I am always keen to let people know that the Assembly is their legislature, that the Senedd is their building, and the seat which I sit in in the chamber is Ynys Môn’s seat.
I was pleased therefore to be able to welcome four different schools from Anglesey to the Assembly last week and point to their seat.
And, judging by the fantastic questions the students from Ysgol y Borth, Ysgol Corn Hir, Ysgol Parc y Bont and Ysgol Llanfechell had for me during their visit, I hope that a number of them have the ambition to sit in that seat one day. They quizzed me on a number of topics – my motivations, our latest Assembly discussions, Wales’ future, and many more.
I also discussed learning additional languages with pupils from Parc y Bont and Corn Hir, and the pupils from Corn Hir are already being given French lessons on a weekly basis. As bilingual pupils, they were very eager to see opportunities to push their linguistic boundaries, and as a result of our conversation, I raised the matter with the First Minister in the chamber that afternoon.
The evidence tells us that there has been a great decline in the number of pupils learning a modern foreign language in secondary schools in Wales. I asked him to agree with the latest demand of the cross-party group that I chair, Wales International, for the talk of an ambition of creating a bilingual ‘+ 1’ Wales to now turn into action.
Learning foreign languages – and through that fostering a greater knowledge of other cultures – is an important part of making Welsh students global citizens.
Another opportunity I was pleased to see students taking advantage of recently was the chance to try new business ideas out.
I was very impressed at the recent innovation fair that took part in Ysgol David Hughes to see so much business acumen and so many exciting ideas – some of which had already turned into real businesses, such as Arfordir Clothing. I wish all the young entrepreneurs well with their ventures.