Enigma - where Computing Past meets Computing Future

On this day our year 12 Double business studies students ran an event for the lower year – years 8&9 and selective year 7’s – this event was part of their coursework in Unit 18. For the event they had do undergo the same amount of planning and work that the normal teachers would for any other event and might I say… They did it well!

Throughout the weeks leading up to the event the year 12’s showed excellent teamwork and communication skills while they planned this event, it also showed us how organised some of them can be. When issues came up they demonstrated excellent problem solving skills and overcame them.

The event was planned to raise interest in the computing/ICT GCSE option for the lower years, so to do this we had a guest speaker come in to the school from Bletchley Park – a code breaking site from the 1940’s – The speaker brought with them the Enigma Machine. For those who don’t know the Enigma Machine was a cypher machine invented and used by the Germans, it was used for writing coded messages before and during WW2. It is said that when Bletchley Park cracked the code, they won us the war because we knew what the Germans had planned and allowed us to defeat them – Shortening the war by around 2-3 years!

The pupils participating in the event went to two sessions, which they went to first depended on the group. One session was held in room 208 where we had our guest speaker Tom and the Enigma Machine where students were educated about the history of Bletchley Park and their role in WW2.

The second session was held in the sixth form block room 163; this session was completely run by the year 12’s, they delivered a taught lesson to the younger years. This session focussed on events at Bletchley Park, where a code breaker Captain Jerry Roberts who worked at Bletchley Park during WW2 revisited the site and spoke about how it used to be, and then complete a questionnaire about the information they should have learnt. The year 12’s were extremely pleased with the amount that some of the pupils had managed to remember from only a 30 minute talk with tom and the video clip. The event ran extremely smoothly.

Thank you to all the students who took part and we hope this made you more interested in the computing/ICT GCSE.
We would like to give a special thanks to our speaker Tom for coming in to help with this event, without him the students wouldn’t have been as engaged or had a chance to view the Enigma Machine in person.

Also on an unfortunate note we pay our respects to Raymond “Jerry” Roberts, one of the last of a top World War Two code breaking team at Bletchley Park. He died age 93 on March the 25th 2014.