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How can you integrate financial capability into your classroom programme?


Financial capability is highlighted in The New Zealand Curriculum as a theme or context for learning that schools can use for effective cross-curricular teaching and learning programmes.

Use these discussion tools with your school leadership team to plan for integrating financial capability into your classroom programme.

Discussion tools

Teaching approaches

Financial capability can be taught across all learning areas of the curriculum, in a similar way to literacy and numeracy teaching. Different aspects of financial capability can be taught within different learning areas. Using the financial capability progressions, key competencies, and values, financial capability can be integrated across your teaching and learning programme, using a variety of approaches. Re-visiting the same concepts in different contexts helps to broaden and deepen students’ conceptual understandings.

Select the approach that works best for the different learning context.

Financial capability planning

This discussion tool suggests some possibilities for consideration to ensure financial capabilities are focused on and developed while integrated into the curriculum learning areas, key competencies, and values.

How can you use planning tools to support integrating financial capability into your teaching programme and strengthen the quality of students’ learning experiences?


These prompts focus on integrating financial capability knowledge, competencies, and values while considering authentic contexts for learning.

When planning, consider these prompts. In this way, an activity could:

  • be developed to link to an authentic purpose
  • connect with the kinds of competencies and values the learning requires
  • involve learning beyond the classroom
  • connect with parents/whānau and the wider community.

View a text version of this diagram.

Planning approach

Planning your teaching and learning approach to include financial capability.

Use the questions on this table as a guide to assist in developing your learning plan.



Building connections

Decision making

Learning and teaching

What is the authentic 
context for learning?

What is my approach to teaching and learning?

What relevant prior experience and knowledge do students/ākonga have already? How will I find out?

Which financial capabilities can 
be taught here?

What key competencies and values are being explored and developed in this context?

How are these related to financial capability?

How can I build connections with whānau and the school community?

What local community agencies can be involved? How?

How am I creating an inclusive learning environment?

How are students/ākonga making connections to other learning and prior experiences?

How are students/ākonga engaging with whānau, and the local community?

What personal financial decisions will this learning lead to?

What economic decision making (about NZ and the world) will this learning lead to?

How can we share our learning?

What, if any, social action can we take?

Next steps
How have my students/ākonga and I identified and documented their learning gains? How might students/ākonga use and build on their financial capability in other contexts? What new insights about the challenges and opportunities in this subject might my students/ākonga take forward?

FC progressions

Key competencies



Culture counts

Productive partnerships


Examples of planning

Consider these different models of planning for integrating financial capability into your classroom programme.

Social inquiry overview: How should New Zealand provide for retirement income? (Taking part in economic communities (PDF 2.4MB), p. 12)

Valued outcomes of social sciences and financial literacy (Taking part in economic communities (PDF 2.4 MB), p. 9)

Inquiry overview: How can we make the best use of our school playground area? 
Example inquiry overview incorporating financial capability  (20 kB)

Transferring the learning

Developing financial capability – a student perspective
Students from Aorere College running the Lunches for Less programme share what they learned about managing money, budgeting, and making spending choices. Students explain how they will take that learning into their everyday lives. 

Transferring the learning.

View a text version of this diagram.


How can you ensure knowledge and capabilities are revisited and built upon?

Think explicitly about the relationship between students’ learning and performance in one context, with the capabilities required in a new context.

Identify and explain how the conditions in an upcoming context are similar or different to the next.

Draw on students’ prior experience to support their performance in new contexts.

Consider how knowledge, competencies, and values used in other learning areas will help learning in the current learning area.

Identify authentic, meaningful contexts for learning to facilitate students transferring their learning from school to home, work, the community, and online.

Providing authentic learning contexts

Authentic learning contexts are integral to creating student interest and are likely to increase students’ sense of connectedness and belonging.

Effective pedagogy in social sciences: Tikanga ā iwi: BES

Māori students do much better when education reflects and values their identity, language, and culture.

Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success: The Māori Education Strategy 2013 - 2017, p. 6

To identify authentic learning contexts within your programme use:

School stories
Select school stories relevant to your level and view.

Your long term plan – identify authentic learning contexts where you can integrate financial capability into your current programme.

Developing key competencies in the context of financial capability

Onehunga High School
Read this story and identify how the key competencies were developed in the context of budgeting.

Key competencies 
Refer to the table outlining suggestions for financial capabilities that support the development of key competencies.


How developing financial capabilities can support the development of the key competencies.

  • What key competencies are the focus in your classroom?
  • How can you develop these in the context of financial capability?

Inclusion - Understanding values in the context of financial capability

Different cultures and families/whānau may have very different values and approaches to financial decision making.

Important cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners in this context include:

  • showing integrity, sincerity, and respect towards Māori beliefs, language, and culture (manaakitanga)
  • providing contexts for learning where the language, identity, and culture of Māori learners and their whānau is affirmed (tangata whenuatanga)

Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners

Refer to the table providing suggestions for ways in which values can be explored and modelled while developing financial capability.

Financial capability: Approaches to teaching and learning
Meriane Brown explains, “A lot of our mainly Pasifika students aren’t massively motivated by profit. The fact that maybe their business is going to be so successful that there will be a lot of profit at the end of it doesn’t motivate them. What we have discovered though is that they get a real sense of satisfaction and pleasure and self-worth from giving and as a result a lot of our business ventures end up being not-for-profit organisations.”


How you will address the different values your students may have about money, without making assumptions about cultural beliefs?

What learning opportunities can you provide to explore different values relating to financial capability, in your classroom? How will you ensure that your approach is inclusive?

Creating a financial capability wall

Creating a financial capability wall display that can be added to throughout the year provides a prompt and a reminder for students about their learning. The financial capability wall can:

  • show evidence of learning over time
  • provide a visual way of organising financial capability concepts and vocabulary
  • be used as a place for students and parents/whānau to pose questions for inquiry.
Financial vocab wall.

PDF icon. Financial Vocab Wall (PDF, 965 KB)


What are the key understandings and terms you want to introduce to your students?

How can you introduce and refer to these terms over time?

How can you involve and engage students in building this wall?

How can you use this vocabulary display to engage with parents/whānau?

Published on: 01 Dec 2013