On Wednesday, 4th May, Year 7 pupils from all over South Wales came together to compete in the first ever South Wales Regional Final Spelling Bee Competition.
Competitors representing Bassaleg School, Ysgol Bryngwyn, Ysgol Bro Morgannwg, Ysgol Cymer Afan, Barry Comprehensive School, Tonypandy Community College, Ysgol y Strade, Ysgol y Gwendraeth, Birchgrove Comprehensive School, Cwrt Sart Comprehensive School and the Cathedral School took part in the French, Spanish and Welsh 2nd Language competitions.
French proved to be the most popular competition, and while 52 pupils competed in the preliminary rounds, those waiting for the other two languages enjoyed a lively ‘Why Study Languages?’ talk delivered by CILT Cymru.
The standard of the evening proved to be very high and we saw a number of exciting ‘sudden death’ rounds in which pupils with tied scores had to test their knowledge in an elimination round in order to win their place in the final four and in the National Final. Nerves were definitely running high, but this element of competition did not phase two pupils whose sudden death round lasted for 11 minutes, determining 2nd and 3rd places in French – at this point the audience seemed more nervous than the pupils!
Cwrt Sart Community School, Neat Port Talbot hosted this special event and provided competitors and spectators with delicious refreshments during the break. Also supporting the event were the Year 11 GCSE French students who helped greet all visitors and acted as ushers throughout the evening. Judges and verifiers were language experts from CILT Cymru and Cardiff University and important tasks such as keeping time and calling words were performed by Student Language Ambassadors from Swansea University and Cardiff University.
Shields and certficates were presented to all winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th) by Gaelle Jones of Cwrt Sart School. These 12 pupils will now be given the final 50 words of the competition and will have little over two months to prepare for the National Final in which they will compete against the winners from the North Wales Regional Final and will be tested on 200 words.