Trust students dominate finals

All four students heading for the national finals of the Spanish Foreign Language Spelling Bee for Year 7 are part of The Cam Academy Trust.

At yesterday’s regional finals, held at Comberton Village College, students from Cambourne Village College and the hosts dominated proceedings.

James Welsh from Cambourne took top spot with Rylan Upton from Comberton finishing second. Nathan Went from Cambourne was third and Bethany Shufflebotham grabbed the final place at the national finals to be held at the University of Cambridge at the end of June.

Congratulations also to Lucy Alabaster, Sophie Paterson and Amelie Royapen from Melbourn Village College and to Emily Talbot from Comberton, who also qualified for the regional finals.

Students had already come through their class and school rounds to reach the regional finals where students from across the East battled it out in three sections – Spanish, French and German.

All had learned 50 common words for the class round, a further 50 for the school round and a total of 150 for the regionals. For the national final students will have learned to say and spell 200 words in their chosen language.

Rachel Hawkes, The Trust’s Director of International Education, said: “It was amazing that we scooped all four Spanish places. Well done to all the students involved and all the spelling bee helpers at each school, who work with the Year 7s to help them learn the words at our weekly Spelling Bee clubs.

“Particular thanks to Paula Vázquez-Valero, who is running the Spelling Bee sessions this year, to Claire Jones who oversees all student international projects in the Comberton languages department and to Maria Collado-Canas and Jenny Correa-Alvarado, who oversee Cambourne and Melbourn’s Spelling Bees respectively, and, as a native speakers, helped with the judging at the Regional finals.

The Foreign Language Spelling Bee was the brainchild of a former Comberton teacher, Jane Driver, and is now a nationwide competition, in its ninth year,  run by Routes into Languages East.

Sarah Schechter, from Routes into Languages East, said: "As always, the Year 7s were amazing!  It's been great to see how the Spelling Bee and its sibling project, the Translation Bee, have improved language performance over the past few years. A fun afternoon was had by one and all, hosted expertly by Comberton Village College. Many thanks to Rachel Hawkes, Alison Shorten and all the team"

More than 4600 students in the Eastern region started the competition in the class rounds with 67 qualifying for the regional finals in the three languages. Nationally the competition has attracted almost 29,000 students from more than 280 schools.