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That'll do nicely

COLOSSAL CARDS. Devised and developed by BEAM in association with the Financial Services Authority pound;16.45 inc VAT (postage pound;2.45). Available from BEAM Education, Maze Workshops, 72A Southgate Road, London N1 3JT Tel: 020 7684 3323 Fax: 0207684 3334 E-mail:

Most children are aware that plastic cards are a key to cash and goodies. But how many will actually understand them by the time that first tempting credit-card offer comes through the post?

The Colossal Cards pack, aimed at 10 to 14-year-olds, will help teachers to help children with the ins and outs of non-cash methods of financial transaction. The pack contains a teacher's guide and 24 outsize laminated cards, representing different non-cash saving or acquisition methods - replicas of credit, cash, debit and cheque guarantee cards, utility pre-prepayment cards, loyalty and discount cards, a Premium Bond, a season ticket and a postage stamp.

There is a double-page spread in the guide for each card, offering a detailed explanation, ideas for class or group discussions and activities for different ability groups. The approach is coolly factual with no moralising; there is good advice on, for example, interest rates and how to "shop around" for a credit card. The pack is ideal for PSHE and citizenship lessons and - although the mathematics of finance is not explicitly covered - for providing contexts on maths topics such as percentages.

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