For more than 18 years, the generous people of Wokingham and the local area have donated gifts to ensure less fortunate youngsters stay on Santa’s list.
Recent research released by Money Advisor has found that as many as 8 in 10 adults think that children should be taught personal finance as part of the primary school curriculum, to prevent unrealistic, inflated money expectations and avoid much bigger debt problems in the future.
In support of this, Newbury Building Society has committed to providing money management education with its scheme called, Junior Newbury Building Society (JNBS), now in its ninth consecutive year. Designed to provide financial education lessons to local schoolchildren, the initiative encourages positive, healthy discussion around saving and spending as well as promote money savvy long-term habits.
Most recently, Newbury Building Society welcomed six children from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School to their Newbury head office to teach them how to run their own savings branch in their school. 13 other schools in the local area have also been participating in the scheme which will run until the end of September.
Faye Glover, a teacher from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School said: “The Junior Newbury Building Society scheme is a highly valuable partnership that we are proud to be a part of. It teaches the children key skills, teamwork, time keeping and responsibility while also develops the understanding of money and the importance of savings. The scheme has enabled our year six students to bring these skills back to school and share with others.”
The scheme consists of a series of activities and projects designed to teach children the entire savings process – from start to finish – by opening their own ‘branch’ within the school. Role play, such as encouraging children to understand the role of a cashier, teaches children the mechanics of a savings account in an interactive and fun environment.
Imogen Smith, a year six pupil at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School who participated in the scheme said: “It’s good to learn how to sort out people’s money and help them out.”
In Wokingham, Westende Junior School also took part in the programme as branch staff welcomed children last week.
Mrs Edgar, Head of Westende Junior School said: “The children in year 5 and 6 returned from their JNBS training last Friday, completely enthused with their new responsibilities of running a school branch on behalf of Newbury Building Society. It certainly made them feel very special, stepping up to take the responsibility to become cashiers in school. Full credit to the staff at Newbury for providing suitable tasks to keep the children interested and motivated to get going with the branch. I think the whole process from applying for the 'job' to being interviewed is great experience for the children and sets them up beautifully for the type of challenges they will face in the future.”
Since its launch in 2008, over 750 pupils in schools across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire have benefitted from the scheme with approximately 30 schools having already participated.
Emma Lavers, Marketing Support Manager at Newbury Building Society who nurtured the initiative from the beginning said: “We work together with schools to encourage pupils to start a ‘savings habit’ by providing a fun and rewarding way of improving numeracy and basic personal knowledge. Now in its ninth year, the scheme continues to go from strength to strength and we hope it won’t be long before we are talking to an ex-JNBS saver about their first mortgage. We look forward watching the scheme grow and working with other schools over the coming years.”