News from The Kings of Wessex Academy

Bright Spark Computer Science Students Shine in Bebras Computing Challenge

9th January, 2019 by Jude Owens

A number of students at The Kings of Wessex Academy showed themselves to be bright sparks in the recent Bebras Computing Challenge.

The Bebras Challenges are a set of short puzzles using mathematical, problem-solving, programming and practical skills that are delivered online and that students sit in lessons. The tasks are designed to be fun, engaging and based on problems often encountered by Computer Scientists and that they enjoy solving, with increasing difficulty, but that can be solved without prior knowledge. The students’ mission was to solve as many tasks as possible under timed conditions and marks were lost for incorrect answers.

Over 200,000 students took part across the country, of which 124 were Kings’ students who can boast of some very impressive results. 30 students secured a Distinction award, placing them in the top 25% in the country for the competition and another 33 secured a Merit, placing them in the top 50% for their category.

A big well done to the following students were awarded the ‘Best in School’ Award and were top in their year groups and who all received a Distinction:

• Year 9 – Oscar Pearce • Year 10 – Seth Delap • Year 11 – Amelia Ford • Year 12 – Simon Toogood • Year 13 – James Hughes

Special congratulations must also go to Amelia Ford, the student with the highest mark in the whole Academy.

There is more good news and more puzzles afoot. Based on their scores for the Bebras Computing Challenge, which placed them in the top 10% for their categories, the following students have now qualified to compete in the TCS Oxford University Computing Challenge in March:

• Seth Delap • Amelia Ford • Morgan Harris • Tilly Hallett • Jennifer Hughes • Abbie Jamieson • Sarah Moreman • Isaac Nicholls • Digby Oaten • Samuel Partridge • Oscar Pearce • Kearn Shah

Students relished the challenge of “thinking outside the box” and the healthy spirit of competition and whilst they were not able to prepare for the test, they needed to apply logical thinking and were canny in learning clever tactics to improve their performance.

Executive Headteacher Gavin Ball met with the students to praise them and to present them with their certificates and the official invitation letters for those going through to the next round.

Commenting on their success Mr Ball said:

“Our students have certainly done themselves and Kings proud in this high-level thinking challenge and I am very proud of them for their excellent results and I wish them well for the next stage. I hope that they will consider pursuing their studies and ultimately a career in Computing, as we need such bright individuals!”

The Bebras Computing Challenge is organised in over 40 countries and designed to get students all over the world excited about computing.

For more information see