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Multi-lingual spelling bee competition drives literacy levels and healthy competition

Oct 24, 2017
Multi-lingual spelling bee competition drives literacy levels and healthy competition

A regional Spelling Bee, held in Sea Vista this past weekend, brought together some of the brightest learners from local schools.

This is the second year that the Spelling Bee has taken place and this year the event includes an exciting multilingual component, so that learners now also have two rounds of spelling in a second and third language.

“Even though the competition now includes second and third language components, the focus remains on excellence in English and is in line with both national and international standards,” explained Pieter Oosthuisen, Plant Manager for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.

Maurice Botha, Grade 5, from Pelsrus Primary School won first prize. The joint-second place was shared between Antonio Matarie - Kruisfontein Primary, Zandré Deysel - Graslaagte Primary, Aldon Potgieter - Pelsrus Primary, and Antonio  Rudolph - Pelsrus Primary.

The thirty participants comprised the top three shortlisted ‘spellers’, drawn from nine participating primary schools across Hankey, Patensie, Jeffreys Bay  and Humansdorp, and was funded as part of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s literacy programme.  

The competition was exclusive to Grade 5 learners at schools that participate in the ongoing Spellit literacy programme and included a prior selection process to ensure that the standard of the Spelling Bee is kept on par with international standards.

“It is important that learners have the opportunity to learn and compete in a supportive environment and gain skills such as improved memory and the art of presenting in public,” added Oosthuisen. 

Spelling Bees not only provide a valuable educational experience for the participating learners, but also allow them to engage in healthy competition.

Other benefits derived from this fun activity include team building, improved grammar, building a competitive spirit, increased knowledge of the origin of words, developing cognitive skills, including the ability to handle pressure; and most importantly, these events help to boost a child's confidence level as they gain self-assurance through learning to speak in public.

A spelling bee is a competition in which contestants are asked to spell a broad selection of words, usually with a varying degree of difficulty. These competitions are recognised as offering a range of benefits, from higher confidence to better vocabulary, and have a long history dating back to the 1850’s.

Participating schools included Sea Vista Primary, Pelsrus Primary, St Patricks Primary, Kruisfontein Primary, Vukani Primary, Hankey Primary, Weston Primary, Gamtoos Valley Primary, Quagga Primary and Chigwell Primary. The event was supported and attended by parents, principals, teachers, friends and family.  Each participant was awarded with a medal and a cash prize.

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s literacy programme is aimed at helping primary school learners to achieve competency at Grade 4 international reading and spelling levels with the aims of improving matric pass rates and helping learners to be better prepared for tertiary education and later employment.

The content is CAPS-aligned and gives educators exciting activities to do with their learners in the classroom while covering the required content to get learners spelling at their Grade level.

The support of Spell Its programme fits into the Wind Farm’s commitment and support of local education as part of their socio economic development initiatives. 

This includes an extensive education audit in the region; an ongoing Early Childhood Development bursary programme; funding of Early Childhood Development classroom equipment, training and provision of teaching aids; and an ongoing Foundation Phase Reading Coach Programme.

For more information visit: www.jeffreysbaywindfarm.co.za.

Image: Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm– Boiler Plate:Jeffreys Bay Wind Power (RF) (Pty) Ltd is majority owned by Globeleq, and its consortium partners. Shareholders include: Globeleq, Old Mutual Life Assurance Company, Thebe Investment Corporation, Mainstream Renewable Power South Africa, Amandla Omoya Trust, Enzani Molene Holdings and Usizo Engineering. The project company is managed by Globeleq.