A MONEY-SAVVY Monmouthshire teacher has won a national award for her innovative approach to teaching pupils about finance.
Emma Baker, who teaches maths at Caldicot School, asked her year seven pupils what they wanted to learn about as part of their numeracy and mathematics lessons.
While some pupils said they wanted to know more about topics like cryptocurrency and pi, most said they wanted to focus on the type of maths they will use when they are adults – specifically earnings and taxes.
Mrs Baker’s interactive approach to teaching saw her named secondary school winner at the interactive investor Personal Finance Teacher of the Year Awards 2022 last week.
The prize also saw her take home £6,000 for the school.
Mrs Baker studied maths at university and has taught the subject at schools across South Wales for the last 20 years.
While at university she worked part-time at a building society, which highlighted to her the importance of financial education for children and young people.
Mrs Baker said: “Opportunities to learn this kind of information once you leave school can be limited, which is why I believe teachers have a responsibility to instill this knowledge early on.”
The award judges were impressed with how Mrs Baker involved her pupils in her choice of lessons by surveying them on what should be included in the curriculum.
Some pupils wanted to learn about specific themes such as cryptocurrency, but the majority of those she asked wanted to learn about the basic practicalities of the personal finance decisions they will face as adults, such as learning about income, and explaining how taxes work.
The judges said her teaching resources on being a consumer were “powerful and interactive”, and clearly brought her mathematical experience to bear.
One judge, financial journalist Jeff Prestridge, described Emma as “personal finance teaching star” in his column in the Mail on Sunday.
Caldicot School headteacher Steven Grech said: “Mrs Baker is an excellent maths teacher and thoroughly deserves this national recognition. Our pupils are hearing so much about things like inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, so it’s natural they would want to learn more about personal finance. They are lucky to have a teacher like Mrs Baker who can teach the topic in a fun and interactive way.”