Staff and Students of St Brigid’s are Buzzing!

What do the following words have in common: accommodation, plausible, catastrophic, immediate and elaborate? 

They all featured in the word list for St Brigid’s Spelling Bee, held on Thursday 3 September to coincide with the 17th National Literacy and Numeracy Week. This week highlights the importance of literacy and numeracy skills for all children and young people, with a specific focus on school-age children.

St Brigid’s celebrated the occasion with a dress-up day (where students and teachers came dressed as something beginning with the first letter of their name), readings of two quality literature titles (Banjo and Ruby Red by Libby Gleeson and The Stone Lion by Margaret Wild), and of course, St Brigid’s Spelling Bee.

The Spelling Bee is a competition in which contestants are asked to spell a broad selection of words with varying degrees of difficulty. It is an exciting way to help kids develop their spelling skills and an opportunity to unite for some educational and entertaining ‘together time’.

Eight students participated in each of the 3 divisions, with the overall champion of each stage awarded a spectacular trophy. Congratulations to the winners, Violet Foote (Stage 1), Sophie Jordan (Stage 2) and Jarah Timony (Stage 3). The competition also involved a guest appearance from nine-year-old Judge Josie.

The school community of St Brigid’s has been buzzing since one of its own, student Josie Boyd, featured on Channel Ten’s “Great Australian Spelling Bee”, making it through to the top 26 spellers. Since her appearance on television, the profile of spelling has increased ten-fold with others being inspired to consolidate their understanding of spelling rules and tricky letter combinations.

The lead-up to Josie’s big moment on national television needed a little extra preparation but surprisingly did not involve cramming or studying the dictionary. Instead Josie chose to read lots of books from her favourite author, Enid Blyton, preferring to be swept up in the wonderful storylines and characters.

Once she was in front of the cameras though she endeared herself to the whole of Australia, revealing her enthusiasm and passion for spelling, her generous nature and infectious giggle. Josie revelled in the support of her new friends as she bravely spelled her way through multiple challenges in an attempt to claim the title of Australia’s best young speller. Josie was supported on the program by her Mum, Jane, and grandmother, Bernadette, herself a past teacher at St Brigid’s, Raymond Terrace.

Clearly, spelling improvement is a focus of St Brigid’s, where everyone is buzzing and unassuming young Josie is Queen Bee!

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Jacqueline Wilkinson Image
Jacqueline Wilkinson

Jacqueline Wilkinson is the Principal of St Patrick's Primary School, Lochinvar.

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