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Tips for Organising a Spelling Bee

A Spelling Bee is a competition where contestants are asked to spell words. They provide a great way for students to learn new words and raise money at the same time. The competition standard can be set to suit primary or secondary school students. Charge students to take part and parents to come and watch

Initial heats can be held within the school with each classroom holding a class Spelling Bee . The top 3 students from each class can qualify to compete in the school Spelling Bee which could be divided into a junior and senior section, i.e. first to third class/year and fourth to sixth class/year.
Judges may be teachers, principals or any other adult deemed to be qualified. It may help to have more than one judge. As the students spell the words, the judge(s) should write down the letters the speller says and check them against the correct spelling. The judge(s) has the final say on whether the speller is correct and deals with any disputes.

How to compile a word list:

Begin with simple words.

Take care not to mix easier words in with more difficult ones.

Do not backtrack after progressing in difficulty.

Spellings, definitions and pronunciations should be taken from the Oxford Dictionary,


If you are going to have the competition in an open area (ie: a gym) and invite parents and other students to attend, it is recommended that you have one microphone for the spellers and one for the pronouncer. Try to ensure that the microphones are clear.


Students have a two-minute time limit to spell their word.. This ensures that your classroom Spelling Bee will move along without undue delays. Judges provide time warnings to the speller and ring a bell or announce when two-minutes are up, so you will want to have a stopwatch to help monitor the time.

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We hope you find these tips useful. They are however only tips and we don’t claim to be experts or cover all the angles. We don't accept responsibility for any loss where anyone acts or refrains from action as a result of material on this web page