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Developing a financial literacy programme for year 9 and 10

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Mary Kerrigan, HOD Business, discusses the financial literacy programme at Aorere College, which is being created in consultation with the Commission for Financial Capability (formerly Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income) to provide students with information about income, spending, budgeting, and wise financial management for the future.

The modules are developed with links to other NZ Curriculum learning areas, and will be uploaded to the Commission’s website for every school in New Zealand to download and deliver in their schools.

Professional learning conversations

These questions and suggested actions encourage you to reflect on your own school context.

Financial capability in the curriculum

"Links between learning areas should be explored. This can lead, for example, to units of work or broad programmes designed to develop students’ financial capability, positioning them to make well-informed financial decisions throughout their lives."

The New Zealand Curriculum, p 39

  • How can you integrate financial capability within learning areas at your school?
  • How could you involve parents and whānau at your school in learning about financial capabilities?

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Financial capability discussion tool
This tool is designed to support teachers and school leaders to:

  • understand what financial capability is
  • understand why it is important to teach financial capability across all levels of the curriculum
  • plan for inclusion of financial capability in the school curriculum
  • learn how financial capability can be used as a learning context or theme to link learning areas across the New Zealand Curriculum
  • teach financial capability.


Mary Kerrigan, HOD Business, Aorere College

We are developing a programme for our year 10s that we are running at the end of the year, once our seniors have left, because there seems to be some space in the curriculum at that point. It’s going to be a four-day programme, which will be facilitated as such by hopefully every teacher at Aorere College.

The reason why we’re getting all teachers to deliver this financial literacy programme is because then students will see that it’s important, not just from the financial education or the business education department but from all of the curriculum areas across the school. The reason why we believe here at Aorere it’s really important is that our students are leaving school and getting high levels of debt, going onto tertiary education, and tertiary education seems to be what is required to enter most jobs these days. But also in our community where English is quite often the second language, our students are making decisions on behalf of their families, so they are reading financial documents, they’re reading contracts and making decisions which could, you know, affect their families long term.

So we’re working together with the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income to develop these modules. The modules will sort of have information about income, about spending, about budgeting, and about making decisions that will impact them for the future. The creation of these modules is very much a trial situation at this stage. We are working with the Commission; we will develop these programmes and then will place them on the Commission’s website so that every school in New Zealand is able to pick up a module and deliver that module or all of the modules in their own schools. We will be providing PD for staff so that every staff member can run any module. It’s really important that every teacher gets some awareness of the financial literacy requirements because it’s really important that they have the knowledge to convey to the students. We’ve got buy in from the management and the Board of Trustees to run this programme. So we’ve realised this is something that we need to give our students skills in and it’s been something that we’ve been considering for a while.

We’ve developed these financial literacy models so that they can have links into parts of the curriculum, like for example Maths in terms of calculating interest, cumulative interest, English in terms of reading and understanding financial documents, and also social studies. So there is a strong link back into the other subject areas. So our intention is after we’ve run these sessions is to hopefully have a weekend workshop where we invite families into the school and we give them some of the training or the education that we’ve given to the students. So our objective is to give our students an understanding of how important financial management is, and how decisions you make when you are young will determine your future quality of life.

Published on: 25 Nov 2013