Hudson Park Primary pupil Mishay Rama, 9, recently won the Grade 3 Cluster Spelling Bee in East London and will be competing at the regional competition
Image: Madeleine Chaput

Hudson Park Primary School pupil Mishay Rama recently won the Grade 3 Cluster Spelling Bee in EL and will be competing at the regional competition next month, against the top Grade 3 spellers from each cluster in the city.

“It was a very difficult spelling bee, but I had a lot of fun. One of the most difficult words I had to spell was distinguished,” said Mishay, who worked very hard to make sure he was ready for the competition.

“My parents tested me on my words every day, even in the mornings on the way to school. That really helped me a lot,” the nine-year-old said.

Department of education Foundation Phase subject adviser, Ayanda Booi, said that the Spelling Bee competition is an annual event organised by the department in an effort to encourage reading and literacy in Foundation Phase pupils.

In this first round, Rama competed against pupils from three other primary schools namely Clarendon, Selborne and Stirling who form part of the same cluster.

Each Grade 3 pupil had a list of 400 words to learn in preparation for the event. The pupils can be asked to spell any of these words at any point in the competition.

“Mishay prepared very well and spent a lot of time and effort on learning his words. Some of them are quite tricky for Grade 3 learners. We are really proud of him and we wish him all the best for the next rounds,” said Jeni Stirk, Hudson Park Primary Grade 1 teacher and coordinator of this cluster’s Spelling Bee.

Booi said that each of the competition’s rounds cater to students who have one of the three home languages taught at primary schools within the province, namely Xhosa, English and Afrikaans.

“There will be overall winners for each home language and each grade. We do this so that all schools within the BCM district, and ultimately the province, have a chance to participate,” said Booi.

Mishay is both nervous and excited for the next round and hopes to make it to the final. He said he really likes reading and he thinks that this also helped him win.

“I really like reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I like all the adventures Greg [main character] goes on. He always gets himself in and out of trouble and it’s really funny,” said Mishay, who really enjoys numbers, with maths his favourite subject.

The regional Spelling Bee competition will take place on July 20 at Grens Primary. The winners from that round will compete in the provincial Spelling Bee on July 27 at the Teachers’ Centre in EL. —

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