Excitement swarms at spelling bee state final
Sixty spelling bee champions from 58 schools across NSW battled it out in front of a crowd of families and friends today at the first state final of the Premier’s Spelling Bee since 2019.
‘Accredit’ – that’s the word nine-year-old Saarth Deo from Wentworthville Public School recited perfectly to win him the title of the State’s best junior speller.
In the senior division final, 11-year-old Wilson Han from St Ives North Public School knocked out their opponent in the 10th round after correctly spelling ‘askance’ to win the title.
The 60 students in the state final finished in the top 0.05% of all competition entrants, with this year’s challenge attracting 167,000 students from more than 820 NSW public schools.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said he was impressed by the spelling prowess of the finalists, some as young as eight years old.
“To think these students only learnt to read a few years ago and are now spelling words as tricky as ‘mystique’ and ‘quandary’ is just phenomenal,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Not only do I congratulate today’s winners on being crowned the best spellers in NSW, I also congratulate every single one of the 60 students who participated in this year’s challenge.
“Spelling is a complex skill and fundamental part of learning, and I’m happy to see so many students challenging themselves through this competition.”
Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said she was proud to be part of this year’s finals, not just as the Education Minister, but also as the parent of one of the finalists.
“I’ve seen through having my daughter participate in today’s final that making it this far in the competition is no easy feat, and all our finalists should be proud of their achievements,” Ms Mitchell said.
“The Spelling Bee has been around for 18 years and it just goes from strength to strength, year after year.
“It’s a great indication of how much value we place on literacy education in NSW public schools, and why we continue to rank first in Australia for spelling in years 3, 5 and 7.”
The 30 junior and 30 senior students that competed today have already made it through school, zone and regional finals to make it to the state final.
The junior division final included words such as abysmal; suspicion; promontory; and poignant, while the senior division participants wrangled words like equilibrium; neuralgia; auxiliary; and signatory.
ABC Afternoons presenter Josh Szeps announced words for the junior final, while ABC journalist Toni Mathews took on announcer duties for the senior final.
Now in its 19th year, the NSW 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.
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.