2018 Premier's Spelling Bee

little blue owl, mascot of the premier's spelling bee The 2018 Premier's Spelling Bee

The 2018 Premier's Spelling Bee will open for school registration on Tuesday 1 May 2018, first student day of term 2, and close again at the end of that term, on Friday, 6 July 2018.

Wordlists will become available when entries open. The password for the lists is available to teachers and coordinators, either by entering the Bee or contacting the support officer. These lists are copyright limited, so please read the terms of distribution and use.

The 2018 Premier's Spelling Bee Word Lists

Junior wordlists – Years 3 & 4

Levels 1 - 5

Senior wordlists – Years 5 & 6

Levels 2 - 6

Junior simple lists 

Senior simple lists

Junior annotated lists

Senior annotated lists

Important Dates

2018 Event

2018 Dates

2018 School weeks

School Entries Open - click for link

Tuesday 1 May

Day 1 Term 2

School Entries close

Friday 6 July

last day term 2

Deadline for Regional Finalist names

Friday 10 August

Week 3 Term 3

Regional Finals

Monday 3 to Friday 14 September

Weeks 7 and 8 Term 3

State Finals, Eugene Goossens Hall ABC Ultimo

Friday 2 November

Week 3 Term 4

2018 Resources

Click here for The Premier's Spelling bee FAQ Click here for Spelling Bee procedures & guidelines

Web Certificate will be posted in May 2018

Printable/projectable Poster will be posted in May 2018 Information for Regional coordinators will be posted in July 2018 Form to submit Regional Finalist names will be posted in July 2018
 Regional Finals invitation template will be posted in early August 2018 Regional Finals schools' list will be posted in August 2018 2018 Regional Final Convenor Information will be posted in August 2018

Hosting a regional final

Schools keen to host a regional final in 2018 are able to express that in the entry form, but please be advised sites for Regionals are chosen midway through the registration period, so get in early if your school is keen, and contact the Support Officer, Désirée Lane, by email as well. Regional Finals host schools are selected based on geography and enrolment numbers, as we try to minimize schools' traveling times. While we value experienced host schools, changes in venues helps keep our big competition fresh, as well as sharing around the traveling.

About the Bee

The Premier’s Spelling Bee was introduced in 2004 as a fun and educational way for primary school students to engage in spelling. The program includes activities to encourage all students to improve their vocabulary and spelling and to promote literacy skills in combination with the English K-6 Syllabus.  At the bottom of this page you will find a quick guide to the Premier's Spelling Bee. Under the "more" button you will find the 2017 Premier's Spelling Bee photos and information. As well, various guides and resources are available below and throughout the website.

Names of regional finalists should be submitted on the webform (posted in June 2018 - stay tuned) NO LATER than Friday 10 August 2018, week 4 Term 3.

Regional finals will take place at many schools across NSW, 3 - 14 September 2018, weeks 7 & 8 in term 3.

The State Final will once again take place at the Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre, Ultimo, on Friday 2 November 2018. We are moving to a Friday this year, to better accommodate our many regional and remote entrants and their families.

Below, please find our sponsors. Click on the icons to go to their different websites.

modern teaching aids logo and linkRadio sydney logo and linkMacquarie Dictionary logo and linkScabble logo and link

The 2018 poster is coming soon. You will be able to print it off for display in your school, as well as project it for your in-school competitions.

2017 poster featuring continents and animals

A quick guide to The Premier's Spelling Bee

Important Dates for 2018 are listed above

Who is eligible to compete?

The Premier’s Spelling Bee is open to all NSW government primary, central and community schools. The competition comprises two divisions – junior for Years 3 and 4 and senior for Years 5 and 6. Each school can enter two students per division to a maximum of four students per school.

How do schools enter the Premier’s Spelling Bee?

An online entry form for the competition is available from 1 May 2018, first day of term 2, here on the Premier's Spelling Bee website. Entries should be submitted before close of business on the final day of registration, 6 July 2018, last day of term 2. Please ensure that you include contact details for the teacher who will be looking after the entry. All teachers must provide a direct departmental email address (or the school's email if appropriate) to assist with our organisation. Entries can be submitted before schools know the names of the students they will be entering. There will be a web form available in June for school coordinators to register their students’ names.

