Norfolk teens break Bletchley codes

30 teenagers from Sewell Park Academy and Flegg High Ormiston Academy left Norfolk this week to challenge their maths minds on a visit to the iconic Bletchley Park. The event was organized by Take Your Place – a programme focusing on improving progression of targeted young people in year 9-13 to higher education.

Helen Treutler, a Take Your Place Higher Education Champion said “The students handled and tried out the legendary enigma machine and received a detailed history of Bletchley Park and especially how the war was won.”

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For Take Your Place, the project is all about raising aspirations. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring students to Bletchley Park, a place that epitomizes careers in science, technology and maths. Yet it also has a very real place in our recent history which covers Britain in the war, code making, diplomatic intelligence work and early computing,” said Helen.


The year 10 students attended a workshop about code breaking and ciphers, following the path of a message. Iris, a year 9 student from Flegg High Ormiston Academy said “there were 159 quintillion possible combinations of an enigma cipher per day, that's mind blowing!”

The students from Flegg High Ormiston Academy were intrigued by the espionage and intelligence. Robyn said “I have learnt that they kept it all a secret for 30 years after the war; and German spies became double agents,” While Jodie said “People From different departments didn't even know what each other did” and Leon commented “Bletchley Park  ended the war two and a half years early!”

Peter Thompson, a maths teacher from Sewell Park Academy, said “By looking back and learning from the past, they are looking forward and it’s a great opportunity to shape their future.”

For many of the students, the trip was much more than a day at Bletchley Park. Richard Moore, Head of Maths at Sewell Park Academy, said “Some people in this coach have just left Norfolk for the first time.”