On Thursday 3 November, 59 children aged nine to eleven at Brampton Primary School in Newham presented two unique play scripts in culmination of the visit to their school of our financial literacy project, A Wealth of Stages, funded by Citi Foundation. The project was delivered by two of our professional drama artists, who helped the children to develop their financial understanding and confidence through a series of creative drama activities. The plays drew inspiration from trips to the Bank of England Museum and Citi’s office in Canary Wharf where the children played a trading game and gained finance-focused knowledge from Citi employees.
Entitled Rich Becomes Poor, the first play centred on a female character who was careless with her money and the negative impact this had on her life in the long-run. In the second play, Revenge Among Thieves, a detective story, the central character had money stolen from her and learnt about the need to keep one’s finances safe. The theme for the two drama pieces emerged in the second half of the project, as the children gained confidence in understanding ‘value for money’ – they developed character roles, names, and their drama piece storylines to reflect what they had learnt.
“I learnt how to act and not to be shy and how we should save our money and also how to write a story.” Participant
Thanks to a grant from the international financial corporation, Citi Foundation, we launched the highly topical A Wealth of Stage project in 2009. Designed in partnership with Citi to improve financial awareness and literacy amongst primary schoolchildren in children London’s most deprived boroughs, A Wealth of Stages has already reached 1,524 participants across five of these. Over the coming months, we will be taking A Wealth of Stages to four further inner-London schools.
Financial illiteracy is widespread: according to EdComs (2007), of the 75% of primary schoolchildren who are saving, only 10% are doing so for the future; and by the time they reach the age of 17, over half of young people have been or are in debt. A report by the Advisory Group on Financial Literacy (AdFLAG 2002) demonstrates the strong link between poor financial understanding and awareness, poor literacy and numeracy, poverty and social exclusion.
A Wealth of Stages began with an initial ‘taster’ day, during which three Year 4 classes and one Year 5 class were introduced to drama activities along two themes: money; and the concept of ‘needs’ versus ‘wants’. All workshops were developed in line with the criteria of the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum.
The participants, staff and artists are asked to fill out a questionnaire at the end of each project. Here are the amalgamated outcomes for the last 5 projects:
- 95% of children stated that they understood more about spending and saving money; 81% felt that they understood more about charities and 86% of respondents felt they understood more about ‘what we want and what we need’.
- 97% stated that they enjoyed working with Create’s artists; 87% stated that their writing and drama had improved; 85% stated that their teamwork skills had improved and 91% felt their ideas were listened to.
- 90% of all children and teachers stated that they enjoyed the project.
- 100% of school staff and Create’s artists rated the project successful in developing the children’s financial literacy and awareness; creativity and teamwork.
- 100% of Create’s artists and 90% of school staff rated the project successful in raising the children’s confidence and self-esteem, performance and communication skills.
- 100% of Create’s artists and 70% of school staff rated the project successful in developing the children’s verbal and written literacy.
- 100% of school staff and Create’s artists rated the project successful overall.
If you would like to run your own financial literacy project at your school, A Wealth of Stages Teachers pack is now available to download. See media coverage of our latest A Wealth of Stages project.