Creating a valued teaching resource

Mencap is the voice of learning disability. Spellathon is their annual national spelling competition for pupils aged 4-13.

Spellathon had been running for over 15 years and had always had the same format. Income from the event was starting to decline and they wanted to refresh it and attract more schools to participate.

Spelling lists had been supplied by the Oxford University Press and Cartoon Network gave Mencap the rights to use their character Ben 10. Crucially, whilst they got good feedback from teachers saying that the pack was very easy to use, not all schools were sending their money in.

We felt there was a huge opportunity to create more educational appeal, by aiming the pack at teachers and better meeting their needs.

Spelling is a weakness in many schools, so we focused the pack on solving this, linking educational content to the new National Strategy’s APP (assessing pupil’s progress), with links to SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning). The pack comprised:

  • a school assembly plan for the start of the programme
  • six weeks of work for each year group
  • carefully planned, differentiated lessons to develop spelling strategies, encompassing the National Literacy Strategy
  • ideas for PSHCE activities covering the main principles of SEAL

From a creative perspective, the Ben 10 graphics had dominated the pack, without adding any value, so working with our sister design agency hey moscow, we focused attention instead on the Mencap brand and created a look dedicated to Spellathon.

Bright colours helped it stand out against the many other packs received by teachers, whilst messaging promoted a serious offer to improve spelling skills.

We moved instructions to the front of the pack and made it very comprehensive, with a three term option timetable which set out timings for all elements, including the all-important deadline for fundraising returns.


  • Much improved teacher appeal
  • A high quality product produced at low cost

“The Mencap Spellathon pack is now a lot more attractive to teachers, thanks to the useful resources that they added in.

They worked really hard to give us a fantastic product that fit within our brand guidelines, all the while making sure that they stuck to the agreed budget.”





  • Categories: Education
  • Client: Mencap