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WNAT Spelling Bee

‘Monasticism’, ‘circumlocution’, ‘obstreperous’, and ‘paraphernalia’ were just a few of the words successfully mastered by eight students who made it through to the final of The West Norfolk Academies Trust Spelling Bee.

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

This time it was Marshland High School’s turn to host the event, taking the baton from 2021 hosts Smithdon.

The final was watched by an audience of Year 7 students, who will themselves take part in the next spelling bee, which is due to begin its first rounds in the summer term.

Explained Marshland’s Deputy Headteacher, Olly Mackett: “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 Vietiekunas, 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.”