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Money - Decimalisation

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by AnotherMathsHoD, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. As many of you might know we are quickly approaching the 40th Anniversary of the decimalisation of money in the UK (15th Feb). It seems this might be a good opportunity to get the kids doing some work in different bases and I was wondering if anyone had any good resources that might be of use? I spent a while scouring the internet but all I could find was stuff pitched at KS2 and I'd like stuff for KS3/GCSE if possible...
    Was thinking of doing something like if I invested £1 at 5% interest in 1951, how much would I have in 1971 in L-S-d and £-p (when it turned decimal) and how much would I have today?
    Any other thoughts... Might take a look at the 'very old' exam papers on the EdexcelMaths site and see if any of those might be interesting...
     
  2. As many of you might know we are quickly approaching the 40th Anniversary of the decimalisation of money in the UK (15th Feb). It seems this might be a good opportunity to get the kids doing some work in different bases and I was wondering if anyone had any good resources that might be of use? I spent a while scouring the internet but all I could find was stuff pitched at KS2 and I'd like stuff for KS3/GCSE if possible...
    Was thinking of doing something like if I invested £1 at 5% interest in 1951, how much would I have in 1971 in L-S-d and £-p (when it turned decimal) and how much would I have today?
    Any other thoughts... Might take a look at the 'very old' exam papers on the EdexcelMaths site and see if any of those might be interesting...
     
  3. I remember my school report, just after decimalisation (aged 10) saying "Jane has coped very well with decimalisation"
    There is a good video on youtube about bases but probably more amusing for staff than pupils
    I hope this link works but if it doesn't, go to youtube and search for Tom Lehrer New Math
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfCJgC2zezw

     
  4. Andrew Jeffrey

    Andrew Jeffrey New commenter

    Thanks, I LOVE that Tom Lehrer song, Jane! I am determined to learn it one day. (Like a lot of his songs, but sadlyI lost my copy of the book...and even if I hadn't, I'm not a good enough pianist - d'oh Where's Maths126 when you need him?).
    I was at the RI last Saturday and they have a copy of Lehrer's elements song playing downstairs - you have to touch the elements on a giant periodic table as he sings them - it's hilarious!

    Sorry MathsHOD - very off-topic.
     
  5. Andrew Jeffrey

    Andrew Jeffrey New commenter

    To make amends, here is an NRich activity that would be OK for KS3:
    http://nrich.maths.org/699


    I just bought the Lehrer song book on Amazon. I should get out more.
     
  6. Illumination

    Illumination New commenter

  7. Thanks for all the comments (and the Lehrer song!). If I find anything else I'll let you know!
     
  8. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    It might also be an interesting opportunity to look at interest rates. You say about using a 5% rate since 1951, but infact, since then has probably been the most turbulent period for interst rates since the Bank of England was formed.
    Here are the interest rates since 1951. It would be nice to get the students thinking about the impact that these changes in rates would have on people's lives and why the massive hikes in the 1970's were necessary, and what the rates might look like in future. It is easy for young people to think that interest rates (and therefore loans and mortgages etc) always remain roughly the same so financial planning is easy, but as we know that isn't the case!
     
  9. I am only old enough to have known the new money.
    Does anyone have a good link to somewhere that describes all this, or is it just another wikilink?
    I would like to describe the predecimal money to my classes, in much the same way that I try and promote a discussion on metric/imperial units and talk about furlongs and gills
     
  10. I'm not old enough to remember old money and in fact I can only just about remember the old 10p piece. While we are all aware that interest rates move about I feel such a fool - but why were massive hikes so necessary in the 1970s?
     
  11. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    I am not an economist or a historian, but I think that the British economy was shot to bits in the 1970s, so this was part of the attempted solution to that problem. Tax was sky-high, there were lots of strikes, problems with electricity (the 3-day week), and eventually we had to be bailed out by the International Monetary Fund.
    Still - at least we learned from all of that and the economy is sound nowadays ...
     
