Tuesday, April 5, 2016

RHB-The Straits Times National Spelling Championship (Preliminary Round)

Credits: The Straits Times
Date: 26 March 2016
Venue: Suntec City Convention Hall
Time: 08:00 to 13:00

About the event:
Big spell is an annual National spelling competition, presented by RHB Banking Group and The Straits Times which opens to Primary 4 to 6 students. This competition consists of 3 rounds- Preliminary, Zonal and Grand Final.

For the preliminary rounds, it was estimated that there was more than 1800 students who signed up for this competition. These students were required to take a test of which they had to spell 50 words.
The top 30 spellers in each zone - north, south, east and west, will be selected to enter the Zonal Round on April 16. The best performers from the Zonals will then move on to the Grand Final on April 30.

The EMRS students were divided into 4 different zones and each zone had different roles and responsibilities.
Zone 1- Arrival & Dismissal

Zone 2- Ushers & Invigilators

Zone 3- Invigilators

Zone 4-Registration
A briefing was conducted by Avivar Audience Communication Pte Ltd on March 17. The representative shared with us the event details such as the program schedule, roles and responsibilities and so on. After which, we were told that we had to do a site recce on March 23 whereby teams were involved. During the site recce, we were further briefed on the floor plan so as to be more familiarized with the event.

Event Day:
- Registration

All the students were required to report at Suntec City Convention Hall at 06:45. Luckily, transport was provided where we were able to share a cab and claim from the company afterwards.
We started off the day by helping to paste seat numbers of participants based on the different zones that we were already assigned to. However, the process of pasting the seat numbers took longer than expected thus, some of us were not able to enjoy the light breakfast that was provided.

At about 07:50, students, parents and teachers started to arrive for registration. Without wasting time, we headed to our respective zones to assist the school teachers and participants. The crowd was overwhelming, making those ushers in Zone 2 lost when they tried to find the various schools that they were assigned to. However, we managed to overcome this obstacle by remaining calm and helping one another. Due to the huge number of participants, there was a space constraint in terms of the assembly area which resulted in the delay of timing in proceeding to the examination hall. Nevertheless, to prevent any more delay, we did our very best to control the crowd and took the initiative to apologise for the long wait.

- Examination

After ensuring that the students have settled down at their respective zones, all ushers were then tasked to be invigilators. We felt that it was a huge responsibility to be an invigilator as we had to ensure fairness and constantly be alert during the exam. Through our observations, we realized that the participants were anxious. Hence, to overcome this, we interacted with them and tried to make them calm. After the hour-long examination, the collection of papers was challenging but we managed to remain vigilant and calm by helping one another to make sure that the number of students tallied with the number of scripts collected.

- Dismissal
Dismissal of the students was actually quite challenging as there was a change in plans in the midst of dismissal. Instead of dismissing by zones, schools were actually dismissed only when their busses have arrived. It has been quite a long day for the participants, thus resulting them to be restless, running around and playing among themselves. Even though this actually tested our patience, we tried to put ourselves in their shoes and advise them in a nice and friendly manner. Nevertheless, we had to keep in mind to be always alert of their whereabouts and safety. There were many unhappy faces due to the late dismissal but we maintained our professionalism by addressing the situation calmly.


To most of us, 2016 Big Spell was actually the biggest event that we had ever been involved in which led to many lessons being learned. For instance, the essentials of being proactive and adapting to changes, as things may not go as planned and sometimes unexpected situations may occur. We also learned life-long skills that can be applied in the future, such as taking initiatives and being proactive in terms of adapting to unexpected situations and not being afraid to try. Last but not least, we were grateful for our respective supervisors who constantly checked on us and guided us.

With love,
EMRS Team 2,3 & 4