Bull Creek Primary School student Joanne Lee shone at the Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee, winning the Years 3 to 4 category.
Now in its second year, this national competition sees students compete in three different year levels: Years 3 to 4, 5 to 6 and 7 to 8.
Ten students from the Sheoak Six class at Bull Creek Primary School competed in the competition, with two Year 4 students making it into the WA finals. Clarice Lau spelled 27 words correctly in 1 minute and 23 seconds and Joanne Lee progressed into the national final, with a score of 30 correct words in 1 minute and 2 seconds.
National final day arrived with a nervous class willing Joanne on to victory. She performed steadfastly under the pressure and secured her first-place position with an amazing result of 29 correct words in 1 minute and 19 seconds!
Joanne practised tirelessly for the competition, reading the dictionary and being tested by her mum. She attributes her success to “sounding the words out”.
“There were quite a few tricky words in the national final,” Joanne says. “To get them right I just sounded it out and then wrote out the sounds. If I had seen the word before, I just remembered what it looked like and wrote it down.”
As the winner of her category, Joanne will receive a return flight and accommodation for herself and a parent, travelling to Canberra, where she will meet the Prime Minister.
When asked what she will talk to the Prime Minister about when she meets him, Joanne says she’s going to ask him to spell a hard word.
“I might ask him if he can spell vespers. Vespers was the one I got wrong for the national final and espy was the one I got wrong for the class round.”