Codebreakers joint first in national competition

National cypher challenge team

A team of cryptographers are in equal first place out of nearly 500 schools heading into the final week of Southampton University’s national cipher challenge.

The web-based competition has seen the team – Jessica Black, Tom Allport, Lewis Higgins, Jonathan Bennett, Amy Bradley, Amy Suddards, Alice Coombes, Samuel Howard and Emily Howling – work together to crack encrypted letters over eight rounds.

The team of fourth years to sixth formers just need to solve two codes in the final round to finish equal first in the competition – and be in with the chance of winning £1,000.

“Commitment, enthusiasm and determination”

Whatever happens in the final week, head of maths Mr Greig Frankland is proud of the team:

I’m very impressed with their commitment, enthusiasm and determination to succeed in this competition.

Some of our most talented pupils across four year groups have worked together using mathematics to solve the codes. They even communicated online in the holidays when one of the earlier rounds took place.

I know many of them went to watch The Imitation Game [the film based on Alan Turing and the Enigma code] at the cinema together and they have brought that to life here in school.

More cryptography

Manchester University’s Alan Turing cryptography competition starts in January, and Mr Frankland is already looking to recruit a team of first to fifth years to take part in the challenge.

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