Time to focus on cultural capital (virtual Primary Humanities Network meeting – Term 4)


A rather apt theme for our fourth Primary Humanities Network meeting of this academic year, and still virtual in format due to the continued uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, the need for a degree of flexibility and our growing numbers from all regions of the UK (and beyond on occasions): ‘What does cultural capital mean?’ and ‘How can geography and history contribute to building cultural capital?’.

This session was slightly different to previous ones this academic year as the presenting was not simply down to me; we had more than 15 representatives from various museums and organisations joining us to promote their in situ and virtual offerings.  With nearly 50 schools on board too, this meant that my screen was filled with many faces, the chat feed was continuously active and discussions in ‘breakout rooms’ were very lively.

After introducing myself and providing a warm welcome to all, I outlined the aims and structure of the meeting, namely:

Next, I gave the usual ‘educational round-up’, addressing key issues and themes, as well as highlighting a number of useful websites and resources (many of which were FREE).  Some of those referenced included:

I paused for 10 minutes, so that individuals could bookmark websites as favourites, make a note of the resources that were most relevant to them and ask any questions that they had.

Next, we undertook the following activity in ‘breakout rooms’.  I visited each ‘breakout room’ in turn and it was lovely to witness both teachers and museum and organisation representatives deep in thought and conversation.  Many teachers seemed to really relish this opportunity as the current pandemic has prevented a lot of mixing and collaboration with other professionals, particularly beyond their school environment.

Afterwards, I drew attention to what Ofsted are looking for in terms of cultural capital, directing individuals towards a couple of websites (https://schoolleaders.thekeysupport.com/school-evaluation-and-improvement/inspection/whole-school-inspection-criteria/cultural-capital-ofsted/; https://www.kapowprimary.com/blog/a-practical-guide-to-ofsted-and-cultural-capital-for-primary-schools/and https://www.kapowprimary.com/featured_documents/cultural-capital-presentation/).  I also referred to the new EYFS Framework, especially the Early Learning Goal (ELG): Understanding the World, which has particular relevance to geography and history, and comments made in relation to cultural capital (https://kinderly.co.uk/2021/03/30/the-revised-eyfs-your-questions-answered/; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-inspection-handbook-eif/early-years-inspection-handbook-for-ofsted-registered-provision-for-september-2021#quality-of-education; https://clickweb.lancashire.gov.uk/view.asp?siteid=2997&pageid=52156&e=e; https://early-education.org.uk/cultural-capital/ and https://my.chartered.college/impact_article/integrating-the-local-context-into-the-curriculum-to-support-students-with-the-transition-from-understanding-the-world-in-the-eyfs-to-history-in-key-stage-1/). I emphasised links to cultural capital in the National Curriculum programmes of study at Key Stages 1 and 2 for history and geography respectively too (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/239035/PRIMARY_national_curriculum_-_History.pdf and https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/239044/PRIMARY_national_curriculum_-_Geography.pdf).  The forthcoming Commonwealth Games and Platinum Jubilee both pose opportunities to exploit cultural capital and I projected a couple of articles that had been published in the Geographical Association (GA)’s latest Primary Geography journal (https://www.geography.org.uk/Journals/Primary-Geography).  In addition, I pinpointed a few other things that I had come across on the Internet and via social media of late, which certainly provide a means of enhancing pupils’ cultural capital (https://worldslargestlesson.globalgoals.org/resource/gg-design-competition-jubilee/https://twitter.com/geographylucyhttps://stepintotheamazon.co.uk/; https://stepintotheamazon.co.uk/2022/01/25/having-a-focus-on-south-america-biomes-global-issues-such-as-climate-change-or-sustainability-during-term-4/ and https://stepintotheamazon.co.uk/2022/02/03/what-an-exhilating-and-unforgettable-experience/).

Then, it was time for me to sit back and relax and hand over to our visiting museum and organisation representatives for their input.  I tried to ensure that we had representation from all areas of the UK and a variety of establishments, so that all interests and needs were catered for.  The below individuals should be thanked for their insightful contributions:

Unfortunately, as time was tight, we had to forego our quick break for refreshments and adapt the following ‘break out rooms’ activity somewhat.  Instead, we relied on the chat feed to simply share any further suggestions that teachers had; you cannot beat recommendations based on first-hand experience!

