In 2014, a musical instrument helped Nicole Lim become Singapore’s champion pupil speller.
The Singapore Chinese Girls’ School pupil, then in Primary 5, correctly spelled “glockenspiel” – a percussion instrument with toned keys – to beat her closest competitor to gold at the RHB-The Straits Times National Spelling Championship.
The nationwide competition – fondly called The Big Spell – is back for the fourth year and you might be the winner.
At stake is the grand prize of $5,000 and the challenge trophy for your school.
Registration opens on Friday, Jan 30.
The first hurdle - the preliminary round on March 7 - will see more than 1,000 participants try their best to write the correct spelling of words that are read to them. The best spellers from each zone will battle it out - spelling words orally on stage - for a place in the finals, where just one pupil will be crowned Singapore's best speller.
Ms Serene Goh, editor of The Straits Times Schools programme, one of the organisers, said: "Raising the standard of competition is just one part of what we are doing. In a sense, just signing up makes you a champion.
"What's great about watching our competitors is their dedication to their school, their resilience and their determination."
The championship is organised by RHB and The Straits Times, in partnership with Ministry of Education. It is supported by Institute of Technical Education, National Library Board. The venue partners are Library at Singapore Sports Hub and Suntec Singapore.
HOW TO JOIN
Participants must be from Primary 4, 5 or 6 of a Ministry of Education primary school or primary section of a full school to join. You must be nominated and registered by your school to be eligible.
Registration details have been sent to schools.
Preliminary round: March 7Zonal rounds: March 28Grand final: April 25