NatWest Money Sense
Over the STEM Festival, Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 have been delving into how mathematics relates to the UK financial system during some of their Maths lessons.
In Year 7, students learned about the difference between debit and credit cards. Students were very aware that a debit card gave you access to the money you had earned, whilst a credit card allows you to borrow money. Students learnt about the issues that misusing a credit card could cause.
Students also discussed when we should be using a debit card and when not to use a credit card. Some scenarios which were talked about were paying the monthly mortgage bill and paying for a holiday. Students realised that the mortgage bill should not be paid by a credit card, as we are paying back borrowed money by borrowing more money which is not financially wise. However, paying for a holiday by credit card was an advantage due to the protection given if a holiday company went into administration.
In Year 8, students were given an opportunity to learn about what to look out for on a pay slip. Although it may be quite a while before students may see one of these, the importance of seeing one now and how this links to the maths they are currently learning was invaluable.
Students were very intrigued to know about the tax code and their national insurance number and when they will receive these. We learnt about how a few numbers in the tax code could impact the amount of tax each of us pay and the amount we end up taking home.
We then moved onto looking at the deductions, learning about when we pay income tax and the brackets of income tax that we can fall into. We also looked at what national insurance is and how much we have to pay.
Overall, students were very keen to see where the money they earn goes and how tax and national insurance is calculated. Students will now be able to attempt to make an estimate on the wages they will receive into their banks in the future.
In Year 9, students were looking into the purposes of a social enterprise. This involved discussing how a business plan is produced and how money is reinvested. Social enterprises have a social or environmental mission that generates its income through trade and reinvest the majority of it profits to further its social impact.
We looked into some well known social enterprises like Divine; this company is the only Fairtrade chocolate company that 44% of farmers own. They ensure cocoa farmers receive a better deal for their cocoa and receive a share of Divine’s profits.
Students in Year 10 were given the opportunity to take part in a virtual escape room in their Maths lessons. They were placed into teams of five and given a different problem in seven different ‘rooms’ in a school that they had to solve in order to escape.
The rooms were scrambled for each team so everyone completed the puzzles in a different order. As some rooms were harder than others, they didn’t know how they were doing until the very end.
After completing all the rooms, their final challenge was to decode the key cards and answer three questions in order to win. Each of the key cards they had received had different clues on them. The students had to work as a team to be able to solve the problem and ‘escape’.