TEAMING UP WITH BOTH LOCAL AND NATIONAL BUSINESSES AND ORGANISATIONS CAN PROVIDE HUGE BENEFITS TO YOUR SCHOOL
In a series of seven weekly workshops, children and parents explored the practical and emotional aspects of managing money. A total of 60 pupils took part, across two Year 5 classes.
‘We became aware of the Abacus project through the Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership, which we were already involved with through a reading scheme with volunteers from the Lloyd’s Community Programme. Tower Hamlets EBP was looking for a school to pilot the Abacus project (funded by Lloyd’s), and as financial literacy is part of our curriculum we were keen to take part.
Activities included card matching, mind mapping, discussions, debates, quizzes, polls and videos, and topics covered everything from why money exists to consumer culture and marketing, as well as income tax and insurance. Volunteers from the Lloyd’s Community Programme contributed their expertise, attending the sessions and supporting the groups. With four to five volunteers per class, the children had a lot of help.
Parents have a major influence on a young person’s financial behaviour, but often lack confidence in communicating with their children about money. To tackle this, the children’s parents had their own two-hour financial literacy sessions. They also took part in joint activities with the children, following on from their individual sessions.
The workshops were supplemented by two trips, the first to the British Museum to see the Citi Money Gallery. The second trip, which the parents also attended, was to the Lloyd’s Building, which gave the children the opportunity to engage with the world of work.
The project brought money and the world of work to life, while broadening the children’s aspirations. Research shows that money habits are generally formed by the age of seven, and the key period for forming conscious financial behaviours is by age 15, so engaging with financial literacy at an early age is crucial. The children were very positive about the workshops and particularly enjoyed the practical activities, including taste tests and managing a budget. Evaluations showed that parents felt the sessions had also put them in a better position to budget and work out their finances.’
Kate Ellis, Teacher, Smithy Street Primary School, London (450 Pupils)