As the holidays approach, pupils' pocket money is going to have to stretch a lot farther. Recent research by insurance firm AXA found that 17 per cent of parents have reduced pocket money and 21 per cent claim to have encouraged their children to save in the current economic climate. So why not encourage greater financial independence with an assembly?
Pupils enter the assembly to "Money, Money, Money" by Abba. Challenge the children to guess what it's about. Use a dry-wipe marker to draw the concept of pocket money on a large whiteboard (drawings may include a pair of trousers with an arrow indicating the pocket, followed by coins, notes or a piggy bank). When the title of the assembly has been guessed correctly, ask the children to put up their hands if they guessed pocket money.
Ask how much pocket money each of the pupils receives. Ask what they spend it on. Then ask for two volunteers to take part in the "Piggy bank challenge".
Draw a piggy bank on the whiteboard and divide it into two sections - one for each child. The challenge takes the form of a quiz with a large Pounds 1 coin being added to the piggy bank for each question answered correctly. If a question is not answered correctly, it is passed over for a bonus point. The child with the most money at the end of the game is the winner.
You could ask questions such as how much the average child receives in pocket money each week (Pounds 6.13, according to a Halifax survey in August 2008); how many children save some of the pocket money each week (three in 10); who gets more pocket money - children living in Scotland or in the South West (Scotland); when the most common time is to ask for a rise in pocket money (their birthday).
Check the totals for each player, announce a winner and how much pocket money they have amassed. Ask the winner how they would spend it. Point out that all the money doesn't have to be spent immediately and that it is often worth saving up in order to afford something special.
Mention that there is also great satisfaction in giving to others, either by buying presents for friends and family or by helping someone less fortunate than you. For just Pounds 3 per month they could adopt a giant panda through World Wildlife Fund. By saving pocket money for several weeks, they could make a gift of five chickens to a family in Sudan, which would provide enough eggs for the whole family. The assembly could be linked to a school fundraising event for one of the charities.
Based on an assembly from TeacherNet. For more assemblies, visit www.teachernet.gov.uk; World Wildlife Fund: www.wwf.org.uk; World Vision: www.musthavegifts.org.