King's Worcester

5 June

Lola reaches the final of Cyber Discovery Programme

Upper Four pupil, Lola, has spent the last eight months working her way through a national cyber challenge competition set by the NCSC (GCHQ). Lola has made the final 150 out of 35,000 others, which is a considerable achievement, given that she is one of the youngest to be allowed to compete. The first time that a King’s pupil made the final was two years ago, but that pupil was 17, so for Lola to have made this at the 13-14 age range against people three or four years older demonstrates this achievement even further.

When asked about the achievement, Lola said: “I didn’t think that I’d actually get into the final part; I was just doing Cyber Discovery to pursue an interest, and ended up spending many hours learning and experimenting with my newfound skills. I’m very pleased to have made it through to the selective elite final and will enjoy learning more about cyber security in the upcoming months. I put in a lot of work, and will continue to do so for as long as I am a part of the programme.”

Cybersecurity Course Co-ordinator, Mr Blakemore commented: “I am in really proud of how hard Lola has worked on this and how much she has committed to developing her skills to make the final out of 35,000 others. For a pupil to give up so much time outside of school for a competition of this magnitude and length of time, demonstrates what tenacity and perseverance can bring. Few, if any, competitions last for eight months and require weekly input and research to solve hundreds of complex problems, so a pupil’s success is all the more rewarding. This is the second time one of our pupils has made the final, but Lola is the youngest to be allowed to enter at 13. While few people know of the Cyber Discovery programme (part of HM Government’s National Cyber Security Centre), it is one of the most well-funded competitions, and skill-development programmes, that school pupils can enter. I am hoping Lola’s success will inspire other pupils to take part and learn more about the importance of cyber security.

The new intake for pupils opened this week, much earlier in the year than usual, so if any pupils aged 13-18 are interested in taking part and committing themselves to this, please email: nblakemore@ksw.org.uk.”