What is cultural capital?

The idea of Cultural capital was developed by a French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu

Cultural capital is seen as the collection of socially acquired skills such as knowledge, behaviours, and aspects of learned characteristics that demonstrate one's social identity and placement within society. Different groups of people have access to different sources and forms of knowledge, depending on other variables like race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, religion, and even age.

Happy Children

Why is cultural capital important to a child in an early years setting?

Cultural Capital is  the essential knowledge that children require for future learning and development. Children come from a myriad of starting pointson entry to pre school and therefore it is important that staff in the early years gather as much information during the settling in period to determine where a child is and what they need going forward to move children along apropriate next steps.

How do we support children's Cultural capital at Lilly Brook Pre School?

At Lilly Brook Pre School we begin an assessment when children enter in regards to their experiences, their cultural and linguistic ability and lived experiences such as languages spoken or festivals celebrated. We at Lilly Brook will arrange a Home visit on application to meet children in an environment that is known to them and complete a discussion around the childwhat they can do, what they like and what they need as well as discussing a parents hopes and point of view.

At this initial meeting point we complete an All about me form.

For a period of 6-12 weeks we complete a series of observations from interactions with parents, observations within the 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas. We do this through short snap shot observations and long observations with a view to discovering existing knowledge, attainment or identifying schemas and play patterns. 


At the end of this 6 week -12 week period dependant on attendance patterns we will write a starting point assesment/2 year check. 

Parents will then meet with the key worker to discuss starting points and what activities can be done to support the child at pre school and if there are any skills or experiences the parents/carers/family can bring to the setting to enhance the groups experiences.

We promote cultural capital through a range of experiences such as

  • visits from phonics play 

  • visits from phonics stars

  • rugby tots

  • Delphine the French childminder French sessions

  • little scientist dinosaur excavation experience

  • Mr fizzle pops and Mrs Fizzle bang the traveling scientist science party experience

  • Lilly Brook Parents Practitioner Association coffee mornings 

  • cultural theemed music dance sessions

  • Focus activities based around the interests of the child.