Understanding what money is and how to manage it is a basic life skill that all young people should be given an opportunity to learn. The Museum on the Mound, Lloyds Banking Group and the University of Edinburgh Business School have been working in partnership to deliver an exciting new financial education project for primary pupils in Edinburgh to help them do exactly this.
In autumn 2019, the first ever M is for Money project saw teachers and pupils from seven primary schools across the city working alongside honours students from the University of Edinburgh Business School to design and deliver a financial capability project. This purpose of this collaborative project is to assist with the development of financial capability, and to deepen the pupils’ understanding of money and how to look after it.
The pupils involved are invited to the Museum on the Mound to gain a hands-on experience of the rich and varied collections. The emphasis is on handling original artefacts, and on learning by doing. Pupils explore unusual objects once used as money in other cultures, strike their own coin medieval-style, discover the security features on banknotes, discuss what they would do with £1,000,000 and crack a safe. The sessions are intended to act as a springboard for developing financial capability in the classroom.
On the back of this visit, primary pupils and university honours students work together in the school to come up with a project that puts across the message they want to tell their audience about money. This project could be anything from a workshop, series of posters, presentation, assembly, display, board game, leaflet and everything in between!
Susanna Hastilow, Education Officer at Museum on the Mound, was delighted with the outcome of the programme;
“The range and scope of the projects were amazing. One class created a presentation on ‘Money, Past, Present and Future’ with videos filmed and acted by the pupils; another created money-related superheroes and performed funny but informative skits to younger pupils; some invented games and quiz shows to encourage their friends and families to look after their money better; and some made colourful displays of top budgeting tips to share with their peers, and decorated piggy banks with catchy slogans. Not only did the pupils increase their knowledge of financial capability but improved their team-working and presentation skills, and demonstrated huge resourcefulness and initiative. Without a doubt, M is for Money has demonstrated that a visit to the Museum on the Mound can inspire a huge range of follow-up activities and projects.”
For the University Business students, this innovative inter-generational project is assessed as part of their coursework and counts towards their degree. It provides the students with an opportunity to gain an understanding of the importance of financial education as well as develop their skills of communication, facilitation and creativity.
I thoroughly enjoyed this whole project. Not only was it fun and educational, for both my group and the pupils, but knowing this project will impact their lives is what makes it so special. Our allocated primary class are now much more aware about budgeting, how important money is and are much more comfortable talking about money. Bonnie Hammond, University of Edinburgh Business School student.
For the primary pupils, it supports their skills development within literacy, numeracy, social studies, and health and wellbeing. Through the process of planning, delivering and evaluating their money-related projects, pupils are able to employ thinking skills, work with others, develop enterprise and employability skills, take the initiative and demonstrate creativity and resourcefulness.
A teacher from one of the participating schools said;
“The pupils told me that they had not thought about budgeting before, and now realise how important it is.”
A huge thanks to Museum on the Mound, Lloyds Banking Group and the University of Edinburgh Business School for sharing this brilliant experience with us.