Yesterday, Wednesday 1st October, Murston Junior School in Sittingbourne successfully opened its own bank. It’s the newest branch of the Murston Community Bank, which earlier this year became the first community bank to be held in a church, and is a partnership with the Kent Savers Credit Union and the Diocese of Canterbury.
The whole school gathered together to celebrate the opening, and began the proceedings in style by singing the school song, Together We Are One. The Rt Reverend Trevor Willmott, the Bishop of Dover was present and cut the ribbon to the new banking area, with the help of pupils and staff.
Year 6 students will run the bank, which will be open two days a week. Each pupil in the school will have an account and will receive a specially designed Murston Community Bank pass book with their school logo on it.
As well as being able to deposit real money, students will also be able to earn Murston Money, as part of a new reward scheme in the school. When they leave in Year 6, a pupil’s Murston Money will be exchanged for pounds and pence, and transferred into their bank account ready for secondary school.
Mrs Patricia Hatt, the Headteacher of Murston Junior School has also ensured that the bank will inspire the curriculum, as children across the school will learn about financial matters and the importance of good money management; the aim being that this financial grounding will benefit the children throughout their lives. She said:
“We’re so proud of all our pupils. They’ve all worked so hard to make this bank a reality and have contributed their own ideas about how it should work. I am convinced that the presence of the bank in our school, and the skills and knowledge our pupils will gain from the whole experience, will prove invaluable to them as they make their way through life.”
Although not a Church school, the Murston Junior School Bank has developed out of a positive relationship between the school and the local church, All Saints in Murston, which has seen its own community hub and bank develop into a vital part of the wider community and instrumental in helping transform lives.
Rt Rev Trevor Willmott, the Bishop of Dover said:
“What has happened here at Murston Junior School is very special. Not only do the children have the chance to put some real money away in the bank, but through the Murston Money, they also get to put in the recognition of all the things that make them each a unique person; the things they excel at, the way they care for one another and the world around them. By the end of their time at this school, they won’t just have some money, but the invaluable experience of learning how to care for all that God has given them.”
From this September, financial education became an official part of the new maths and citizenship curriculum in Years 3 and 4. The teaching of financial matters in schools has been a longstanding campaign of the founder and editor of Moneysavingexpert,com Martin Lewis. He was therefore delighted to hear about Murston Junior School Bank and sent the students a congratulatory message:
“To everyone at Murston Junior School, many congratulations on the opening of your bank! Learning how banking works is a very important part of money education – and great to hear that you’re doing it with a credit union. From today, everyone who receives a Murston Junior School bank account, or discusses finance in class, has been given the chance to break the cycle of debt and the bad messages passed on about money. Good luck to you all and well done to everyone involved!”
For more information please contact Jennifer Ross on 01227 459 401 / 07765 112 177 or firstname.lastname@example.org