Ron Dearing UTC students experienced a week of engaging and exciting events at the launch of a dedicated programme to promote culture and creativity.
The aim of the programme is to give students access to art, literature, film, music, politics, science and more, opening their eyes to the wider world and broadening their horizons beyond the classroom.
The launch week saw jugglers, an opera singer, a pianist, acrobats, fire performers, circus workshops and artists fill the students’ breaks and lunchtimes with performances, art and culture to inspire them.
Year 10 students will have one dedicated Cultural Capital lesson per week throughout the academic year and any related content will be flagged to all students with a logo as they continue their studies and become more aware of their cultural learning.
Chris Berry, Assistant Principal Cultural capital at Ron Dearing UTC, who is leading the Cultural Capital programme, said: “Cultural Capital is the golden thread that runs through education. It’s about giving students access to the best that has been thought and said.
“Cultural Capital is clearly visible in all lessons, including Science, Maths and Engineering, and we want to draw attention to that to encourage our students to look beyond the curriculum. In Maths, for example, it’s important students know John Venn came from Hull and invented the Venn Diagram.
“These lessons will be informative and enjoyable and we can plan the programme around what’s going on in the world.
“School isn’t just about passing exams. It’s about who we are, who we want to become and enjoying the world around us. We do things differently at Ron Dearing UTC and students can expect the unexpected. If they become interested in just one element, that’s our mission accomplished.”
The Cultural Capital programme will include various elements including music and writing linked to Black History Month, LGBTQIA+ art over the years, lessons focused on the influence of war on art and culture, and a look at self-help books during Mental Health Awareness Week.
Students will not be tested or assessed on Cultural Capital and will be encouraged to embrace and enjoy it.
Various guest speakers and artists are booked for the coming months, including Grand Slam Poetry Champion Harry Baker, and a flood mitigation event is planned for students to attend at the Houses of Parliament with Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy later this year.
Cultural Capital is part of Ron Dearing UTC’s Horizons programme, which also focuses on professionalism, relationships and wellbeing.
Chris said: “Our students are not just leaving school with great qualifications, they’re also leaving with confidence and cultural awareness. Culture is out there for them to access and enjoy and we wholeheartedly support that.
“Everyone enjoyed the launch and the feedback was excellent. We’re grateful to all the performers and artists who joined us throughout the week.”
While Cultural Capital lessons will initially be focused on Year 10, the programme could be rolled out to include Year 11 students in the future.
Year 10 student Jim Hagar, 14, said: “Cultural Capital will help us broaden our horizons and help us to be more appealing to employers in the future. It’s really interesting and all of the artists and performers were great.”
Fellow Year 10 student Heidi Bishoprick, 14, said: “The week introduced me to a lot of new things which I didn’t realise I’d find interesting. The fire performer was really good and the week broadened my idea of what culture is.”