English Martyrs pupil William hopes to be word perfect for spelling competition final

English Martyrs School pupils William Hartley
English Martyrs School pupils William Hartley

A BRIGHT boy has shown he has got the gift of the gab – and not just in English.

William Hartley, 12, who is a pupil at English Martyrs School, in Hartlepool has beaten off competition from over 26,000 children from across the country to reach the final of the foreign language spelling competition.

After first winning through class and school heats, the Year 7 pupil progressed through the regional finals which took place during the spring term.

William will now put his spelling skills to the ultimate test at the national final of the Foreign Language Spelling Bee at Anglia Ruskin University, in Cambridge, in a few weeks.

He will take on fellow Year 7 pupils from across the country in the French final when pupils will have one minute to translate and spell aloud as many words as they can from a memorised list in French, German or Spanish.

All the words will have a sporting theme to coincide with the arrival of the Olympic torch in Cambridge.

The competition has been extended across England and Wales by Routes into Languages, a consortium of universities that works with schools and colleges to encourage pupils to learn foreign languages.

Sarah Schechter, a project manager of routes into languages at Anglia Ruskin University, said: “The Spelling Bee has caught the imagination of children across England, with over 26,000 Year 7 pupils taking part this year.

“Learning a foreign language is such an important skill and hopefully fun competitions such as this can foster a lifelong love of languages.”

Trophies sponsored by the European Commission will be awarded to the winners at the competition on Friday, July 6.