Education / 30th November 2023
Coona Public’s spelling superstar
On Friday, 3 November, Coonabarabran Public School (CPS) Year 4 student, Will Weatherall represented his school at the 2023 NSW Premier’s Spelling Bee finals in Sydney.
To make it to this level, Will first had to win both the CPS and Regional Spelling Bee.
After successfully spelling the word ‘necessary,’ Will was named champion of the Regional Spelling Bee, moving on to the state finals in Sydney.
Just by making it to this level meant that Will was placed in the top 30 of 180,000 NSW primary school students, from across 880 schools, who had participated in this competition. And, this was also the second year in a row that Will had been able to spell his way to this amazing achievement!
Attending the state spelling bee in Sydney also made for a fun trip for Will and his family.
“We went to an Italian restaurant called ‘Macchiato’ and to Time Zone, it was really fun and exciting – and I got some time off school,” Will said.
On the day of competition, Will said he made it through the first five rounds, successfully spelling the words ‘gallery’, ‘musician’, ‘guarantor’, ‘purify’, and ‘novelty’, but was eliminated during the sixth round after he misspelled the word ‘elliptical’.
Will’s efforts saw him place 14th out of the 30 students that competed on the day, ranking him 14th in the state for his age category – an incredible achievement.
Will said he felt proud to be representing his school in this competition.
“I was very surprised I got through again, but I was very proud to represent Coonabarabran Public School for a second time,” he said.
“I’d love to make it again next year – and hopefully do better.”
But what’s the secret to becoming a spelling superstar?
Will said it takes a lot of practice, reading, and not giving up when the words get tough.
“I practice the words, try to clear my mind, and relax – sometimes I make up a funny way to remember them.”
Will is clearly a skilled speller, but don’t all of us have that one, everyday word we always have trouble spelling?
Much shorter than his favourite word to spell, ‘onomatopoeia’, Will said the everyday word he often has trouble spelling ‘burrito,’ because he sometimes mixes up how many ‘r’s and ‘t’s there are.