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SMART$ is a Theatre-in-Education programme designed to provoke thinking and conversation around every day financial decisions and opportunities impacting young people.

Designed for Year 9 - 11 students, SMART$ combines theatre and workshop elements to encourage audience input and engagement.

The performance tells the story of three young people as they navigate various everyday financial decisions. It demonstrates the potential impacts of decisions including savings, deferred payment schemes, credit card use and KiwiSaver.

By telling a story that is relevant to young people through actors that they can relate to, students explore the learning points and feel comfortable contributing to the workshop elements and further discussion.

SMART$ was launched in May 2020, and has since been touring secondary schools nationwide.

Read the SMART$ Outcome Summary.

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SMART$ Online

SMART$ Online is a free learning resource that can be used with students before or after the theatre-in-education performance. It has been designed to be used by teachers of any subject and is perfect for form time, mentor or hauora classes. SMART$ Online contains four modules covering essential financial literacy topics. Each module contains a 2.5 minute entertaining video, followed by 5-8 quiz questions encouraging students to test their understanding.

Why theatre?

Theatre-in-Education (TiE) is a unique learning experience supporting a wide range of learning styles and behaviours. TiE is frequently used as an educational tool to explore social behaviour and attitudes using social cognitive theory. Social cognitive theory (SCT) holds that portions of an individual's knowledge acquisition can be directly related to observing others within the context of social interactions, experiences, and outside media influences.


Life Education is supported by PMG Charitable Trust and other community funders to provide the SMART$ programme and SMART$ Online, enabling it to be provided at no charge to schools.