Counting down to The Big Spell

Palm View Primary School in Compassvale Bow.
Palm View Primary School in Compassvale Bow.ST FILE PHOTO

At Palm View Primary School, spelling is a schoolwide affair. Every pupil takes part in level-wide spelling bees, held in conjunction with the school's English Language Festival.

This year, for the first time, Palm View will send pupils to take part in the RHB-The Straits Times National Spelling Championship, also known as The Big Spell.

"It is an opportunity to provide a platform for the pupils beyond the school level that they are used to," said Madam Nur Hasanah Osman, the level head for English.

Registration for the event officially closes today. Schools are limited to 10 participants each, for a maximum of 1,000 competitors this year.

Singapore's nationwide spelling event for upper primary schoolers is currently in its sixth year.

Just as in previous years, there will be three rounds: a written preliminary round, as well as an intermediate round and a final round, both of which will be held orally.


  • 1,000

    Maximum number of competitors this year.


    Number of participants each school is limited to.

However, there are slight changes to the game play this year, made with the aim of sharpening the overall quality of the competition.

Instead of an intermediate round held simultaneously in four locations - where pupils compete within their own school zones - a semi-final round will be held at two venues instead.

In another first, the organisers will also analyse how participants fare and give each school a report following the event, to provide an insight into the most common errors made by pupils and the reasons.

The annual competition is co-organised by RHB Banking Group and The Straits Times, in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MOE). It is supported by the National Library Board, and ITE College Central is the technology partner.

  • Registration is limited to schools under MOE.
  • Primary 4 to 6 pupils are eligible. If your school has not registered yet, sign up by writing to, or call 8235-5565.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2017, with the headline 'Counting down to The Big Spell'. Print Edition | Subscribe