The diverse circumstances in which children grow up influence their needs, wants, perceptions and behaviours related to financial and consumer matters. Typically, at age eight to nine, parents regulate how children manage their needs and wants within their family’s unique circumstances. Typically, children’s social worlds are expanding, as is their exposure to texts, symbols and media. They are tempted by immediate needs and wants, including toys, play and social experiences, which are most likely to be influenced by family, television and digital devices. They may have a simple savings system, negotiate chores or trade-offs for money, and be taken to the point of purchase. They may create short-term enterprises to generate immediate money. Often, children are encouraged to save for small items, and are guided on what to consider when making preferences. Children’s increasing social and digital worlds create risks, and typically, adults guide children to consider factors in consumer and financial matters.
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 4
Typically, at this level, students learn how the place value system to hundredths is the basis for decimal currency. They learn about the value of money and how resources are managed and allocated, such as through local government, laws and the application of scientific knowledge. They explore how belonging to different groups can shape personal identity and influence the consumer and financial choices people make.
Students have developed and are able to apply knowledge, understandings and skills to familiar consumer and financial contexts. They examine the various factors that influence the behaviour of individuals which can be applied to consumer and financial contexts. They comprehend an increasing range of everyday texts related to consumer and financial matters and analyse these texts to distinguish between fact and opinion and identify audience and purpose. They use money to buy goods and services in real-life contexts and calculate change to the nearest five cents, with and without the use of digital technologies. They collect, sort, present, manipulate and interpret data, developing an understanding of the characteristics of data and their representation. They apply enterprising behaviours and consumer and financial knowledge and skills in meaningful class and school activities and enterprises. When sharing ideas and communicating in online environments, they develop an understanding of why it is important to apply safe practices and social protocols. They make responsible financial and consumer decisions based on individual and collective wellbeing.
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. Access a list of relevant resources that link to the Australian Curriculum using the right-hand menu.