So what does the growing evidence tell us about developing Cultural Capital? Well, it has a noticeable impact on both achievement at school and achievement in later life. Interventions to help pupils become more aware of the local business landscape that they live in also seems to impact most the pupils from highest deprivation and lowest achievement. Successive governments and local authorities have thrown millions of pounds at raising attainment (scoring well on tests) and have achieved only marginal gains set within their own parameters. By addressing how pupils think; how they feel about themselves; their prospects; future opportunities and self confidence; the evidence suggests that the gains could easily be greater.
So why was I stood in a marsh on a grey day in October?
I’m in the process of filming some behind the scenes resources designed for primary schools in the area. I was asked to create a teacher pack of resources about the river but felt that with technology being ubiquitous in schools I wanted to create a resource that showed how the River Tees is important in our daily lives. To do this I approached many of the businesses and organisations that I have worked with previously whose work is connected to the River. The first out of the blocks (as is often the case) was Steve Ashton from Tees Valley Wildlife Trust. The resources will be short films based around an interview with people whose work relates to the local River. The project has been funded by River Tees Rediscovered and should be released in the next couple of weeks. It will feature an interactive map with embedded videos. Four companies will be available on day one of release with another handful already lined up to complete the set.
Further work has already started on series of films for use in primary schools to showcase businesses across all sectors in all f the five local boroughs in the Tees Valley. The first set will be available for purchase to use in lessons and assemblies hopefully just before Christmas.