Last week students throughout the maths department took place in this year’s #GCHQChristmasChallenge. GCHQ, the UKs intelligence, security, and cyber agency set challenges in the form of a Christmas card filled with puzzles. This year there were 7 puzzles that would all come together to form a secret 8th puzzle that used the picture on the front of the Christmas card form.
Select students from the top sets of year 7 to year 10 took part in the challenge. All year groups used teamwork, problem solving skills and resilience making use of their Turves values being self-motivated to achieve and respecting others’ ideas to work together. It is key for members of GCHQ to work together and make use of all their teammate’s strengths. And our students showed exactly that.
Unfortunately, none of the students (or staff) managed to complete all the puzzle in their hour lesson, however a few dedicated students continued to work at it in their own time and as a school we were able to crack the final code. 9X1 where vital in solving the final few tricky puzzles, especially S. Scott who cracked the code on puzzle 7.
Student and staff alike enjoyed this Christmas and puzzle themed day, enjoying the challenge that maths and puzzles can bring. Hopefully we have a few future codebreakers and spies in our student cohort that will go on to join the security forces of the UK through GCHQ.