John Willmott School

Codebreakers of the Future

Codebreakers of the future from John Willmott School have been selected to take part in the CyberFirst Futures programme. This is a residential course designed by cyber security experts from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (part of GCHQ), the nationwide courses are delivered by the national education charity, The Smallpeice Trust.

There are only 1,250 places across the country for 14-17 year olds. Students can participate in 25 courses for tech-savvy teens to hone their cyber security skills. Young people have a natural aptitude for using digital technology; and it’s keeping that technology secure which is a key aspiration of the courses. Both students had to complete online assessments in order to compete for their places against other hopefuls from across the country. Computer Science teacher Uzma Bano said.’ Both boys will benefit from this unique opportunity and have done exceptionally well to be accepted after some detailed on line testing.’

Theo and Ismaeel are looking forward to their university based residential week where, rather than focus solely on theory, attendees are given the chance to experience cyber security through practical learning and applied teamwork, bringing out each individual’s potential. Theo said ‘This is an amazing opportunity for us both and we are looking forward to experiencing university life as well as take part in some very specialised learning’. Ismaeel added ’I hope to pursue a career in this area and this will give me a real advantage when applying for my university course.’

The week long residential provides students with the opportunity to explore modern security technology, whilst working with the latest cyber security tools. The courses use presentations, team exercises and hands-on experience to hone the next generation of cyber security experts, or cyberists. Headteacher Tracey Peters said..’ This generation of young people have grown up with digital technology as part of their everyday life, so to be able to study on the UKs National Cyber Security Centre’s residential course is a real coup for our students and will help them significantly in the future.