NSW Premier's Spelling Bee

Years 2 to 6

The Premier's Spelling Bee is an engaging way for primary school students to expand their vocabularies and improve their spelling.

The program includes activities that encourage students to become more confident users of language through broadening their vocabulary, and promotes improved literacy skills in conjunction with the NSW English K-10 syllabus.

Cartoon bee with book

The 2023 NSW Premier's Spelling Bee Junior State Final

This year’s State Finals of the spelling bee were held 3 November at the Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Studios. An impressive line up of students, gleaned from 880 public schools and almost 180,000 participants, made it to be among the last 30 standing and all deserve congratulations for that achievement!

With the help of Epping Public School, who chaired the competition, and with our wonderful announcer, Ms Naidoo, the Junior rounds were fiercely contested through 9 rounds before a winner was decided.

View photos of the state finals


The 2023 NSW Premier's Spelling Bee Senior State Final

The Senior competition was an absolute marathon. With most of the field eliminated by round 8, just three boys battled it out on increasingly difficult words, for another 5 rounds, wherein the 2022 Junior State champion Saarth Deo, from Castle Hill Public School, was eliminated. What followed was unprecedented: the ultimate winner, Trilok Shenoy, from Darcy Road Public School, and Aditya Paul representing Epping Public School proceeded to go head-to-head for a further 12 rounds.

With Ngarala Public School chairing and the experienced Ms Toni Matthews as announcer, the afternoon competition was an exciting end to the great deal of work schools, teachers and students have put into their spelling skills.

View photos of the state finals


Word lists

The password will be available on school enrolment.

There are no entry fees for the bee.

Juniors – Years 3 and 4

Seniors – Years 5 and 6

Copyright notice

The NSW Premier’s Spelling Bee 2023 junior and senior word lists are for your personal use only. No part of this word list covered by copyright may be reproduced, copied, shared or made available on the internet, via email, on an intranet, or by any other means without written permission of the publisher. Copyright © Macquarie Dictionary Publishers 2023 | macquariedictionary.com.au

The Bee is open to students in NSW Public, Community and Central Schools in two categories.

  • Junior Spelling Bee Years 3 and 4 (Year 2 are welcome)
  • Senior Spelling Bee  Years 5 and 6

Please note – One Junior and one Senior student represent their school at regional finals.

The 2023 word lists will be available on enrolment, via the confirmation email you will receive. Please read all copyright conditions carefully, so you may distribute the lists according to licence agreements.

All lists are password protected. The above wordlist links will become active from the enrolment launch.

2023 regional finals will be held using video connections. One senior and one junior speller from each regional will then go onto State finals.

    The 2022 NSW Premier’s Spelling Bee State Finals

    Friday 4 November 2022

    Watch the 2022 junior and senior state finals.

    The best of the best gathered to battle out for the crown of NSW public primary schools’ best speller. The 30 students in each competition were drawn from over 1700 students competing in regional finals, from the 167,700 students participating state-wide.

    Host schools for the day, both of whom had contestants in the finals, were Lidcombe Public School and in the afternoon senior session, Epping Public School.

    Congratulations to all out wonderful spellers, and we hope you eventually enjoyed the day!

    ABC once again hosted the exciting State Finals of the Premier’s Spelling Bee. The students had Josh Szeps announcing the Junior category, and after 11 rounds, the winner was Saarth Deo from Wentworthville Public School, with Isaac Hood from Jesmond Public School running up. The contest was a tough 11 rounds, only 3 of which were taken from 'seen' lists supplied by the Bee, the later 8 rounds coming from words from 'unseen' lists.

    The senior competition at 1:30 went to 10 rounds with Toni Matthews announcing. The eventual victor was Wilson Han, from St Ives North Public School, winning over Vishnu Visweswaran from John Palmer Public School. The students were given 4 rounds taken from the supplied lists but it took 6 rounds on unfamiliar words to decide a winner in a very competitive field.

    Congratulations to each of our state finalists, many of whom came from far away, even through floods and flight delays, to compete at our first live State Final since 2019.

    And just a reminder that the Bee will be back in 2023, first student day of Term 2.



    The spelling bee resource page contains a wide variety of resources are available for use in the preparation of students for the Premier's Spelling Bee in 2023. 

    There are also a range of school resources available to support the organisation of a spelling bee.

    Video – How to run a school competition for the Premier's Spelling Bee (Duration 19:04)

    Preparing for the spelling bee regional finals over Zoom

    Duration: 8:10

    Jade Arnold, NSW premier's program officer, reading and spelling, at the Arts Unit, shares valuable insights on preparing students for the regional finals held over Zoom. This guidance is essential for school-based teachers looking to familiarise themselves with the structure of the NSW Premier's Spelling Bee and how to prepare students for participation in the regional finals.  By following these recommendations, teachers can ensure a seamless experience for participants and maximise the effectiveness of the competition.

    Video transcript – Preparing for the spelling bee regional finals over Zoom


    The Spelling Bee team
    The Arts Unit

    The NSW Premier’s Spelling Bee is proudly supported by Major Sponsor, Grok Academy, Media Partner, ABC Radio Sydney, Official Word List Supplier, Macquarie Dictionary and Supporters, Primary English Teaching Association Australia and ACCO Brands Australia.