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St Clement's High School

Year 9 Super Learning Day

The secretive world of codes and ciphers was experienced by Year 9 students in their Maths lessons at Terrington St Clement’s High School.

Students in Year 9 had a day experiencing how codes are used in the real world and a little of the history behind the codes. Students practiced sending messages to each other using Semaphore. They also saw how Braille worked and learnt how to communicate using Sign Language and Makaton, singing and signing to “Old MacDonald”.

Some students looked at how a Barcode is made up, how to use the “check digit” to identify if the barcode is legitimate, they also looked at different methods of coding and ciphers. There was a quick trip through time looking at how codes and ciphers changed in order to become more secure.

The part that enthralled the students (and staff) was being able to see an Enigma machine used in the Second World War. Students were able to type in the message and relay the coded message to a receiving pair who then used the machine to decode the message. They were rather surprised to learn that this was the very same Enigma machine as used by Keira Knightly and Benedict Cumberbatch in the film The Imitation Game.

Our thanks go to Tom Briggs from Bletchley Park who gave the students’ access to the Enigma Machine.