Lesson video

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Hello everybody.

It's Miss Simkin.

Here to teach your science lesson today.

Just before this lesson, I finished my piece of mindful colouring, and I'm really proud of myself 'cause this took me a really long time, but I love mindful colouring because it relaxes me.

What have you been up to today? Ooh, very exciting.

Well, your day is about to get even better because it's time to begin our science lesson.

Our science lesson today is about an extraordinary scientist called Alan Turing.

What's he called? Alan Turning.

In today's lesson we are going to do our star words.

Then we're going to learn about Alan Turing's story.

Then, we're going to learn about breaking codes and writing our own codes.

And then, at the end of the lesson, you will have a chance to do your end of lesson quiz and see how much you have learned.

For this lesson, you will need a piece of paper or your exercise book, a pencil, and then a coloured pencil.

So you're going to need two different colours today.

If you don't have those things, could you pause the video and go and get them for me now, please? Fantastic.

Here are our star words.

Star words, star words, star words! Great; I'm going to say the words, and then you're going to say the words.


World War Two.

That's what that WW2 stands for.

When we see WW2, we don't say WW2.

We say World War Two.

What do we say? Good job.



Great, so I'm going to tell you what some of those words mean.

So we've already discussed that WW2 stands for World War Two, which is a war that Britain fought in.

A cypher is a secret way of writing.

And another name for a cypher is a code.

So a spy or a secret agent might write a cypher or write in code.

And then the last one is computer.

A computer is a device that stores and processes information.

So, you might be watching this video on a computer, or maybe you're on a phone or an iPad, which is similar to computers.

They hold information and then they process it.

So this lesson that you're watching now, it's a type of information, and your computer or your tablet or your device is holding it.

Those words are going to be important in our lesson all about Alan Turing.

So let's get started and find out who he is and why he's so extraordinary.

This is a picture of Alan Turing.

He was born in 1912.

So that's over 100 years ago.

That's why the picture looks really old.

And he is famous and extraordinary because he is a code-breaker and a pioneer of computer science.

He was born in England.

In 1936, Turing went to study maths at Princeton University in America.

And during this time, he developed the idea of a universal computing machine.

Can you say that with me? I'm going to say it.

Then you're going to say it.

Universal computing machine.

Your turn.

Great; so, this universal computing machine was an idea that he had, and it was a machine that could solve complex calculations and store information.

This would become known as the Turing Machine.

And this is where the idea for the digital computers that we use today came from.

So, without Alan Turing's thinking and his ideas, we wouldn't have the computers that we have today.

That's why he's a pioneer in computer science.

What idea did Alan Turing have? Pause the video and say it to your screen.

That's right; he came up with the first idea of a computer, a universal computing machine called the Turing machine.

Good job.

Then, in World War Two, Alan Turing got a job and moved to Bletchley Park.

So the photo you can see on the screen is of Bletchley Park.

And his job was a code-breaker.

During World War Two, Britain and other countries were fighting against Germany, and the Germans were sending messages to each other that they didn't want the British and the other nations fighting against them to read.

And so, they were writing them in code.

And it was Alan Turing's job to break that code and find out what the messages said.

What was Alan Turing's job? Pause this video and tell your screen.

Alan Turing's job was a code-breaker.

It was to break German codes.

Well done for remembering.

So, Turing worked to break German cyphers, or codes.

And he helped to break the codes of a particular machine called the Enigma Machine, which is the picture that you can see on the screen.

So this was called the Enigma.

My turn, the Enigma.

And this machine, when you typed into it, produced a message in a code.

And with lots of hard work, Alan Turing was able to solve this code and figure out what the German messages were saying.

This really, really helped Britain and the other countries to win the war, because now they knew what their enemy was saying.

And some historians think that if Alan Turing hadn't broke the code, then the war would have continued for another two years.

And two more million people would have lost their lives.

So, Alan Turing's work saved millions of lives.

Okay, well done for listening so carefully.

Let's see how much you remembered.

At the top of the screen, you can see a word bank.

Let's say the words together.

Enigma; World War Two; computing, cyphers.

