Five teams from King Edward’s School in Bath have taken part in the first round of the CyberFirst Girls Competition, competing against 6,500 students, aged 12-13yrs, from across the UK. The KES contingent is hoping to emulate the success of last year’s school team, who were the 2020 national champions.

The CyberFirst Girls Competition is aimed at girls starting to think about what subjects to take for GCSE and its ambition is to inspire them to consider a career in cyber security – an industry where women are still under-represented. During the first round, thousands of girls across the country stepped forward to demonstrate their digital skills and codebreaking prowess in the UK’s flagship cyber security contest this year.

All five KES teams did very well, working on cybersecurity and code breaking puzzles from home, mostly at lunchtime, evenings and weekends. Mrs James, Head of ICT and Computing, also ran lunchtime ‘CyberFirst Girls’ clubs on Teams so everyone could discuss questions and help each other. 

Just before half term, the competition organisers released the results of the first round, with one of the KES teams was among the top-scoring teams, which means it progresses to the online semi-final heats next month. Many congratulations to everyone who took part, and to Emily J, Emily W, Rosie M and Isla B who now face local teams in a bid to reach the Grand Final. 

Commenting on this year’s competition, Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, said, “We’re pleased to say that thousands of girls came forward to compete in this year’s CyberFirst Girls Competition and we congratulate the top teams which now go forward into the semi-finals.

“These girls have opened the door to what could one day be an exciting and rewarding career, where more female representation is undoubtedly needed.

“We owe a special thanks to teachers who encouraged pupils to take up this fun opportunity to engage with – and hopefully be inspired by – cyber security.”

Since launching in 2017, more than 37,000 girls have taken part in the CyberFirst Girls Competition.

This year’s online semi-final rounds will take place simultaneously on Thursday 19 March in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and five English regions: the North of England, Central England, the South West, the South East and London.

The winners of these events will earn their place at the Grand Final in April, where the UK champions will be crowned.