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Work with Love

YEAR 10 STUDENTS BREAK CODES WITH BLETCHLEY PARK EXPERTS

On 30 March year 10 students met two visitors from Bletchley Park who each gave one hour presentations.

Catherine spoke about cyber security and showed how easy it is for people to find out your password just by looking at information on social media such as your date of birth, which football team you support or the name of your cat. She then gave the students challenges to see how quickly they could crack the passwords in a range of problems. She also gave the students a task to track phone calls made by people to show how much information you can gain from records of calls made. This information includes where the person lives, who their friends are and where they go during the day which can lead to favourite shops, their place of work or other where other members of their family live.

Tom spoke about why people want to send messages that can only be read by the intended recipient and not by anyone else. The students had a coded message that they needed to crack and with only a small amount of help everyone solved how the code worked. He gave examples of a range of different ways of encrypting messages so that they remain secret. He spoke about the importance of the person sending the message not knowing that the code had been broken by someone else. This happened in World War 2 when the Allies broke the German Enigma code but had to keep this secret so that they Allies could continue to read secretly the German messages.

He also gave the students the opportunity to code a short message on an Enigma machine and then to see how to decode it.

They were both very interesting presentations and gave Year 10 students lots of things to think about in terms of cyber security and how secrecy can be very important when sending messages.

Year 10 students were fantastic whilst listening to their presentations. They were engaged in the tasks and modelled excellent behaviour for learning.

Thank you to everyone who was involved today in getting students to the right place at the right time, coming up to attend the presentations and fixing minor problems. It all led to a very successful day.

DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE?

If you are interested in learning more about Bletchley Park their website is https://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/

For a chance to practice breaking codes there are lots of websites that give you the opportunity. Here are three:

https://www.cia.gov/kids-page/games/break-the-code

https://www.mathsweek.ie/2012/puzzles/code-breaking-for-young-secret-agents

And this last one was set by GCHQ a few years ago to recruit new spies

https://www.canyoucrackit.co.uk/codeexplained.html

If you are interested in studying or working with cyber security, a number of universities offer courses including Warwick, Surrey, Sheffield Hallam and Birmingham. For jobs in cyber security you need experience in computing first. Search on line for computer jobs to find out what qualifications you would need for they type of job you might want to do.

Our Values

Faith in the presence of God

Concern for the poor and social justice

Quality education

Respect for all persons

Inclusive community

an awareness of the living presence of God in our world, and a calling to see the world through the eyes of faith

a calling to support the poor and victims of injustice, through community service and justice education

to provide an education that is second to none, so that our students will not just contribute to society, but will transform it

that we are all children of God and, as such, at the heart of our education we must respect the dignity of all persons

we respect and value diversity, which means that nobody is left out or left behind, and that we embrace the unique stories and qualities that each of us bring to the world.

Awards

Trust Information

St Simon Stock Catholic School is an academy, and part of the Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership. The Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership is an exempt charity and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company registration number 08176019 at registered address: Barham Court, Teston, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 5BZ. St Simon Stock Catholic School is a business name of Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership.

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