I’ve got to be honest, as the Banqer Student Artist artwork started to flow in, two things quickly became apparent. Not only are Banqer student's savvy savers, but they’re also amazing artists, and unsurprisingly, a commerce degree didn’t adequately prepare me to judge an art competition. After roping the rest of the team in to provide their input (namely our Head of Design, Marc), it was decided that given the quality of the 150 plus entries it made sense to increase the number of winners to four.

So without any further ado, we would like to announce the four winners of our ‘winter’ themed Banqer Student Artist Competition are (in no particular order):

Monica McDonald – St Joseph's School, Timaru

Inspiration: “My mum said that if I wanted to enter and the theme is winter, maybe have snowmen buying and selling ice creams because it has something to do with money and I made the snowmen banqer pigs!”

Amber Lewis- Beard – Christchurch South Intermediate School, Christchurch

Inspiration: “Using cool things in Natasha’s pencil case”

Joaquin Faulkner - Heretaunga Intermediate School, Hastings

Inspiration: “Winter says to me snow, so I made money into snow”

Hannah Malcolmson – Adventure School, Porirua

Inspiration: “I just wanted something that sounded good, looked good, and people would look at!”

As well as sending out auction packs to their classes, we thought we’d take the opportunity to chat to our four passionate Banqer students to get a little bit of feedback from them.

This feedback, and a couple of class visits to deliver auction packs and certificates quickly reinforced a few things. Important learnings are being gained by Banqer students every day. All students talked about the importance of saving when questioned about the most important thing they’d learnt through using Banqer. Based on the levels of Banqer savings these students have, this understanding is also being applied. Our chats also showed that many teachers have thriving classroom economies. Like all good economies, they were underpinned by strong job markets. There were too many jobs that our winners told us about to list here, but the job of a class banker in the platform to alleviate teacher workload seemed to be a winner for all.

The final question for our winners was whether they had any ideas that they thought would make Banqer even cooler. Seemingly great minds think alike, and the overwhelming suggestion from our winners is something that’s already in the works at Banqer HQ! Unfortunately I’m not at liberty to currently reveal what this improvement is, so everyone (apart from our winners who probably now have a fair idea) will have to watch this space with baited breath!

As well as the amazing four winners outlined above, we also recognised six other entries that we thought the world just couldn’t go without seeing. You can check these out on either our Facebook or Twitter pages.

My personal favourite was Delara’s, from Freyberg Community School, which included a poem. “It’s raining, it’s pouring, but Banqer isn’t boring”. We hope this holds true for all our amazing teachers and students as we head into the depths of winter, and Banqer continues to captivate and inspire.

Insights from Simon Brown (Banqer team member and aspiring artist)