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Nine year old girl shines in World Education Games contest
If anyone should be used to the daily challenges of spelling, it is Agnieszka Kolaczynska, from Llidiartywaen. She says her name and that of Welsh villages like her own in Powys helped her in a global children's contest.
The nine-year-old beat more than 1.5 million other youngsters in the World Education Games (Weg) spelling championships. Agnieszka, who has Polish roots and is home-schooled b her mum, had not sat a spelling test before, yet finished first in Wales, seventh in the UK and 31st worldwide.
"If you can spell my name, you can spell just about anything. After learning to spell Polish names and Welsh places, English is a doddle” said Agnieszka.
Children from 200 countries took part in the event against the clock. Contestants were asked to fill in gaps in sentences with accurately spelled words which increased in difficulty with every round. Words like abhorrent, communication and association were among those she navigated.
Agnieszka's mother, Anita Kolaczynska, is a former primary school teacher and has educated all three of her daughters at home. She commented: "We are really surprised and proud of her. I'd never taught her spelling, it's been a complete by-product. I did some with her when she was younger but she just didn't want to do it. So I've still got the book which has four words in from when she started”.
Agnieszka has been known to read up to three books a day, with War Horse author Michael Morpurgo her favourite writer. She has been taught to touch type and has been blogging about topics of interest to her for more than a year.
Agnieszka described her home education as "quite free" as she can focus on subjects which naturally interest her.
Her mother said home education had removed any restrictions from Agnieszka's learning.