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Financial capability in action

The Upper Harbour Sorted Schools (UHSS) is a cluster of nine Auckland schools that worked together during 2014 and 2015 to embed financial capability across the curriculum. This initiative was organised by the Commission for Financial Capability. The aim of the UHSS was to improve engagement with financial capability across an entire school: teachers, students, and the surrounding community.

In this section, you will find ideas, stories, templates, and lesson plans developed by the school cluster. This material has been shared to help you build a stronger focus on financial capability in your own school settings.

Secondary ideas

This page explains how secondary schools in the UHSS have taught financial capability. Task sheets, assessment criteria, and supporting resources are available for your use. Please adapt them to suit the needs of your particular communities of students.

Financial capability and the social sciences | Financial capability and other learning areas | Workshops and events

Financial capability and the social sciences

Financial capability has strong links to the social sciences, namely business studies, economics, and accounting. Teachers can plan projects in these subject areas to help students develop conceptual understandings in the social sciences and specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the financial capability progressions.

App challenge
Students taking business studies at Albany Junior High School were given the opportunity to design an app to help young people manage their finances. The app could target any area of finance including goal setting, budgeting, saving, or loaning.

Links to financial capability progressions and learning areas

  • Managing money and income – spending
  • Managing money and income – credit and debt
  • Managing money and income – saving and investing
  • Setting goals – setting goals and planning ahead
  • Business studies
  • Accounting

Word 2007 icon. App challenge and judging criteria (Word 2007, 55 KB)

Word 2007 icon. Advice for creating a financial capability app (Word 2007, 53 KB)

PowerPoint 2007 icon. Student work: Banko Challenge (PowerPoint 2007, 616 KB)

PowerPoint 2007 icon. Student work: RentMe challenge (PowerPoint 2007, 2 MB)

Investment challenge
Students taking business studies at Albany Junior High School were asked to give financial advice on the best way to invest $100,000. They had to choose a person to base their financial plan on and offer short, medium, and long term financial goals for them to work towards.

Links to financial capability progressions and learning areas

  • Managing money and income – spending
  • Managing money and income – credit and debt
  • Managing money and income – saving and investing
  • Managing money and income – budgeting and financial management
  • Setting goals – setting goals and planning ahead
  • Business studies

Word 2007 icon. Task sheet – Investment challenge (Word 2007, 68 KB)

Word 2007 icon. Assessment criteria – Investment challenge (Word 2007, 53 KB)

PowerPoint 2007 icon. Sample of student work (PowerPoint 2007, 3 MB)

Sorted test
Business studies students at Albany Junior High School used the online Sorted guides to answer a quiz about individual financial management. 

Links to financial capability progressions and learning areas

  • Managing money and income – spending
  • Managing money and income – credit and debt
  • Managing money and income – saving and investing
  • Managing money and income – budgeting and financial management
  • Setting goals – setting goals and planning ahead
  • Business studies

Word 2007 icon. Sorted quiz (Word 2007, 52 KB)

Student workbooks.

Enterprise and financial capability workbooks
Teachers at Takapuna Grammar School rewrote their workbooks for the Year 10 enterprise and financial capability course that they offer. They made changes to ensure a stronger focus on the development of financial knowledge and skills. The course now has key checkpoints that encourage students to have conversations with their parents and families to reinforce classroom learning. A flatting unit is included to help students learn about needs vs wants, budgeting, and spending. 

Links to financial capability progressions and learning areas

  • Managing money and income – spending
  • Managing money and income – credit and debt
  • Managing money and income – saving and investing
  • Managing money and income – budgeting and financial management
  • Setting goals – setting goals and planning ahead
  • Business studies

"To put all these skills to use we did a flatting unit, where we got into groups of four, chose a head tenant and flatmates. We went through everything from tenancy agreements to budgeting for meals. One thing we enjoyed was grocery shopping. From a simple activity we learnt how to budget our money and how to spend our money wisely between our needs and our wants." 

Student voice

Financial capability across other learning areas

Financial capability can be integrated into a range of learning areas, helping students meet learning outcomes from both the curriculum and financial capability progressions.

