For the last four weeks, both secondary and primary academies across the Trust have been a hive of spelling activity in preparation for the Great GORSE Spelling Bee final.

Students from Year 5 to Year 10 have been involved in the competition which afforded them the opportunity to enhance and develop their own spelling knowledge and ability. The competition united students from across the Trust, ignited a sense of healthy rivalry and empowered students with the confidence to succeed. The main principle of the Great GORSE Spelling Bee was, however, to enable students to make progress with their literacy; both through their spelling and public speaking skills.

In our primary academies all students in Year 5 and Year 6 were put through their paces; after sitting a twenty-word spelling test, each class identified their top three spellers. These individuals were then prepped and supported by their peers ahead of a spelling competition in front of a whole school assembly. Within this assembly, a Year 5 and Year 6 winner emerged ready to progress to the live final and represent their respective academy.

Secondary academies also ensured wide-spread participation: in week one, every student sat a twenty-five-word spelling test with the top five spellers in each form progressing to the following week. In week two, the top five students in each form completed a sudden death competition until there was one winner representing each form group. In week three, the winners of each form then competed in a year group quarter final, which was live streamed to each form room, until each academy had a representative for Years 7, 8, 9 and 10.  Which lead us to week four…

On Thursday 23rd March, the live final commenced. Held at The Ruth Gorse Academy, all students across the Trust came face to face, ready to compete for the coveted KS2, KS3 and KS4 Spelling Bee title. Each Academy brought with them their own audience members with many having made banners in support of their academy’s participants. The atmosphere was electric in anticipation of the event that was to unfold.

The competition began with the Semi Final rounds for all year groups, starting with Year 10 and ending with Year 5. Students were challenged to spell complex words such as ‘quadrilateral’, ‘parallelogram’ and ‘patriarchal’ to name a few examples. Despite such difficult words, students rose to the occasion with several rounds lasting up to twenty minutes of intensity!

After a short break, students were back to compete in their respective finals. Despite being the youngest competitors on the night, the primary participants were perhaps the most focused and prepared. After the success of both the Year 5 and Year 6 quarter finals, Morley Newlands Academy were guaranteed to bring home the silverware with Nabeel (Y5) and Dermott (Y6) both progressing to the Key Stage Two final. In the end, Dermott was announced the worthy winner of the KS2 trophy.

The KS3 final saw two competitors from The Farnley Academy go head to head representing both Year 7 and Year 8. Again, after a fiercely competitive round, there could only be one winner: Owen (Y8) was victorious. The audience went wild in celebration of his success.

It was then time for the KS4 final in which Bruntcliffe Academy went face to face with The Farnley Academy. After a few rounds, Ellyssia (representing Bruntcliffe Academy) rose to success to secure the trophy. Her performance won rapturous applause from the audience who celebrated every moment of her victory with her.

To close the event, Mark Randall (Director of Primary Academies) presented all Finalists with a certificate and a medal to acknowledge their huge achievements. We are exceptionally proud of all of our students’ achievements and we look forward to making The Great GORSE Spelling Bee an annual event.

Miss H. Dixon-Connor.





Literacy and Communications Coordinator- The GORSE Academies Trust.