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Cultural Capital – RE

Cultural capital is a sociological concept which describes a person’s social assets, usable in seeking and securing status within the social groups to which the individual belongs, from the local and familial to the national or global.

Cultural and social assets include, for example, education, family status, style of speech – whatever gives access to a society’s benefits. Religions make key contributions to cultural capital in many areas. This might relate to culture in its widest sense, including film, food, sport, fashion, the arts, language, history, science – and indeed faiths, beliefs and religions, in relation to the multicultural society.
The distribution and accumulation of cultural capital – as with financial capital – seems to be unequal, and this can lead to some groups being disadvantaged.

Cultural capital comprises both the material and symbolic goods which a person can access and use within the economy. Think of it as the accumulated cultural knowledge that confers social status and power, including all the cultural offers religions make for their followers.

The diagram offers a simple description of RE’s potential in relation to cultural capital, framed as four questions and here are some examples of RE’s contribution to cultural capital include these, among many others:

Cultural Capital

At East Dene we celebrate at least one celebration day/ festival every half term whether this includes religious visits, visitors arriving into school or conducting our own religious festival.
During the Autumn Term, Reverend Karen from St James’s church conducted an assembly for us all about the Harvest Festival and how this is celebrated within communities around the country. In past years as a whole school, we have walked down to St James’s church in order to celebrate the Harvest Festival. Each phase created their own harvest hamper to take to church in order to give to others who are not as fortunate as ourselves. Each phase sang a harvest song of their choice and also performed poems they had created within class. Last year our school council members visited retirement nursing homes and delivered some homemade buns and a harvest basket for all the residents to enjoy.

This half term we have conducted Rosh Hasana and Diwali afternoons throughout the school where we conducted many activities and adopted some of their traditions.

In the past, we have provided a family learning session to celebrate the Hindu festival Diwali. The children and their families joined in creating Rangoli patterns and Diwali lanterns. We provided a variety of food that could be purchased by parents that many Hindus would eat during the Festival of Diwali. The children were able to develop their art, design and music skills by using a wide range of media to create Rangoli patterns whilst listening to cultural music. A child from each class in school learnt a Bollywood dance prior to the Diwali festival and performed this to all the parents. The children were able to develop their creative talents including dance and music by learning the artistic movements within Bollywood dancing.
At the end of the Autumn term, it is always a very religious and festive time within East Dene.

For Christmas celebrations, our whole school also have the opportunity to visit Hope Church and to conduct a Christingle service.Every year we celebrate Eid and many of our older children share their knowledge and understanding with the whole school community. Our Y5/6 visit the Cenotaph to pay their respects as part of Remembrance Day, with the rest of the school creating their own poppy for a whole school display. We strive to provide quality first teaching for the children with as many real-life opportunities, to bring learning to life and provide a more enticing, engaging and enriching experience.