Information for Schools

Following on from last years positive response to our Girls Competition we have decided to run it again. We have taken on-board the feedback from last year and made some improvements to the competition platform. We have also incorporated some downloadable posters for you to place around the school to help generate interest.

This year the competition will be aimed at Year 8 girls in England, Wales, year 9 (NI) and Scotland (the S2 Scottish equivalent). We have made a deliberate shift in age group from last year as we want to give as many girls as possible the opportunity to find out more about Cyber Security with a view to potentially influencing the subjects they take at GCSE.

The content for each category of the competition is consistent with subjects within the Computer Science syllabus from both the National Curriculum and Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence. However, the competition will contain some advanced cyber topics that are not covered in traditional education but will seek to stretch the lateral thinking and additional cyber knowledge of the teams.

What you need to know

Teams are made up of up to four female students in year 8, S2 or year 9 (NI) and need to be supported by a responsible adult aged over 18 years who can act as the team guardian. Team guardians do not need to have any cyber knowledge or be an IT or computer science teacher. The information provided on these pages will give some pointers on topics that might be covered but you don’t need to be an expert. Each school can enter as many teams as they wish.

During the online round the girls can answer the challenges at school, during lunch, in lessons or in the evenings either with the team or individually as part of the team. We appreciate it is difficult to allocate time from a busy school timetable so we have made it as flexible as possible to enable teams to dip in and out.

The idea is for the girls to answer as many questions as they can across all four categories, earning badges along the way. In each category, the challenges are separated into three levels of difficulty: beginner, intermediate and expert.

Each level will have up to three challenges available at once, with more becoming unlocked as the girls progress.

Each question is derived from skills used every day by cyber security professionals and all can be answered using techniques freely available on the Internet. We don’t expect all of the answers to be immediately obvious and suggest that the girls work, discuss and research together to solve as many challenges as they can.

Most importantly – the girls should have fun!

Key Competition Dates

  • 16 January 2018 - Team Registration
  • 29 January - 05 February 2018 - Online round takes place
  • 18/19 March 2018 - The Grand Final

The Final

The top 10 teams will be invited to take part in the Grand Final in the Greater Manchester area on the 18th/ 19th March 2018. Each team will need to be accompanied by the team guardian. If your team qualifies the team guardian will be sent a finalists pack with further forms to complete.

As part of the prize we have planned some exciting activities on the afternoon of the 18th March and a welcome dinner in the evening so teams will need to arrive in Manchester on the Sunday afternoon. A detailed programme will be available to all finalists.

CyberFirst will cover the cost of transport to and from Manchester, up to the value of £95.00 per person, however this will need to be claimed back after the event. All receipts will need to be supplied on applying for the refund and be submitted by the end of March 2018. Accommodation will be paid for, for up to four finalists and their team guardian. The cost of the welcome dinner, transport to the competition venue and lunch on the competition day will also be covered as part of the prize for getting to the final. We are also sending the girls home with a picnic bag and prizes at the end of the competition day.

During the competition day, we will be inviting some inspirational women in cyber to come and meet the girls.

Pastoral Care

To ensure there are sufficient DBS checked staff and First Aid trained people at the event we will again be employing a pastoral care team from the Smallpeice Trust(https://www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk) to support your teachers. The Smallpeice staff will be available from the Sunday afternoon for the pre-competition activities and dinner as well as on call throughout the night and during the competition day. Smallpeice have a wealth of experience working with young people and we have used them throughout the summer at our residential and non-residential courses.

Security

As with all NCSC public enagements, the venue details will only be shared with the finalists and will not be made public in advance.