Citi Money Gallery education programme launches in secondary schools

The British Museum has developed a unique programme to assist secondary school teachers in delivering the new  financial education requirements as part of the revised national curriculum. The newly developed Citi Money Gallery secondary education programme delivers financial education in a historical context through objects in the collection, emphasising the development of money in society, various cultural relationships with money and the role money has played in the creation and destruction of entities. The sessions and resources have been developed by the British Museum, with the support of Citi, for use with schools from September 2014.

The programme comprises onsite functional sessions, enrichment days and online material, drawing on the Museum’s global collection relaying the story of money over the past 4,500 years. It offers students the opportunity to visit the museum in order to interact with the Citi Money Gallery itself, including handling objects from the collection. Onsite sessions begin with general financial education activities, at both the personal and national level, and object handling. Schools can then select a subject for the afternoon through which to deliver financial education; mathematics, business studies, art, drama, economics, geography, English and history as well as a cross curricular option.

Although these sessions create an experience that cannot be replicated in the classroom, provisions are available for schools to engage with the collection online through specially designed activities such as “Note-ably different”, an activity where students create their own banknotes, and then compare them to a historical and current version. Image banks are also available which provide a set of images for use as either starters or as inspiration for a lesson; these include ‘Money and Citizenship’ and ‘Money and Art’.

From September 2014 financial education is being taught in secondary schools as part of citizenship and mathematics.  There are also opportunities for financial education within Personal, Social, Health and Economic education. However research suggests there are numerous barriers to engaging with the subject, including pressures on teacher time and lack of confidence in delivering the subject.

Earlier this year a conference was held at the British Museum entitled ‘Why are sweets by the till?  Delivering empowering financial education’.  It was the first time key organisations supporting the delivery of financial education had been brought together at a single conference. As an outcome from the conference, two free teacher training sessions on incorporating financial education into the curriculum will be available at the Museum this academic year.

The education programme has been piloted with over 250 teachers and 1000 students from key stages 3 to 5. Enthusiastic feedback from teachers included the comments, “Kids really enjoyed the hands on activity and the coin estimation”, “I loved the way of involving history and money into the mathematics!”

As well as working directly with teachers and students, the programme will also support existing initiatives.  It will have a strong presence in Global Money Week 2015 and will offer opportunities to schools as part of National Student Money Week and My Money Week.

There is no charge for schools attending the sessions and full access and lunch facilities are available.

Additional information may be found at: http://www.britishmuseum.org/money

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