Banqer encourages positive financial decision-making in Year 6 students
Prescott Primary Northern is a multicultural, economically diverse primary school in the northern suburbs of Adelaide. Sam Blackeby, Upper Primary Coordinator & Year 6 Teacher, introduced Banqer five years ago to support the Economics programme in the new Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) curriculum.
Banqer helps students learn the value of money
Banqer is integrated into Term 4 for 90 minutes a week with daily check-ins to allow students to keep an eye on their finances.
“Banqer fits perfectly with the HASS curriculum. We want students to understand the value of money and that their life decisions can cause them to lose or gain money. So we set up our classes so that they have money coming in and going out using real-world scenarios such as wages, police fines, school fees and excursion costs. Then we work our way through all the Banqer expansions.”
The teachers run in-class and class-versus-class competitions, comparing who has the most savings or net worth. “I can honestly say that every year all our students have been engaged and highly motivated to understand why some students or classes are making more money.”
Engaging and fun financial education
The students find Banqer fun, and they are also learning essential life skills. “Kids like the interactivity and being on a screen doing something they consider very mature and grown up, but it is more than that. Every kid wants to make money, and once they have control of their own bank accounts and are making decisions, they start discussing what to do with their friends. If someone is making lots of money, they all want to know how they are doing it.” Banqer helps bring home the importance of choosing the right bank and using the appropriate bank accounts for everyday transactions and savings.
They think the bank is just somewhere to keep money safe. Once they understand interest rates, they become quite excited about making their money work for them. Many will be getting part-time jobs in a few years and opening their own bank accounts. I see Banqer as preparing them to make informed decisions.
The students are also surprised that loans cost money, and that you have to pay taxes. “They get quite upset that they have to give their hard-earned money away. If they decide not to pay, we remove all the new stuff in the classroom and let them use broken crayons! It makes them think about who is paying for their education, and again stimulates great conversation.”
The broader impact of financial education – at home and in real life
Sam and the three other Year 6 teachers encourage the students to apply what they learn in class to their home life and foster parental involvement.
They go home and ask questions such as why did you choose your bank, what interest rates are you getting, and how often do you pay your mortgage? The students love being able to have these mature discussions using grown-up language. We’ve had really positive feedback from parents, especially those who never had access to financial education themselves.
The flexibility of Banqer also empowers teachers to bring in real-life events. “We can easily change pay rates, tax rates and interest rates. We try and reflect what is happening around us, so if the news is about interest rate hikes, we put ours up and discuss the likely impact – on the students themselves and also on their parents or the wider economy.”
Sam and his students even put on a feast using the interest they gained from maintaining their savings accounts.
For a free programme, I feel Banqer is just way bigger than it should be. It covers so much of what the students need to prepare them for their futures. Today’s kids don’t see physical money changing hands and how these decisions lead to gains or losses. Banqer lets them experience that in a safe environment.
Bringing financial literacy to your primary school is easy
Banqer Primary is available to all primary schools throughout Australia at no cost, thanks to our Champion Partner Netwealth.
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