FSMQ Level 2 Financial calculations scheme of work
Before starting this Higher (Level 2) FSMQ students must
 be able to order numbers (decimal, fractional, large, small and negative numbers),
 be familiar with the idea and basic use of percentages,
 be able to carry out basic calculations involving money
 be familiar with common units of time (such as 12 months in a year).
A suggested work scheme showing topic areas and methods to be covered is given below. This recommends a total of 60 guided learning hours which could be used in a variety of ways, such as 2 hours per week for 30 weeks, 4 hours per week for 15 weeks, or 5 hours per week for 12 weeks. There is plenty of scope for varying the order and time allocation as many of the mathematical techniques can be introduced/revised in several different topic areas.
Some techniques should be introduced as soon as possible and used throughout the course:
 selecting information from text and tables (twoway and more complex) and using tables to record results
 using a calculator effectively and efficiently to carry out appropriate mathematical methods
 writing out calculations clearly and logically, rounding the result to the most appropriate value (such as nearest pence, £, £100)
 writing brief comments to explain calculations and interpret the results
 checking calculations using estimates, inverse operations and alternative methods
 using appropriate statistical methods of displaying results, including the use of spreadsheets to display results in tables and statistical charts and graphs
 using spreadsheet formulae to carry out calculations, including the use of relative and absolute referencing cell references and the 'fill down' facility.
Although topic areas are listed separately below, students will probably find it more motivating if a thematic approach is used. Possible themes include the financial implications of being a student, the management of predicted finances during a first year of work, the financial aspects of running a home, business or club or investigating different ways of purchasing an expensive item such as a house or car. At key points the thematic work could be supplemented with practice exercises when necessary.
Note that the assessment of this AQA FSMQ is by examination only and you should disregard any references to Coursework Portfolio requirements in the assignments which have not been updated. These are included for possible use as classroom activities but will not form part of the assessment of this FSMQ.
Topic area 
Content 
Nuffield resources 
Money calculations involving fractions and percentages 
Use interesting/relevant contexts to find out what students know about fractions and percentages. Extension/revision where necessary to include the following:
Carry out reverse calculations: Use spreadsheet formulae as well as calculations done by hand. Include use of relative and absolute cell referencing as well as the ‘fill down’ facility. 
Work out VAT
Working with percentages

Topic area 
Content 
Nuffield resources 
Salary calculations 
Carry out calculations related to earnings (by hand and using spreadsheet formulae). Include the use of such terms as wage, salary, overtime, commission (including monthly wage = annual salary ÷ 12). Complete more complex calculations that include fixed and variable rates eg the calculation of income tax (using all tax rates current for income under £100 000 per year). Include use of the terms: income tax, PAYE (Pay As You Earn), national insurance, gross pay, net pay (= gross pay – deductions). Draw pie charts and bar charts (by hand and using spreadsheets) to illustrate results. 
Payslips 
Pay as you earn 

Income tax 

National Insurance 

Ratios 
Use interesting/relevant contexts to assess students' knowledge of ratios and extend where necessary to include: 
Ratios 
Savings 
Use terms related to saving – interest rates, compound interest, AER (Annual Equivalent Rate) and carry out related calculations including: · using percentage rates (including AER) to find interest on savings compounded over a number of stages (include use of given formulae)
· use of formulae associated with compound interest, including:
Draw line graphs (by hand and using spreadsheets) to illustrate results.

Savings and interest 
Interest on savings 

Simple and compound interest 

Saving 

Savings facts and formulae 

Exchange rates 
Use exchange rates (such as to find the price in £ of a jacket whose price is $80) 
Convert currency 
Insurance 
Use tables and carry out calculations to do with insurance (including the use of terms such as insurance tax). Estimate probabilities from real data using relative frequency. Understand numerical values of probabilities and use ideas of basic probability to help make decisions. 
Insurance rates 
Topic area 
Content 
Nuffield resources 
Loans 
Use terms and carry out calculations related to borrowing – interest rates, compound interest, handling charges, commission, APR (Annual Percentage Rate). Use tables to find monthly repayments on loans, the total amount repaid and the percentage interest charged. Use percentage rates to find interest on loans compounded over a number of periods. Use APR to compare interest rates. Draw line graphs (by hand and using spreadsheets) to illustrate results. 
Credit cards 
Shortterm loans 

Longterm loans 

Mortgages 

Upper and lower bounds 
Calculate upper and lower bounds to problems involving the addition, subtraction and multiplication of amounts. 
Errors 
Recording and illustrating accounts 
Record financial transactions, using columns to record credits, debits and running totals. Include use of negative numbers to represent debts, debits, negative credit etc. and methods of checking (eg using balance carried forward + total credits + total debits = new balance) Use a line graph to illustrate results. Use fractions, percentages, ratios, bar charts and pie charts to make comparisons. 
Keeping an account 
Interpreting diagrams 
Interpret statistical diagrams that give financial information and line graphs that show how a quantity varies with time. Include using graphs to make sense of rates of change (such as recognising when inflation is greatest from a graph of price against time). Examine such statistical diagrams with a questioning and critical approach. Suggest ways in which some graphs or charts may be misleading and suggest improvements. 

Revision 
Revise topics and try past papers. Discuss data sheet – make up and try questions based on it. 

Page last updated on 11 October 2012