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The Annual Spelling Bee has been run by Churchill House for the last five years and took place again this year on 21st February. This import from the United States proves popular with the younger members of the school and there have been some notable performances in the recent past. The formula is familiar: words of increasing complexity are read out by ‘readers’, whereupon competitors –representing their House (from Forms 1-3)– stand in front of the microphone and spell out dictated words, without hesitation or repetition.

As in previous years, this friendly battle of wits was enacted in a great spirit of fun and friendly competition. Competitors from the five Houses lined up and, each in their turn, stepped up to the microphone to spell a series of graded words – ‘one slip and you’re out!’

Contestants who seemed to dominate in the first round were suddenly toppled in the second round. Surprise reversals overturned the confident, with each bout being keenly and well contested. One must keep one’s nerve and speak slowly and clearly – not easy, when adrenaline is coursing through one’s veins.

All parties (competitors, judges, readers and audience) were very much part of this collective event and it was a fitting and enjoyable end to the first half of a busy Lent Term.

Special attention and commendation should be accorded to Oliver in Form 1 for his sterling effort and also a hearty commendation must go to two pupils, Grace and Branwen, in Form 3, who were the only contestants whose mother tongue is not English. Well done to all involved.

Winners: Austen House.

Posted on: February 28, 2020

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