Hillcrest in spellbinding form

Lily Cooper, Millie Wright, Maya Little and Ellie Martell
Lily Cooper, Millie Wright, Maya Little and Ellie Martell

A TEAM of pupils from Hillcrest School came top in a regional heat of a national spelling contest on Friday.

Lily Cooper and Millie Wright, both 12, and Maya Little and Ellie Martell, both 11, competed against six teams in the competition at Ashford’s Cineworld.

The team successfully spelt challenging words such as ‘inconclusive’ and ‘metaphor’.

The school in Rye Road is one of more than 1,000 schools across the UK which have entered the 2011 Times Spelling Bee contest.

Hannah Webber, Hillcrest teacher, said: “It’s fantastic to see our young people being recognised for their diligence, commitment and talent on such a grand scale.

“We are incredibly proud of them.”

Millie said: “We didn’t expect it. This was the happiest day of my life and I’m not even joking. I have never won anything in my life.”

In second place was Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, from Canterbury, Kent with The Westlands School, Kent, coming third.

The last player standing was Hillcrest’s Maya Little.

Hillcrest will go forward to The Times Spelling Bee semi-finals in May.

The 11 winning teams from the semi-finals will then travel to London to compete in the Grand Final at IndigO2 in the O2 Arena on Thursday, June 23.