Consumer and financial literacy: Year 1

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The diverse circumstances in which children grow up influence their needs, wants, perceptions and behaviours related to financial and consumer matters. Typically, at age six to seven, within their family’s unique circumstances, children explore their sense of belonging, being and becoming through active engagement with people, objects, technologies and representations. Children are curious about texts and symbols in their environment and are tempted by messages of advertising on television and digital devices. They interact verbally and non-verbally to express immediate needs, wants, preferences and reasons, which are usually mediated by adults. They may receive items in exchange for responsible behaviours and creative ideas, and observe money being handled and discussed. They may handle small amounts of money, using their own money at the point of purchase, most often with adult guidance, and begin to understand risks and interdependence by considering what is fair, respectful and safe as they make decisions.

The Australian Curriculum in this year level supports the development of all dimensions of consumer and financial literacy as shown in the diagram below.

Approximate proportion of dimensions addressed in Year 1

Typically, at this level, students continue to develop concepts and understandings that form the foundations of consumer and financial literacy. They learn the language of money, and recognise and order Australian coins according to their value. They understand that money is exchanged in return for goods and services. Students explore their rights and responsibilities in familiar settings and identify the influence of family and community on their consumer and financial behaviour.

Students continue to develop and are able to apply consumer and financial knowledge, understandings and skills in lifelike contexts. They identify reasons for personal preferences and explore how peer-pressure and emotions can affect what they consume. They interpret texts for purpose and message, discuss experiences and share points of view. They collect, sort and present objects, data and information in different ways. Students compare the monetary value of simple items and apply enterprising behaviours and consumer and financial knowledge and skills in meaningful class and school activities such as investigations, charity fundraising or business ventures. They make consumer decisions based on needs and wants and identify simple ways these decisions may impact on themselves and others. 

Moneysmart for teachers provides a number of interdisciplinary units and interactive activities that support the teaching and learning of consumer and financial literacy in this year level. Access a list of relevant resources that link to the Australian Curriculum using the right-hand menu.


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