Fareham pupils are great spellers

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Cllr Hannah Hockaday

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PUPILS at a Fareham primary have gone through to the semi-finals of the UK’s only national spelling competition for schools.

West Hill Park School’s team of four 11 and 12-year-olds are one of 77 schools that are in the penultimate round of the 2012 Times Spelling Bee – beating competition from more than 1,200 schools.

The youngsters had to successfully spell challenging words, such as ecclesiastical, ventriloquist, caterwaul and kamikaze.

If they get through the next round in May, they will compete in the grand finale against nine other teams at the Institute for Education in London on June 21.

Headmaster Alastair Ramsay said: ‘We are delighted for the pupils.

‘To stand in public and do a Spelling Bee under pressure is daunting.

‘We hope they are successful in the next round.’

He added: ‘While spelling is not the be-all and end-all it was 50 years ago it’s a great skill to have.’