Avon Valley Students Have a Cracking Time at Bletchley Park

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A group of computing students from The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College recently visited Bletchley Park, the top secret home of the second world war codebreakers which is now a museum and heritage site, to learn about ciphers, computer coding and the history of computers. 

In total forty students, from Year 9 to Year 11, visited the historic site where the complex German enigma code was cracked during the Second World War. As part of their visit the students learnt about the secretive history of the site, and explored Bletchley Park’s grounds on a guided tour. The group also visited the buildings and huts where the mathematicians and codebreakers, including the world famous Alan Turing, worked throughout the war.

As part of their day the students followed in the codebreakers’ footsteps and attempted to crack the Lorenz cipher using their computing knowledge. To do this the students were given instructions about encoding and decoding a message using a cipher code. The students also had chance to get up close to a replica enigma machine.

Alison Davies, Headteacher, said: “This was a wonderful chance for students to visit an important site from the nation’s history and learn about how the first computers were developed. It’s really important that students have the opportunity to visit museums and heritage sites to help underpin what they learn with us at school.”