Valuing Every Achievement

Curriculum: Cultural Capital


“…essential knowledge that pupils need to be educated citizens, introducing them to the best that has been thought and said, and helping to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.” – School inspection update – January 2019/special edition – p. 10 pt. 32


The Cultural Capital, as defined above, has been part of our new curriculum and new Mayfield since an early stage of our planning. The emergence of this as a key priority nationally has run alongside the refreshing of all areas of our Programme of Study - allowing our 'creator' subject emphasis, our chosen subject matter, our creative and performing arts work and our focus upon embracing our unique local Fylde Coast history to shine as key aspects of Cultural Capital at Mayfield.

1)  THE CURRICULUM  (This is not an exhaustive list, we have chosen some examples from across school.)

Each year group studies aspects of their local history allowing them to engage in the work of local, national and international people of influence. Lord Derby (KS1) and John Bickerstaffe (Y5) are studied as local visionaries driving the creation of towns (St Annes & Blackpool) built for leisure and entertainment from tiny settlements. In year 5, the children consider the visionary engineer and designer - Walter Luff, whose idea to introduce a new streamlined tram fleet led to the town having the last operating traditional tramway in Britain over 30 years beyond anywhere else and of course we are now entering the age of electricity as the future of sustainable energy! 

During Y4, our children listen to, and appraise the classical music of Mozart and Beethoven, as their music studies for Passport to Europe. The weekly vision awards are each given a soundtrack to spotlight the best of influential musicians and bands ranging from The Beatles to Cat Stevens to Bob Dylan to Simon & Garfunkel. Meanwhile, Year 6 study the Pop Art of Andy Warhol and the work of Henry Moore, KS1 the work of 16th Century painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo and our youngest children are inspired by the natural artwork of Andy Goldsworthy. (These are just examples taken from the curriculum - there are many more). 

As part of our reading developments, we have focused heavily upon the choice and range of new texts and classic texts. Capturing a range of the best of contemporary work alongside texts and authors that could be outside of our young children's thinking. Year 6 study William Shakespeare through Macbeth, whilst The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, Stig of the Dump by Clive King and The Fib by George Layton have been chosen as examples of meaningful writing about or within different periods of time that equally address contemporary themes of friendship, mental well-being, courage, valuing difference and showing resilience in dark days. 

We are keen to draw upon the influential and creative performers as we move through school. Charlie Cairoli has our Star of Safety kiosk named after him. Year 6 study Morecambe & Wise, Tommy Cooper, Les Dawson and Ken Dodd as examples of great comedians and comics of the last 70 years. During year 3 we study the architecture of Frank Matcham - the greatest designer of theatres in the last 150 years. We visit and study the great structures and venues of the Fylde Coast in the Winter Gardens, The Grand Theatre (Matcham's Masterpiece), Blackpool's 3 piers (the only place in the world with 3), the Blackpool Tower (and Reginald Dixon) and from further afield The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Even the name of our Mayfield ABC Theatre is a nod to the famous ABC Theatre in Blackpool - which hosted live Sunday night variety on ITV during the 1960s and saw the first live performance of 'Yesterday' by Sir Paul McCartney.

We spotlight and study the work of activists such as Rosa Parks and pioneers such as Amy Johnson. We consider the work of Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale and have new whole school thematic days prepared for 2022 upon sustainability and global warming as we challenge the children on the current debates surrounding their world. These new whole school thematic events lead perfectly into the enrichment aspect. 


The creation of our new ABC Theatre hub allows us to greatly expand the range of opportunities for study and practical work. Enrichment sessions have been designed to study the influential composers and musicals of the recent past. Year 6 recently undertook a study of the musical Barnum within a wider study of theatre terminology, whilst our new Theatre Club is currently preparing a production of Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang for performance at Christmas. Each term, our teachers plan for a range of performance opportunities within our new theatre displaying their knowledge in their new areas of learning and thinking.

We have engaged the work of Emily Laws School of Acting to lead a LAMDA qualification programme in school. We offer, and fund, a whole cohort and individuals each year. Ensuring that up to 70 pupils undertake a choral speaking qualification that requires them to rehearse and study many of the finest examples of the spoken word of the past 200 years - all designed by our professional drama leader: Emily Laws. 

Through the recruitment of Denis Askham, we have been able to bring on board the support of Equity to influence our work and through the links of Mr Askham and Mr Denton we have formed a close affinity with the Joe Longthorne Theatre on North Pier which has hosted every major theatre and live entertainment star in the country for over 100 years. 

Finally, we have established a specialist hub for keyboards and piano at Mayfield (an organ is our next step) as we have recruited Paul Lee School of Music to lead our children in learning these instruments. We are currently at record numbers! Our plans for the organ restoration include opportunities to teach children and to bring recitals and its significant local history to Mayfield. Combining performance, learning and knowledge in each of these areas.

Each of the enrichment elements take place within the school day, after school or as specific events. 

For further information about our Cultural Capital provision and work take a look at our ABC Theatre page. 

Click here for further links to opportunities and provision.


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