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Codes & Cyphers at the Castle

Last Thursday, the winners of the Maths Department’s ‘Codes and Cyphers’ Challenge, Mrs Thompson organised a very special day out at Dover Castle. Mrs Wyatt reports: ‘On arrival, we were met by Commander Johnny Walker who gave the students an informative guided tour, introducing them to the working conditions of the wartime codebreakers (often ordinary men and women, but predominantly women)  during WWII stationed in Dover’s wartime tunnels .

He tested their codebreaking skills to deduce a spy in our midst with a variety of different codes including the traditional Caesar code, Camouflage code, Alpha numeric code and Fragmented knowledge codes. Commander Walker said he was very impressed with our 25 codebreakers’ abilities which ranged across years 7-9.

After a picnic by the viewing platform, where the students picked out the French coastline, they were given time to either explore the tunnels further or exchange the coolness of the tunnels for the delights and views from both inside and from the castle turrets on what was a glorious Summer’s day.   

It was great to see our students working together, forging new friendships and really enjoying the day, with an impromptu improvisation game using a hat as a prop rounding up the day! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the trip and were only sorry they could not stay longer although it was clear some were completely exhausted by the end of the trip!