Shh! Top secret code breakers at work!

As part of our study of World War II, we journeyed back in time to 1941 and prepared to be Code Breakers at Bletchley Park. We learned about some of the different jobs at Bletchley Park: interpreter, decoder, translator and dispatch riders.

The original Mansion House at Bletchley Park looked impressive and quite inviting (despite the current scaffolding and repair works being carried out), but we discovered the recruits working at Bletchley Park often found themselves in unheated, drab huts for eight-hour long shifts.

We visited some huts and saw Alan Turing’s office. We were amazed that Alan had chained his cup to the radiator to ensure that no one else could use it! We enjoyed discovering what happened in each hut whilst remembering that no one would talk about their top secret work.

During our visit we enjoyed a guided tour, involving a bit of role play.

We were told to sign the Official Secrets Act to ensure that secrecy was upheld. Then the real work began. As new recruits, we had to try to prevent attacks in the Atlantic on Allied ships by interpreting Morse code. “It was difficult because the people who did it years ago had training for six weeks and we had none!” (Year 6 pupil)

As part of our workshop, we used a cipher to decode a message. This enabled us to locate enemy wolf packs and ensure safe passage for the Allied convoy. We were extremely lucky to have the opportunity to use a real Enigma machine and explore just how it was used by the Germans. What a super trip, which gave great insight into the life and work of the Code Breakers of Bletchley Park! We are very grateful to them for their work in shortening the Second World War, saving up to 14 million lives.

“Dans la ville j’ai vu des bombes et des solders main dans la campagne, j’ai vu des animaux et des oiseaux.”  In our French lessons, we have been cracking the code of learning a language – learning new vocabulary to be able to talk (in French!) about the Second World War. We have been learning how to talk about the differences between the city and the countryside in wartime. C’est très bien!

In maths, we have shown perseverance and determination in abundance as we cracked how to tackle some challenging long division work. We learnt how to use two different methods and learnt that long division isn’t as scary as it first appeared! “I’m not afraid of it anymore – I think I might quite like it now!” (Year 6 pupil)

In our ‘Skip2BFit’ workshop, we learnt that we have the right mindset to achieve our goals. We really raised our heart rates and showed some impressive skipping. We challenged Ms. Connolly to a ‘skip off’. It was close, but Willow Class won! Think we need to keep up the skipping though as we know Ms. Connolly might beat our personal best scores one day!

Have a lovely weekend.