Great, and you need to fill in the gaps in these sentences that I'm going to show you, using the words in your word bank.

So here's the first sentence.

Alan Turing came up with the idea of a universal hmm machine.

Can you please pause the video, write this sentence and choose a word to put in the gap.

Pause the video and do that for me now, please.


Here's the next sentence.

Just have a go.

Remember, if you make a mistake that's okay.

That means your brain is getting stronger, and we'll go through the answers in a moment.

Here's your next sentence.

During hmm, Turing worked to break German hmm, like the hmm.

That last word begins with E.

Pause the video and use the word bank to complete that sentence for me, please.

Great job.

Let's check your answers.

So, for the first sentence, the correct answer was, Alan Turing came up with the idea of a universal computing machine.

Give yourself a tick if you got that correct.

And then the second sentence should say, During World War Two, Turing worked to break German cyphers, like the Enigma.

Give yourself a tick if you got that correct.

If you made a mistake, that's okay.

Pause the video now and correct your answer, using what you have on the screen.

Pause the video and do that now, please.


Now, in this part of the lesson, we are going to become a code-breaker like Alan Turing and I'm going to show you how to break a simple code.

So, we're going to start with all the letters of the alphabet.

Can you check with me that we've got them all? We're going to start with A.

Put your finger on it, and we're going to say the alphabet and check.

Ready? A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, big breath, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z.

Great, okay.

Now each of these letters is going to be turned into code, and I'm going to give it a number, like this.

So, A matches up with one.

B matches up with two.

What does C match up with? Use your finger.

C matches up with three.

Good job.

What about D? D matches up with four.

Okay, I'm going to give you another letter now.

Find it with your finger and then tell me what it matches up with.

What does the letter S match up with? 19.

Good job.

Okay, now you're ready.

I'm going to show you a word that has been written in code.

It is a cypher that you need to solve.

Here's the cypher: 3 1 20.

I'm going to show you how I would solve this.

So the first letter of the word is, matches up, with the number three.

So I'm going to find the number three, and I'm going to see which letter it matches up with.

I need to go up with my finger.

It matches up with the letter C.

Now I'm going to do the same with the number one.

What letter does the number one match up with? Find one with your finger, and then go up to find the letter.


It matches up with A.

So my word is, C- A- I wonder if you can guess what the last letter's going to be.

Let's see; I need to go find 20 with my finger, and go up to find the letter.

T; the word is cat.

Well done if you solved that.

Now, it's your go.

Here is your new code.

19 21 14.

I would like you to take your finger and do the same as I did.

Match the number to the letter, and then write your three letters down.

Pause the video and do that now.

Remember to use your finger.


Let's check if you were correct.

19 matches up with S.

21 matches up with U.

And 14 matches up with N.

Well done if you cracked the code.

The word is sun.

Good job.

Okay, I think you are ready to go to the next level of code-breaker.

What do you think? Show me a thumbs up if you're ready.


This time I have a whole sentence written in code for you.

Can you see it at the bottom? 1 18 5; 25 15 21; 1; 19 6 25.

Now, you can see where the big spaces are.

Those are going to be the spaces between your words.

Remember to start on the left-hand side with the number one and see if you can break this code.

Use your fingers to trace on the screen to find the number, and then go up to the letter.

Pause the video and try and crack the code for me now, please.

Let's see if you managed to crack the code.

Did you get this? Are you a spy? That's because you are so good at codes that I think you might be a spy.

Well done if you got that correct.

If you didn't, that's okay.

Cracking codes is really tricky work and everybody makes mistakes sometimes.

Even extraordinary code-breakers like Alan Turing.

Now, in this last part of our lesson, we are going to write our own code.

So, we're going to have to start with a grid like this.

And I'm going to show you how to write your own code under the visualizer.

So, you're going to need your piece of paper, your exercise book, and you're going to need one of your colours of pencil.

So, I'm going to start with blue.

I'm actually going to write in pen so you can see it really clearly.

So I need to start by writing all the letters of the alphabet.

I'm going to write them in capitals, and I'm going to leave a space between each one.

So, if you've already got some writing here at the top of your page, that's fine.

