Lower IV’s computing experience

More girls needed!

The Head of Computing, Mr Dellow, encourages pupils to take part in several activities outside the classroom.  Entering competitions is an enjoyable and challenging way of stretching mental muscles and one of these annual competitions involves Cyber Security.

He reports, ‘Each year in February the National Cyber Security Centre (part of GCHQ) launch a girls’ cyber security competition. All of our girls take part in the competition which runs for just one week with prizes awarded to the national winners. A follow up to the competition is a residential course during the Easter holidays which focuses on cyber security skills.  One of our Lower IV computer scientists, Sophie Fung, attended this course during the Easter holidays and she has written about her experience:

“During the Lent term, Lower IV took part in the CyberFirst Girls Competition. In the competition we were presented with a range of tasks from sections of: Cryptography, Cyber Security, Logic and Coding as well as Networking. St Augustine’s Priory finished in the top 100 schools. Following this I was invited to take part in a Cyber Security course sponsored by GCHQ. The course took place during the Easter holidays and was over a period of four days.  There was a range of different venues to apply for – I would advise applying for more than one location as the course is very popular. I was accepted at a Residential course in Canterbury after being held on a waiting list for two different venues.

On the course, we were split up into different groups; as I was the only one from our school it allowed me to make lots of new friends. Throughout the whole course we had guest speakers from different Cyber Security fields – a Police security manager, a Lloyds Bank Security operator and a computer scientist (They were all female, and all said “there needs to be more girls in computing fields”). We also had lectures and practical exercises in which we covered topics such as: The Internet of Things, Password and Password hacking, Malware and Networks.

During the course we had our own rooms, the food and snacks provided were excellent. Every evening, there were activities: A film night, Puzzle solving and a quiz night; they were all really entertaining and just participating in the course was so much fun and engaging.

The course was an amazing experience, I learned so many new skills and it is an excellent opportunity to work with industry professionals. It really doesn’t matter if you don’t know much about computers or even the internet, the speakers are all very supportive and very funny. So, if you do have the opportunity to go, take it, but mostly, just enjoy the whole experience!”