ST BRIGID’S School Year 6 students have topped the national leaderboard in Australia’s biggest literacy competition for the second year in a row.
The competition, Word Mania, is based on an online word-building game that involves phonics, suffixes and prefixes, spelling, word recognition, vocabulary and word knowledge, with points scored for accuracy and word complexity.
St Brigid’s won one of nine national grade prizes in the competition.
More than 260,000 students from years 1 to 9 in 2000 schools nationally participated in the free competition, which is run by the online Literacy Planet program.
Competing students spent more than 8.5 million minutes – equivalent to 16 years of literacy practice – building more than 63 million words.
Literacy Planet chief executive Adam McArthur said the students should be proud of their achievement.
“Word-building is a complex skill and with so many schools involved, there were tens of thousands of students competing for the top spot in each category,” Mr McArthur said.
He said Literacy Planet was thrilled at the number of schools around Australia that participated.
The competition has grown in popularity as more teachers integrate digital technology into the classroom, and Mr McArthur said the level of excitement and engagement this year had been astounding.
Students have to create as many words as they can from 15 letter tiles in three minutes.
“It’s an exercise in improving literacy skills, including basic language and spelling, and schools have a lot of fun with it,” he said.
St Brigid’s School will receive a trophy and a cash prize of $1000.
To celebrate Word Mania 2016 and National Literacy and Numeracy Week, from August 29 to September 5, Literacy Planet also donated $100 for every million words built, which resulted in $6300 being donated to the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF).
“We share the ALNF’s goal to help all children develop strong literacy skills and reach their potential,” Mr McArthur said.