Ulster Bank helps school children make sense of money

Education Minister, Paul Givan MLA, has attended a financial literacy lesson at a local primary school.

Education Minister, Paul Givan MLA, has today (May 02) attended a financial literacy lesson at a local primary school.

The Lagan Valley MLA met pupils and staff at Pond Park Primary School in Lisburn before observing a MoneySense workshop delivered to the primary seven class by Ulster Bank volunteers.

Ulster Bank MoneySense provides free financial education programmes for 5-18 year olds using fun activities and games to guide children towards a better financial future. The resources can be accessed via the online parent hub or delivered by Ulster Bank volunteers and teachers in schools.

Currently around 150 Ulster Bank colleagues volunteer with MoneySense, offering their time and expertise to deliver the programmes. This figure is expected to rise as MoneySense expands its offering, adding timely lessons on topics such as banking scams to its list of workshops.

Today’s lesson focused on the rise of financial scams and saw the primary seven pupils take on the role of detectives, aiming to solve a crime which has been committed against their friend.

Minister Givan observing primary seven pupils as they complete the MoneySense workshop alongside Danielle McGothigan, MonseySense volunteer

Terry Robb, Head of Retail Banking, Ulster Bank NI who attended the session, said that educating children and young people around the dangers of identity theft and fraud was one of the most effective ways to protect them from these sorts of scams.

“Ulster Bank is on a mission to improve financial education and it is important that everyone learns how to manage their finances from a young age. What makes MoneySense so effective is that it lays the foundation for good money management skills so that as these pupils grow older the fundamentals are already in place and they feel confident with money, finances, and banking.

“These young people will grow up primarily engaging with banking services through digital platforms, so it is especially relevant to start making them aware of financial scams and how to spot bad actors in a way that is appropriate and relevant to them. That’s the benefit of MoneySense, it can be tailored to their age and educational development.

“It was wonderful to be in Pond Park Primary School today and see the children participating with so much enthusiasm, they were exemplary students.”

Speaking during his visit, Minister Givan said: “I am pleased to attend today’s workshop and to have the opportunity to observe what was an important and enjoyable lesson focusing on financial literacy. This is a great opportunity for schools to work in partnership with local business leaders and to develop children and young people’s understanding of important financial matters.

“Increasing financial expertise is a positive step towards a healthier financial future. Interactive sessions of this nature are important and should help engage interest and understanding of what identity theft means and how young people can protect themselves and others against it. I want to congratulate all those involved in the roll out of this programme which I am sure the young people taking part in have learned a lot from.”

In total, 30 pupils from Pond Park Primary School took part in the lesson and their class teacher, Mr. Eric McCleery, said it’s an area of learning the class has fully embraced.

“The MoneySense programme resonates with us as a school, and we hope to deliver these workshops to more of our pupils next term. Not only does it promote the value of money, but it also ties in with other important areas of our school curriculum such as numeracy skills and ties in with being socially responsible.

“It’s been fantastic to work in partnership with Ulster Bank and the children have loved learning from their team of volunteers and showing off their new skills to the Education Minister.”

For more information about MoneySense and to arrange a lesson in your school visit mymoneysense.com where you can also access a bank of resources to work through at home.