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Cultural Capital

“Cultural Capital” is not a new concept; it has its origins on the work of Pierre Bourdieu, a French sociologist working in the 1970-1980s.

In 2013, the then Education Secretary, argued that “the accumulation of cultural capital– the acquisition of knowledge – is the key to social mobility”.

This concept became embodied in the National Curriculum of 2013 and used as a specific phrase in the Ofsted framework of 2019.


We deliver this though our “Aspire” curriculum and, like Bourdieu, at Carlton Road we break down Cultural Capital into 4 key types:


What that includes

At Carlton Road this means having the cultural knowledge to:

Embodied cultural capital

Language, mannerisms, and preferences

Know and use a broad vocabulary, understand how to act, and behave in different situations, being able to make informed and appropriate  choices.

Objectified cultural capital

Cultural “goods” – books, works of art, music

Know about and have experienced a wide range of literature, experience art, music, history – museums, theatres, concerts, visits and visitors that expand knowledge and horizons within and  over /above the academic curriculum. 

Institutional cultural capital

Qualification and educational credentials

Reach academic milestones and secure appropriate/ successful results both academically in other areas such as sporting prowess.

Symbolic cultural capital

Honour, prestige, or recognition

To have recognition, be rewarded, be praised and have their success acknowledged , fostering pride appropriately.  

This concept in greater detail, our intent for the children, how we implement it and the desired impact it has, can be read in greater detail on this pdf.

Cultural Capital Intent for Carlton Road

We are part of the Voyage Education Partnership

Voyage Education Partnership Venture House, Enterprise Way Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 7TW