Espionage came to S. Peter’s this week as Business Language Champions and language analysts from GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) hosted ‘The Word is not Enough’. Our expert guests shared their stories about using language to work for multinational companies and to set up and expand their own businesses around the world, while GCHQ staff talked about their role in national security and the training opportunities offered there.

10 teams from 6 schools across the country were tasked with cracking a drug smuggling ring after being trained in encryption and decryption and getting to grips with basic Korean, Mandarin Chinese and Arabic. They used these skills to decode audio messages and coded clues, eventually releasing the staff who had been ‘kidnapped’, and finally presented their findings to the panel of judges in French, Spanish or German.

Pupils had some down time in the afternoon producing GCHQ board games and taking the opportunity to talk to our guests, and the day finished with the presentation of prizes. We’re delighted to say that S. Peter’s Spanish team Alastair Dobie, Devan Whitehouse, Priyanka Ajnat, Ella Humphries, Ben Lloyd and Joe Hardy came 2nd, with the German team Rebekah Rowley, Naomi Hardwick, Anastasia Burgess, Leo Tonks, Olivia Beech and Molly O’Shea also scoring highly in the challenge.

Thanks to everyone at Business Language Champions and GCHQ for this fantastic opportunity.