Last Updated: Monday, June 20, 2022

On the Money - an interdisciplinary learning approach to financial education

What is this?

​'On the Money' is a collection of short stories for use in primary school, and is the result of partnership working between Standard Life, Scottish Book Trust and Education Scotland.

The stories were written by four of Scotland’s top authors and will help young people change the way they think about money.

The aim of the stories is to help develop the financial capability of learners in primary schools as part of their general education. Using the stories will give young people an opportunity to discuss values in a very creative and enjoyable way. Teaching young people about money through stories and the arts has been very successful, helping to change attitudes and behaviours to money through memorable experiences and powerful messages.

Who is this for?

​Practitioners in primary schools and other centres who are evaluating their approach to interdisciplinary learning (IDL) and making connections across literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing.

How to use this learning and assessment resource to improve practice?

Most teachers who have used the resource read the stories to the young people, however some schools have used drama (or another form of the arts) to explore issues raised by the stories. Others have encouraged pupils to keep a ‘financial dictionary’ to remind them of any financial terms with which they were unfamiliar. Sometimes practitioners have allowed young people to determine follow-up activities – ‘We’ve read the story, what should we do next?’.

A number of schools have used the stories in the context of a themed money week and using the stories has helped school leaders and practitioners address the following questions.

  • Are staff are clear about what IDL is?
  • Are they clear about the purpose of IDL and its place in the curriculum?
  • Are school IDL practices built on a sound understanding of individual subjects and curriculum areas?
  • Have the IDL experiences been designed to ensure appropriate progression for all learners?

A number of schools have now carried out evaluations of themed ‘money’ events and these evaluations are available on Glow.


PDF file: 4 Stories (2.3 MB)

PDF file: Teacher support materials (6 MB)

Right click to download sound files (may not play in default player)

MP3 file: Down the Pan in English (7 MB)

MP3 file: Down the Pan in Gaelic (10 MB)

MP3 file: Funny Money in English (8 MB)

MP3 file: Funny Money in Gaelic (10 MB)

MP3 file: Charlie Fly and the Nice Dream in English (11 MB)

MP3 file: Charlie Fly and the Nice Dream in Gaelic (15 MB)

MP3 file: No Change in English (11 MB)

MP3 file: No Change in Gaelic (12 MB)

​Down the Pan by Theresa Breslin

Jamie MacBeth, a mischief maker, suggests that his class raise funds to provide toilets for African school pupils.
A very enterprising fundraising effort ensues and the story is full of very comical toilet humour.

About the author

Theresa was born and brought up in a small town in the middle of Scotland close to castles, old burial grounds and the Roman Wall. These helped fuel an active imagination as a child, further developed by a love of reading.

She loves writing humorous stories where children cause confusion, and triumph over adult foolishness.

She won the Carnegie Medal for 'Whispers in the Graveyard', her compelling story of a dyslexic boy.

Word File: Biography for Theresa Breslin (25 KB)


Funny Money by Alison Prince

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Shannon is used to a life of shopping with her mum.

But a holiday in Arbroath with her gran teaches Shannon that you don't have to spend money to have fun.

About the author

Alison Prince is an accomplished artist and respected biographer and poet, as well as one of the top writers for young people.

'Oranges and Murder', Alison's first novel, is a wonderful, atmospheric thriller full of rich period detail and won the Scottish Arts Council Award. Her second novel, 'Three Blind Eyes', is highly intriguing, with murderous villains.

She also won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award in 1996 with her contemporary Glaswegian Robin Hood story, 'The Sherwood Hero'.

Word File: Biography for Alison Prince (26 KB)


Charlie Fly and the Nice Dream by Nicola Morgan

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Charlie and Fly, and Fly's wealthy cousin Olivia, learn how to be enterprising and also how to profit from the local bully, Liam. 

About the author

Nicola Morgan was born and educated in a boys’ boarding school and was taught by her parents. She then went to a girls’ boarding school, where no one was at all impressed by the tree-climbing and weapon-making skills she had acquired.

She went to Cambridge University and studied Classics and Philosophy, before becoming a teacher.

She is best known for writing for older children and teenagers, and has won two Scottish Arts Council Awards for her teenage fiction, including the Scottish Children’s Book of the Year for 'Sleepwalking'. 

Word File: Biography for Nicola Morgan (27 KB)


No Change by Jonathan Meres

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Callum and Rory are identical twins but with very different personalities.
When it comes to money, Callum likes to save but Rory wants to spend as quickly as he can. 

About the author

Jonathan Meres left school at the age of 16 and joined the merchant navy as a navigating cadet. He spent the next seven years sailing around the world.
Since then he has worked as an ice-cream van driver, an actor, a stand-up comedian and a writer.
His books include 'Somewhere Out There', 'Yo! Diary!' and 'The Big Bad Rumour'. 


Video transcriptions