Video transcript
How to set up a spelling bee - Preparing for the spelling bee regional finals over Zoom

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[intro music]

JADE ARNOLD: Hi, my name is Jade Arnold, and I'm the NSW premier's program officer, reading and spelling, at the Arts Unit. So, you're a teacher or a student who's progressed through to the regional finals of the Premier's Spelling Bee. This video will cover everything that you need to know to prepare for the Premier's Spelling Bee regional finals that are held online via Zoom.

Chapter 1 - Getting set up for Zoom. Before answering the Zoom call, it's important to ensure the classroom or the space that you're using is set up for the bee. Spelling contestants need to be seated in front of the camera with their hands visible in shot so that our judges can monitor their participation. If you have a student audience watching the bee, they will also need to be seated behind the speller. Teachers or supervising adults must also be seated behind the speller. If a contestant is eliminated, they are welcome to move out of their seat in front of the camera and join the audience members.

Please ensure that the device that you are using has sufficient speakers to ensure that your speller can hear the announcer, as closed captions cannot be enabled during a spelling bee. If you're using external speakers to amplify your device's sound, please ensure that you check this prior to the day to avoid any technical issues.

Once you've entered the Zoom call, coordinators will need to ensure that their Zoom name is changed to their school name, as this will ensure our announcers are able to identify contestants. To change your Zoom name, simply right click over your existing Zoom name and click 'Rename', then type the full name of your school, and click 'Change'.

In the interest of supporting all of our spellers, we asked all schools participating to stay on for the duration of the regional final until the finalists and semifinalists are announced to ensure that they receive the respect and the congratulations that they deserve.

One final thing to note. The NSW Department of Education takes student privacy very seriously. We do not collect students' 'Permission to publish' for our regional finals on Zoom, so it is imperative that you do not record the spelling bee. If you wish to record your own student competing and you have the appropriate permissions to publish from their caregivers, please ensure that your camera does not capture the screen.

Chapter 2 - What to expect in the spelling bee regional final. Ensuring students are familiar with what to expect in the regional finals will help ease their nerves so that they can focus on their spelling on the big day. When schools join their Zoom regional final, they will be greeted by an announcer and a scorer.

Before the challenge begins, a demonstration round will occur with the first 5 students spelling simple practice words to demonstrate the competition format and procedures. This isn't an elimination round, and any spelling mistakes made during this round will not count.

Once the demonstration round has finished, the real challenge begins. One at a time, contestants will be called upon to spell a word. At this point, school coordinators will need to unmute their student's microphone. The announcer will read a word, followed by a sentence including the word for context, and then they will repeat the word again.

Contestants have 45 seconds to spell their word once the announcer has finished speaking. Within this time limit, contestants may ask for the word to be repeated and may also self-correct if the student clearly indicates that they are starting again. It's important to note that they cannot ask for the definition of a word.

There is a warning bell at 30 seconds and 2 bells at 45 seconds to indicate the contestant's time has expired. If a student has not finished spelling the word by the second bell, the answer will be judged incorrect.

Let's see what this will look like on the day.

ANNOUNCER: Please welcome Miranda from Thesaurus Public School. Cannula. The nurse had to insert a cannula into a blood vessel to attach the drip. Cannula.

MIRANDA: Cannula. C-A-N-N-U-L-A. Cannula.

ANNOUNCER: Yes, that's correct. Please welcome Isabella from Macquarie Public School. Omniscient. Most religions believe that their god is omniscient. Omniscient.

ISABELLA: Omniscient. O-M-N-I-C-I-E-N-T.

ANNOUNCER: That is incorrect. The correct spelling is O-M-N-I-S-C-I-E-N-T. Omniscient. Please welcome Shubham from Dictionary Public School. Archipelago. Indonesia is an archipelago of more than 13,000 islands. Archipelago.

SHUBHAM: Archipelago. A-C-- can I start again, please?

ANNOUNCER: Sure, you can.

SHUBHAM: Arpeg-- ah, can I start again?

ANNOUNCER: Yes, you can.

SHUBHAM: Archipelago. A-R-C-H-I-P-E-L-A-G-O. Archipelago.

ANNOUNCER: Yes, that is correct. Please welcome Victor from Spelling Public School. Mortgage. My parents celebrated when their mortgage was finally paid off. Mortgage.

VICTOR: M-O-R-T-G-A-G-E. Mortgage.

ANNOUNCER: That is correct. Welcome Jacob from Alphabet Public School. Your word is sedimentary. Sandstone is an example of a sedimentary rock. Sedimentary.

JACOB: Can you please repeat the word and sentence again?

ANNOUNCER: Certainly. Your word is sedimentary. Sandstone is an example of sedimentary rock. Sedimentary.

JACOB: Sedimentary. S-E-D-E-M-E-N-T-R-Y.

ANNOUNCER: That is incorrect. The correct spelling is S-E-D-I-M-E-N-T-A-R-Y.

JADE ARNOLD: Definition of a round - seen list round, unseen list round. The Premier's Spelling Bee consists of several rounds. Within a round, every competitor will be given one unique word to spell by the announcer. The words given in the first 6 to 7 rounds are from the seen word lists. These lists are sent out to school coordinators for students and teachers to use to review and prepare for the spelling bee.

After this, we progress to the unseen word list that increases in difficulty. If a student misspells a word during a round, they are eliminated, and they can join their school's audience at the conclusion of that round. If every contestant misspells their word in a given round, no one will be eliminated, and the competition will continue to the next round.

If all but one contestant misspells their given word, the sole correct speller is deemed the winner. If this occurs, there will be additional rounds to then determine the runner-up. Make sure your school stays on to the very end to help congratulate our winner and runner-up who will receive their awards in the post.

Thank you for watching and please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions about the spelling bee on the email listed below and on our website. On behalf of the NSW Department of Education, we look forward to seeing your school on Zoom and good luck with your journey participating in the NSW Premier's Spelling Bee.

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