The inaugural PM’s Spelling Bee is being run in term one by free classroom educational literacy site kidsnews.com.au and is open to all students across Australia in Grades 3 to Year 8.
It will start on March 16 with the two-week school-level competition before state/territory and national finals are held in April and May.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said the Coalition and Prime Minister Scott Morrison were committed to helping students improve their literacy skills.
“The whole idea of the PM’s Spelling Bee is to put renewed focus back onto literacy,” Mr Tehan said.
“Literacy and numeracy are absolutely fundamental to education and we have to make sure that kids know how to read, write and add up.
Student spelling bee
Students complete the Junior Premier’s Spelling Bee 2018 on November 2 2018.
“Spelling bees have always been a great part of teaching kids how to improve their literacy.
“This initiative, for students in years 3-8, ensures spelling bees continue to be part of enhancing students’ literacy skills.”
Kids News publisher Toni Hetherington said kidsnews.com.au, which repurposes daily news into appropriate language for Year 3-8 students in an educational and safe online format, was the perfect platform for a national spelling bee.
Kids News, which is linked to the national curriculum, is read in schools in every Australian state and territory with 11.5 million page views on the site in 2019.
Mr Tehan urged all eligible students to take part in the Spelling Bee, which received a one-off $345,000 community grant from the Federal Government to develop the competition
“I would encourage all school students in those years (Grade 3 to Year 8) to take part in the PM’s Spelling Bee because it will bring enormous fun along with very important learning,’’ he said.
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The PM’s Spelling Bee will be a digital competition run online in school classrooms.
Registration opens on February 24 at 11am.
Ms Hetherington said the digital competition would allow students of all spelling abilities to take part and encourage them to develop a love of words.
“Every student from Grade 3 to Year 8, including those with special needs and home-schooled students, will be able to take part and test their spelling skills,” she said.
“Most of all, we want the kids to have fun as they spell the words they know, ones they think they know and to stretch their minds to those tricky words they may have never heard before.”
Ms Hetherington said kidsnews.com.au already provided tools to assist teachers with making literacy interesting and the Spelling Bee was a natural extension.
“Reading, writing and spelling don’t have to be boring. Kids News already turns daily news into a ready-to-use fun, literacy activity for classrooms, and now the Spelling Bee is something new that students and teachers can look forward to.”
Mr Tehan’s favourite book when he was at school was the Adventures of Tintin’s Destination Moon, and he urged students practising for the Spelling Bee to become book worms.
“In doing your practice for the Spelling Bee, one of the best things to do is make sure you’re reading lots of books,’’ he said.
Registration: February 24- March 15, 2020
Try the Bee (practice): From March 9, 2020
Schools competition: From March 16-26, 2020
State/Territory Finals: April 29, 2020
National Finals: May 6, 2020
To visit kidsnews, click here.