Spelling Bee


As part of our work to promote high standards of spelling throughout the school we hold the Barnehurst Spelling Bee which will take place over the last week of each half term. We feel that this is a motivating and fun way to celebrate the achievement of our children.  


What is it?

The Spelling Bee competition is becoming more popular in the UK and as we celebrate our children’s sporting achievements, we are looking for other ways to acknowledge our children’s successes. Our Spelling Bee will take place from Year 1 to Year 6. 


How does it work?

Each year group will be given the list of common exception words recommended for children to read and spell for their age. Common exception words are words in which the English spelling code works in an unusual or uncommon way. They are not words for which phonics 'doesn't work', but they may be exceptions to spelling rules, or words which use a particular combination of letters to represent sound patterns in a rare or unique way. Children will have one list over two years. 


Round one

Each class teacher to choose 10 words from the list at random for children to write. Anyone who gets all ten words correctly spelt will move to round two. 

Round two

This is the oral stage where children will be asked to spell aloud 10 random words from their spelling list. Anyone who gets 10/10 will move to the semi-finals. 


The Semi-finals is a knockout round. This is continued until there is one person identified to represent their class. 


Once a class winner has been found they will challenge their partner class held in the style of knockout resulting in a year group winner.


We encourage your child to practise their words in preparation for the Spelling Bee which will take place during the last week of each half term. 


What if my child doesn’t want to take part? The children will be given a list of words to learn and whether they wish to take part within the competition or not, this is a great opportunity for them to practise the rules and patterns they have learned over the year. All children will take part in Round one and if your child does not wish to take part from round two they will still be involved in supporting their peers and it might give them the confidence to take part next time. The lists will also be available on the school website. 


This is a great opportunity for children to have fun whilst also reinforcing the importance of spelling. If you have any questions please speak to your child’s class teacher.

Spelling Bee Year Group Lists

spelling words pdf