Farmers' market
Students taking a business enterprise learning module at Hobsonville Point Secondary School developed their own business ideas for Hobsonville Point Farmers' Market. Students had to identify authentic market opportunities, including feasibility and costings. They worked with local business owners to gain their advice and expertise.

Links to financial capability progressions and learning areas

  • Managing risk – identifying and managing risk
  • Setting goals – setting goals and planning ahead
  • Business studies
  • Technology
  • English

Break even analysis
Mathematics teachers at Albany Senior High School taught students how to carry out a break even analysis for business ventures. They had to calculate how many units of a product need to be sold in order to break even. Students learned how the equation y=mx + b operates in a real life context and were able to make use of this mathematical equation in business studies.

Links to financial capability progressions and learning areas

  • Managing risk – identifying and managing risk
  • Mathematics and statistics

Careers topic 
Year 10 students at Takapuna Grammar School participated in an integrated careers topic where they were allocated a job with a set income and had to make financial decisions based on their future situation. They explored taxation, Kiwisaver, payslips, and monthly budgeting. They also investigated a career that they might be interested in for their future. 

Links to financial capability progressions and learning areas

  • Managing money and income – credit and debt
  • Managing money and income – saving and investing
  • Managing money and income – budgeting and financial management
  • Setting goals – setting goals and planning ahead
  • Social sciences
  • Mathematics and statistics
  • English

Walkaway wardrobe
At Takapuna Grammar School, business studies teachers have collaborated with technology teachers to design cross curricular learning opportunities. This has resulted in Year 10 - 12 students setting up a new business called 'Walkaway Wardrobe'. This is a ‘sell on behalf of’ business where students are invited to bring in good quality unwanted clothes to be sold. Upon sale, 50% of the profit is retained for fundraising purposes and the remainder is returned to the student who owned the item. 

Links to financial capability progressions and learning areas

  • Managing money and income – budgeting and financial management
  • Managing risk – identifying and managing risk
  • Setting goals – setting goals and planning ahead
  • Technology
  • Mathematics and statistics
  • English

Financial capability workshops and events

Financial capability workshops or special community events help students develop specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the financial capability progressions.

Money Fit Trade Exhibition
During Money Week, business studies students from Albany Junior High School ran a financial capability trade show. Students worked in groups to create exhibits about an aspect of financial capability. Each group was assigned a financial expert from the community to seek knowledge and advice from. Themes included loan sharks, online shopping, flatting, Kiwisaver, property investment, and health insurance. The local community were invited to attend the event.

Financially fluent kids
This YouTube video showcases the Money Fit Trade Exhibition at Albany Junior High School.

Links to financial capability progressions and learning areas

  • Managing money and income – spending
  • Managing money and income – credit and debt
  • Managing money and income – saving and investing
  • Managing money and income – budgeting and financial management
  • Setting goals – setting goals and planning ahead

Word 2007 icon. Task sheet – Money fit trade exhibition (Word 2007, 51 KB)

Word 2007 icon. What makes an effective trade display? (Word 2007, 53 KB)

SavY workshops
Students from Westlake Girls High School and Takapuna Grammar School attended SavY workshops. SavY is a student run charitable trust that seeks to equip young people with good financial habits, regardless of their background and aspirations. SavY runs free financial capability workshops in high schools across Auckland, Hamilton, and Wellington. During the workshops university students shared financial advice on student loans, part time employment, flatting expenses, and debt.

Links to financial capability progressions

  • Managing money and income – spending
  • Managing money and income – credit and debt
  • Managing money and income – saving and investing
  • Managing money and income – budgeting and financial management
  • Setting goals – setting goals and planning ahead

Financial capability quest
Westlake Girls High School hosted a financial capability quest where students from local primary and secondary schools competed in a problem solving challenge. The questions in the challenge were designed to extend students' financial knowledge and skills. 

Links to financial capability progressions

  • Managing money and income – spending
  • Managing money and income – credit and debt
  • Managing money and income – saving and investing
  • Managing money and income – budgeting and financial management
  • Setting goals – setting goals and planning ahead

Word 2007 icon. Financial capability quest (Word 2007, 57 KB)

Published on: 18 Jan 2016


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