Gloucestershire school earns CyberFirst Gold Award
By Sarah Wood
Ribston Hall High School has secured the prestigious National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) CyberFirst Gold Award.
The award from Cheltenham-based NCSC demonstrates the Gloucester girls' grammar school's commitment to excellence in cyber security education. It is awarded for a period of three years.
Cyber activities are intended to inspire and encourage students from all backgrounds to consider a career in cyber security.
Students have taken part in activities such as using digital forensics to identify the first person who has contracted a disease and learnt how open-source intelligence can lead to finding out more information about this person.
They have learnt the basics of how to customise a website and investigated how creative design, arts and technology work together and had the chance to create their own advert sequence using stop motion.
They have also:
- Visited University of West England (UWE) for an Unlock Cyber Careers event
- Attended Empower Cyber, an event for year 8 girls to experience hands-on
activities and talks
- Got involved in the Bebras, Oxford University Computing Challenge and Cyber Choices Challenge
Schools and colleges which achieve CyberFirst Gold are promoted as cyber leaders.
Alec Waters, Ribston's interim head teacher, said: "We are incredibly proud to be one of only a few schools in Gloucestershire who have achieved the CyberFirst Gold Award.
"This is a demonstration of the outstanding work of our computing department and their commitment to ensuring that our students have the skills and knowledge to understand the risks and how to protect themselves to cyber threats.
"At Ribston, we are ensuring our students have the best employment opportunities for the future and opportunities to become tomorrow's technological experts."
Caroline Parish, one of the parents of a student involved in the cyber programme, said: "I'm grateful for Ribston Hall's commitment to cyber security education. It's reassuring to know that my child is gaining essential skills to stay safe online. Through access to competitions such as CyberFirst, Ribston Hall is also encouraging her to look at a potential career that is in increasingly high demand."
Hamish Adamson, another parent, said: "I'm grateful for Ribston Hall's commitment to science, technology, and maths, including cyber security. It's great to know that my daughter is learning critical thinking and logical skills, that can help her online now and possibly with future jobs should she wish."
Achieving CyberFirst Gold builds on last year's success, when three Ribston year 8 students won the South West region finals in the CyberFirst Girls competition, which took place at the Defence Cyber Academy in Oxfordshire. The team went on to compete in the finals and a grand prize-giving dinner and celebration day which took in Belfast.
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