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Countdown on for the state’s top spellers

The countdown is on for the best spellers in NSW, with 100 regional finalists announced for the annual Premier’s Spelling Bee state final to be held on Friday, 2 November.

Lucas Guiney at the state final in 2017

Lucas Guiney from Forster Public School at last year’s Premier’s Spelling Bee state final.

The contenders will soon go letter-to-letter against  orthographers* from across the state in the junior and senior divisions of the competition.

To have qualified for the state final, the students have won their school, zone and regional finals and correctly spelled words such as:

Junior words: embargo; cavalcade; notary; and scrupulous.

Senior words: besotted; expostulate; hereditary; subservient.

The state finalists now sit in the top 2.5% of regional finalists, and top 0.06% of all competition entrants.

Now it its 15th year, the 2018 Spelling Bee has seen a record participation of 170,000 students from almost 1,000 public schools in NSW, an increase of 20,000 students and 120 schools on the 2017 challenge. To accommodate the growth in entrants, the NSW Department of Education this year hosted a record 50 regional finals.

Nine schools have contestants in both the junior and senior state finals: six from rural and remote schools, and three from Sydney’s west.

  • Albury Public School
  • Georges Hall Public School
  • Glenmore Park Public School
  • Gosford Public School
  • Holsworthy Public School
  • Jerrabomberra Public School
  • Orange Public School
  • Sturt Public School
  • Tamworth Public School.

The 2018 state final will be held in the Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre, Ultimo, on Friday, 2 November.

The Premier’s Spelling Bee was introduced in 2004 as a fun and educational 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.

NSW students perform strongly in spelling in NAPLAN (the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy). This year NSW was ranked first in Australia in spelling across all year groups (Years 3, 5, 7 and 9).

* orthographer: someone who studies or is knowledgeable about orthography or spelling, according to the Macquarie Dictionary.

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