These enrichment activities encourage pupils think creatively and apply their learning to two different situations involving economics and minority languages

This week’s primary enrichment activity asks pupils to consider how money works and to think about the implications of creating their own currency for use in school.

This week’s secondary enrichment activity looks at minority languages in the United Kingdom and asks pupils to consider how best to keep them alive.

***Primary Enrichment***

KS2: Citizenship-PSHE-Financial Capability

Make real choices and decisions [for example, about issues affecting their health and well-being such as smoking; on the use of scarce resources; how to spend money, including pocket money and contributions to charities].

Make lots of money

Money is anything that a person or organisation will accept by way of settling a debt or as payment for something, such as a chair, a railway ticket or a service, such as flying lessons. Money functions as a means of exchange, a unit of account and a store of value. A shortage or complete absence of money can cause market economies to become inefficient, as when a ‘coincidence of wants’ between buyers and sellers becomes the only way an economy can work, and an agreement has to be reached by the buyer and seller as to the value of what is being exchanged for every transaction, whether it is a service or an object being purchased. Lewes in Sussex is to develop a system of local money which was first piloted in Totnes, Devon. The last time Lewes had its own pound was in 1895. The group behind the schemes in both Totnes and Lewes are part of the ‘Transition’ movement, which is concerned at the impact of rising prices and reduced consumption. Totnes has already successfully tested the idea with 300 Totnes pounds and is now expanding the amount of money available to local people by 10,000 Totnes pounds, to be introduced over the next six months.

Some questions for your pupils to consider and discuss:

Consider the things you might buy in school or in your area.

  • Would a system of school money/local community money make people buy more?
  • How would you establish the value of things? That is, how, using your ‘school pound’, would you know how much to charge for things you had for sale?
  • Which items would you regard as ‘key’ things that everyone buys that could become the standard for exchange and pricing? For example, how many chocolate bars would equal a new pound? How many car washes would equal a new pound? Would it be possible to work out the value of the chocolate bar against the value of a car wash?
  • What would your new money be called?
  • What design would you use for your new money?
  • How would you encourage people to use and trust your new money?
  • Would our lives be better if there was no such thing as money?
  • Would it be better if everyone was a millionaire?


Making your own money

Going further

After arriving at a clear idea of whether making your own money is a good idea or not, survey other children and adults to see what they think. The results of your research would make the basis for an interesting newspaper article for the local newspaper. Research and write the story and get it published. With careful safeguards it would be interesting for children to introduce new money as an experiment in economics, such as a pound or unit of money that could be used as normal money in the school shop.

Read about how Lewes plans to have its own local currency.

Read about legal tender guidelines

Learning and teaching Scotland

The Scottish approach to education for citizenship differs from others areas of the United Kingdom, because it has not introduced a new subject or curricular area called ‘Citizenship’. Instead, it is expected that all subjects will make their relevance to education for citizenship explicit, and that the purposes and issues associated with citizenship will be developed through whole-school and cross-curricular activities.

International Baccalaureate

Primary Years Programme, Curriculum framework: How the world works

***Secondary Enrichment***

KS4: Modern Foreign Languages: Developing cultural awareness

Students should be taught about different countries and cultures by:

  • working with authentic materials in the target language, including some from ICT-based sources [for example, handwritten texts, newspapers, magazines, books, video, satellite television, texts from the internet]
  • communicating with native speakers [for example, in person, by correspondence]
  • considering their own culture and comparing it with the cultures of the countries and communities where the target language is spoken
  • considering the experiences and perspectives of people in these countries and communities.

Nòs Ùr

The Millennium Seed Bank Project at Kew Gardens aims, by the end of the decade, to have securely stored seed from 10% of the world’s wild plant species, including some of the rarest and potentially most useful species for the future. The seeds are a part of our collective botanic heritage. Protecting British minority languages will be the focus for the June conference ‘Voices of the West’, organised by the Centre for Nordic Studies at Orkney College UHI and held in Inverness. Without care and nurture many languages may be lost and our common heritage diminished. Safeguarding minority languages is at the heart of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The regional or minority languages in the UK protected under the Charter are Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Irish, Scots, Ulster-Scots, Cornish and Manx Gaelic. Dr Heddle, director of the Centre for Nordic Studies at Orkney College UHI, told the BBC:

‘This conference underlines the fact that we need to learn from each other and work together to produce a unified strategy, otherwise these languages will be devalued and lost.
‘We will lose our tongues and without our tongues we cannot speak for ourselves.’

Some questions for your pupils to consider and discuss: How would you ‘store’ a living language in a way that would make it available in a living form for future generations? If you and a group of passionate linguists wanted to ‘adopt’ a minority language from the UK or anywhere in the world, how would you begin the task and what would be your plan for the next 500 years? Which minority language would you seek to conserve? What purpose and philosophy supports your choice? How would you encourage others to help? Could individuals care for different aspects of the language, such as humour, folk stories, songs or key aspects of everyday speech, such as greetings and farewells? Perhaps 100,000 people could learn just one word, which they keep in active use.


Adopting a minority language

Going further

June will see the finalists of Nòs Ùr (‘New Style’ in Gaelic) singing at the first song contest open to all singers, bands and composers of songs in minority languages such as Scottish Gaelic, Scots, Ulster Scots, Irish, Manx, Welsh, Cornish and Breton. The contest is supported by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Highland Council, Colmcille, Scottish Arts Council, Gaelic Media Services and UHI Millennium Institute and goEvents. Event organiser and Inverness-based musician Brian Ó headhra already has plans for the competition to run again in 2009. Although the competition is for 18-year-olds and over, this does not stop younger people organising a local or in-school ‘Nòs Ùr’ contest to celebrate all the languages spoken either by the children in the school or those who speak languages other than English in the broader community. Alternatively, the competition could be arranged by older students as part of the transition arrangements between primary and secondary schools, whereby the song competition is for Year 6 children with the finals being presented at a senior school.

Read about ‘The Millennium Seed Bank Project’ at Kew

Read the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Read the Euromosaic briefing.

Read about the Nòs Ùr call for applications

Read more about Nòs Ùr

Read about European minority languages

Learning and teaching Scotland

Celebrating other nations and cultures:watch the Park School International Day video.

International Baccalaureate.

Individuals and societies − second language

This e-bulletin issue was first published in May 2008

About the author: John Senior is the author of Enrichment Activties for G&T Pupils. He is a teacher with 26 years’ experience of teaching Gifted and Talented children, working with parents and carers as a consultant on high ability, and peer mentoring.