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Pupils make next round of Spelling Bee; BUSY BEES NOW TO FACE THEIR NATIONAL OPPONENTS.

Byline: Katie Dickinson Reporter katie.dickinson@trinitymirror.com @KATIEJDICKINSON

A TRIO of Gosforth schoolgirls were spellers par excellence after making it through to the semifinals of a French Spelling Bee. Gosforth Junior High Academy pupils Esme Collin, Lauren Shepherdson and Ella Dewar beat off competition from almost 3,000 pupils to make it into the top eight of the regional competition.

After finishing third and fourth, Esme and Lauren will now take on opponents from across the country at the national finals in July. After coming through the first round of tests at their own school, the Year 7 pupils mastered 150 French words to take part in the North East section of the contest at Newcastle University.

Participants had just 60 seconds to correctly translate and spell as many words as they could in German, French or Spanish.

Esme, Lauren and Ella competed against 36 other students from across the North East to make through the first two rounds and into the final eight.

Ella, 12, of Gosforth, said: "It was a bit nerve-wracking to start with, but once we realised that the other people there were at about the same level as us we started to calm down a bit.

"I think the countries were the hardest words to get - one of mine was Wales, which is Pays de Galles, and you have to include the spaces and everything when you spell it out."

Esme and Lauren will now compete in the national final at Anglia Ruskin University on July 1, along with two pupils from Royal Grammar School Newcastle.

On making it through to the nationals, Esme, 12, of Jesmond, said: "It's quite scary - we have to learn another 50 words and they're a lot harder."

Lauren, 12, of Gosforth, beat her personal best and score a very impressive 22 words in one minute.

She said: "I'm very excited about going to the finals in Cambridge but really nervous because the words are really hard."

CAPTION(S):

From left, Lauren, Esme and Ella

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 16, 2016
Words:336
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