Spellbinding spellers

Ready to go: Bradbury Public School's Chris Jais and Camden Public School's James Held are preparing for the Premier's Spelling Bee. Picture: Chris Lane
Ready to go: Bradbury Public School's Chris Jais and Camden Public School's James Held are preparing for the Premier's Spelling Bee. Picture: Chris Lane

In the age of spellcheck and autocorrect, arranging letters in their correct order is a lost art.

But two Macarthur pupils are bringing it back.

Camden Public School’s James Held and Bradbury Public School’s Chris Jais will both be competing in the Premier’s Spelling Bee State Final in November.

Both boys progressed through the regional finals earlier this month.

Year 6 pupil James said he wasn’t new to the spelling arena.

“I did the spelling bee before when I was in year 4,” he said.

“I came equal fourth that time.”

James said he was excited for the forthcoming challenge and was reading lots of books, sometimes the dictionary, to prepare.

“I’m studying the words and everything,” he said.

“My teacher Mr Mountford uses come big words.

“I learn a lot from him.”

James said he expected his teacher was proud of his efforts in making it through to the state final.

He will compete in the senior division against 85 other hopefuls.

Chris, currently in year 4, is also hard at work studying for the final.

“It’s very nerve-wracking,” he said.

“I’m learning my wrong words off by heart at the moment.

“My mum tests me on some words first, and the ones I get wrong I say them a couple of times until I can spell the words off by heart.”

Chris uses all the resources at his disposal to prepare for the challenge.

“I go to some websites to help me insert the words into sentences and learn them,” he said.

Chris will also be competing against 85 other competitors in the junior division of the final.

More than 3000 students from 1000 public schools across the state took part in spelling bees, with only the cleverest among them making it to the state finals.

To make it to the regional finals, the junior finalists had to correctly spell words such as refugee, raucous and congregate. Senior students were challenged with words like cruciferous, boisterous and tzatziki.

The state final will be held at the ABC Centre in Ultimo on Wednesday, November 8. The final half hour will be broadcast on ABC radio.