Solomon Kendrick from Hove crowned Top Banana at live Grand Final.
Seeing off stiff competition in the grand final at London’s Magic Circle on Saturday 30th April, 11-year-old Solomon Kendrick, of Aldrington CE Primary School in Hove, has beaten 50,000 other children to be crowned Top Banana at the 2017 Bananagrams Challenge. This was Solomon’s second attempt at being crowned Top Banana, as he also made the final in 2016.
Having won the trophy and £1,000 for his school, Solomon commented: “I can’t believe it. I was so relieved just to get through the semi-final so it was amazing to win. My letters at the start of the final were quite easy. I had a lot of vowels, so I kept using them up. Then I just kept going and going. I couldn’t stop. I was in control. I came here thinking I wanted to play as I normally play and just have fun playing Bananagrams, it’s been a really great day and I’m so happy I won.”
Bananagrams’ inventor, Rena Nathanson, commented: “The day was fantastic and all the players held well deserved places at the final. After a tense few rounds I was so pleased to see Solomon, having defended and return to hold his position in the top 12 from last year, become 2017’s Top Banana. He has great technique when building his word grids, is super-fast and is a very worthy winner.”
The Bananagrams Challenge is a tournament for primary schools, which sees children from Key Stage 2 compete at Bananagrams, an anagram game which combines speed, intellect and vocabulary skills. Once each school finds it’s ‘Best of the Bunch’, that child heads to an online elimination round where the final 12 is decided through a series of different word games. This year, it attracted almost 50,000 children in 1,500 primary schools throughout the UK. As part of its mission to get children playing with words, Bananagrams launched the Challenge to help boost vocabulary and spelling skills in classrooms and after-school clubs across the country. The Bananagrams Challenge materials and games were designed specifically to incorporate the new Key Stage 2 spelling lists and to add value to classroom learning.