Extension activities and discussion ideas

A Sample from the Teachers' Guide:

SECTION A – Exploring careers and personal finance

1.       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). 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.)

2.       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.

3.       Use newspapers or job websites for the students to find jobs they think they would like to do. They could choose several jobs and compare them. Ask them what the same is and what is different about them. Discuss the things you would consider when looking at several jobs e.g. qualifications needed, size of the company, time and cost of travelling to the location, type of career progression. 

4.       The students could pick a job they would like to do in the future and then create a plan of the things they could do to make themselves more appealing to their employer. This could include qualifications, hobbies, voluntary work, extra studies, work experience etc. 

5.       Look at the skills and personal qualities given on page 2 of factsheet FA3. The students can self-assess the skills and give examples of how they demonstrate them in their current life. You could talk about ways to improve those skills and gain work and life experience so they can develop them. 

6.       You could ask the students to gather and display information about their dream job. They could look at the skills and qualifications needed for the job and different ways you can get into that career. They could write to people who do the job and ask for further information or possibly invite them in to speak to the class. 

SECTION B – Exploring capability and personal finance

1.       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).

2.       Review the payment types in factsheet FB1. Ask the students to think of a payment method and another has to ask them yes or no questions to guess what it is. They can try with other students and see who can guess it in the least number of questions. You may want to discuss what made a good question for narrowing down the choices. 

3.       Ask the students to create short role-play scenes about the money issues you have been learning about. For example, someone who is carrying cash and loses it, showing how to act safely at an ATM, someone who is stressed about the debt they are in etc. You could extend this to create a short film about money to be shown to other classes. 

4.       Ask the students to make up a set of question cards which could be used in a quiz about earning money. They could make them multiple choice questions which is challenging as the correct answer cannot be too obvious.

5.       Create posters or leaflets giving information about financial matters. This could be about money safety or different payment form. You could display them around the school or copy examples for the students to take home to their family. Worksheet WB1 has a range of questions which ask the students to compare and explain the different payment types. You could ask them to create a poster or presentation about one of the questions. You could give different groups a question each and they create a page which is combined into a guide to help others.  

6.       Ask local banks and building societies for literature explaining the types of services they offer including types of accounts and credit cards. They may be able to come into and talk to your students. 

7.       Ask the students to create a guide for saving money. Brainstorm the hints and tops it could include – examples are given on factsheet FB10. This could be a leaflet, a poster, a Powerpoint presentation, a TV advert, etc. You challenge them to get the information across in a short and snappy way e.g. everything you need to know in 10 tweets or less.

8.       Show the students how to find the daily exchange rates and ask them to create a list of what an amount would be equivalent to in at least eight countries. You could pick a rounded amount e.g. £50 or the price of an item e.g. my phone cost £227.50. 

9.       Ask the students to create a ‘ready reckoner’ showing the exchange rates between pounds and one other currency. Discuss what would be useful amounts to include e.g. £10, £50, £100, $100 etc. They can then swap with each other and you could give an amount in pounds and they use the reckoner to work out the other currency. 

10.   Look at the designs of different currencies in both notes and coins. Often they show significant landmarks or people from the country. You could ask them to investigate the designs and what they represent. You could ask them to create a new design for a country and give reasons for what they have chosen. 

11.   Look at worksheet WB2 which has different countries and their currencies for the students to match.  Ask them to create an activity or game which would help teach people the different types or help you assess how well someone knew them. This could be a board game, card game, crossword etc. 

12.   Imagine you are attending a particular event (e.g. party, wedding, job interview, graduation). Research what you might need for the occasion, the shops where you could buy these things, the cost and how you could pay for them. Create a budget detailing how much the event will cost you. What could you do to cut down on costs? You could ask them to complete the budget sheet provided on worksheet WB5.

13.   Plan a meal for your family using a set budget (e.g. £4 per person).  Compare the different options e.g. value ready meals, takeaway deals and offers, ingredients from a supermarket to cook from scratch. Talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each, e.g. cost, time to prepare, how healthy it is, etc.

