Alsager School

The Word Is Not Enough

Five year 10 German students recently visited Manchester Grammar School for ‘The Word Is Not Enough’ day. Before arriving, they knew very little about the day – it was top secret! The day was organised by Business Languages Champions and GCHQ and allowed them to take a peek behind the scenes at one of the UK’s intelligence services. GCHQ plays a part in the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking, and other forms of serious crime. This was also to be their task for the day.  


They were given an introduction into the work of GCHQ and heard from a range of language students currently at Manchester University. As a team of five, they had the opportunity to learn either Russian, Chinese or Korean, as well as learning how to decipher secret codes used by different terrorist organisations. All of these skills were vital in their task for the day of trying to intercept drug traffickers who were attempting to import cocaine from Columbia to Germany. One of their tasks included saving our kidnapped teacher! With ups and downs along the way, they succeeded in their mission and came third overall out of all of the teams there.

Our students all agreed: “It was a very enjoyable day and we learned a lot about the importance of languages for our future careers. It was interesting to hear from university students who studied French and German at school and how this has helped them to go on and learn such a wide range of other languages. It opened our eyes as to where learning languages can take us”.