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Marshland High School

WNAT Spelling Bee

It was Marshland’s turn to host the West Norfolk Academies Trust Spelling Bee Final this year, and, fittingly, it was one of our students that came first in the competition.

The event, which was being held for the third time, was open to Year 8 students from all four WNAT high schools – Marshland, Springwood, St Clements, and Smithdon – with two semi-finalists from each making it through to the finals.

‘Monasticism’, ‘circumlocution’, ‘obstreperous’, and ‘paraphernalia’ were just a few of the words successfully mastered by the eight students, who were put through their paces under the keen gaze of their Year 7 peers who will themselves take part in the next spelling bee, which is due to start its first rounds in the summer term.

Marshland’s Deputy Headteacher, Olly Mackett, said: “Essentially the spelling bee started in 2019, and was inspired by the American spelling bees you see on television.

“Each school did this slightly differently, but generally they had two rounds before reaching the Trust final.

“They had either forms or classes completing their own spelling bees, and then passed on 12 finalists for their school.

“Those 12 finalists completed a spelling bee at their school, with the top two representing their school at the Trust final.”

This year’s star speller was Marshland student Dovydas Vaitiekunas, who successfully pipped Springwood’s Annie Overton to the post to win the competition and the prize of a Kindle Fire.

Continued Mr Mackett: “The winning word was ‘occurrence’, but we have rounds where they have to spell tricky words as well as long words.

“In other rounds, they had to learn to spell challenging words like ‘monasticism’, ‘circumlocution’, ‘obstreperous’, and ‘paraphernalia’.”

He added: “It will be the turn of St Clements High School next year, which will be our fourth one, and will mean that we will then have been round all four high schools for the final by this time next year.”