Students to show their spelling talents

A TEAM of Exmouth Community College pupils hope to prove they have a good grasp of the English language when they compete in a UK-wide spelling competition.

Youngsters from the college will join a total of 1200 other schools, of which 22 are from Devon, who will take part in The Times newspaper Spelling Bee.

The aim of the championship is to make spelling fun, help teachers raise the profile of spelling and develop the talents of their students.

Successful schools will progress to the semi finals in May.

The eleven winning teams from the semis will then travel to the world-famous O2 Arena in London to compete in the grand final the following month.

Competition was tough at last year’s contest, with pneumatic, asthma and incandescent all making an unwelcome appearance, and the 2011 competition is set to prove an equally tough challenge to all competing teams.

James Harding, Editor of The Times, said: “I am thrilled that The Times Spelling Bee has become a much anticipated event and that even more schools will be taking part this time around.

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“Every year I am astonished by the level of accurate spelling and the poise the pupils display.

“The fact that spelling has become fun is a testament to the competitors and teachers who take part. I wish all the teams taking part in the 2011 competition the very best of luck.”

Collins is the official dictionary and adjudicator at the contest.

If you would like to test your spelling abilities, The Times Spelling Bee website, found by visiting, has free puzzles and games.