With about 250 students signed up to sit the Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee, there’s a real buzz around Brentwood Park Primary School.
The Victorian school’s Spelling Bee contingent*, made up of Year 5 and 6 students, is one of the biggest in the nation.
Year 6 and leading English teacher Judy Anderson said the Spelling Bee was a fun way to help students improve their literacy.
“We like to try all different ways of engaging the children in learning activities,” Ms Anderson said.
“The Spelling Bee is one of them, it just adds another dimension* to their learning.”
It's the PM's Spelling Bee!
Ms Anderson said there had been a big shift in how spelling was taught in her almost 40 years in the profession, moving away from simply memorising words.
“Now you look at the whole function of a word and where it comes from,” she said.
“These strategies are taught so that children can actually work out how to spell a word rather than just learn it by rote* and then forget how to spell it later on.”
Ms Anderson said this approach made for better spellers in the long term and she was impressed with the spelling ability of some of her students.
“Every year in grade 6 there are always some children who can spell better than yourself, they’re natural spellers, they’re just amazing,” she said.
More than 17,000 students in Year 3 to Year 8 from across Australia have already signed up for the Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee, a free online competition run by Kids News.
Prizes include a trip to Canberra to meet the Prime Minister and a $1000 voucher for the three age group winners’ schools to spend on books, technology or other equipment.
Teachers can register for the Spelling Bee until 11.59pm (AEDT*) on Wednesday, March 24, with the schools round of the competition running until 6pm (AEDT) on Friday, March 26.
See spellling-bee.com.au for more information or to register.
- contingent: a group of people that forms part of a larger group
- dimension: feature, part
- rote: to learn by repetition rather than by understanding the meaning
- AEDT: Australian Eastern Daylight Time
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