State abuzz for spelling bee regional finals

Students across the State are battling it out to be named in the State's top spellers.

Image: Spell-binding: Judges sit in on an online regional final of the NSW Premier's Spelling Bee.

The State’s best spellers are showing they have a way with words as 820 schools take part in the 60 regionals finals of the NSW Premier’s Spelling Bee.

The regionals winners will book themselves a place in the State final to be held on November 4 at the Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre, Ultimo.

The regionals finals in junior and senior divisions are being held online over the next fortnight with three Arts Unit teams running three finals simultaneously in the morning and afternoon.

Nearly 1600 students are competing from a starting pool of 165,000 participating students with the most remote student from Bourke-Walgett School of Distance Education who lives about four hours’ drive from Bourke.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said it was exciting to see students across the State testing their spelling prowess.

“I congratulate all the students who will participate in regionals finals this week – you have already demonstrated fabulous spelling skills to make it this far,” Mr Perrottet said.

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said she was delighted events like the Spelling Bee were once again on the school calendar.

“It is a tribute to schools and the Arts Unit that they have found new ways to deliver this wonderful event while keeping students safe,” she said.

The Arts Unit Premier’s Spelling Bee Support Officer Desiree Lane said the move to online regionals finals had been well received, particularly in the bush.

“We have had feedback from some of our more remote schools on how wonderful the new format is because it allows them to participate where previously long distances had made travelling to regional finals difficult,” Ms Lane said.

Now in its 19th year, the Premier’s Spelling Bee was introduced in 2004 as a fun way for primary school students to engage in spelling. The program includes activities to encourage all students to improve their vocabulary and spelling and to promote literacy skills in combination with the English K-6 Syllabus.

Junior division includes words such as embargo; cavalcade; notary; and scrupulous, while the senior division participants will wrangle words like besotted; expostulate; hereditary; and subservient.

NSW students consistently achieve top results in spelling in NAPLAN (the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy). Annually NSW ranks first in Australia in spelling across all year groups (Years 3, 5, 7 and 9).

To compete at the regionals final a student must have won their school Spelling Bee and their zone final.

The NSW Premier’s Spelling Bee is proudly supported this year by Major Sponsor, Grok Academy, Media Partner, ABC Radio Sydney and Official Word List Supplier, Macquarie Dictionary.

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