Pupil studying to become a doctor

Om Shetty (10), of Queenstown, with some of his certificates and medals. Photo by James Beech.
Om Shetty (10), of Queenstown, with some of his certificates and medals. Photo by James Beech.
A gifted Queenstown Primary School pupil is well on the way to achieving his ambition of becoming a doctor by amassing a string of top results in transtasman exams.

Om Shetty, of Lake Hayes Estate, said he would be "pretty excited and real proud" on December 9 when he went to Auckland to receive his latest medal for scoring the highest marks in computer skills for year 5 pupils sitting the University of New South Wales' International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) exams.

"I really wanted to get it and I prepared quite well this year," Om said yesterday.

"I do a couple of practice questions. Mum helps sometimes and I read quite a bit."

Om said preparation and practice were the secrets behind his academic success, with up to 45 minutes set aside for study every night.

The Auckland-born boy has attended Queenstown Primary for the past six years and finds time for cricket, swimming and art as well as classes.

Om also earned high distinction grades in ICAS exams for English - in which he was in the top 1% in New Zealand - plus distinction in maths (placed in the top 2%), spelling (in the top 7%) and science (top 4%), as well as a credit for writing when he was placed in the top 14% in the country.

Om and three classmates formed the team which won the gold medal at the Otago Daily Times Extra! Spelling Quiz for years 5 and 6 pupils during the winter.

His painting of a lighthouse was chosen for the front cover of Tall Poppies, the magazine for members of the New Zealand Association for Gifted Children.

Om's sporting achievements include selection for the Central Otago representative years 5 and 6 cricket team and second place in the 200m freestyle at the Otago Southland Early Bird meeting held in Queenstown in September.

University and a medical career are in his sights.

"I want to be a neurosurgeon or cardiac surgeon. I really want to be a doctor because they help people and you need a real good education to be one."

School gifted and talented co-ordinator Maria Small said Om was one of her top pupils in eight years of teaching.

"Om is a fantastic ambassador for our school, achieving highly in all areas - academic, cultural and sporting. He achieved a lot because of his perseverance and dedication, as well as natural ability."