The Guernsey Investment & Funds Association is piloting a financial literacy initiative with Vale Primary School.
The initiative is aiming to provide pupils in years 3-6 (aged 7-11) with practical hands-on experience in understanding the real value of money, and importantly, allowing them to make their own financial decisions.
As part of Guernsey’s Big Picture Curriculum, which has a focus on financial literacy, one of the key elements is helping children to make informed financial choices regarding saving, investing, borrowing, making money, profit and debt. This project has been designed to work hand-in-hand with their mathematics lessons.
In a recent survey sent to Vale Primary School parents and carers, it was discovered that 52% claim their child doesn’t know that money saved in a bank can earn interest. A second finding in the survey revealed that 46% of parents and carers said that their child doesn’t understand the value of money.
Jason Liddy, Chair for the Guernsey Investment & Funds Association (GIFA) Education Committee said: “The importance of educating the younger generations on understanding and managing their own finances is without a doubt, something that should be supported. Ever since we saw the news of the scheme at Kirton Primary School, we knew that this was something we had to bring to Guernsey.
“GIFA started working on this scheme in 2019/2020 and it has been a real community project to get it launched in Vale this coming academic year having been delayed by the impact of COVID.”
The initiative, which was announced to Junior School children at the end of the 2022 summer term, will encourage pupils to earn Vales (Vale ‘money’) based on their existing Class Dojo reward system.
Gary Hind, Head Teacher of Vale Primary School said: “We are delighted to be the first primary school on the island to trial this scheme. We are looking forward to seeing the children learn and improve their financial literacy over the upcoming year. Thank you to all those businesses and volunteers who have put in the hard work to get the initiative launched, plus our children who have designed the currency and staff for their support in making the project work.”
Pupils will continue to be rewarded Dojo points for following the school’s ‘Vale Values’ which promote qualities such as creativity, being respectful and showing kindness, but from September, their earned Dojo points are now being turned into Vales. At the end of each term, the children can decide whether to spend their Vales in the School Shop that will open prior to the term finishing, or to save their Vales, earn interest, and essentially save for something more expensive later on down the line.
Vales can also be earned by applying for a job to become a Shopkeeper or Bank Manager as part of the initiative. 32 pupils, across years 3 to 6, have already been chosen to become the first set of bankers or shopkeepers after applying for the roles at the end of the Summer term. Each term, another set of pupils will have the opportunity to apply for a role.
On a weekly basis, the class Bank Managers will fill in each pupils bank book with the number of Dojo points earned that week. Then, during the week before the School Shop opens, class Bank Managers will add up all Dojos earned in that term, giving pupils their total balance. This is when the children can decide whether to save their Vales and earn interest, or spend their Vales in the school shop with the Vale bank notes distributed by the class Bank Managers.
In June, children at Vale were given the opportunity to enter a competition to design the Vale bank notes for the scheme. The winners were Finley Sargent, Josh McLuckie, Darcie Bellis and Mandee Chin.
The GIFA Education Committee took inspiration from Kirton Primary School in the UK, which launched a similar scheme a few years ago. The initiative’s Project Manager, Gemma Ainger, said: “My eight-year-old son is in year 4 at Vale Primary School and I’m looking forward to seeing his knowledge develop over the coming months. Ways of learning are constantly developing, and we hope this hands-on experience will complement what is already being taught in classrooms.”
The school shop, built especially for this project, will open just before October half term. The shop will be stocked with a variety of items, chosen with the help of the children from the Vale School Council.
GIFA project coordinators Mike de Haaff and Hubert Nicolle said: “This is a pilot initiative, to allow us all to get the scheme off the ground and to take learnings from, with the intention to roll the project out to as many junior schools that wish to implement it in the future. We would be very happy to discuss with anyone interested in finding out more.”
More information can be found on the GIFA’s website
The Project contributors were
- Mike de Haaff and Hubert Nicolle, GIFA
- Gemma Ainger, Project Manager
- Vale Primary School
- Simon Rowe, GADOC props team for building the shop
- Sarah Marquis, Specsavers Insights Manager for the survey creation
- Julie Murphy, Creasey’s Kids for shop stock selection and discounts
- Ryan de Haaff, Graphic Designer for setting the bank notes
- Dan Smith, Smith Signs for providing shop signage
- Black Vanilla, PR, Communications and Events
Pictured: Vale Primary School and GIFA. Left to Right – Vale Primary School Headteacher Gary Hind; Vale Primary School Deputy Headteacher Lauren Eyton-Jones; GIFA project coordinator Mike de Haaf; Project Manager, Gemma Ainger; Chair of the GIFA Education Committee, Jason Liddy, with children from Vale Primary School.