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PM urges kids to sign up to Spelling Bee

Kamahl Cogdon, February 25, 2021 7:00PM Kids News

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison helps Tom Panozzo, 9, Lily Maher, 7, and Charlotte Maher, 9, practice their words ahead of the Spelling Bee. Picture: Adam Taylor media_cameraPrime Minister Scott Morrison helps Tom Panozzo, 9, Lily Maher, 7, and Charlotte Maher, 9, practice their words ahead of the Spelling Bee. Picture: Adam Taylor

spelling bee

Reading level: green

Prime Minister Scott Morrison knows spelling isn’t always easy. But it can be lots of fun!

The PM, who admits to occasionally being tripped up by tricky words like hippopotamus, is encouraging kids around the country to give the 2021 Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee a go.

“Learning to read and write is one of the most important parts of anyone’s education but they can be tough skills to master, including sometimes for adults,” Mr Morrison said.

“Even at my age, sometimes I have to look up the spelling of a word.

“Whether you love reading and like learning to write, or they’re skills you sometimes struggle with, the 2021 Spelling Bee is a chance for all the kids of Australia to put themselves up to the test and have a bit of fun along the way.”

media_cameraPrime Minister Scott Morrison says the Spelling Bee is a chance for all kids to have some fun with spelling. Picture: Adam Taylor

Thousands of children in Years 3 to 8 are expected to sit the free online Spelling Bee, run by Kids News and News Corp Australia.

News Corp’s community ambassador* and Herald and Weekly Times chairman Penny Fowler said the Spelling Bee was an important part of the company’s commitment to helping improve literacy among Australian children.

“Literacy is the key to opening many doors and being able to communicate clearly is a cornerstone* for a successful school life as well as for a future career,” Ms Fowler said.

“The Spelling Bee is a fun way to put a renewed focus on literacy which is what is about.”

Watch Education Minister Alan Tudge quiz the Prime Minister on spelling

It's the PM's Spelling Bee!

2021 Prime Minister's Spelling Bee logo media_cameraRegistrations are now open for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee.


The Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee is a free online competition for students in Year 3 to Year 8.

There are three reading levels for competition: Green for Year 3-4; Orange for Year 5-6; and Red for Year 7-8.

Students will be given 30 random* words from their reading level word list. They have 25 seconds to spell each word.

The competition will be held in three rounds, with the school round from March 15-26, the state finals on April 29 and the national final on May 27.

Prizes include a trip to Canberra to meet the Prime Minister and iPads for the national winner in each of the three age groups. There’s also a $1000 voucher for the winners’ schools to spend on books, technology or other equipment.

Registrations are now open at

Watch the Prime Minister’s message to children

Join the Prime Minister's Spelling Bee!


  • ambassador: person who speaks on behalf of an organisation, community or country
  • cornerstone: an important base or starting point
  • random: selected without any pattern or method


Fears for spelling in the digital age


  1. Which word sometimes trips up the Prime Minister?
  2. What is Mr Morrison is encouraging kids to try?
  3. Why does Penny Fowler believe literacy is important?
  4. How many words do students need to answer in the Spelling Bee?
  5. Name one of the prizes up for grabs?


Extra Reading in spelling bee