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Credit crunch

To explore the concept of ‘credit crunch’.

by Peter Freeman

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To explore the concept of 'credit crunch'.

Preparation and materials

  • Set up a washing line, with different types of money hanging on it: e.g. a £5 note, a 10 euro note, blank cheque, credit card, debit card, coins. Also hang ‘pretend’ items: pieces of paper cut to the same size as the banknotes, blank plastic cards, circular pieces of metal.


  1. Question: What is today’s assembly about? Answer: Money.

    Ask the children, what is money? Look at the examples on the washing line and determine what money is. For example, something we value, something we recognize, something of worth.
  2. Focus on the credit card. Explain how a credit card works. You use the card to buy things, but you have a limit, an amount that you cannot exceed. Every month you get a bill for the amount of money you have spent using on the card, and you have to pay the bill.

    Explain that the word ‘credit’ comes from the Latin word ‘credo’ which means ‘to believe’. So the credit card is based on belief. The bank trusts me with their money. The bank believes I am trustworthy and they believe I will repay them. You might like to talk about saving at a bank where children believe their money will be safe and will still be worth something!

    Not everyone is given a credit card. Having a credit card is a big responsibility and you should feel pleased that the bank believes in you and your abilities … to pay! Perhaps show one of your credit card bills and talk through it with the children.

    Belief is a two-way thing. Our whole economy and monetary system is based on belief.
  3. Ask if anyone has heard of the credit crunch/credit crisis. Explain that at the moment the banks are less keen on giving credit. They are not so sure they will get their money back.

    Ask for a few volunteers, who are to act as banks and hand out ‘credit cards’. Other children come to the front and are each given a piece of card the same size as a credit card. Ask each child to write on the card a positive belief they have about a friend in the room, e.g. ‘I believe Thomas is a great artist.’
  4. Collect the credit cards in. Share the comments immediately with the children or return the next day as a surprise.

Time for reflection


Ask the children to think about the words they have just heard from each other.

Now think about yourself: your talents, what people like about you, perhaps something you heard for the first time this morning.

What an amazing group of people we are! And if this is how much we think of ourselves and each other, how much more will God think of us?


We thank you, God, for our friends,

for their talents and abilities,

and all the things that we like about them.

Help us to believe in our friends

and in our friendships:

that they can be relied upon

and that we can be relied on too.



‘When I needed a neighbour’ (Come and Praise, 65)

‘Jesus, good above all other’ (Come and Praise, 23)

Publication date: March 2009   (Vol.11 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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