Our Year 13 Computer Scientists had a treat when they visited Bletchley Park - once the home of GCHQ and the top-secret World War Two Codebreakers, not to mention the origins of much of modern computing and cryptanalysis.
The site is now the home of The National Museum of Computing, housing the world's largest collection of functional historic computers. The girls learned about the famous Engima code and watched the world's only operational model of the Turing-Welchman Bombe machine. They also learned about the less well known but much more complex Lornez machine used by Hitler's High Command and heard how the worlds first programmable computer, Colossus, was used to break this 'unbreakable' cipher.
A worked model of Colossus is also a feature at the museum. The students took part in interactive sessions through the day programming in BASIC on a BBC Acorn computer and learning more about prime numbers and their enduring importance in historic and modern encryption systems.