Pupils Take On National Cyber & Computational Thinking Challenges | Epsom College
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Pupils Take On National Cyber & Computational Thinking Challenges

Lower Fourth girls took part in a qualifier round for the CyberFirst Girls Competition, while all year groups competed in the Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge.

Epsom’s Lower Fourth girls have taken part in the online qualifier round of the annual CyberFirst Girls competition.

The competition is the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) flagship cyber security contest for schools, which is open annually to pupils identifying as female in Year 8 in England and Wales, S2 Scotland and Year 9 Northern Ireland.

Regardless of ability, from beginner to expert, the CyberFirst Girls Competition is an opportunity for students to learn something new about cybersecurity. The competition contains some advanced cyber topics that are not covered in traditional education and seeks to stretch the lateral thinking and additional cyber knowledge of the teams who take part.

The online qualifying round identifies the top teams in each home nation and English region. Teams are made up of a maximum of four students. The level of competitive spirit was palpable and set the room abuzz with excitement, especially when they managed to get a question correct that they had no previous knowledge about.

Congratulations to the team of Rebecca Jensen, Sophia Traynor and Sarah McDermott for completing the most challenges at Epsom College and tallying an impressive number of points. The team of Issy McDonald, Flora Howe, Lila Pramoj and Isobel Chaudhuri were also impressive in their performance. Some were very strategic in the way they divided up challenges within their group and confirmed their status as champion strategists. If successful, the school team will attend the final in February next year.

It has been another year of great success for Epsom’s computer scientists in the Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge. 426 pupils across all year groups took part in the national problem-solving competition which tests computational thinking, decomposition, algorithms, and problem-solving skills.

100 students across all year groups qualified in the top 10% in the country, achieving a Gold Award. This is 18% higher than last year, which is especially impressive as the puzzles students were presented with were the most challenging yet, and included applications of complex computer science concepts.

The Gold Award winners are invited to participate in the Oxford Challenge next term, which a different competition that focuses more on programming than problem-solving.

Sorina Biletchi, Head of Computing at Epsom College, said:

“Congratulations to all pupils who participated, we are incredibly proud of those who gained a certificate and we look forward to seeing even more success stories from the British Algorithmic Olympiad, The Braben Cup team coding challenge and the Oxford Challenge in January.”

A huge well done to the Best in School certificate winners:

  • Junior (Third Form) – Annabel Eaves, who was only six marks off the maximum mark
  • Intermediate (Lower Fourth and Middle Fourth) – Benjamin Senior, with maximum possible marks
  • Senior (Upper Fourth and Fifth Form) – Thomas Stapely, also the highest ever result we recorded in this age category with 189/200
  • Elite (Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth) – Sean Ting, also one of the highest scores we have recorded at A-level