Enhancing the lives of students by improving their financial literacy

Maddison Gorman

Maddison Gorman

Trinity College, Perth

Trinity College is a day school in Perth for boys in Year 4-12, with around 1,200 students. Their mission is to offer innovative learning opportunities in a safe and nurturing environment that empowers their students to realise their potential. We spoke to Maddison Gorman, a Junior School Teacher at Trinity who uses Banqer with her year 5 class throughout the year.

Financial education is a core life skill. Banqer is a way to teach these skills as early as possible in a way that makes sense to the students.

Maddison began using Banqer in 2019 to help with teaching Business and Economics, saying "it allows the students to participate as workers and receive a wage, make choices, and realise the difference between needs and wants."

Banqer is introduced in Term 1 alongside Business and Economics. Students practise making informed consumer and financial decisions such as saving for the future, budgeting and paying bills on time. The income and expenses module gets students excited about seeing their savings grow, then they decide on the jobs needed in the classroom and start writing their resumes.

It is important to roll out one module at a time to ensure the students have a sound understanding... then they will engage fully with the program

As the year progresses, she uses Banqer as a behavioural management system that makes teaching easier. Good work and exceptional behaviour are rewarded with bonuses, and the students can use their money to purchase prizes from the prize box.

Students wanted to have more classroom jobs and performed them to a higher standard once they were being financially compensated!

Trinity has been using Banqer across the curriculum; in mathematics, the students are taught about budgeting and the need to create simple financial plans. Banqer allows this content to be integrated into various lessons, carrying conversations throughout the year and encouraging students to continually ask questions about how best to save and follow a financial plan.

Good money habits should begin at an early age so that students can understand the importance of budgeting and planning. Banqer has gifted the children in my class this opportunity; when they start earning their first income, they will be able to make a knowledgeable choice about how to best use their money.

Maddison noticed lightbulb moments happening when the students realised they could save money through term deposits. Many realised that they would be better off saving enough money to purchase a house, rather than purchasing a house with a large mortgage.

During Covid-19 online learning, student engagement peaked as the students had more time to access Banqer at home. Since returning to face to face learning, she says the students have maintained the same level of engagement and are working together to earn more money.

The students are so engaged that they will go onto the program during their free time and talk to students in other classes about it!

A conversation starter

Organic conversations are happening both in the classroom and at home, with students discussing how they can save more money using term-deposits and utilising overdrafts to help with savings. The Banqer Parent Portal also allows parents to see where the student’s money is going and which modules the students have engaged with.

Many parents said their children had questioned the levels of insurance they had on vehicles and housing and whether they thought it was worth it.

Easy integration

In a time where we are so busy, Banqer allowed Trinity to teach the students a useful life skill that was easy to integrate across different learning areas. "The lesson plans are all provided and are easy to adapt and use in a busy class setting. I would recommend all schools, both primary and high school to use this."

Maddison comments that Banqer, has given her a better understanding of finance "I am more confident in having discussions about money with the students."

Banqer is an amazing program. It has allowed my students to have a real-world financial skill that they can use for years to come.

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