Year 6 trip to Bletchley Park
OUR YEAR 6 PUPILS LEARNED ABOUT THE CODE BREAKERS IN WORLD WAR II
On Monday 5th of March 2018, the whole of Year 6 went on a trip to Bletchley Park. On the 1.5 hour coach journey there, everyone was very excited and eager to see the buildings where the MI6 broke the Nazi code. When we arrived, the sun was shining and the sky was azure. The classes were split up into their groups, and each group went off to their first activity. The first activity that our class had was a code breaking exercise. To get our brains warmed up, the lady who was explaining the exercise told us a little bit about the history of the building and the people who had been the code breakers in World War II.
Following this, we were each given a booklet and the lady told us that in World War II there had been a Nazi spy here. Our job was to try and decipher what the information was that the spy had been after. All the clues in the booklet were written in different codes and using the instructions we had to work out all the clues and piece them together. It turned out that what the spy had been after was the Enigma Machine, which was a German coding machine that the British had stolen from the Nazis, so as to be able to compile their understanding of the code with the information that the machine could provide.
Also, the messages that the Nazis had sent out on the Enigma Machine went out on the same frequency each time, so that when the Nazis sent their messages out, the English would be able to break the code. According to the lady the code breakers worked eight hours non-stop during their shift. The next activity was to look through the museum and the huts. We first looked through the huts where the code breakers slept and worked. Here there were many interactive activities and there were mini museums within each hut, to tell us about what happened in the different huts.
We then looked around the main museum, where there were some real Enigma and Morse code machines. These were very intriguing as there were also interactive versions next to the real machines. We also watched a short video clip which was about the role which Bletchley Park had to play in the Second World War. For me, the next activity was by far the most interesting. The man who took us round for the guided tour was clearly an expert and he also said that his aunt was a code-breaker at Bletchley Park. On the guided tour we learnt more about the history of Bletchley Park and how the telegrams would come from Whitehall (the MI6 headquarters) to the code breakers in Bletchley Park. We also learnt that almost 300 deaths occurred from motor bike crashes alone in the period of World War 2. Overall, I think that the whole of Year 6 had a truly wonderful experience at Bletchley Park, and I hope that next year’s Year 6 pupils enjoy the experience as much as we did.
By Leonardo 6E