By Abhishek Sharma, Year 7
On 7th March, Mrs Pollard and ten students from Year 7 and 8 visited Metro Bank. When we arrived, we were greeted by a member of staff. She led us with the other ten students from Ditton Park Academy into the call centre. We had been given exclusive access to one of the rooms where we later did the activities. We had been assigned into teams of five. The schools had been mixed up for the teams as one of skills we learnt was to work well with people we didn’t know. After a quick introduction to the workshop, we followed a staff member to begin our tour.
Firstly we went to the car park of Metro Bank and saw the drive-through ATM. This wonderful idea was created by Metro Bank and was made to make the customer feel at ease. So even if you didn’t want to go in the bank you could make quick transactions outside - fast food companies aren’t the only ones to think of a drive-through! After that we went back inside and saw one of the only machines Metro Bank has. It was the Magic Money Counting Machine. As I have a junior account with Metro Bank, I have used the machine plenty of times. Next, we entered the vault. Personally, I found this the most interesting part of the tour. The vaults were secured very well. First the door was made of metal and was approximately 30cm thick, and to open it you had to put the numbers in for two number locks. When you finally opened the doors, you needed a key to open the glass door. When we stepped inside, all we could see was a labyrinth of shiny vaults. The sizes of them varied from something quite small to large boxes. After having a look around, we went back to the exclusive room in the call centre.
Our first activity as a team was to guess if something cost more than something else. After a few rounds I realised the game was much harder than it looked! When we finished the game, we did an activity based on budgeting. As a group we had £800 pounds to spend over six rounds. My team saved a large amount at the end, so we decided to go on a holiday to Majorca. Surprisingly after all that we still had over a £100 saved.
Next, we had lunch. Metro Bank had kindly bought us subs for lunch. When we finished, we had to think about new team names instead of Teams A, B, C, D. In our next activity we had to help a family solve financial problems. We were given three solutions to help us, but we could make our own solutions too. After solving the questions, we had to present what we had learnt that day. As we had only ten minutes to prepare, no one had to say too much. After four smooth presentations we went back into the bank and collected our souvenirs and took pictures with Metro Bank’s mascot, Metro Man.
It was a wonderful experience where we had learnt a lot. A big thanks to Mr Wilkins for organising such an event.