Wingham High School is a rural high school in New South Wales that caters for students in years 7 -12. The community faces intergenerational poverty as a social issue, with welfare dependence now reaching the third generation in some families. With this in mind, budgeting on a tight income becomes paramount for students to ensure the cycle of credit dependence and overuse is broken.
In 2013, Wingham High School was chosen as an ASIC MoneySmart Trial School. The trial saw three of the school’s faculties – English, Maths and Science; embed financial literacy modules into their subject curriculums. But the High School took the MoneySmart trial to a whole new level, deciding to embed financial literacy programs across every faculty within the school, this included:
- mini lesson plans for Industrial Arts;
- an additional module for English
- a virtual tour of Spain created by Language Other Than English;
- a musical production; and
- classes by the school’s learning support faculty focusing on the difference between wants and needs, making judicious choices and having a budget.
Not only has the whole-of-school embedding increased student participation in the classroom, but it’s also re-invigorated the school’s staff who have been lifted by the student’s interest and enthusiasm to learn. The local community has also embraced the school’s different approach to financial literacy, with many volunteering to support the programs. The program has been such a success with the school, that during 2014 the program will be rolled out amongst the Wingham High School’s partner schools, the Community of Wingham Schools, as well as into the wider Wingham community beyond their active parent group via a street stall and school installation.
In a world where children’s expectations of money are constantly changing it is exciting to see how Wingham High School has engaged interdepartmental support within the school, and mobilised the local community to support the financial education of their students. The embedding of ASIC’s MoneySmart principles and outcomes across the whole school curriculum has led to an education of the whole community in an area that faces intergenerational poverty and sometimes dependence on the third generation for income.