QE boys impress at Bletchley Park

Guides at the famous Bletchley Park World War II code-breaking centre were so impressed by a group of young cryptographers from QE that they adapted their lecture to make it more challenging.

Thirteen members of the School’s thriving Cryptography Club from Years 7–9 went on a day trip to the heritage site at Milton Keynes.

As well as the original Bletchley Park mansion, original wartime code-breaking huts and blocks are preserved at the site. The boys went on a tour of the grounds, during which they saw two German cipher machines – the Enigma and the less well-known, but more complicated, Lorenz.

""In addition, the QE group visited a short exhibition on the 2014 film, Imitation Game, an historical thriller loosely based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. Turing was the brilliant computer scientist who led the wartime code-breaking at Bletchley Park.

“They relished the opportunity to see the very places where Turing and his team successfully cracked coded messages, giving the Allies a crucial advantage against the Nazis,” reports club organiser and Mathematics teacher, Fiona Wynn.

""“The boys enjoyed dressing up in World War II costumes and posing in a classroom of the era,” said Miss Wynn. “Later they attended a talk about the Enigma machine and different types of codes and ciphers, and they were given the chance to encrypt and decrypt a message into a real Enigma machine.”

The Cryptography Club meets at lunchtimes. Boys learn the history of cryptography and discover how to solve different types of codes, often drawing on complex Mathematics.