How much does entry cost?

There is no cost associated with the Premier’s Spelling Bee.

What are the competition stages?

Schools either follow official competition procedures or devise their own spelling activities to select students (a maximum of 4, 2 per level) to represent the school at regional finals. These will take place late in Term 3, dates to be confirmed. The Premier’s Spelling Bee Coordinator will advise schools of the dates and venues of regional finals in early Term 3. The winner of each division of each regional final goes on to the state finals: please note, the runner-up does not. State finals will be held on a Friday in November, 2018, date to be confirmed, in the Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre, Ultimo.

What does the school spelling bee coordinator do?

School Spelling Bee Coordinators should submit the online entry form for their school and download the 2018 word lists when they become available in May. They’ll then need to select the school’s representatives, by running in-school heats, preferably in a similar format as regional and state finals, and submit those names no later than Friday 17 August 2018. Once all the details are finalised, coordinators will receive an email with details of the venue and date of the final their school will be attending. There are links to frequently asked questions and guidelines and procedure documents to help first-time coordinators and the Spelling Bee Support Officer is always happy to help. This year for the first time there will also be a PL-accreditation Learning Hub tool for coordinators to use. We will send links out to schools when that becomes available.

What word lists are used?

Words for the competition are provided by Macquarie Dictionary and are divided into several categories. Junior and senior students study different word lists. Regional and state finals also include unseen words in later rounds. Word lists will be available for download from The Arts Unit website from Tuesday 1 May 2018 2018. School spelling bee coordinators will be notified of their availability and given the access password as an email confirmation of the school’s entry.

What are the competition procedures?

At each final, there is a demonstration round using simple words to help familiarise contestants with the competition format. No one is eliminated in this round. This is followed by elimination rounds of increasing difficulty. The announcer reads the word, then a sentence including the word, and then repeats the word again. Each contestant must repeat the word to the satisfaction of the announcer before they spell, and then say the word again to indicate they have finished spelling. Up until this point, contestants may self-correct if they clearly indicate that they are starting again. Students have 45 seconds in which to spell the word. A warning bell is rung at 30 seconds with two bells at 45 seconds to indicate the contestant's time has expired. Contestants may ask the announcer to repeat the word – this is included in their 45 second time limit. Any self-corrections must also be made within the time limit. At the second bell, any incomplete spelling will be taken as the contestant's final answer. When a student has finished spelling a word, the announcer will either state 'That is correct' or 'that is incorrect. The correct spelling is…'

How is a winner determined?

At the regional and state finals, the elimination process continues round by round. To win the competition a contestant must spell more words correctly than all the other contestants. A contestant will only be eliminated if at least one other contestant in the same round spells their word correctly. If all contestants in a particular round misspell their words then no one is eliminated.

What are the prizes?

All regional finalists receive a certificate of participation. Regional winners and runners up receive a Budget Dictionary and Thesaurus from Macquarie Dictionary. Macquarie Dictionary will also provide each regional winner and runner-up free school-wide subscription access to the Dictionary & Thesaurus online. This will provide the whole school with the ongoing opportunity to practice their spelling and help their fellow students in the lead up to the 2018 State Final.

State finalists receive silver medallions, a Macquarie Dictionary, a Scrabble board game as well as a gift from MTA. State Champions receive gold medallions and are acknowledged along with their school on a perpetual trophy. State winners and runners-up also receive a free Macquarie Student App download, and a one year subscription to Macquarie Dictionary & Thesaurus Online for their school.

Organisation and sponsorship

The competition is organised by The Arts Unit of the NSW Department of Education. The official media partner is ABC Radio Sydney. The official word list supplier is Macquarie Dictionary. Modern Teaching Aids are our principal sponsor and Scrabble is the official prize sponsor.

All Previous Winners of the Premier's Spelling Bee

2017 Premier's Spelling Bee archive and photos below.