Oriel Academy’s Year 5 students have been learning all about the value of money in a recent class workshop.

The ‘It’s party time!’ workshop involved students planning a party with a £100 budget and making important decisions to be as cost-effective as possible.

The workshop was part of the NatWest-backed MoneySense financial education programme, offering students between the ages of 5-18 free resources and activities to help teach them about money.

‘It’s party time!’ fitted perfectly within Year 5’s current enterprise topic where students are learning to budget to make a product that they can sell for profit.

Helen Owden, Year 5 Class Teacher, led the workshop. Helen said: “I felt the children needed to have more knowledge of ‘the real world’. MoneySense were offering a variety of financial education activities and workshops, and this one in particular fitted well with our enterprise topic.

“The children worked so well in their groups and every single pupil was engaged.”

NatWest MoneySense workshop: ‘It’s party time!’

Students split into groups of six and undertook a variety of activities as part of their party planning.

After outlining the £100 budget, each group determined the criteria for a good party and ranked each criterion from least to most important.

Other activities including determining who the party was for and tailoring ideas to suit the audience, researching costs using the internet and identifying efficiencies where they could save money.

Students were encouraged to think about how they would save up for the party if they had to, and what payment methods would be best for each component – all real-world decisions in need of consideration when planning an actual party.

Year 5 students.

At the end of the workshop, one spokesperson from each group presented back their party proposal to the rest of the class.

Ms Owden was very impressed with the skills shown by all of the children, particularly how cost-savvy they were during the task. She said: “A couple of groups decided to save money by not hiring a DJ and taking speakers instead!

“Another group thought outside the box and said they could organise games themselves to save money on entertainment costs.

“One group chose to only invite five friends so that they could spend more on food and drink.”

Overall, two groups spent the total budget of £100 and the other groups all had change.

The workshop provided an opportunity for children to enhance their planning, organisation, communication and research skills, as well as develop their financial skills and knowledge from a young age.

Ms Owden recognises that the students have a new outlook on the value of money since taking part in the programme, preparing them for real-world situations they may eventually find themselves in. She revealed: “The workshop gave the children an understanding of how much things cost.

“It sparked a few discussions about how much parents pay out for their parties and what they felt was acceptable.

“It was a thoroughly worthwhile exercise and led to some great budgeting discussions where the students had to reason with each other and prioritise.”

The skills learnt during the workshop will aid the children throughout the rest of their enterprise topic. With the end goal of producing a product to sell for profit, Year 5 children will consider a range of different enterprise aspects including market research, design, advertising and product making.

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