As if teachers don't have enough time off; Bamzonia want to give them more!
In 2014, PFE becomes a compulsory part of the English and Welsh secondary curriculum, joining Scotland and Northern Ireland. Bamzonia has released an instant online solution, saving schools and teachers precious time
Although some teachers may be jetting off at the first opportunity to try and recuperate from an arduous last term of the year, most will be clearing their backlog of marking and planning schemes of work in place for September. Leaders and timetable schedulers will be trying to shoehorn Personal Finance Education (PFE) into whatever space they can create.
The Department of Education survey published in February 2014 shows primary school teachers working almost a 60 hour week, and secondary school teachers 56 hours. About a third of these hours is teaching; preparation and marking take up about the same with administrative out-of-class student contact and administrative work making up the balance. This is a huge, almost 20%, increase in hours worked reported in the 2010 survey.
A report titled “The scale of occupational stress, HSE, 2000” shows teaching to be the most stressful profession, (41.5% of teachers “highly stressed”) and later surveys confirm this.
The addition of new material to the curriculum, however necessary, can only increase the pressure and that will not help either teachers or students.
A small part of the solution
Bamzonia is an online PFE course which combines a game with lessons and quizzes. It is designed to engage, educate and entertain students in a seamless package. Bamzonia’s Manager, Louise Barker, said “We created Bamzonia because we saw an urgent need for young adults to learn how to navigate a complex and often dangerous financial landscape. We quickly realised that schools would be key to delivering this, and that to be successful we would need to make our content engaging and attractive to students without any extra call on teachers’ out-of-class time.”
Students are challenged to develop the economy of Bamzonia. To succeed, they must earn Zonian credits, which they do by taking lessons and passing quizzes. Teachers are given detailed plans to accompany every lesson, explaining the objectives, suggesting further activities and other resources. They need no further training and require no lesson planning. An effective teacher dashboard allows them to monitor student progress and all marking is automatic. Bamzonia is online 24/7 so it can easily be set as homework.
Ms. Barker said, "There are never enough hours in the day for teachers. And while we can’t actually make more hours, one of the features of Bamzonia is that it lightens the workload for teachers. Because progress is tracked at an individual, group and class level, students who are struggling on any specific point are identified and, more importantly, as the content is delivered automatically teachers will then have time to devote to them.”
Investing in Bamzonia means that all UK curriculum requirements are met, that young people are ready to make informed financial decisions and that teachers’ time is freed up. And that is money in the bank.
Bamzonia was built with the help of teachers and over 500 students and first came to life in 2011. Personal Financial Education (PFE) needed a resource that was engaging for students and easy-to-use for teachers. The end result is a comprehensive PFE syllabus delivered via interactive lessons with rewards linked to an online game. Bamzonia has been building the financial confidence of students since then and our community of students and teachers is growing rapidly. In February 2014 Bamzonia V2 was launched to respond to feedback and deliver improved features for teachers and students.