Research shows that money habits are mostly shaped at home between the ages of 4 and 7, particularly around core skills such as counting and choice making. By adapting our existing Maths and English resources, we believe that we can have a significant impact on the financial literacy skills of the primary-school pupils we work with.
Teacher focus groups
The first stage in developing our new Financial Literacy programme has involved collecting teacher and parent voice. Before creating the activities and videos, we felt it was essential to hear from families as well as get guidance from schools and teachers.
In October, we held two online focus groups with teachers from six of our partner schools across the UK including London, rural Sheffield, Norfolk and the Midlands. The families these schools serve face some of the greatest barriers to engaging in learning at home and so the input teachers gave us was invaluable.
In these sessions, we discussed what schools are currently doing to support pupils to build positive money habits, what the structure of the programme could look like and how a home-learning financial literacy programme should be launched to families.
What are schools currently doing to support pupils to build positive money habits?
It was exciting to hear from schools on how much they would welcome a programme that supports pupils to build positive money habits. The general feeling from the schools we spoke to was that they want to be doing more but it is hard to find the time to do this in school and they currently do not have the resources to support parents with this. Most schools had organised visits from banks to talk to pupils about budgeting and saving and whilst these were beneficial these were usually on an annual basis and were mainly focused on KS2 pupils.
Teachers agreed on the importance of starting earlier (many were surprised that children should be supported before the age of 7!) and would welcome resources that would allow them to support families throughout the year.
What would an impactful Financial Literacy programme for primary schools look like?
There was a discussion around having termly themes with six activities throughout the year for families to do with their children. Schools mentioned the benefits of having a coordinated programme which would mean siblings were working on similar themes at the same time, making it easier for families to engage with them. They also highlighted the importance of having activities that were adaptable to pupil’s current understanding of money which can vary a huge amount across a year group.
When discussing how this programme might support those families who face the greatest barriers, teachers discussed how often the biggest challenge for families is having the confidence to practise money skills in their communities. A teacher also spoke about how they are seeing children becoming increasingly less confident in having general interactions with people in their communities – it was agreed that this has become more of an issue since the pandemic and that activities should support families around this.
We were also given lots of ideas around the materials that would be needed to launch the programme with pupils, parents and teachers in our partner schools!
We are looking forward to including the teachers we spoke to as we develop the activities and supporting resources over the next year – they have already given us lots to think about!