15 March 2017

Ultra Outreach Project

One of the most important parts of a maths teacher's role is to get students excited about maths. The next generation of mathematicians is sitting in our classrooms right now, waiting to be inspired. I've written previously about in-school speakers and workshops for maths enrichment. I've also written about maths trips and maths clubs. These things are all brilliant and just require a bit of organisation and some money in the maths department budget. But who has money in the budget? Not many schools. Most of it goes on photocopying! Today I'm writing about an opportunity to have an amazing day of maths enrichment in your school for free!

Last summer I visited Bletchley Park with some maths friends from Twitter. It's a wonderful place and I highly recommend a visit. While we were there, we were treated to a private viewing of a genuine and fully-functional World War II Enigma machine, along with an entertaining and informative talk from their Education Manager, Thomas Briggs. Tom and his team spend a lot of time visiting schools all over the country with their Enigma machine, getting children excited about code breaking and mathematics. This outreach programme is extremely popular, and many schools book visits year after year. 

The sessions at schools are based around codes, ciphers and the story of Bletchley Park. Most schools request that the same session is repeated to a number of class-sized groups throughout the day. This usually costs £562.50 plus expenses for a full day's visit. 
I don't think many schools know about Bletchley Park's bursary programme, which is named 'Ultra' after the codename given to Bletchley Park's intelligence. Under this programme, the in-school experience is totally free for schools who meet the programme's criteria. Schools with a high level of Pupil Premium eligibility are likely to meet the criteria, so if this applies to your school then I encourage you to make enquiries by completing this form. It's such a wonderful opportunity for your students.

You can read more about Bletchey Park's school trips and outreach programmes here

I'd love to hear about your school's experiences with Bletchey - please comment below!

Twitter maths teachers trip to Bletchley Park, Summer 2016


  1. Sounds so good, but a trip from New Zealand may be a trip too far for my school... just jealous. 😀 Keep up the good work, I send your posts out to my department and they are gratefully received.

  2. Just booked s free visit to us in September - purely because of this article. Thank you so much! I'll let you know how it goes.

    1. I'm very pleased to hear this! Hope all goes well.