girl holding a stick

Year 6 Trip to Bletchley Park

Posted: 8th February 2024

Year 6 had a wonderful day at Bletchley Park on 07.02.24. We were lucky to have a fine and sunny day and an early start ensured we got the most of a full day there.

Bletchley Park was the secret home of the codebreakers during World War II.  We were treated to an excellent tour of the site, with our guide Harold giving the children roles as he explained the history of Bletchley Park, as well as how the codebreakers were selected and the routine of their daily work. Children enjoyed being WRENS and people with specific talents for codebreaking: computer experts, mathematicians, linguists and musicians.

We were also treated to a workshop ‘Battle of the Atlantic’ during which our teacher, Ralph, explained the maths of the possible combinations of the German Enigma machine. Current experts agree that there are 103,325,660,891,587,134,000,000 ways to set up the machine! Phew! We used our decoding skills learnt during the last two weeks at school to decipher the messages and plan the best route for ships to cross the Atlantic Ocean, avoiding enemy submarines.

We visited the various huts on site, exploring where the codebreakers worked and saw Alan Turing’s office, where his mug was still attached to the radiator. We saw a Bombe Machine and learnt how it worked and saw Bletchley Park’s large collection of Enigma machines.  A real treat was the opportunity to type into an Enigma machine, seeing how the letters were encoded into a new letter.

It was a super day, and the Year 6 children were a credit to Kew College Prep. Staff at Bletchley described their interest, behaviour and engagement as ‘exemplary’ and the children all said they had an absolutely brilliant time.

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