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Antique coins helping Preston children learn modern money skills

Posted on - 30th March, 2016 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, News, Schools
James Arnold, Harris Museum history curator, Sarah Fender, DebtAware education assistant, Brian Souter DebtAware education manager.

James Arnold, Harris Museum history curator, Sarah Fender, DebtAware education assistant, Brian Souter DebtAware education manager.

Primary school pupils in Preston are learning about prudent financial management thanks to a rare coin collection.

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The Esmee Fairburn Collections Fund usually based at the Harris Museum has been helping children get the grips with managing a budget.

Charity DebtAware teamed up with the museum to put together the Money matters coin collection, which includes Roman and Viking coins.

Curator at the Harris James Arnold said: “The Money Matters project has transformed the way that the Harris Museum & Art Gallery uses its 12,500 item numismatics collection which includes Roman and British coin hoards, individual coins from around the world, medals, tokens and paper money. It has sought to challenge a presumption that coins are small and boring.

“Working with Debt Advice Foundation has been a pleasure and has highlighted the potential of the Harris’ numismatic collection as an educational tool. The money diary, written and researched by university students, tells the story of the lives of two Preston families, one in 1815 and the other in 2015. It brings into focus that our experience of using money today – the emotions surrounding it and the hardships that we can face – are common across the centuries. Whilst the problems we face may be the same, the solutions to them are very different.

“I hope that the launch of the money diary and accompanying lesson will make schools increasingly aware of the Harris’ fantastic numismatics collection and the ways that it can be used as a powerful teaching and learning resource.”

Related: Harris Museum wins national award for coin collection

Secondary school pupils in Preston have helped put together part of the lessons for younger children.

DebtAware education manager Brian Souter said: “The coins that will be used with the Money Diary and lesson are British pre-decimal pennies which can be handled to let the children get a sense of the size and feel of 19th century coinage.

“The weekly wage of the family in 1815 can be visualised as a container full of coins which has to last until the next payday, as a demonstration of the challenges of managing a budget in 1815 and the similarities and differences to managing a budget in 2015.”

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