Financial Literacy: LifeSavers
LifeSavers is a financial education programme for primary schools, helping children manage money wisely now and in the future.
Today, Tuesday 14th March, saw our Hatcham Savings club open its doors for the very first time. Twenty young savers from Teams 2 and 5 came along to deposit their first savings into the LifeSavers accounts. This meant that our Team 5 volunteers began their working life as the club cashiers; handling, counting, advising and teaching their peers and younger children on how they should be managing their money sensibly. Currently the savings club is only open to children in Teams 2 and 5, however after the Easter half term, we will be opening our club doors to all year groups.
During the spring term children in Team 5 applied for a job in our savings club which opens on the 14th March. Their applications were sifted and eight children were chosen for the job. These students received a training session on how the savings club will operate and function on the 1st March. In this session our newly recruited cashiers learnt how to fill in deposit forms, cash collection sheets, and where the money goes after it is saved. They were taught the importance of confidentiality, and created the club motto “Every child will save little and often.” Take a look at some photos from this training session below!
Meanwhile in Team 2, the LifeSaver’s lessons took a creative turn when the children were asked to design the savings club logo. The children came up with incredible ideas, but eventually settled on the logo below. They decided that a purse keeps your money safe, much like a bank. Inside the purse we put our pennies, just like what we may deposit inside our school savings club. Finally the clasp of the purse represents our St James shell. Well done Team 2 on such an inventive design!
At St James Hatcham, children in years two and five are given weekly lessons based on a values approach to financial education; exploring what it means to be wise, generous, just and thankful with our money. Children are taught to recognise that attitudes are as important as knowledge and skills, in shaping their financial behaviour.
All pupils are exposed to the LifeSavers curriculum though weekly acts of worship, delivered through assembly time and church. Our values have a profound impact on how we think about and use money. Financial literacy has traditionally focused on teaching knowledge and skills, but LifeSavers believe attitudes and motivations are as important in determining people’s financial behaviour. Through the acts of worship we place a strong emphasis on exploring values, drawing on the rich tradition of Christian teaching around money.
On Tuesday 14th March, St James will be opening our very own savings club. This club allows the children at our school, to open a savings account, supported by our local credit union. This gives our children a real-life experience of handling their own money and saving is most valuable in developing good financial habits from an early age. Credit unions are natural partners for schools, being local organisations run by and for the benefit of the local community.
Our savings club will be run by child volunteers, supported by adults, to help and advise others along their first independent financial journey. It is important to note that children who open a savings account will not be judged or rewarded based on how much they deposit. Instead it is a way of children developing a positive, sensible and logical relationship with the money they save.
For more information on the LifeSavers project, please take a look at their website below.