Perse Prep pupil cracks the code to reach prestigious computing final

Oliver (Year 6) has become the first-ever Perse Prep pupil to qualify for the final of the Oxford University Computing Challenge (OUCC).

From a field of more than 6,300 pupils, he is one of just 20 youngsters who will take part in the junior final of the illustrious coding competition next month after not only claiming a Distinction, but also scoring full marks in round one of OUCC.

Even participating in OUCC was an impressive feat with only the top 10% of entrants from last autumn’s Bebras Challenge being invited to take part.

Round one of OUCC saw junior contestants attempt to complete a series of tasks based on writing code in just 45 minutes, ranging from navigating mazes to creating animations..

Oliver said: “I was a bit surprised to get into the final because I’d never used the programming language Blockly, which is used for the OUCC.

“I use a different programming language called Scratch and although Blockly is quite different, it has the same principles, so I found it quite fun.”

Oliver enjoys coding and believes being a video game developer could be an exciting career in the future.

He said: “I like playing video games but I also like making them. I’ve been using Scratch since Year 1 and started off with a really simple project I’d found in a book and thought it was cool.

“I did some more projects from books and then just taught myself because I could understand what the blocks could do. My latest game is quite complicated and it’s a bit like Minecraft where you can break and craft things.”

Oliver will be joined by 12 Upper students, who have also done exceptionally well to reach their respective OUCC finals.

Daniel Chen, Jem Bennett (both Upper Sixth), Oliver Gibson and Sourish Sharma (both Lower Sixth) have qualified for the elite final, while Hanli Jin, Marcus Collins, Neelkantha Mukherjee, Tom Hammond (all Year 11) and Daniel Weglowski (Year 10) will compete in the senior category.

Meanwhile, Angela Savini and Ryan Stubbs (both Year 9) have made it through to the intermediate final and Batu Yoldas (Year 7) the junior section.

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