Children and teachers in learn-to-spell tournament

The trophies for the Bedenham Spelling Championship and, inset, the winners
The trophies for the Bedenham Spelling Championship and, inset, the winners
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FINDING creative ways to teach children how to spell can be difficult for teachers.

Particularly because the English language is so complex and the rules can be confusing.

So Caroline Wood, the head of school at Bedenham Primary School, Bridgemary Avenue, Gosport, came up with an exciting way to keep children interested.

She said: ‘The National Curriculum provides a list of frequently used spellings which do not always follow the usual patterns of English spellings so are tricky to learn sometimes.

‘In 2015 I devised the Bedenham Spelling Championship whereby children in each year group learn the National Curriculum spelling list and compete against each other to be the best class speller.

‘The winners go through to a semi-final held in a whole school assembly.

‘The winners then go on to the grand final and parents are invited to attend.

‘The final took place in December and included words like chameleon and leprechaun.’

To prove that it is okay to make mistakes and be eliminated from the competition, the teachers compete first, then parents and governors followed by the children.

Caroline added: ‘It is a fun, informal but great way for children to get involved in learning an otherwise potentially boring list of words they need to know.

‘The school wanted to be able to provide trophies worthy of the efforts that the children and adults were putting in to learning such a big list of words, so they approached Agile ICT to sponsor the event.

‘Agile happily agreed, providing four large golden trophies and book tokens and have sponsored the event for the past two years.’

The school is now extending the championship so that other primary schools in the area can participate.

To apply, contact Caroline by e-mailing

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