This event is organised by NW24 - our network of school in the North West of Bristol.
It's amazing how gripping a spellling test can be. Each year group selects their 8 best spellers to compete in a tough competition. We run two spelling bees, one for Years 3 and 4 and one for Years 5 and 6. In each competition, we have a list of words set by the NW24 organisers. The same list is used in the same order by all the schools taking part.
In 2018, our two winners, Imogen in Year 3 and Imogen in Year 5, both took second place in the NW24 competition.
In 2019, our Year 3 and 4 winner Hazel, and our Year 5 and 6 winner Clara, both took first place in the NW24 competition!
The 16 contestants all sit on the stage, and stand up in turn. The teacher reads out the next word on the list, and gives a definition of it. The contestant then have to say the word and spell it out. They can take as long as they wish, and can start again, but they only have one attempt. If they get the word right, they stay in for the next round. If not, they are out. This makes it really tough. If your word is a really tough one, that's it. It's no use being able to spell the next one, or even all the others, if you get your word wrong. We were impressed with how resilient the children were.
After all 16 children have had their first go, there are fewer left in the second round, and even fewer in the third. By the time there is only one contestant left, they keep going until they get a word wrong. The last word they spelt correctly is sent off to the NW24 judges, and compared with the last word spelt by other schools.