Cultural Capital

Cultural Capital at MEA

Cultural capital is defined as the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, and skills that a student can draw upon and which demonstrates their cultural awareness, knowledge and competence;  it is one of the key ingredients a student will draw upon to be successful in society, their career and the world of work. Cultural capital is having assets that give students the desire to aspire and achieve social mobility whatever their starting point.

Why is Cultural Capital important at MEA?

Social Justice: To compete on a level playing with their peers from all walks of life, it is important that our students understand why it is important to acquire cultural capital as well as academic qualifications. It is important that they are inspired to invest the time and effort to learn essential aspects of society and culture.

Choice:  If students make this investment, then it will ultimately provide them with the social assets - knowledge, skills and confidence – to understand that their choices in life – career opportunities, colleges, university –need not be limited by their starting points.

Academic success: Investing time and effort in cultural capital will give our students the background knowledge that students from more affluent backgrounds may get at home, which will give them the context they need to excel in subjects such as English, humanities and the arts.

Life chances: Cultural capital can be converted into social capital (social confidence, vocabulary, speech, presentation etc.) and to economic capital –earning power, career and lifestyle choices. 

Self-actualisation: With their economic and social needs met, our students can become well-rounded citizens who contribute to society, and who live purposeful and fulfilling lives.

At MEA we recognise that for our students 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. We aim to build our student aspirations and expose them to a range of experiences to helps them achieve goals and become successful in many ways and through:

  • XTRA Curricular Activities
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Faster Reading Programme
  • Trips and Visits to places such as the Theatre, Art Galleries, Museums
  • Inviting Guest Speakers such as Authors, Entrepreneurs
  • Careers Programme
  • SMSC
  • FF/Citizenship Curriculum

We recognise that there are six key areas of development that are interrelated and contribute to building a student’s cultural capital:

  1. Personal Development including Careers
  1. Social Development including political and current awareness
  1. Physical Development
  1. Spiritual Development
  1. Moral Development
  1. Cultural Development


The following table shows how we build students Cultural Capital across the Academy. In addition to this, each curriculum area also builds students Cultural Capital within their teaching and learning and curriculum.


Personal Development including Careers

  • Careers and Information, advice, and guidance programme
  • Faster Reading programme
  • Personal Finance Education. 
  • Employability skills, including public speaking work shops
  • FF/Citizenship/RE/RSE curriculum
  • The school’s wider pastoral framework
  • Transition support and induction
  • Developing speech and body language across lessons and across the academy
  • Lloyds mentoring
  • Tutor Time Curriculum
  • Leadership Programmes

Social Development, including Government and Politics

  • FF curriculum 
  • Form time curriculum
  • Charity work and House fundraising activities
  • Student Voice – Student Parliament
  • Healthy Schools accreditation
  • Lloyds Mentoring
  • Interform Competitions
  • Sport Competitions
  • Developing critical thinking across the academic and pastoral curriculum


Physical Development

  • PE Curriculum
  • Healthy Eating Policy
  • Health Education through the personal development curriculum
  • DOFE
  • Sports Day
  • XTRA Curricular activities

Spiritual Development

  • RE/FF Curriculum
  • Charitable work
  • Visit to Places of worship


Moral Development

  • FF Curriculum
  • Anti Bullying workshops/assemblies
  • Tutor Time Programme
  • Charity Work
  • Behaviour Management Policies


Cultural Development

  • Access literature
  • Access to Arts
  • Access to Music
  • Places of worship
  • Access to Authors
  • Languages trips
  • Tutor Time curriculum
  • Promotion of racial equality


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