Leading on Cultural Capital

Spark Tees Valley is a company that supports schools to develop Cultural Capital.

In the last 6 years our work has supported around 40 000 pupils from Nursery to College age.

With over 20 years of experience supporting schools both locally, nationally and internationally the work that we do is unique.

Our experience, coupled with a deep of understanding of what the research evidence is telling us, allows us to create impactful programmes and interventions that make a difference to children’s lives long term. Evidence shows it helps raise attainment, particularly for the most disengaged students, and has a measurable impact on economic success in later life.

Put simply, developing wider Cultural Capital helps you do better at school and earn more money when you are older.

Who doesn’t want that happening in the local area?

Cultural Capital is the sense of personal identity and awareness of self within your context that defines you, me and every child you have ever met.

It is a combination of: awareness of what is possible, opportunity, self confidence and belief that you have agency.

Cultural Capital is developed through experience and the context in which it happened.

This all sounds very nebulous but how do you develop Cultural Capital?

As stated above it all comes down to experiences in the right context. Many of our events and projects have focussed on giving children a better understanding of the World of Work, especially the local economy where they are likely to work. A key component of this is to allow pupils to feel that they are part of that culture, that it is something for them to be part of. Events that allow pupils to think creatively, problem solve, apply skills they have learned in school and develop a teamwork ethic have all generated hugely positive feedback and are underpinned by evidence from the research base. Coupling that with awareness of actual local companies, often meeting employees or accessing resources that ‘peek behind the scenes’ has been our unique approach.

The local business community have been phenomenal in their response to our work. But businesses are busy.

They will do what they can to help for a range of reasons.

Spark Tees Valley makes it easy for them to plan their support when they can give it yet also have a regular influence on children’s awareness without further time commitments.

Regular, constant, varied and well structured support changes the cultural understanding of young people about where they live, what is possible and what their future holds.

The research base shouts this loud and clear.

Interventions need to begin as young as possible and be consistently accessed on a regular basis throughout children’s school careers at the very least.

By developing this approach, and there have been clear working models that do this at very little cost, the mindset of young people that we work with will be affected whether they like it or not.

They will see a myriad of possibilities for their lives, they will be aware of what it taks to succeed and they will see that it is literally on their doorstep.

Coupled with effective career advice and guidance the future is very bright for the children who go through this process and the effect on the local economy, on local communities will be immense.

That is what Spark Tees Valley does.

If you would like our help or want to offer yours, please contact us.

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