Downloadable Resources
There are lots of amazing Cryptography ideas out there for use in the classroom. On this page I provide some materials that I have designed over the last couple of years. Feel free to use them in your classrooms, and let me know how they go! If you have any amazing resources on Cryptography that you would like to share, then let me know.
There is also a set of excellent resources for use in the classroom developed by the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching (CIMT) in conjunction with Bletchley Park, which can be accessed here.
This first set of resources is a full set of worksheets with teachers notes on a variety of ciphers. I developed these as part of an assignment whilst doing my PGCE.

A worksheet and teachers' notes on the Atbash Cipher. A nice intro to cryptography.


A worksheet and teachers' notes on the Pigpen Cipher. A nice visual example, with some rich history.


A worksheet and teachers' notes on the Shift Cipher. A fairly straightforward cipher, that Caesar used. Includes templates to make Caesar Wheels for a practical activity.


Three worksheets with teachers' notes on the Affine Cipher. A very mathematical cipher, and a brilliant introduction into modular maths. Lots of room for discussion.


Two worksheets and teachers' notes on the general Mixed Alphabet Cipher. Mix it up completely, and work out how many different alphabets there are (26 factorial!!!)


A worksheet and teachers' notes on Breaking the Code. Students must use their developed skills to break this code, and reveal the hidden meaning.


Why do letters in Scrabble have the values they do? This is key to frequency analysis, and this activity has pupils investigate.


Compare Scrablle data above with frequencies of letters taken from a variety of written sources.


A crosscurricular opportunity here, with a worksheet and teachers' notes on the Babington Plot, that led to the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots.


Two worksheets and teachers' notes on Transposition Ciphers. From ancient uses, to more modern ones. How are they different to the other types?


A worksheet and teachers' notes on the Polybius Square. This numerical method of encryption has been used in various situations in history.

The next three resources go together to make a single activity. The premise is a Murder investigation where the students must break codes to solve the murder.

A simple PowerPoint to introduce the task for the students.


A full activity on codebreaking. Working in groups, this activity will take between 1 and 2 hours to complete. I print it off as a booklet, and give each team a copy, and then tell them the first team to crack every code perfectly wins. An alternative would be to do it as a treasure hunt style activity, and pin the clues up around the room, and get groups to start at different poinnts.


This is the same as the activity above, but set out as a treasure hunt. Each clue has a second part to it, which directs students to the next clue. This will need to be changed for your school (use the tools on the site to encrypt instructions quickly). It works really well when done around the school, not just in a classroom.


This Excel document works out the ciphertext alphabet for the Atbash, Shift and Affine Ciphers. This is a good basis to a computer lesson, to get students thinking about how they could go about creating this.
