct and complex sentences. Your child should practice this in school and at home. To find out it they are getting things right and making progress, they should ask their teachers for feedback.
You can use the Grammarly app or website for support.
Encourage your child to talk about the books they are reading are reading – favourite characters, events, what will happen next, what will happen at the end…To really develop their interest in books they can join the reading café!
WATCH THE NEWS
Discuss what is happening in the Britain and the world. Encourage your child to think about world events and to discuss them with you and their teachers.
Encourage them to talk about what they hear with you and their teachers.
Using a free phone app or a book, learn the basics of different languages. This can help with cognitive development and can really help students understand how language works. This can also help with understanding how English works and where our language comes from.
Subjects: English, Geography, MFL
Use one of these apps with your child to develop their understanding of English grammar and vocabulary:
11+ English, Vocabulary builder, General Knowledge Quiz
Or try Brain Pop!
A sport, an instrument, writing, painting, drawing, singing, acting, reading, a language…
Pick an area in which you want to develop skills and practice!
We all need to know how to cook healthy and tasty food. Each your child the basics e.g. knife safety, vegetable and meat cooking, favourite recipes. Get them to help with meal preparation each day and, when they are ready, give them an evening each week when they will prepare the family meal.
For inspiration, visit the Kids Cook Monday website!
Practice different types of art. This could be drawing, painting, sculpting, model making or even photography. Art will help you to develop your fine motor skills, boost your self esteme, reduce stress and improve your memory.
Encourage your child to master a sport of their choice. Find a club for them to join and train with. This will help them to learn resilience & determination. It will also help them to develop communication and team work skills as well as self-confidence.
AROUND THE HOUSE
It is vital that students understand how to look after themselves so they can be responsible and independent adults in the future.
Teach your child how to tidy & clean your house effectively.
Teach them how to budget – write a shopping list and give them their budget and let them do the shopping.
Learn a musical instrument. Practice daily. This has been proven to help cognitive development and, if you get to a grade 5 or above, it can give you UCAS points which will help you get into the university course of your choice later on.
Take part in school productions and drama clubs. This will help to develop skills of communication and team work as well as developing students language skills and confidence.
Encourage your child to write for pleasure. This can take the form of a diary, story or poem writing. They can even enter one of our school competitions e.g. historic letters, creative writing
Attitudes and Values
Watch the news together with your child and talk to them about world events you see and hear. Answer any questions they may have about those events. Encourage your child to research news items they are interested in and to discuss what they find out with you and their form.
Encourage your child to be curious. Discuss historical events and research how and why they happened for example, use Anne Frank’s diary to consider and start to understand the Holocaust
Promote the ideas of diversity, mutual respect and tolerance, democracy and the rule of law to your child through the conversations you have with them.
VIEWS AND ATTITUDES
Encourage your child to consider how and why views and attitudes have changed, e.g. how are children treated in modern Britain compared to how they were treated in Victorian Britain
Listen to a piece of music, look at a piece of art or read a piece of literature together. Discuss your feelings about it. Analyse what it might be about and what its messages are. Talk about how the artist has conveyed their message either successfully or unsuccessfully.
Subjects: Music, Art, English
READ AND WATCH HORRIBLE HISTORIES
These are great no matter what age you are and will teach you an in credible amount about history.
Explore BBC Iplayer to find documentaries about Art, History, Music, Science, Nature and more.
Encourage your child to read biographies of famous and influential people. They can pick people associated with an area in which they are interested or take a more random selection e.g. The Diary of Anne Frank, Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose, X by Ilyasah Shabazz, Kekla Magoon, I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition) by Malala Yousafzai
Help your child create time lines for different historical events e.g. World War I & II or Brexit. What happened when? What caused what? Who were the people involved?
LOOK AT ENCYCLOPEDIAS
Encourage your child to use their local library or the school library to explore the encyclopedias and general knowledge books they keep. Always ask the to tell you what they have found out.
Alternatively, visit the Britannica website, read the facts and try the general knowledge quizzes.
Enhance your child’s knowledge and understanding of the world through fun activities such as playing a weekly quiz game as a family. This can include Trivial Pursuit, Articulate and Scrabble. Make sure the versions of the games you buy are linked to general knowledge (history, geography, art, literature, etc.) rather than popular culture.