  12. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    Ah... well in a nutshell...
    From 1950s onwards consumer spending increases because the country (and the world) is getting back on its feet following the war... all ticks along ok... then 1973 the fuel crisis hits because of some tiffs in the Middle East and causing the creation of OPEC... then we head in to the 70s... UK productivity falls due to wide spread industrial unrest from the mid-seventies (cue Teddy Heath and the three day working week!)... the de-industrialisation of UK starts to get underway... inflation is rocketing... trade deficit starts to really widen... importing more than exporting... then we hit 79, the labour government finally falls after only one administration... headning in to the 80s, Thatcher introduces moneterism to try to force down inflation (Thatcher's great TINA movement - There Is No Alternative. Cameron kind of copying it now)... continual battle with productivity... manufacturing industry collapses... really moving away from industrialisation now... move towards becoming a service industry, particularly financial industries... Britain once again becomes a world financial centre... unemployment remains historically high, which helps to hold down inflation... now hitting the end of the 80s... interest rates kept high by a property led recession... forced readjustment... too much overborrowing... interest rates also pushed up by the attempt to become part of the ERM, we have to force up our interest rates to try to bring down inflation to the level because of the high value of the Pound... inflation targets set by Europe... country well and truly cheesed off by the high value of the Pound making exporting almost impossible, and this keeps us out of ERM forever (and politically suspicious of the whole Europe thing from then on in)... Forced exit of ERM, triggers a devaluing of the Pound, which almost immediately throws the country in to almost 20 years of continual growth (particularly 92-99)... interest rates kept low by low inflation... price of consumer goods plummets (particularly because of the rise of China) and house prices rise... that takes us up to the global financial meltdown in 2007/8 caused by lack of transparency in markets and over-extension of loans, largely made possible by new rules introduced by the Chancellor Gordon Brown.

    The above needs to carry the health warning that I've just got in from the pub and typed all that that in haste!
     
  13. Listened to part of a programme on decimalisation on the radio today. There was quite a bit of discussion about old money. For those who are too young: there were 12d (old pennies) to the shilling (divisible by 2,3,4,6), 20 shillings to the £1 (divis by 2,4,5,10), and 21 shillings to the guinea (3,7). An unusually complicated system derived in part from the roman system ( the origin of the d). The programme included sound clips from people who were unhappy about losing the tanner (6d). One chap commented that "we should keep our own money. Its alright for those in Europe, they understand decimals but we don't."

    Maybe that's partly why the older generation were much better with fractions - they didn't have to bother with decimals. Whereas the current generation have to cope with both and are probably also confused by parents who think in lbs and oz too.
     
  14. Sorry. Opera. No paragraphs.
     
  15. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    You're joking!
    "Old people" understood fractions and decimals not least because they did nothing else [in maths] at school up to what we'd now call year 6. No mucking about with probability, shape, etc., just lots and lots and lots of practice. They just didn't have decimal coinage so they had a "feel" for what 2 shillings could buy but had no idea what 10p was worth.
    That's what the guy on the radio meant - he wasn't saying he could divide by 10 or understand what a decimal point was.
     
  16. I think that might have been what he was saying. My mother-in-law aged 60 in 1971 did not do decimals in school.
     
  17. Remind me why the decimal systenm is 'better' than the duodecimal.
    It is, of course, well known among poultry farmers that Scandinavian hens are vigesimal and lay scores of eggs, whereas British hens are duodecimal and lay theirs by the dozen.

     
  18. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    It depends what you need to do with it.
    If you're splitting a shilling into pennies so that 4 children can each buy 3d worth of sweets, duodecimal is pretty good.
    If you're calculating the mortgage payments for a three hundred thousand pound mortgage, then decimal certainly has its benefits.
    How often do we need to buy 3d worth of sweets these days?
     
  19. 1 Labour ******** the economy .... and the International Monetary Fund made Labour do things they did not want to [like 1997 onwards up to last year, really]
    2 but then the unions decided they would run the country in place of Labour.
    3 Heath was a wimp and got voted out - country basically said unions were right
    4 Finally sorted out by Thatcher who defeated Unions
    5 She lost it big time and then we eventually ended up with Mr Blurgh!
    6 Then we got the mumbling Scot after Mr Blurgh! jumped ship when he saw the iceberg on the horizon
    7 Mumbling Scot pi$$ed all our money away on ludicrous schemes - you're in education, you'll know!
    8 Now the cupboard is bare and the Tories have gotta sort it out again
    Chap was challenged on TV this morning for putting up the cost of council grave plots. Interviewer gave him hard time - bloke was brilliant - he said " We are making the hard decisions now because of all the easy decisions to spend money taken by the previous lot".
    CLASS RESPONSE!
    Guess who I vote for? [​IMG]
     

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