Students triumph at Word Mania

YEAR five students from Mark Oliphant College were thrilled to be officially recognised as champions of a national literacy and spelling competition recently.

The students received their ‘Word Mania’ national championship trophy at a special assembly on Monday, September 4, with year three students also recognised for their third-place finish in the competition.

Word Mania, created by online literacy provider Literacy Planet, is an interactive word game where students are presented with a given group of letters and, using iPads, must make as many words as possible, out of those letters, in a three-minute period.

Each created word boosts the students’ individual score, and contributes to the school’s overall total.

Teacher Larissa Schinella said students from years three to six took part in the six-week competition and were extremely proud of their efforts.

“At the school we really try to promote a growth mindset in the students, and use positive education as a way to educate the children to never give up,” she said.

“For the students to be recognised through a national competition is so amazing, and the kids are very happy with what they have been able to achieve.”

Along with the national crown, Literacy Planet’s South Australian literacy development manager, Samuel Benjamin, also presented the school with a $1250 cheque as a prize for the students’ efforts.

Speaking at the assembly, Mr Benjamin said Mark Oliphant College students were easily the most active Word Mania users in SA.

“Students at Mark Oliphant College made more than three million words and played a combined total of 300,000 hours of Word Mania, which is a huge achievement,” he said.

Ms Schinella said this is not the first time the school has been involved, with last year’s year six group finishing as a top 10 finalist.

“We saw the competition on Facebook last year and the year six group did quite well, but this year the students have really got behind it,” she said.

Tom Staggard


Born and raised in Adelaide's northern suburbs, Tom attended Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury East before studying journalism at the University of South Australia. Tom joined The Bunyip in June 2017 after previously working in the Adelaide Hills for The Courier newspaper in Mount Barker and the Weekender Herald in Crafers. As part of his role, Tom will cover the Adelaide Plains and Playford council regions. Away from work, he is a massive sports fan and loves all things football, cricket, basketball and soccer.

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