Students have been taking part in the Oxford University Computing Challenge this month as a follow up to the Bebras Challenge which they were involved with last November. Students who did well in Bebras and managed a score in the top 10% of results nationally received an invite to the OUCC which has more of a focus on programming than the logic puzzles of Bebras.
Lower school students use a blocky language to solve a variety of tasks that include drawing with a turtle, producing animations and steering robots around mazes. One task to draw a loveheart proved to be a bit of a heart-breaker for many of our younger students with many solutions that looked good but seemed to be not quite pixel-perfect when submitted. The senior students worked with text-based languages to precisely match some stringent output results and patterns on a console screen. This was good practice for their GCSE programming skills. In total around 40 students took part and we are hoping that some of these students have done enough to progress to the final round.
Agile Cryptanalysis
The members of Cryptography Club are buzzing after one of our students became the first student in the whole country (and even the world!) to solve Chapter 3 of the Alan Turing Cryptography Challenge this week. Kwamena in S3 is team captain of our school team: “Dirk Bale’s Holistic Detective Agency” and he managed to decode a cunningly disguised question in only 4 minutes and 30 seconds after a brilliantly intuitive hint from Kaile in S2. Students have been working on the competition on Monday evenings after school when Manchester University release each new chapter at 4pm. We have had correct solutions in previous weeks, but none as fast as the solving of Chapter 3.
Students in S1 and S2 are currently working on Cryptography programming tasks in their computing lessons to tie in with this competition.