Code breakers from Richmond School compete in national contest

Richmond School and Sixth Form College students, L-R, Adam and Josh Dixon, Matthew Masterman and Harold Raven.

Richmond School and Sixth Form College students Adam and Josh Dixon, Harold Raven and Matthew Masterman were among 132,000 students nationally to take part in the Bebras Computation Challenge, run by Oxford University and sponsored by Google.

The four not only achieved scores that put them at the top of their year groups, but they are also among 49 classmates who qualified for the next round, the TCS Oxford Computing Challenge, in March.

Harold and Matthew did so well they have been invited to the Oxford finals in January and February, an opportunity to tour the hallowed university buildings, take part in workshops and meet lecturers.

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The computing challenge is among the toughest in the country with students set problems that require logical thinking against the clock.

Josh, 16, of Richmond, and Harold, 11, of Scorton, scored an impressive 178 points, while Matthew, 17, of Yarm, achieved 168 and Adam, 14, of Richmond, achieved 161.

Matthew said: “I am hoping to get into Oxford University to read computing or maths so this should really help.”

Harold added: “I am really looking forward to visiting Oxford University.”

Brothers Adam and Josh said they both enjoyed taking part and using logic to solve the problems and break the codes.

Adam said: “As bothers we do tend to be pretty competitive but we were both pleased we did so well.”

Teacher Susan Thornton said: “We are delighted that our first entry has been so successful and and the students stepped up to the challenge.

To have 49 students in the top 10 per cent of all students eligible for the next round is testament to their hard work and we are extremely proud of Harold and Matthew for being invited to the Oxford finals. This will be a wonderful opportunity for them.”