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Mencap’s Spellathon competition will help pupils meet new demanding National Curriculum standards
Thursday 23 August 2012
Mencap's Spellathon offers 10,000 words in-line with the National Curriculum to help pupils improve their spelling. Schools will receive 25% of sponsorship back and can win £10,000 cash prize.
Mencap’s online spelling competition, Spellathon, will support teachers to improve their pupils’ spelling ahead of the impending changes to the National Curriculum, which will see a new compulsory list of words introduced for all children to be able to spell by the end of primary school, from September 2014.
The Department for Education’s new National Curriculum is designed to drastically improve national standards of reading, grammar and spelling. This comes at a time when around 100,000 pupils in England are failing to reach expected standards in English and one in ten boys at the age of 11 can read no better than a seven-year-old.
Taking this into account, Mencap’s Spellathon competition now offers over 10,000 words in-line with the current National Curriculum to help school children improve their spelling through a range of fun, interactive and engaging games. The games feature animated bees which are voiced by Stephen Fry and actress Jodie Whittaker.
Spellathon is a free, online spelling competition, run by the UK’s leading learning disability charity, Mencap in partnership with Digital Giving Ltd. Every school that signs up gives their pupils the chance to improve their spelling, access fun and interactive online games, win prizes, and raise sponsorship money to support people with a learning disability.
Andrea Matias, event development manager at Mencap, says:
“Since Spellathon went online in the last school year, we have seen its already substantial success reach new heights as the number of schools who took part rocketed from 80 in 2010/11 to an incredible 6,250 in 2011/12. When combining this dramatic increase with the fact that children and young people spend 3 hours a day online and gaming, we’ve demonstrated how online initiatives can make a vital contribution to children’s learning.
This year we’ve developed an exciting new feature that will enable teachers to track their pupils’ progress and change their difficulty levels accordingly. A range of free teaching resources and packs are also available. What’s more, the online leader board allows schools to see how they’re doing against other schools in the borough – creating some healthy local competition.”
There are a number of prizes on offer to all schools who sign up to Spellathon and raise money for Mencap, including:
Department for Education, NewPrimary schoolCurriculum to bring higher standards in English, Maths and Science, www.education.gov.uk/inthenews/inthenews/a00210127/newnatcurric
Department for Education, National Curriculum Assessments for Key Stage 2 in England, 2010/11, www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s001047/index.shtml
Notes to editors
For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact Lisa Gilbert, PR Officer at Mencap, on 020 7696 6950 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to use a case study, we have the following available:
Case study:YsgolRhosnesni High School, Wrexham
Susan Smith, a Science Teacher at Ysgol Rhosnesni High School in Wrexham, and the school’s Spellathon Coordinator, says:
“As part of our whole-school literacy initiative, we took part in Mencap’s national Spellathon this past school year. One year group completed eye catching online tasks similar to games they might play at home on their computers. The pupils agreed that Spellathon made spelling fun and accessible.
Pupils received a certificate from Mencap for their participation and hard-work. Many pupils showed major improvement in their spelling, and prizes were awarded to the pupil from each Tutor group who achieved the greatest number of correctly spelt words. This was the highlight of the morning Tutor sessions as pupils checked to see who was at the top of the leader board for their group.
We will be taking part in Spellathon again in the next school year to aid our whole-school literacy initiative. Our year 9 pupils and peer mentors are going to act as our Spellathon Ambassadors and ensure that the years 7 and 8 are set up and ready to participate. We hope that more schools will join us this year and enjoy it as much as we have.”
Callum, a Year 8 pupil, said:
“I enjoyed taking part in the Spellathon as it was cool and it helped me to improve my spelling. I can’t wait to take part next year.”
While Charlotte said:
“I liked the way we could check how we were doing as we went through and to see if we had the top score for our Tutor group, and even for the whole of Wrexham!”
Head teacher, Mr Gareth Hughes, stated:'I'd like to extend my thanks and congratulations to all the pupils involved. The event has helped to develop confidence in spelling, whilst also helping to raise funds for a very worthy cause in Mencap.'”
Find out more about Spellathon’s free workshop at the TES show in London on 15 September between 2.30-3.15pm: www.teachingexhibitions.co.uk/Exhibitions/TES%20Resources/London/2012/Workshops
There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability and their families and carers by fighting to change laws and improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.
Spellathon is a free, online, sponsored spelling competition to make spelling fun for primary and secondary school pupils in the UK. The initiative is run by Mencap, in partnership with Digital Giving. Every school that signs up gives their pupils the chance to improve their spelling, have access to fun, interactive online games, can win prizes and raise sponsorship money to support people with a learning disability. Schools will get back 25% of the sponsorship money they raise for Mencap.
About Digital Giving
Digital Giving Ltd is a joint venture partnership between Grant Morgan and Jamie Goldblatt.
In June 2010, Grant Morgan (CEO of cause-related marketing agency Louis Kennedy), joined forces with mobile and digital media innovator Jamie Goldblatt to launch Digital Giving Ltd. Goldblatt, a market-leader in his field creating mobile content and campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands and agencies, is now working in partnership with Grant Morgan and the leading cause-related marketing agency Louis Kennedy (over £130 million raised for charities in the last 13 years), to originate and deliver global fundraising and mass awareness cause-related entertainment concepts centred around creative and engaging digital content.