Case study

23rd April 2004 at 01:00
At Aylsham High School in Norfolk, the school used the opportunity of the summer term's collapsed timetable to arrange personal finance activities combined with other subjects based on collaborative learning for its Year 7s.

One activity is a game designed to give pupils an overview of national finances. Four teams representing the government, social services, taxpayers and the banks are gathered around their respective money buckets.

They fill the air with soft tennis balls representing the money flowing around the economy. Meanwhile, maths teacher David Brader is explaining to a suddenly destitute government how it is going to have to raise taxes if it is to fulfil its obligations to health and education.

Elsewhere in the school, as part of a language lesson, other Year 7s learn about the euro and the foreign exchange commission that banks charge.

Having acquired their replica spending money, they go and spend in various "shops" around the room using the appropriate target language during their transactions. "Do we have to pay extra for money in real life?" asks one girl. "I'm afraid so," explains HSBC's Dee Burrows, in class to run the mock bank.

Meanwhile, Finbar Carter of Norfolk Education and Action for Development is asking children to check the labels in their clothes as part of an exercise exploring world trade. Then they study images of factories in developing countries and discuss the kinds of lives these workers lead. "With a little thought, they can see the implications of their consumer choices for people in other parts of the world," explains Finbar Carter.

Outside, children are charging around a playing-field in search of letters that will spell out key money terms.

"I would never have dreamed it was possible to link personal finance to PE, yet here it is in action," says Pfeg Norfolk adviser Tim Holmes.

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