You wouldn't believe it, but spelling is actually a great spectator sport!
Each year, schools in the NW24 Partnership compete in a Spelling Bee to find a champion speller. There is a set list of words for all of the schools. There are separate competitions for each age group - Year 1 and 2, Year 3 and 4, Year 5 and 6, and Year 7.
First of all we ask for volunteers to represent their classes, and we select a team of 16 spellers. On the day of the competition, they sit in front of an audience of the rest of their classes, and one by one they attempt to spell a word from the list. If they get the word right, they stay in for the next round. If they make a mistake, they are eliminated. With each round, there are fewer players left, until it gets down to the last two. When only one player is left, they keep working through the list until they make a mistake. We send off the last correctly spelt word to the NW24 judges, and wait to hear if any other schools got further down the list.
It sounds stressful, but with a supportive audience, and a good "growth mindset", we have found that the competitors love the challenge and enjoy the experience, whether they win or whether they don't.
This year's winner in the lower junior competition was Lydia Collins, who got as far as word 46, "musical". The winner in the upper juniors was Imogen Taylor, who made it to word 35, "calendar". Congratulations to everyone who took part, and especially to our winners!