• Mike de Haaff
  • 21/10/2022

The Guernsey Investment & Funds Association (GIFA) has launched a financial literacy initiative with Vale Primary School to support students in years 3-6, aged 7-11, understand the real value of money and supplement the current curriculum.

This scheme will help prepare the next generation and improve awareness of the basics of finance and the value of money. It will enable children to balance school learning with real world skills.

Whilst the skills taught to these children through this scheme will be basic, GIFA’s main objectives are to support and prepare children for the next stage in their learning, gain knowledge and create a stronger skillset in financial matters.

It’s GIFA’s aim to eventually bring more schools into the initiative following the inaugural roll out in the 2022/2023 school year.

The scheme

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. 

The scheme will encourage students in years 3-6 to earn ‘Vale credits’, which they can either deposit in their class bank account and earn interest or spend in the school shop.

Students can earn credits (Vales) based on the school-wide DOJO reward system where, at Vale, children earn dojo points when they demonstrate any of the 12 school behaviours, such as creativity, being respectful and showing kindness.

From September 2022, their earned Dojo points are 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 becoming a school shopkeeper or banker. 32 students, across the different years and classes, have already been chosen to become bankers or shopkeepers after applying for the roles in July 2022 via a specially designed application form, as like many would likely experience when applying for a role outside of school.

On a weekly basis, the class Bank Managers will fill in each pupil’s bank book with the number of Dojo points earnt that week.  Then, during the week before the school shop opens, class Bank Managers will add up all Dojos earnt 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 (designed by the children) distributed by the class Bank Managers.

Appointed shopkeepers will manage the setting up of the shop and the processing of any sales that pupils decide to make.  This includes keeping the stock book up-to-date and giving back any change a pupil may need from a purchase. Today, 21 October 2022, the shop was opened for the first time to great excitement to all involved especially the children.

Vale School shop opening

Financial education

A recent survey was conducted by Sarah Marquis, Specsavers Insights Manager, to understand children’s current knowledge of finance. The survey was targeted at parents and carers of children attending Vale Primary School in years 3-6 from September 2022. The highlights were:

  • Less than half of parents (48%) said that their child knows that money saved in a bank can earn more money (i.e., interest).
  • Only 54% said their child understands the value of money.

Your involvement

Volunteering your time in this scheme will give your team the opportunity to give back to the local community and help prepare the next generation by sharing valuable hands-on knowledge.

The scheme is the first of its kind in Guernsey and provides a unique opportunity for Guernsey’s finance industry to become engaged with tomorrow’s business leaders.

To get your organisation involved, contact Mike de Haaff, [email protected]

Our current contributors include:

  • Mike de Haaff and Hubert Nicolle, GIFA
  • Gemma Ainger, Project Manager
  • Vale Primary School Head Teacher and Deputy Head Teacher
  • Simon Rowe, GADOC props designer (shop build)
  • FS industry volunteers to help out with the programme
  • Julie Murphy, Creasey’s Toy Buyer (stock)
  • Dan Smith, Smith Signs (shop signage)
  • Sarah Marquis, Specsavers Insights Manager (survey)
  • Ryan de Haaff, Graphic Designer (setting bank note designs)
  • Vale school council children who helped research shop items
  • Black Vanilla, PR and content support

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