A team of Year 6 children from St James’ Church Of England Academy in Bournemouth have made it into the final of TV quiz show Top Class to be aired on CBBC on Friday.
To make it into the final, the St James’ Church of England Academy team won all their preliminary rounds, including the semi-final on Wednesday afternoon against a team from Millburn Primary School in Northern Ireland. The final will take place on Friday at 15.55 on the CBBC channel and will see the St James’ children battle it out in order to decide who will be crowned Top Class.
In the nail-biting semi-final, the team struggled to get off the starting blocks and at the end of the second round were trailing by 8 points to 0. However, they managed to work their way back into the competition, facing questions on the meaning of the word ‘onomatopoeia’ and acing the spelling and maths rounds. By the final round the St James’ team had managed to put themselves in the lead, eventually winning narrowly by 27 points to 25.
The pupils’ teacher Beth Dodd was also put on the spot, being quizzed on pop-culture. Mrs Dodd has been the highest performing teacher in the competition, managing to identify Miley Cyrus songs and Jessica Ennis-Hill’s birthplace.
The Principal of St James’ Church Of England Academy, Jeremy Payne, said, “The whole community here at St James’ is hugely proud of the team’s performance – they’ve challenged themselves and gone out of their comfort zone with fantastic results. For us, it is how we travel the journey, and not the destination we reach that matters but to make it all the way to the final is an amazing achievement and however it goes on Friday we couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Top Class is a new national TV quiz show similar to University Challenge, the difference being that all the contestants are 10 and 11 year olds representing teams from primary schools around the UK.
Every school in the UK was invited to enter the competition and the team from St James’s had to win their place on the show. The five year 6 students who make up the St James’ Academy team are Ramis, Gabriel, Louis, George and Emily.
Hosted by Scottish comedian Suzan Calman, Top Class not only tests the pupils but also their teachers. Alongside Ramis, Gabriel, Louis, George and Emily, the students’ teacher Beth Dodd also gets challenged by the quiz’s ‘Test the Teacher’ round. Running the risk of humiliation in front of their pupils (and the nation), the primary school teachers must answer a series of pop-culture questions. These questions might prove child’s play for the primary school pupils but are designed to trip up their teachers.
The Top Class final will be aired on the CBBC Channel on Friday 30 September at 3.55pm.