On Wednesday 13 March, eleven Remove students travelled to North Birmingham Academy to take part in the European Business Challenge. The aim of the day was to give students a taste of what it is like to sell good overseas in a different language, developing their communication skills, cultural awareness and entrepreneurial flair.

After an early start, pupils arrived and were placed into teams alongside pupils from other schools. They had an opportunity to listen to a keynote talk about languages export and receive some advice about marketing techniques, before learning about their challenge: to sell Stilton cheese into the European market. There was an opportunity to taste the product – including vegan Stilton – before getting to work planning a trade fair stall, a radio advert, a marketing plan, a presentation and putting in place the necessary arrangements for the visit to the trade fair, including a phone call to a hotel.

After a long day’s work, we were delighted that two Dean Close students, Maddie Faux and Suzie Carter, were on the winning team of ‘Millionaire’s Cheesecake’, and that the runners up, ‘Stil-tons of Fun’, included Katie Smart and Leah Barton.

The Dean Close language students showed great linguistic prowess and superb leadership skills, working with pupils they had never met before, as a team. Maddie commented: “The best thing about the day was meeting different people from different schools and coming together over languages. I learnt that in the working world, languages are important and useful. You may not initially get on with your team but you have to work to get the job done.” Leah added: “I learnt the importance of speaking in public with confidence”.