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Second Formers in Action in Bancroft’s School Spelling Bee

‘Oh, how did I get THAT wrong?’ These are the words that resound in the heads of every pupil that enters the Bancroft’s Spelling Bee. The difficulty posed by a spelling competition is not whether you can spell difficult words, but whether you can spell them under pressure.

How would you fare with the following words – with an audience watching, the clock ticking and no lives left…? Cleanliness, cacophony, palatial, qualitative, anomaly, isosceles, pessimism, manoeuvre, dessicate, kleptomania, bourgeoisie, barracuda, facetious, maelstrom, megalomaniac and more!

On Thursday 9 November, Micah, Lexi and Josh represented CLS in the Bancroft’s Year 8 Spelling Bee in Woodford. Last year we won the cup, the first time that anyone outside Bancroft’s School has done so. Would we return with it again?

The boys put in an excellent performance and we came second overall, which is a great achievement. Bancroft’s had clearly assembled a team of highly-trained, professional 13-year-old spellers, and the level of competition was even fiercer than last year. They beat everyone in the first round (individual), taking the top two spots, but Josh managed a very respectable third place, so the competition was far from over. In the second (group) round, our boys were the best team, making almost no mistakes in two minutes of quick-fire spelling. Even the Bancroft’s teachers thought we had won…

Sadly, it wasn’t to be, and the fine second round performance didn’t quite claw back the points that we had lost in the first. In the end, Bancroft’s won with 27 points and we scored 24.

Well done to the team. They were a credit to CLS, and even accepted with good grace a seemingly-erroneous decision by the judge which put Micah out of the individual round: he began to spell the word correctly; the judge heard something else and ruled accordingly. Did Micah speak clearly enough? Would it have made a difference? We’ll never know. We’ll just have to have another go next year!

The difficulty posed by a spelling competition is not whether you can spell difficult words, but whether you can spell them under pressure.
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