A GIFTED and talented Melville Senior High School class has topped the nation in Australia’s biggest literacy competition, Word Mania.
Entering the final day of the three-week challenge, Maddie Jennings’ Year 7 English class trailed New South Wales’ Penrith Christian School by close to 9000 points.
That deficit was quickly erased with all 23 students playing feverishly through their breaks to ensure they finished number one in the country for their year group.
“We were lucky that all of the teachers were on board with it and allowed the students to play throughout the day,” Ms Jennings said.
“Wednesday (the final day of the competition) was Book Week dress-up day for the teachers and I was running around to all the students checking on how they were going.
“They were all really engaged in the game for pretty much the whole day, including their break times, and that is really what got us across the line.”
Word Mania is a free competition for students in Years 1 to 9 based on an online word building game.
It involves building phonics, spelling, word recognition and vocabulary.
“The kids have a three-minute timeframe and have to build as many words as they can,” Ms Jennings said.
“The game improves vocabulary and literacy because the students have to think about things like plurals, tenses, prefixes and suffixes.”
As national champions, the Year 7 class wins a National Geographic book pack, set of literacy-based board games and $1000 which will be put towards a term four excursion.