28 September 2018

Two pupils taught by CAS Master Teacher and Head of Computer Science at Ellesmere College in Shropshire, Sarah Shakibi, have been named among the top 50 performing pupils in AQA’s A-level Computer Science specification for 2018.

Alistair O’Brien, who passed his qualification while still in Year 12, and Maksymilian Graczyk, who started at Imperial College London in September, were honoured at an event hosted by Netcraft, an Internet services company which sponsors the prizes.

Said Sarah, “I only had three candidates studying the subject this year and they all gained A*s in their exams so I’m very proud of them.”

Alistair said the prize giving at Netcraft was extremely interesting. “I learnt about the new methods that Netcraft uses in cybercrime disruption and I was impressed with how their ‘pipeline’ automatically detected malware in spam emails and then analysed it and attempted to break it.

“Their ironically named ‘Defence against the Dark Arts’ talk showed how they used ‘headless chrome’ to automatically analyse and classify potential phishing sites, which surprised me as prior to the event I thought this wouldn't be possible.”

Sarah was recruited and trained as a Master Teacher by Computing at School (CAS), part of BCS, The Institute for IT. Julia Adamson, Director of Education at BCS, said the boys’ achievement was particularly satisfying considering that the number of young people studying Computer Science was dropping.

CAS Master Teachers are CAS’s "Practitioner Champions" - experienced, high-performing classroom teachers with a passion for the subject, providing enthusiasm, energy and a desire to support others. Under contract from DfE, BCS has recruited and trained over 500 CAS Master Teachers and pupils at the schools they have supported have achieved better GCSE grades in Computer Science.

Contact the Press Office