To encourage school kids to think more about money, financial education has been made a compulsory part of the primary school maths curriculum. The hope is that this will develop a generation of financial savvy adults who will avoid the mistakes of their elders!
This is an important step forward, but learning shouldn't stop when the school bell rings at the end of the day. What your children pick up at home can be just as important as what they learn at school, especially at a young age.
If you want to encourage your child's learning at home, it's important to understand what they are being taught at school so you can supplement this, and not confuse your kids with questions that are too tricky, or so easy they learn nothing from them!
Key Stage 2 covers school years 3 to 6 (7-11 year olds), and if you have kids of this age this is what they will be learning as part of financial education:
Year 3 (7-8 years old):
At this age pupils will learn to add and subtract amounts of money, and to give change, using both £ and p in practical contexts. They will also be taught how to confidently and accurately read and speak about money in pounds and pence.
Colin buys a chocolate bar for 1 x one pound coin. Simon spends 4 X 20 pence coins on a packet of crisps. How much do they spend in total?
Answer = £1.80
Year 4 (8-9 years old):
During this school year pupils will learn how to solve simple money problems that involve decimals to 2 decimal places and fractions. They'll also be taught how to estimate, compare and calculate different measures including money in £ and p.
Subtract: £357.00 - £322.00 = (£35.00)
Addition: £157.50 + £123.50 = (£281.00)
Compare example: put these amounts in order : £9.21, £8.77, £9.55, £9.08, £8.98
Answer= £9.55, £9.21, £9.08, £8.98, £8.77
Years 5 and 6 (9-11 years old):
Over the last two years of Key Stage 2 children will learn how to use all four operations (add, subtract, divide and multiply) to solve basic math problems involving measure (including money) and decimal notation.
Subtract: £6.21 - £4.46 = (£1.75)
Addition: £4.74 + 5.28 = (£10.02)
Multiplication:If one pen costs 37p, how much do 9 pens cost?
Answer = £3.33
Division: Which is the better buy? A 3 meter roll of fabric for £2.22 or a 5 meter roll of fabric for £3.40.
Answer =The 5 meter roll is the better buy at 68p per metre (the 3 meter roll is 74p per metre)
What can you do to help your child learn about money?
It's a great idea to continue your children's learning at home. Why not use some of the examples above and make up your own questions?
You can also speak to their teacher to find out what is being taught in the classroom to get a better understanding of the level of difficulty and methods being used.
One fun way to teach your kids, and for them to learn, is by using money visually and physically. You could use money at home and ask them to calculate the total amount from a handful of change, or set up a pretend shop and ask them to buy certain items with the exact change.
A great place to go for more question ideas is the IXL website, where you'll find variety of questions and examples for every school year and every aspect of maths, not just related to financial education.
If your child is about to take their SAT exams see if you can find some practice papers to help them feel more comfortable about what they'll be asked before the big day.
The Pfeg website is a fantastic resource for all things financial education related. Although designed mainly for teachers, it offers a host of resources on a variety of financial education subjects, not just maths.