We were excited to work with James Rennie School as they launched their first school bank, as part of our wider mission to help more young people learn about real-world finance. James Rennie is a school for pupils aged 13-19 with severe or profound learning needs, based at Kingstown in Carlisle.
The pupils visited us at our Head Office in Carlisle to practice their customer service skills, which meant having fun with role plays and learning more about everyday social interactions in the process.
Alongside members of The Cumberland team, the pupils practiced their counting skills, learned about handing money and even designed their own logo and branding – The James Rennie Piggy Bank.
“It was an experience for the children just to be able to go to the real head office of a major company. They came back with massive smiles on their faces and were talking about it for days afterwards. Seeing the faces and some of the engagement of pupils has been fantastic.”Oliver Wilson, Assistant Headteacher
At James Rennie, the pupils will run the bank themselves – and pupils from all 17 classes will use the bank to deposit and withdraw money for snacks and cooking.
Oliver Wilson, Assistant Headteacher at James Rennie, said the objective was to make a positive difference to the pupils, specifically working on numeracy and interaction skills which can all be used in the real world.
“A number of our students find peer-to-peer communication quite challenging, but the environment we created encourages just that. We are seeing students who we wouldn’t usually see engaged, working with each other doing role plays. They have learned about social interaction, facial expressions, tone of voice and all this is really invaluable for them.”
During the project, pupils spent a day at Cumberland Headquarters with Andrew Gordon (Head of Relationships) and Becky Towns (Brand & Communications Officer) where they learned about handling money and role-played as both cashiers and customers, followed by another session at their school.
“It’s been such a great experience working with the pupils on this project. They were such fun, uplifting days. The children brought so much enthusiasm to the sessions. It’s rewarding to see that they’ve got so much from taking part, and that they have continued to develop the bank at the school.”Andrew Gordon, Head of Relationships
This was an extremely positive and uplifting experience for everyone involved, and we look forward to partnering with more local schools and education providers in the future.