Finally, we finished with our usual feedback activity:

Participants’ ‘concluding comments’ can be found below:

Sum up today’s online meeting in five words or a sentence or two:

Thanks.  A great meeting, as always!

… this has been so interesting, thank you.

Great session, really informative!  Thank you.

… thank you so much to all the speakers and to Emma.  It’s been so valuable and interesting and looking forward to the next meet!  Thanks again.

Thanks for a great session.

Great session, lots of up-to-date information and fantastic links, can’t wait to investigate them.  The museums section was brilliant – I want to access them all! 

Gosh, it’s amazing how you manage to fit so much information and help for teachers in such a short space of time!  Thank you, very informative.  

Really informative, an incredible amount of information squeezed into a short period of time.  Looking forward to the next one.  The museum section was very useful, no matter where we were in the country.  Thank you.

Thank you very much for such an informative session with some great ideas to take away!

Very informative session.  Thank you, Emma.  It was really helpful to hear details from local museums (HOLST) and also the virtual opportunities that can be provided from other national learning trusts/museums.  Many thanks.              

So many inspiring ideas and resources to use and find out about, thank you!

Extremely informative!

Plenty of inspirational initiatives, and contacts, to follow up.

Great platforms to explore how to promote EDI in classrooms!

Very informative, lots of great practical ideas to take into the classroom and wider school.  Thank you.

Inspiring and informative!

Some great ideas and resources to explore, thank you!

Definitely useful!

Really informative, great way to share resources.

Informative; inspiring; enjoyable; a great use of a Friday afternoon!

So many ideas, lots of inspiration for lessons and experiences to get going with.

Brilliant, thank you very much.  Given me lots of ideas to take back to school next week.

Great signposting to all the museums.

Thanks, Emma, fantastic as ever!

Thank you sooo much, Emma!

Great session today.  Thank you so much!

Could museums join again too, not necessarily always to contribute, but to get a sense of what is important to teachers and how we can help?

We are running a European project looking for inspiring examples of innovative practice coming out of lockdown – I saw several here today and hope to follow up.

Thanks so much Emma, it really was such a brilliant session.  I’ve taken away loads of valuable links, things to think about and information to share with staff.  Thanks for sending the We Transfer link too, it’ll be great to go back and re-read everything!  Looking forward to the next one already!

Just to say thanks for a very informative meeting – lots to work on.  I really enjoyed the museum ideas.   See you in May!

Just wanted to say thank you for the recording and sorry I missed the session on Friday.  I was pulled into class.  The session was brilliant and I’ve really enjoyed it this morning.  The museum links are so amazing.  Hope to see you virtually in May!

Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak at the virtual Primary Humanities Network meeting today.  I was absolutely amazed by the amount of resources and information you managed to pack in!  I have many links to follow up now.  It was also very exciting to hear from some local teachers that they might consider a visit to Buxton too!

Thank you for having me, Emma.  What a well-organised and useful session!

What an informative round up – an incredible support network for teachers!!!  … Really impressed by the session and this really is a great resource for teachers.  In the past, we have held twilight sessions for our Humanities Leaders here in Islington and I will discuss about setting up a session that you could present at – if this would be of interest?  The list of websites you provide is incredible.  Thanks again for inviting us to speak.

Many thanks for letting us be involved today; it was very informative for us.

It was such a useful couple of hours, especially in terms of tapping into latest initiatives and teacher concerns.

I will definitely try to come along to the next one as it was so useful to hear current things in schools …

I very much enjoyed last Friday’s meeting, Emma.

Possible themes for future Primary Humanities Network meetings:

  • Assessing progress in history and geography.
  • Misconceptions in history and geography.
  • Promoting locational knowledge.
  • EYFS.

A very busy, but well-received meeting from both teachers and museum and organisation representatives, it appears.

Our next event, most likely to still be virtual in nature, will take place during the afternoon of Friday 20th May 2022.  Details will be posted within this blog and on social media feeds, as well as being sent to contacts via e-mail just prior to Easter.  Hope you are able to join us for some more inspiration and sharing of best practice!







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.