After almost ten years of top-secret negotiation, one of my dreams as Director of MFL was realised last term when a team of Language Analysts visited the Academy. One hundred & thirty students from Churchill, Gordano and Chew Valley schools were given a presentation on the history of GCHQ and the role it plays in the world today.
The team talked about the importance of learning languages in schools and what career opportunities are available for students who leave school with one or two A Levels in a MFL at the agency. The team actually requested to speak to our A Level linguists in a more informal afternoon session which students found very informative.
After the presentation, 25 students from each school took part in Russian, Korean and Arabic workshops. Students learnt greetings, numbers and how to introduce themselves in Russian, ask for food, and drink in Arabic. In our Korean workshop, students played ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ or ‘Gawi Bawi Bo’ to win Korean prizes based on their knowledge of Korean culture and decorated paper lanterns with their names using a Korean calligraphy pen.
Feedback from staff and students involved in the day has been overwhelmingly positive and my thanks go out to all the staff at the academy who helped with the organisation of the day and made the day itself such a success.
I hope we will be able to organise another such event in future but we will have to wait and see…….