School holds giant spelling bee in push to improve literacy

Youngsters at The Dell Primary School, Oulton Broad take part in a spelling bee contest.
Competition

Youngsters at The Dell Primary School, Oulton Broad take part in a spelling bee contest. Competition participants, Stacey and Rebecca from year six. Pic: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A school hosted a spelling bee for all its pupils as part of an on-going initiative to improve literacy and language skills.

Youngsters at The Dell Primary School, Oulton Broad take part in a spelling bee contest.
Runner-up,

Youngsters at The Dell Primary School, Oulton Broad take part in a spelling bee contest. Runner-up, Rebecca Hind. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Dell Primary School in Oulton Broad staged the competition for the first time on Monday, June 12.

The event was organised by Jill Peyry, who teaches Year 3 and oversees spelling across the school.

Dell Primary School children take part in a spelling bee contest.
Pic: Nick Butcher

Dell Primary School children take part in a spelling bee contest. Pic: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Mrs Peyry said: 'We were inspired by the Orminston Denes competition in March which only includes Year 5 and 6.

'I decided to do a whole school spelling bee in order to raise the profile of spelling. Accurate spelling is of high priority in the national curriculum so we wanted to raise the profile of it in school.'

Dell Primary School children take part in a spelling bee contest.
Pic: Nick Butcher

Dell Primary School children take part in a spelling bee contest. Pic: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher


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Pupils were given words to learn over the half-term. When they returned, competitions were held in each class with the top four qualifying for the finals held in front of the school.

Petra Holden, a Year 6 teaching assistant said: 'The challenge has been important for the children.

Dell Primary School children take part in a spelling bee contest.
Pic: Nick Butcher

Dell Primary School children take part in a spelling bee contest. Pic: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

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'The competitive aspect means they are stretching themselves and learning at the same time.'

She added: 'The regular practice has become evident in their written work, The quality of their writing has improved and so too has their choice of words.'

The spelling bee overran the allotted time as the children outperformed the teachers' expectations and repeatedly answered difficult words correctly.

It is the first time the school has held such a competition but they now hope to make it an annual event.

Pupils spoke positively of the experience.

Eleven-year-old Stacey Reeve was the Year 6 winner and said she enjoyed the day. 'I thought it would be scary but once I got on the stage it was fun,' she said.

Alexandra Harvey, Year 6 runner-up added: 'It was fun and it helped us to learn the words.'

Stephen Hearn, head of school, said: 'I think it was a fantastic idea. It's really good for the children to be involved in as many language based activities as possible.

'We have had a real push in literacy, language and writing to make them alive and relevant to the children.'

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