Learning to be Enterprising

The Lifeskills' Microsociety Program

Overview | School Only Currency | How is the currency earned? | Creating Income | How is the currency spent? | Savings

Program Overview

Lifeskills is an exemplary action learning program which allows students to develop and build self confidence. It promotes quality learning in schools by providing a safe context for risk taking and for student managed enterprise. It rewards students for exerting effort and building self reliance and allows them to choose between activities related to regular work, volunteering and entrepreneurship.

The program was developed at two government schools in Maitland over several years and has since been taken up, in varied formats, by additional primary and central schools around NSW. It has high potential to be adapted and modified to strengthen vocational learning in lower secondary school and to assist school to work planning in Stage 5.

Lifeskills demonstrates how both integrated learning within the existing curriculum and school extracurricular activities can be excitingly relevant to students' lives within and beyond schooling.

Lifeskills - Using real life contexts for learning

During 2008, the University of Newcastle’s School of Education under the direction of Dr Erica Southgate and Vicki Parkes, conducted a study into the implementation of the Lifeskills Consumer and Financial Literacy Program in nine schools in NSW. The aim of this study was to document the scale and scope of Lifeskills and also identify enabling factors and barriers to its implementation. A final report was produced in May 2009.

Click here to see the report


The Lifeskills' Microsociety enables a class, grade/stage or whole school to own, operate and finance a student owned society. The learning outcomes from engaging in this process are enormous. They provide a dynamic context through which all KLAs can be expressed as well as a genuine medium through which the Commonwealth initiatives of enterprise education and financial literacy can be addressed.

Further Information:
Janice Martyn
Enterprise and Vocational Learning
Vocational Education in Schools Directorate
Email: janice.martyn@det.nsw.edu.au

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© NSW Department of Education 2019

© NSW Department of Education 2019