Poetry, prose, fiction & non-fiction – encourage your child to read a wide range of different types of literature. Encourage them to explain what they have read to you
Debate club – encourage your child to join a debate club. This will teach them how to research, formulate strong arguments and to communicate effectively
Encouraging recycling at home and reducing wastage of food, saving energy and water at home – teach the idea of sustainability. Making things out of recycled materials
Explore Websites – Skillshare.com, Brilliant.org and KiwiCo.com are all monthly subscription services that provide excellent platforms to allow all people of all ages to develop not only scientific skills but also a wide variety of other skills.
Visit beaches, parks and different urban environments e.g. Central London and the suburbs of London. What geographical features can you identify? Take picture to show your class and discuss your findings with your teachers
Encourage recycling at home and reduce wastage of food, save energy and water at home – teach the idea of sustainability. Making things out of recycled materials
Read Horrible Geographies
Explore an atlas. Buy one for the family or get one from the library
Watch foreign language programmes. You can find lots on the internet and even Youtube.
Learn the basics of different languages using free apps e.g. Duolinguo. Practice using what you have learnt with your child.
Visit theatres including local venues such as the Beck Theatre in Hayes, Watermans in Brentford, and Questors in Ealing, as well as West End theatres in central London. You could also try the Royal Festival Hall or see street performers in Covent Garden.
Watch cookery shows on TV for inspiration and tips, explore social media recipe sharing sites e.g. Cook Pad
Read music reviews in print and online. Have a look at Time Out and Google to find out what’s local in terms of art provision and try something new at the weekend, listen to music from a different artist than you’re used to.
Listen to different styles of music. Use the free BBC Sounds app to discover more e.g. Radio 3 for classical music, radio 1 for modern Pop, Radio 6 for everything from world music (Sunday mornings) to funk and soul (Saturday evenings)
Responsibility – give your child responsibilities within the house including helping to budget.
Read the Financial Times with your child. Discuss what is happening in the world and the UK. Send them to school with questions and ideas.
Explore & understand. Have a look at The Balance with your child. Help them to learn about economics and its importance in everyday life.
Budgeting – teach your child how to budget. Allow them to make a shopping list for the week, give them a budget within which they need to stick.
Winton Gallery (Science Museum) – visit the Winton Gallery to find out how Maths has shaped our world. Inspire your child to become an expert mathematician!
Explore websites – have a look at some of these websites – attempt the challenges with your child and even let them teach you about some of the Maths they are learning!
Visit: British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Museum of London, Museum of London Docklands, Imperial War Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum or the Museum of Childhood. You could also visit Some of the royal palaces e.g. Tower of London, Hampton Court, Kensington Palace (A family membership for one adult and up to six children costs £72)
Be Creative: Encourage your child to apply their knowledge. They could write a mini-biography of a historical person or make a castle to show how it was constructed and designed. When they do something like this, make sure they bring it into school to share with their teachers and other students.
Places of worship – places of worship can be some of the friendliest and fascinating environments we experience. Take your child to see a place of worship other than their own e.g. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Hindu Temple in Neasden or Southwark Cathedral.
Read – as always, one of the best ways to understand what different people believe is to read about it. Encourage your child to be curious and to develop a deep understanding of the beliefs of other people. This can also help to encourage tolerance. Try the “A Very Short Introduction…” series which includes Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity and many more.
Visit art galleries such as National portrait Gallery (BP Portrait Award), the V&A museum, Tate Modern and Tate Britain, all of which have free entry. You could also try Pitshanger Gallery or National History Museum for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.
Analyse look at different images with your child. Discuss what you see and try to decode/interpret it. What is happening in it? What mood is it showing? What is the artist trying to tell us? How do they try to achieve this?
Read theatre and Dance reviews in print and online. Have a look at Time Out and Google to see what is happening locally.
Do dance classes. Allow your child to experiment with different styles of dance before the settle on a specific form to learn. Use Google to see what is on offer n the local area.
Encourage your child to look at their local area or any area they have contact with. Discuss what businesses there are on the high street. Which businesses are successful? How do the people living in an area influence the businesses that you see and which of these will be successful?
Responsibility – give your child responsibilities within the house including helping to budget.
Set up a society/club at your school.
Become a member of the school council
Email your local MP about an issue in your local area
Volunteer for a charity
Join debating teams
Follow your local MP on X (Twitter)