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Maths Scholars crack codes in new challenge

Year 8 and 9 Maths Scholars had the opportunity to get to grips with some exciting new activities this half term when they took on a range of code challenges at the end of January.

Spending the afternoon off-timetable, the students spent the first half of the session learning how to write coded messages using substitution ciphers (such as the “Caesar cipher”) and also cracked some codes using letter frequency analysis.

Students then looked at how computers can do these types of calculations much faster than humans, using the visual programming language “Scratch”.

The history of code breaking across the centuries was also investigated, including the work of Alan Turing during the second World War. Mr Linnington, Maths Teacher, said: “This was a great session which the scholars got a lot out of. In the modern world of online transactions and digital cryptocurrencies, these types of skills will continue to be valued.

Next time we meet, we’ll be looking at some more complex types of ciphers and the depth of logical thought required will only increase!”