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Teaching money - include financial education too

Tuesday, 30 May 2017
Teaching money in primary maths involves recognising the values of coins and notes, making totals and giving change, understanding decimal notation and calculating with money to solve problems. It is also a good opportuntity to include financial education, looking at where our money comes from, what we use money for and how it makes us feel. Research from the Money Advice Service finds that habits around money are often formed by the age of 7 so this is an important topic to cover across the whole primary age range. 

What is financial education in the primary classroom?

The Personal Finance Education Group have produced a primary framework for 3-11 years, with four core themes:

• how to manage money
• becoming a critical consumer
• managing risks and emotions associated with money
• understanding the important role money plays in our lives.

The learning outcomes in this framework provide clear and useful guidance and progression for financial education in primary schools. 

Free teaching resources for financial education

There are a number of free resources to download from PFEG, including both teachers' notes and activities for children. In addition PFEG run Young Enterprises programmes for primary schools: the well-known Fiver Challenge (Ages 5-11), Community Life (Ages 4-11), Our Business (Ages 9-11), Money matters (Ages 5-11).

I also recommend the resources from the LifeSavers website, the materials for children are well produced and the teachers' notes are very informative and helpful.

They identify 'Five Big Questions about Money' that explore the role of money in our lives:

• Where does our money come from?
Working to earn money, as well as receiving gifts, winning money and finding or borrowing money

• How does money make us feel?
How do we feel when we get it, spend it, save it, give it away or lose it?

• What can we use money for?
What is the difference between the things we need and the things we want? How are these things different for others?  

How does our money help other people?
Impact of our spending on others, helping others through taxes or charities.

• How can we look after our money? 
Sensible spending and saving, keeping records and the moral dilemmas of borrowing and finding money.

Each section has activities for different ages, split into 9-11 years, 7-9 years, 5-7 years and even a few for EY & FS 3-5 years. 

There is also a free teacher training from LifeSavers with CPD training workshops to help schools develop a whole school approach to financial education.

The ninth annual My Money Week  this year is 12-17 June, so there is time to get invovled or you can include financial awareness within maths lessons and your normal teaching of money. 

LifeSavers is a financial education programme for primary schools produced by a partnership between the Archbishop of Canterbury's Just Finance Foundation and Young Enterprises (PFEG).

It is a value-based financial education programme and links money to generosity, justice, thankfulness and wisdom. For each of the Five Big Questions there is a chart that looks at each of these principles alongside Christian belief. 

The LifeSavers programme has been established in four regions, the North East, Nottinghamshire, South East London and West Yorkshire with plans to extend the programme into other areas.
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