Learning about key war machine

Pupils at Kings Priory School get up close with an Enigma Machine used in the Second World War.
Pupils at Kings Priory School get up close with an Enigma Machine used in the Second World War.

Youngsters were given the chance to get to grips with a key war machine.

All pupils from Year 5 to Sixth Form at Kings Priory School, in Tynemouth, spent time learning about and looking at an Enigma machine.

A range of code breaking sessions were led by an expert from Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes and they got the opportunity to see the Enigma machine up close.

During the Second World War, German military command used elaborate codes for encrypting messages, with over 159 quadrillion possible settings on the Enigma machine.

Allied code breakers at Bletchley Park worked tirelessly to break the code which changed at least once per day. Using the machine cryptologists were able to decipher the coded messages and play a key role in guaranteeing an Allied victory in the War.

Pupils from Year 5 to 8 were invited to dress up as evacuees for the day as part of the celebrations, with a special Second World War-themed lunch also served in the school canteen.

At an after-school session for friends and family, more than 150 members of the local community were invited in to see the machine and listen to the history of Bletchley Park.

Amy Sidebotham, a maths teacher who organised the event, said: “After visiting Bletchley Park in the summer I thought it would be a great opportunity for our pupils to see the Enigma machine.

“The pupils have all enjoyed themselves with many of them being able to touch a real Enigma machine.”

“This opportunity has allowed them to understand in a little more depth the importance of Mathematics in code breaking, the war effort and how it relates to everyday life.”