Firstly, before I get entangled with spelling, children, Sue Perkins and Moira Stuart, I would just like to say hello, thank you and sorry to the people who have taken the time to comment on previous drivellings within this picnic. Being somewhat new to WordPress I am still unraveling the mysteries of my dashboard and it’s only very recently that I noticed I had notifications and needed to ‘approve’ comments. A few days later, I then realised there was a further option for me to reply to comments…YAY! So, as I said, ‘Hello, Thank you and Welcome indeed’.
So, spelling. It’s pretty tedious isn’t it? Something we’re either good or bad at – even with the hindrance of Spell Check [I feel another rant coming on, but will control myself for now]. I’m sure we all remember having to learn lists of spellings for tests at school – even spelling in foreign languages as our academic careers progressed. Anybody have heartwarming memories of this? The silence is deafening 🙂
Anyway, for Christmas one of my daughters bought me a Now TV box with an entertainment pass. I am famed for not really watching much telly and I find Freeview is usually more than enough to keep me busy when I do settle down for some viewing. However I managed to sort out the new gadget and, after only 2 or 3 weeks I have sorted out some settings! [Pause here to take a bow and hear the thunderous applause]. By default I head for the documentaries section when I’m searching for something to watch; Minotaurs, the Silk Road, Russian artworks…all fascinating to we nerds. I have no idea how I found it – maybe one of those ‘suggested programmes’ which pop up -but I somehow discovered The Big Spell on Sky TV yesterday and am hooked.
Ordinarily I would say that putting pressure on children [aged between 9 and 13] to perform with the added stress of an audience and TV lights is not a good idea. My opinions are, however, changing.The programme is in 8 parts [only the first 2 have been broadcast so far] with a variety of spelling games in which the children compete each week. Sue Perkins is the host, with Moira Stuart asking the questions. I think the choice of these 2 for the roles is brilliant. Their blend of light-heartedness, gravity and motherliness is just right given the ages of the contestants. Nervous children frequently get hugs, high-fives and encouragement from Sue whilst Moira’s look of genuine pleasure when they get a spelling right is wonderful to see.
The children all seem happy to be there, and so far there is a total absence of ‘pushy’ parents; just proud, supportive and warm mums and dads always ready with a cuddle and word of reassurance. The way the contestants themselves are so mutually supportive is also lovely to see. Although they all want to go through to the next round, they genuinely cheer each other on and delight in each other’s success.
I couldn’t help but wonder, if I were to take part in something like this, [well I did enter 15 to 1 in 2015, but maybe more of that another time] would I be able to spell surveillance under the glare of the TV lights. I’m pretty sure the answer would be………..HELP!
PS, I’m loving Agatha Raisin too in case you wondered.
If you want to see the programme, this link just might take you to it…or then again, it might not 😦 https://www.sky.com/watch/channel/sky-1/the-big-spell