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St Mary's Island CofE Primary School

Cultural Capital

 Our intent:

The term cultural capital is explained as, ‘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.’


Our aim at St. Mary’s Island is to prepare all pupils for a successful future. We want to give all pupils a wide and varied range of first-hand experiences as they progress through our school, ensuring they develop not only their knowledge but also the understanding of what opportunities are available to them in the wider world. Cultural capital helps engineer interests, talents and life-chances.

We want to build our pupils aspirations and expose them to a range of experiences to help them achieve their goals and become successful in their time both with us and beyond. We do this through, for example, our curriculum; enrichment days; trips; visitors and extra-curricular activities.


 How do we equip pupils at St. Mary’s Island Primary School with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life?


Foundation Stage


The characteristics of effective learning are at the centre of everything we do in early years. Children naturally play and explore but only if they have high well-being. Our keyperson system helps to settle children and give them a base to explore from; someone to hold them in mind in the absence of their parents. The environment we provide encourages social play and investigation through children’s child-led learning. We add challenge to the environment based on the skills the children need to develop. The role of the adult is key to support questioning and pondering. Children are taught about the importance of looking after our world, even if this world is just the nursery space. They are encouraged to take risks and solve problems for themselves.


In Reception, the year starts by focusing on ‘Super Me’. This looks at the good qualities we all have and appreciation of the qualities of others. Following children’s interests, children learn about people who help us. These positive role-models will help children to understand about making a positive impact on society. Rules and boundaries are devised, shared and enforced with children taking a central role. They learn how to be empathetic and support each other. Their class will be one of the first communities they have belonged to and, as such, is a microcosm of the wider world. Children are given the opportunity to make decisions in a democratic way and vote for things when it is appropriate.




Key Stage 1


Study British artists, designers and inventors; find out about democracy and British values, voting, rule of law, citizenship, school rules and values; historical figures important to our country; local industries; local places of worship; tolerance and respect of all faiths and beliefs; the Royal Family; Black History in our local area (Asquith Xavier), Britain and beyond; PSHRE links with diversity; significant British authors, poetry, cultural songs and music.


Visits, visitors and enrichment:

·         Owl visit – year 2

·         Caterpillar Watch – year 1

·         Road Safety Walk – year 1

·         Local area walk – year 2

·         Music festival – year 2

·         Easter Trail – year 1

·         Paramedic visit – year 2

·         Astronaut visit – year 2

·         Punch and Judy Show – year 1



Lower Key Stage 2


Quotes from the Bible and inspirational quotes from notable people throughout history in worship; study the work from a diverse range of artists, sculptors, crafts people, architects and designers; study notable firsts in Black History month such as Claudia Jones in year 3 and Walter Tull in year 4; our book corners expose children to a wide range of authors as do books studied as whole-class texts; study a range of religions in Religions and Worldviews such as Hindu Dharma and Sikhi; celebrate achievements outside of school such as sporting medals and certificates in Worship and classes; in history and geography we study local people and places; cooking club and cooking in lessons; pond dipping; minibeast hunting; during music lessons we listen to a range of genres.


Visits, visitors and enrichment:

·         Stone Age Day – year 3

·         Living River visitor – year 4

·         Roman visit to Rochester – year 3

·         Egyptian Day – year 4

·         Battle of Medway: Rochester Guildhall Museum – year 4

·         Author visit – year 3

·         Wildwood: conservation and British wildlife – year 4



Upper Key Stage 2


Study different faiths; British Black History week; countries around the world and the music and traditions associated with them; learn about important historical figures such as Charles Darwin and Isambard Kingdom Brunel; British and school values; local government; visits and enrichment days; celebration assembly celebrating the progress of individuals; reading widely; Mini Youth Games; influential artists; learning a language; learning about stereotypes and differences through Jigsaw.


Visits, visitors and enrichment:

·         National Fruit Show visitor – year 5

·         Dockyard visit linked to World War 2 – year 6

·         Wonderdome – year 5

·         Cathedral visit – year 6

·         World War 2 Day – year 6

·         Singing at the local community centre – year 6

·         Victorian Day – year 5

·         Mosque visit – year 5

·         Residential and trips – year 6

·         Leavers’ Service – year 6



Whole School visits, visitors, services and Enrichment Days:


·         Vision Day

·         Black History Month

·         Harvest

·         Anti-Bullying week

·         Remembrance Service

·         Fundamental British Values Day

·         Family Trust Christmas Panto

·         Big School Bird Watch

·         Martin Luther King Jnr Day

·         Children’s Mental Health Week

·         Safer Internet Day

·         World Book Day and Reading Enrichment

·         British Science Week and Science Enrichment

·         Great British School Clean

·         Easter

·         Coronation

·         National Numeracy Day and Maths Enrichment Day

·         Pentecost

·         World Music Day and Music Enrichment Day

·         Sports Day

·         Summer Fair



Charity events


·         Jeans for Genes / Wear Red Against Racism

·         Harvest – Gillingham Street Angels

·         Poppy appeal

·         Children in Need

·         Christmas Jumper Day – Save the Children

·         Turkey Relief Fund – dress down day

·         Red Nose Day

·         The Lunchbowl Network – supporting children in Kenya

·         NHS birthday – Medway Hospital Charity (supports the work of Medway NHS Foundation Trust)