Jasper's tops when it comes to writing

Dunedin George Street Normal School pupil Jasper Seddon contemplates his next story while his...
Dunedin George Street Normal School pupil Jasper Seddon contemplates his next story while his mates Scott Greenfield (9, left) and Flynn Nicols (11) play in the background. Photo by Gregor Richardson.

Jasper Seddon can spin a pretty good yarn, but readily admits not even he could have come up with a tale this wild about a young boy's success.

The George Street Normal School pupil is aged only 11 and already he is an award-winning writer.

He achieved the top mark in New Zealand and the Pacific for the 2014 International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) writing exam.

''It's a little unexpected. I just can't quite get my head around it,'' he said yesterday.

''My friends think it's pretty amazing.''

Jasper said the 45-minute exam involved writing a two-page story on the topic ''One good turn serves another'', which he felt was more fun than mentally taxing.

''I just like to tell stories - it gets people's imaginations going. It's a way of sharing what's inside my head with other people.

''I would quite like to be a writer when I grow up - writing fantasies probably.''

Jasper will head to Auckland next month to receive a gold medal at a special ICAS presentation ceremony.

ICAS exams in reading, writing, spelling, mathematics, science and computer skills have been offered to schools for the past 19 years.

About 150,000 New Zealand pupils and two million students worldwide participate annually.

Principal Rod Galloway said pupils at George Street Normal School had achieved eight gold medals in ICAS examinations in the past four years.

This year, 206 pupils at the school achieved 64 credits (top 25%), 41 distinctions (top 10%) and 13 high distinctions (top 1%), he said.

It had been a remarkable year for the school, which won the Otago Daily Times Extra! spelling and current events quizzes this year, he said.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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