Pupils from Corneli Primary School have received the ‘Highly Commended Credit Union School Partnership Award’ for their work with Bridgend Lifesavers Credit Union. Learners scooped the award at the Credit Union of Wales awards held at The Coal Exchange, Cardiff, last month.
Following a savings club from 2015 to 2016, the school recently relaunched the Corneli Primary School Savings Scheme using a whole school approach. Teaching staff, governors and learning support officers have taken lead roles, together with pupil helpers from Years 4 to 6.
Head of School, Kirstie Evans, said: “The Bridgend Lifesavers Credit Union Scheme has helped to promote and support financial literacy across our school, as well as throughout our school community. We have pupils, staff, governors, parents and grandparents accessing this saving scheme. Saving money is an important life skill. Children who learn basic concepts like saving and budgeting, are more likely to use these skills when they are older. By learning about money from a young age, children can develop responsible money habits to support them throughout their lives.”
Currently, the savings scheme has 148 pupil members, plus 21 adults belonging to the initiative, including staff, governors, parents, and grandparents, with numbers constantly increasing.
One grandparent said: “I love the savings scheme – it’s convenient, easy to do, and you can save as much or as little as you please. It’s also easy to withdraw the money when it suits you. A little something saved for my three grandsons. A brilliant scheme.”
A parent of the school added: “Both my daughters are members of the savings club. My eldest joined at the very beginning and now she is in comprehensive school but is still saving weekly at Corneli Primary School. Both girls are saving for their future – it is a really important life skill. It teaches them that it doesn’t matter how much or little you save, what’s important is regular saving.”
The children at the school are also enthusiastic about the scheme and most have a clear idea about how their savings will be used, ranging from purchasing Christmas presents to buying a house!
The most recent Estyn inspection of Corneli Primary School also highly praised the initiative and requested the school to write an ‘Effective Practice’ document about the savings scheme and the impact that it has on the school, as well as the wider community.
Councillor Jon Paul Blundell, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “How fantastic! The savings scheme provides a real-life context for developing financial literacy across the whole school. The face-to-face interaction, often unavailable these days with access to online banking, provides a refreshing change for all. I’ve also learned how Bridgend Life Savers Credit Union regularly attends Story Café with pupils and their families – it’s wonderful how the Credit Union has become embedded within school life. The saving scheme not only highlights the importance of financial understanding to the children, but also of communities working together. Well done all!”