14.   Investigate the cost of travel in the local area (especially to and from school) and how money could be saved. For example, they could consider the cost of daily bus or train tickets compared with weekly, monthly or yearly travel passes. They could calculate how often someone would need to travel in order to save money with the various passes. You could extend this to look at different places e.g. cost from your school to London, Edinburgh, Birmingham etc.

15.   Give the students several catalogues or access to shopping websites. Set a scenario and give them a budget to stick to e.g. a sweet sixteenth party for under £100, a birthday lunch for under £50 etc. They have to plan what they would spend their money on. Encourage them to look at several different options for an item and to be creative with their ideas. You could ask them to complete the budget sheet provided on worksheet WB5.

16.   Look at situations which are realistic for the students e.g. mobile phone contracts, joining a gym, going to the cinema. Ask them to look at all the different financial options which are available and present the information they have found out. You could have each group investigating a different topic or all the same to compare the information. Ask them to describe a person and their circumstances. Then they decide which option would be best for them e.g. If someone has a part-time job in the summer but doesn’t know where they will work next, a PAYG mobile top-up deal would be best so they are not stuck in a long contract. Stress that the option matches the circumstances and there is no right answer for everyone.  

17.   Ask the students to create a presentation for someone who doesn’t know anything about budgeting. Ask them to brainstorm the information which should be included and then look into these in more detail using the related information sheets. You could set an audience so they can be more specific and tailor the information e.g. teenagers about to leave home, single parents, people about to retire, children under 14. 

18.   Talk about needs and wants and the difference between them. You could ask them to brainstorm the first things they would buy if money were no object (a useful context is if they won the lottery). Then ask them to list the things they could not live without (a useful context is if there were a zombie apocalypse!)

19.   Encourage the children to think about ways to save money. You could give them different areas to think about e.g. at home, transport, clothes. Examples are given on factsheet FB10 which you could share with the students and ask them to add to. The students could then choose several tips to try for themselves between lessons and gather information about how it went. You could ask them to create a way of communicating this to their families or the community. They could create posters, leaflets, Powerpoint presentations, videos etc. which can be shared.   


SECTION C – Exploring risk and personal finance

1.       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.

2.       Discuss situations where students have taken risks (financial or otherwise), the reasons behind their decisions and the outcomes.

3.       Ask students to watch the news and gather stories from the media related to the Government, the economy and businesses. Make a news file or wall display of the articles. Use these topical issues as the basis for discussion or to set further investigations for the students. Information about the credit crunch and following recession is available on factsheet FC3.

4.       Ask the students to think about the local businesses they use to purchase goods and services. You could discuss whether they are independent or part of a chain, compare similar businesses and think about the differences, talk about the size and type of business.  You could ask them to pick one and find out as much as they can about and present their findings to the other students.    

5.       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. 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.

6.       Ask the students to discuss their favourite brands or companies. They could investigate how the company started and how it works – many will have an ‘about us’ or company history section on their website.

7.       Create a contest where the students have to come up with an invention or solution to a problem and they have to pitch it to you. They may be familiar with this style of presentation from TV programmes such as Dragon’s Den (clips are available if you search online).  You may want to set a theme e.g. helping the elderly, pet products, healthy eating etc. You could link up with other departments if appropriate so they can create a working prototype. Tell the students the criteria of what you are looking for and how you will decide the winning pitch. 

SECTION D – Exploring economic understanding and personal finance

1.       Do a research project on ethical investments – interesting organisations to look at are: charities, universities, pension funds.

2.       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.

3.       Look at the pie chart of the Government’s budget – factsheet FD2. Research the types of services that would be covered by each area of spending. Talk about the challenges the Government face in deciding how to balance the books for the country. You could look at the changes in the most recent budget and ask the students to debate which they agree with and if not, what they would do instead. 

4.       The students could imagine they are the new chancellor and have been put in charge of the Government’s budget for the coming year. In groups, they could discuss which areas of spending should be given larger or smaller amounts and justify their reasons why. This year’s budget is available on factsheet FD2.

5.       A topic to research could be to find out how your local authority allocates their income. There is usually information on council websites. As with the challenge above, you could challenge them to agree or disagree and suggest changes.