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Paying It Forward

Free teaching resource about tax and superannuation written by Australian primary school teachers for teachers.

Last updated 13 February 2022

Developing Paying It Forward

Teaching and learning about tax and superannuation (super) is important in promoting equity and preparing young people to become active and informed citizens.

Paying It Forward intends to help primary school students:

  • develop personal values and attributes, such as
    • honesty
    • resilience
    • empathy
    • respect for others
  • learn about national values of
    • democracy
    • equity
    • justice
  • participate in Australia's civic life.

Paying It Forward connects the learning areas of:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS)
  • Health and Physical Education (HPE)
  • The Arts

It focusses on the general capabilities of:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Ethical Understanding

Paying It Forward aims to help primary school students make the connection between how their community is funded, and the role of our government and how things are paid for.


Media: Paying it forward Link (Duration 00:01:34)

Accessing Paying It Forward

Simply register for a free account to access Paying It ForwardExternal Link and all its content including lesson plans, activities and curriculum mapping documents.

How school teachers can use the resource

The Paying It Forward website includes a range of support materials available for any teacher. Teachers can choose which activities to use from the resource.

All content is mapped to the Australian curriculum. It has capacity to build deep knowledge and understanding by focusing on big ideas and real-world contexts. Connections to the Australian curriculum are:

  • wellbeing frameworks
  • 21st century skills
  • values education.

The resource includes:

  • downloadable print materials – especially suitable for schools where students do not have individual electronic devices
  • units of work with the flexibility to use standalone activities, fully supported by resources for teachers
  • links to the curriculum, including the general capabilities and values education
  • videos, classroom activities, teacher notes and tips.

Learning progresses in age-appropriate ways

Foundation to Year 2

Learning topics include:

  • Fairness
  • Sharing is a choice
  • A world with or without sharing
  • Rules and responsibilities in the classroom
  • Spending and saving for needs and wants
  • How I contribute to my classroom community.

Years 3 and 4

Learning topics include:

  • Belonging and inclusion
  • Fairness and equity
  • Rights, rules and responsibilities
  • Local services in our community
  • Savings and budgets
  • Improving my community.

Years 5 and 6

Learning topics include:

  • Community rights and responsibilities
  • Community support
  • Collecting tax fairly
  • Responsible government spending
  • Savings and superannuation
  • Our ideal community.

The resource is supported by the following documents for each year level or stage of schooling:

  • topic and activity mapping to the Australian curriculum
  • teacher assessment guidelines
  • highlighted achievement standards
  • rubrics.

Professional development course

You can complete an accredited professional development course online called Teaching primary students to be active & informed citizens (Paying It Forward).

The Paying It Forward professional development courseExternal Link supports teaching students to be active and informed citizens through the Australian Curriculum learning areas including HASS: Civics and Citizenship and the general capabilities, using the Paying It Forward resource.

You will be also able to describe the features and purpose of the resource through the lens of big ideas. Your students will be able to make the connection about how their community is funded.

Feedback and more information

We welcome feedback about your experience teaching Paying It Forward and any suggestions you have, so we can improve the resource.

For more information, including updates and participating in teacher professional development, contact us at