On the 5th of November 2016 at The University of York, six Year 13 girls obtained an ‘out of this world’ experience discussing the importance of language learning with the one and only Major Tim Peake.

This fantastic opportunity came from winning a place at the Principia Schools Conference. Girls were entered into this competition following a Primary Language Day organised at Junior School in June. Led by Sixth Form, the aim of this was to get children enthusiastic about language learning. With space fever gripping schools up and down the country, it seemed natural to theme the day around space exploration, drawing parallels with Tim Peake’s inspirational tale of learning Russian in order to communicate with other astronauts. The day was a huge success, with children from Junior School and partner schools enjoying a variety of language activities in French, German, Spanish and Hindi.

Over the moon with winning a place at the conference, girls had the amazing opportunity to listen to Tim Peake talk about his experience of space travel. The engaging talk covered all aspects of his journey, from the busy work schedule of an astronaut on the ISS, to the breath-taking view of Earth from space. Year 13 were thrilled to hear that they would also have the chance to meet him personally and the opportunity to talk about their project as well as his experience of learning Russian, discussing the benefits of learning languages, especially at a young age.

Girls were honoured to be a part of the conference and hearing more about the significance of learning languages in an increasingly globalised world.


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