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Extension activities and discussion ideas

These activities are linked to the DfE's Guidance on financial capability in the secondary curriculum: key stage 3 and 4 and the PSHE: Economic wellbeing and financial capability curriculum.

Here are some suggestions for extension activities and ideas for class discussion:

  Extension activities and discussion ideas for 12 to 14 and 14 to 16 year olds  


  • Ask students to discuss and then make a list of things they like doing (e.g. talking to people, building things, research and investigation, being creative, public speaking, etc). Then divide into pairs and research which kinds of jobs their partner might be good at/enjoy. (Often people find it helpful to have an objective eye to challenge their preconceptions about what particular jobs and sectors are like).
  • Invite representatives from local business to come into the school and speak about how they started in business and about how company finances are organised. Teachers' note: You could get in touch with
    your local Education and Business Partnership hub to find out which local employers are keen to link
    up with schools.
  • Investigate how careers and trends in employment have changed and how salaries in the past compare with those today. They could interview relatives or people in your local community.
  • Make up their own financial quiz questions or maths challenges to test classmates.


  • List situations where money and/or resources are wasted as a result of poor financial decisions (e.g. someone buying more food than they can use and ending up throwing some away).


  • Discuss the fact that financial decisions are more about circumstances and personal choices than right answers and come up with role-play scenarios that demonstrate this.
  • Discuss situations where students have taken risks (financial or otherwise), the reasons behind their decisions and the outcomes.

Economic understanding

  • Do a research project on ethical investments - interesting organisations to look at are: charities, universities, pension funds.
  • Look into the issue of the UK's 'ageing population' and the impact this will have on pensions and public services like health care, transport, etc.
  • Monitor news reports about the Credit Crunch, the economy and other financial stories and discuss these in class. Make a file of the articles.