New spelling-bee champions are buzzing with joy!

FLYING HIGH -- spelling-bee champions Scott Mackenzie and Lucy Tuffs

FLYING HIGH -- spelling-bee champions Scott Mackenzie and Lucy Tuffs

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THE BUZZ at Springfield Primary School in Bulwell before the Easter holidays was all about their hotly-contested annual spelling-bee competition.

Now the Dispatch can reveal that joint winners have been crowned — seven-year-old SCOTT MACKENZIE and 11-year-old LUCY TUFFS.

The competition is based on the American phenomenon that sees youngsters go head-to-head in a spelling competition.

At Springfield, of Lawton Drive, the aim is to improve literacy among pupils.

The contest took several weeks to complete, starting with competitions in each class. In total, 130 youngsters, aged between six and 11, took part.

In the first round, each pupil was given a list of 30 words to learn according to their age and ability.

Competitors were then whittled down to finalists in each class, with only those who had spelt all their words correctly being eligible.

It was then time for those winners to go up against each other to produce seven class-champions.

As well as Scott and Lucy, these were: LEAH BRADLEY (six), AMBER LAMBERT (eight), TANISHA WALLIS (nine), DION DARWIN (nine) and LUKE MARRIOTT (ten).

The pressure was cranked up for the next round. For each of the class winners had to take centre stage during daily assemblies in the final.

Each youngster was put on the spot and asked by a teacher to spell a word. Those who made a mistake were eliminated.

It took almost a week to get down to Scott and Lucy. But after a tense head-to-head, they couldn’t be separated.

This was despite being asked to spell challenging words such as decaffeinated, chrysalis and claustrophobia.

Head teacher Jane-Belinda Francis said: “This is a highly-successful project that helps to raise standards at the school.

“Everyone who took part should be proud of themselves.”