Students working together for cross-curricular learning with Banqer
Kerry Horan, a Year 5 and 6 teacher at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Morrinsville, has used Banqer Primary since 2020. The programme is fully integrated into Kerry’s teaching, supporting her students to develop a real-life understanding of financial literacy and uses Banqer as a powerful classroom incentive system.
Year 6 ‘Experts’
Being a composite class, Kerry’s Year 6 students are accessing Banqer Primary for a second time. Kerry was initially cautious, “I thought it might be tricky to ensure that my Year 5s fully understood the key concepts whilst at the same time managing the enthusiasm of my Year 6s to open the next module. However, by setting up the Year 6s as ‘experts’ and encouraging them to support the Year 5s, it has worked really well. They are applying the financial knowledge they gained in Year 5 and supporting the younger students with the platform, sharing valuable advice.” Together the students are opening bank accounts, earning Banqer dollars by applying for and working in various classroom roles, and deciding whether to spend their money on bikes, cars or houses, or to save their money in long-term deposits.
Classroom Incentive Scheme
As a bonus, Kerry finds Banqer Primary to be a powerful classroom management tool. From the start of term one, she takes advantage of the students’ enthusiasm for earning Banqer dollars to motivate them to complete work. “If they finish their ‘Must Do's’ they get bonus payments, or they can earn Banqer dollars for spending time on Mathletics for example. One boy was off school with COVID and he went from fifteenth to sixth because of all the work he did at home. The other students were amazed – and incentivized. It has definitely made them more productive.”
Banqer as a Teaching Resource in Lockdown
The incentive scheme was particularly effective during the COVID lockdowns, “Some students inevitably couldn’t do their classroom jobs to earn their Banqer dollars, so we paused payments. Instead, I used Banqer as an incentive scheme to encourage students to complete their online learning tasks such as Mathletics and Epic. I’d pay them so many dollars for every minute they spent on these activities and it proved really motivating.” Kerry also took full advantage of the remote learning activities that the Banqer Primary team emailed out regularly, “I always read the Banqer Primary team’s emails and I really appreciated the additional activities and resources that they provided during lockdown.”
Whānau (Family) Engagement
Passionate about what they have learnt, the students initiated organic discussions at home, “It shows how engaging Banqer Primary is that the students were voluntarily sharing their learning with their mums and dads. Parents are blown away by the language that their children are using and their grasp of real-life concepts such as mortgages and long-term deposits.” Kerry is now using the Banqer Primary homework resources to capitalise on the high level of whānau interest, “Every three or four weeks the students are taking home the questionnaires that the Banqer team provide to interview their parents about their own experiences of financial decision-making.”
Banqer Teacher Resources
Kerry relies extensively on Banqer’s Teacher Resources, “They make Banqer Primary so simple to use and to integrate into the classroom. I use the student videos to introduce a module. I download the Google Slides for each module, maybe adding a page or a box here and there, and I share a copy with each student. The children also love the interactive YouTube videos. The resources are so well organised and easy to use. My biggest concern is doing Banqer Primary justice as there is so much valuable learning available to the students!”
Kerry still enjoys developing her own activities to supplement Banqer. A floor mat of a town is pinned to the classroom wall and Kerry has made cards to represent each Banqer house. When they purchase a house, they write their name on the card and choose where to place it on the mat. When they sell, they move the card to the ‘sold’ section.
Having a visual display of what is happening on Banqer has stimulated heaps of discussion and competition – and it is the first thing anyone notices when they walk into the classroom!
Real World Learning
For Kerry the benefits of Banqer Primary are twofold, “I can see from my Year 6 ‘experts’ how Banqer has advanced not only their financial literacy but also their work ethic. Using Banqer as an incentive scheme mirrors real life by rewarding hard work and those that go the extra mile. The platform is so engaging and the students are all so keen to earn Banqer dollars that it makes my life easy!”