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CyberFirst Girls scoop prizes

Winning teams from across the UK have been recognised for their success in the CyberFirst Girls Competition at an awards ceremony hosted at the University of Oxford’s Robotics Institute.

Image courtesy NCSC

Girls from across the UK have been recognised for their cyber security skills at an awards ceremony to mark their success in the UK’s flagship cyber security competition.

More than 50 girls attended the celebration event hosted in Oxford on Saturday (2nd March) after being crowned champions of their respective finals in the 2023 CyberFirst Girls Competition, run by the National Cyber Security Centre – a part of GCHQ.

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The girls undertook activities such as multilingual codebreaking, coding and programming drones and several role-playing scenarios at the university's main engineering department in the Thom Building and had a tour of the University of Oxford’s Robotics Institute, with the day culminating with the awards ceremony being hosted in the prestigious South School Examination Rooms.

Newlands Girls’ School from Berkshire won £5,000 for being crowned the ‘Top scoring state newcomer’. Other special competition awards included The Tiffin Girls’ School from Surrey being recognised as the ‘Top scoring returning school’ and Oxford High School as the ‘Highest scoring team overall’.

The 2023 CyberFirst Girls Competition, which ended in December, saw more than more than 12,500 girls across the UK take part in online cyber security challenges in a bid to be named one of the winning schools either for their region or among independent schools.

The contest aims to encourage girls to explore the world of cyber and technology, helping to address the lack of diversity in the UK cyber workforce, where women currently make up just 17%.

Felicity Oswald, interim CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre said:

    A huge congratulations to all the winning teams from this year’s CyberFirst Girls Competition.

    It’s fantastic to see so many talented young women engaging with cyber and technology and I hope it inspires them to consider a career in the cyber security industry, which needs more female representation.

    I’d like to thank the teachers, sponsors, industry partners and all the students who made the 2023 competition so successful.

The categories and award winners from the event are:

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  • Top scoring state newcomer – Newlands Girls’ School, Berkshire
  • Top scoring returning school – The Tiffin Girls’ School, Surrey
       
  • Highest collective score for a CyberFirst School – St Augustine’s Catholic College, Wiltshire
       
  • Most team entries (Independent) – Wimbledon High School, Greater London
       
  • Most team entries (State School) – Eden Girls’ School Waltham Forest, Greater London
       
  • Most team entries (State Selective School) – Nonsuch High School for Girls, Surrey
       
  • Highest scoring team overall – Oxford High School, Oxford

The CyberFirst Girls Competition is the NCSC’s flagship cyber security contest for schools, which opens annually to girls in Year 8 in England and Wales, S2 in Scotland, and Year 9 in Northern Ireland. Since it launched in 2017, around 70,000 girls have taken part.

The CyberFirst programme offers a range of free opportunities aimed at offering young people the skills, opportunities and exposure they need to thrive in cyber security.

More information about CyberFirst opportunities can be found on the NCSC website. A full list of winners can be found on the Girls Competition page.

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