WOT’S rong wiv ur spellin?
While some youngsters’ spelling leaves a lot to be desired, pupils from St Mary’s Catholic College have been crowned among the cream of the crop when it comes to the English language.
A group of Year 7 pupils at the Layton school proved not all young people surrender to text spelling when they starred in The Times Spelling Bee.
It was no easy feat for the 12-year-olds when faced with words such as cyclamen and palatial – but they managed to pass the test with flying colours and came second in the regional heat, which involved seven other schools from the North West.
Nicola White, English teacher at the St Walburgas Road school, said: “Language is evolving and changing direction – it’s very different to when our parents and grandparents were young.
“Some young people speak or write as they might text or use Facebook. It seems to have become more acceptable in every day life to abbreviate words – text language is taking over.
“But literacy is one of our main focuses at the school and spelling is a big part of it. We want to create really independent confident learners.”
Many youngsters often use ‘wiv’ instead of ‘with’ or ‘thru’ instead of ‘through’ – but Jonathan McMahon, Alice Townsend, Hannah Kelly and Jodie McGarry from St Mary’s know better.
The group spent six months preparing for the spelling bee and taking part in lunchtime spelling sessions with Miss White.
They then travelled to Bolton Cineworld to take part in the competition, where they competed in spelling play-offs with teams from other schools, including Crompton House Church of England School, in Lancashire, which scooped first place.
Alice Townsend, a Year 8 pupil, said: “I was really nervous before the spelling bee, but once it started it was fun. We did well to get second place.”
Jodie McGarry, 12, said: “The spelling bee really improved my English.”
Miss White added: “The pupils did a lot of work towards the spelling bee and it paid off.
“They did really well.”