Just start where you have space.

Going to start with my first letter, A.

And then I'm going to leave a finger space and write my next letter, B.

And then I'm going to leave a finger space and write my next letter, C.

Can you pause the video and write A B C for me, please? Great.

Let's keep going with the alphabet.

So, you can write as I write, but I will also give you some time once I'm finished to catch up.

So, finger space, D.

Finger space, E.

Finger space, F.

Finger space, G.

Oh, I don't have enough room there, so I'm going to go down to the next line.

H I J K.

Can you see that I've left a line between my letters? So, there is a line here.

That's important.

Make sure you've left that as well.

If not, that's okay.

Just cross your work out and start again.

Let's keep going.

L M N.

Next line.

O P; if you need to catch up, just pause the video and catch up now.


Let's keep going.

Q R S T U.

Remember to leave a line each time between your letters.

V W X Y and Z.

There we go.

We've got our whole alphabet.

Make sure your page looks like mine.

Pause the video if you need to catch up.

Great, now you're going to get your different colour.

I'm going to use red, but you can use any colour that you like.

As long as you can read it.

And underneath each letter, we are going to write a number, but this time you can choose your own numbers.

We're not going to write in order.

We're not going to write 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

You can choose randomly where you want your numbers to go, so that your code is secret and nobody else can crack it.

I'm going to show you how to do that now.

So, under each letter, you need to choose its code.

You need to write a number.

So for example, under A, hmm, I'm going to write the number 6.

You can write a different number.

Pause the video and do that now.

Under B, I'm going to write a number 2.

It can't be the same as a number I already have.

It has to be a new number.

I'm going to write the number one, and under every single letter, I'm going to write a new number.

So actually, what I might do is go in order, so I don't miss one out.

So I'm going to go 1 and then I'm going to choose a letter to be 2.

3 4 5.

I've already got 6.

7 8 9 10 11 12.

Can you go up to the number 12? So, assign each number to a letter up to the number 12.

Pause the video and do that now, please.


Let's keep going.

Remember, you can put your numbers in different places to me and we got to 12.

So next comes 13 14 15 16.

Doesn't matter where you put the numbers, as long as they're under a letter.

17 18 19.

20 21 22 23 24 25 and 26.

Pause the video and write all your numbers in up to 26.

You should have one number for each letter.

If you have a gap, then you might have missed a number.

That's okay; go through and count and check which number you've missed.

Pause the video and do that for me now, please.

Great! Your secret code is now ready to use.

If you give your secret code to somebody else, then you will be able to write them secret messages, and they will be able to understand them.

They'll have to break the code, just like Alan Turing to find out what your messages mean.

But, make sure you only give it to one other person.

Otherwise it might not become secret anymore.

And don't give the code to anybody you don't want to read your messages.

I'm going to show you an example of how you can write a message using the code that you have created.

And then you can have a go at writing your own message.

So, I want to write the word cat.

So, I need C A and T So, I'm going to find the first letter I need.

It's C.

And check what number it is: 5.

Then I'm going to find the next letter I need, A.

And check what number it is: 6.

And then C A T.

The next letter I need is T.

Let's see what number is under it: 24.

So using my secret code, that's how you write the word cat: C A T.

Now your different code will be different.

You might have different numbers assigned.

Can you pause the video and write the word cat using your secret code? Well done; now you can write almost anything you want using your code, and nobody apart from the people that you give the code, or the cypher, to will be able to read it.

You have worked so hard today and you have become a top code-breaker, just like Alan Turing.

Good job.

If you would like to share your work with Oak National, then you can ask your parent or carer to share your work on Twitter by tagging @OakNational and writing the hashtag #LearnWithOak.

You can also tag @Teach_STEMinism if you'd like me to see it too.

But, remember, if you share your code, then other people will be able to decipher your secret messages.

The last thing for you to do in this lesson is your end of lesson quiz, please.

Give it a go.

See how much you can remember.

But always, always remember.

It doesn't matter if you get a question wrong.

Forgetting is a really important part of learning.

Have a fantastic rest of your day and well done for becoming a spy and a code-breaker today.