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North Rocks Public School students in Sydney’s Hills District are two of NSW’s nine super spellers headed for the national showdown. Despite feeling “pretty nervous”, Patricia, 11, kept a cool head by telling herself, “it was going to be all right”. The strategy paid off as she correctly spelled all 30 words dished up in the state final, including a couple that nearly brought her unstuck: ‘verbose’ and ‘cavil’.

There were two ways to spell (them) that I could think of, and I had to choose,” she said. “I just listened to the pronunciation again and thought that one sounded more correct than the other.” The avid reader will join fellow NSW students, including her North Rocks schoolmate, in the national final on May 27. Grace’s teacher, Paula Mitchell, who has taught Patricia in the past, said, “the art of spelling is a critically important aspect of language development” and “the students have really enjoyed (the Bee).

“(Grace and Patricia’s) enthusiasm for spelling is contagious, and their classmates are very happy for them too. We will be cheering for them both on May 27,” she said.

Grace, 9, turns 10 days before the final and said she felt “nervous but excited.”

“I’m just going to try as hard as I can and keep reviewing the words,” she said.

“Mrs. Mitchell helps me by setting weekly spelling with hard words, and it’s quite helpful.”


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