On Monday 16th March, we welcomed gFirstLEP to run the “Young Entrepreneurs” competition with the Fourth Form. The day consisted of working in small groups to come up with a product or service that would make a working person’s busy life easier. Once the idea was conceived and put down on paper, the idea was presented to the rest of the year. There were many wacky and weird ideas – the “iGhost phone”; a “projector pen”; and even “Ironing Guy – the cupboard that does all your ironing and folding for you”! The winners of the day were group 14 with their “PortaPrint” idea.

Benjy Lamb, Ben Spilsbury, Johnny Coniam, Matthew Moorhouse, Janice Ng and Sophie Brown were to take their idea to a regional final at GCHQ, pitting their product against teams from schools such as Cheltenham College, Wycliffe and Pates. The “PortaPrint” is a device that can be attached to a phone/tablet/laptop and print your documents – anytime, anywhere.

We arrived at GCHQ on the morning of Friday 24th April and were ushered into a small side area. After showing our ID to get in, we settled down into the competition, judged by some bigwigs from GCHQ. There were some great ideas from other teams, but we were confident that our product could be the winning product. Everyone spoke with great confidence and handled the tricky questions from the judges with tenacity and aplomb. During the break, we were able to chat with members of staff from GCHQ and have a go at coding, safe-cracking and the “Raspberry Pi Cluster”. It was all very “cloak and dagger” which added to the atmosphere of the morning. After the break, the results were announced. Unfortunately we were not placed, and the competition was won by the team from The Crypt.

It was a great experience and very interesting to hear from people who work at GCHQ and their different roles. The only disappointment was not being able to go into the “Doughnut” itself!