Triabunna District School sits at the heart of the small rural town of the same name, located about an hour’s drive from Hobart in Tasmania. With a hundred and eighty students from Years 1 to 12, every child is well aware of what is on offer at every grade, and they can’t wait to get to Yvette’s class and start earning some Banqer bucks!
Banqer Primary is the highlight of Year 5/6 at Triabunna District School
Yvette teaches the Year 5/6 class and has been using Banqer at Triabunna for the last four years, “My own children used Banqer Primary years ago, and I came across it again whilst teaching another local school. When I started at Triabunna, I introduced it to our Principal and got the go ahead. It is incredible that such a powerful platform with so many learning benefits is available at no cost.”
Financial literacy in action: From classroom learning to real-world financial decisions
Yvette describes the learning benefits as cross-curricula,
I would say Banqer Primary maps to both the literacy and numeracy curriculum, as well as our Australian financial literacy curriculum. The students do lots of writing activities as well as maths, and they obviously get a good understanding of banking and budgeting.
The majority of Yvette’s students are completely new to financial education, “Most don’t even know what deposit or withdrawal mean. For many it is the first time that their eyes are opened to the importance of money in our society.”
This year’s students have been particularly blown away by the concept of earning interest on their savings. Yvette recalls, “I have students saying ‘Teacher, we get given money for nothing! Does that happen in the real world?’ Once they understand how interest accrues they are very motivated to save, especially as we have quite high interest rates in class.”
The lending and debt module builds on this basic understanding of saving and interest rates, “Five students have just purchased properties with the money that they have saved, avoiding large amounts of debt. This has really motivated students to use their money more wisely and not just squander it.”
Student Engagement with Banqer Bucks, Banqer Shop and Banqer Town
Yvette uses Banqer throughout the year, “In the first week of term one, they write their CVs and start applying for classroom jobs to earn their Banqer bucks. Jobs include banker, student in charge of putting up the Australian and indigenous flags, teacher’s PA, vacuum cleaner, sink cleaner and the student favourite, the rubbish monitor who gets to go outside and spend five minutes picking up litter round the school!” Each term, students must revise their resumes and reapply for positions. As Yvette reduces the number of jobs available, fine-tuning those resumes becomes increasingly crucial. Performing well is also essential, as getting fired is a distinct possibility.
To get paid they need to complete timesheets, “They have to sign the timesheet and learn about signatures which is totally new to them. Then they get a pay slip which they need to check is correct.”
Students can also accumulate Banqer bucks as recognition for positive conduct or accomplishments. Specialist educators have swiftly recognized the potential of Banqer as an instrument for motivation. “The music teacher gives everyone $200 for completing their work and one or two students get a $500 bonus for working extra hard or doing really well. It is really effective, as are Banqer fines,” chuckles Yvette.
Every Friday afternoon is dedicated to Banqer and working through the expansions. Yvette opens the Banqer shop and students can spend some of their Banqer bucks on lollies and little gadgets and toys that she picks up from Kmart, “This gives them the choice, do they save or spend?”
Previously Yvette has used the desks as properties, decorating them with photos of houses for sale taken off the internet. Students bought and sold the ‘desks’, moving them around the classroom as they traded. This year Yvette created a Banqer town on the wall of the classroom, “The photos of the properties and vehicles that they purchase are all on a map of a town and the students stick their names on what they own.” “They are all very competitive and I give a prize out at the end of the year to the girl and boy with the most money and assets.”
‘I’ve been waiting since Grade 2!’
Yvette’s students are over the moon about having the opportunity to use Banqer, “Every year they absolutely love doing Banqer and talk about it outside of class and at home, building anticipation amongst the lower grades. I had one Year 4 girl come up to me and say ‘Miss, I’ve been waiting since Grade 2 to do Banqer so you better stay here until I get to your class!’ The younger students would be devastated if they didn’t get their chance at Banqer.”
Banqer Primary is fun, easy to use, no extra work for me because all the resources and activities are there and the children never get sick of it. Even by the end of Term 4 they are still into it.
Banqer Primary is freely available to all Australian primary schools, thanks to our Champion Partner Netwealth