A guest speaker’s visit to John Kyrle High School Year 9 at the end of January sparked interest and inspiration for the students.

Tim Penn, a successful businessman, shared his story and emphasized the importance of learning languages, particularly in the communication GCSE.

Penn’s exposure to a new language started when he was a jockey based in Chantilly, north of Paris. He had no knowledge of the French language before his year-long immersion in France, but his daily interactions with colleagues improved his understanding of the language, leading him to secure an Export Sales role in North Africa. Penn eventually founded his own Export company, which operates worldwide.

The businessman recognized the value of language and intercultural skills in business, yet he was alarmed to learn that the number of pupils taking Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) at GCSE has been declining in the UK. He has been visiting schools across Wales and England, sharing his career journey with pupils and encouraging them to consider the power of Modern Foreign Communication in their GCSE subject choices.

Penn recognized the effort of the “Stars of the Show,” Morgan, Peter, Reggie, and Jake, for demonstrating the potential of MFL in any career or workplace. He hoped that the students took his inspiration and consider learning languages to enhance their future opportunities.